What You Learn from 30 Years Tracking Seagulls on Protection Island

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Over those years, the genial, soft-spoken Michigan professor and researcher has spent two months each summer living in a rustic, three-room cabin on the island, observing the mating rituals, nesting, egg-laying, and the hatching and fledging of the glaucous winged gulls that breed there by the thousands.

Why the Snake River Dams Need to Go

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One thing is clear: we can and must make space for climate change if we hope to recover and protect our northwest salmon.

Biden Reverses Trump and Saves Old-Growth Trees in Alaska’s Vast Tongass Forest

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The environmental community has much to celebrate, having fought the clear cutting of old growth in the Tongas back to 1980 when Congress passed the Alaska Lands Act.

Who Owns the Oceans

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If our goal is to depend more on alternative energy, then promoting efforts for sustainable mining both on land and in the ocean is in our interest.

“The People That Live Under the Sea”: Lynda Mapes Chronicles the Orcas

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When people say to me, ‘They are just like us,’ the first thing that flashes through my mind is, don’t flatter yourself.”

Gift of the Pandemic: Return of Beavers and Other Shy Wildlife

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You don’t have to live in the suburbs to spot native beavers building dams and raising kits inside the city. There are sightings along creeks and trailways in large parks, and this is the best time of the year to spot mothers and their young.

Saving the Seabed… Or Exploiting It?

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The legislation is an apparent win for environmentalists. But the story is actually far more complex.

Water Wars: Klamath Basin in Peril

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Resolutions over the water in the Klamath Basin keep running into two tough problems. There isn't enough water to go around, and the environmental groups are split.

Memo to Biden: Do More to Protect the Tongass, America’s Last Great Rain Forest

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The mills are long closed, but the battle is not ended. Cheered on by the Alaska delegation, the Trump Administration last year rescinded, in the Tongass, the Carter-era “Roadless Rule” which blocked construction of new roads into unlogged national forest land. The move was designed to open 186,000 acres of old growth forest to commercial logging.

Kickstarting 30X30: Look to Alaska

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Biden, in an executive order on climate policy signed last January, directed Cabinet secretaries to set the stage to “achieve the goal of conserving at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030.” The same executive order spoke of creating a Civilian Climate Corps modeled after FDR’s successful Civilian Conservation Corps which built much of the West’s recreation infrastructure.

Coastal Tribes work to Reduce Vulnerability to Sea Rise and Tsunamis

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Intelligent, dedicated residents in Washington's coastal communities provided the leadership to overcome political inertia and partisan stupidity. The groundwork for safety has been laid, so when the next big wave comes, physical damage will be great, but the horrors recalled in myth and legend need not be repeated.

School’s Back in Session: Hundreds of Millions of Herring Return to Puget Sound

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Some areas are in drastic shape, but those declines have been offset by remarkable increases in Elliott Bay. Much of the activity takes place along Alki Beach and off the Olympic Sculpture Garden.

Fast Responders: What the World’s COVID Response teaches us about Climate Change

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When COVID-19 exploded out of Wuhan, different countries reacted in different ways. Countries which had experienced either SARS, MERS, or the last major round...

Citizen Science: “Will Anyone ever see this?”

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Citizen science, sometimes referred to as “community science,” is a big deal these days. Researchers at the University of Washington recently estimated that 1.3 million citizen volunteers had participated in 388 research projects in just one area of research – biodiversity.

Study: Cascade Glaciers May Be Gone by Mid-Century

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Our snow-cone mountains will still look snowy in winter, but plenty of people alive today will live to see Rainier, Adams, Baker, Hood, and, of course, Glacier Peak lose their whiteness completely during the summer, the way forcefully de-glaciered St. Helen's does now.

Saving the Land that Saved Canada’s Trumpeter Swans

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The Edwards clan, who saved the Trumpeter swans from extinction, is long gone from Lonesome Lake, its farm buildings destroyed by a long-ago forest fire. A “re-wilding” has taken place at the lake, surrounded by the wilderness of Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. What a wild place it is!

Olympia Influence Watch: “Clean Fuel Washington” is actually Big Biofuel

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Because we’re fans of both transparency and of getting to the bottom of things, we were happy to see this pop up at the Public Disclosure Commission a few days after the story ran, in which Clean Fuel Washington reveals that it is neither particularly Washington nor particularly clean.

This Year’s Snowpack is WAY Above Normal (But our Glaciers…)

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“The Northwest snowpack went CRAZY in February, going from nearly normal to way above normal,” the Cliff Mass Weather Blog reported.

Two lessons on the Complicated Politics of Climate Change Legislation

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Understanding Democrats who voted against a stricter clean fuels standard, and an alternative to Carlyle’s cap-and-trade plan gets a hearing in his committee

Whodunit: How a Key Part of Gov. Inslee’s Climate Agenda Died This Week

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Opponents of the bill had the usual allies, but they also had opponents in the Democratic camp, fearful of crossing unions. Another factor was Covid, which slowed negotiations, so opponents were able to run out the clock.

Biden and Trudeau Agree to Rescue Porcupine Caribou Herd

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The coastal plain has been subject to a 40-year struggle. It is vital to existence of the 100,000-plus animals of the Porcupine herd, but Alaska politicians have long sought to drill in the Refuge.

“Building Homes for Salmon”: Nature Conservancy works to Restore an Old-Growth Forest

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The Olympic Peninsula has become a living laboratory of efforts to restore and reestablish fish runs.

Can a Conservative Idaho Republican Bring Sockeyes Back to the Salmon River?

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Timothy Egan, in his book The Good Rain, put it best: “The Northwest is anywhere a salmon can get to.” But few can get to Idaho's Salmon River.

Shock and Awe: The Greening of Joe Biden

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Biden is off to a fast start, and Team Biden has a common theme: carbon transition means lots of jobs. But industry and GOP allies in Congress are armed and ready for the assault.

Inslee’s Bold Carbon Legislation Draws Opposition from Industry and Greens

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Cracks have started appearing in Inslee's ambitious proposals. To bond or not to bond? Fuels tax or cap-and-trade? Old bargains or the new imperative of environmental justice?

That Was Fast: Biden Voids Giveaway of Arctic Wildlife Leases

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Biden is not stopping with the Arctic Refuge. Initial executive orders include canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline, stopped by President Obama in 2015 but revived by Trump in 2017. He is immediately rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, three years after Trump took the United States out of the agreement to begin curbing climate change.

Sen. Cantwell’s To-Do List: Silencing Trump’s Chainsaws

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Snohomish County, once known for its timber mills, is now part of a major technology corridor. Its inhabitants have turned to the out-of-doors, witness hundreds of cars parked at the Maple Pass trailhead off the North Cascades Highway, or lineups on the Teanaway Road during the “golden week” when needles on larch trees change color.

Parting Gift: Trumpers Whack the Northern Spotted Owl

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It’s puzzling why people who know it’s a bad idea to cut the carbon-sequestering forests of the Amazon don’t seem to realize the significance of the great coniferous forests close to home.

A “Light in the Darkness”: COVID Relief Bill Includes Major Green Energy Funding

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The World Resources Institute, on Monday, called the bill “one of the most significant pieces of climate legislation that Congress has passed in its history.”

The Strait Poop: ‘Victoria Flush’ is No Longer

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The Strait of Juan de Fuca is no longer a toilet. In his phone call to Gov. Inslee, Premier Horgan joked that the “Victoria flush” should have stopped in 1894.