First Reading of new Port Townsend Water Contract – MONDAY NIGHT

The Port Townsend City Council will be holding a first reading of the final draft of the new long term (20 year) contract with the Port Townsend Paper Mill. This impacts most of us living here because of what may be perceived as significant water increases to anyone in the city of Port Townsend.

The agreement overview here:

https://cityofpt.us/engagept/page/water-supply-mill-agreement

and here is the power point overview.

Agenda is here

https://cityofpt.us/citycouncil/page/agendasminutesvideos

You can tune in via Zoom on Monday at 6:30. I believe the video feed is here.

Fixing septic systems is key to protecting Puget Sound shellfish -Crosscut

What happens when septic systems fail. Photo by Wa State Dept of Ecology

Since we are a county with a lot of septic systems, this might be of some interest to some of you. More work needs to be done, especially on homes along shorelines.

Keeping shellfish safe to eat will get harder without increasing repair and inspection of septic systems that can contaminate shellfish beds.

https://crosscut.com/environment/2021/12/fixing-septic-systems-key-protecting-puget-sound-shellfish

Ecuador’s Constitutional Court Applies “Rights of Nature”to Safeguard Protected Forest

What could this have to do with the Olympic Peninsula? Well, just a few months ago, our Department of Natural Resources decided that putting 80,000 bags of oysters inside a National Wildlife Reserve was a good idea, regardless of the scientific opinions of the biologists at the Reserve. Perhaps a court challenge could call into affect the “Rights of Nature” to safeguard the Spit from commercial exploitation?


QUITO, ECUADOR— In an unprecedented ruling, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador has applied Ecuador’s constitutional provision on the “Rights of Nature” to safeguard Los Cedros Protected Forest from mining concessions. The Court voted 7 in favor and 2 abstentions.

With the ruling, published on December 1st, the Constitutional Court ordered that activities that threaten the Rights of Nature should not be carried out within Los Cedros Protected Forest, thereby prohibiting mining and all types of extractive activities. Water and environmental permits to mining companies will now also be denied. 

Two-thirds of the reserve is covered by mining concessions granted to the Ecuadorian state mining company, ENAMI, and its Canadian partner, Cornerstone Capital Resources. The Constitutional Court agreed to hear the case in May 2020.

The Court’s decision also imposes a series of orders on the Ministry of the Environment, Water and Ecological Transition to comply with the decision. These include orders for the Ministry to help construct a participatory plan for managing the Los Cedros Protected Forest and to ensure respect for the Rights of Nature and the right to a healthy environment. The Court also ordered the government to adopt regulations so that the future issuance of environmental records and licenses and the use of water for extractive activities avoid violating the Rights of Nature, as in the case of Los Cedros.

Overall, this decision clearly details the effects of the Rights of Nature for administrative authorities in a way that was unprecedented.

“This case is emblematic not only for Ecuador but also for the international community,” said Alejandro Olivera, senior scientist and Mexico representative at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This progressing and innovative ruling protects the imperiled wildlife, such as the endangered brown-headed spider monkeys and endangered spectacled bears, from mining companies.”

In September 2020, Earth Law Center, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, the Center for Biological Diversity, International Rivers, and the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center (“Coalition”) filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief (Spanish; English) before the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court. The brief asked the Court to protect Los Cedros and robustly enforce constitutional provisions that establish the Rights of Nature, or “Pachamama,” including the rights to exist, to restoration, and the unique rights of rivers, especially the Magdalena River.

“This is a historic victory in favor of Nature. The Constitutional Court states that no activity that threatens the Rights of Nature can be developed within the ecosystem of Los Cedros Protected Forest, including mining and any other extractive activity. Mining is now banned within this amazing and unique protected forest. This sets a great juridical precedent to continue with other threatened Protected Forests. Today, the endangered frogs, the spectacled bears, the spider monkey, the birds, and Nature as a whole have won an unprecedented battle”, says Natalia Greene from the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature. 

“It is undoubtedly good news, but the situation of Los Cedros Protected Forest is not an isolated event in Ecuador,” said Constanza Prieto Figelist, Latin American Legal Director at Earth Law Center. “This is a problem of the forests throughout the country. In recent years, many mining concessions that overlap with Protective Forests have been awarded.”

