‘Pit-to-pier’ firm appeals Jefferson County’s Shoreline Master Plan- PDN

The Peninsula Daily News reports today that the Thorndyke Resources Project will take a legal challenge on the Shoreline Master Plan to the Growth Management Board. Given what the PDN reports, it seems unlikely to be successful, but hope springs eternal with these folks, and they apparently have the money to hire the lawyers to challenge it. 

Read the whole story here:

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140418/news/304189970/-8216-pit-to-pier-8217-firm-appeals-jefferson-county-8217-s

 

 

Crazy Dems – Inslee and Goldmark decide their base is irrelevant

Over the last week, I’ve read or listened to the most bizarre stories about our Democratic Governor Jay Inslee and Democratic Commissioner of Public Lands, Peter Goldmark. After courting the environmental wing of the Democratic voters with their long standing support of environmental protection, we now find both of them throwing this base under the bus.

It wasn’t bad enough, that Inslee named former head of the Department of Ecology, Ted Sturdevant, to be his Policy chief. Sturdevant, who appeared clueless through the battles over the net pen controversy in Puget Sound in the last few years, and  allowed DOE   to fight Jefferson County for refusing to allow  net pens, which DOE had allowed to be banned in another county previously.

Now, Inslee has hired a coal lobbyist, albeit a Democratic one, to direct his policy office. Matt Steuerwalt, is going to run the policy wing of the governor’s office. Steurwalt has recently been the lead advocate for coal fired power plants and coal ports in the State. To be clear, Mr. Steurwalt might be a perfectly wonderful Dem, but in politics perception trumps reality. Why would any Democrat or environmentalist put a coal lobbyist in charge of policy at a point when policy for coal trains is being debated?
http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2014/04/16/inslee-hires-coal-lobbyist-to-direct-his-policy-office/

Yesterday, Inslee announced that he also would likely trade away concerns of the Tribes and the environmental community, and support business demands, by raising the limit of possibly cancer causing fish a person can eat. This was in lieu of asking for stricter controls on pollution by the likes of Boeing, whom promptly announced that they were shipping 1000 high paying jobs out of state anyway. Interesting who was behind the decision, none other than Ted Sturdevant.

Inslee article
http://www.invw.org/article/inslee-weighs-tenfold-inc-1425?utm_source=InvestigateWest+Story+Alerts+and+Updates&utm_campaign=b073e379d0-Story_Alert_ATVs3_31_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d705faa21a-b073e379d0-43444485

Boeing article
http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2023383110_boeingbrtxml.html

Also, in the last two weeks, we’ve had Department of Natural Resources head Peter Goldmark, first state, after the Oso landslide that his agency shouldn’t be blamed for allowing timber harvest on the top of the land that collapsed, instead blaming environmentalists for attacking DNR. There are a number of highly critical articles to his stand, including one in the New York Times, and one in the Stranger. I think that the lawsuits coming down the pike by the surviving homeowners and the estates of those who didn’t, will clearly establish who should be held responsible, and that is likely both Snohomish County land use staff (who might have changed zoning regs and given greater warning, no scratch that, any warning  to the homeowners there) and the politicians who supported those decisions, along with the departments in Olympia that did the scientific research, then ignored it, which seems to clearly be DNR. But fear not, you and I, the taxpayers, will likely foot the liability.

Then yesterday, Goldmark announced that, contrary to what he told supporters when he ran for the position, that he would never take industry money, actively reverse that stance and take $90,000 from the very interests that he regulates. While he may argue no quid pro quo, we all know that those with the biggest donation get the loudest voice in the battle for access to the powerful. If I had to venture a guess here, that in order to find the school funding that has been forced on the legislature by the McCleary Decision, that the pols in Oly have decided to get the funding by clear cutting their way out, enviros be damned. This so they don’t have to raise the Tax word in an election year. This puts Goldmark squarely in the hot seat, and my other guess is that he will not run again in 2 years. This would allow him to turn on his original funders, and never pay a price. In the meantime, Peninsula pols like Tharinger and Van de Wege, will be able to show support for the logging industry, which helps their Clallam County base. Just look at the parcels being clear cut on steep slopes on both sides of Hwy 20 near Eaglemount in Jefferson County near 101. Shades of Beaver Valley Road cutting in the early part of the 2000s.

