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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Sting: Pebble Mine Exec Caught Boasting About Political Influence

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The open boasting by Pebble Mine executives has put the controversial project in a deep pit.

Big Deal: New Protections For BC’s Old Growth Forests

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An estimated 140,000 hectares of old growth have been logged each year. British Columbia estimates that 23 percent of its forests are old growth, defined as trees 250 years or older on the Coast, and 150-plus years in the interior.

The Olympic Peninsula’s Hidden State Park Gem that’s Largely Unused

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Eventually, this gem on Discovery Bay is destined to be discovered. Miller is at the top of the state’s list for development. More than a decade ago, State Parks convened public meetings to discuss longterm plans with hopes of opening as early as 2013. But those plans got pushed to a back burner with the recession, and Covid economics are likely to keep it there indefinitely.

A Major New Canadian Container Port Looms To Threaten Puget Sound

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A proposal to build Roberts Bank Terminal 2 would enable Canada to move another 2.4 million shipping containers per year through its southernmost terminal about 1 mile from the Washington state border.

An Ancient Clam Garden Resurfaces on a Puget Sound Beach

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Overnight the rare, ephemeral deposits left by ancient people underground are replaced by visible sturdy stone structures. It is as though we woke up to find Anasazi pueblo ruins in our back yard. The lithic has been put back in Neolithic.

Ah yes, the Process: Trump Slows Alaska Pebble Mine, Pushes Ahead on Wilderness Drilling

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The administration punted on Monday, giving Pebble Mine developers 90 days to come up with additional measures to protect “aquatic life” in the area. A moment for celebration, especially with all the fishing boats that go north to Alaska? No!!!!  The administration has other major projects to drill, mine, and log in the 49th state.

Trump Gives Dams On The Lower Snake River a Few More Expensive Decades to...

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"You would think it was time for the government to chart a new course," says Earthjustice senior attorney Todd True. Instead, he says, "it's surprising how much time the government took to do nothing.'''

Trump Revives Alaska’s Pebble Mine, Igniting The Mother of All Mining Fights

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“The science is clear: You can’t put a gold and copper mine on top of the most productive salmon run in the world and not have substantial and permanent damage,” Sen. Cantwell said last week. “Salmon and mining simply don’t mix.”

Reading Signs Of Climate Change In The Pacific Northwest

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The Quinault Nation is “geographically classified now as living below sea level” as stated in testimony to Congress by President Fawn Sharp . The tribe’s forced relocation due to rising sea level is eerily parallel with the legend of the Flood Tide Woman, who lead the First Nations Haida people to higher, safer ground.

The Cloud-Capped Myths of Mt. Rainier

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The clouds recall the volcanic beheading. The cap cloud rising thousands of feet above the summit recalls Rainier's earlier elevation, estimated by the angles of high lava flows to have been around 16,000 feet. As the clouds divide and slip to the Mountain’s lee, her monstrous head is severed and thrown, as if in aggregate motion.

Puget Sound’s Life Beyond Aquaculture

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The environmental group Wild Fish Conservancy has applied for permits to lease state tidelands in Puget Sound now leased by Cooke Aquaculture for Atlantic salmon net pens.

The Ancient Roadway That Became Seattle’s Meridian

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Meridian Avenue traces a long route from Green Lake north to Edmonds, and it likely traces an Indian path connecting key food sites and a military highway begun when America feared a war with the British. Imaginary mastodons can be "seen."

More Bad News For North Cascades Grizzlies

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There may be 20 bears in the Cascades. There may be two. At times, if you assume that they wander back and forth across the Canadian border, there may be none. But the habitat remains. The recovery plan calls for restoring a population in a place where bears can obviously live.

New Book: The Plundering of the Duwamish River

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Step by step, author Cummings leads us to the sad ending, and the belated efforts at salvaging the river. In place of a pristine watershed, the Duwamish became an impoverished drain.

Millions of Birds in Trump’s Crosshairs

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If this new legal opinion and its proposed rule are adopted, you can expect to see fewer birds.

Wild Side: The Animal World Revealed when we Sheltered in Place.

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Everything from house finches and hydrangea to cavorting rabbits is putting on a show—flashing colors and trilling arpeggios. Our lockdown is their liberation.

COVID Debate on Lives Versus Jobs: Tacoma Remembers this One

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Bill Ruckelshaus made the nearby residents of Tacoma's ASARCO smelter face the choice: kill a few people a year from arsenic, or gamble to save 575 jobs?

Pacific Dogwood, Eye of Coyote, Offers Many Gifts of the Forest

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In springtime Coyote transforms the world. When he opens his crimson eye, the world blooms. The dogwood tree is his sign and his promise that life is greater than death.

Looking For Signs Of Century-Old Clam Gardens

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Boulders and cobbles were piled beside the ancient clam gardens. On the beach they mark gardens and also pens where fish were herded for capture. More than a century has passed since the gardens were kept and wave action has been constant. Would the patterns survive?

Climate Politics: At Last Some Reasons to Hope

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One decision is to give up on the Republicans, rather than trying to woo them into some marginal concessions, since they have obviously been "bought." The effort now is to unify the Left, not seek a center.

Climate Change And Dubious Science Threaten The Canada Lynx In U.S. Mountain Forests

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“Lynx are good sentinel species for climate change,” says Dan Thornton, an assistant professor in Washington State University's School of the Environment.. “They are like an early warning system for what’s going to happen to other climate sensitive species.”

Unglamorous But Useful: Behold the Wild Choke Cherry

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The choke cherry’s beautiful bark is its claim to fame. Native people used strips buffed to a gorgeous copper to imbricate designs on baskets.

Earth Day At 50: Present At The Creation, Anxious At The Birthday

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Fifty years later, we seem to be approaching another important transition, pushed by the dual threats of a second Trump term and fear of global pandemic. Democrats have been slow to mount an aggressive climate-change agenda, and the dominance of pandemic news and fears does not bode well for climate to influence the November election.

Planting Trees Will Help Reduce Carbon, But You Have To Do It Right

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Here in the Pacific Northwest -- at least the dank western part of the region -- planting trees seems a natural. If there's one thing we can do here, it's grow trees. And we should. But not every place is Western Washington or Oregon. And even here, there are caveats.

A Carbon Primer: Our Friend and Nemesis

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The trouble we face now isn’t that carbon dioxide is an alien force, or even in and of itself problematic. There is just too much of it. And more all the time. And way too fast.

March of the Mollusks: Tracking Snails, Clams, and Other Critters Across Seattle

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The living world shifts beneath our feet. It took 10 years, but the snails followed us across the region...

Unrelenting Grays: Native Myths About Endless Rain

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One might wonder why Native stories wished for more rain in damp, dark Seattle, but spring floods signal salmon to return to spawning rivers where people caught them.

The Case Against The Growing Environmental Disaster Of Tourism

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Seattle, which has declared its desire to cut carbon emissions in the region, has instead fallen behind, coming up well shy of its reduction goals. One of the big culprits? Phenomenal growth in air traffic in and out of Sea-Tac, where passenger traffic increased from 34.8 million in 2013 to 49.8 million in 2018, an annual growth of about 8 percent.

Lawsuit: Who Should Benefit From Revenue From State Forests?

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Can Washington manage its vast forests in part to, say, slow climate change or protect drinking water, or must it manage them exclusively to generate money for public school construction and the budgets of cash-strapped counties? This question is not merely rhetorical.

The Northwest’s Ancient Cathedrals (And Our Obligation To Them)

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Lumbermen in a few decades scythed away our forest cover that was a wonder of the world. Centuries must pass before any of that grandeur returns.