The brown-headed spider monkey, found in Los Cedros, has lost more than 80% of its original area of distribution in northwest Ecuador. In 2005, it was estimated that there were fewer than 250 brown-headed spider monkeys globally, granting the species a place among the top 25 most endangered primates in the world.

The groups note that the case is of great significance, both for Ecuador and the world, because it has the potential to establish important and influential “Earth jurisprudence” that will help guide humanity to be a benefit rather than a destructive presence within the community of life. The proposed mining is unlawful, the Coalition say, because it violates the rights of the Los Cedros Protected Forest as an ecosystem as well as the rights of the many members of that living community.

# # #

Earth Law Center (https://www.earthlawcenter.org) is a non-governmental organization based in the United States of America, Mexico, and Canada that promotes the application of the Rights of Nature at the local and international levels. The organization creates alliances with local organizations to recognize and promulgate laws that recognize the inherent rights of rivers, oceans, and coastal and terrestrial ecosystems. Thus, it seeks to make a paradigm shift, fighting for the formal recognition of the rights of nature to exist, prosper and evolve. Earth Law Center aims to grant ecosystems the same rights recognized to people and corporations, allowing them to defend their rights before national and international courts, not only for the benefit of people but also for nature itself.

Evaluating targets for reducing carbon emissions. NY Times

An interesting series in the New York Times called Hindsight has been evaluating business and government pledges on various social issues such as global warming, deforestation, drinking water availability and other social crisis’ that have brought attention and demands for change.

This week, they looked at promises made in the 2010 timeframe to lower carbon emissions in the EU. What did they find that’s interesting to us on the Peninsula? That Biomass was thrown in with the mix of “solutions” and that it is not a solution at all.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/02/climate/europe-climate-pledge-carbon-emissions.html?referringSource=articleShare

Back in around 2010, this blog covered the efforts of then State Representative Kevin Van De Wege to promote biomass as a solution to lowering energy costs and protecting the environment. His work was based on research by WSU that resulted in a paper that was heralded as as a reason to promote using clear cut slash (also known as ‘hog fuel’) to burn to create electricity. No environmental organizations at that time bought the idea, though it was passed using a special designation of calling it “experimental” in the bill. It never was taken off experimental status.

Rep Van de Wege understandably promoted it because it gave more jobs to out of work loggers here on the Peninsula and incentivized pulp plants in P.A., Port Townsend and Shelton to experiment with burning hog fuel. Concerns by environmental organizations were ignored in order to allow the companies to build the plants and start using the fuel. Ultimately, all attempts to make this source of energy failed. Additionally, as the NY Times article points out, it actually made things worse.

As one drives around 101 on the Peninsula these days, it is impossible not to notice the enormous amounts of clear cuts going on, from west of the Hood Canal Bridge to Port Angeles. The stacks of slash are sitting in massive piles, some burning, some just rotting. With them go any hope of using the vast forest resources of the Peninsula to sequester carbon for reasons documented in the article above.

Jolene Unsoeld dead at 89 – Post Alley

Jolene Unsoeld

A Tribute to Congresswoman Jolene Unsoeld, Dead at 89, and her ‘Life of Wild Adventure’ by Joel Connely

One of the true heros for many. She stood for her principles. Something most politicians on the left seem unwilling to do anymore. We live in a world that attempts to placate everyone, while the environment dies and the homeless fill our streets and parks. Thank you Jolene for all you did and all you stood for in a full life.

Former U.S. Rep. Jolene Unsoeld, who died at home Monday at the age of 89, was an individual of boundless energy and enthusiasm. My visual image, from covering her, was of Unsoeld running down the halls in Congress, usually late for a meeting, with a big bag of working papers slung over her shoulder. A poster in the Unsoeld Olympia home summed up a life forever on the move: “A ship in a harbor is safe. But that’s not what ships are for.”

Post Alley

Northern Washington Tribes fear devastation of salmon by extreme floodwaters – KUOW

While this story is not specifically about the Peninsula, it is about issues that we faced along with the Bellingham and B.C. environment in the last month. Our rivers flooded also, just not quite as bad. As we all know, the salmon of this region are on the brink of extinction, along with our Orcas. Every year our human induced climate brings 500 year floods to already destroyed ecosystems the fish become more threatened. The Salish Sea is an ecosystem itself, what is happening to the east and north of us is tied to us by the water.

