Monday, January 6, 2020

1/6 Dogwood, WA forest plans sued, banning natural gas, creosote removal, BC pipe eviction, counting whales, saving sturgeon, Trump's infrastructure rule, monarch butterflies, Newell's shearwater, Democracy Rebellion

Pacific dogwood [Walter Siegmund]
Pacific dogwood Cornus nuttallii
The Pacific dogwood or mountain dogwood is a species of dogwood native to western North America from the lowlands of southern British Columbia to the mountains of southern California, with an inland population in central Idaho. Cultivated examples are found as far north as Haida Gwaii. It is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree, reaching 10–25 m tall. Cornus nuttallii is named after Thomas Nuttall, an English botanist and zoologist who worked in North America in the nineteenth century. It has been the provincial flower of British Columbia since 1956. (Wikipedia)

Environment groups, logging interests and communities across Washington sue over state's plans to sell timber
Two more lawsuits have been filed against the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) over its plans for state-managed timber lands, further clouding the future of the state’s forests and the timber money that helps support rural communities throughout Western Washington. The newly filed lawsuits are led by a timber trade group and an environmental coalition. A previous lawsuit was filed on Monday by Skagit County over the state’s sustainable timber-harvest level. Proceeds from timber sales have historically benefited counties, the public-school system and local taxing agencies in rural areas, such as school, fire, hospital and library districts. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times)

To Fight Climate Change, One City May Ban Heating Homes With Natural Gas
As a progressive-minded city nestled where the Cascade mountains reach the sea, Bellingham, Wash., has long been looking to scale back its contribution to climate change. In recent years, city leaders have converted the streetlights to low-power LEDs, provided bikes for city employees and made plans to halt the burning of sewage solids. But while the efforts so far have lowered the city’s emissions, none have come close to erasing its carbon footprint. Now, Bellingham is looking to do something that no other city has yet attempted: adopt a ban on all residential heating by natural gas. The ambitious plan set for consideration by the City Council in the coming weeks had already prompted vigorous debate over how much one small city should try to do to avert climate catastrophe, at a time when the federal government was putting less emphasis on halting the trajectory of rising temperatures. Mike Baker reports. (NY Times)

Hundreds of creosote-soaked pilings along Ruston Way to be removed
Remnants of a long-ago lumber mill along the Ruston Way waterfront can still be seen more than 40 years after it closed down. Perhaps the most notable are the 1,000 pilings that supported a dock there. Their history in Tacoma is drawing to a close. Allison Needles reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

First Nation issues eviction notice to Coastal GasLink contractors
A hereditary chief with the Wet'suwet'en Nation said a work site for the Coastal GasLink pipeline near Houston, B.C., has been vacated following the issuing of an eviction notice. "We've tried the avenues available," said Na'Moks, who also goes by John Ridsdale.  On Dec. 31, a B.C. Supreme Court judge granted Coastal GasLink an injunction against protestors who had blocked access to the project inside their territory. In a letter issued to Coastal GasLink representatives, hereditary chiefs with the First Nation wrote all staff and contractors must leave the territory immediately. Joe Dryden reports. (Canadian Press)

Counting Whales From Space: scientists and engineers plan hi-tech effort 
An aquarium and an engineering firm in Massachusetts are working on a project to better protect whales – by monitoring them from space. The New England Aquarium, based in Boston, and Draper, a firm based in nearby Cambridge, say new and higher-tech solutions are needed in order to protect whales from extinction. So they are using data from sources such as satellites, sonar and radar to keep a closer eye on how many whales are in the ocean. A project involving complex data and surveillance has an easy to understand name: Counting Whales From Space. But John Irvine, chief scientist for data analytics at Draper, said that was the only simple thing about the project. (Associated Press)

No ‘easy blueprint’ for saving endangered Nechako white sturgeon
The Nechako River’s endangered white sturgeon could have a silt-free spawning site this spring if all goes according to plan. The B.C. Ministry of Environment is seeking a company that can remove fine particles from a small section of the river where the endangered fish lay their eggs and rear their young. It’s part of a plan to help the sturgeon, a species whose evolution dates back to the dinosaurs, reproduce on their own. For decades, the Nechako sturgeon have struggled to successfully spawn in the wild. Scientists believe their slow disappearance from the river is linked to the construction of the Kenney Dam in the 1950s, which helps supply power to what is now the Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum smelters. Glenda Luymes reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Trump Rule Would Exclude Climate Change in Infrastructure Planning
Federal agencies would no longer have to take climate change into account when they assess the environmental impacts of highways, pipelines and other major infrastructure projects, according to a Trump administration plan that would weaken the nation’s benchmark environmental law. The proposed changes to the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act could sharply reduce obstacles to the Keystone XL oil pipeline and other fossil fuel projects that have been stymied when courts ruled that the Trump administration did not properly consider climate change when analyzing the environmental effects of the projects. Lisa Friedman reports. (NY Times)

Climate change is playing havoc with Mexico’s monarch butterfly migration
More than 95 percent of the species migrates each year to the same few hillsides in Central Mexico. Changing temperatures and weather are making their journey more precarious. Kevin Sieff reports. (Washington Post)

Threatened Hawaiian Bird Strives To Make Comeback
Hawaii is known as a natural paradise. It's also known as the endangered species capital of the world. One of the state's most threatened seabirds, the Newell's shearwater makes its home on the island of Kauai, where a small group of environmentalists is working to keep the iconic seabird from disappearing because of collisions with power lines and confusion from artificial light. Gloria Hillard reports. (NPR)

2020 MUST WATCH: The Democracy Rebellion
It’s the missing story of American politics. Not Washington, but grassroots America. Not stale gridlock, but fresh reforms. Not negative ads and billionaire donors, but positive change and citizen activists pressing for gerrymander reform, voting rights for former felons, exposing dark money, and winning surprising victories to give voters more voice and make elections fairer in states as disparate as Florida and California, North Carolina and South Dakota, Ohio, Michigan, Colorado, Missouri, Utah and more. Veteran Frontline Correspondent Hedrick Smith, one of PBS’s most trusted voices over three decades, takes viewers into half a dozen states with citizen activist leaders. Watch January 9 at 8 PM on KBTC-28 or January 11 at 11 PM on KCTS-9. For a sneak peek, click here.

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  202 AM PST Mon Jan 6 2020   
 E wind 15 to 25 kt becoming SW. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W  swell 10 ft at 12 seconds. Rain. 
 SW wind 10 to 20 kt becoming S 15 to 25 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 10 ft at 11 seconds.  Rain.

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