|Celebrating tenacity (Laurie MacBride)|
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes, "A few months ago a heavy, wet snowfall caused a remarkable amount of damage to many of the trees and shrubs here where we live. Trails we’ve developed over the years were obliterated as the weight of the melting snow crushed salal, oceanspray and other brush, uprooted small firs, alder and cedars, and brought down a blizzard of forest litter. Among the worst-hit victims was an apple tree on the edge of our neighbour’s old orchard.... "
As it carves new path, Stilly is full of mysteries
It has been nearly two months since the hill above Steelhead Haven collapsed and filled the valley of the North Fork Stillaguamish River. The mudslide buried the river, Highway 530 and homes under 10 million cubic yards of dirt and debris. The rescue and recovery operation has been scaled back, with a tally of 41 dead and two missing. The state Department of Transportation has started to uncover the highway. And the river has found its way through the debris. Chris Winters reports. (Everett Herald)
Elwha dams: Will bringing down NW dams really help salmon?
A new SIFF show argues for tearing down more river-blocking monstrosities. But bigger questions may loom over the future of salmon. Daniel Jack Chasan reports. (Crosscut)
Soundings: David Jamison, area’s apostle of the estuary, was moved by the sea
South Sound Estuary Association members have been on an emotional roller coaster ride in recent days. The nonprofit group dedicated to estuary education is moving its marine science discovery center from temporary digs on Port of Olympia property to a space twice as large in downtown Olympia. At the same time, SSEA folks are grieving the death of David Jamison, the group’s principal marine science adviser and longtime supporter of marine education activities in the greater Olympia area. Jamison, a Boston Harbor resident, died May 5 at age 75 after a brief illness. The retired state Department of Natural Resources marine biologist dedicated his retirement years to both SSEA and marine environmental education programs, working with community youths and their families. John Dodge reports. (Olympian)
A whale tour to keep Puget Sound orcas in good health
Erich Hoyt, an author and marine conservationist, has learned valuable lessons in decades of tracking Pacific Northwest orcas. [Hoyt completes his Orca Tour 2014 talks on The Whale Trail at the Vancouver Public Library Tuesday night.] Martha Baskin reports. (Crosscut)
Unprecedented B.C. glacier melt seeps into U.S. climate change concerns
The mountains of British Columbia cradle glaciers that have scored the landscape over millennia, shaping the rugged West Coast since long before it was the West Coast. But they're in rapid retreat, and an American state-of-the-union report on climate change has singled out the rapid melt in British Columbia and Alaska as a major climate change issue... According to the report, glaciers in the region are losing 20 to 30 per cent of what is melting annually from the Greenland Ice Sheet, which has received far more worldwide attention. (CBC)
City of Vancouver seeks study of economic effects of climate change
The City of Vancouver wants the economic effects of climate change examined as part of a federal review of Kinder Morgan’s $5.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The city has filed a motion with the National Energy Board, arguing a decision by the federal review panel that fails to consider climate change would be a breach of its statutory authority under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and sufficient grounds to overturn any recommendations. The National Energy Board has said that it does not intend to consider the environmental and socio-economic effects associated with the development of the Alberta oilsands or the eventual use of the oil shipped to other countries, including in Asia. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)
Inslee wants state off coal power
With an abundant supply of hydroelectric power, Washington state currently gets less than 14 percent of its electricity from coal. Gov. Jay Inslee wants to take that down to zero over time. To wean the state off coal-generated power, the Democratic governor will have to persuade the state’s three private electric utilities — Puget Sound Energy, Pacific Power and Avista Corp. — to reduce or eliminate electricity they get from plants in Montana and Wyoming. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)
Vaughn Palmer: Few details, much downward pressure on LNG tax
While the B.C. Liberals continue to finalize the details of their proposed tax on the liquefied natural gas industry, Finance Minister Mike de Jong has hinted that they are preparing to scale down the controversial levy. The tax, centrepiece of a prosperity fund that is supposed to underwrite retirement of the provincial debt, was sketched out in the Feb. 18 provincial budget as “a two-tier income tax with a tier one rate of 1.5 per cent and a tier 2 rate of up to seven per cent.” (Vancouver Sun)
Oil trains, road funding on agenda for state transportation meeting in Bellingham
Local leaders will have the attention of the Washington State Transportation Commission at a daylong meeting Tuesday, May 20. A portion of the meeting will be set aside to discuss oil and coal trains. Scheduled to speak to the seven-member commission are Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville, Whatcom County Executive Jack Louws, Port of Bellingham Executive Director Rob Fix, and representatives from tribal and regional transportation organizations... Public comment will be heard at 4:30 p.m. The entire meeting is open to the public. The commission writes the state's 20-year transportation plan. The group will meet at City Hall, 210 Lottie St., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)
Land trust hopes to buy Lummi Island quarry site
The Lummi Island Heritage Trust wants to buy quarry land on the island for conservation and low-impact recreation with saltwater access. "We're interested in doing what we can to protect it," said Rebecca Rettmer, executive director of the trust. The land trust is negotiating with Resource Transition Consultants, the receiver for Lummi Rock quarry, to buy 105 acres on the southeast side of the island near Scenic Estates. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)
Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT MON MAY 19 2014
SW WIND 10 KT...BECOMING NW IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
W WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT. SW SWELL 2 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
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