Encompassing Washington, Oregon and Idaho, the Northwest region’s diverse landscapes extend from the marine waters and old growth forests of the Pacific Coast to the Cascade Mountains to the arid high desert of the interior basins and its plateaus.

Energy development, state wildlife and resource management, and expanding human activity are all threatening the habitats and wildlife in the Northwest. Expanding human populations and development are encroaching on forested and floodplain habitat, which leads to more human-wildlife encounters and conflicts.

Road construction and unsustainable forestry practices have fragmented critical habitat for wildlife, creating barriers to wildlife movement. Climate change is also increasing the severity of drought and wildfire and threatening both habitat and wildlife of the Northwest.

Defenders' Impact

Defenders is engaging in landscape-level planning processes that benefit multiple species in the Pacific Northwest and partnering with coexistence programs in the Selkirk Mountains of eastern Washington and northern Idaho to provide pragmatic and proven solutions for avoiding conflicts between people and grizzlies and wolves.

We are engaging in community science initiatives that increase our knowledge about rare carnivores and working as part of the Oregon Habitat Connectivity Consortium and the Pacific Northwest Coast Landscape Conservation Design process to describe, understand and enhance habitat connectivity.

We are also promoting proactive wildlife conservation legislation at the state level, focused on state wildlife agency reform and protection of threatened and endangered species. We are advocating ways to reduce pollution in the Salish Sea with our Orcas Love Raingardens program and to remove outdated dams from rivers in the region to restore salmon.

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Crater Lake OR
Image Credit
Tami Beduhn/NOAA

What We Do

Conserving Imperiled Species

In the Northwest, we work to conserve southern resident orcas, marbled murrelets, grizzly bears, gray wolves, condors  and mesocarnivores.

Protecting Habitat

We are defending the Salish Sea, the Columbia River basin, the forests from the coast to the Cascades to the Selkirks, and public lands in the Northwest.

Promoting Coexistence

We are working directly with communities to provide education and resources on proven coexistence techniques to reduce conflict between humans and wildlife.

Combating Climate Change

We are advancing Smart from the Start principles to minimize the impacts of renewable energy development on sensitive species like birds and bats.

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Crater Lake OR
Image Credit
Tami Beduhn/NOAA

News

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southern resident orca
Seattle, Wash.

Energy, Fishing, and Conservation Groups Respond to Washington Lawmakers' Presumptive Plan for Snake River Dam Replacement

Defenders of Wildlife and groups across the Northwest are calling on elected leaders from the region to fulfill their commitment to salmon restoration in the Columbia Basin, including breaching the four lower Snake River dams as soon as possible.

Wildlife and Wild Places

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Columbia River with sun
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Southern Resident Orca Breaching
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Ocean Wave
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Gray Wolf in Yellowstone

Where We Work

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