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

Clallam County Planning Division Says No to Dungeness Spit Jamestown S’Klallam Oyster Farm

While a small victory for the opponents of the proposed oyster farm inside Dungeness Spit, it does not mean that the Hearing Examiner will actually follow their recommendation. The Planning Division stated that the farm is not consistent with the Natural Shoreline Designation, does not meat the CUP (Conditional Use Permit)  Criteria, and will negatively impact wildlife at Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge.

Oddly, though the current area is natural, because the location has been used in the past for oyster farming, the staff found that there would be no cumulative impacts. That flies in the face of the recent Army Corp of Engineers court loss, that discovered unpublished Army Corp scientific documents that clearly delineated the ongoing destruction of near shore from continuous use.

The staff also points out that “Based on the density of birds that visit the DNWR and their sensitivity for disturbance while migrating and foraging, even small impacts at this wildlife refuge could result in substantial detrimental effects (emphasis mine) to the public interest.”

The objective of the Natural designation are intended to preserve, maintain or restore such a shoreline as a natural resource relatively free of human influence; to discourage or prohibit those activities which might destroy or degrade the natural characteristics which make these shorelines unique and valuable. The applicant should address how the proposal with up to 80,000 on-bottom bags with year round gear maintenance of up to 6 people visiting the site for up to 6 hours 6 times a month within the migration and wintering periods for shorebirds and waterfowl is an appropriate use in the Natural Designation located off the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. (emphasis mine)

It seems it would be a good time for our state legislators and DNR  to step up, and work with the Tribe to swap this area for another spot. The risk of long term damage to our dwindling stocks of shorebirds, marine birds, herring, sand lance and the like at this critical location, close to the estuary and the preferred feeding area of nesting birds from Protection Island, poses the threat of irreversible  harm.

 

 

 

Department of Natural Resources issues plan to guide West End forest management -PDN

It appears that this new guide for forest management may be an improvement. The environmental community seems to be cautiously optimistic for this, and use of more site specific new technology to adapt forest management to the facts on the ground seems to be a good move.

“This roadmap for experimentation, research and monitoring will help DNR find new and better ways of reaching its timber harvest goals and ecological objectives …”

For those wonks wanting to read the document, go here:

The 171-page document is available on the DNR website, www.dnr.wa.gov.

Read the whole story at the Peninsula Daily News. Support local journalism. Subscribe to your local paper.

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/department-of-natural-resources-issues-plan-to-guide-west-end-forest-management/

Jimmy Come Lately Salmon Report

Also in from Al (and Cheri) Latham. For those of you not aware of Jimmycomelately creek, it is in Blyn near the Tribal Center for the Jamestown S’Klallam. The Tribe has done a great job of restoring the run at the creek, and maintains a fish trap to count the returning salmon each fall.

Dear Jimmycomelately Creek friends:

It does not look like we will be setting any records at for summer chum returns at Jimmycomelately Creek this year but this is a strong run.  The daily counts have been fluctuating  between 40 and 100 per day with no real change in stream flow – which remains very low.  The count now stands at 2,342 with three or so weeks to go.  Next week I will be able to tell you just how far upstream some of them went. We’ve had quite a few visitors this season and there is still time for more!

jcl-salmon-reportsalmon-on-jcl-sept-2016jimmy-come-lately-sept-2016

Dungeness River Fish Passage Video

An update on the efforts to allow returning salmon to get up the Dungeness River. Thanks to the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, who continue to show leadership and dedication to saving the historic runs of fish on the river that their people have fished forever. This is the effects of our inability to deal with the root causes of climate change, which is out of control fossil fuel use.

Dungeness River Fish Passage 2015C from NW Indian Fisheries Commission on Vimeo.

For war games next year, Navy wants to post trucks with electromagnetic radiation equipment on West End – PDN

So this is the rest of the story, which was originally posted in the Forks Forum and reposted here. The Forks Forum article read like a conspiracy theory report, with mentions of a tiny notice in one location in Forks and no contact with local newspapers, elected officials or anyone else. I almost didn’t pass it along because I didn’t have time to verify it independently.

