Dec 7, 2017

#SalishSea (PugetSound) #WA:Tool to measure cities' and counties' attention to stormwater pollution


"Half of Puget Sound’s cities and counties miss the mark."

Click to view:
Excerpts: This tool is intended to help our region plan for the future we want to see, measure progress, and hold our community leaders accountable...Our scorecard grades cities and counties on their code updates and public process, calling out those that went above and beyond and those that have more work to do... 

Nov 25, 2017

#Bellingham #WA: My preference is more natural abundance of wildlife

My preference is more natural abundance of wildlife, no significant amount of public presence on the waterfront, and serious enforcement of legal regulations.

In attending Waterfront Futures meetings and submitting comments back around 2004, I hoped that the glorious waters, beaches and life of the shoreline could be rehabilitated, protected and repopulated with fish and other wildlife. It is ironic that The Granary formerly stored things such as feed for distribution elsewhere whereas currently the Port accepts incoming corn and soybeans from Turkey for feeding confined animals in Whatcom County. The horse is out of the barn now but I still believe Bellingham Bay and #SalishSea should be a marine reserve, not a duplication of Grays Harbor, Singapore, or Monaco.

Regardless, it is a blast zone in the event of a train disaster as well as a tsunami zone and an area subject to sea level rise! It is my impression that these three risks are practically inevitable. Moreover having the public cross the tracks via Laurel Street seems as unsafe to me as drunks and drug addicts walking across the tracks near Lighthouse Mission.

There should be higher numbers of wild species on the Bellingham waterfront. During my most recent visit to the #SouthBayTrail and #BoulevardPark, I saw just five Trumpeter Swans in flight while I was walking the trail, a few Western Grebe near Shell Beach, and what I guess was a family of Harbor seals in #BellinghamBay trying to fend off gulls while they caught fish. On Instagram, I saw someone's great photo of an owl standing on the trestle railing near Wharf Street. There should be huge numbers of critters such that all of us in our everyday wanderings would experience many more sightings than currently happens (search results for "decline of birds 2017").

If money for humans is the only driver, then consider the tourism dollars that would ensue from a natural, well-protected bay. The many rich out-of-towners who flock to Whatcom County for marathons, beer and other festivals, mountain biking and hiking, windsurfing, honeymoons, and so on would increase in number and spending if some peacefulness, fresh air and water, and populations of birds, salmon and whales were restored. Ports that handle such things as logs and corn already exist in WA. Big residential complexes won’t solve the human overpopulation problem. Healthy estuaries and seas are rare commodities now and will be more valuable in the future.

As for public parks along waterfronts, it is fraught with human threats to wildlife. Some members of the public behave badly, some are oblivious, and some are cruel. Over the years residing near the South Bay Trail I have occasionally heard fireworks and/or gunfire. Often there are dumped shopping carts. The other day I noticed three loose stringed balloons floating down from WWU area towards the waterfront. In my observations of people at Boulevard Park and elsewhere, there is tragically no shortage of legal violations that harm wildlife.  

One time at Taylor Dock there was a very still sea lion on the dock; I contacted the proper authorities, and waited for them to arrive meanwhile trying to keep people from disturbing him/her. This past summer I saw glass and plastic strewn at Shell Beach which turned out to have been deliberately planted there by a teacher who wanted to give her group of little kids some sort of scavenger hunt type experience. At Boulevard Park, there is feeding bread to birds, throwing rocks into the bay, vagrancy, and people who don't pick up after their dogs. I have seen little kids smash crabs to death for fun with no discouragement from their parents or group leaders. I've seen kids at Boulevard Park lift critters out of the water and carry them around and even suggest taking them back home to Canada or wherever. The BNSF-owned wetland near the trestle and Wharf Street has been the scene of campfires, littering and more.

On October 3, 2017 I was sad to receive the following reply from a neighborhood compliance officer:
"Good Morning Liz,
Just fyi, there's no way I can get that shopping cart. It's just me. So if you see these types of things tossed over a cliff or a wall, that's where they are staying unfortunately.
If you see someone suspicious looking, peeking in doors and in unauthorized areas, call 911 so we can send someone out immediately.
We have a large crew doing cleanup along that trail tomorrow.
Anything in BNSF area we are not allowed to clean or even go onto to investigate. You'll have to contact them directly. It's a security issue for them.

Nov 24, 2017

Earth: Outdoor LED Lighting Makes Light Pollution Worse

This short film, shot mainly in California by Sriram Murali and included in Nat Geo's Short Film Showcase, goes through all the levels of the scale of light pollution, showing how the view of the cosmos gets better in less light-polluted areas. (source)

It is inhumane to impact nature in general and wildlife in particular.

