Thursday, March 1, 2012

3/1 No Yew, no coal, Sound sharks, Shinglemill, geoducks, 520 work, Wild Olympics, salmon forecasts, Army Corps, XL pipeline

'ducks in hands (Taylor Shellish)
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Cliff Mass writes: "Many of you have noticed some wet snow mixed with the rain--even down to sea level.  However, the heaviest accumulations occurred where the models suggested:  southeast of the Olympic Mountains from Shelton to Silverdale to Quilcene." Read why in Wet Snow and the Mt. Rainier Convergence Zone

The Whatcom County Council has unanimously agreed to drop plans to add about 520 acres along Yew Street Road to Bellingham's urban growth area. County zoning in the area currently limits development to a rural level of one house per 10 acres. Adding it to the city's urban growth area would have designated the land for eventual annexation and more intensive residential development. Whatcom County Council rejects Yew Street Road as growth area  

Local commercial fisherman Jeremy Brown and many others collected 40,000 signatures protesting coal trains and coal shipments proposed for western Washington sites and yesterday delivered the signatures to Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark. "Those railway lines cross every single salmon stream in eastern Puget Sound," Brown said. "The burning of coal is the worst thing we can do for climate change." But Goldmark told them his office won't face that decision until after a lengthy environmental review by local officials. Goldmark would only say he'll be watching developments. Environmentalists vow to fight proposed coal terminals

Gary Chittim at KING5 reports that one of several sea lions recently found shot to death in Puget Sound had a wound 14 inches by 16 inches in its side. It was a photo researchers at the Seattle Aquarium had been waiting for. Sea lion wound suggest sharks in Puget Sound

The Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust got a $5,000 grant from REI to restore the forest in the Shinglemill watershed and volunteers recently planted about 400 trees. All told, the land trust hopes to plant 2,000 cedars and firs, part of an effort to restore a coniferous forest in the alder-dominated basin. Rebuilding a forest at Shinglemill

Puget Sound geoducks can live to be 150 years old. A pound of geoduck now sells for around $150 for export to China. Organized crime, poaching and illegal exporting of geoducks have increased. Ashley Ahearn and Katie Campbell report in EarthFix: The Case Of The Stolen Geoducks

The state House passed HB 2814 to prevent a possible work stoppage on the 520 floating bridge project over environmental concerns. The measure would exempt the project from the state’s Shoreline Management Act, which requires a work stoppage until any lawsuit appealing the granting of an environmental permit is resolved. The bill goes to the state Senate.  Bill would prevent 520 work stoppage

A study commissioned by the Wild Olympics Campaign says a congressional plan to set aside 132,000 acres in Olympic National Forest as wilderness, which would take the acreage out of forestry production, would have little impact on the timber industry because the timber industry already is restricted from harvesting most of the proposed area. Wild Olympics study says proposed congressional wilderness plan would have little effect on timber industry

Forecasts for Puget Sound salmon runs call for lower returns this year compared to last year, but officials with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are emphasizing “promising” chinook fishing off Washington’s coast and Columbia River. Christopher Dunagan at the Kitsap Sun goes deep in his 'Watching Our Water Ways' blog to explain what the forecasts mean.  Salmon managers will try to eke out fishing options

U.S. Sen. David Vitter secured bipartisan sponsorship of his bill that would begin to reform the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ delivery of critical flood control and navigation projects. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) has joined as a cosponsor on Vitter’s bill, which would create a pilot program aimed at eliminating red tape and expediting backlogged Corps projects by delegating more project management responsibility to state and local governments. Senator Secures Bipartisan Sponsorship of Bill to Reform Corps of Engineers

A day after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Americans "deserve" the Canadian oil that Keystone would deliver, former U.S. president Bill Clinton said it was time for the U.S. to "embrace" the long-delayed project. Time to 'embrace' Keystone XL: Bill Clinton

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST THU MAR 1 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
TODAY
W SWELL 12 FT AT 13 SECONDS. W WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SW AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 OR 2 FT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE EVENING.

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