Thursday, February 6, 2014

2/6 Boldt40, wildlife viewing, LNG tax, marbled murrelet, BC ferries, warming world

PHOTO: Pacific Brant Festival
The Boldt Decision turns 40
The decision that ended one major dispute and started another turned 40 Wednesday. The landmark Boldt decision restored some of the fishing rights of Northwest Tribes. Federal Judge George Boldt issued his decision on February 12, 1974 that allocated half of the harvestable salmon in the Northwest to the tribes. The Boldt decision also led to a persistent, uneasy relationship between the tribes and non-tribal sport and commercial fishermen. Every salmon season is marked by squabbles between how each side goes about catching prized Northwest salmon. The ruling ended tense confrontations between police and tribal fishermen who refused to leave the river and went to jail, only to return and start fishing again. Gary Chittim reports.

5 great places to see NW winter wildlife
If you enjoy seeing wildlife in the wild, midwinter offers some special treats around the state of Washington. Here are five of my favorite wildlife viewing spots for the colder months, most within a day’s drive of Seattle. And with migratory bird-hunting season just concluded, February is a good time to take your binoculars and camera and go:
SEE TRUMPETER SWANS at Johnson-DeBay Swan Reserve,  near Mount Vernon.
SEE MIGRATORY WATERFOWL at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, near Olympia.
SEE BLACK BRANTS AND GREAT BLUE HERONS at Padilla Bay Reserve, near Anacortes.
SEE ELK at Oak Creek Wildlife Area, in Yakima County.
ANALYZE ANIMAL TRACKS AND LEARN ABOUT WINTER ECOLOGY on a snowshoe outing in the Methow Valley. Brian Cantwell reports.

B.C. postpones introduction of new LNG tax regime
The introduction of a new tax for B.C.’s nascent liquefied natural gas industry that is meant to help fuel a $100-billion prosperity fund has been pushed back until the fall sitting of the legislature. The provincial government was scheduled to release details of the tax last fall, but had put off introducing the new tax system until the coming legislative session, which starts Feb. 11. On Wednesday morning, B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong said “it is far more likely that legislation would be tabled in the fall.” The Liberal government did not hold a fall sitting last year. Gordon Hoekstra and Rob Shaw report.

Conservation Groups Win Suit To Protect Marbled Murrelet
Three conservation organizations — the Audubon Society of Portland, Cascadia Wildlands and the Center for Biological Diversity — reached a settlement agreement with the state on Wednesday, canceling 28 timber sales on the marbled murrelet’s habitat, more than 2,700 acres in Elliott, Clatsop and Tillamook state forests. The agreement also ensures the seabird, protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, is unharmed in future management practices.

BC Ferries cuts $19M in services
BC Ferries is going ahead with nearly $19 million in service reductions despite widespread opposition, Transportation Minister Todd Stone announced Wednesday. The province confirmed it will be cutting minor and northern ferry routes, and implementing changes to major routes, beginning in late April.

Your Warming World
From NewScientist: "The heat is on for the planet as a whole, but what has been happening where you live?" Go to the online map and find out.

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST THU FEB 6 2014
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON PST TODAY
TODAY
E WIND 25 TO 35 KT...EASING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. COMBINED SEAS 4 TO 6 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF
 12 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
E WIND 15 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 11 SECONDS.

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