With the  announcement that Inslee is not getting his way with the nomination of Jaxon Ravens to State Democratic Chairman instead of his choice of Dana Laurent, it certainly brings into question whether the base has turned on the elected officials in Olympia for failing to achieve anything of substance in the last session. It will be interesting to see, as Inslee and Goldmark get out to stump in the hinterlands this year, if they even do, whether they will face hostile party faithful in the areas that poured money into their campaigns and now find themselves wondering who these people actually represent.

Goldmark biting the hand that feeds…
http://nwnewsnetwork.org/post/goldmark-accuses-anti-logging-interests-exploiting-oso-slide

Article questioning DNR decision to allow logging.
http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/03/27/is-there-a-connection-between-the-mudslide-and-our-states-historical-mishmash-of-logging-regulations that points to DNR ignoring scientific research on this very parcel.

Goldmark on campaign contributions:
http://kuow.org/post/dnr-head-defends-taking-timber-money-despite-vow.

Event(s): Public Showings of “Legacy of Our Ancestors: Treaty Resources of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe

I’ve worked on this for the last couple of years. Now’s your chance to see it and learn more about this very important neighbor of us here on the Peninsula. Various dates over the next two weeks. All showings are free, donations are welcome to help offset costs. Tonight at Hadlock at the Jefferson County Library.  Tribal Elder and Co-Creator Marlin Holden will be present to share his thoughts and answer questions. 

Legacy Public Screenings PosterLegacy Public Screenings Poster

Researchers: We Shared The Flu Virus With Olympic Peninsula Sea Otters – KPLU.ORG

There are a lot of hypothesis’ that can be created out of this. The first one I thought of was, “is this related to sewage being dumped into the oceans?”  Another one is, “If otters are being affected by human organisms, could the starfish wasting disease also be caused by something we are dumping into the ocean that we haven’t dumped before?”  Ultimately, we have to prepare for a time when we must stop using our oceans as large scale septic tanks. It’s not just our poop and pee, it’s all the chemicals that get flushed down the drain, and the chemicals we put in our bodies.


Humans are particularly generous with the flu, otter-wrangling scientists have found. People shared the 2009 swine flu epidemic with ferrets, dogs, cats, raccoons and pigs, and new research shows even wild sea otters in Washington state got hit. “These otters, which we think were living in a relatively pristine environment off the Olympic Peninsula, were exposed to pathogens that are more commonly associated with people,” said Virologist Hon Ip with the U.S. Geological Survey, who co-authored the study published in the May 2014 issue of “Emerging Infectious Diseases.” Rae Ellen Bichell reports. (KPLU)

 http://kplu.org/post/researchers-we-shared-flu-virus-olympic-peninsula-sea-otters

New Quotas Clear Way For Banner Summer Salmon Fishing In Pacific Ocean – KPLU.ORG

Good news for sports fishermen this year.

A federal fisheries management panel approved what some charter captains are calling the best ocean fishing season in 20 years. Meeting at a hotel in Vancouver, Washington, the Pacific Fishery Management Council on Wednesday adopted the 2014 season quotas unanimously after days of lengthy negotiations between commercial troll and recreational fishing representatives, treaty tribes and government regulators. The quotas are a big turnaround from the recent past when ocean salmon fishing was sharply curtailed or not allowed at all. Tom Banse reports. (KPLU)

 http://kplu.org/post/new-quotas-clear-way-banner-summer-salmon-fishing-pacific-ocean

EVENT- April 5- Living with the Coast – A workshop for Marine Shoreline Landowners in Jefferson County

Free workshop for shoreline homeowners

Free workshop for shoreline homeowners

Just to follow up. This was a standing room only crowd. We intend to run this again later in the year, for those who missed it.

Group to sue state over Dungeness water rule – PDN

Sad, but expected. They likely will lose, as other suits have, and cost the State hundreds of thousands to defend.

The Olympic Resource Protection Council has decided it will sue the state over a rule that governs water use in the Dungeness Valley. In a meeting Thursday night at the Sequim library, the group membership agreed to pursue a lawsuit against the state Department of Ecology in an effort to force the agency to review the Dungeness Water Rule…. Water use in the basin was restricted by the Dungeness Water Rule, a measure instituted January 2013 by Ecology with the aim of preserving water in the Dungeness River for both human use and for aquatic species when its flow diminishes in dry summer months. Joe Smillie (Peninsula Daily News)

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140404/NEWS/304049975/group-to-sue-state-over-dungeness-water-rule

Lands Commissioner: Logging Factor In Oso Slide ‘Entirely Speculative’ - KPLU.ORG

Yep. Speculative based on some pretty compelling science and background.

