Pacific Fisher Photo by John Jacobson
Pacific fishers are related to the smaller pine martens and larger wolverines. Fishers were heavily trapped for their fur throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and extensive logging of the Northwest’s old-growth forest devastated their habitat. By the 1930s, this small forest mammal, about the size of a house cat, had vanished from Washington’s forests.
Starting in 2008, Conservation Northwest partnered with state agencies and other organizations to restore fishers to Washington state. This reintroduction effort has been largely successful and more reintroduction efforts are under way to fully restore this small carnivore to the Pacific Northwest ecosystems.
Alaina Kowitz is a communications and outreach associate for Conservation Northwest. She grew up in Northeast Washington and first became interested in wildlife conservation by following this state’s gray wolf reintroductions and the complexities surrounding interfaces between wildlife and people. Alaina graduated from Gonzaga University in Spokane in 2015 with a degree in Environmental Studies, and is newly transplanted to Seattle to work for wildlands and wildlife conservation in the Pacific Northwest.