Without any debate from our elected officials in the last three years, we have allowed the Navy to continue to turn our forests, waters  and airspace into a training ground for their war games. Since the Forest Service has decided that there is no health hazard (a bureaucrat decided this on the public’s behalf  without consulting scientists apparently), the Navy has not been asked to do a public Environmental Impact statement.  For those hiking, mushroom collecting, fishing, and hunting in the woods, you may never even know you are possibly being given large doses of electromagnetic radiation. We have endangered species like the Marbled Murrlett, and the Spotted Owl along with eagles out there in those woods as well. All you can hope is that the Navy actually sees you before they blast you. It would be great to see one of our elected officials step in and demand an EIS on this, rather than rely on the good graces of the military, which operates much of what they do in total secret. Without it, we have no idea of what kind of risks this poses. It’s the kind of thing that is much better suited to a treeless, remote Alaskan island in the Aleutians than a working forest.

My issue with all this, is that while well meaning, many of the soldiers working in our bases around here are not from here. And their commanders apparently don’t train them on how these issues affect us. They have no local knowledge of the people who sail, work the forests, or otherwise live here. We see that all the time in the way we are treated when the Coast Guard stops us sailing around the Bay because they need to practice their boarding techniques, treating us as criminals or possible terrorists. We are the ones who pay their salaries. They serve to protect us. We may be doing nothing more than sailing around an area that they are practicing in, and we become their targets for the day. We also see it in the lack of concern that the Navy shows by flying jets at all hours of the day and night. And now we see it here, where military personnel apparently decided there was no reason to really notify anyone about a major war games project in our woods. As an example, on the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee, we have a standing open position for the Navy, a key player in the shorelines and waters of our county. Despite repeated attempts over the years to get them to participate, by sending even one low level PR person to the meetings, they have never felt it necessary to even show up. It just shows a lack of interest in engaging the public, except when they are forced to. This wargames story is another sad example of that.

FORKS — The Navy wants to allow three camper-sized trucks with electromagnetic radiation equipment to conduct war exercises with military aircraft from 15 sites in Clallam, Jefferson and Grays Harbor counties.

The locations — 12 in Olympic National Forest and three on state Department of Natural Resources land — would be part of the Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range and would involve aircraft from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

Read the rest of the story here: (and support local journalism by subscribing to the PDN!)

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140926/NEWS/309269975/for-war-games-next-year-navy-wants-to-post-trucks-with

Studying the impermanence of bluffs – Sequim Gazette

Good short article on bluff erosion, research being done on it, and one person’s consequences from living within the county’s approved setback, which was not based on science.

http://www.sequimgazette.com/news/263672371.html

New law: Septic system inspections required at time of property sale in Clallam County – PDN

I was pondering this very issue as I drove through the Sequim valley last week. Thousands of homes, virtually all of them on septic systems, and the knowledge that the beaches around the Dungeness estuary, Spit and surrounding areas are often closed to shellfish harvest because of fecal coliform levels. While many, if not most septics are fine, having at least a check every time a sale is transacted is a good start.  The thing to remember is that there is groundwater under there. At some point a failing system is likely to affect it.

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140428/NEWS/304289982/new-law-septic-system-inspections-required-at-time-of-property-sale

A septic system inspection will be required at the time of a property sale under a revised Clallam County sewage code that takes effectThursday (May 1). 

 

Job Opening – Feiro Marine Life Center in PA

Here’s a great way to start the year.  A new job!

Position Open – Education and Volunteer Director 

Feiro Marine Life Center is a public, non-profit marine education facility located on the Port Angeles City Pier. The facility houses a hands-on marine exhibit with local near shore species, a classroom and an equipped laboratory. Feiro Marine Life Center has over 20,000 visitors annually and provides programs for over 3,000 school students. Feiro is growing both in programs and in size and is planning to build a new facility over the next few years.