When a month’s worth of rain hit northern Washington and southern British Columbia in just a couple of days in mid-November, the resulting extreme flows scoured streams and riverbeds. They flushed away gravel and the salmon eggs incubating just below the surface, likely by the millions.

KUOW

https://kuow.org/stories/northern-washington-tribes-fear-devastation-of-salmon-by-extreme-floodwaters-ffcd

Climate on Tap: “What Happened in Glasgow?”

Wed, Dec 1st at Finn River

Join guest speakers Jessica Plumb (award winning filmmaker, “Return of the River”) and Rachel Cardone (international water issues researcher at Stanford) who attended COP26. They observed firsthand all the nations of the world convening in Glasgow, Scotland to agree on policies and plans to ensure for a sustainable future for this planet. Come hear the outcomes and plan what we can do to join in the good work.

Open to Climate on Tap only in the open air Pavilion with socially-distanced tables. Vaccinations and ID required. Food and beverages available including hot cider! Overhead heaters make it cozy!  Co-sponsored by Local 20/20 Climate Action, Jefferson County Public Health, and FinnRiver Cidery. This is not a lecture series, but a discussion format with a focus on action taking. For further information email Laura Tucker or call 360-379-4491.
Time: 7-8:30pm | LocationFinnRiver Cidery

King Tides & Sea Level Rise Talk

Friday Dec. 3rd Online

JC Marine Resources center and PT Marine Science Center

Learn about the natural conditions that create king tides, projected sea level rise for Port Townsend, the Washington King Tide Program, and local efforts to monitor these events and document total water levels. A demonstration on how to use the MyCoast app for contributing your observations on king tides will also be provided.

Speakers will include Bridget Trosin, Washington Sea Grant’s Coastal Policy Specialist, and Dave Wilkinson, a marine weather instructor. Dave also serves on the joint City of Port Townsend / Jefferson County Climate Action Committee and volunteers for the Local 20/20 Climate Action Group. Co-presented by PTMSC and the Jefferson Co. Marine Resources Committee. The presentation is free. 
Time: 6-7 pm | Location: Online. Register.

Washington state seeks tighter wastewater rules for Puget Sound, but sewage plant operators push back  – Seattle Times

This could be quite costly for small rural communities like ours. Can we find financial support to help upgrade our plants without massive increases in sewage costs?

…The state’s Ecology Department will decide as soon as the end of the month whether to issue a new general permit for all 58 sewage plants around the Sound. Ecology argues that as more people live here, it’s imperative they not contribute more nitrogen, which comes from their urine, and worsen low dissolved oxygen levels. These levels already occur in some parts of Puget Sound, especially in the summer. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Seattle Times

Washington state seeks tighter wastewater rules for Puget Sound, but sewage plant operators push back 

Shore Friendly Living – Vegetation Management Webinar for Shoreline Landowners

Ever wonder how native plants can strengthen a shoreline? The Northwest Straits Foundation presented Ben Alexander of Sound Native Plants sharing his extensive knowledge of use of native vegetation for shoreline and habitat improvement. In this virtual workshop, Ben covered a range of topics including soil structures, root strength and the role of shoreline vegetation. Ben also provided details on removal of invasive species and restoration methods with native plant species. A recording of the webinar is available on the Northwest Straits Foundation’s YouTube channel. 

Contact Lisa Kaufman, Northwest Straits Foundation Nearshore Program Manager for more information: kaufman@nwstraitsfoundation.org

How heat waves warp ecosystems – High Country News

Just this week I was in an online discussion with a noted wildlife journalist here on the Peninsula who wanted to blame a series of environmental horrors he had recently seen on a certain restoration project, because the project was close to the area he was viewing. I tried to explain that the last few years had seen a variety of shocks to our ecosystem, and what he was seeing was far more widespread than just the area in question. Fish kills, algae blooms, massive die offs of shellfish, are easily observed but hard to map to a single root cause. But today in my inbox was this story and so I share it to help all of us understand that what is happening is anything but a local issue. The effects are widespread and causing destruction across an enormous range of wildlife. Welcome to the new world of the Pacific Northwest ecosystem under global warming.

