Scientists and Obama Administration at odds over spill and salmon

Keep spilling Snake River water over the dams to protect young salmon. That's the bottom line in a new report by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council Independent Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB), and it comes on the heels of a request by the Obama administration to significantly cut back on the amount of water that bypasses power-generating turbines this spring because of tighter-than-usual water supplies.


SeaDoc Science Saving Snails

They may not have had pinto ponies like they did on the Great Plains, but the Coast Salish had a pinto of their own: the pinto abalone. Salish people ate them and valued their iridescent shells for jewelry; they were a valuable trade item for centuries.

Unfortunately, pinto abalone (a.k.a. Northern abalone) are in big trouble. Commercial harvest in British Columbia and recreational fishing in Washington caused the abalone numbers to decline precipitously, forcing the closure of most fisheries by the 1990s. Even with protection, populations of these important herbivores have continued to decline and the species is now in danger of extinction.


State Noxious Weed Board considers changes to the 2011 weed list

The Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board (WSNWCB) will consider rule changes on three topics at a November 2 public hearing based on several proposals that were submitted by county noxious weed control boards. These proposed rule changes would:

  • add English holly to the Class C list of noxious weeds,
  • change two Class C noxious weeds to Class B noxious weeds, and 
  • change the areas designated for control of three Class B noxious weeds.

A public hearing on these proposed changes will be held from noon to 2 pm on Tuesday, Nov. 2 at the Yakima County Public Works Maintenance and Operations Complex at 1216 S. 18th St; Yakima, WA 98901. The purpose of the public hearing is to solicit citizen comments and opinions about the proposed rule changes.



The Greatest Migration gives WA new view of endangered salmon

SEATTLE - You don't have to live along the Columbia or Snake Rivers to know some species of native Northwest salmon are endangered. Still, you may not know the whole story, and a new film aims to provide a closer perspective.

Filmmaker Andy Maser has just produced The Great Migration. It traces the 900-mile path of wild salmon, whose journey from Alaska, through Washington and Oregon to Idaho's Snake River, takes them higher and farther inland than any other salmon species.


Groups want to refloat derelict vessel program

Help is on the way for efforts to round up and dispose of derelict vessels before they sink. Several groups have pitched in with donations to resurrect a previously shelved Derelict Vessel Program in San Juan County, where there are approximately 19 abandoned vessels around the islands needing attention.

In spearheading this effort the Friday Harbor Power Squadron is joined by the Common Sense Alliance, Roche Harbor, San Juan Island Yacht Club, Island Marine Center on Lopez, and Jensen's Shipyard. These local groups (of private citizens and businesses) have united in a display of community spirit to raise the minimum funds necessary to assist the County in reviving the program that ceased operations in December 2008 due to lack of funding.


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