WSU Master Gardener Training’ Course – Class starts September 16th

WSU Master Gardener Training’ Course – Class starts September 16th *New*

Interested in becoming a Master Gardener? The next WSU Master Gardener Training class starts soon!  This eleven-week course includes professional education from WSU educators via online training, lectures from local experts and field trips to outstanding local and regional gardens.  Upon completion, participants give back to the community by volunteering in one of our many programs, including our Growing Groceries class, WSU Seed Library, food bank gardens, native plant outreach, and Plant Clinics.  Lectures and field trips take place on Thursdays; September 12th through November 21st from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.  The class is held at the Jefferson County Library and the WSU Classroom in Port Hadlock. .  Cost is $265.  For more details click here,  or contact Bridget Gregg.

EVENT: State attorney general Ferguson, DNR commissioner Franz to speak Aug. 25 at Democrats’ annual Fish Feast

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, undefeated in 22 lawsuits so far against the Trump administration, will be one of two keynote speakers Sunday, Aug. 25, at the 25th annual Fish Feast in Port Townsend of the Jefferson County Democrats. Its theme this year: “There’s a Lot on the Line.”

Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz, who spearheaded the development of a 10-year statewide plan to fight and prevent wildfires, will be the other keynote speaker.

Tickets for the event at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds are available for $60 at jeffcodemocrats.com and by mail at Jefferson County Democrats, P. O. Box 85, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Tickets will also be available at the door (cash, check or card).

Doors open at 4 p.m. for the bar and socializing in the Erickson Building. Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m., and speakers begin at 6 p.m. The party donates one dollar of each ticket to the Jefferson County Fair Board.

“The Fish Feast is our major fundraiser of the year,” said party Chair Marty Gilmore. “Each ticket purchase supports the vital work we do year-round to elect Democrats! It’s also an opportunity to hear the latest on current issues from our guest speakers – and fun time to see friends.”

Recent successes by Ferguson’s office include the largest-ever trial award in a state consumer protection case, debt relief from predatory lending for hundreds of students, and defense of the constitution by defeating the Trump administration’s attempt to add a discriminatory citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

Franz’s office has led state efforts to make Washington’s lands resilient in the face of climate change, investing in carbon sequestration and clean energy with wind, solar and geothermal infrastructure. Her office has also allocated millions of dollars to struggling rural communities to spark economic opportunities.

Fish Feast attendees will also hear from U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, state Sen. Kevin Van de Wege, state Reps. Mike Chapman and Steve Tharinger, state party chair Tina Podlodowski, and local Democratic elected officials.

Before the feast is served, guests can mingle with candidates, campaigns, and organizations in Campaign Alley outside the Oscar Erickson Building.

Rep. Kilmer has sponsored tickets for 20 Young Democrats (under 35 years old). Contact Libby Wennstrom (360-301-9728) or Chelsea Pronovost (425-256-0626) to pre-register as a guest.

“We’re also offering 20 discounted tickets at our cost,” said Fish Feast organizer Claire Roney. “$25 each – first come, first serve.” For more information—or to volunteer for the Fish Feast, contact Roney at (360) 531-1177.

The Fish Feat menu will include sockeye salmon from Key City Fish, BBQed by chef Larry Dennison; shellfish from Taylor Shellfish; greens and veggies from local farms; rolls from Pane d’Amore; and cake. Beverages will include wine from the Wine Seller and beer from Port Townsend Brewing Co.

For more information about the Jefferson County Democrats, visit its website at jeffcodemocrats.com or its Facebook page, @jeffcodemocrats.

Monthly Rain Report from Center Valley

Al Latham always has a good take on the weather. He’s our local weatherman down in Center Valley.
Greetings Earthlings – here’s the  July rainfall report from www.cocorahs.org station WA-JF-1, located 5.1 miles south of beautiful downtown Chimacum.
Rainfall/precipitation/whatever for July was 1.42″ with 0.09″ the average here.  Though the rain came in small amounts it was comforting to get some moisture this time of year.
Not good for those trying to make hay – some unexpected rain with hay down created some losses for the hay makers.  Unusual for July.
The water year (Oct1 – Sept30) so far has accumulated 25.9″ with the average being 32.5″ so we’re still well below the average and with little chance of making up the difference before end of Sept.
   You may wonder what is meant by “average” rainfall.  It takes 30 years of records to come up with an average.   “The reason behind choosing the 30 years is to represent the climatic condition of that place. Here, to note, climate is the average condition of weather over a considerable length of time, that doesn’t have much variation. In climatic studies we generally take this length of time as 30 years (or sometime 35 years).”   Here at Station WA-JF-1 we have records dating back to 1981 so we have enough data to determine an average for this location.
   NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s guesstimate for what we have in store for us weather wise for Aug – Oct is warmer than “normal” with an equal chance of wetter, drier or average rainfall.  Not sure what how they define “normal” when it comes to weather…..
    That’s it for this report.    Al

Tarboo Forest protection gains ground and stores carbon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -May 31, 2019

Contact: Peter Bahls, Executive Director -Northwest Watershed Institute

Office: 360-385-6786 Cell: 360-821-9566

peter@nwwatershed.org

 

Tarboo Forest protection gains ground and stores carbon

 

With climate change raising increasing alarm worldwide, Northwest Watershed Institute is offering people a local, on-the ground way to offset their carbon emissions and protect valuable wildlife habitat at the same time. The non-profit conservation and restoration organization has started a fundraising campaign to conserve a 21-acre forest in the Tarboo Creek watershed as an addition to the Tarboo Wildlife Preserve near Quilcene.

