Will Whale Hunting Return to the Pacific Northwest? -NY Times

There are legitimate points of view here on both sides.  The Tribe is a sovereign nation.  As such, they have rights, to hunt and fish in their usual and accustomed places. However, given the perilous nature of whales, and what we know of them now that we didn’t know then, in “traditional” days, should give any modern purpose pause. I seem to remember that much of the last whale was wasted, as the tribe didn’t eat much of it, but I could be remembering wrong. Would love to have someone who was there tell me how much of the whale was actually used by the Tribe.

Many traditional ceremonies have been supplanted by modern equivalents. Female genital mutilation is a traditional ceremony, which has been ended in many parts of the world. It would be great to see the Makah honor the whales by continuing to protect them, and create an alternative that would work for their youth.  Barring that, it would be appropriate for people to boycott going to the reservation to show their dislike for this slaughter of an intellegent, beautiful being that is being destroyed all over the planet by hunting, changing climate, dwindling diet, and more. Do I have to be the to remind readers that hundreds of whales have died, many of starvation, over the last few years, their bodies piling up along the Alaska coast in remote areas.

Some tribes believe in doing things to support seven generations out. I have a hard time understanding how killing whales is going to support that. But the Makahs have their reasons. Here’s hoping they come to a better solution to the problems facing their youth.

The Makah are the only Native Americans with a treaty right to hunt whales, but they have not been allowed to do so for 20 years. A recent proposal could change that.

NOAA study could set stage for Makah whaling to resume- Seattle Times

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. A bad idea wrapped in an old tradition, that no longer makes sense. You can extrapolate a lot of things  like this that people could do, and shouldn’t. Let your imagination think about it.

There should be new ways to teach people the hunt, and the point of the hunt, without destroying these creatures that we now know are so much more than just meat for someone’s table, that is, if they even eat whale meat anymore at all. I don’t support his action on their part. I understand why some of the tribe thinks they should do it, but I hope that they don’t.

On Friday, NOAA Fisheries released a draft environmental study that could set the stage for the resumption of whaling off the Washington coast by the Makah Indian tribe. The draft proposes six options ranging from prohibiting an annual hunt for North Pacific gray whales to allowing up to 24 to be harvested within a six-year period. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/noaa-study-could-set-stage-for-resumption-of-tribal-whaling/

Snowpack for Olympics is great going into summer

The snowpack depth in the Olympic Peninsula as we head into summer is excellent. On May 1st, the last month until next November  that the snowpack is measured, showed that we were 103% of normal for  the year. This is still below last years snowpack but dramatically above the snowpack experienced in 2005, when the pack was only at 25% of normal. In 2006, the Makah Tribe ran very low on water supplies in their reservoirs  All measurements for the Cascades are also above normal. This is in contrast with drought conditions continuing across approx 60% of the country and especially  the southwest and central Rockies. Severe to execptionally severe drought (the highest level measured), continues to plague key farming areas from California to the Central Plains. Costs last year to farming were estimated to be between $50 and 200 B, which is higher than the estimated damage of Hurricane Sandy, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting

Given concerns about global warming, the understanding is that many areas will continue to experience wild weather swings,  storms with increased strength (as Oklahoma hurricanes  and Hurricane Sandy have shown recently, along with historic flooding in Texas) and prolongued drought. The drought of last year was epic, on a scale of the Dustbowl of the Great Depression. This year is expected to be close if not worse.

In the Northwest, we seem to be beneficiares of a pocket of ‘good’ weather. As global temperatures continure to rise, with little sign of a downturn in the trend (the trend is variable, as are most trends).

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