Initial reports were sobering: A billion shellfish and other intertidal animals baked to death on the coast of British Columbia. The Portland Audubon Society declared a “hawkpocalypse” as it tended to scores of sick and injured birds. And in eastern Oregon, state officials estimated that tens of thousands of sculpin, a bottom-dwelling fish, perished in streams already throttled by drought.

High Country News

What could you eat 500 years ago in the Pacific Northwest? Seattle Times & Spokesman-Review

What would your meal look like long before Europeans arrived here? An interesting quick read on the native plants and animals that were staples for those that lived off this land for thousands of years. Who catches eels out of our rivers anymore? When did you last eat Camas?

Camas photo by Jim Choate

The mechanized system of food production has churned over recent centuries, but when the land was occupied only by Indigenous people whose ties to the land had deep roots, the Pacific Northwest served an abundance of helpful herbs, fragrant flowers, fat-rich fish and vital vegetables that could easily make a feast.

The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.

Read the rest of the story at:

https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/what-could-you-eat-in-500-years-ago-in-the-pacific-northwest/

December’s first razor clam digs moving ahead on Washington coast

More good news.

OLYMPIA – Razor clam digging continues in December, as shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have approved the next round of digs for Washington’s coastal beaches.

Photo courtesy NOAA

The latest tests for marine toxins came back all clear from the Washington Department of Health, which means the first round of December digs can proceed as planned.

“The weather hasn’t always been cooperative the last couple of weeks, but there’s still plenty of opportunities to hit the beach and dig for some razor clams,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager with WDFW. “Hopefully December will bring some clearer winter days for people to get out and enjoy this amazing resource.”

Read the whole story here:

https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/decembers-first-razor-clam-digs-moving-ahead-washington-coast-0

West Coast Dungeness crab season to open Dec. 1 for first time in years – AP

Very good news for both the crab and those of us that eat them.

For the first time in years, commercial Dungeness crab fisheries in Oregon, Washington state and Northern California will begin on the traditional Dec. 1 opener after recent preseason testing showed high meat yield in crabs across the region.

Seattle Times
Photo courtesy of NOAA

Read the whole story here.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/west-coast-dungeness-crab-season-to-open-dec-1-for-first-time-in-years/

https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/marine-area-10-seattlebremerton-reopens-nov-22-late-season-crab-fishing

DNR approves oyster farm in National Wildlife Refuge. Time to take action.

A Department of Natural Resources head who claims to be an environmentalist has “no knowledge” of her office letting commercial aquaculture invade a National Wildlife Refuge.

Photo of Dungeness Spit by Al Bergstein

Hilary Franz who is the head of the department of natural resources here in Washington state, approved putting a commercial shellfish aquaculture business inside the Dungeness Spit wildlife refuge just to the right in this photo. Up to 80,000 oyster bags covering the bottom. This refuge was created for diving birds and other wildlife that feed here. You and I can’t even fly a kite in there and haven’t been able to for 100 years.

As this author wrote back in 2018:

New concerns over the possible permitting of an oyster aquaculture farm within the Dungeness Spit Wildlife Refuge have been raised by the Department of the Interior, which manages the refuge. In a letter written to Steve Gray, the Clallam County Deputy Director and Planning Manager, Jennifer Brown-Scott, the Project Leader for the Department of the Interior, has raised significant questions about issues concerning the application.

Of concern to the Department are a number of issues relating to wildlife in the refuge. The applicants have asked for permission to place approx. 150,000 (it appears that 80,000 is the current number at most) of “on bottom” oyster bags on the central west side of the bay, in approximately 34 acres of the tide flats 1141 acres of the inner spit. This appears to be approx. 3.35% the inner bay area.  The applicants propose to raise non-native oysters. To be clear, a significant number of cultivated oysters in the Salish Sea are non-native, so this is not a surprise.

Within the area of the Dungeness Spit Wildlife Refuge are federally listed species that are protected or have environmental listings of concern. They include but aren’t limited to: Bull Trout, Marbled Murrelet, Puget Sound Chinook and Hood Canal Summer Chum. Also within the area is significant state listed wildlife habitat. Of somewhat lesser concern is the impact on the public to the scenic beauty of the wildlife preserve, which is one of the main reasons most visitors go to the area in the first place.