 

According to Peter Bahls, the Institute’s executive director, the forest is a beautiful example of native older forest with excellent wildlife habitat that is also storing tons of carbon in the trees and soil.  “Every acre of this mature forest is storing the rough equivalent of 7 years of carbon emissions by an average American. In general, forests of the Pacific Northwest can store more carbon per acre than most other types of forests in the world and can play a key role in fighting climate change”.

 

NWI purchased the forest parcel in November of 2018 with loans to prevent it from being clear-cut and developed. “We were able  to buy the property thanks to loans from conservation investors”, said Bahls. “Generous individuals stepped forward in the nick of time with low interest loans for the $225,000 purchase. These people wanted to invest in a healthier planet.”

NWI is now seeking the last portion of funding needed to to pay back the loans and allow for permanent protection of the property as part of the organization’s 400 acre Tarboo Wildllife Preserve in the Tarboo Creek valley. “With grant funding in the works from several sources, we still need to raise $40,000 in donations” said Bahls. “The purchase has bought us some time, but if we can’t raise the remaining funding by August, we will be forced to put the property back on the market to pay off the loans”.

 

According to Bahls, a $2,000 donation will protect about one acre of forest. “At whatever level people can contribute, we know that along with making every effort to reducing our carbon pollution as individuals and as a community, conserving this forest will store carbon and offset emissions as we attempt to wean ourselves from fossil fuels”.

tarboo-big-trees.jpg

Once the funding is secured, Northwest Watershed Institute plans to permanently conserve the parcel under a conservation easement with the Jefferson Land Trust to protect wildlife habitat, store carbon, and sustain selective harvest of forest products. “The easement will protect the timber volume that is on the property now and will allow selective harvest of some of the additional growth that will occurs in the decades ahead” said Bahls.

 

The forest acquisition is part of a nearly 20 year effort by Northwest Watershed Institute and partnering organizations and landowners to preserve and restore the Tarboo-Dabob Bay watershed, from the headwaters of Tarboo Creek to Dabob Bay. To date, more than 600 acres along Tarboo Creek, and over 4,000 acres within the Dabob Bay Natural Area land have been protected.

 

Northwest Watershed Institute is hosting short walking tours of the property for potential donors in June and July from 10 am to noon, including June 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28, and July 9. Those interested in joining a field tour or donating to the project are invited to contact Bahls at Northwest Watershed Institute at www.nwwatershed.org

 

 

Limited Shellfish Opening at Fort Flagler, Kilisut Harbor and Mystery Bay

Port Townsend  Marine biotoxins that cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) have declined enough to allow recreational shellfish harvesting for oysters, manila clams and mussels at Fort Flagler, Kilisut Harbor and Mystery Bay. The area is still posted closed for harvesting of butter and varnish clams due to the fact that they remain toxic for longer than other shellfish species. In August, PSP concentrations quickly rose to over 1,700 micrograms per 100 grams of shellfish, and remained high into Fall. PSP levels above 80 micrograms are considered unsafe, and levels in the thousands can be lethal to humans. Crab meat is not known to contain the biotoxin but the guts can contain unsafe levels. To be safe, clean crab thoroughly and discard the guts (butter).

To make sure you are harvesting the correct shellfish species, consult the species identifier chart at: www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/332-087.pdf. In most cases the algae that contain the toxins cannot be seen, and must be detected using laboratory testing. Therefore, recreational shellfish harvesters should check the Shellfish Safety map at www.doh.wa.gov/ShellfishSafety.htm or call the Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632 before harvesting shellfish anywhere in Washington State. Recreational harvesters should also check Fish and Wildlife regulations and seasons at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish or the Shellfish Rule Change Hotline 1-866-880-5431.

 

Acceleration of mountain glacier melt could impact Pacific NW water supplies – AGU 100 Earth and Space Science

This study should be a wake up call for our local politicians. We need to be contemplating how we are going to get water for this city when the mountains are unable to sustain us. It’s not too soon to have a plan and begin looking for funding sources as they become available.

The model showed that summer melt from some lower elevation glaciers is already declining, and summer melt from some higher elevation glaciers is expected to begin declining by 2050, according to the study.

https://blogs.agu.org/geospace/2018/08/16/acceleration-of-mountain-glacier-melt-could-impact-pacific-northwest-water-supplies/

Can Olympia oysters make a comeback in Quilcene Bay? – PT Leader

Good work being done by the Jefferson Marine Resources Committee, now expanding their efforts to restore the Olympia Oyster from Dungeness Bay to Quilcene.

Many hands sought to make relatively light work out of an ambitious undertaking May 16 in Quilcene, as roughly a dozen volunteers assembled at the end of Linger Longer Road to take stock of the area’s remaining Olympia oyster population. Before over-harvesting and pulp mill pollution forced Pacific Northwest oyster farmers to turn to the Pacific oysters of Japan as a substitute, Olympia oysters were the dominant native species, and various environmental and oyster farming-affiliated groups are keen to see the molluscs make a comeback. Brian Allen, a marine ecologist with the Puget Sound Restoration Fund (PSRF), instructed the volunteers who arrived at the Quilcene Boat Ramp to record not only where they found any Olympia oysters as the tide went out, but also where the oysters tend to aggregate. Kirk Boxleitner reports. (Port Townsend Leader)

Can Olympia oysters make a comeback in Quilcene Bay?

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