Thursday, August 16, 2018

8/16 Canary grass, sunk tug, bee killer ban, kids' climate, pot trash, pipe protest, Skagit gravel, Skagit logging, beavers, Mt Polley mine, AK gold mine, Canada geese

Reed canary grass [ArboreaFarrm.com]
Reed Canary Grass Phalaris arundinacea
Phalaris arundinacea, sometimes known as reed canary grass, is a tall, perennial bunchgrass that commonly forms extensive single-species stands along the margins of lakes and streams and in wet open areas, with a wide distribution in Europe, Asia, northern Africa and North America.... The Halq'emeylem and probably other Salish groups used the stems for decorating baskets. The stems were cut while still pliable and green in May and early June (when the wild roses bloom)... It is not clear whether reed canary grass is entirely introduced or whether it is indigenous in arts of the coast and has extended through human influence. Phalaris many be called 'canary' grass either because P. canariensis is the source of canary seed or because the genus was first described from the Canary Islands. (Wikipedia, Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast)

Efforts to right and raise the capsized George H. Ledcor are taking longer than expected, coast guard says
Efforts to raise the sunken and overturned George H. Ledcor tugboat on the Fraser River are taking longer that expected, while environmental officials claim impacts from the diesel spilled from the wreck have been minimal. According to Phillip Murdoch, the superintendent of environmental response for the Canadian Coast Guard, the 20 metre tugboat has now been righted but remains underwater. He said the next step was to lift and de-water the vessel, although windows of opportunity to proceed with the operation were small due to the complications of river currents and tides. Karin Larsen reports. (CBC)

Canada to phase out pesticides linked to bee deaths, sources say
The federal government will begin phasing out the outdoor use of nicotine-based pesticides beginning in 2021, part of an effort to stem the mysterious decline of honey bee colonies around the world. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency of Canada will announce Wednesday a three-year phaseout of two of the three main neonicotinoid pesticides currently approved for use in the country, sources close to the decision tell The Canadian Press. The agency has already announced plans to phase out the third pesticide in all outdoor uses, meaning it can't be sprayed or used to pretreat seeds before planting. Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike to manage pests like aphids and spider mites. Scientists blame the chemicals for weakening bees, making them more susceptible to disease and bad weather. (Canadian Press) See also: New pesticides 'may have risks for bees'  (BBC)

Judge dismisses kids' lawsuit seeking to protect the climate they'll inherit
A judge in Seattle has dismissed a lawsuit from a group of children seeking to protect their generation from climate change. The kids' lawsuit said Washington state's efforts to reduce carbon emissions are "grossly inadequate" if their generation is to have a bearable climate to live in. The group of 13 youths, represented by Our Children’s Trust, asked the court to come up with a plan to nearly eliminate emissions statewide by mid-century.... King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott agreed that climate change is an urgent and devastating problem. But he ruled that tackling it is a job for the political branches of government, not the courts. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Garbage from Washington state's booming pot industry clogs gutters, sewers and landfills 
Washington state’s penchant for getting high is trashing the place. Plastic “doob tubes” and small Mylar bags used to package pot are moldering in gutters, bleaching out in landfills and bobbing in waterways. Concentrated nutrients and fertilizers left over from cannabis growing operations are being dumped in public sewers and making their way past wastewater treatment plants into Puget Sound. And millions of pounds of weed harvest waste that could be composted are instead getting trucked to landfills. This, in a part of the country that prides itself on being environmentally friendly. Kristen Millares Young reports. (Washington Post)

Injunction-itis in Kinder Morgan debate gives rule of law a black eye
Once again, with the regularity of clockwork it seems, the B.C. Supreme Court is back at the old game of ordering police to do their job and of insulating politicians from accountability. Usually, it’s to remove First Nations from some logging or mining road. This time it is to get rid of Camp Cloud, which was established to oppose the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion. Last week, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Gomery granted Burnaby an injunction ordering all structures, shelters and vehicles be removed from outside the company’s tank farm within 48 hours. He also ordered a sacred fire burning in the camp be extinguished. The protesters ignored him. For more than a quarter century, this injunction two-step has occurred with regularity as one level of government or another, or some giant resource company, uses the court to transform civil disobedience into contempt of court. The result, I think, is a black eye for the rule of law. Ian Mulgrew writes. (Vancouver Sun) See also: Burnaby RCMP poised to remove Camp Cloud protesters  Alex Migdal reports. (CBC)

