Monday, May 7, 2018

5/7 Singing crow, fish passage, revegetation, other BC pipe, bag ban, humpbacks, Oly goats, carbon fee

Singing crow [Marlin Harms/BirdNote]
Do Crows Sing?
It’s been said that if someone knows only three birds, one of them will be the crow. They’re common, easy to see, and even easier to hear. But crow voices are complicated. Altogether, crows may use 30 sound elements in different combinations, and one of the most intriguing is their song. Unlike many birds, crows don’t sing loudly to attract mates from a distance. Instead, they sing softly — and at close range — during courtship, with a mix of soft cooing, rattles, growls, bowing movements, and mutual nuzzling. (BirdNote)

17 projects to make spawning easier for Chehalis Basin fish planned for this summer
The Department of Ecology is preparing to launch 17 projects intended to open up 32.5 miles of fish habitat in the Chehalis Basin, the state’s second largest watershed that includes a portion of southern Thurston County. The projects often include improving or removing culverts. The Department of Ecology is preparing to launch 17 fish passage improvement projects intended to open up 32.5 miles of habitat in the Chehalis Basin that is critical to the health of salmon and other aquatic species. The Chehalis Basin is the state’s second-largest watershed, covering 2,700 square miles across Southwest Washington. The headwaters of the Chehalis River begin in Cowlitz County before rolling through Lewis, Thurston and Grays Harbor counties on the way to the Pacific Ocean. Tributaries to the mainstem Chehalis River include the Black, Elk, Johns, Hoquiam, Humptulips, Newaukum, Satsop, Skookumchuck, Wishkah, and Wynoochee rivers, along with many streams. Jordan Nailon reports. (Chronicle)

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe Wraps up River Revegetation Efforts
After seven years of planting, weeding and seeding, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe has finished revegetating the Elwha River valley and will let Mother Nature mostly take over. “We’ll continue supplemental planting as needed, and we’ll treat invasive plants as we monitor the area,” said Kim Williams, the tribe’s revegetation field supervisor. “But as the native plant communities mature, they will help push out weeds.” As part of the Elwha River restoration project, and in partnership with Olympic National Park, revegetation crews have been removing invasive plant species since 2011 when restoration started, plus they planted more than 322,000 native plants and spread about 6,400 pounds of native plant seed. (NW Tribes)

The B.C. pipeline project you've never heard of — and why it may succeed
You've likely never heard of the Eagle Spirit Energy pipeline, but for the past five years the project's leader has been quietly working on the plan to build the next pipeline across Northern B.C. "We are now putting together a very solid commercial plan for how we are going to do this," said CEO Calvin Helin earlier this week. Helin is a member of the Lax Kw'alaams First Nation located on the North Coast near Prince Rupert. That's where the proposed pipeline linking Alberta's oil sands with the West Coast would terminate. At 1,500 kilometres in length, the pipeline would carry up to two million barrels of medium to heavy crude oil a day from Fort McMurray to tide water on the West Coast. Estimates put the cost of the project, which has the backing of the Vancouver's Aquilini Investment Group, at $16 billion. Mike Laanela reports. (CBC)

Kitsap County could ban plastic bags
Kitsap could become the third Washington county to ban plastic bags at checkout stands. County commissioners and public works staff discussed Wednesday the potential for a single-use plastic bag ban ordinance as a means of reducing waste and encouraging use of reusable bags. Staff recommended the ordinance be implemented in 2020, following outreach to retailers and the public. Tad Sooter reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Call it a 'Humpback Comeback' — here's how close the whales were spotted Thursday
A pod of five humpback whales was spotted only minutes away from Blaine in Semiahmoo Bay Thursday afternoon, according to a story posted by the Peace Arch News in White Rock, B.C. The whales were feeding only about a mile and a half off the White Rock pier, according to the story, which said about five boats from the Canadian and American sides took spectators to see the whales feed. White Rock Sea Tour and Whale Watching was one of the boats, and they posted photos and video on their Facebook page. David Rasbach reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Park service releases final goat management plan for Olympic National Park
The growth in the population of mountain goats in Olympic National Park will start skidding to a halt this summer. The National Park Service plans to move the non-native goats that can be captured to the U.S. Forest Service land in the North Cascades, where they are native, according to the final environmental impact statement (EIS) issued Friday. Those that cannot be caught will be shot, probably starting in 2019. The strategy is the park service’s preferred alternative for its new Mountain Goat Management Plan. The final EIS is available for public viewing at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/OLYMgoat. (Peninsula Daily News)

Carbon fee initiative gains signatures — and opposition
Backers of a proposed carbon fee in Washington state say they’ve gathered 36,000 signatures and are on track to put their measure on the November ballot. Initiative 1631 is sponsored by a coalition of tribes and environmental and labor groups called the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy. Field director Ahmed Gaya said labor unions and environmentalists were divided over building new fossil fuel projects on the Washington coast. But they’ve come together in support of the ballot measure. “One of the reasons we’re seeing such excitement and hunger around this initiative is that people in the environmental community have spent so much time saying no to the projects they don’t want," Gaya said. "This is one of the first opportunities we have to say yes.”....Oil companies are leading the opposition to the initiative. They’ve pledged $250,000 to the “No on 1631” campaign. A spokesman said they will bring together a “robust statewide coalition” to talk about the downsides of the fee. Amy Radil reports. (KUOW)

Development fees pay for Hood Canal preserves
Fees from the Navy's Explosive Handling Wharf at Bangor helped create two new Hood Canal preserves this year. The Hood Canal Coordinating Council and Great Peninsula Conservancy purchased properties totaling 51 acres along the canal, using money from the council's "in-lieu-fee mitigation" program. The program allows developers to pay fees to compensate for environmental damage caused by their work, rather than tackling their own restoration projects. The Navy paid about $4 million to fund habitat restoration and preservation as mitigation for the $448 million Bangor wharf project. Ted Sooter reports. (Kitsap Sun)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  213 AM PDT Mon May 7 2018   
TODAY
 NW wind to 10 kt rising to 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 11 seconds. 
TONIGHT
 NW wind to 10 kt in the evening becoming light. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 10 seconds.

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