Tuesday, December 27, 2016

12/27 Hilary Franz, Dabob Bay, paraquat, J34

(Ingrid Truemper CC/BirdNote)
One of the great events in birdwatching
n winter, flocks of wintering Snow Geese, Ross’s Geese, and Sandhill Cranes stop at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Just before sunrise, the geese are a mass of kinetic and potential energy, like a symphony orchestra tuning up for a big performance. Hunger might launch the flock. Or maybe the sunrise. And then — without warning— they take off. Although it lasts only seconds, geese launching is one of the great events in birdwatching. This pulse of ten thousand wings rumbles through your bones … and stays a while. (BirdNote)

Climate change, rural growth are priorities for new Washington lands commissioner
The state’s newly elected lands commissioner says her top priorities will be to find ways to strengthen local rural economies and to prepare state lands and communities to deal with climate change. Hilary Franz, an environmental attorney who beat out retired Navy commander Steve McLaughlin, will take over the helm at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in January from two-term commissioner Peter Goldmark. She will lead the state’s largest firefighting force, manage 5.6 million acres of state-owned lands and ensure revenues from logging, land leases and other operations for school construction and other projects. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

State order protects nearly 4,000 more acres of Dabob Bay
The outgoing commissioner of public lands has added nearly 4,000 acres to the Dabob Bay Natural Resource Conservation Area. Peter Goldmark signed on Thursday an executive order to expand the Dabob area by 3,393 acres. The order conserves mature coastal forests, streams, fish-spawning areas, eelgrass beds, native Olympia oyster beds and nearshore tidelands. (Peninsula Daily News)

Federal guidelines changing for herbicide paraquat
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is changing rules for paraquat, one of the most commonly used herbicides for agriculture and other landscape applications throughout the country, including in Skagit County. The federal agency announced last week that it is updating rules for labeling products that include paraquat, as well as rules for who can purchase and use those products. The changes are intended to reduce paraquat poisonings, according to a news release. Paraquat poisonings — most often from accidental ingestion — have resulted in hundreds of illnesses and some deaths across the U.S. from 1998 to 2013, according to a recent study that included information from 14 state and federal health agencies. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

What you can do – personally – to help save Puget Sound’s resident orcas
With the Southern Resident Killer Whale population down to 79 after the death of J34 in B.C. waters last week, many who love our orcas continue to wonder what can they personally do – if anything – to try to help keep the endangered whales from dwindling to extinction. Donna Sandstrom, the West Seattleite who founded and leads The Whale Trail, shares these thoughts. (West Seattle Blog)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PST TUE DEC 27 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
 
TODAY
 W WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 12 FT AT  15 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 15 FT AT 15 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON.  SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 15 FT  AT 14 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY.
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