Monday, September 11, 2017

9/11 Atlantics, wild fish, David Troutt, Fisher Slough, Tacoma port, tribal rights, fires, research station, endangered list, Site C

Hurricane Ridge: Bailey Range [Bryan Bell/NPS]
Hurricane Ridge
Hurricane Ridge is a mountainous area in Washington's Olympic National Park. It can be accessed by road from Port Angeles and is open to hiking, skiing, and snowboarding. At an elevation of 5,242 feet (1,598 m), Hurricane Ridge is a year-round destination.  (Wikipedia)

Thousands of Atlantic salmon remain at large
Nearly three weeks after a net pen facility holding 305,000 Atlantic salmon near Cypress Island broke, about 102,000 of the fish remain unaccounted for. Cooke Aquaculture — the Canadian company that owns the broken net pen facility and seven others in the state’s marine waters — and contractors hired by the company began dismantling the damaged facility this week. The state Department of Natural Resources, which leases the area in Deepwater Bay to Cooke Aquaculture, has given the company until Sept. 24 to have the facility removed. KImberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Everything we’re doing to replace vanishing salmon might be killing them off faster
As once-uncountable Northwest salmon stocks have dwindled, humans have tried a number of remedies to bolster or replace the disappearing fish. We’ve caught them at dams and trucked and barged them past obstacles. When the fish return home, we strip them of their eggs, fertilize them in buckets and grow new generations of baby salmon in hatchery raceways. But what if humans have it all wrong? Rocky Barker reports. (Idaho Statesman) See also: ‘We hope and pray that fishing will continue, so when they’re of age, they can be on the river’  Research, tenacious advocates and $16 billion have lifted Columbia salmon from the brink of extinction. But the Northwest has yet to figure out a sustainable plan to save the fish that provides spiritual sustenance, food for the table, and hundreds of millions of dollars in business and ecological benefits. John Stark reports. (Bellingham Herald) And also: ‘Any evil you can commit on a river has been done to the Nooksack’  John Stark reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Return to the Salish Sea: Salmon Biologist David Troutt
If you’ve ever driven on I-5 north of Olympia, you’ve likely been struck by the unique landscape of the Nisqually River Delta. With Mount Rainier looming in the distance, a huge expanse of marshlands extends on either side of the highway where the fresh water of the river meets the salt water of southern Puget Sound. This is the southern end of the Salish Sea. If you take time to stop, you can explore the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. A boardwalk trail provides easy access to the heart of the estuary, where tides flow in and out, creating critical habitat for all kinds of creatures. “This is an amazing, productive ecosystem. Probably the most productive ecosystems in the world are these river deltas, where the freshwater meets the sea,” says David Troutt, a salmon biologist and Director of Natural Resources for the Nisqually Tribe, which has been actively restoring the wetlands here since 1995. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Fisher Slough marks 'paradigm shift' for restoration projects
About six years ago, Fisher Slough south of Conway was enlarged in hopes it would hold more floodwater and more fish. Now, partners in the Fisher Slough project have data that shows enlarging the slough and putting in new tide gates did in fact bring more threatened chinook salmon into the area and reduced flooding in adjacent areas.  Fisher Slough connects Fisher Creek to the south fork of the Skagit River. It is important habitat for young chinook salmon as well as adult coho and chum salmon on their way upstream to spawn. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (skagit Valley Herald)

Port of Tacoma on defense as city rolls out proposed rules on limiting land use
From a certain angle, it looks like the Port of Tacoma is on the ropes, facing potential blows to the way it does business from the city and a growing Tacoma environmental movement. In the last two years, a groundswell of anti-fossil fuel sentiment has taken hold, bolstered by the defeat of a methanol plant that was proposed to be built on the Tideflats and then provoked, again, by current plans to build a liquefied natural gas plant there. Neighbors of the port have taken up arms, joining fledgling environmental groups and studying up on land-use planning with the goal of fighting the noise, smells and perceived pollution that wafts up from the port’s businesses. Candace Ruud reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

In Appeal, British Columbia Argues Washington Tribe Has No Rights in Canada 
What was expected to be a two-day hearing on tribal sovereignty spilled into its third day Friday. The provincial government in British Columbia is appealing a landmark decision that reestablished hunting rights for members of an Indian tribe who live on both sides of the border. In March, a provincial court judge ruled that Washington state resident Rick Desautel acted within his indigenous rights when he shot an elk in British Columbia, because he is Sinixt. It’s a tribe the Canadian government deemed extinct six decades ago. Emily Schwing reports. (KNKX)

Forests west of the Cascades will see more fires, bigger fires with climate change
A fire in the Columbia River Gorge shows how west-side forests in the Pacific Northwest can blaze in spectacular fashion. As climate change warms our summers, scientists expect they will burn more often. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Feds help finance new ocean, fisheries station in Mukilteo
State-of-the-art scientific research is tough to do in former Air Force barracks. The lineage of the 70-year old waterfront building can be seen in the humble, wooden structure that serves as home to the Mukilteo Research Station, a federal center focused on ocean and fishery issues. It’s beset with sloping floors and a foundation whose temporary supports are only expected to last about another four years. Good news for the scientists who work there came buried in the depths of the latest federal government’s budget — a $4.6 million down payment for a new building. Sharon Salyer reports. (Everett Herald)

Fishers, whales stay on state endangered list after panel meets in Port Angeles
Forest-dwelling fishers and five whales species maintained endangered species status at a meeting in Port Angeles last week. The state Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 6-0 Friday to retain state-specific protections for the blue whale, fin whale, sei whale, North Pacific right whale, sperm whale and fishers during a five-year review at the Port Angeles Red Lion Hotel. It also approved a staff recommendation to up-list the threatened yellow-billed cuckoo bird and loggerhead sea turtle as endangered to be consistent with federal listings. Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Cancelling Site C cheaper than pausing construction for a year or more: report
It would cost more to pause construction of Site C than it would to cancel it outright, according to a new study. The independent report on the $8.8-billion hydroelectric dam was prepared by Deloitte LLP — a major international consulting firm — and posted on the B.C. Utilities Commission’s website late Friday. Deloitte aimed to answer key questions facing the utilities commission: Is Site C on schedule and on budget; what it would cost to pause the project; and what it would cost to cancel the project entirely. Stephanie Ip reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  246 AM PDT Mon Sep 11 2017  
TODAY
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft  at 11 seconds.
TONIGHT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 6  ft at 10 seconds. A slight chance of showers.

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