Floods, fish and farming intersect in Nooksack Basin’s complex challenge
As Whatcom County works to prepare for the next major flooding events and to foster community resilience, a discussion on long-term solutions and ways to promote salmon population and environmental preservation along the Nooksack River is taking shape.
Winter leaves hummingbirds in the cold: dead, alive … or in torpor?
Is that lifeless-looking hummingbird lying on the frozen ground really dead … or in torpor? Wildlife rescue professionals say it’s not uncommon to see Anna’s hummingbirds at their centers during the winter months, as the birds have moved farther north with climate change. Inert-seeming hummingbirds may in fact be alive but conserving energy, and experts advise contacting professionals to find out how to help.
Community Voices / Is time running out? Streamflow trends in the Nooksack watershed
Given the high volume of rain and flooding during the past few weeks, it may seem strange to talk about water scarcity in the Nooksack River system. Although the watershed has ample water in the winter (often too much water), it holds too little in the summer to support healthy salmon. Complicating the water supply issue are the adverse effects of climate change.
Community Voices / How farmers can fight climate change
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.
Community Voices / Electric vehicles and the Tesla experience
With the state legislature and some local governments contemplating a future without fossil fuel-powered vehicles, Northwest Washington car buyers are beginning to ponder what it’s like to drive an electric vehicle — a computer on wheels — and some already are behind the wheel.
Nooksack Tribe and partners face up to climate change challenge on South Fork Nooksack River
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.
Whatcom County to consider climate change goals in delay of natural gas franchise renewal
The Whatcom County Council voted to reschedule until early January a decision renewing a franchise agreement with Cascade Natural Gas, following testimony by climate activists regarding the franchise’s effect on climate change goals — and after spirited discussion among council members.
Voters to have their say — amid controversy — on San Juan County charter amendments
San Juan County voters will have had their say by Nov. 2 on hotly debated amendments to their charter proposed by the Charter Review Commission. The amendments have raised controversy, with one group launching a campaign encouraging voters to reject all the proposals.
Community Voices / End-of-summer hike brings home climate effects on Mount Baker
Hotter-than-usual weather — including a heat dome incident — resulted in more extensive snow and glacier melt than usual on Mount Baker this summer. A hike up Heliotrope Ridge Trail yielded dramatic close-up views of how much the mountain has changed over the last several decades.
Community Voices / Addressing climate change in Whatcom County
Climate change effects are here, and the Whatcom County’s Climate Impact Advisory Committee is calling for establishment of an Office of Climate Action to lead planning to deal with the multiple problems climate change is bringing now and in the near future.
Clock starts on Nooksack basin water rights inventory; stakeholders yet to discuss solutions
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.
Electric buses to debut, marking trend in Whatcom County
Two new all-blue additions to Whatcom Transportation Authority’s fleet are its first electric buses — and part of a growing movement to replace fossil-fuel-powered vehicles with electric models to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change.
House of Tears Carvers visit Bellingham with totem pole bound for DC
Several hundred people in Bellingham visited a totem pole created by Lummi carvers from a 400-year-old cedar log — the latest stop in the Red Road to D.C. tour of the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere across the U.S. toward its final destination in Washington, D.C.
‘Bold’ ideas around equity, environment proposed as San Juan reviews its county charter
San Juan County voters could be voting this fall to create a county climate and environment office and a justice and equity commission by amending the county’s 15-year-old home rule charter.
Community Voices / Local team launches innovative approach to help curb climate change
We must act, not just worry, and use as many solutions as possible to curb climate change as we can, say a team of professors, graduate fellows, student interns and sustainability professionals working on one solution for Whatcom County — that can be replicated anywhere.
Economy, environment, social justice, COVID recovery, housing: legislators anticipate the 2021 session
Salish Current asked 40th and 42nd District legislators a few questions about how they see the legislative session that convenes on Monday, Jan. 11; their answers follow.