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Mount Baker Group

 

The Mount Baker group serves Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan counties. Sponsor of many fun outings and gatherings, we focus on water quality issues and development standards to protect the environment.

To reach the Mt Baker Group please contact:

Stan Parker, parkerstan1@yahoo.com

2520 Jefferson Street, Bellingham WA 98225

360-738-0770

See our future outings and events on the Chapter calendar.

The Mount Baker Group is recruiting members to serve on its Executive Committee. This is your opportunity to help shape environmental policy in Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan Counties. The Mount Baker Group has been active in the Cherry Point Coal Terminal issue and a myriad of other activities which support sound environmental protection policies. The Group Executive Committee is also responsible for making local political endorsements and working with elected officials to promote the Sierra Club’s mission.

If you are interested in joining the Mount Baker Group Executive Committee, submit your name and contact information by May 15, 2014 by email to MtBakernominations@gmail.com. If you have questions please contact Stan Parker at 360-738-0770.

Visit and like our Facebook Page www.facebook.com/mtbakergroup

Learn about the anti coal export campaign  www.powerpastcoal.org/about-2

Read about Coal Free Puget Sound Energy content.sierraclub.org/coal/pse

Watch YouTube Video on Coal Free PSE with Doug Howell and Anne Newcomb www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O94zy1duMQ

 

 

Next Leaders and Volunteers meeting:

 

Tuesday, April 15th, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Betsy Gross's home, 1949 South Hills Place, Bellingham 98229. Betsy lives near Lake Padden off Yew Street Road. Call Betsy at 360-715-1173 if you need assistance with directions. 

 

Next Event: 

Coal Free Washington Event
Thursday, April 3rd, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Learn how you can help make Washington coal-free! In Washington, if you are a Puget Sound Energy (PSE) customer, you may be surprised that over one-third of your energy comes from coal. Right now, PSE has a momentous opportunity to invest in clean energy and create good jobs in Washington State by moving beyond coal.
Join us for an event highlighting a recent report that shows a coal-free Washington is clearly within our grasp. This plan is bolstered by an economic study that confirms there are more jobs with clean energy than fossil fuels. The transition off of dirty, dangerous and increasingly-expensive coal-based electricity to in-state clean energy will create thousands of new jobs for Washington.
WHO: You, other Sierra Club supporters and clean energy activists
WHAT: Coal-free PSE activist event
WHEN: Thursday, April 3, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Backcountry Essentials, 214 W. Holly St., Bellingham
Questions: contact Robin Everett at robin.everett@sierraclub.org 206-378-0114 x308

 

 

Outings:

 

Check out the outings page on the Sierra Club's Cascade Chapter outings webpage here: www.cascade.sierraclub.org/events/outings
Several upcoming hikes and one trail maintenance outing are scheduled, three of which are in our area:

Diobsud Creek Rainforest Trail Maintenance, North Cascades
Saturday, April 26th, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm.
Help with the annual upkeep of the delightful Diobsud Creek Trail in Skagit County, above a wild river gorge in one of the state's largest unprotected roadless areas. This trail is a well-kept secret for its mossy beauty, wildflowers, and ready access. Easy work and hike, no experience required, hand tools supplied. Please wear work clothes, gloves, and boots suitable for wet conditions. 3-4 mi rt. Meeting locations in Seattle and Sedro Woolley to carpool to trailhead. For directions and more information, contact Mark Lawler at 206-632-1550

Non-Sierra Club Event - New Rock Trail Dedication at Larrabee State Park and Geology Hike with Dave Tucker.
Saturday, April 26th, 9:15 am - 1:30 pm.
There is an interesting new trail to hike in Larrabee State Park. The trail dedication is at 10 am on April 26th, connecting the Cyrus Gates Overlook to the South Lost Lake trail below - taking hikers past cliff bands over 100 ft. in height and geologic features that are a snapshot of climatic events millions of years ago. The trail traverses among moss and licorice fern, a maturing second-growth forest, and views of Mount Baker and the Twin Sisters on a clear day. Dave Tucker of NW Geology will lead the geology hike on the new trail after the dedication with Ken Wilcox. Bring water & lunch and dress for the weather. This outing is open to the public. For more information and/or to join our carpool from the Fairhaven Park & Ride to the trailhead contact Terese VanAssche at terrasolutions@hotmail.com or 253-334-2157.

