An excellent overview of the state of the salmon in Puget Sound

Chris Dunagan is one of the best reporters in the Pacific NW covering the Salish Sea. Here’s a great overview of the state of the salmon.

Are we making progress on salmon recovery?

In recent decades, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to restore habitat for Puget Sound salmon. In this article, we look at how scientists are gauging their progress. Are environmental conditions improving or getting worse? The answer may depend on where you look and who you ask. Chris Dunagan reports. (Salish Sea Currents)

https://www.eopugetsound.org/magazine/is/salmon-recovery

Northwest farmers urge Trump administration to sidestep salmon protection rules – AP

Ah yes, some of the folks in Eastern Washington and Idaho, people who’s livelihood was created by the tax payer funded dam projects that irrigated the dry eastern side of our state are back wanting the Feds to kill off the remaining runs of salmon for their short term benefits. These people, who have continued to complain for decades about the intrusion of the very government that created the dams and their farms, now wants it’s help again. This time to overrule the laws that protect our remaining runs of salmon. One of the big supporters of these folks has been Rush Limbaugh, among other radical right wing folks. You can bet your bottom dollar that if this committee ever comes to fruition, there will be not a single environmental representative on it.

A group that represents farmers is calling the costs of saving imperiled salmon in the largest river system in the Pacific Northwest unsustainable and is turning to the Trump administration to sidestep endangered species laws. The Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association wants the government to convene a Cabinet-level committee with the power to allow exemptions to the Endangered Species Act. Known as the “God squad” because its decisions can lead to extinctions of threatened wildlife, it has only gathered three times — the last 25 years ago during a controversy over spotted owl habitat in the Northwest. Keith Ridler reports. (Associated Press)

http://www.seattletimes.com/business/trump-administration-urged-to-avoid-salmon-protection-rules/

Fish recolonizing areas upriver of former dam sites on Elwha River – PDN

More good news from the Elwha.

Josh Geffre has watched with awe as salmon return to the uppermost reaches of the Elwha River. Geffre, a fisheries technician for Olympic National Park, started monitoring the fish for the park in 2014 and has marveled as he’s seen most species swim upstream of the former Glines Canyon Dam. “It’s very satisfying to know the fish are recolonizing into areas upriver of the former dam sites,” he said during a recent trip to collect data on the fish. “It’s exciting to watch them.” Jesse Major reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/fish-recolonizing-areas-upriver-of-former-dam-sites-on-elwha-river/

See also: Elwha fish by the numbers http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/elwha-fish-by-the-numbers/ (Peninsula Daily News)

 

Forest battle continues over defining the upper bounds of fish habitat- Watching our Waterways

Another good piece of reporting by Chris Dunagan.

A long-running battle over how to manage potential fish habitat on commercial forestland could be coming to a head — although it isn’t clear if the solution will satisfy either forestland owners or environmentalists. To be clear, there is not much argument about streamside buffers where salmon, trout and other fish are readily found, thanks to state and federal rules stemming from the landmark Forests and Fish Report. Buffers are designed to save trees that serve the needs of fish — including insects for food, shade for cool water and eventually down trees that form pools for resting as well as hiding places and spawning areas. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/waterways/2017/07/22/forest-battle-continues-over-defining-the-upper-bounds-of-fish-habitat/

Climate Activists in Pacific Northwest Fight Construction of World’s Largest Methanol Refinery – Green Currents

Highly controversial proposal at the mouth of one of most important ecological river deltas.

Climate activists in the Pacific Northwest have rallied against a tsunami of fossil export proposals over the last five years:  coal, oil and the latest, petrochemical projects. The fight against a proposal to build the world’s largest methanol refinery on the banks of the Columbia River using fracked gas may be their biggest fight to date. Martha Baskin reports. (Green Currents)

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40900-climate-activists-in-pacific-northwest-fight-construction-of-world-s-largest-methanol-refinery

West Coast Ocean Acidification Rates Among Highest In World – KUOW

These findings spell bad news for our shellfish industry as well as our fisheries. It appears we are ground zero for ocean acidification and we have a administration in Washington D.C. that ignores any science that doesn’t fit it’s narrative. It’s all up to us folks. Thankfully we have a governor and representatives  in Olympia that still do believe in science.

The United States is stepping away from the Paris Climate Agreement, but the consequences of climate change will be more difficult to leave behind. Take ocean acidification, a major emerging threat to West Coast fisheries.

Researchers at Oregon State University have recorded some of the highest levels of ocean acidification in the world – and they exist right off the coast of the Pacific Northwest.

http://www.tinyurl.com/y7sjphuy

‘Bold actions’ to save Puget Sound salmon gain qualified support – Chris Dunagan

Tribes now looking at next steps to save remaining salmon stocks.

Native American tribes in the Puget Sound region are calling for “bold actions” to reverse the decline of Puget Sound Chinook salmon, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Such actions would include:
— Protecting all remaining salmon habitat in and around Puget Sound with more consistent and enforceable land-use regulations;
— Preventing water uses that would limit salmon recovery;
— Improving management of predators, including the seals and sea lions that eat Chinook; and
— Increasing dramatically the current spending on salmon recovery — some 50- to 100-fold — with perhaps additional new funding sources to be added.
The ideas were presented to the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council on Thursday by tribal representative Dave Herrera, speaking for the Puget Sound Tribal Management Conference. “The way we are managing lands is not working,” Herrera said. “It may be working for people, but it is not working for fish.” Chris Dunagan reports. (Puget Sound Institute)

http://www.pugetsoundinstitute.org/2017/05/bold-actions-to-save-puget-sound-salmon-gain-qualified-support/

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