Friday, February 9, 2024

2/9 Woodpeckers, Roberts Bank 2, snowpack, Chinook deaths, TransMountain non-compliance, Indigenous artifacts, Vancouver rats, 'corporate vampires', week in review


Northern Flicker [Gregg Thompson]

Woodpeckers as Keystone Species
Woodpeckers - including this Northern Flicker - are master carpenters of the bird world. They're called "keystone" species for their crucial role in creating habitat suited to other woodland wildlife. Abandoned woodpecker nest-holes become nests or roosts for small owls, cavity-nesting ducks, swifts, bluebirds, swallows, wrens, and other birds, as well as many small mammals. (BirdNote, September 28, 2022)

Editor's note: We were sad to learn from BirdNote that biologist and photographer Gregg Thompson passed away. Gregg's photos and Birdnote stories with those photos have graced many a News and Weather posting. We will honor Gregg with a week of his photos and BirdNote stories. A donation to BirdNote would be an appropriate gesture to recognize Gregg for his art and spirit.

Today's top story in Salish Current: San Juan  County development department struggles to right its ship

Canada approved a major port expansion in endangered orca habitat — now it’s going to court
Ecojustice, representing David Suzuki Foundation, Georgia Strait Alliance, Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Wilderness Committee, will go to court later this year arguing the federal government contravened the Species at Risk Act in its approval of Roberts Bank Terminal 2 — a $3.5-billion proposed expansion of the existing Port of Vancouver in Delta, B.C. It operates in the Fraser estuary, which is integral for orcas and salmon. Steph Kwetásel’wet Wood reports. (The Narwhal)

North Puget Sound basin snowpack about half of normal
Snowpack in the North Cascades is at 49% of normal for this time of the year, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Washington Water Supply Outlook Report. Emma Fletcher-Frazer reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Thousands of Chinook wasted as bycatch in B.C. fishery, new report finds
Nearly 30,000 Chinook salmon were wasted as bycatch in the Canadian trawl fishery, which was targeting hake and walleye pollock, a new report from Canadian fisheries officials found. Bycatch, or unintended catch, by commercial trawlers off the coast of B.C. was the highest on record during the 2022-23 groundfish fishing season, the Jan. 22 report from Fisheries and Oceans Canada found, with 28,000 salmon caught, 93% of them Chinook, the largest and most prized of all salmon species. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Regulator calls out Trans Mountain for 'environmental non-compliance' in B.C.
The company building the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has been cited for environmental non-compliance related to its management of recent flooding in British Columbia. The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) said Thursday its inspection officers found issues near Abbotsford, B.C., where Trans Mountain Corp. has been working on the final stretch of the multi-year oil pipeline project. (Canadian Press)

UW's Burke Museum working with Native tribes to repatriate Indigenous artifacts
Museums across Washington state may no longer display some Native artifacts without permission under a new federal rule. The nationwide rule, which took effect in January, bars museums from displaying or doing research on sacred objects without consent from their tribes of origin — the sort of things looted from Native gravesites. Burke officials said the new rules may speed up the process of repatriating tribal objects. Curator Sara Gonzalez said she hopes it will make it easier for tribes to reclaim artifacts they want returned. Ann Dornfeld reports. (KUOW)

When the sun goes down, a swarm of rats emerges in downtown Vancouver
Pest control experts suggest the skin-crawling scene may be due to a provincial ban on a type of rat poison, as well as other factors including Vancouver's unusually warm winter. Nono Shen reports. (Canadian Press)

Eby Blasts ‘Corporate Vampires’ for Gutting Local News and Firing Journalists
Bell Media’s decision to sell dozens of local radio stations, lay off thousands of media workers and shut down news programs is catastrophic, appalling and reprehensible, B.C. Premier David Eby said Thursday morning. The premier called on the federal government to use its authority to regulate media to support local journalism and prevent companies like Bell from owning so many outlets. Andrew MacLeod reports. (The Tyee)

Salish Sea News Week in Review 2/9/24: Bob Marley, Bigg's whales, snowpack, oil transparency, Electron Hydro, tire toxins, BC at-risk birds, loggerhead turtle, Chinook deaths, Indigenous artifacts.

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Here's your weekend tug weather—
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  218 AM PST Fri Feb 9 2024    
 E wind to 10 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 13 seconds. A slight  chance of rain in the afternoon.  
 SE wind to 10 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 12 seconds. A chance of  rain in the evening then a slight chance of rain after midnight.  
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 to 2 ft. W swell 4 ft at  12 seconds. A chance of rain.  
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 8 ft at 17 seconds.  
 SE wind 10 to 20 kt becoming S 15 to 25 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 10 ft at 15 seconds.


"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. It is included as a daily feature in the Salish Current newsletter. Click here to subscribe. Questions? Email mikesato772 (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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