Visit http://www.feiromarinelifecenter.org to learn more about the organization.

Position Available: Education and Volunteer Director

Description: Feiro Marine Life Center is looking for a full-time Education and Volunteer Director to lead marine science education programs and coordinate the volunteer program at a small, but growing, marine life center. The individual would work with numerous community partners in program development and implementation. The applicant would also work with interns and/or volunteers to assist with teaching and to provide training to enhance programs. Programs are generally focused on marine and ocean life, but may include additional components including underwater remotely operated vehicles, solar and wind or stormwater education.

Required background or experience: Extensive professional experience planning, implementing and delivering educational programs, preferably some of which is in non-traditional settings (i.e. outside of the classroom). A degree in marine biology or demonstrated equivalent experience or expertise and experience building and maintaining partnerships is essential.

Preferred background: Familiarity in state learning standards and relevant national standards. Experience managing volunteers and/or volunteer docents. Experience with web work, social media, and grant writing. Must be outgoing, organized and able to work independently, and as a part of a team.

Salary: $35,000-$40,000 DOE

To Apply: 

Please send resume and cover letter (including two references) to:

Deborah Moriarty

Feiro Marine Life Center

PO Box 625

Port Angeles, WA

98362

Deadline for applications: January 15, 2014

Or electronically to deborahm@feiromarinelifecenter.org

Upcoming WSU Extension Class for Beginning Farmers- Sign up now

Upcoming farm course offers overview of production and marketing options

 

Do you farm and need some help improving your bottom line? Do you dream of farming, and aren’t sure where to begin?  The “Sustainable Small Acreage Farming and Ranching” course offered through a joint effort between WSU Jefferson and Clallam County Extensions provides beginning and expanding farmers with planning and decision-making tools, production skills, and support necessary to develop or improve their sustainable small farm or ranch.

 

Course presenters include successful local producers and university specialists with expertise in direct marketing, value-added processing, production planning, and more.  Course participants will have a chance to participate in field visits to see different operations and processing options up close.  They also qualify for college or continuing education credit.

 

Sustainable Farming and Ranching runs weekly on Wednesday nights from January 22nd thru March 19th, 6:00pm-9:00pm at the Gardiner Community Center in Gardiner, including 3 intensive Saturday field trips to various farms throughout both counties. The class is part of the Cultivating SuccessTM Program, a collaboration of Washington State University’s Small Farms Team, University of Idaho Extension and the non-profit Rural Roots. Support comes from the USDA Risk Management Agency and the Western Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program. 

 

Class size is limited. Cost for the nine-week course is $250 per farm or family. Paid pre-registration is required.  Register online at jefferson.wsu.edu or contact Kellie Henwood at WSU Jefferson County Extension at 360-379-5610 ext. 201.

Peninsula salmon projects get $4.5 million – PDN

Lots of good projects that are going to give jobs to folks here on the Peninsula, and help restore salmon habitat. The work is far from being completed, but it’s good to see these projects and land purchases get funded. Tying this together with the work described by Earth Economics over the weekend on this site, it’s worth it to note that there is value in these ecosystem renewal projects. Slowing the rivers by putting in log jams, for example, do not just provide scientifically proven habitat for salmon (especially young salmon migrating downstream), but they also aide in flood protection among other benefits. Flood plain protection is a value that lowers the cost to repairing damage from floods over multiple decades.

The state has awarded $4.5 million in grants for new salmon restoration projects on the North Olympic Peninsula. ….

Rob Ollikainen reports.

There’s quite a bit more to the story at:

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20131208/NEWS/312089997/peninsula-salmon-projects-get-45-million

 

Support local journalism, subscribe to the Peninsula Daily News.

Upcoming Workshops on Defining the Economics of Ecosystem Services

This is a hot topic lately. It’s a sad state of affairs that all environmental protection seems to be predicated by what is the value of resource, rather than people simply appreciating it, but there you have it. So here’s some forums to help understand these.
——————————————

Click for the hyperlinked SUMMARY
.
Click here for the hyperlinked REPORT
.