Herring also spawn at the west end of Dungeness Harbor and the Department of Interior raised questions about protecting Strait of Juan de Fuca herring, which have been designated “critical” (as in critically low).  Sand Lance and Surf Smelt spawning grounds are also found in the area of the application. These species have been identified as “Washington Species of Greatest Conservation Need within the State Wildlife Action Plan (WDFW 2015). A worry related to this is that these spawning fish will be competing with the oysters for plankton. A failure to find enough food could lead to a significant reduction in the survival rates. There is no know mitigation for this, other than limiting the size and scope of the project.

The area just to the east of the proposed site is the location of the highest infestation of European Green Crabs in the Salish Sea. Another concern is that the proposed oyster bags may provide habitat for green crabs, allowing them to be moved to other areas outside the Spit the bags are transported.

This shoreline has been designated “Natural” in the Critical Areas Ordinance, as far back as 1976. That designation limits activities to those that preserve the national features unchanged. One would assume that the tidelands are also part of that designation.

Noted bird biologist George Divoky commented:

When birds can’t find their food in an area they have used in the past they will not die at that location but fly elsewhere to find suitable habitat. Mortality could occur due to the costs of involved in seeking out that habitat. Certainly, the aquaculture being proposed would modify the habitat used by the birds and all of the far less visible components of the nearshore ecosystem. People tend to focus on birds being affected by anthropogenic changes to the marine environment – since they are visible and warm-blooded vertebrates – but this sort of exploitation of the marine environment by the growth economy would have ecosystem effects.

George Divoky

It is certainly reasonable for the applicants to want to return to aquaculture in the Bay, however the scale is being significantly increased. Science has learned a lot about the environment since the time when the State allowed the use in this location, dating back to around the time of WWII. In many other locations we have decided that the tradeoff of commercial activity is outweighed by a newer appreciation of the value of the natural landscape for a variety of species.  One example of this is that we have ended other bad practices, such as gold mining in salmon streams, which was accomplished not that long ago.

It is up to all of us to question our elected officials and bureaucrats, not the applicants, as to why they believe that this is in all our best interests, when we so clearly have set this aside this location for wildlife protection and enhancement.

What the Dungeness Spit Wildlife Reserve will soon look like. As many as 80,000 of these bags will be located on the bottom.

The head of DNR, Commissioner Franz, when recently asked at a fundraiser for Jefferson County Democratic supporters about her department permitting this controversial site, said, “I have no idea what you are talking about.” However, the Department approved it on her letterhead. She also had a direct report of hers send out a response letter to an environmentalist who was expressing their concern in August. The letter stated that “Commissioner Franz has asked that I respond to your concerns on her behalf.

As the old saying goes, “The buck stops here.” Commissioner Franz, in her second term, has run on being an environmental supporter if not an activist. Her campaign web site states” Hilary is on the front lines protecting our lands and waters and standing up for our communities.” A search of her campaign finance contributions showed both the Grantee, along with Pacific Seafood and Taylor Shellfish as donors. That in and of itself seems unseemly, if not worse, to be taking donations from the very people who you are regulating. But we all know it happens all the time. However, her ongoing blanket approvals of the ever-expanding shellfish industry now has apparently been a bit of environmental protection that she does not even pay attention to in her department.

What could she have done instead? Land swap. It’s being done by her department all over the State, where environmentally sensitive areas are being protected. That it wasn’t even a point of discussion is irresponsible.

In a letter to local activists, by Katrina Lassiter, the Interim Deputy Supervisor for Aquatic Resources it was stated that “These measures were created through collaboration and input from scientists, regulatory agencies, and the environmental community including the Audubon Society.”

On 8/20/21, Ms. Lassiter was asked to provide documentation for the statement: She has not responded. No environmental organization that was contacted offered any support for that statement.

Where were the local Audubon Society and Sierra Club members? They both apparently thought it was too controversial and choose to take no action. Why be a member of groups that were created to protect the environment and now can’t even take verbal stand against an action like this? Where is the Washington Environmental Council and their People For Puget Sound Campaigns? Silent. Remember this as you consider your end of the year donations.

Want to put your money where it works? Try starting with the Protect Our Peninsula’s Future, or the Olympic Forest Coalition, or Sea Shepard’s legal fund, or the Wild Fish Conservancy, or the Center for Environmental Law, or any of the other organizations who will sue for change, since we cannot rely on paper “environmentalists” to do the work we expect of them. They all seem to be beholden to the people continuing these policies of destruction. Everyone seems to want to restore destroyed environments but few want to stop them from being destroyed in the first place.

