Monday, June 18, 2018

6/18 Swallowtail, Crewser death, BC wild salmon, fish farm leases, green crabs, BC pipe, Blanchard Mtn, Elwha vegetation

Tiger Swallowtail butterfly [Wikipedia]
Western Tiger Swallowtail Papilio regulus
The Western Tiger Swallowtail is a common swallowtail butterfly of western North America, frequently seen in urban parks and gardens, as well as in rural woodlands and riparian areas....It is a large, brightly colored and active butterfly, rarely seen at rest; its wingspan is 7 to 10 cm (3 to 4 in), and its wings are yellow with black stripes, and it has blue and orange spots near its tail. It has the "tails" on the hindwings that are often found in swallowtails. (Wikipedia) See also: ‘Attract Butterflies to Your Garden’ workshop at Edmonds Demo Garden June 23  (My Edmonds News)

Orca death brings southern resident whale population to lowest level in 34 years
An orca whale is missing and presumed dead, bringing the local killer whale population to its lowest point in three decades. The Center for Whale Research said Saturday an adult male known as L92 has not been seen since November 2017 and was “conspicuously absent” from recent coastal sightings of other whales. The whale, nicknamed Crewser, was 23 years old. The animal was a member of the L pod — the largest of three groups, along with the J and K pods, that make up the southern resident group of killer whales, which typically travel between the inland waters of Washington state and southwestern British Columbia for most of the year. It was the second-to-last member of the L26 matriline — the only surviving whale is now its aunt, known as L90. The loss brings the total southern resident population of orcas down to 75, the lowest since 1984. The population has fluctuated in recent decades, reaching a peak of 98 whales in 1995. Just two years ago, there were 83 orcas here. Mike Rosenberg reports. (Seattle Times)

B.C. introduces advisory council for wild salmon protection
The B.C. government is putting together an advisory council to deal with its at-risk wild salmon stocks. The council will develop recommendations this summer for a provincial wild salmon strategy, the province announced Friday.... Fourteen experts make up the council. They come from Indigenous, community and labour groups, NGOs, and recreational and commercial fisheries. (CBC)
It's wild salmon health vs. money and jobs as B.C.'s fish farm fight comes to a head
For some, salmon farms are a blight on the landscape. Not for the way they look, but because of the threat they believe these large aquaculture operations pose to wild salmon. "We're pretty confident this place will have to be dismantled," says Ernest Alfred, pointing at the farm from the boat. "And I'll be here to watch it." The government is currently reviewing the leases of 20 fish farms that expire on June 20. Alfred and other opponents are upping the pressure on the NDP leadership in hopes they will commit to ending fish farming in the ocean. But supporters of the farms say that would be a huge blow to an industry worth billions of dollars to the province. Alfred is a hereditary chief of the Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay, B.C., and he has the support of elected bands and councils in the area that oppose the farms. He says the land and waters were never ceded, and he believes First Nations will ultimately gain control of the area. It's a long-term battle still being fought in the courts and in negotiations with the federal and provincial governments. Greg Rasmussen reports. (CBC)
Green crabs entrenched at Dungeness Spit, but new issues are emerging
Dungeness Spit on the Strait of Juan de Fuca near Sequim remains a hot spot for the invasive European green crab, which first showed up in Puget Sound during the fall of 2016. The green crab, one of the most dreaded invasive species in the world, brings with it the potential to destroy shellfish beds and disrupt key habitats essential to native species in Puget Sound. Thankfully, except for the Dungeness Spit, new findings of green crabs have been almost zero since a massive volunteer trapping effort resumed in April throughout most of Puget Sound. Chris Dunagan reports.(Watching Our Water Ways)
Indigenous protesters in Washington state declare Trans Mountain won't be built
Cedar George-Parker remembers the moment he decided to devote his life to defending Indigenous people and their traditional territories. It was the one-year anniversary of a shooting at his high school that killed four of his classmates in Marysville, Wash. “I dropped to my knees and I said, ‘I’m going to make a change in the world,’ ” he recalled. George-Parker is among the Indigenous protesters in Washington state promising to fight the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Activists call the project the Standing Rock of the north, comparing it to the fierce Standing Rock Sioux protests that stalled the Dakota Access Pipeline for months.... Many Indigenous activists trace their roots to both sides of the border. George-Parker’s father is from North Vancouver’s Tsleil-Waututh Nation and his mother is from Washington’s Tulalip Tribes. He travels to B.C. often and in April disrupted a speech by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Vancouver. (Canadian Press)
State seeks comment on Blanchard land transfer proposal
The state Department of Natural Resources has proposed a trust land swap to protect the popular recreation areas on Blanchard Mountain. The proposal is open for public comment through June 29. The two-part proposal would involve changing the status of some state trust lands in Skagit County and using $10 million in state funding to purchase new trust lands. Natural Resources is responsible for logging state trust lands in order to provide revenue to various state and local beneficiaries. The purpose of the proposed trust land swap is to put part of the state forest on Blanchard Mountain into conservation status without losing state trust land timber revenue that goes toward public services in Skagit County and schools statewide. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Leader of revegetation effort revels in growth on the Elwha River
Josh Chenoweth stood in a cobblestone field full of blooming Oregon Sunshine in the lake bed of the former Lake Aldwell as he marveled at the diversity of plant life that has flourished because of the Elwha revegetation project. The project and Chenoweth’s job heading the reffort both come to an end this fall, but in many ways the transformation of the valley is just beginning, he said. Now it’s time for Chenoweth — botanical restorationist for the National Park Service in charge of the revegetation effort — and the dozens of others who have helped with the project to step back and let nature take its course. Jesse Major reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

These meat and fish choices hurt the environment most
Which food type is more environmentally costly to produce—livestock, farmed seafood, or wild-caught fish? The answer is that it depends, according to a new study. But in general, industrial beef production and farmed catfish are the most taxing on the environment, while small, wild-caught fish and farmed mollusks like oysters, mussels, and scallops have the lowest environmental impact, according to a new analysis. The authors of the study, which will appear in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, believe it is the most comprehensive look at the environmental impacts of different types of animal protein production. Michelle Ma reports. (UW/Futurity)

After sex harassment reports, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has a new director
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife — recently troubled by reports of sexual harassment, including a former manager convicted of rape — announced Saturday that Kelly Susewind has been appointed director of the agency.... The Fish and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to appoint Susewind after interviewing seven candidates in May and narrowing the finalists to three candidates. Susewind will earn $165,000 a year and take over Aug. 1, according to a news release. Rolf Boone reports. (Olympian)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  258 AM PDT Mon Jun 18 2018   

TODAY  E wind to 10 kt becoming W in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 7 ft at 13 seconds. 

TONIGHT  W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  5 ft at 12 seconds.

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