New Jefferson County Shooting Range Ordinances Passed

From the Tarboo Ridge Coalition today

The Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners unanimously passed two new shooting range ordinances at the conclusion of 5 hours of deliberations during their meeting on Monday, February 24. The new ordinances are vastly different than the 2018 versions which the Growth Management Hearings Board invalidated in early 2019.

The BoCC followed their Planning Commission’s recommendations that all new commercial shooting ranges be located indoors in commercial and industrial zones and not be allowed in Jefferson County forests. The commissioners carefully scrutinized the proposed ordinances to clarify language and eliminate previous loopholes that had been exploited by Fort Discovery Corporation in 2018 when the company began building an outdoor paramilitary training center at Tarboo Lake without environmental review or obtaining permits.

The Tarboo Ridge Coalition, which appealed the 2018 ordinances, will meet with the County and the Growth Management Hearings Board in late March to discuss whether the current effort complies with the Washington State’s Growth Management Act.

Lawmakers want to protect water rights in Washington from Wall Street speculation – Investigate West

This issue could be a huge problem. Water rights are already extremely contentious. Now we have to worry about Wall St. bankers and investors owning them. Get behind these bills and let your legislators know you support them!


Worries that moneyed interests could control Washington’s water have sparked a push in Olympia to cut Wall Street bankers and international investors out of the state’s convoluted water rights system. Competing bills introduced during this legislative session take aim at the state’s water banks, which collect untapped water rights and sell water to users in need. Although the proposed legislation has received only tepid support, a consensus is emerging that action is needed to keep speculators from using water banking, as one state senator puts it, to “strangle” Washingtonians. Water banks collect water rights from rural landowners who have permission to take more water than they need. The banks then sell access to water to customers whose water rights are either too new or too small to meet their needs. Levi Pulkkinen reports. (Investigate West)

Lawmakers want to protect water rights in Washington from Wall Street speculation

State resurrects Miller Peninsula plans -PDN

A new “Destination Park” at Miller Peninsula. Seems on the surface like a good idea. More public beach access is needed, along with trails. Funding though is questionable and erratic. More on this, including public meetings, is coming in late spring. We’ll keep an eye out and let you know when they are happening.

A proposal to create a destination park on Miller Peninsula is back on the planning table. Staff with the Washington State Parks system are moving forward with a master plan to develop a state park on more than 2,800 acres on the peninsula between Sequim and the Clallam/Jefferson county boundary. In 2005, the Washington State Parks system began a six-year project to establish one of Washington’s next destination state parks, shelved those plans with a lack of secure funding. Michael Dashiell reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

State resurrects Miller Peninsula plans

More abandoning of environmental protection by Trump’s Administration

This radical right wing administration is continuing it’s push to destroy all environmental laws. Call your Congresspeople. Take action. Do something now. But my long range hope is after we get rid of these destructive morally bankrupt right wing politicians, we will rewrite the laws better than before. Hope springs eternal!

Trump’s new water rule: What it means for mines and pollution
Less federal oversight often means more local jobs. But it could also mean more water pollution. Whether that’s progress may depend on whether you live upstream or downstream from a project. Patrik Jonsson reports. (Christian Science Monitor)

and

Trump Administration Moves to Ease Rules Against Killing Birds
The Trump administration will move as early as Thursday to weaken a century-old law protecting migratory birds by dropping the threat of punishment to oil and gas companies, construction crews and other organizations that kill birds “incidentally” in the course of their operations. The proposed regulation, if finalized, would cement a legal opinion that the Department of Interior issued in 2017. The agency’s top lawyer argued that previous administrations had interpreted the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 too broadly, and that only actions explicitly intended to kill birds should be forbidden under the federal law. The death of a bird from an oil slick, the blade of a wind turbine or the spraying of illegal pesticides would no longer trigger penalties. Lisa Friedman reports. (BY Times)

Google’s new AI model ‘listens’ to killer whales to help protect the species -The Next Web

Cool new use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Now if it can only do a better job of spellcheck for me! I feel like I’ve added thousands of words to my dictionary and yet it still can’t just correct those for me. How about you? What would you like to see AI do for you?

Google‘s AI team has developed a new model to protect the endangered species of killer whales known as orcas in the Salish Sea. According to the Center for Whale Research, there are only 73 Southern Resident orcas — a subspecies of the killer whale — left in the world. So Google has teamed up with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to monitor their condition and alert experts in the event of sickness or accidents across 12 locations. Google‘s team trained its AI model using 1,800 hours of underwater audio and 68,000 labels that identified the origin of the sound. When the model “hears” sound of a whale, it displays its location on Rainforest Connection, an acoustic monitoring system for animals. Ivan Mehta reports. (The Next Web)

Google’s new AI model ‘listens’ to killer whales to help protect the species

Navy settles lawsuit, won’t scrape ship hulls in Puget Sound -AP

Lawsuits are always a last resort, but are well worth pursuing. I am a huge fan of them, as most people are too timid to really be a force to stop things like this. Our population here in the Northwest love to work on restoration projects, fixing what they allowed to be screwed up, but protecting the Salish Sea is not something they really take seriously. The people who actually do this kind of work are few and far between.

The U.S. Navy on Wednesday agreed to a 10-year moratorium on scraping the hulls of decommissioned vessels in Puget Sound. The deal, filed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, settles a lawsuit filed by the Suquamish Tribe and two environmental groups, Washington Environmental Council and Puget Soundkeeper Alliance. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson joined the lawsuit. In the settlement agreement, the Navy said it would not conduct further hull cleaning in Sinclair Inlet except to the extent it is required for hull integrity tests or to prepare the vessel to be put in dry-dock. It agreed the preferred method for cleaning vessel hulls is to do so in dry-dock where the pollution can be contained. (Associated Press)

Navy settles lawsuit, won’t scrape ship hulls in Puget Sound

Olympic snowpack above normal at end of January -PDN

Good news for the Peninsula, as you may be aware, we get most of our water for cities like PT from the snow-pack.

Heavy precipitation in January has bolstered a once-diminutive Olympic Mountain snow-pack. Snow-pack was 120 percent of normal in the Olympics as of Thursday, up from 48 percent on New Year’s Day, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Olympic snowpack above normal at end of January

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