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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.

 

Elections: Mount Baker Group Executive Committee (ExCom) -- PLEASE VOTE!

The ExCom is the local governing group that holds monthly meetings and is responsible for budget, oversight, strategic planning, coordinating environmental activism efforts with other organizations, political endorsements, and fundraising in Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan Counties.

Read our candidates' statements and voting information - click Here

Download a printable mail-in ballot - click Here

Ballots must be received by 5:00 pm on Monday July 21st. Sorry, we cannot accept email ballots.

 

Our Activities and Interests: 

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 responsible for making local political endorsements and working with elected officials to promote the Sierra Club’s mission.

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

Download and read the July Newsletter

 

Next Leaders and Volunteers meeting:

Tuesday July 15, 2014 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Natalie McClendon's house at 4782 Wynn Way, Bellingham 360-319-8287

All Mount Baker Group members are welcome to attend our monthly meetings.  

 

Next Event:

COAL FREE PSE VOLUNTEER MEETING 

Wednesday July 30th, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Fairhaven Branch Library, Fireplace Room, 1117 12th St, Bellingham

Join fellow community members to learn how we can go coal-free in Bellingham. Puget Sound Energy is the primary owner of one of the largest and dirties coal plants in the West, and we are getting power from it. Governor Inslee has a plan for reducing our carbon and tackling climate change and getting us off of dirty coal is a big piece of that plan. Help us make that happen!

 

Outings:

See the many current Washington Chapter outings:   www.cascade.sierraclub.org/events/outings

Sunday, July 13th, 10:30 am - 6:00 pmThe North Fork of the Skykomish River is being considered for construction of a hydro-electric dam by the Snohomish Co. PUD, the local electric utility. We will visit some beautiful places that are in danger of being lost, covered by hundreds of feet of dammed water. We will have a knowledgeable local guide and cabin owner as our leader for the day.

Meet at 11:00am at the Espresso Cafe on Highway 2 at Milepost 36 near Index. From there we will caravan to the start of our day of exploration of river country. We will be hiking to various spots along the river, dress for the weather, bring water and snacks. Low elevation gain, 5-7 miles total.

To sign up contact Jacquie Powers: powers.jacqueline@gmail.com or call 425-771-7715.

 

POLITICAL NEWS

Campaign season is here!

As we reported last month, the Sierra Club has endorsed Seth Fleetwood for the 42nd LD Senate, and we are in the process of interviewing candidates for the 42nd LD House seats. Thanks to our endorsement interview team Betsy Gross, Andrew Zvilna, Stan Parker, and Michael Lilliquist.

The 42nd District (northwest third of Bellingham and most of the rest of Whatcom County) will be where the action is this year. The state senate seat is one of the top races in the state, and Seth is our man.

The Sierra Club has formed a Political Action Committee (PAC) to raise money and make independent expenditures on behalf of our endorsed candidates. Details on their first fundraiser are below.

Also, working internally with our membership, the Sierra Club Mt. Baker Group will be organizing SC doorbelling days and phone-banking nights. By volunteering as a group we can show the impact of the Sierra Club endorsement and build the Club's relationship with our candidates and future representatives. We will need people to step up and help organize these events. Please contact Natalie McClendon at 319-8287 or natalie@nataliemcclendon.com to volunteer to help.

=========================
Sierra Club PAC Washington State
Fundraiser to Reclaim the Environmental Majority in the Washington State Senate
Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 6:00pm to 8:00pm

At the home of Doug Howell and Nancy Hirsh, 1950 4th Avenue West (top of Queen Anne), Seattle, WA 98119. RSVP at (206) 284-9222, or email seattlehowell@gmail.com

Please join Denis Hayes and Washington State Senators Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Sharon Nelson to learn what is at stake. We have a rare opportunity to move forward on important climate, clean energy and environmental issues, but this cannot and will not happen unless we re-capture an environmental majority in the Washington State Senate.

If you cannot attend but can contribute:

Donations are not tax deductible.  THANK YOU!

 

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