Friday, April 13, 2018

4/13 Tulip time, BC pipe, War in the Woods, US park fees, Stanley Park, Skagit steelhead, shellfish traffick, industrial shellfish aquaculture suit

Is it Tulip Time, yet? Here's when the blooms should reach their peak in 2018
All the early tulips currently are blooming, Tulip Town assistant farmer Matt Usyk said Monday, with the "mids" just starting to come into bloom. All told, Usyk estimated about a third of the Tulip Town fields are in bloom. "This weekend should be near the peak," Usyk said. "This weekend and next are usually the best." David Rasbach reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Trudeau calls B.C., Alberta premiers to meeting as pipeline dispute escalates
The escalating battle over the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain oil pipeline has prompted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to cut short a trip to Peru and fly back to Ottawa for a weekend meeting with B.C. Premier John Horgan and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun) See also: Trudeau's pipeline dilemma: lose seats in B.C., or lose a lot more elsewhere  √Čric Grenier reports. (CBC)

'So many people giving a damn':
War in the Woods resonates 25 years later with new environmental battles on B.C. coast…. At its peak in 1993, the War in the Woods drew celebrities and focused international attention on the ancient forests of Clayoquot Sound, 265,000 hectares of old-growth rainforest that surrounds the towns of Tofino and Ucluelet. It also galvanized B.C.’s environmental movement and inspired a new generation of environmentalists who are now fighting an emotional battle against a pipeline expansion through the province. Many of the people and groups who put Clayoquot Sound on the map are applying their knowledge and connections to the fight against Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Megan Thomas reports. (CBC) See also:  Three arrested as protests resume on Burnaby Mountain  Dylan Waisman reports. (National Observer)

Interior backs off tripling fees at national parks, plans $5 increase
With the Trump administration’s withdrawal of huge fee increases at national parks, attention has turned to finding a needed long-term solution to address the parks’ $12 billion maintenance backlog. A plan announced in October to triple entrance fees at the country’s most popular national parks during peak visiting season, including Mount Rainier and Olympic, was met with howls of public outcry. On Thursday, the National Park Service instead announced the U.S. Department of the Interior’s new plan to implement minor increases to fees at all 117 National Park Service sites that collect fees, amounting generally to no more than a $5 increase. That scaled-back proposal is expected to raise about $60 million per year. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Work begins on $4.5-million Stanley Park seawall restoration
Work to restore Vancouver’s popular, but weather-battered, seawall around Stanley Park is underway. The first phase of the $4.5-million project is expected to be complete in August, during the busy summer tourist season. But park board officials don’t expect any closures on the seawall this summer because of the repair work. Instead, the cycling and walking path will merge for a 100-metre stretch at the entrance near Beach Avenue, so cyclists will have to dismount and walk their bikes. Tiffany Crawford reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Panel explores digital tech’s role in Salish Sea recovery
Bridging the gap between nature and technology might be a challenge for the Puget Sound region, but tech leaders could play an important role in protecting and restoring the ecosystem, according to a panel of experts at last week’s Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Seattle. Christopher Dunagan reports. (Salish Sea Currents) #SSEC2018

Season set for Skagit River steelhead
Starting Saturday, anglers will be allowed to fish for Skagit River steelhead — an opportunity they haven’t had since the fishery closed in 2010 in order to protect the decreasing fish population. The state Department of Fish & Wildlife announced Thursday that it has set dates for a brief catch-and-release season on the Skagit and Sauk rivers. Fish & Wildlife was able to set the dates after National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries approved this week the five-year Skagit River steelhead management plan. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Illegal shellfish trafficking ring caught on video  

Illegal shellfish trafficking ring caught on video
Pierce County prosecutors have charged several men in a seafood trafficking case, including the former Natural Resources Director for the Tulalip Tribes. According to case documents, Joseph Hatch Sr. and his son, Joseph Hatch Jr., poached at least a thousand pounds of Dungeness crab and shrimp, selling the shellfish over several months in 2015. Hatch is a Tulalip tribal member and was serving in his role as head of natural resources while officers monitored his movement over five months. Though officers report observing the men poaching shellfish for some time, it was a set of crab filled containers on one night in particular that led to Pierce County's case. Alison Morrow reports. (KING)

Conservation Group to Sue State to Demand it Protect Coastal Shorelines by Ending Permitting Exemption for Industrial Shellfish Aquaculture 
Protect Zangle Cove, the Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat and Wild Fish Conservancy filed suit today against the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife ("WDFW"), demanding an end to the improper exemption of industrial shellfish aquaculture projects from state standards designed to protect fish and marine habitats. Most construction projects in or near Washington waters must receive an Hydraulic Project Approval ("HPA"), which requires that they have safeguards in place to protect fish and their habitat.  WDFW has exempted commercial aquaculture from this statutory requirement for many years, meaning aquaculture projects go forward without these crucial environmental safeguards. The lawsuit filed in Thurston County Superior Court contends this exemption has no legal basis and asks the court to direct WDFW to apply the HPA law consistently to shellfish aquaculture projects. The suit also asks the court to halt development of a geoduck farm planned for Zangle Cove, a near pristine estuary in South Puget Sound, until it receives an HPA permit. (News release on PR Newswire)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  238 AM PDT Fri Apr 13 2018  
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
 
TODAY
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt becoming S 20 to 30 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. W swell 11 ft at 14 seconds.  Rain.
TONIGHT
 SW wind 20 to 30 kt becoming W 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less after  midnight. W swell 12 ft at 12 seconds. Rain in the evening then a  chance of rain after midnight.
SAT
 S wind to 10 kt becoming SW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 10 ft at 11 seconds. A slight  chance of rain in the morning then a chance of rain in the  afternoon.
SAT NIGHT
 W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell  10 ft at 14 seconds.
SUN
 NE wind to 10 kt becoming NW in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 10 ft at 15 seconds.

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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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