Magic Mountain Time: Incandescent Larches in High Cascade Forests

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In the first week in October larch needles backlit by the sun draw thousands of hikers to the east slopes of the Cascades.

Puget Sound Crab Populations are Flourishing

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Why are crab prospering while salmon aren’t? No one knows for sure.

The Case for White Roofs

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If business, government, and consumers can’t get serious about this small piece of the climate crisis, how are we ever going to deal with the whole looming catastrophe?

WA Supreme Court: State Not Required to Cut Forests to Maximize Revenue

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On July 21, the state supreme court said unanimously that the state does indeed have a duty to the schools and other beneficiaries, BUT it also has a duty to “all the people.”

Judge: Sustainable Salmon Harvest isn’t Sustainable

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Threatened Chinook salmon from the Snake River, Puget Sound, the upper Willamette River, and the lower Columbia all swim north along the coast to Southeast Alaska, where they are caught by Alaskan trollers.

Denali: On the Frontlines of Climate Change

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“There is nothing so American as our National Parks,” Franklin Roosevelt once declared.  Now those parks reflect a country’s warming climate and weather extremes.

The Wolves of Washington

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Washington has arguably become the most effective state in the West when it comes to managing wolves.

A Fascinating Explosion of Puget Sound Plankton So Big It was Seen from Space

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“Puget Sound is to plankton what Florida is to oranges, what Iowa is to corn, and what the Cascades are to Douglas fir.”

A Very Big Deal: New Climate Law Will Impact Every Sector of the Economy

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We finally have four major pillars to form the foundation of climate action in the U.S. at a meaningful scale.

Growl No More? AG Bob Ferguson Barks Back at Whidbey’s Navy Jets (and Judge...

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Protests at Growler overflights have involved not only Coupeville but Port Townsend and towns of the Quimper Peninsula. 

Glimmers: Some Hope for a Solution for Northwest Dams?

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People who have been working for years to get rid of those dams see this as a unique – but narrow – window. 

A Long Hike: Congress Adds More Wilderness Area to the Olympic Peninsula

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Preserving wilderness on the Olympic Peninsula began more than 113 years ago, when President Theodore Roosevelt set aside a 450,000-acre Olympic National Monument.

As Climate Change Accelerates, the Birds are Relocating

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Many birds are shifting their ranges poleward, especially non-migratory species and short-distance migrants.

The Stones and Me: Close Encounters with Erratics

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I like the idea of them as leftovers from the last ice age.  And I like coming upon the objects in places where I don’t expect to find them,

Dead. Done. Finished (Right?): EPA Weighs in On a Gold Mine in Bristol Bay

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The mine, with its potential impact on fisheries, has drawn unprecedented opposition that has spread from the fishing industry and Alaska natives to the state’s politicians. 

How Mount St. Helens Upended our Understanding of Recovery

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Within 24 hours of the eruption, rescue workers and scientists reported seeing insects flying around the blast zone with a surprisingly large number of spiders parachuting in and incinerating on contact with the Pumice Plain. 

Biden’s Energy Policy Dance: Swarmed from All Sides

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Joe Biden did not stand out as a greenie during 36 years in the Senate, but he made expansive promises on the campaign trail, pledging to end new oil, gas, and coal leasing on federal lands. 

Africa’s Rooftop — and Its Endless Plains

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"I thought I knew what wilderness looked like. But East Africa completely redefined that concept for me."

The Great Carbon Sink Next Door

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Local advantages of our forests include the facts that "we do not have significant land conversion to agriculture" and that Northwest "forests are growing well."

The Northwest Spotted-Owl Wars: No Happily Ever After

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Presidents like to sock it to the spotted owl and help out the timber industry while heading out the door. Latest chapter: Biden undoing a huge giveaway of lands to timber industries as Trump made his exit.

Atmospheric: It’s Like Being Hit by 25 Mississippi Rivers

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Only lately has attention been devoted to the long, narrow jets of air that carry huge amounts of water vapor from the tropics to the Earth’s continental and polar regions. They can run 250-350 miles wide and contain the flow of 25 Mississippi Rivers.

The Philosophical Gardener: Colorfully Contrary

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There are the many small observations of life retreating underground to roots and our own retreating with them.  Then there are the many chores of raking, cutting back, and clearing the abundance of fallen and rotting vegetation.

#Blah Blah Blah? Global Climate Conference on “Existential Threat” Ends with a Whimper

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None of the three criteria identified by the United Nations as measures of success for the global confab were achieved in full at the conference that ran two weeks and into overtime over the weekend.

Apocalypse Wow: How to Deal with Climate Depression

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Catastrophic or apocalyptic thinking poses its own dangers, undermining hope and action, as well as our capacity and willingness to invest in the future. That willingness to invest in a future, one that we shall not ourselves see or see only in part, seems to me an essential part of what it means to be human.

Hatcheries for Waning Orcas No Longer Works

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The lawsuit sees the state of Washington doubling down on an old panacea, more hatcheries, that hasn't worked to save the orcas in the past and won't work in the future.

Our National Parks are being Loved to Death

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The popularity explosion goes beyond national parks, however; witness the early October “golden week” in the Cascades and Rockies when needles on Lyall’s larches in the high country turn gold.  Long lines of cars are parked at the Biue Lake and Maple Pass Loop trailheads near Rainy Pass on the North Cascades Highway.

Risking Hanford (Like We Needed One More Thing to Worry About)

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It’s difficult to plumb the true depths of the hazards at Hanford. John Brodeur, an environmental engineer and geologist who worked at Hanford in the 1990s, wrote that the DOE’s leak-detection method is “not only flawed, but designed to avoid finding leaks.”

Leftward Ho! Washington Environmental Groups Make a Risky Political Bet

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Heads are shaking among longtime acquaintances in the environmental movement.  Its victories over the years have come not via bullhorns and woke-left Tweets -- rather, through inclusion and finding common ground.

What Puget Sound Pilots Want You to Know

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The bottom line is, if a ship is blowing its whistle at you, get out of the way. Make a clear course change; go astern of it.

How You Protect the Olympic Peninsula Wilderness

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About the only place you can still see “No Wild Olympics” signs are beside Trump for President yard signs on the south shore of Lake Quinault.  The south shore is a redoubt of property rights activists with a history of adversarial relations with the National Park Service.