Speaking for the first time since the Oso landslide hit Snohomish County, Washington Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark suggested anti-logging interests want to use the disaster to advance their cause. In an exclusive interview, the two-term Democrat said he is indignant in the wake of news reports that have focused on past logging on the plateau above the slide.

http://kplu.org/post/lands-commissioner-logging-factor-oso-slide-entirely-speculative

Jefferson County – Michelle McConnell leaves for Ecology

Michelle McConnell, who has been a stalwart at the Jefferson County Dept. of Community Development for many years, has chosen to leave and work for the Department of Ecology. Michelle has had the extremely hard job of shepherding the Shoreline Master Program through over the last 8 years. She has always been a steady hand and been a sea of calm in the midst of turbulent public meetings over the SMP. We will miss her guidance on these issues. No word on a replacement yet. Best of luck to Michelle in future endeavors.

I’m pleased to announce I have accepted a new job and will be leaving DCD the week of April 7; my new position will be as a Shoreline Planner with WA Department of Ecology.

I have learned a lot during my eight years with the County and it has been both challenging and rewarding to have served as Project Manager for major, multi-year projects including the Shoreline Master Program Update and Watershed Stewardship Resource Center/SquareONE.  I’m proud of the many positive contributions I’ve made to the never-ending, fast-paced and varied work of DCD.

Thanks to all the good folks I’ve met and worked with along the way!

Best wishes,

Michelle

Port Townsend marine center focuses on local sea life for Friday season opener – PDN

Always a good thing to do with kids or grandkids. 

An intimate display of animals that can be found in local waters will be on view to the public this Friday as the Port Townsend Marine Science Center opens its doors for the season… The marine display, which features 14 tanks with thousands of different animals, is located at the end of the pier that extends from Fort Worden State Park. The new season begins Friday with a public feed where visitors are invited to help feed the animals at 2 p.m.. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

 

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140325/news/303259996/port-townsend-marine-center-focuses-on-local-sea-life-for-friday

25 Years Later, Exxon Valdez Spill Effects Linger – Associated Press

25 years later, and the pain and destruction just keeps on keepin on. This is why we are so hard core about protecting us from an oil spill. I want to point out that we should be very proud of the Coast Guard here in the Sound that have done an excellent job of vessel traffic control, and our politicians like Representative Kevin Van De Wege who helped push through the rescue tug at Neah Bay (with the help of the Tribes, many governmental and NGOs too over 15 years of work).  There are new threats coming, and the need to be ever vigilant is never going to leave. But we have done a great job up to now. Knock on wood.

Before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, there was the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, at the time the nation’s largest oil spill.

The 987-foot tanker, carrying 53 million gallons of crude, struck Bligh Reef at 12:04 a.m. on March 24, 1989. Within hours, it unleashed an estimated 10.8 million gallons of thick, toxic crude oil into the water. Storms and currents then smeared it over 1,300 miles of shoreline.

Read the whole story at:

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/25-years-exxon-valdez-spill-effects-linger-22981757

Fukushima Crisis – Georgia Strait Alliance

Looking for a ton of scientific information on the Fukushima Crisis and it’s affects on us? The good folks at the Georgia Strait Alliance in Canada have put this web site up. A web site of web sites. Likely I’ll refer to some of this on the left side of this blog someday as well.

Georgia Strait Alliance has put up a web page to update the crisis: “The devastating explosions in 2011 at the Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan released huge quantities of radioactive isotopes into the ocean and our atmosphere….”

Fukushima Crisis

Oil And Water Don’t Mix— Never Have – Salish Sea Communications

From my good friend Mike Sato:

I learned about the Exxon Valdez going aground 25 years ago while working in corporate communications for the investor-owned utility, Hawaiian Electric Company. We sadly watched the national news for days as 11 million gallons of oil spread and coated the pristine shorelines.