The call to action on your parts, if you choose to take one, is to call Commissioner Franz’ office and let them know your dissatisfaction with this decision. When she comes to your county looking for donations for her future political ambitions, tell her when she reverses this decision, you’ll consider funding her next campaign.

Her number is (360) 902-1000.

Learning from a legacy of overfishing – Salish Sea Currents Magazine


Fishing for rockfish was once promoted as a sustainable alternative to salmon harvests, but when rockfish numbers plummeted, fisheries managers realized they had a problem. Now a rockfish recovery plan seeks to reverse the damage as scientists learn more about protecting this once-popular game fish. David Williams writes. (Salish Sea Currents Magazine)

Learning from a legacy of overfishing

Governor Inslee appoints Kate Dean to the Puget Sound Partnership’s Leadership Council

Photo
Good news. Kate is an excellent choice. She has done a great job in her current roles, including chairing the regional ecosystem coordination board. She cares about the environment and the recovery of the Sound, having put in many hundreds of hours in the mandatory dull meetings prioritizing lists of environmental work and debating funding different projects. Having a voice from rural counties is badly needed. As a County Commissioner, she is deeply involved in issues that directly impact the Strait and the Hood Canal.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 24, 2021

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Hyde, 360.819.3045, kevin.hyde@psp.wa.gov 
OLYMPIA — Governor Jay Inslee has appointed Kate Dean to the Puget Sound Partnership’s Leadership Council, the governing body of the Puget Sound Partnership. Dean is a Jefferson County Commissioner for District 1, Port Townsend, and has served on the Puget Sound Partnership’s Ecosystem Coordination Board, which advises the Puget Sound Partnership’s Leadership Council on carrying out its responsibilities.

“With her knowledge and passion, Kate will make great contributions to the Puget Sound Partnership’s work to achieve a healthy, resilient Puget Sound,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “Her experience with local economic development issues, her understanding of rural communities, and her leadership as a Jefferson County Commissioner and member of the Partnership’s Ecosystem Coordination Board all make her an outstanding addition to the Leadership Council.”

“I am really excited about Kate Dean joining the Leadership Council,” said Jay Manning, chair of the Puget Sound Partnership’s Leadership Council. “She has already proven herself as an effective and passionate advocate for restoring Puget Sound to good health and she will make the Leadership Council a stronger voice for recovery. We just issued the 2021 State of the Sound report and it is clear that what we as a society are doing now to protect and restore Puget Sound is not enough. Kate, and her experience as a County Commissioner, will help us make the hard decisions we need to make to save Puget Sound.”Dean was elected to the Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners in 2017. She moved to Jefferson County in 1999 and spent 10 years farming and working to grow the local food economy through businesses she co-founded, including FinnRiver Farm and Mt. Townsend Creamery. Her experience as an entrepreneur is critical to her understanding of the local economy and community.

Dean left the farm but didn’t go far; she started a consulting business that had her working on natural resource and rural economic development issues locally and regionally. She coordinated the Jefferson Landworks Collaborative (a farmland preservation and enterprise development initiative), managed Washington State University Extension’s Small Farm Program, worked for Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, and was the regional director for the North Olympic Development Council, a council of governments tasked with community and economic development. Dean has served on the Ecosystem Coordination Board as the alternate for Rep. Steve Tharinger, representing the Strait of Juan de Fuca Action Area since 2017, and representing Puget Sound counties since early 2021. In 2019, Dean proposed the board form a land use subcommittee to work on identifying tools, policies, and funding mechanisms to support the participation of counties and cities in the protection and recovery of Puget Sound. Since then, she has co-chaired the land use subcommittee, which includes many of the local elected officials on the board and representatives from tribal, state, and federal governments. She also helped draft a protocol for the board to rotate meetings around the Puget Sound to co-host local forums.

