Retiree ‘matriarch’ of North Olympic Peninsula environmental community

Editor note: If you are a recent resident to the Olympic Peninsula, you should read this whole article to better understand the history of the last 25 years on this place. The hard fought battles for Protection Island by Eleanor Stopps, and the ones discussed in this article about Dr. Eloise Kailin are history that is rarely available on the Internet. Enjoy.

*11/28/10 Peninsula Daily News

Retiree ‘matriarch’ of North Olympic Peninsula environmental community

By Jeff Chew
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — Dr. Eloise Kailin helped fight against a nuclear power plant on the Miller Peninsula east of Sequim — and won.

That was in 1973 and led to the formation of the nonprofit Protect the Peninsula’s Future, the North Olympic Peninsula’s longest-standing environmental group.

Today, the group tackles issues affecting health, wildlife habitat and quality of life in the region, while Kailin remains active in environmental battles while sharing a 4-acre farm off River Road with her son, Harvey, where the two have built a commercial kitchen to produce apple butter.

Bob Lynette, a retired conservation lobbyist and renewable energy consultant who has worked with Kailin on the PPF board for 12 years, sees the 91-year-old retired physician as the original driving force behind Peninsula environmental activism.

Read the whole story at:

Being Frank: Harvest Held to a Higher Standard – From the NW Indian Fisheries Commission

Interesting editorial…worth clicking through to read more on the Tribe’s perspective….

Posted: 02 Nov 2010 11:18 AM PDT

It wasn’t long ago that all salmon returning to western Washington were lumped together and managed as a whole. Only after the treaty tribes became co-managers in the 1970s did salmon management begin on a river-by-river basis using hard, accurate data.

Every single year since then we’ve been refining our fisheries management approach. Our goal is to return all salmon stocks to sustainable harvest levels because we believe that is the true measuring stick for salmon recovery.

I wonder what it would be like if habitat protection were managed to the same standard?

The state co-managers joined some tribes, such as Muckleshoot, Nisqually and Puyallup, in closing coho fisheries this fall because returns were too low to support harvest.

No one suggested that we also tear out the river’s dikes or fix the other habitat problems that are the root cause of the low runs. We stop fishing, but habitat loss and damage goes on every hour of every day.

Why are fishermen always the first – and often only – people asked to sacrifice for the resource? Why must fishermen feel the pain for everyone else?

Ten years after salmon stocks in western Washington were first listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, we still have no good way to assess how much habitat we have, how much we’re losing and how much we need. We must work harder to fill the gaping holes in what we know about habitat productivity.

We have developed a tool to track the limiting factors to salmon recovery, identify how they can be addressed and determine actions needed to move forward with habitat restoration and protection. This kind of work, at the watershed level, has been promised for years by governments, agencies and others involved in salmon recovery, but it is the treaty tribes who are taking on the job. We’re finishing analyses of the Skokomish and Snohomish watersheds right now, and will complete analyses for every watershed in western Washington over the next year.

For 30 years we have been refining salmon fisheries management to achieve salmon recovery, but it isn’t working. What we need to do is to change how we manage the landscape that these fish depend on.

The only way we’re going to turn the corner and really restore salmon is to put the same focus on habitat protection and restoration that has been placed on harvest management. Salmon recovery begins and ends with good habitat. Without a good home to return to, no amount of fisheries restrictions will restore this precious resource.

Billy Frank Jr. is the chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.

See the NW Indian Fisheries Commission


Off Topic – Pete Seeger’s Sunday Morning

The NY Times had a nice short piece on their “Sunday Routine” last week of the grand old man of music and the environment, Pete Seeger. Enjoy this 5 minute read.

RISE AND SHINE Almost any day, I tend to wake up around 7:30, 8 at the latest, and reluctantly think of all the things I’m supposed to do instead of lounging in bed, which theoretically I should be allowed to do. It’s almost a bad joke in my family that Sundays tend to be the busiest day of the week. There’s letters to answer and logs to split.

Read the rest at:

Keep journalism alive…subscribe to your local newspaper…

Life on the Edge: Micah McCarty and the People of the Cape – KPLU

8/25 KPLU-FM
Life on the Edge: Micah McCarty and the People of the Cape
Liam Moriarty

At the western edge of the Salish Sea sits Cape Flattery, where the Strait of Juan de Fuca meets the Pacific Ocean. Nearby is Neah Bay, the traditional home of the Makah Indian tribe, who call themselves the People of the Cape. This week in our series “Reflections on the Water,” KPLU environment reporter Liam Moriarty goes to Neah Bay to speak with tribal council member Mikah McCarty.

