Friday, August 2, 2019

8/2 Bow WA, salal, hot July, rabbit disease, VanBC beaches, Ross Pt bulkhead, whale sanctuary, wolf kill, public lands

Samish River near Bow [i8Seattle/Flickr]
Bow WA
Originally known as Brownsville after William J. Brown, who homesteaded the townsite in 1869. Advent of the railroad resulted in a population boom and the end for a post office. In deference to the growth brought about by the railroad, Brown suggested the new name of Bow, after the large railway station in London, England-- which, in turn, was named for the bow or poplar tree. (Washington State Place Names)

Salal’s Worrisome Die-Off
British Columbia’s rugged and rain-drenched coast supports forests of western hemlock and red cedar, but it’s salal, a hardy evergreen shrub, that might be one of the region’s most important species. In the temperate coastal rainforest of the Pacific Northwest, the plant grows in thickets up to five meters high, forming dense walls that protect the coastal forest’s understory from the ocean’s punishing wind and salt spray. Deer, bears, and even wolves feast on salal’s sweet berries, as do Indigenous peoples, who, for thousands of years, have made the plant a central component of cooking and medicine. But in recent months, reports of dead and dying salal in British Columbia have accumulated. More troubling is that no one knows for sure what’s killing the plant. Some scientists theorize that a disease or fungus could be the culprit, while others point to this past winter’s unusually dry weather. Jess Mackie reports. (Hakai Magazine)

July was Earth’s hottest month on record, beating or tying July 2016
July was Earth’s hottest month ever recorded, “on a par with, and possibly marginally higher” than the previous warmest month, which was July 2016, according to provisional data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service. This European climate agency will have a full report for all of July on Monday, but a spokesperson said enough data (through July 29) has already come in to make this declaration. Andrew Freedman reports. (Washington Post)

Here’s what the state is telling county fairs about this deadly rabbit disease
A deadly rabbit disease that was confirmed on Orcas Island in July has raised some concerns about rabbit exhibits at county fairs. Known as rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus 2, the highly contagious illness causes sudden death in rabbits. It can spread through contact with infected rabbits, their fur or meat, or things that come into contact with them, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture. It isn’t dangerous to people or other livestock, but people and other animals can spread the disease. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

All but 1 Vancouver beach reopened to swimmers
One of Vancouver's biggest and most popular parks has just been reopened to swimmers, leaving only one remaining swim closure in Vancouver. "We're happy to say that now Trout Lake is safe for swimming and wading. The only Vancouver-area ocean beach still closed is Kitsilano Beach," said Vancouver Coastal Health's Tiffany Akins... Beginning in June, some beaches began to show higher levels of E. coli, leading to the closure of Sunset Beach. The West End beach had an elevated count of E. coli bacteria during one of Metro Vancouver's weekly water checks...E. coli, or Escherichia coli bacteria, normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals, but certain strains can cause illness in people. Its presence in water is often associated with fecal contamination, which could come from humans, animals, waste dumped from boats and leaks in the sewage system. It can also be caused by heavy rain. (CBC)

Old bulkhead to be removed on Ross Point, a major surf smelt beach
Ross Point, the most popular fishing spot for surf smelt in Kitsap County, will become a little more friendly to the little fish following the removal of a concrete bulkhead along the shore of Sinclair Inlet. The bulkhead removal, scheduled to begin Aug. 12, will create more spawning area for surf smelt, an important food source for salmon and other fish. Smelt also are favored eating by some people, who typically catch them with dip nets.... Getting rid of this bulkhead can’t be considered a major restoration project, yet it is one more step in improving the critical shoreline habitat for marine species, according to Brittany Gordon, habitat biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Whale sanctuary project reveals two possible locations
n an effort to garner community input regarding a proposed whale sanctuary, three meetings were held in the San Juans about the project. “There are sanctuaries for other large mammals like elephants,” sanctuary board President Lori Marino said, adding that she sees no reason why the same couldn’t be done for marine mammals like orcas, dolphins and belugas.... According to project organizers, requirements for a whale sanctuary include access to 60-100 acres of water with a minimum depth of 50 feet in at least half of the sanctuary; protection from extreme weather; one free of sewage, pollutants and noise; a good flushing rate; minimal human activity or boat traffic; and a separate area for medical and other special care needs. One location the group has considered at is Deep Water Bay on Cypress Island. An area on Sucia Island is being considered as well, but has been less researched, Executive Director Charles Vinick said. There are other possible locations in Washington state, as well as British Columbia, Canada. An east coast location is also being considered for captive beluga whales. Heather Spalding reports. (San Juan Journal)

Lawsuit Seeks To Block Washington State From Killing Old Profanity Territory Pack Wolves
A lawsuit filed Thursday seeks to prevent the state of Washington from killing more wolves from a pack that is preying on cattle. The Maryland-based Center for a Humane Economy filed the suit in King County Superior Court, contending too many wolves have been killed as a way to protect livestock at a single ranch in the Kettle River Range in Ferry County. The center and other conservation groups say it may be time to consider moving the cattle off Colville National Forest grazing lands that are also prime wolf habitat. Nicholas K. Geranios reports. (AP)

How Imperiled Are America's Public Lands?
The Bureau of Land Management oversees more than 10 percent of all the land in the United States—more than any other federal agency. So when Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt signed an order this week making a vocal opponent of public lands the acting head of the BLM, it raised a few eyebrows. William Perry Pendley, a Wyoming native, is a conservative lawyer and writer who worked in the Department of the Interior (DOI) during the Reagan administration and has since authored books about "government tyranny" in the West and the "oppression" of environmental regulation. In the debate over how federal lands in the West should be managed, Pendley doesn't mince his words: "The Founding Fathers intended all lands owned by the federal government to be sold," he wrote in 2016. Maxine Speier reports. (Pacific Standard)

Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  304 AM PDT Fri Aug 2 2019   
 S wind 10 to 20 kt becoming W in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 to 3 ft. SW swell 5 ft at 7 seconds. A chance of showers  in the morning then a slight chance of showers in the afternoon. 
 W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. SW swell 4 ft at 7 seconds. A slight chance  of showers in the evening. 
 W wind to 10 kt becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 6 seconds. 
 W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 3 ft at 3 seconds. 
 Light wind becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 7 seconds.

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