Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2/29 Padden People, Leap Day, No Coal, Elwha salmon, Vashon septics, BP gas, shooting owls, hungry seabirds

Vancouver morning (Alex Lee, The Sun)
Metro Vancouver morning: Snow falling in Metro Vancouver as snowfall warning remains in effect

Lake Padden update: Last night, the Whatcom County Council voted unanimously to reject an ordinance reinstating the Yew Street Reserve Urban Growth Area, giving time for lake water quality and watershed land use studies that can guide future development. Read about it here.

Mark Memmott reports on something that only comes around once every four years and doesn't involve either politics or Olympic competition: Wednesday is Feb. 29.  Leap Day - any plans?

Opponents of two proposed coal terminals in Washington state will deliver today 40,000 petition signatures from citizens to Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark. Goldmark's state agency regulates the use of state-owned aquatic lands. Opponents of coal terminals in Bellingham, Longview to deliver petition Wednesday   Also, read attorney Stoney Bird’s guest editorial: Community Bill of Rights seeks to shift balance of power  

The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe has signed a legally-binding agreement with the Wild Fish Conservancy, The Conservation Angler, the Federation of Fly Fishers Steelhead Committee and the Wild Steelhead Coalition to hold off planting any non-native steelhead hatchery fish in the Elwha River and its tributaries in 2012. Plan to stock Elwha River with non-native hatchery fish put off

What's the upcoming sports salmon fishing season going to be like? Mark Yuasa at the Seattle Times reports on the latest state Fish and Wildlife return forecast. Salmon season forecasts should offer some fairly good fishing this summer and fall

King County officials have sent notices of violation to 133 waterfront homeowners noting they’ve failed to meet a county deadline to get their septic systems inspected. The letters are the latest step in the county’s three-year effort to get 262 homeowners in Vashon’s six marine recovery areas to comply with new state rules around septic systems in areas deemed critical to Puget Sound’s health. County sends notices of violation to 133 waterfront homeowners

Eleven days after a massive fire disrupted fuel production at the BP Cherry Point refinery, a company spokesman says the exact cause of the blaze is still not known and there is no estimate of how soon repairs could get things back to normal.  Gasoline prices in western Washington shot up in the days following the Feb. 17 fire. As of Tuesday, Feb. 28, the average price for regular in Bellingham was close to $4.04, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge report. A week ago, the average was $3.78. No estimate yet on when BP Cherry Point refinery will return to full production after fire

To save the imperiled spotted owl, the U.S. government set aside millions of acres of forest to protect the owl, but the bird’s population continues to decline a 40 percent slide in 25 years. Now, the Obama administration wants to shoot rival barred owls to help spotted owls recover. Obama plan for spotted owl targets rival bird

A study published in Science reports that-- from gannets to seagulls, puffins to penguins-- all seabirds suffer the same drop in birth rates when the supply of fish drops to less than a third of maximum capacity.  These birds mainly feed on sardines, anchovies, herring and prawns, all of which are victims of over fishing. Below the critical level of one third of the fish biomass, the birds -- and the stability of the entire ecosystem -- come under threat. Overfishing Threatens the Survival of Seabirds

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST WED FEB 29 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
TODAY
S WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 15 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 12 FT AT 15 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
SW WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING W 10 TO 20 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 5 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 13 FT AT 13 SECONDS. SHOWERS.

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1 comment:

  1. Tony Angell comments on owls-- Reading the news regarding the barred owl impacts on spotted owls and the action to be taken reminds me of what is also the impact this species has had on the western screech owl. I am quite confident that the disappearance of the screech owls along our watershed was the result of the predation on them by the barred owls. These smaller owls had no experience with this aggressive species and was a "sitting duck" so to speak. Then too the barreds moved in to take prey that had formerly been available to the screech owls. I expect the "researchers" to conclude the above in another ten years or so as that's the rate science seems to move sometimes.

    The eastern screech owl by the way evolved with the barred owls in the eastern hardwood forests and their numbers selected for evasive behavior around barreds. Once the bigger owls moved westward along corridors of human communities that created habitat for them along with a food source, they breached the Cascades (some thirty years ago or so) and flew into a cornucopia of prey options with few competitors.

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