By the numbers: wealth gap grows in the San Juan Islands
A shortage of affordable housing, increasing affluence and tourism, and loss of island culture top lists of negative trends reported in the San Juan Islands.
Farmer-artist counters food, fuel uncertainty — through permaculture
The past two years since the outbreak of COVID-19 have been turbulent and uncertain times for many. As fuel and food prices rise, the drive to become more self-reliant is also on the increase. A Whatcom farmer and glass artist suggests the path to that is permaculture.
Food security requires connection to land, to each other
Feeding communities is particularly challenging now, in the face of systemic upheaval, climate change and uncertainty. San Juan islanders making key connections to build resilience for future food security met recently in an ag summit.
Streamside shade: fish and farm advocates struggle to find common ground
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.
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.
Community Voices / Nooksack flood, water solutions to protect families, fish and farms will require collaboration
Whatcom farmers are calling for communitywide collaboration in pursuing solutions to flooding and water supply issues in the Nooksack River Basin.
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.
New report details action plan for fixing Padilla Bay fecal coliform sources, urges participation
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.
Community Voices / Nooksack water rights adjudication is an existential threat to farming’s future
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.
Toxic tansy ragwort is having a boom year
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.
Farming is more challenging than ever during the pandemic
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.