Friday, August 19, 2016

8/19 Goat party, killer bridge, BC pipes, BC climate plan, fish farms, saving farmland

Party, party... (PHOTO: WDFW/Seattle Times)
Party of 90 mountain goats near Mount Baker wows biologists
State biologists spotted something unusual while counting mountain goats near Mount Baker earlier this summer: a group of 66 adults and 24 kids traveling together up a snow field. Aerial photos released by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife show 90 goats about 5 miles from Artist Point, on the northeastern side of the volcano. Mountain goats are common in Washington’s mountain ranges. The department estimates the statewide population is between 2,400 and 3,200, including 400 to 500 in the area surrounding Mount Baker. But Rich Harris, who coordinates goat management for the department, says it’s rare to see that many goats gathered in one spot at the same time. Caitlin Moran reports. (Seattle Times)

Is the Hood Canal bridge killing fish?
A recent study of juvenile steelhead by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found an unusually high mortality on the south side of the 55-year-old bridge, but a lower death rate on the north side. There are several theories about the bridge and its impact on juvenile fish. The conservation group Long Live the Kings is hoping a new study will end the mystery…. Young fish headed out to sea from spawning grounds in the south are stopping at the center of the bridge. As they swim around the structure near the water’s surface, they become prey for the hungry seals that prowl the area looking for an easy meal. Kevin McCarty reports. (KIRO) See also: Scientists study Hood Canal bridge effect on fish  Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Kinder Morgan president says pipeline supporters drowned out
Kinder Morgan says it's building significant support for its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project despite opposition from outspoken critics such as Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. Since July, a federal panel has been gathering feedback from First Nations, non-governmental organizations and citizens along the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline route.  Roshini Nair reports. (CBC)

Northern Gateway exposes divides in First Nations governance
The dispute over who in the powerful Haida Nation can speak publicly on divisive issues such as the Enbridge Northern Gateway project is revealing how First Nations’ traditional clan-based methods of government are being threatened, according to a UBC professor. In stripping two hereditary chiefs of their titles for supporting the pipeline project, the Haida Nation tried to reassert its natural authority, says Bruce Miller, a professor of anthropology. But the case has wide implications for other First Nations and aboriginal groups, especially since the Haida are considered one of the most influential tribal groups in Canada. Jeff Lee reports. (Vancouver Sun)

B.C.’s climate plan to leave out carbon price, greenhouse gas targets
British Columbia’s new climate plan is not expected to include changes to carbon pricing or greenhouse gas reduction targets as recommended by the province’s own expert committee – a fact that environmental groups say will undermine the plan’s credibility. The plan, to be released on Friday, has been held up as an opportunity for the province to regain its title as a climate leader, a position bolstered under former premier Gordon Campbell. It will address most of the 32 recommendations put forth by the Climate Leadership Team (CLT) struck last year; however, it will leave unanswered the call for new pricing and targets needed to reverse rising emissions, according to a source. Andrea Woo reports. (Globe and Mail) See also: B.C.'s delayed Climate Leadership Plan expected today  Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC)

Salmon farming on the rise in Washington
Human travelers have I-5 and I-90. Salish Sea salmon have the Juan de Fuca Strait. It’s the route that they all swim on their way to and from the wide Pacific — the salmon from the Elwha and all the rivers of Puget Sound, plus many salmon returning to Canada’s Fraser River, which are the main local food source for Puget Sound orcas and have always formed the bulk of Puget Sound’s commercial catch. Now, Icicle Seafoods —  recently acquired by Canada’s Cooke Seafood — wants to raise Atlantic salmon in 9.7 acres of salmon net pens in the strait, just east of Port Angeles. Although it has its critics, salmon aquaculture isn’t new in Puget Sound — and certainly not elsewhere. British Columbia aquaculture produces salmon worth nearly half a billion (Canadian) dollars a year. And B.C. is a minnow compared to the salmon-raising industries of Norway (where salmon aquaculture is booming) and Chile (where it’s not.) Daniel Jack Chasan reports. (Crosscut)

Why Some Farmers Don't Want The Government To Save Their Land
Pierce County leaders are exploring a way to save more farmland from the development sweeping the Puget Sound region. But they risk upsetting some key stakeholders: the farmers. Every county in Washington has to decide which farms count as "agricultural resource land" -- basically farmland that can't be developed. No county has stricter criteria, or less farmland preserved in this way, than Pierce County. It boasts some of the nation's best soils, but about two-thirds of its farmland has disappeared since 1950 as the county's population nearly tripled. Will James reports. (KPLU)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  249 AM PDT FRI AUG 19 2016  

TODAY
 SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT  AT 9 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT  AT 10 SECONDS.
SAT
 SE WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING E IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES  1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SW TO 10 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
SUN
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT  AT 8 SECONDS.

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