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.
Fictional whale tale underscores real-life role of kinship in orcas’ survival
In the newly published novel “Beyond the Human Realm,” Lopez Island scientist and author Gene Helfman draws on the real-life intelligence of orcas in a fictional story that affirms that preservation of the species requires the adoption of an approach characterized by kinship.
Author of ‘Orca’ has a message for the Northwest: hope has a price tag
The new book Orca: Shared Waters, Shared Home begins in crisis, as author Lynda Mapes tells the gut-wrenching story of Tahlequah (J35), the mother orca who in 2018 carried her dead baby around for 17 days. Mapes will speak Sept. 18 at the Lopez Island Library.
Prepared for the worst, local agencies plan wildfire-fighting strategies while hoping for the best
Whatcom County’s emergency management teams will focus this year’s training on fighting wildfires, and are stepping up reminders to the community that most such fires are caused by human actions — and therefore preventable.
Years in the making, amendments ban new coal or oil industries, new shipping terminals at Cherry Point
No new oil- or coal-based industries will be allowed at Cherry Point west of Ferndale under Whatcom County’s latest — and groundbreaking — Comprehensive Plan amendments, following a unanimous vote by the county council.
Water supply on Guemes: an island paradise faces challenges
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.
Have enough water? San Juan prepares to find out, with USGS study
A study funded by the state legislature and the U.S. Geological Survey will address a major barrier in both predicting San Juan County’s future water needs and managing current systems: the capacity of wells in the county is unknown.
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.
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.
Second phase of fish passage work underway on Padden Creek
When work is completed by the fall of 2022, coho, chum and chinook salmon will have access restored to 2.7 miles of Padden Creek from its mouth in Bellingham Bay near the ferry terminal.
Doing the work of the people: Nooksack adjudication, Billy Frank, Jr., statue and a wrap-up of 40th and 42nd legislator success
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.
Little estuary to see big restoration investment
A small city park on Bellingham Bay will soon include a valuable asset for the local aquatic ecosystem, as the City of Bellingham identifies funding needed to establish an estuary at Little Squalicum Park.
North Fork Nooksack Forest project: thinning for habitat or harvesting for profit?
Following the comment period on a draft Environmental Assessment of a proposal to cut trees and manage vegetation to improve habitat and stand conditions and to harvest timber in the North Fork Nooksack area, next steps are up to Forest Service project managers.
A next step to resolve Nooksack water rights waits on legislative budget decision
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.