Canoe Encampment highlights earth, sky, water threats

May 25, 2022
Nancy DeVaux

The Esqaplh etse Kwelengsen (Gathering of the Eagles) Canoe Encampment is traveling the Salish Sea bringing attention to threats from pipelines, tankers and extractive fossil fuel industries.

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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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Mother Earth Day celebration will look to the future, through the vision of Indigenous youth

April 20, 2022
Clifford Heberden

Messages from Indigenous youth with eyes on environmental justice and the future will be featured at a Mother Earth Day celebration presented by Children of the Setting Sun Productions at Bellingham’s Maritime Heritage Park on April 22.

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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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Holding the line on phosphorus in Lake Whatcom

March 4, 2022
Mallory Biggar

Popular as a residential and recreational site, Lake Whatcom is also the source of drinking water for many county residents. Following its listing in 1998 as polluted with increasing levels of phosphorus, the lake is the focus of efforts to meet targets to bring down those levels.

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‘Most special place’ for salmon, native culture gains protection with San Juan land bank purchase

February 25, 2022
Gretchen K. Wing

A pristine site along the southeastern shore of Lopez Island with deep history for Coast Salish peoples has gained protection from development with approval of its purchase by the San Juan County Land Bank.

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Streamside shade: fish and farm advocates struggle to find common ground

February 24, 2022
Lauren Gallup

Salmon recovery is a priority for many in Washington who see vegetated streamside buffers as important to salmon-friendly habitat. But some in the state’s agricultural community see the threat of loss of productive farmland from proposals such as the Lorraine Loomis Act discussed earlier in this year’s legislative session.

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Anticipated Salish Sea vessel traffic increases spark calls for more environmental protections

January 28, 2022
Clifford Heberden

Fossil fuel and terminal expansion projects up and down the Salish Sea are estimated to boost annual shipping vessel traffic by at least 25% in the near future, and the projected increase has raised concerns about increased risk to the environment.

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Keep walking, or keep off? Guemes beach-walking pushes question of private property versus public access

January 27, 2022
Lauren Gallup

Disagreement between those who hold to a long-established practice on Guemes Island of public access to walking across privately owned tidelands and a property owner’s opposition to what he sees as trespassing has evolved into a lawsuit.

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Winter leaves hummingbirds in the cold: dead, alive … or in torpor?

January 27, 2022
Chris O'Neill

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.

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Talking turkey in the San Juans: strutting the line between welcome wildlife and pest

December 10, 2021
Gretchen K. Wing

The American wild turkey, introduced for hunting in the San Juan Islands around 1980, seems to have learned well how to live near humans — to the extent of unwelcome encroachment, in the minds of some. Given mixed responses in human-dominated environs, what makes a wild creature a charming neighbor to some and a pest to others?

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Vigil calls for more urgency to save endangered salmon, orcas

November 22, 2021
Jacqueline Allison

A vigil in support of endangered salmon in the Pacific Northwest drew environmental advocates and members of the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Indian Tribe to the Bellingham waterfront on Nov. 20. The event commemorated the 30th anniversary of the original declaration of Snake River sockeye salmon as endangered, and was held in conjunction with several similar events around the region.

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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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Community Voices / Electric vehicles and the Tesla experience

November 4, 2021
William Dietrich

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.

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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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Voters to have their say — amid controversy — on San Juan County charter amendments

October 28, 2021
Heather Spaulding

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.

 

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