Hunters And Anglers Cross Political Lines To Fight For Public Lands – OPB/Earthfix

It takes a lot to get conservative hunting groups to oppose Republican efforts but it appears that the notion of losing public lands to oil and gas exploration along with allowing crazies like those that took over Malheur last year, is gaining traction.

Hunters, fishermen and environmental activists: it’s not often these groups are mentioned in the same breath. But recently they’re finding themselves standing shoulder to shoulder over the issue of public lands.  Despite having an avid hunter in Ryan Zinke leading up the Interior Department, which oversees the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service, there’s a sense that calls to sell off or transfer public lands are gaining traction.  Sportsmen and women consider hunting and fishing in these wild places to be their right – one that earlier generations led by President Theodore Roosevelt fought to secure more than a century ago.  Jes Burns reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

http://www.opb.org/news/article/hunters-and-anglers-cross-political-lines-to-fight-for-public-lands/

State Board of Health & State Department of Health asks Navy for Health Impact Assessment on Jet Noise – COER

March 10, 2017

Contact: Maryon Attwood

360-678-1414

As a result of Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve’s (COER’s) complaint actions, noise as a public health issue, has moved up on state priorities for protecting and preventing auditory and non-auditory health impacts on children in schools throughout Washington.
After a unanimous vote by the State Board of Health in late 2016, the Board moved to conduct an investigation of a complaint from Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve’s (COER’s) under RCW 70.05.120 to determine the vague directives of that provision.

The investigation against Dr. Brad Thomas, Island County Health Officer, and Keith Higman, Director and Administrator of Island County Public Health under this provision was to determine the authority of the Health Officers to act on their own discretion on noise as a health emergency. This was not an exoneration of people, as stated by the Whidbey News Times but a dismissal of a complaint. State Board of Health members felt that public health guidelines were clearer in regards to communicable diseases and dismissed the complaint against Environmental Health officers Thomas and Higman.
“As citizens, our options to highlight military aircraft noise as a public health issue have been extremely limited and challenged by local health officials and Board of Health members who, in our opinion have had enough information to take preventative or educational actions. Instead, they have done nothing and turned a deaf ear to the scores of citizens who spoke at public meetings. A state process offered by the State Board of Health provided a valuable venue to challenge the lines of public health responsibility,” commented COER Board member, Paula Spina.
The State Board’s positive action to ask for a Health Impact Assessment from the Navy is recognition that there is a problem. Asking for an assessment to understand the health implications of military jet noise exposure related to Navy Air Station Whidbey Island operations validates citizen complaints.
The Board’s action repeats a similar request by the Washington State Department of Health for a Health Impact Assessment requested in comments to the Navy’s DEIS Growler expansion at NASWI. There is a new awareness on the part of State Board of Health members revealed during discussions that showed understanding that military jet training noise has negative impact on adults and children.

There is new general agreement of state health personnel to know more and determine responsibility for prevention, education, and mitigation of auditory and non-auditory noise impacts. The Washington State Department of Health has also completed a research review and has concluded that noise is a public health issue.
The Washington State Department of Health also agreed as a result of the March 8th meeting that they will step forward with assistance to the county to help conduct a Health Impact Assessment should the Navy refuse, as funds are available.
A final motion by the Board to make recommendations to the Island County Board of Health to better understand the health implications of military jet noise exposure related to Navy Air Station Whidbey Island operations will be taken up at a future meeting. This included a recommendation to Island County to ask the Navy for a Health Impact Assessment on jet noise.
In spite of this new progress at the state level, citizens of Island County – where noise is a major issue – are left with an Island County Board of Health Resolution that restricts public comments about noise and health at public meetings. Citizens who bring up this issue currently are being asked to stop speaking or be removed from meetings.
COER activists have led the way in challenging harmful status quo impacts of military aircraft noise, locally, and at the state levels of government. “The out of step Resolution engineered by Jill Johnson at the Island County Board of Health must now be repealed as a result of the State’s acknowledgment that noise is a public health issue”, stated Maryon Attwood, COER President.
“As citizens, our options to highlight military aircraft noise as a public health issue have been extremely limited and challenged by local health officials and Board of Health members who, in our opinion had enough information to take some small preventative or educational actions. Instead, they decided to do nothing and turned a deaf ear to the scores of citizens who spoke at public meetings. This state process offered by the State Board of health provided a valuable venue to challenge the lines of responsibility” added Paula Spina.
“If the military is to remain a welcome neighbor in our communities, they cannot continue to be exempted from public health regulations and they cannot be allowed to continue to harm American citizens, especially the most vulnerable. The Navy owns millions of acres of remote and restricted land where they have already conducted, and can continue to conduct, this flight training without harming civilians. They have alternatives; our citizens, towns and cities do not. Education, current science, and prevention are real tools available to us all”, concluded Attwood, COER President.
For more information about COER, go to: citizensofebeysreserve.com

