Event: Oct 6 -Hoh River Trust – Preserving a last great American river and it’s corridor.

The JLT Natural History Society Presents: The Hoh River Trust—Preserving a last great American river and its corridor

img_20150204_134704104_hdrOn Thursday, October 6, the JLT Natural History Society will sponsor a presentation on the remarkable history and stewardship efforts of the Hoh River Trust. Executive Director Mike Hagen will explain how the trust was formed to obtain and manage lands along the Hoh between the Olympic National Park and the Pacific Ocean.

Of the roughly 250,000 rivers across the continental US, the Hoh is arguably one of the most unspoiled. It flows virtually intact for 56 miles from its source high in the Olympic Mountain range down to the Olympic

National Marine Sanctuary. The river corridor contains what many consider the world’s richest old-growth and temperate rainforests. These ecosystems provide critical habitat for endangered and threatened species including marbled murrelet, spotted owl, and bull trout, along with diverse other wildlife, such as elk, black bear, cougar. The river itself supports some of the healthiest native salmon and steelhead runs in the “Lower 48.”

Within the lower reaches of the river, 30 miles beyond the Olympic National Park boundary, some 10,000 acres encompassing a mile on either side of the river are designated “at risk.” Over the last century, much of this area was managed for commercial timber harvest, and it is now in various stages of regeneration.

Restoring the vitality and resilience of these lands for the benefit of fish, wildlife, and humans is the mission of the trust. In its short, twelve-year history, the trust has already acquired nearly 7,000 acres.

Join us for this exciting program at 7 pm in the Sanctuary Hall of the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, at 2333 San Juan Avenue, Port Townsend. This event is free and open to the public, with a suggested donation of five dollars.

Contact: Noreen Parks Noreen.parks@gmail.com

https://jltnatural.org/

Jets, helicopters, rockets: Military plans more uses of Northwest public lands – Seattle PI

A good overview by the Seattle Times. Better late than never.

The military wants to expand its training footprint in Washington state — including public lands and waters. That is generating complaints from residents who worry about noise and other impacts.

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/jets-helicopters-rockets-military-plans-more-uses-of-northwest-public-lands/

Clallam officials hear arrearage report: Murrelet, staffing, riparian zones faulted

A recipe for disaster. First a recession hits and decimates the DNR staff. Now they have staff, but their turnover is so high that few have more than 3 years of experience. The DNR rep talks about ‘hemorrhaging staff’ during a period where we hear about needing good jobs in the rural areas.  DNR sets targets before they even knew what their own scientists would allow under the Endangered species act (ESA), then blame the protections for not meeting the targets (DNR Chief Peter Goldmark is up for re-election. Is there another Democrat willing to run against him? ) DNR blames the Marbled Murrelet but I see no data that actually shows how much timber is off the table because of the ESA. Then the local Republican officials blame the starved agencies for not doing their job, and want the land management handed back to a county that cannot afford to manage it themselves. So the land will eventually be sold off to private corporations that feed the politicians in the local back rooms.

There is no questioning apparently of the statements by the DNR spokesperson on his assessment, blaming the Murrelet plan. For example, could it possibly be that there is a glut of wood on the market, and the price is low, so that the value of harvesting, especially if having to go through a complex plan is not worth it? Is it the plan’s fault, or the market’s? Over and over again, I see environmental concerns blamed for economic downturns, or gluts. Just look at the Spotted Owl controversy. The loggers have never criticized the fact that during the late 70s and early 80s the shift to shipping raw logs happened, supported by Congress and the Presidents, both Democrat and Republican. But the narrative from the industry is that it was all the fault of the spotted owl.

Thanks to former Commissioner Mike Doherty for holding the committee’s feet to the fire over their makeup. Apparently he is concerned with known conflict of interest in the committee.

Mr. Rygaard of Rygaard Logging mentioned wanting to ‘skip the environmental concerns and focus on jobs.’ What do you think got you into this mess in the first place?

The marbled murrelet, riparian zones and staffing levels are the main reasons why the state Department of Natural Resources failed to sell 92 million board feet of timber that was supposed to be sold in Clallam County from 2005 to 2014, a top DNR official told the Clallam County Trust Lands Advisory Committee on Friday. The 20-member panel is gathering information to determine whether Clallam County should reclaim management of 92,525 acres of DNR-managed forest lands in the county. Kyle Blum, DNR deputy supervisor for state uplands, explained the nuances of arrearage from the agency’s point of view in a four-hour, 40-minute meeting at the county courthouse. Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20160327/NEWS/303279979/clallam-officials-hear-arrearage-report-murrelet-staffing-riparian

Elwha Roaring Back to Life – Seattle Times

Great aerial photography of the new Elwha river and a wonderful story with illustrations. While the jury is still out on the long term viability of the returning salmon runs, it does appear, at this early point, that the project is a success. But we won’t know for sure for probably at least 30 years. In the meantime, enjoy the view, and give thanks to the Lower Elwha Tribe, and the individuals and politicians of both parties here on the Peninsula that supported this effort, funded it, and are helping to restore it. The whole world is really watching this one.