THREE Public Workshops on “The Value of Our Ecosystems – Defining the
economics of ecosystem services in Clallam County”

All held at Clallam County Board of Comissioner’s Meeting Room #160, 223
East Fourth Street, Port Angeles, WA.

Thursday, December 5, 2013
2:00 – 4:00 pm

Thursday, December 5, 2013
6:00 to 8:00 pm

Friday, December 6, 2013
11:25am-12:45pm (Part of the Strait Ecosystem Recovery Network Meeting).

All three forums will be lead by staff from Earth Economics who performed the ESV analysis and are open to the public.
The December 5 afternoon session will be targeted to County staff and officials and likely be more technical in nature.

The December 5 evening session will provide an ESV introduction and overview targeted to the public, with emphasis on nearshore bluff systems.

The December 6 meeting presentation is part of the Straits Ecosystem Recovery Network meeting agenda, and will focus on the ESV pilot projects results for the Central Strait of Juan de Fuca nearshore area and next steps.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Steve Gray, Deputy Director/Planning Manager
Clallam County Dept. of Community Development
223 East Fourth Street, Suite 5
Port Angeles, WA 98362-3015
Phone: (360)417-2520; Fax: (360)417-2443
sgray@co.clallam.wa.us

EVENT: Free workshop for homeowners on bluffs!

Given the recent bluff collapse in Port Townsend, this might be of interest to some  of you!
Oct30 workshop press release final

Feasibility study addresses Dungeness/3 Crabs-area pollution – PDN

This actually seems to be a reasonable alternative. The recommendation is to enforce current laws, raise the local money to pay for regular inspection, which as I have heard, is not happening currently, and monitor to see whether the problems improve. Rushing to judgement on putting in a huge infrastructure project, even if it’s eventually found to be the right solution, seems premature. Let’s make sure the existing laws work, before abandoning them.

Clallam County should strengthen an existing program to operate and maintain individual on-site septic systems in the Dungeness/3 Crabs area, a new study concludes. Staying the course was one of four alternatives being considered in a feasibility study for wastewater management in an unincorporated area where failing septic systems were said to be polluting Dungeness Bay with fecal coliform and nitrogen. Damon McAlister, a senior engineer with Parametrix, and county Environmental Health Director Andy Brastad presented the final study to the Clallam County commissioners Tuesday. Rob Ollikainen reports.

Feasibility study addresses Dungeness/3 Crabs-area pollution http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20130731/NEWS/307319994/feasibility-study-addresses-dungeness-3-crabs-area-pollution

Support local journalism: Subscribe to the PDN.

Resolution to Wildlife Refuge Controversy Found

According to KONP Radio, Representative Van de Wege and Admiralty Audubon have found an solution to the controversy that was created when Rep. Van de Wege threatened to take back easements in the Dungeness Wildlife Refuge.

http://www.konp.com/local/8439

Restoration work planned on Ediz Hook this summer – PDN

Habitat restoration is planned on a 1,200-foot stretch of Ediz Hook this summer. The Lower Elwha ­Klallam tribe and state Department of Natural Resources will restore the “A-frame” site on the spit, a former log dump area that was used until the 1970s. It will be cleared of fill and existing structures during an eight-week period starting June 16.

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20120506/news/305069980/restoration-work-planned-on-ediz-hook-this-summer

Clallam County Commissioner Mike Doherty on Gulf Oil Spill

Mike, who has been a strong supporter of oil spill prevention has been named to a task force helping develop rules. He comments on the second anniversary of the Gulf Oil Spill.

Mike Doherty, a Callam County commissioner, and Lovel Pratt, a San Juan County Councilmember, speak out: Reflections on the 2nd Anniversary of the Gulf Oil Spill,

http://www.sanjuanjournal.com/opinion/148345615.html

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