The above video may also be viewed on Vimeo at: summarizes the new study in their news post HERE.

"Though energy-efficient, bright rays from LEDs are contributing to a host of human and animal problems."
A link to the actual scientific study in Science Advances is HERE.
I first saw the news at Gizmodo.

Nov 17, 2017

South Dakota: Urgent. #TransCanada's #Keystone 1 Pipeline Spills 200,000+ gallons of #Oil

Click here for news search results via Google for spill this week in South Dakota. The first I heard of it was on news summary. Below is email alert from an active organization in this horribleness. Their USA Facebook page is at

------ Forwarded message -------
From: "Friends of the Earth" <>
Date: Nov 16, 2017 3:39 PM
Subject: BREAKING: Keystone pipeline reportedly spills 200,000 gallons of oil

Help take Trump to court to stop Keystone XL and prevent more oil spills: Donate $15 or more NOW!
Dear Liz,
Today, TransCanada's Keystone 1 pipeline spilled more than 200,000 gallons of tar sands -- the world's dirtiest oil -- in South Dakota. This spill will contaminate the environment and threaten local communities.
This is a sign of what's to come if Trump succeeds in forcing construction of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline. Keystone XL would carry 830,000 barrels of the world's dirtiest oil every day from Alberta, Canada, to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
We've taken Trump to court to stop Keystone XL. But it's going to be a long fight. We need to make sure we have the resources to win. Can we count on you?
Donate $15 or more and help take Trump to court to stop Keystone XL!
If you've saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:
The Keystone 1 spill shows what's at risk if Keystone XL is built. The new pipeline would cut through the habitat of the critically endangered whooping crane. A pipeline disaster could put this important species at risk of extinction.
Trump's attempt to build Keystone XL violates the law. Trump's State Department failed to fully consider the pipeline's impact on the whooping crane, which is protected under the Endangered Species Act.
This is unacceptable. Trump and his administration are trying to get around their legal obligations just so they can hand this pipeline to TransCanada. But with your help, we can stop them.
Donate $15 or more and help keep up the legal battle to stop Keystone XL!
If you've saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:
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Nov 11, 2017

#Pinedale #WY: Comments Needed re: Draft Record of Decision for the Upper Green Grazing Project

Please share this topic which concerns part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

I received the following email from Mr. Hoelscher and he gave permission to blog his email message; please note the attached document. Please share this notice, especially with subject matter experts. There is a relatively short comment period - limited to certain people according to the third paragraph? - once the notice is published in the Casper Star Tribune. Click to view attachment in pdf:
Draft Record of Decision for the Upper Green Grazing Rangeland Project

See also:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Hoelscher, Rob -FS <>
Date: Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 3:21 PM
Subject: Draft Record of Decision for the Upper Green Grazing Project

Today I signed the draft Record of Decision (ROD) and released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Upper Green Grazing Project, and I have attached a copy of the signed ROD in this email.

The draft decision selects a modified Alternative 3. Under this decision, livestock grazing would continue to be authorized on all six allotments, using livestock management strategies designed to sustain rangeland and riparian resource conditions where desired conditions are being met and improve resource conditions where a gap between existing conditions and desired conditions has been identified.  The EIS is available online at: The Notice of Availability (NOA) of the FEIS will be published in the Federal Register in late October, 2017.

The draft decision is subject to the objection process. Once the legal notice of the availability of the draft ROD is published in the Casper Star-Tribune, there will be a 45-day objection period. Objections will be accepted only from persons who have previously submitted specific written comments regarding the proposed project during scoping and other designated opportunity to comment. Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted written comments regarding the proposed project unless based on new information arising after designated opportunities to comment.

Written objections, including any attachments, must be sent via regular mail, fax, email, hand-delivery, or express delivery within 45 days following the publication date of the legal notice in the Casper Star-Tribune to: Objection Reviewing Officer, PO Box 1888, 340 N. Cache, Jackson, WY 83001 or the email address for filing objections: (36 CFR 218.7)

Paper copies of the document are available for public viewing during normal business hours at the Front Desk of the Bridger-Teton Pinedale Ranger District at 29 East Fremont Lake Road in Pinedale, WY. Copies are also available by contacting Dave Booth, Interdisciplinary Team Co-leader at 307-367-4326 or

Rob Hoelscher
District Ranger
Forest Service
Bridger-Teton National Forest,
Pinedale Ranger District
PO Box 220
Pinedale, WY 82941
Caring for the land and serving people