Monday, August 26, 2013

8/26 Orca Watcher, BC oil spills, Fraser poaching, Oly shores, Bainbridge land, Dungeness pollution, fishers, recognizing tribes

L79 south of Stuart (Erik Stockdale/WikiCommons)
Orca Watcher blogs: "No Southern Resident Killer Whales were seen from July 20 to August 7, an unusually lengthy absence during the summer months though not entirely unheard of (in 2000 they were gone for five weeks!) On August 7th a somewhat surprising group of whales returned to the westside of San Juan Island - the L54 matriline along with orphaned boys L88 Wavewalker and L84 Nyssa..."  An August Whale Update  

Officials in British Columbia privately warned the province lacks the ability to manage oil spills from existing and future oil traffic, and even a moderate spill would overwhelm their ability to respond, documents show. Ottawa's decision to deal with coastal oil spills from a base in Quebec would make it much harder to contain spills, and Transport Canada and the Coast Guard lack the needed "environmental expertise" to manage them, officials said the documents obtained by The Canadian Press under freedom of information laws. Stanley Tromp reports. B.C. worries oil spill would "overwhelm" resources  

Conservation officers have seized another five nets from poachers along the Fraser River despite a ban on fishing for all salmon species. DFO spokeswoman Nicole Gallant said the seizures happened Friday night and Saturday morning. Four nets were seized in the Fraser Canyon, while the other was found near the Port Mann Bridge.  5 nets seized on Fraser River despite salmon fishing ban  

The Olympia City Council is gearing up for a marathon session Tuesday, when it is scheduled to give final deliberations on the Shoreline Master Program. Council members will meet beginning at 5:30 p.m. instead of the regular 7 p.m. start time. Council meetings already often last more than three hours, so a four- or five-hour meeting wouldn’t be out of the question. By the end of Tuesday, the council could give its final recommendations to staff for the plan. The matter would hopefully come back to the council on Sept. 17, city planning director Keith Stahley said. After the council adopts a final ordinance, perhaps in October, staff would transmit it to the state Department of Ecology for final approval. That process could take up to a year. Matt Batcheldor reports. Key discussion on shoreline plan this week

The Bainbridge Island Land Trust has been awarded two grants that will help purchase and preserve 12.5 acres of intact shoreline and upland habitat along Agate Passage. “This exquisite piece of Bainbridge embraces ‘all the parts’ of nature’s design - and now they’re permanently protected for the future, too,” said Brenda Padgham, stewardship director for the land trust. The property includes 7.43 acres of mature, second-growth forest that rise above high sandbanks, or “feeder bluffs.”  Grants help finalize land trust purchase of land along Agate Passage

Several agencies are starting to develop a plan to identify and clean up sources of pollution in the Clean Water District of the Dungeness Valley.  They’re looking to model their plan on Kitsap County, where landowners who refuse to reduce runoff or other pollution are fined. What they currently lack, however, are the funds to monitor stream quality and enforce regulation, according to agency workers who spoke in Sequim recently.  The Clean Water District includes the Dungeness Valley, extending from the eastern Clallam County line to Bagley Creek west of Sequim. Joe Smillie reports. Dungeness pollution plan could include penalties

A predator that disappeared from Washington state two decades ago is in the midst of a comeback, and wildlife officials are looking to give the cat-sized carnivore known as the fisher some new help. Wildlife officials, who reintroduced 90 fishers to the Olympic Peninsula a few years ago, are now preparing a plan to reintroduce more of the weasel-like animals to Mount Rainier and North Cascades national parks as early as 2015. Rachel La Corte reports. Small carnivore proposed for return to Cascades parks  

His tribe once controlled huge swaths of what is now New York and Connecticut, but the shrunken reservation presided over by Alan Russell today hosts little more than four mostly dilapidated homes and a pair of rattlesnake dens. The Schaghticoke Indian Tribe leader believes its fortunes may soon be improving. As the U.S. Interior Department overhauls its rules for recognizing American Indian tribes, a nod from the federal government appears within reach, potentially bolstering its claims to surrounding land and opening the door to a tribal-owned casino....The rules floated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, intended to streamline the approval process, are seen by some as lowering the bar through changes such as one requiring that tribes demonstrate political continuity since 1934 and not "first contact" with European settlers. Across the country, the push is setting up battles with host communities and already recognized tribes who fear upheaval. Michael Melia reports. U.S. overhauls process for recognizing Indian tribes  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT MON AUG 26 2013
TODAY
E WIND 10 KT...BECOMING SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 7 SECONDS. A
 CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
S WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING SW TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS AFTER
 MIDNIGHT. SW SWELL 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY...THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT.
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