Sauk Mountain Summer Wildflower Hike
Saturday, June 28th, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.
Come and see the most unique and amazing views of the Skagit River ever, surrounded by the Cascades crown of mountains. Glorious early summer wildflowers should be in view. We will hike to the site of the old fire lookout atop Sauk Mountain looking over Sauk Lake. 6.3 miles RT with 1200 ft. elev. gain. Bring lunch, water, sunscreen, and dress for the weather. Good hiking footwear and poles are useful for the rocky trail section at the top. There may be snow on the trail at the very top, also.
All people are welcome on hike; no dogs please. Sign up with leader Terese VanAssche at terrasolutions@hotmail.com or 253-334-2157. Meet in Sedro-Woolley at 8:30 am.

 

Ongoing Issues we care about.  New Volunteers Encouraged!

Wildlife Working Group
This is a new committee that meets at 6:30 PM on the third Thursday of the month. We deal with issues impacting the Marbled Murrelet, Northern Gray Wolf and many other species. Carolyn Sarah Woods is the chair. Most members call in for these meetings. Contact Bob Aegerter at
boba@openaccess.org for more details

Legislative Committee
This committee deals with issues coming before the Washington State Legislature. During the legislative session they hold telephone strategy meeting once a week. Meetings are more sporadic based on need the remainder of the year. Over 3,000 bills are introduced in a typical year. About 150 are of concern for environmental advocates. We help set priorities with our part time lobbyist and often go to Olympia to testify as volunteer citizen lobbyists on legislation of specific interest. Brian Kilgore is the chair. Contact Bob Aegerter at
boba@openaccess.org for more information.


Gateway Pacific Terminal Project
Judith Akins, Mount Baker Group, Sierra Club
Since the Environmental Impact Hearings have closed on the proposed Gateway Pacific (Coal) Terminal in Ferndale, WA the three co-lead agencies (WA Department of Ecology, US Army Corps of Engineers, and Whatcom County Council) have made some decisions and contracts have been signed. Two contracts were signed on February 27, 2014; there is a contract between CH2M Hill and Whatcom County for preparation of the draft and another between the Council and Pacific International Terminals and BNSF for payment of all related to the completion of the EIS.
The cost has been estimated at $7-8 million dollars. You can review the contract and related information at the Whatcom County website.
There are several important aspects to be aware of and what individuals can do to help in the development of the EIS final review. "The scope of the report describes what and how the aspects of the environment should be studied including methodologies, schedules and costs. The guidance given to the consultant on how to study impacts may evolve based on the information assembled along the way."
This is where the public can be involved and insist on an open process so that there is ongoing conversation about the information being gathered. We should be expecting the draft EIS to be completed in 2015 or later. (There will actually be two separate EIS documents.).
After the release of the draft EIS, Whatcom County staff will prepare a staff report for submission to the Whatcom County Hearing Examiner. Recommendations from the Hearing Examiner will be given to the County Council, who will be the ultimate decision makers. Permit decisions by other agencies will follow the decision of the Council if the Council approves the project. During this time when the draft is published there will be a period open to public comments and hearings and by 2016 or later the final environmental statements will be published.
Please stay tuned and vigilant as to what is being reviewed and how it is being studied and let the agencies know what your concerns are because we all have a stake in the future of our environment.

Information and quotes taken from:
Whatcom County:
www.co.whatcom.wa.us/pds/plan/current/gpt-ssa
WA Dept. of Ecology: www.ecy.wa.gov/news/2013/197.html
Scoping Report: www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov

Blue-Green Alliance speaks out.
If you read the Bellingham Herald's editorial page on Monday March 24th, you probably noticed the editorial our own Robin Everett, Organizing Representative for the Sierra Club's Coal Free Washington Campaign, co-authored with Mark Lowry, President of the Northwest Washington Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. Representing Washington's Blue-Green Alliance, they expressed their concern that congress may fast-track the TPP agreement, which would "...take away Congress' ability to debate TPP, amend it or do little more than vote yes or no."
If you missed it, here is the link to the article online:
www.bellinghamherald.com/2014/03/24/3543080/blue-green-alliance-asks-congress.html?sp=/99/122/291

Recent Event Report :

Successful March event on the topic of Affluenza: How Overconsumption is killing us. In early March the Mount Baker Group co-sponsored a lively and interesting event with ReSources, Village Books, and the Food Co-op at the YWCA. It was a huge success, with a standing room only crowd that turned out for this discussion and community planning event facilitated by John de Graff, author of Affluenza: How Overconsumption is Killing Us and How to Fight Back. He has also written Take Back Your Time: Fighting Overwork and Time Poverty in America, and What's the Economy For, Anyway?: Why It's Time to Stop Chasing Growth and Start Pursuing Happiness. 

 

 

 More to come....