 

ELWHA RIVER — The Elwha watershed is booming with new life, after the world’s largest dam removal.

The first concrete went flying in September 2011, and Elwha Dam was out the following March. Glines Canyon Dam upriver tumbled for good in September 2014. Today the river roars through the tight rock canyon once plugged by Elwha Dam, and surges past the bald, rocky hill where the powerhouse stood. The hum of the generators is replaced by the river singing in full voice, shrugging off a century of confinement like it never happened. Nature’s resurgence is visible everywhere.

http://projects.seattletimes.com/2016/elwha/

Pros cons argued on Pleasant Harbor resort -PDN

The proposed Pleasant Harbor Resort would either be an economic boom for Brinnon or destroy its bucolic way of life, according to speakers at a Jefferson County Planning Commission meeting…. More than 150 people were crammed into Brinnon School’s auditorium for the meeting on an application from Statesman Groupe of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, for a zoning change for 252 acres from rural residential to master planned resort. Planners heard public comment on the project and the final supplemental environmental impact statement, which was released Dec. 9. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

CANCELED -Event: JLT Natural History Society presents: Bees and Biodiversity

Jerry FreilichWith high wind warnings for this evening, we have consulted with our
“Bees & Biodiversity” speaker, Jerry Freilich, and decided it’s best
to postpone our event.

We’re now planning for this event to take place at 7:00 pm on Thursday
January 7, in the same location, QUUF. We appreciate your
understanding, and hope to see you then!
On Thursday, December 3, the JLT Natural History Society will sponsor a presentation on Bees and Biodiversity by Jerry Freilich, former director of the North Coast and Cascades Science Learning Network. An entomologist by training, Freilich coordinated scientific research in Olympic National Park. He has researched insect biodiversity since 1996, and recently carried out a project to find and identify as many bee species as possible in Olympic National Park.

Most people can name perhaps three or four kinds of bees. They are surprised to learn that close to 4,000 species of native bees inhabit North America, (this doesn’t including honey bees, which were introduced by European settlers). Freilich will explain why bees are so difficult to study. Most are tiny, fast-flying, and inconspicuous. They go about their jobs, don’t interact with people, and generally fly below human ‘radar’.

Across North America, native bees can be found any place where flowers bloom. They have been pollinating the continent’s flowering plants since long before the arrival of honey bees. Even in today’s vastly altered landscapes, these champion pollinators continue to service the majority of native plants, as well as important human-cultivated varieties such as tomatoes, eggplants, pumpkins, cherries, blueberries, and cranberries.

The program begins at 7 pm in the QUUF’s sanctuary hall on San Juan Avenue, Port Townsend. This event is free and open to the public, with a suggested donation of five dollars.

http://jltnatural.org/2015/11/02/bees-and-biodiversity/

 

CONTACT: Noreen Parks, 379-4007

Facing Rising Waters, A Native Tribe Takes Its Plea To Paris Climate Talks – NPR

Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula has been in the news lately, as an unfortunate “poster child” of ocean rise and climate change. The Quinault Nation has been the first community in the lower 48 that has been forced to move their homes due to what is clearly being attributed to ocean rise. (certainly there are very good reasons to say that Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina also represented climate change created superstorms, this is the first example I’ve seen of a 1:1 relationship).

While the Republican dominated Congress fiddles while their constituents burn, and supposed leaders like Ted Cruz are about to hold a Congressional hearing on climate change that will only include testimony from scientists who oppose the findings of the 97% of scientists that believe in climate change, we only have to look west to the coast, and our neighbors under siege from rising waters. It’s clear that Cruz is not representing his constituents, but the economic forces aligned against taking action. But back to the coast and a report from superb regional journalist Ashley Ahearn.

International leaders gathering in Paris to address global warming face increasing pressure to tackle the issue of “climate refugees.” Some island nations are already looking to move their people to higher ground, even purchasing land elsewhere in preparation. In the U.S. Northwest, sea-level rise is forcing a Native American tribe to consider abandoning lands it has inhabited for thousands of years. The Quinault Indian Nation, whose small village lies at the mouth of the Quinault River on the outer coast of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, now relies on a 2,000-foot-long sea wall to protect it from the encroaching Pacific Ocean. Ashley Ahearn report. (NPR)

http://www.npr.org/2015/12/01/455745765/facing-rising-waters-a-native-tribe-takes-its-plea-to-paris-climate-talks

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