Read the rest of the story at:

http://salishseacommunications.blogspot.com/2014/03/oil-and-water-dont-mix-never-have.html

Report from the Front: Herring Country Safari – UW Blogs

Herring Country Safari

Puget Sound Institute lead ecosystem ecologist Tessa Francis writes: “Hood Canal never disappoints me. We’re in year 2 of our herring habitat study, asking whether Puget Sound herring populations are limited by the availability of spawning habitat…. Substrate type doesn’t matter. What does matter, we found, is where that substrate occurs. We found greater differences in egg mortality among spawning sites — Elliott Bay versus, say, Hood Canal — than among spawning habitat within sites. This year, we’re looking closely at why herring egg survival varies among spawning sites….”

It all goes to show that more research into the Salish Sea is needed to better understand the processes and root causes of their success or failures.

http://blogs.uw.edu/tessa/2014/03/15/herring-country-safari/

Jefferson County Commissioner John Austin decides against third run for seat – PDN and others

Jefferson County Commissioner John Austin has decided not to run for a third 4 year term. I have appreciated his strong stand on environmental issues over the last years, and will miss him on the Commission Board. He has been a very solid vote for environmental protection, health care for all county residents, and a man willing to deliberate over a position.  Politics is about trying to make everyone feel like they are being considered, and some in this county have not felt that way over the last few years, but that wasn’t for a lack of trying by John. Good luck John in all your future travels. I thank you for your friendship and consultations.

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140318/NEWS/303189976/jefferson-county-commissioner-john-austin-decides-against-third-run#.UykC-RAYgoA.twitter

Washington Legislature Fails To Pass Any Oil Train Legislation – Earthfix

You know, I have a hard time giving money to political parties when this kind of outcome is standard operating procedure. Excuses don’t cut it. Results do.

The Washington Legislature’s Republicans and Democrats couldn’t get together to pass a single piece of legislation specifically relating to oil trains or vessels, despite the introduction of several bills from both sides of the aisle. Ashley Ahearn reports. (EarthFix)

http://earthfix.kcts9.org/energy/article/washington-legislature-fails-to-pass-any-oil-train/

Climate Impacts on Washington State: UW

This was presented to the State of Washington House Energy Committee last week .

UW Climate Change Presentation

https://app.leg.wa.gov/CMD/Handler.ashx?MethodName=getdocumentcontent&documentId=W1kKWwR3-Ss&att=false

What did they do about it? You guessed it. Sculpture “Politicians Discussing Global Warming”

From Timeline Photos

From Timeline Photos

Sound Action expands staff and drives agenda in Olympia

Sound Action, the relative newcomer to the Salish Sea environmental action scene, continues to expand. Diane Tilstra  joined the team to help  expand fundraising and capacity. Diane is passionate about Puget Sound and has a long history of helping organizations thrive. She spent many years as the development director at People for Puget Sound and was a liaison to the Alliance for Puget Sound Shorelines, which worked to find establish and private funding for common environmental projects around Puget Sound shorelines. Diane also serves as a board member for the Seabury School in Tacoma and volunteers with the National Alliance to End Veteran Suicide. I worked with Diane at People For Puget Sound and can attest that she is a great asset to have brought on to S.A. They are rapidly becoming the new organization that is actually challenging the status quo around the Salish Sea. Lord knows it needs it. Far too many endless meetings and far too little action.

Here’s a wrap up from Sound Action on their Olympia efforts. Given the general ‘do nothing’ nature of this last session, this is good work for such a small organization like theirs.

  • We are happy to say that the derelict vessel removal bill we supported, which created new tools for the derelict vessel program an DNR, passed with flying colors. This program helps to ensure habitat protection by allowing DNR to remove derelict and abandoned vessels from Puget Sound, which can pollute nearshore and marine waters with fuel and oil spills.
  • We also worked to defend Puget Sound from the impacts that would arise as a result of a bill related to floating homes. This bill initially proposed to amend the Shorelines Management Act in ways that expanded the definition of water-dependent, setting a dangerous precedent and opening the door to many more over-water structures in the nearshore. While the bill itself pass, the final legislation did not include this damaging language we opposed and the general integrity of the Shoreline Management Act was supported.
  • The forage fish bill we told you about last month unfortunately died before getting a floor vote. But, there was good progress in helping to spotlight forage fish issues in the legislature and laying  groundwork for next year.