Gravel mine case gets extension
Skagit County and Miles Sand and Gravel were given until mid-September to discuss a settlement regarding the possible expansion of a gravel mine northeast of Burlington. The company is seeking a special use permit to convert 68 acres of forestland it owns into a gravel mine. Residents have voiced concerns that the expansion would lead to more truck traffic and they are afraid for children, pedestrians and bicyclists who navigate the narrow roads and blind intersections in the area. The county denied the company a permit on April 5, prompting the company to appeal to the county hearing examiner. Both parties met in May and have since been discussing a settlement. Brandon Stone reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Logging in Upper Skagit River watershed put on hold as Seattle has ‘grave concern’
.... Much of the Skagit’s headwaters are protected by Canadian parks. But, to preserve historic mining rights, the B.C. government set aside a forested area the size of Manhattan that’s surrounded by parkland. It’s known now as the “donut hole.” Crews this summer began to fell trees inside the donut hole at the behest of British Columbia’s government. Conservationists who once fought to keep Seattle from flooding the area now worry that B.C. will allow the valley to be hollowed at its center. Logging could threaten Ross Lake bull trout and disrupt possible grizzly-bear recovery efforts, some say. They fear logging, and road construction, will open the door further to mining, which they argue represents a grave threat to Puget Sound salmon on the horizon. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times)


Everyone wants to live in Seattle. Especially beavers
Seattle, you may have noticed some new neighbors around lately. Not the ones who moved here to work at Amazon — that’s another story entirely. We’re talking about beavers, which were all but eradicated from the region just over 100 years ago. But now they’re back.  Amy Rolph reports. (KUOW)

B.C. lake infested with hundreds of goldfish just months after pets released into wild
Residents of a small B.C. lakeside community say they're dealing with a goldfish infestation after someone dumped their unwanted pets in the water. Pinecrest Lake, which is located about halfway between Squamish and Whistler, had no goldfish in its waters last year — but now they number in the hundreds, according to the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council. "People have been observing schools of 30 to 40 fish schooling together at a time. They vary in sizes, some small, some up to five inches [13 centimetres] big," said Clare Greenberg, the council's executive director. Cory Correia reports. (CBC)

Appeal challenges discharge of Mt. Polley mine effluent to Quesnel Lake
The B.C. Environmental Appeal Board will hear a challenge of a provincial permit that allows Imperial Metals’ Mt. Polley mine to discharge mine effluent into Quesnel Lake. An amended permit was issued by the B.C. Environment Ministry in April of 2017 to allow the discharge of mine waste water that has been treated at a filtering plant as part of a long-term water management plan at the Interior B.C. gold and copper mine. The long-term plan is a requirement of the mine operating after a dam that held back mine effluent in its tailings pond collapsed in August 2014. The earth-and-rock dam has since been rebuilt. The appeal, launched by Christine McLean, a member of Concerned Citizens of Quesnel Lake, is set for a three-week hearing in Victoria beginning at the end of January 2019. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Proposed Gold Mine Acquires 2 Permits From Federal Agencies 
A massive gold mine proposed in western Alaska has cleared a regulatory hurdle, acquiring permits from federal agencies. The Donlin Gold Mine received permits Monday from the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Land Management after about six years of environmental review, Alaska's Energy Desk reported . The project required a permit from the Corps because it will affect thousands of acres of wetlands. The project also includes a 315-mile (507-kilometer) gas pipeline planned to cross federal land, requiring BLM approval. The conventional open-pit mine is planned for a site 10 miles (16 kilometers) north of the village of Crooked Creek in the Upper Kuskokwim River drainage. Representatives from the mining industry and Native Corporations joined federal officials at an Anchorage office to commemorate the signing of the permits Monday. (Associated Press)

Canada Geese often not given credit for being smart and adaptable
Canada geese are rarely given credit for their intelligence and ability to adapt to life in the city, according to a wildlife biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Nathan Clements says the growing number of Canada geese in Vancouver are an example of a species exploiting a niche in an urban environment. “Canada geese are so adaptable,” he said. “A lot of people don’t give them credit for how smart they are. Canada geese have found the perfect location in urban settings.” He suggested that Canada geese have moved into grassy areas in parks such as English Bay, Sunset Beach and Granville Island because they are not surrounded by natural predators such as bald eagles, raccoons and dogs. Kevin Griffin reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  246 AM PDT Thu Aug 16 2018   

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH  THIS EVENING   

TODAY  SW wind 10 kt or less, becoming W 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 3 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 12 seconds. 

TONIGHT  W wind 15 to 25 kt, becoming SW 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves  2 to 4 ft subsiding late. W swell 5 ft at 11 seconds.


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