Wednesday, July 26, 2017

7/26 BC LNG, Fraser sockeye, native rights, orca risks, Lost Lagoon, sharks, Blanchard Mtn.

Fireweed
Fireweed Epilobium angustifolium
The Haida used the outer stem fibers of fireweed to make cord…. The Coast Salish used the seed fluff in weaving and padding. The Saanich and other Vancouver Island groups along with the Squamish and Puget Sound groups added the seed fluff to dog hair or mountain goat wool and wove the mixture into blankets and clothing… This plant was sometimes called asperse by the the French Canadian voyageurs, and it was used by them as a green potherb. The leaves are rich in vitamin C and can also be used to make a tea…. The flowers produce ample nectar, which makes an excellent honey. (Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast)

Pacific NorthWest LNG project in Port Edward, B.C., no longer proceeding
A plan to build a liquid natural gas liquefaction and export facility in Port Edward, B.C., will not go ahead. A release from Pacific NorthWest LNG said the decision to cancel the $36-billion project was made after "a careful and total review of the project amid changes in market conditions." Pacific NorthWest LNG is majority owned by Petronas, a Malaysian oil and gas company. Michelle Ghoussoub reports. (CBC) See also: BC NDP reaffirms commitment to LNG despite Petronas’ project cancellation  Ian Bailey reports. (Globe and Mail) And also: 'I'm scared for my community': northerners react to cancellation of Pacific NorthWest LNG megaproject  Andrew Kurjata reports. (CBC)

Fraser River sockeye fishery closed after low early returns
The Fraser River sockeye salmon fishery will remain closed for now, the Pacific Salmon Commission's Fraser River Panel decided Tuesday, after lower than expected returns from two early runs. "The initial testing we've been doing and assessments are indicating [returns are] not very good at all," said Mike Lapointe, chief biologist of the Pacific Salmon Commission. So far, only the early Stuart and early summer Fraser River sockeye runs have been assessed, which represent only a small fraction of all the sockeye expected to return to the Fraser this summer. That means things may improve with larger, later runs, but it's not a good sign, said Lapointe. Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC)

Supreme Court to issue landmark rulings on Indigenous relationship with energy sector
The Supreme Court will deliver two landmark rulings Wednesday that could lead to fundamental changes for Canada's energy sector and its relationship with Indigenous Peoples. At issue is the Crown's constitutional obligation to consult with Indigenous Peoples before approving the construction of a pipeline or allowing a natural resources project to proceed. The top court is expected to give further details on just how much consultation is required, and who should be doing it. John Paul Trasker reports. (CBC)

Killer whales at most risk from oil spill: study
Local southern-resident killer whales are at the highest risk of death and long-term population impacts in the event of an oil spill in B.C.’s coastal waters, according to a new study of mammals and oil exposure. Researchers used projections from Trans Mountain pipelines to estimate the dispersion of oil from a tanker incident in Haro Strait, near Victoria, and overlaid that with both the range and behaviours of common marine mammals. Both northern- and southern-resident killer whales and sea otters are at the most risk, said co-author Misty MacDuffee, but 18 of the 21 mammals considered are at high risk. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Vancouver: Fresh idea to turn Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon salty again
Lost Lagoon has been a freshwater lake for 100 years, a long time in human memory, but just the single beat of a hummingbird’s wings in terms of natural history. Today, otter Susie and otter Sam frolic to the amusement of tourists, carp splash the surface as they slurp food from the bottom, turtles sun themselves on rocks and logs, the beavers are busy. Yet none are native to the lake, which was an intertidal salt marsh until the Stanley Park causeway was completed in 1917. The Vancouver Park Board is taking the first wee steps to examine whether it would be feasible to one day reconnect Lost Lagoon with Coal Harbour. Gordon McIntyre reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Climate change to bring great white sharks to B.C. says UBC prof
As if climate change isn't already scary enough, here's a new reason to curb emissions. Great white sharks are likely to move north as B.C.'s chilly Pacific waters warm, said associate professor William Cheung of UBC's Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. His team has been developing computer simulation models on how fish distributions will change in the future and finds temperature changes are likely to expand the range where sharks regularly live. Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC)

Without state budget, decisions for Blanchard forest, other public lands put on hold
The state Legislature’s failure to pass a capital budget last week has left several public lands projects in Skagit County in limbo. Among them is the state Department of Natural Resources’ need for $7.7 million to permanently preserve the central recreation area in the Blanchard State Forest. Natural Resources needs the money to fulfill an agreement with Skagit County to purchase state trust lands elsewhere to prevent logging in the area referred to as the core, which includes the popular Oyster Dome Trail and the Samish Overlook. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

GOP compares Washington property-rights dispute to plight of millions without safe water
Republicans in Washington state took a water-rights dispute a step farther Monday by comparing landowners who can’t drill wells on their property to people lacking safe drinking water in developing nations. The state’s Legislature spent a record number of days in overtime this year debating how to respond to state Supreme Court’s Hirst decision, which has effectively halted construction for some property owners in rural areas. Melissa Santos reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  248 AM PDT Wed Jul 26 2017  
TODAY
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft  at 6 seconds. Patchy fog in the morning.
TONIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  3 ft at 8 seconds.
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