Remembering Helen Engle

I met Helen Engle at Audubon Seattle in the late 70s early  80s as the work on protecting Protection Island proceeded. She was a major force in the NW Environmental movement. Between her,  Hazel Wolf, Kathy Fletcher and many other women leaders in this area, we have been extremely fortunate to have these women in our midst. The tributes have poured in to Mike Sato’s blog. Her son lives here in PT and was our school superintendent for a short few years until his retirement.

Local students to join global youth strike for climate -BBC

It appears that students in Seattle and other places around the state are going to take matters into their own hands, as so many of their parents appear to be ignoring the warning signs all around us. It’s past time to stop business as usual, and take this threat seriously, which our Governor and State legislature, among others are doing right this minute in Olympia.

Students in Seattle, Tacoma, Bellingham and Olympia plan to go on strike Friday to fight climate change, joining their peers in more than 100 countries. “It just seems like no one’s been taking this seriously when our futures are at stake,” Chelsea Li, a strike organizer and senior at Seattle’s Nathan Hale High School, said. Thousands of students in Europe and Australia have been striking weekly to demand an end to fossil fuel use. It all began with a Swedish schoolgirl named Greta Thunberg, who started sitting in front of the Swedish parliament building last summer. She has since accumulated hundreds of thousands of followers around the world, given speeches to world leaders and been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. John Ryan reports. (KUOW) See also: Global warming: Children’s climate strike spreads worldwide  (BBC)

Listen: Billy Frank Jr. speaking to the NW Straits on saving salmon –

Tune in to KPTZ (91.9 locally in PT) or KPTZ.ORG at 7AM Saturday 3/8 to listen to a 30 minute talk that Billie Frank Jr. gave to the NW Straits annual meeting in 2012.  It is a very powerful discussion on saving salmon, after he had just returned from meeting with President Obama and Congress. His key takeaway, “It’s up to us. No one else will do this.”


Dungeness Refuge – Last day to submit comments to Army Corps of Engineers

You can also submit comments to Clallam County by the 28th. I’m reprinting the first two pages of The Brandt as it clearly states the concerns they have with the proposal. Winter2019_Brant_Page_1Winter2019_Brant_Page_2

Inslee’s climate agenda gets rare wins in Legislature as he launches presidential bid – Seattle Times

Update on Inslee’s wins on Friday.

As Gov. Jay Inslee declared his presidential bid Friday, the Washington Senate passed a clean-power bill strongly championed by the governor. The 28-19 Senate vote to approve Senate Bill 5116 — and Friday’s passage in the House of HB 1112, another proposal sought by Inslee — marked a pair of rare wins for the governor’s climate agenda in the Washington Legislature. Sponsored by Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, at the request of the governor, SB 5116 would require the state’s utilities to stop using coal-generated electricity by the end of 2025. It would also set a goal to make Washington utilities carbon-free by 2045…. Meanwhile, the House on Friday afternoon passed HB 1112. Sponsored by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-West Seattle, it would phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons in equipment such as industrial refrigeration units. Joseph O’Sullivan reports. (Seattle Times)

Inslee’s climate agenda gets rare wins in Legislature as he launches presidential bid

Massive public-lands bill passes Congress with big implications for Washington state – Seattle Times

Some very good news for a change.

The U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday passed a wide-ranging public lands bill with big implications for Washington state, including measures that would greenlight federal involvement in a multibillion-dollar Yakima water project, reauthorize a key conservation fund and prevent new mining in the Methow Valley.

Read the whole story here.



Most Washington state salmon returns predicted to be worse than last year, estimates show – Seattle Times

As if the legislators trying to get the Orca Task force bills passed didn’t have enough impetus to get them done, now this.

A lean year for orcas and fishermen alike is expected, with poor salmon returns forecast for many species all over the state. Fisheries professionals are working to set fishing seasons on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border for the coming year. So far the news is grim, with salmon forecast to return at just fractions of 10-year averages. For the southern residents, it will be another tough year ahead, with even fewer fish forecast this year than last in many of the important rivers the whales rely on in their seasonal migratory rounds. Below-average returns are predicted from the Fraser to the Columbia, as well as smaller body sizes for most species, according to Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Returns of spring chinook to the Columbia are predicted to be down 14 percent from last year, and at just half the 10-year average. These fish return mostly to hatcheries, but also to some spawning areas above Bonneville dam, and are a mainstay for orcas and fishermen alike. Those fish are particularly important to endangered southern-resident killer whales because of their size, fat content and seasonal timing. Upriver bright and fall chinook returns to the Columbia are also at about half the 10-year average return. The news isn’t better in Puget Sound. Only 29,800 wild chinook are predicted to come back. Protecting those fragile runs will necessitate reductions in fishing of hatchery fish to reduce the unintentional killing of wild chinook. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Most Washington state salmon returns predicted to be worse than last year, estimates show

and this.

Orca groups call for immediate action to save Southern Residents
On Tuesday, the group sent a letter to government officials in Washington and British Columbia identifying their five key actions to help save the Southern Resident orcas. The letter calls for “bigger and bolder” actions to give the whales a “real chance at recovery.”… The actions include funding for international salmon habitat restoration projects, breaching the four Lower Snake River dams, replacing and retrofitting floodgates along the Fraser River in British Columbia, cleaning up known contamination hotspots in Puget Sound and the Fraser River delta, and allocating a fisheries quota for the Southern Residents on the West Coast. While some of the actions have been proposed during orca recovery efforts, others have not been seriously addressed. The organizations say their five actions are “big-ticket, science-based, and are essential for moving forward.” (KING)

and this.

Compromise on orca protection removes whale watching moratorium, garners criticism
A de facto ban on whale watching boats that would have required them to stay 650 yards away from endangered Puget Sound orcas for three to five years has been stripped from revised legislation. The compromise goes against a recommendation from Gov. Jay Inslee’s Orca Recovery Task Force…. The compromise legislation omits the de facto moratorium detailed in prior bills, but increases the distance all boats must keep from the endangered whales from 200 to 300 yards. It also creates a go-slow zone and a new licensing system under which the state Department of Fish and Wildlife can set conditions to limit things such as boat numbers or time spent with the whales. That’s not enough for some advocates, including Janet Thomas, executive director of the Orca Relief Citizens’ Alliance. She told lawmakers the compromise makes a “mockery” of what the task force recommended. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNDX)

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