More at

Ruckelshaus steps down from Puget Sound Partnership Leadership Council

I think this will be a fine transition. Martha Kongsgaard is an excellent choice to take Bill’s role. While I am sorry to see him step down, I am happy to hear about Martha.


July 30, 2010

Bill Ruckelshaus today announced he was stepping down as chair of the Puget Sound Partnership Leadership Council. Governor Chris Gregoire today appointed Martha Kongsgaard to succeed Bill Ruckelshaus as chair. People For Puget Sound’s statement on this change of leadership is below as well as the Governor’s announcement:

“Puget Sound protection and recovery would not have come as far as it has today without the leadership and dedication of Bill Ruckelshaus and we thank him for his work,” said Kathy Fletcher, executive director of People For Puget Sound. “We look forward to working with Martha Kongsgaard as the new chair of the Leadership Council to move ahead aggressively to carry out their Action Agenda. The Sound’s health hangs in the balance. We need to fund the restoration of the Sound, need to toughen up regulations and enforcement, and need better oil spill prevention and response.”

From: Governor Christine Gregoire []
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2010 3:44 PM

Dear friend of the Puget Sound:

Earlier today at the Puget Sound Partnership Leadership Conference meeting, Bill Ruckelshaus announced he is stepping down as chair.  Of course this announcement brings mixed emotions.  I’m sad he’s leaving this position, but also thrilled for Bill as he finally starts enjoying retirement and pursues other opportunities – which you’ll be happy to know still involve protecting and restoring the Puget Sound.

I remember when Bill and I said we had to do something different to save the Puget Sound.  There were many challenges, and we knew it would take a new approach to restore and protect the crown jewel of Washington’s ecosystem.  His vision – a united, science-based effort that involved the entire sound – became the Puget Sound Partnership.  Bill was instrumental in that work, bringing together our tribal partners, our business and environmental communities, our local governments, and our state and federal agencies.  Most of all – he carried out his number one value – and that is bringing people together from the ground up who shared his passion and dedication.

His vision was at once bold and effective, bringing a new vigor to our work.  Today we’re making strides toward a cleaner, healthier Puget Sound – and that’s in large part due to Bill’s leadership.

While Bill is stepping down from his current role, he will continue to fight for the health of Puget Sound in a new one.  I’m pleased that Bill is joining the board of the Puget Sound Foundation to enlist the help of the private sector and encourage the citizens of Puget Sound to fully embrace our goal of a healthy and prosperous Sound.

I wish him and his wife, Jill, the very best, and thank them for their years of service – not just here, but to our country.

I’m pleased to announce that Martha Kongsgaard has agreed to become chair of the leadership council.  Martha has a nearly insatiable appetite for service, and has spent many years working on Puget Sound issues.  I’m confident she will serve as chair as she did as vice chair – with commitment and vision.

Thanks again to Bill – and please join me in welcoming Martha to this new role.

Sincerely, Chris

New Estuary and Salmon Recovery person at D.F.W.

Betsy Lyons has joined the Department of Fish and Wildlife as the Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program Manager. She will be the primary contact for administration of Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program competitions and awards:

Betsy Lyons, ESRP Program Manager
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Ms. Lyons was previously with The Nature Conservancy, and brings diversity of policy experience as well as a concrete understanding of on-the-ground project management. I am confident that she will enhance ERSP with her leadership and experience. Mr. Mike Ramsey will continue to support ESRP as the Recreation and Conservation Office project manager assigned to ESRP and nearshore funds.

Paul Cereghino will continue to co-locate with the WDFW nearshore team, and provide technical assistance from NOAA to the state, focusing on integrating PSNERP strategic planning into federal and state funding decisions and development of nearshore monitoring strategies and protocols. He will also resume duties as part of the NOAA Community-based Restoration Program team.

Paul R. Cereghino, Restoration Ecologist
NOAA Restoration Center
360-902-2603 (office) | 206-948-6360 (cell) |

Special Showing of “Poisoned Waters” Puget Sound version on PBS tonight

A special airing this Sunday, December 20th. at 9PM on KCTS.

A special version of the PBS show “Frontline: Puget Sound’s Poisoned Waters” program will air this Sunday, 12/20, at 6:30 pm on KCTS, channel
9 in Seattle. This re-edited version features new material specific to Puget Sound.

