Small batches, partnerships and goats: family dairies evolve to survive

December 3, 2021
Lauren Gallup

Whatcom County is one of the top milk-producing counties in the state — and nationwide — but the business of dairy has changed, with increasing costs for land, equipment and labor; new technology; and competition from the world market. But family farms remain in the county — and many are surviving changes in the industry by making changes of their own.

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Community Voices / How farmers can fight climate change

November 17, 2021
Stevan Harrell and Katherine Steensma

Farmers are in a powerful position to help curb climate change, and many locally already are taking steps to do so, note dairy farmer Katherine Steensma and author Stevan Harrell. While this bodes well for the future of agriculture here, there is more to be done to stop “wasting and poisoning the good and beautiful things of the world”: natural resources.

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‘Food hub plus’ part of ambitious collaboration to meet housing and food needs

October 1, 2021
Lane Morgan

A complex housing and food resources proposal for the Bellingham waterfront aims to employ a fusion of community and economic development in “a once in a lifetime opportunity” to meet local food supply needs — with the help of local farmers and suppliers.

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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: © 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 © 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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Local food banks have been addressing a hunger crisis — even before COVID

February 5, 2021
Heather Spaulding

Even before the pandemic lockdowns caused unemployment to skyrocket, food banks worked to help millions of Americans who were not able to feed their families.

 

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photo: Alex Meacham © 2020

New report details action plan for fixing Padilla Bay fecal coliform sources, urges participation

November 20, 2020
Alex Meacham

The Padilla Bay Freshwater Tributary Fecal Coliform Total Maximal Daily Load (TMDL) Report is due to be submitted by Ecology to the Environmental Protection Agency at the end of 2020 and lists fecal coliform bacteria sources and strategies for cleanup.

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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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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: Ann Potter © 2020

Toxic tansy ragwort is having a boom year

September 14, 2020
Alex Meacham

Pernicious, invasive and even sometimes deadly for livestock, tansy ragwort has enjoyed a booming bloom this summer in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties and across the rest of western Washington and Oregon.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Farming is more challenging than ever during the pandemic

August 7, 2020
Kimberly Cauvel

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, farms are facing more challenges than ever during the busy season, with their workers among the most vulnerable to the virus and produce reaching fewer buyers through usual markets, festivals and tourism outlets.

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