photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

Clock starts on Nooksack basin water rights inventory; stakeholders yet to discuss solutions

July 9, 2021
Mike Sato

Weeks of sparse rainfall and a historic heat wave marked the end of June — and the start of a process to establish water rights among various users in Whatcom County’s Nooksack River basin.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

A next step to resolve Nooksack water rights waits on legislative budget decision

March 19, 2021
Alex Meacham

The state Department of Ecology has announced its intent to resolve the contentious issues around water rights in the Nooksack Basin through the legal action of adjudication, and money to move that process forward is proposed in the budget under consideration by the Legislature.

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Community Voices / Nooksack water rights adjudication is an existential threat to farming’s future

November 13, 2020
Henry Bierlink

Whatcom County farmers say they view water rights adjudication as an existential threat to their future, in their long-term battle to maintain farming as part of the local economy and culture.

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Can Southern Resident killer whales have legal rights?

April 28, 2022
Olivia Palmer

Ecosystem conference: Advocates are promoting ‘rights of nature’ as orca numbers dwindle.

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Grant to fund collaboration plan for solutions to Nooksack Basin water issues

April 15, 2022
Clifford Heberden

Interested parties hope Solutions Table funding approved by the Whatcom County Council this week will spark collaborative work toward holistic solutions for water availability in the Nooksack River basin.

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Community Voices / Nooksack flood, water solutions to protect families, fish and farms will require collaboration

January 5, 2022
Rich Appel

Whatcom farmers are calling for communitywide collaboration in pursuing solutions to flooding and water supply issues in the Nooksack River Basin.

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photo: Elisa Claassen © 2021

Water supply on Guemes: an island paradise faces challenges

July 27, 2021
Elisa Claassen

More people and rising sea levels mean continuously increasing freshwater challenges on Guemes Island, compelling action on the part of individuals and possibly government — to ensure enough water supply to meet demand.

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photo: Washington State Department of Ecology © 2020

Community Voices / Whose water is it in Whatcom County?

October 9, 2020
Eric Hirst

This may surprise you: Water, even in wet Whatcom County, is a scarce resource.

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photo: Melissa Marteny © 2020

Downtown Bellingham waterfront site sprouts new signs of life

February 26, 2020
John Stark

After almost 20 years of frustration and stagnation, the first tender shoots of redevelopment have appeared amid the post-industrial desolation that Georgia-Pacific Corp. left behind on Bellingham’s downtown waterfront.

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San Juan Islands’ fresh-water supply sustainability is in question

January 7, 2020
Mike Sato

Back in the ’70s, the Lopez Island water witch and other old-timers would rattle a newcomer’s cage by telling him the water feeding wells in the San Juan Islands came from a large undersea aquifer reaching to Mount Baker. The water witch and the old timers are gone, and the specter of climate crisis is here. No one jokes about fresh water in the islands coming from Mount Baker. Instead, talk is in earnest and concerns the question of sustaining the islands’ supply of fresh water.

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Olivia Palmer

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For the people: what local legislators plan for the 2022 session

January 7, 2022
40th and 42nd District Legislators

Dealing with climate change, providing economic relief post-COVID-19 and ensuring sustainability for the Washington State Ferries system made the priority lists of elected officials returning to take care of the people’s business when the 2022 session opens Jan. 10.

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2021: A look back at some stories from the first full year of Salish Current

December 31, 2021
Salish Current editors

2021 was a year like no other, with themes such as public health vis-à-vis COVID-19 and opioid addiction; social justice in the courts, the arts, housing and policing; and climate change and natural resources including water rights management. Salish Current offers a look back via articles published during the nonprofit newsroom’s first full year.

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Nooksack Tribe and partners face up to climate change challenge on South Fork Nooksack River

October 29, 2021
Kimberly Cauvel

Since long before more than 2,000 chinook salmon died this summer before they could spawn in the South Fork Nooksack River, the Nooksack Indian Tribe has been working with a wide range of partners to plan for supporting at-risk habitat and species. A new report from the tribe aims to translate the science and put boots on the ground.

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photo: © 2006

Doing the work of the people: Nooksack adjudication, Billy Frank, Jr., statue and a wrap-up of 40th and 42nd legislator success

April 30, 2021
Salish Current editors

How did bills introduced by 40th and 42nd District legislators fare in the session ending on April 25? See an update on the full list: planning for zero-emissions transportation, standardizing definitions around homelessness to help improve services, and more.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2012

Doing the work of the people: legislation introduced by 40th and 42nd District legislators

February 12, 2021
Mike Sato

A month into the 2021 state legislative session, it’s time to review the legislation introduced by our elected representatives as of this week.

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