Copyright © 2017 Citizens of the Ebey’s Reserve, All rights reserved.

 

Trump budget slashes agencies to focus on wall, defense – AP/Seattle Times

It’s no longer theoretical about what the Republicans might do to the environment. It’s here now and it’s real. They are going to take the money from environmental restoration and pour it into bombs and more border patrols. Is that really in our best interest as a country? What really matters to you as a citizen and what are we defending? We need all hands on deck to register disgust and anger at this proposed budget. Eastern Washington Republicans, Republicans from all over the Puget Sound region, including Mason county and other locales, and Representative Dave Reichert, the “brave” ex-sheriff that is afraid of holding public town halls because he doesn’t want to face the public that he is personally impacting with his support of these changes, all need to hear from you now. A year from now will be too late. Your neighbors, your environment, restoration of salmon stocks, the protection of the Orca, and by the way,  your health care if  you are not employed by a major corporation or the military, is all on the line. Our fellow citizens in the midwest have allowed us to be taken over by a far right wing zealot and a congress that will stop at nothing to strip us of our hard earned gains in environmental protection, health care, and much more. Time to speak up, or forever hold your peace.

President Donald Trump unveiled a $1.15 trillion budget on Thursday, a far-reaching overhaul of federal government spending that slashes many domestic programs to finance a significant increase in the military and make a down payment on a U.S.-Mexico border wall. Trump’s proposal seeks to upend Washington with cuts to long-promised campaign targets like foreign aid and the Environmental Protection Agency as well as strong congressional favorites such as medical research, help for homeless veterans and community development grants. Andrew Taylor reports. (Associated Press)

http://www.seattletimes.com/business/trump-budget-defense-spending-a-priority-over-agency-money/

EVENT: Oily Boids Get the Training in PA! April 8 and 15

Oiled Wildlife Flyer 2017Clallam Marine Resources Committee is offering two free oiled wildlife training April 8th and April 15th.

Clallam MRC is offering two free oiled wildlife training April 8 and April 15, 2017

The class April 8 will cover:

  • Health & safety.  Facility requirements
  • Bird anatomy & family characteristics, live & dead specimen practice sessions
  • Effects of oil & secondary complications
  • Hands-on bird anatomy and basic examination
  • Bird handling, intubation / hydration

Maximum 25 participants

The class April 15 will cover:

  •  Health & safety.  Facility requirements
  •  Bird anatomy & family characteristics, live & dead specimen practice sessions
  •  Effects of oil & secondary complications
  •  Search & collection planning
  •  Search & collection procedures (netting, stalking, teamwork, gear)
  •  Initial “beak-to-tail” examination & treatment
  •  Bird handling, intubation / hydration

Maximum 30 participants

Registration:

To register online go to http://www.clallamcountymrc.org/  You can choose one or the other or come to both classes.

