Friday, October 20, 2017

10/20 Fly agaric, Atlantic salmon, Hirst water, ANWR drilling, pollutants, powerlines, fir tree killer

Amanita muscaria [Lino Mirgeler/DPA/NY Times]
A Mushroom Out of a Fairy Tale That You Might Find in the Forest
The fly agaric is the quintessential mushroom of fairy tales. Its big, bright fruiting bodies scatter in great numbers across mossy forests of North America and Europe. They emerge from the soil first like white eggs, abandoned by some mysterious creature of the woods. They can grow up to a foot tall, as warts appear on the cap. The mushroom often blushes red in the process. Finally, they crack open and flatten into a polka-dot disc that would make a gnome’s perfect dinner plate. Joanna Klein reports. (NY Times)

B.C. angler nets Washington Atlantic salmon escapee on Harrison River
Abbotsford angler Don Temple thought he had hooked into a native coho salmon while fishing the Harrison River on Oct. 8, but was surprised by the fish he saw when he reeled it in. “The way it was fighting, I though it was a coho or else a small spring (salmon),” Temple said. “But when I got it up, I couldn’t figure out what it was because I had not seen anything like it.” He had been spin casting from a boat on the river above Harrison Mills, about half way up the river from its confluence with the Fraser River, and “it didn’t come into my mind that it was an Atlantic until we Googled it,” Temple said.  Derrick Penner reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Are farm-raised salmon a 'pollutant'?
If an Atlantic salmon swims free in the Pacific, is the fish itself a form of pollution? This little koan has a lot of legal and political resonance since the collapse of Cooke Aquaculture net pens in late August set a couple hundred thousand Atlantic salmon loose in Puget Sound. The Duvall-based environmental group Wild Fish Conservancy has a straight-forward answer to whether Atlantic salmon are pollution: yes. A day after the pen disaster near Cyrpess Island, the Fish Conservancy gave 60-day notice that it intends to sue Cooke under the federal Clean Water Act. Daniel Jack Chasan comments. (Crosscut)

Washington Ecology proposes response to Hirst
The Washington Department of Ecology proposes to assess water supplies in targeted watersheds, a first step in judging whether a state Supreme Court decision has truly closed rural areas to new household wells…. The assessments could be followed by conservation measures, storage projects or water-rights transfers to offset new wells. Ecology water resources manager Dave Christensen said Tuesday that the projects would probably take years to complete and that in some places water wouldn’t be found for new homes…. Ecology’s proposal focuses on watersheds in 14 counties with in-stream rules similar to Whatcom County, where the Hirst case originated…. Ecology has asked for $3 million for the assessments and $20 million for projects…. Ecology said it would focus on water projects in 14 counties: Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce, Grays Harbor, Thurston, Lewis, Okanogan, Stevens, Pend Oreille and Spokane. Dan Jenkins reports. (Capital Press)

U.S. Sen. Cantwell's amendment to protect ANWR from oil exploration fails 
The Senate on Thursday, in a 52-48 vote, rejected an amendment co-sponsored by Washington state U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell intended to keep the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge closed to oil development. The refuge is both a prime oil prospect and a northern Alaska stronghold of caribou and hundreds of other wildlife species that conservationists for decades have sought to protect from oil development. The amendment — if passed — would have stripped out language in a budget resolution that instructs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to raise an additional $1 billion in revenue over a decade. That money is expected to be generated through removing restrictions on refuge exploration.  (Seattle Times)

Report: Pollution Kills 3 Times More than AIDS, TB And Malaria Combined
Exposure to polluted air, water and soil caused nine million premature deaths in 2015, according to a report published Thursday in The Lancet. The causes of death vary — cancer, lung disease, heart disease. The report links them to pollution, drawing upon previous studies that show how pollution is tied to a wider range of diseases than previously thought. Those studies observed populations exposed to pollutants and compared them to people not exposed. The studies have shown that pollution can be an important cause of diseases — many of them potentially fatal — including asthma, cancer, neurodevelopmental disorders, birth defects in children, heart disease, stroke and lung disease. Susan Brink reports. (NPR)

Kauai Powerlines Are Killing 1,800 Seabirds A Year
The Newell’s Shearwater and Hawaiian petrel seabirds, already on the brink of extinction, are dying by the hundreds in collisions with power lines on Kauai. A recent study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that as many as 1,800 of the indigenous seabirds are dying every year when they fly into power lines, a rate that is raising alarms for community members and conservationists. Both birds were provided special protection under the federal Endangered Species Act in the 1960s and ’70s as a result of numerous threats to their existence. In addition to the power line problem, invasive predator species and the degradation of the seabirds’ habitat have contributed to their endangered status. Olivia Peterkin reports. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

Deadly Plant Disease In Southwest Oregon Fir Trees Confirmed As Northwest's First Outbreak
For the first time, scientists have found a deadly plant disease infecting fir trees in the Pacific Northwest. The so-called “European” strain of sudden oak death showed up in southwest Oregon a few years back. It was known to spread to fir trees in Europe, but that hadn’t been seen in the state. The European strain is different from the North American strain of sudden oak death. The latter has been killing tanoak throughout Curry County for years, but the European strain has forest managers particularly worried – because of its potential to infect the commercial timber base. Jes Burns reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  254 AM PDT Fri Oct 20 2017  
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS
 EVENING  
TODAY
 SW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming W 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 15 ft at 15 seconds.  Showers.
TONIGHT
 SW wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SE 15 to 25 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 13 ft at 14 seconds  subsiding to 11 ft at 14 seconds after midnight. Showers likely.
SAT
 E wind 15 to 25 kt becoming SE 5 to 15 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less in the  afternoon. W swell 9 ft at 13 seconds. Rain.
SAT NIGHT
 S wind 15 to 25 kt becoming SW 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 8 ft at 12 seconds  building to SW 10 ft at 11 seconds after midnight.
SUN
 SW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell  12 ft at 11 seconds.

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