The purpose of the local forums is to expand local decision-maker engagement with the Puget Sound recovery community and discuss local priorities.Dean holds her Master of Public Administration degree from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington. Her publications include USDA Farmland Changing Hands and Preparing for Climate Change on the North Olympic Peninsula. In her spare time, Dean can be found gardening, riding her bike, or in the mountains with her two teenagers.“It’s an honor to be appointed to such a committed group as the Leadership Council,” Dean said. “I’m pleased that the Partnership sees the value of having local government represented in this critical work. A healthy Puget Sound is essential to a rural county like mine and I look forward to working on a regional scale to protect and restore it.””I’m delighted that Kate is joining the Leadership Council,” said Laura Blackmore, executive director of the Puget Sound Partnership. “In her work as a Jefferson County Commissioner, Ecosystem Coordination Board member, and regular attendee at Puget Sound Day on the Hill, she has shown her commitment to Puget Sound recovery and her passion for connecting with partners. I know that she will help us advance our work toward a resilient Puget Sound.”Dean’s term on the Leadership Council runs through June 25, 2025. She fills the vacancy recently left by Stephanie Solien, who served on the council for seven years. Solien recently served as vice chair for the Leadership Council and was co-chair of the Southern Resident Orca Task Force. 

About the Leadership Council
The Leadership Council is the governing body of the Puget Sound Partnership. Its seven members are leading citizens chosen from around the Sound and appointed by the Governor to serve four-year terms. Jay Manning currently chairs the Leadership Council.

About the Puget Sound Partnership

The Puget Sound Partnership is the state agency formed to lead the region’s collective effort to restore and protect Puget Sound. Working with hundreds of government agencies, tribes, scientists, businesses, and nonprofits, the Partnership mobilizes partner action around a common agenda, advances Sound investments, and tracks progress to optimize recovery. For more information, go to www.psp.wa.gov.

TONIGHT: ALEXANDRA MORTON LIVE!

Please plan to join Protect the Peninsula’s Future (PPF) special guest speaker, Dr. Alexandra Morton, at our (virtual) annual meeting, Thursday November 18, 7 PM. Dr. Morton, will talk about her decades of research, struggles, setbacks and successes to save salmon, the key food for Northern Orcas.  

Dr. Morton moved to a remote archipelago on the BC coast in 1984 to study orca, but became an expert on the devastating impact of industrial aquaculture on wild British Columbia salmon populations.

Canadian government policy maintained salmon farms were harmless, which allowed fish viruses, bacteria and sea lice to flourish on the farms. Morton published science on the impact of sea lice and viruses, took the industry to court five times and never lost, and finally occupied several salmon farms over 280 days with local First Nation members. Today, 38 salmon farms are closed or scheduled to close and Morton is studying the impact of removing salmon farms on wild salmon, working closely with the First Nations of the BC Coast. She will describe how this happened, the damage by the industry and the work that lies ahead.

Join us and be ready with your questions. PPF formed as a 501c3 nonprofit in 1973 and is based on the North Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.

For Zoom info contact: Darlene Schanfald

Board Member Protect the Peninsula’s Future

PO Box 421Sequim WA  98382

protectpeninsulasfuture.orgdarlenes@olympus.net

Transplanted fishers released into park – PDN

Restoring species to the Peninsula continues.

A release of seven fishers from Alberta, Canada into Olympic National Park earlier this month is part of a program to increase the genetic diversity of the once-decimated native species. Five were released into the wild at Lake Ozette and two were released near Sol Duc, said Patti Happe, wildlife branch chief of Olympic National Park (ONP), on Friday. Leah Leach reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Transplanted fishers released into park (Paywall in place, you will need a subscription)

Good news out of COPS-26

There was so much to be cynical about over the last two weeks of the climate meeting in Glasgow, called COPS-26. But a little discussed part of it was the awards for the places in the world that are acting without waiting, moving us towards a future that we hope the rest of the world will catch up to eventually.

Samsø: An Island Community Pointing to the Future | Denmark

https://unfccc.int/climate-action/un-global-climate-action-awards/climate-leaders/samso

This was one of the winners of the United Nations Climate Leaders Action Awards:

Denmark’s municipality of the island of Samsø has completely transformed its energy system from fossil fuels to renewable energy, becoming the world’s first renewable energy island. Key results that have been achieved include: becoming carbon negative; 100% local ownership of renewable energy investments; and significant socio-economic benefits from the energy transition.

https://unfccc.int/climate-action/un-global-climate-action-awards/climate-leaders/samso

Here is a short video on some of the winners of the 2021 Action Awards. Can we be next? Kiwi over at Edensaw has gone 100% solar, as he mentions in the comments below!

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