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.

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.

Sol Duc River Photos by John Gussman

John,a friend and fellow filmmaker/photographer,  was out on the Sol Duc at Salmon Cascades this weekend. Great shots of the salmon jumping. No need to go to Alaska to watch this.

For those unfamiliar with the Sol Duc, it is part of the  largest watershed drainage 0in the North Olympic Peninsula.

Flash is needed to view this, so it likely won’t view on an iPad or iPhone.

Return of the kings! Chinook salmon observed in undammed portion of Elwha River – Park & PDN

As the old saying goes, “nature abhors a vacuum”. The Olympic National Park have announced (and reported and commented on by The Peninsula Daily News) that chinook (King) salmon have been spotted above the site of the lower of the two dams that have been removed. This is the first time in almost a century that they have been able to reach this location. In addition to the Kings, Steelhead have also been seen in above the first dam.

The power of restoration again shows that once a place has been restored, nature tries and fill it, if the species still are alive.

The news bulletin from the park

Additional information on the story at the PDN.

126K acres of Olympic Peninsula would be protected by new bill–Seattle Times

Key leaders of Washington’s congressional delegation have introduced legislation intended to protect Olympic Peninsula forests and rivers from logging, dams and other development. Three years in the negotiating, The Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic River Act of 2012 was introduced Thursday by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Bremerton. The bill is a far cry from the original and more controversial version proposed in 2010 by conservationists, but still takes big steps to permanently protect some of the Olympics’ most beloved landscapes. Lynda Mapes reports.

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Draft Proposal for Olympic Wilderness Additions

After a few years of negotiation and public discussion, the Preserve concept moves forward.

OLYMPIC WILDERNESS: Dicks, Murray Announce Community Workshops, Path Forward on Olympic Watersheds Protection Proposal

Washington, D.C—U.S. Representative Norm Dicks and U.S. Senator Patty Murray today released a draft proposal for Wilderness additions on the Olympic Peninsula in order to continue receiving input from the public and local communities on this critical issue. They also announced that they will be asking their local offices to hold a series of four public workshops next month to allow citizens and communities to provide additional feedback on the proposal.

“I am pleased to work with Senator Murray in developing a consensus plan to provide additional wilderness protection on the Olympic Peninsula,” said Rep. Dicks. “Future generations will benefit from the increased protection of the watersheds and forests that make the Peninsula such a magnificent place. We will be continuing to gather public input as the process moves forward, taking into consideration economic development on the Peninsula as well as the protection of Tribal treaty rights.”

“Washington residents take great pride in protecting our state’s tremendous natural beauty,” said Sen. Murray. “I will continue to work with the community as we work to preserve our state’s special places while promoting our long-term economic growth and prosperity. I thank Representative Dicks for his leadership in this process, and I look forward to hearing from constituents in the coming months as we put together a proposal that works for our families, communities and state.”

A wilderness and National Park expansion proposal was brought to the Congressional offices two years ago by several Peninsula based conservation groups. Rep. Dicks and Sen. Murray’s staff did extensive outreach on this proposal and have a revised proposal that they would like to seek additional input on from the public.

The Olympic Wilderness proposal would provide additional protection for some of the most critical landscapes on the Olympic Peninsula. It would designate new wilderness areas on existing U.S. Forest Service land, add pristine rivers to the Wild and Scenic River System, and provide an opportunity for targeted Olympic National Park preserve additions through a willing-buyer, willing-seller process. The plan was developed with input from constituents and stakeholders in order to preserve these sensitive areas while maintaining working forests on the Peninsula.

The Olympic Wilderness proposal was crafted after more than a year was spent gathering input from local stakeholders and submitted to the offices of Representative Dicks and Senator Murray and would:

· Designate roughly 130,000 acres of new wilderness on Forest Service Land.

· Add 23 rivers within public land ownership to the Wild and Scenic River System.

· Provide the opportunity for Olympic National Park (ONP) to purchase up to 20,000 acres through a willing buyer, willing seller process for addition as a preserve to the Park. Currently, ONP cannot purchase land within their General Management Plan without Congressional Action.

· Protect hunting, fishing and recreational access.

Public Workshop Schedule

-Thursday, December 1, 2011. 5:00pm-7:00pm at the Chapel Building at Fort Worden State Park Conference Center. 200 Battery Way, Port Townsend, WA 98368

-Friday, December 2, 2011. 5:00pm-7:00pm at the Shelton Civic Center. 525 W Cota Street, Shelton, WA

-Saturday, December 3, 2011. 3:00pm-5:00pm at the Museum at the Carnegie. 207 S. Lincoln St., Port Angeles, WA

-Sunday, December 4, 2011. 3:00pm-5:00pm at the Central Elementary School Library. 310 Simpson Ave. Hoquiam, WA

Goat that killed Bob Boardman shot dead…

This whole sad story should raise the question of whether or not this non native species of goat, introduced by ‘well meaning’ naturalists in the 20s, should be taken out of the ecosystem up there. There is good reason to believe that our epidemic rates of giardia (the protozoa that infects our intestines) in all our upper mountain streams and lakes have been put there by these goats (along with other animals and humans, to be sure). are caused by these animals watering in the streams.  As most old timers know, prior to the 20s and 30s, you could safely drink out of most streams in the Olympics. Now, almost all streams are infected, and the goats are doing damage to other upland parts of the park.  I have had giardia once (from drinking from a natural spring in Colorado in the 70s). It is not a fun problem to have. And the drugs that are used to kill it are very hard on your liver.

We insist on putting animals, even deer, in our landscape and then when they attack we seem amazed. I for one wouldn’t mind culling this heard agressively, at least making the survivors not want to get near humans. We put them there, we should have the option of taking them out of the environment when they become known pests.

10/19 Associated Press
Killer goat had been aggressive before
The Associated Press

A mountain goat that fatally gored a hiker, then stood over the man and stared at people trying to help, had shown aggressive behavior in the past, Olympic National Park officials said Monday.

Robert Boardman, 63, of Port Angeles, died Saturday after he was attacked by the goat while hiking on the subalpine Switchback Trail in the park. The trail is popular with residents of nearby Port Angeles, which is about 195 miles northwest of Seattle.

Park rangers later found the goat, saw blood on it and shot the animal.

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