Commissioner Goldmark, Okanogan legislators, conservationists at Loomis Forest

Loomis NRCACommissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark returned to his home, Okanogan County, last weekend where he met with (see photo, from left): Washington State Rep. Shelley Short, R-Addy; Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Waconda; Sen. Bob Morton, Kettle Falls; (center: Commissioner Goldmark); Tim Vugteveen, Highlands District Manager for DNR’s Northeast Region; and Mitch Friedman, Executive Director of Conservation Northwest.

The group took part in a backcountry horse ride in the Loomis Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA), which was organized by the Backcountry Horsemen of Washington.

At 24,672 acres, the NRCA is the state’s largest conservation area. Loomis is an area where DNR works with several other state, private and federal agencies to monitor the habitat of the Canada lynx. The area also is important habitat for grizzly bear, gray wolf, wolverine, northern goshawk and several butterfly species — all listed as imperiled species. The nearby Loomis State Forest provides natural resources revenue to help support public school construction statewide.

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