The mission of the Wildlife Research Program is to support research on wildlife resources and wildlife habitats existing in the U.S. portion of the North Cascades ecosystem, emphasizing the Skagit watershed.
- To facilitate the development of new scientific information and methods that extend the understanding, management, and protection of wildlife and ecosystems in the Skagit watershed and North Cascades, including the, by:
- Encouraging research that focuses on applied science and management, while still considering projects with broader applicability.
- Encouraging research that meets the long-term wildlife and ecosystem research needs for the North Cascades
- Ensuring that all research that is funded by the Wildlife Research Program meets high professional scientific standards.
- To promote interagency/organizational research partnerships (i.e., agencies, tribes, academic institutions, the public, etc.) to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas, by:
- Encouraging innovative research studies which involve and benefit multiple land and resource management agencies;
- Encouraging grant proposals which utilize multiple funding sources.
- To contribute to the education and training of new researchers and investigators, primarily graduate students, by:
- Ensuring that all major colleges and universities in the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) receive information about the Wildlife Research Program in a timely and effective manner;
- Giving greater value to proposals that provide a graduate research component.
- To ensure that information generated by the Wildlife Research Program is easily accessed by natural resource professionals, academic researchers, environmental educators, and the general public, by:
- Requiring research reporting that includes multiple channels for disseminating reports and information funded by the Wildlife Research Program;
- Making the results of Wildlife Research Program projects available on a website;
- Requiring grant recipients to present the results of their studies at an annual researcher's meeting.
Projects that will be given strong consideration include those that:
- Improve the understanding and management of rare, threatened, endangered, and sensitive species, habitats, communities and ecosystems, and the biological diversity of the Skagit watershed and North Cascades;
- Contribute to the understanding, control, and eradication (if needed) of invasive exotic plant and animal species in forests, riparian areas, alpine lakes and other sensitive habitats;
- Monitor the effectiveness of management activities (such as restrictions on human uses, road closures, placement of artificial habitat structures, silviculture treatments, planned dispersal areas etc.) used by resource management agencies to mitigate the impacts of human-induced disturbances;
- Contribute to the management and protection of wildlife species (e.g., grizzly bear, mountain goat, deer, and elk) that are of most concern and importance to the tribes of the Skagit watershed;
- Improve the understanding of how natural processes (such as flooding, fire, migratory and dispersal patterns etc.) have been modified by the Skagit Project and other human-induced ecosystem modifications
- Establish long-term ecological monitoring, baseline inventories, and pilot studies to understand, manage and protect the ecological health of sensitive habitats, communities, and ecosystems.