Northwest farmers urge Trump administration to sidestep salmon protection rules – AP

Ah yes, some of the folks in Eastern Washington and Idaho, people who’s livelihood was created by the tax payer funded dam projects that irrigated the dry eastern side of our state are back wanting the Feds to kill off the remaining runs of salmon for their short term benefits. These people, who have continued to complain for decades about the intrusion of the very government that created the dams and their farms, now wants it’s help again. This time to overrule the laws that protect our remaining runs of salmon. One of the big supporters of these folks has been Rush Limbaugh, among other radical right wing folks. You can bet your bottom dollar that if this committee ever comes to fruition, there will be not a single environmental representative on it.

A group that represents farmers is calling the costs of saving imperiled salmon in the largest river system in the Pacific Northwest unsustainable and is turning to the Trump administration to sidestep endangered species laws. The Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association wants the government to convene a Cabinet-level committee with the power to allow exemptions to the Endangered Species Act. Known as the “God squad” because its decisions can lead to extinctions of threatened wildlife, it has only gathered three times — the last 25 years ago during a controversy over spotted owl habitat in the Northwest. Keith Ridler reports. (Associated Press)

http://www.seattletimes.com/business/trump-administration-urged-to-avoid-salmon-protection-rules/

Environmental Penalties Down Under President Trump – NPR

This should come as a surprise to no one. This president and his inept band of anti-science vandals, are hell-bent on reversing decades of protection of our air, water and earth. But we need to document the damage they are causing by not enforcing the laws of both Republican and Democratic legacy.

Since President Trump took office in January, enforcement of environmental laws has dropped dramatically, compared with past administrations. A study released by the Environmental Integrity Project finds that $12 million in civil penalties have been collected from violators in 26 cases between January and the end of July….  That’s significantly less than the number of cases prosecuted and the penalties collected under the same six month period by the Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations. Greg Allen reports. (NPR)

http://www.opb.org/news/article/npr-environmental-penalties-down-under-president-trump/

Fish recolonizing areas upriver of former dam sites on Elwha River – PDN

More good news from the Elwha.

Josh Geffre has watched with awe as salmon return to the uppermost reaches of the Elwha River. Geffre, a fisheries technician for Olympic National Park, started monitoring the fish for the park in 2014 and has marveled as he’s seen most species swim upstream of the former Glines Canyon Dam. “It’s very satisfying to know the fish are recolonizing into areas upriver of the former dam sites,” he said during a recent trip to collect data on the fish. “It’s exciting to watch them.” Jesse Major reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/fish-recolonizing-areas-upriver-of-former-dam-sites-on-elwha-river/

See also: Elwha fish by the numbers http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/elwha-fish-by-the-numbers/ (Peninsula Daily News)

 

Latest on Trans Mountain Pipeline

I can’t imagine it will be actually blocked permanently, but the newly elected politicians in B.C. need to follow through on campaign promises to angry voters.  Stayed tuned for the inevitable additional news on this.

Trans Mountain pipeline work stopped before it starts in British Columbia  http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/trans-mountain-pipeline-work-stopped-before-it-starts-in-british-columbia/

The British Columbia provincial government has monkey-wrenched the start of construction for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, announcingThursday that it is taking legal and administrative steps to stop the project. At issue is inadequate consultation by developer Kinder Morgan with First Nations, said George Heyman, Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister, in a news conference in Victoria. The company must complete consultations with First Nations on several environmental aspects of the project not yet addressed, and may not begin work on public land until it does so, Heyman said. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

See also: B.C. joins legal battles against Trans Mountain pipeline expansionhttp://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/live-b-c-government-to-announce-steps-against-trans-mountain-pipeline Derrick Penner reports. (Vancouver Sun)

And also: B.C.’s impending Kinder Morgan challenge is another straw on a very beleaguered camel http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/british-columbia/kinder-morgan-legal-challenge-ndp-august-2017-1.4243022 Justin McElroy reports. (CBC)

Citizen scientists track effects of climate change in the Northwest  – Seattle Times

Given that our government has been taken over by anti-science fanatics, we need all the help we can get. It will be up to all of us to maintain the information so critical to saving life on earth in the next 100 years. Trump and his minions will pass into history, and we will find ourselves back on track with a government that believes in science within a few years.

Hikers, climbers and skiers are helping scientists collect the expansive data sets needed to explore climate change’s thorny questions over a wide territory. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times)

See also: Kids learn what it takes to be scientists http://www.goskagit.com/news/kids-learn-what-it-takes-to-be-scientists/article_b44e93a3-b9c0-5d4a-90e5-a28388856523.html Kera Wanielista reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

http://www.seattletimes.com/life/outdoors/citizen-scientists-track-effects-of-climate-change-in-the-northwest/

Forest battle continues over defining the upper bounds of fish habitat- Watching our Waterways

Another good piece of reporting by Chris Dunagan.

A long-running battle over how to manage potential fish habitat on commercial forestland could be coming to a head — although it isn’t clear if the solution will satisfy either forestland owners or environmentalists. To be clear, there is not much argument about streamside buffers where salmon, trout and other fish are readily found, thanks to state and federal rules stemming from the landmark Forests and Fish Report. Buffers are designed to save trees that serve the needs of fish — including insects for food, shade for cool water and eventually down trees that form pools for resting as well as hiding places and spawning areas. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/waterways/2017/07/22/forest-battle-continues-over-defining-the-upper-bounds-of-fish-habitat/

Washington Lawmakers Leave Enviros Feeling Shorted – KUOW/Earthfix

Remember this when politicians come asking for more donations. Delivering environmental support is part of why they are elected.

Washington’s legislative session, the longest in state history, did not deliver the money environmentalists wanted for toxic cleanup, oil transportation safety, or natural resources. Going into the session, the Environmental Priorities Coalition — made up of more than twenty Washington environmental groups — had placed a priority on getting the state to spend more on environmental protection.  Eilís O’Neill and Courtney Flatt report. (KUOW/EarthFix)

http://www.opb.org/news/article/wa-enviros-feel-shorted/

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