Posted on March 19, 2014 by Al Bergstein
For you wonks of regulations, here’s your bedtime reading…
The final version of the state’s Marine Shoreline Design Guidelines prepared for the Aquatic Habitat Guidelines Program. “The Marine Shoreline Design Guidelines (MSDG) were developed to provide a comprehensive framework for site assessment and alternatives analysis to determine the need for shore protection and identify the technique that best suits the conditions at a given site.”
59MB so it’s a big download.
Filed under: Government | Tagged: goverment, regulations | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 6, 2013 by Al Bergstein
It appears that the newly signed bill to get data that can be acted on for ocean acidification is progressing about as fast as the government can move. The question is whether it can be funded. Apparently there has been no agreement by the State House to fund this bill. Shellfish growers are very concerned about the lack of interest in funding it by Republicans, as their industry will be the first to die from acidification.
A legislative workgroup chaired by Gov. Jay Inslee voted unanimously Tuesday to hire a Virginia-based climate consultant to examine Washington state’s options for reducing greenhouse gases that are contributing to global climate change.
Filed under: Puget Sound | Tagged: goverment, legislation, ocean, ocean acidification | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 30, 2013 by Al Bergstein
Given the Department of Ecology backing of net pens against all opposition from elected local officials, scientists, and the population, perhaps it could be argued that they need to have their budgets cut. The question would be, from which department? Apparnently when one local elected official called on the new head of DOE, Maia Bellon, not long after she took office, she told him that her department couldn’t allow a ban on net pens in the counties Shoreline Master Program, that the issue had to be taken to the legislature. No one has ever said that before. Given that her department is one of the departments that approves in water aquaculture in the State, it was an odd statement. And she is getting paid how much to manage this organization? Given that even a nuclear power plant, a water dependent business, would have to be sited up off the waters edge, you would think that closed containment aquaculture could be also.
One potentially divisive piece of the Washington Senate-House budget talks is whether the Washington Department of Ecology faces significant cuts, including the potential closure of its Bellingham office. As with much of the rest of the state’s operating budget, the Republican-oriented Senate wants to trim part of Ecology’s budget for 2013-2015. The Senate’s Majority Coalition Caucus — an alliance of 23 Republicans and two Democrats — believes the ecology department has become too fat and should be trimmed to become more cost-effective. The ecology department disagrees. The Bellingham office plays a variety of roles, ranging from helping out in the response to the recent I-5 bridge collapse to working on the review of a proposed coal port north of the city.
John Stang reports.
Filed under: Puget Sound | Tagged: budget, department of ecology, goverment, olympia | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 25, 2013 by Al Bergstein
Congressman Derek Kilmer is back in the district looking for feedback on issues. Please attend one of several upcoming town halls. Congressman Kilmer scheduled next week to ensure your voice is heard on issues such as Wild Olympics, funding of environmental projects, rebuilding infrastructure, and of course, how all this relates to job creation, still an incredibly important aspect of our rural counties.
Tuesday, May 28th – Port Angeles
12:00pm – 1:30pm
Peninsula College, The Little Theater
(In Building J, the Pirate Union Building)
1502 E Lauridsen Blvd
Port Angeles, WA 98362
Tuesday, May 28th – Port Townsend
5:00pm – 6:30pm
Fort Worden State Park Conference Center
Fort Warden Commons in Company A
200 Battery Way
Port Townsend, WA 98368
Friday, May 31st – Aberdeen
12:00pm – 1:30pm
Rotary Log Pavilion
1401 Sargent Blvd
Aberdeen, WA 98520
Filed under: Puget Sound | Tagged: goverment | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 3, 2013 by Al Bergstein
Want to more fully understand last Friday’s landmark ruling that forces the State to accelerate it’s timetable for replacing fish-blocking culverts? Here’s a good place to start: Billy Frank Jr and Ron Allen comment for the NW Indian Fisheries Commission.
OLYMPIA – The state of Washington must fix fish-blocking culverts under state-owned roads because they violate tribal treaty rights, federal Judge Ricardo Martinez ruled on Friday, March 29.
“This is a historic day,” said Billy Frank Jr., Nisqually tribal member and chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. “This ruling isn’t only good for the resource, but for all of us who live here. It will result in more salmon for everyone. This is a great victory for all who have worked so hard to recover wild salmon.”
Read the whole article at:
Roundup of other culvert coverage:
Filed under: Culvert Replacement | Tagged: goverment, Salmon, tribes | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 3, 2013 by Al Bergstein
For those who may not have been here in the 70s and 80s, the Marbled Murrelett and the Spotted Owl have been the indicator species that triggered limits on harvest of the remaining old growth forest on the Olympic Peninsula (there was less than 5% remaining of it when the Federal Government stopped harvest due to habitat destruction to these birds). Since the 80s, the timber industry has done all it can to remove these protections, as the remaining timber is very valuable, and unavailable for harvest at this point, but the environmental legal teams have been able to prove to the courts scientifically that cutting more would mean the loss of the birds here. The battle is far from over, as this story from Earthfix shows. How much is at stake is an open debate point, and the issue has been used to inflame rural communities that were suffering from loss of timber jobs since the late 70s. The story that has never been adequately covered is that the loss of these jobs were heavily influence by the very companies that criticized the rules, as they had got Congress to open the shipping of raw logs to Japan. Smaller outdated mills could not compete, or afford to change. Also advancements in mechanized cutting came in at the same time, making many jobs obsolete. The story of the “spotted owl” is so much more complex than it was presented. And so, the 2013 chapter of the ongoing drama over the “Spotted Owl”.
An environmental group has stopped an agreement between the timber industry and federal wildlife officials that would have delayed new protections for a threatened seabird. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service settled with the timber industry group, the American Forest Resource Council, last summer, to avoid a legal battle over for the marbled murrelet. The industry group argued that maps of protected areas called “critical habitat” had been done improperly. Fish and Wildlife agreed to suspend the current maps but draft new ones. But, that agreement, and the protracted timeline that it would take five years drew a legal challenge from the Center for Biological Diversity. Rob Manning reports.
Filed under: Birds | Tagged: AFRC, goverment, marbled murrelett | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 24, 2013 by Al Bergstein
E2SSB 5219: Retaining water resources to assure the vitality of local economies.
Requires DNR, PRC and WDFW to report unused water and forces the state to “use” water rights that are connected to public lands for out-of-stream purposes, which is unnecessary as the state has trust a trust water rights program.
Seems like another government forcing of “use” of water rights for non stream purposes. Sounds like an incredibly bad idea on it’s surface. Senator Hargrove appears to be supporting this and it would be beneficial to have him explain why this law is needed.
I can’t believe that the Tribes would support this, for example, given the battles to restore endangered salmon runs.
Filed under: Puget Sound | Tagged: goverment, legislation, senator hargrove | Leave a comment »