|Gloucous-winged gull (Louise Blight/phys.org)|
The number of seagulls in the Strait of Georgia is down by 50 per cent from the 1980s and University of British Columbia researchers say the decline reflects changes in the availability of food. Researchers collected 100 years of data on population numbers of Glaucous-winged Gulls, the most common seagull species found in the Lower Mainland, Victoria, Nanaimo and elsewhere in the region. They found that the population increased rapidly beginning in the early 1900s, but started to drop after the mid-1980s, with their work pointing to diet as one factor in the decline of the bird's health. (Phys.Org) Then see: Barn owls surge with early spring (CBC)
Lions, Lambs and March Weather
There is the old saying that March comes in like a lion and goes out as a lamb. In other words, March starts out cold and stormy, but by the end of the month the weather has warmed and moderated considerably. But is that true here in the Northwest? Is it true anywhere in the U.S.? Cliff Mass answers the questions.
Coast guard closures to go ahead, raising fears for safety
The Canadian Coast Guard is pressing ahead with plans to close three of five marine communications centres in B.C. and run everything out of Victoria and Prince Rupert. Despite union warnings that the moves will undermine safety, the federal agency intends to shut the Ucluelet and the Vancouver centres by the end of April and close a third station at Comox later this year or early in 2016. The centres broadcast weather and navigational warnings, regulate marine traffic and monitor distress and safety calls. Lindsay Kines reports. (Times Colonist)
If you like to listen: Raven's Love Song
Ravens are seen as tricksters in many traditions. But Common Ravens have a softer side. During courtship, a pair will often sit side by side, sometimes preening each other's feathers. And during that ritual, one or both may make soft warbling sounds. Raven nestlings sometimes make this same sound after they've been fed. Compared to the usual raucous raven calls, this one is soothing. It's called a comfort sound. You can hear more raven songs at macaulaylibrary.org. (BirdNote) Also: If you liked the story Friday about how crows give gifts (The girl who gets gifts from birds) check out Gifts of the Crow by John Marzluff and Tony Angell for more stories.
Without diversity, do enviros risk becoming marginalized?
The environmental movement has been described as one of the most segregated sectors of American society.... Despite years of talk, mainstream environmental groups still have not achieved much diversity in their ranks. And head out into nature, and the picture is still overwhelmingly white. Alison Hawkes reports. (Bay Nature)
Kinder Morgan leaves half of Vancouver, Burnaby's pipeline questions unanswered
Kinder Morgan has failed to answer almost half of the questions posed by the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby on the company's proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion into B.C. In a statement issued Friday, the City of Vancouver states that Kinder Morgan has failed to answer 291 of nearly 600 questions submitted by them through the National Energy Board (NEB), and 315 of the 688 questions submitted by Burnaby. The more than 1200 questions submitted by the two municipalities covered a broad range of issues connected to Kinder Morgan's 15,000-page proposal, including those covering job creation levels, climate change and emergency response plans. (CBC)
Fishing Rights Between Olympic Peninsula Tribes At Stake in U.S Court
A federal court will hear oral arguments Monday in Seattle, in a case that pits the United States against the State of Washington. It has to do with who gets to take how much fish. U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez has set aside 3 weeks in his calendar to hear issues involved. Three tribes are mentioned in the current litigation: the Makah, the Quileute and the Quinault Indian Nations. They’re fighting with each other. The dispute is about their treaty rights with the state of Washington and how much fish they get to take from the waters off the west coast. Bellamy Pailthorp report. (KPLU)
Good news: more salmon, and even more wanted
From deep in my college memories, I recall one definition of politics as “the exercise of power, influence and authority.” In the Northwest, salmon are politicians. They are power for the metaphorical machine that drives decisions on billions of dollars of public spending. They influence our outlook, our actions and plans for the future. They supply political leverage and motivation for countless government actions, programs and appropriations. All salmon politics are based on scarcity. There are not enough salmon, and we all work for their future abundance. We may see change when the great day comes. Tracy Warner writes. (Wenatchee World)
Video: Orca Advocates Want Snake River Dams Breached
A call to action from a group of killer-whale advocates is dramatic: breach the four Lower Snake River Dams. The dams provide electricity to the Pacific Northwest, but members of the Southern Resident Killer Whale Chinook Salmon Initiative insist that whales in the Puget Sound are dying as a result of dwindling numbers of salmon making their way from the Lower Snake River to the ocean. The SRKWCSI is petitioning to have the dams removed. George Prentice reports. (Boise Weekly)
State Senate doing its oily best to ignore us on transportation
The state Senate is doing its best to ignore a plan that would tax big polluters to pay for transportation. But it’s catching on with a group that used to matter in democracy: the people. Danny Westneat reports. (Seattle Times) See Puget Sound Regional Council Transportation Public Opinion Survey February 26, 2015.
Questions raised about Sequim City Council at closed-door Navy-Jamestown S'Klallam meeting
The Sequim City Council apparently sailed into a gray area when a quorum of the council attended the Navy's Feb. 20 briefing to the Jamestown S'Klallam tribe. If council members simply sat and did nothing, they probably complied with state law that requires them to meet and act in public, according to Nancy Krier, assistant state attorney general for open government. However, if they took “testimony” — depending on how the term is defined — or acted — which could be construed to include forming opinions — they may have tripped over Washington's Open Public Meetings Act, according to Krier. Ron Richards, a former Clallam County commissioner and a critic of the Navy's Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range proposal, said the meeting was illegal. Sequim's city attorney said it was legal. And Krier said she's uncertain which man is right. James Casey reports. (Peninsula Daily News) See also: Department of Natural Resources says 'not interested' in participating with Navy Leah Leach reports. (Peninsula Daily News)
New Whatcom rules would consider environmental impacts of mining sooner
In a move favored by environmentalists and the neighbors of Whatcom County mines, the County Council is finalizing rules that would require an earlier review of the impacts of mining on the site itself and the surrounding area. The rules come to a public hearing before the council at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, at the county courthouse, 311 Grand Ave, Bellingham. Getting approval to mine in the county is a two-step process. The review of environmental impacts, which includes possible groundwater contamination, noise and added truck traffic, would move from the second to the first step under a proposal put forward in 2014 by council members Barbara Brenner and Carl Weimer. Instead of waiting until a mineral company applies to mine the land, the environmental review would come when the company takes the preliminary step of applying to designate the site for mining — what’s called a mineral resource land designation. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald) See also: Concrete Nor’West loses appeal on Acme mine The County Council’s decision to block Concrete Nor’West from expanding its Acme mine survived in Appeals Court. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)
Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 240 AM PST MON MAR 2 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM THIS EVENING THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
E WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT...RISING TO 20 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...BUILDING TO 3 TO 4 FT AFTER
MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
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