Ocean salmon quota options reflect strong runs – Tacoma News Tribune

Good news at least from the forecast for these fish.

Under options approved this week, recreation anglers fishing off the Washington coast this year could see a higher catch quota for chinook salmon and certainly higher coho quotas. The three alternatives for ocean fishing, approved late Thursday by the Pacific Fishery Management Council, are in response to projections of a higher abundance of hatchery chinook and a significant increase in the number of coho bound for the Columbia River. The council establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast. Chinook options range from 47,500 to 60,000 fish, while the coho options range from 159,600 to 193,200 fish. Jeffery Mayor reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Read the whole story at:

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/03/14/3097998/ocean-salmon-quota-options-reflect.html

Olympic National Park seeks comments on wilderness stewardship plan options – PDN and OFC

Your opportunity to tell the ONP what changes you would like to see to their Wilderness Plan.

The public is invited to mix and match elements of four preliminary alternatives outlined for managing wilderness in Olympic National Park. Park staff are seeking public input on preliminary alternatives for the park’s first Wilderness Stewardship Plan before it puts together its draft environmental impact statement. The final plan, expected to be put into effect in late 2015, will guide management of most of the 922,650-acre park for the next 15 to 20 years. Comment can be made in person at meetings in Port Angeles and Forks this week and in Port Townsend next week. Comments also can be made in writing by mail or online by May 17. Arwyn Rice and Leah Leach report. (Peninsula Daily News)

Read the rest of the story.

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140317/news/303179990/olympic-national-park-seeks-comments-on-wilderness-stewardship-plan

From the Olympic Forest Coalition a bit more detailed viewpoint. The National Park Service has released a range of preliminary draft alternatives for the Olympic National Park Wilderness Stewardship Plan. The preliminary draft alternatives were designed to reflect key topics raised during the initial public scoping process last spring. “The public’s review and comment at this key stage of the planning process will ensure that we are developing the best possible future for the Olympic Wilderness,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. “Moreover, we want to ensure that we have accurately heard and addressed the public’s comments as we move forward in developing the plan.” This planning process applies only to lands within Olympic National Park and when complete, will guide the preservation, management and use of the park’s wilderness area. “In accordance with the Wilderness Act of 1964, the goal of this wilderness stewardship plan is to restore, protect and enhance the overall wilderness character of the wilderness area within Olympic National Park,” Creachbaum emphasized. The preliminary draft alternatives and maps, along with extensive background information and a copy of the public comments submitted during last year’s public scoping period, can be reviewed online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/olymwild. Comments may also be submitted at that website. Six public workshops will be offered and are scheduled as follows:

Ninety-five percent of Olympic National Park was designated as wilderness in 1988, and is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The Wilderness Act of 1964 established the National Wilderness Preservation System and established a policy for the protection of wilderness resources for public use and enjoyment. For more information or to be added to the Olympic National Park Wilderness Stewardship Plan, people should visit http://parkplanning.nps.gov/olymwild or call the park at 360-565-3004.

Here is the full document if you are interested:

ONP Draft Alternate

 

Six public workshops will be offered and are scheduled as follows:

Tues., March 18, 2014

5:00-7:00 p.m.

Port Angeles Library

2210 S. Peabody St.

Port Angeles, Wash.

Phone: 360-417-8500

Wed., March 19, 2014

5:00-7:00 p.m.

Dept. of Natural Resources

411 Tillicum Lane

Forks, Wash.

Phone: 360-374-2800

Mon., March 24, 2014

5:00-7:00 p.m.

Cotton Building

607 Water Street

Port Townsend, Wash.

Phone: 360-379-4412

Wed., March 26, 2014

5:00-7:00 p.m.

Quinault Lake School

Amanda Park, Wash.

Phone: 360-288-2260

 

Tues., April 1, 2014

5:00-7:00 p.m.

Civic Center (Meeting Room 1)

525 W. Cota St.

Shelton, Wash.

Phone: 360-426-4441

Thurs., April 3, 2014

5:00-7:00 p.m.

Seattle Public Library

Wright/Ketcham Room; Level 4, Room 2

1000 4th Ave., Seattle, Wash.

Phone: 206-386-4636

Public comments may also be mailed or delivered to:

Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum

Attn: Wilderness Stewardship Plan
Olympic National Park
600 E Park Ave
Port Angeles WA 98362-6757

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