For both classes bring:

  • Lunch – snacks will be provided
  • Comfortable, casual, warm layered clothes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty
  • For April 15 – rain gear, sturdy boots (waterproof if possible), sunglasses, hat, and binoculars

 

Reflections on Trump’s budget

So now it’s clear that President Trump and his minions do not care about Puget Sound. His proposed budget essentially eliminates funding for cleanup of Puget Sound to further military spending in this country, probably for more jets for Whidbey Islands’ Naval Base, along with more Navy ships passing by. And he’s going to defund much of the Coast Guard, who protect our shipping lanes.

It’s very likely we will see a dramatic drop in Federal money that support the thousands of jobs we have that here that are focused on cleaning up Puget Sound. While there will be enormous pain to these people and their families as they scramble to find work, let’s focus on the bigger picture for a moment.

The effort to clean up and restore Puget Sound is not going to end with Donald Trump’s budget. We are not going away because money dries up. The Tribes that drive this work, the local governments, the non-profits and their backers, live here. The work will continue through this horrible moment in American history, while we struggle to throw off a megalomaniac with fascist tendencies. We are likely to see a lot of short term pain, but in the end, Trump will have his day and recede into history.  And we will still be here. The work will be refunded by future officials who will be elected in the aftermath of Trump. We will rewrite rules, probably even better than before, because we will have to start from scratch.

The Marine Resources Committees that advise our county commissioners, like the one I sit on in Jefferson County, will continue even without federal funding. We aren’t paid and we can meet anywhere we want to. We can fund raise ourselves to do our work if needed. We will get by.

So fight against this now with all you have, but understand that one president cannot roll back the future. He will be stopped legally through the people of this country who have a tendency for preferring the middle road, rather than extremes of either side. The damage that he will do will wake them from their Fox News induced trances, and they will not vote for his ilk in the midterms nor in the next election. While this is often frustrating, it does seem to have moved us forward more than back. We are at a very important crossroads in the history of this country and now is the time to stand up and be counted. We need you to come out from behind your computers to slow this and make sure we are prepared for a better future when this storm front passes over and blue skies show up in it’s wake.

 

Net Pen spills diesel fuel and pollutes much of Broughton Archipelago in B.C.

When are we going to realize that the net pen industry is a complete fraud. We should end the ability for these people to make money off of putting factory farms of fish in the same passageways that the wild fish that we are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to save and recover are swimming in. These factory farms have never been properly researched for the long term effects of dumping fish waste and antibiotics into the waterways of our Sound. The ‘research’ that NOAA produced was essentially guided by the industry and the findings were so limited in scope to be laughable. Now they have destroyed an entire ecosystem with their “management practices.” Read it and weep. And demand action to stop this from happening here. Let me be clear, if it does happen here, it will happen at the south end of Bainbridge Island sweeping the oil spill into either Bremerton or out into the area west of Alki Point. Also, there is a new fish farm being put in west of Port Angeles. If a spill happens there, it will affect the entire new mouth of the Elwha River, along with Port Angeles harbor.

Diesel spill at the Burdwood fish farm today has contaminated most of the Broughton Archipelago including many traditional clam beaches, during the ecologically critical herring spawn. Smell of diesel was strong throughout the area, even in the helicopter at 4000 ft altitude. It seems obvious there is much more fuel spilled than the 1500 liters they are reporting (3000 originally). Footage & pictures coordinated by the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw. For press inquires please contact Bob Chamberlin, Elected Chief, Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis, at 778 988 9282 bob@ubcic.bc.ca

Whidbey Island drinking-water wells polluted with firefighting chemicals near Navy airstrips – Seattle Times

Yes, we’ve been aware that this was likely for some time and the Navy kept downplaying it. They really should call for a halt to Navy activity at the base until this is fixed.

A potentially hazardous chemical, found in firefighting foam, has been discovered in a few wells on Whidbey Island. While the Navy distributes bottled water and plans for expanded testing, homeowners worry about longlasting harm.

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/whidbey-island-wells-polluted-with-firefighting-chemicals-near-navy-airstrips/

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