Public access in works for new beaches on east side of Elwha River mouth – PDN

I had no idea there wasn’t public access to the east side of the Elwha mouth. Thought the Tribe had a public access point there. Glad to hear that one will be put in.

Public access to the new beaches on the east side of the Elwha River mouth is expected to be available by the summer of 2018. ….The only present public access to the 80 to 100 acres of beaches at the mouth of the Elwha River is on the west bank of the river, which is across private property and where parking and public services are very limited. Arwyn Rice reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

See also: Elwha River beach, sea life settling into a new normal Daily News)

Water rights bill passes state Senate committee – Skagit Valley Herald

Another bad bill from our Republican controlled Senate.  Want to get around the rules to protect the water sources for rivers and aquifers for community waters sources so you can use as much as you want? Our state is legally charged with protecting water levels in rivers  for endangered salmon. In the Dungeness Basin, for example, the Dungeness River Management Team has brought together a wide array of stakeholders, for over 20 years, to come up with water management of the river and it’s flows. Now a couple of disgruntled people are pushing for a change that would give a workaround for collaborative processes like these. I doubt the Supreme Court would find this possible law constitutional, given their earlier ruling.

A state legislative bill that would give landowners a process for overwriting water use regulations tied to instream flow levels passed its first committee in the state Senate on Thursday. The bill, which passed the Senate Agriculture, Water and Rural Economic Development Committee, still needs to go through the Senate Rules Committee before it could see a floor vote, according to a news release from the office of Sen. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe. Senate Bill 6584, sponsored by Pearson, would task the state Department of Ecology with devising a method of determining if a landowner’s water supply affects instream flow levels of a river, which the bill calls “proof of water reliance.” The bill is of importance to landowners in the Skagit River basin. A 2013 state Supreme Court ruling effectively revoked water rights from well users in the basin when the river is below a certain level. Brandon Stone reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Northwest Volunteers Want To Help Restore Malheur Refuge – Earthfix

You can help once the remaining terrorists at Malheur surrender.
Oregon conservation groups say volunteers are lining up to help reverse damage done to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge during the ongoing occupation.  At the end of January, the Oregon Natural Desert Association put out a call for volunteers interested in doing environmental restoration at the refuge after the occupation is over. In just a week, more than 600 people from all over the Northwest have signed up. Jes Burns reports. (EarthFix)

Photo of the Day – Pacific Red Octopus in Hood Canal

Bruce Kerwin captured this wonderful photo of a Pacific Red Octopus at the dive site of Sund Rock in Hood Canal.

DSC_6995 Pacific Red Octopus On the move - North Wall Sund Rock

Bills Take Aim At Drinking Water Protections -InvestigateWest

A new legislative session is underway and with it, a slew of really bad bills. Given the nightmare in Flint Michigan, with an entire city’s water supply knowing poisoned and hidden from the public by state officials, including the Governor, you would think that protection of our drinking water sources would be important. Wrong. Bills are moving through the State legislature that would eliminate the ability of a citizen to sue over groundwater contamination (sponsored by a Democrat from Seattle  no less!), and a House bill that would remove all drinking water protections entirely from law! (of course sponsored only by Republicans who wonder what business would ever do such a thing? How about any of the large cattle operations in Yakima that are leaking nitrates into local wells and being sued over it?)

  1. This section specifically acknowledges that if a holder of a
  2. 14  general or individual national pollutant discharge elimination system
  3. 15  permit complies with the permit and the dairy nutrient management
  4. 16  plan conditions for appropriate land application practices, the
  5. 17  permit provides compliance with the federal clean water act and acts
  6. 18  as a shield against citizen or agency enforcement for any additions
  7. 19  of pollutants to waters of the state or of the United States as
  8. 20  authorized by the permit.

It doesn’t appear that our Democratic legislators will have anything to do with these bills.

Read the whole sordid tale here…

InvestigateWest story on water pollution bills


Bill to ban toxic flame retardants could fizzle for fifth time  – Investigate West

Good analysis. The bill needs your support. Contact Senator Hargrove on the Peninsula.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers want to ban flame retardants linked to cancer, learning disabilities and other health problems from being used in children’s products and furniture. But legislation to do that could fail for the fifth year running if legislators cannot agree on how to ban new chemicals down the road. The bill, the Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act (HB 2545), would ban five common flame retardants from upholstered furniture and children’s toys, safety seats and clothing. It also would authorize the Washington State Department of Health to ban additional flame retardants found to be of high concern for children’s health. The House Health Care & Wellness Committee passed an amended bill 8-7 on Tuesday. In past years, versions of the legislation have passed the full House overwhelmingly only to die in the Senate. Allegra Abramo reports. (Investigate West)


Bernie Sanders, Hilary Clinton and Climate Change Law

Interesting article in Mother Jones from last May on Bernie’s record. While certainly a ‘climate hawk’, his efforts have mostly been for naught, except for one passed in 2007 (when Dems held the control of the Senate) and was co-authored with Hilary Clinton (!).  As this points out, the real challenge is to take back Congress, which is not likely to happen this year, unless Democrats come out in huge numbers like they did for Obama the first time. Clinton’s on again off again support of TPP (the trade pact with Pacific rim countries that threatens to undermine American environmental law) is another difference between the candidates. Blind belief in trade has made for some extraordinary gains for third world countries as well as the US (the US benefitted economically on the whole from NAFTA, while certain segments of the economy lost huge numbers of jobs, and Mexico also saw huge losses and huge gains).

  • In 2007, he (Sanders) cowrote with then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) the Green Jobs Act, which allocated funding for clean energy and energy efficiency research and job training. This did pass, as part of a big 2007 energy bill.

Additionally, for a view of Hilary’s record, check out the League of Women Voters. While there are some on the left that are attempting to demonize her, I would suggest that both candidates would do their best to help protect the environment, even with a Republican led Congress.



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