The airing will include a special 15 minute segment on the battle by native American tribes for salmon habitat restoration that was not
included in the national Frontline broadcast as well as a studio dialogue with Bill Ruckelshaus and Hedrick Smith with Enrique Cerna, the KCTS

Sequim film maker wins honorable mention for Totem Pole short video

Congratulations to Cathy Prefrement of Sequim, who has just won an honorable mention from Videomaker Magazine for her short film (4 minutes) Totem Poles. The film documents Dale Faulstich  who has created over 44 totem poles over the last 25 years, primarily for the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe.  Yes, those are Dale’s poles you see out front of the tribal center and casino. Dale is captured making “Salmon Bringer”, with the narrative of how the salmon were brought to the People. It’s a story worth hearing to remind us of the relationship of the salmon to all of us.

Cathy wins a nice professional software editing package from Videomaker. Take a few minutes to view her film at:

Another successful soft armoring of a beach

A thorny issue that drives the ‘anti SMP’ crowds these days, especially down in Kitsap County, has been the issue of those of us in the shoreline protection world being against “hard armoring” of the shores.  Here’s a positive bit of news on another success conversion to ‘soft’ armoring of the beach. It can be done folks. Contact People For Puget Sound or your county shoreline groups to find out how you could do it to your beach, if needed.

10/8 Skagit Valley Herald “Soft-armor” project should help restore shoreline by Marta Murvosh ANACORTES — To save a beach, the Samish Indian Nation raced against time to raise money to use 1,982 tons of sand, pea gravel and cobblestone-sized rocks to stabilize a section of the shoreline along Weaverling Spit on Fidalgo Bay. If the restoration project wasn’t funded by this fall, tribal scientists feared the beach would be devoured by winter storms, said Christine Woodward, Samish director of natural resources. Most of the work was completed Monday, and Woodward and her staff saw green and silver surf smelt in the bay nearby. The smelt spawn, which are the prey of salmon, haven’t been able to spawn on that area of the beach for a number of years, she said. Woodward also saw otters playing in gravel. More at

Shellfish ruling surprises farmers – AP

8/22  -PHUONG LE; The Associated Press  —A landmark deal struck between Puget Sound Indian tribes and commercial growers two years ago was meant to end years of rancor over shellfish harvesting rights.
But some growers were surprised to learn this summer that some of their tidelands might not qualify under the settlement, potentially opening them up to tribal harvest.
In 2007, 17 Puget Sound tribes agreed to give up treaty rights to harvest shellfish from commercial shellfish beds, as long as the beds had been actively farmed before Aug. 28, 1995. In return, the tribe got $33 million in state and federal money to buy and lease tidelands for their own use. Commercial growers submitted documents insisting 864 parcels should be exempt from the settlements, but in papers filed with a federal court in Seattle in June, the tribes objected to half of those.

More at

More Mystery Bay news..

The PDN continues it’s coverage of the Mystery Bay shellfish controversy. While I appreciate the tribes stance, and also tend to agree that there are probably too many boats and buoys in there, I haven’t read of any science to say that the boats are actually the problem. Likely the source of the problem will be shown to be something else, like failing septic systems, warming waters, changing water chemistry,etc. Most boaters don’t dump overboard, especially while tied up. Also, the type of folks tying up out there, which tend to be ‘old timers’ in the area, usually know better.

6/16 Peninsula Daily News -Inner Mystery Bay to stay open to commercial shellfishing, state official says-By Jeff Chew
Peninsula Daily News

NORDLAND — A state Department of Health official assured his audience that the inner waters of Mystery Bay would remain open to commercial shellfish harvests, but the outer bay would likely be closed later this summer.

“Our plan is to have no classification of the inner bay,” said Bob Woolrich, growing area program manager for the office of shellfish and water protection.

Woolrich made the remarks to about 100 people Monday night in a meeting that brought together state, county and tribal agencies.

The state has been considering reclassifying the Mystery Bay commercial shellfish growing area as prohibited or conditional, which could have led to closure of the inner bay.

There’s more to the story at

Mystery Bay shellfish population in crisis, says Tribes – PDN

Peninsula Daily News is reporting on a letter by the Tribes to DNR, and the County, on the pathetic condition of their shellfish beds in Mystery Bay. Seems as if the expansion of mooring buoys is the most likely culprit, though obviously it’s a simple target that seems to have no science behind the idea. Could it be other issues, like failing septic, or warming of the Sound? Read the story at the PDN…

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