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As The Gray Wolf Recovers, Who Are Its Friends?

The species is back in parts of the state. But can a recovering species return to the Olympic Peninsula?

By Daniel Jack Chasan

Gray wolves are back, gliding through the forests of eastern Washington and the Cascades. The Lookout pack is producing pups in the Methow Valley, near Twisp. Seven wolves, an alpha male and female, a yearling and last year's four pups, have been traveling through 350 square miles, eating black-tailed and mule deer primarily, but also munching the occasional muskrat or beaver. Last year, on the banks of the Twisp River, they were seen eating salmon.

The Diamond pack is roaming the northeastern corner of the state, where grizzly bears and mountain caribou also wander down into the Salmo-Priest wilderness. There seem to be wolves in the southeastern corner, across the border from the two packs that have been identified in Oregon's Wallowa Mountain and Hell's Canyon area. Other wolves have been sighted in Mount Rainier National Park, although no one knows whether or not they're hybrids.

Wolves hold a very special badass image in European language and myth. They are seen as voracious ("wolfing down" one's food); unusually predatory (a "wolf whistle" directed at a pretty woman); a metaphor for human aggression ("The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold.").

Port Susan Shellfish Safe for First Time in Decades

by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News, Posted on March 8, 2010 at 5:58 PM

ARLINGTON, Wash. - Twenty-five years ago the Stillaguamish Tribe turned its back on the contaminated bay which was once its food basket.

Development around Port Susan had left it polluted with fecal coliform. Human and animal waste had been flowing into the shallow bay and mudflats for decades.
But 12 years ago, the tribe decided to do something.

Last Chance Missed for Transit Tax

Posted By Jordan Schrader on March 8, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Lawmakers have probably missed their last chance to do something to bail out struggling transit agencies.

Pierce Transit and its Snohomish County counterpart, Community Transit, say they need funding to stave off cuts to bus service. They want authority to levy a $20 fee on vehicles in the county without voter approval, or a bigger fee if voters permit.

EPA Gives Bellingham $350,000 Grant for Climate Change Project

THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
- KIE RELYEA 

BELLINGHAM - The city has received a $350,000 federal grant for a project to reduce carbon emissions by reducing energy use.

The money comes from the Environmental Protection Agency through its new Climate Showcase Communities program. Bellingham is among the first cities in the nation to be awarded such a grant - becoming one out of 25 to receive the money from a pool of 450 applicants, according to a city news release.

In New Post, Dicks Will Keep His Eye On Environment

 As chairman of a key congressional subcommittee, U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks has boosted federal funding to restore Northwest salmon runs, national forests and national parks.

The Belfair congressman has always been keenly interested in Puget Sound and Hood Canal. His position the past three years allowed him to hike spending until Washington’s waterways were on par with Chesapeake Bay — a longtime beneficiary of federal largesse.

From the Desk of Art Kaufman: Send a Message to Governor Gregoire

CASCADE CHAPTER 
From the Desk of Art Kaufman    Member, Activist and Donor

Several years ago I attended a luncheon where Governor Gregoire spoke to over 100 national and local members of the Sierra Club.  Without notes and for over 20 minutes, she delivered one of the most inspirational messages about concern for the environment that I had ever heard from a major political figure.  She pledged her commitment to flora, to fauna, to the land, and to water and clean air.  She received a well deserved, rousing ovation. Global warming and resultant climate changes are today’s real and imminent dangers.  The principle cause is the increasing emission of carbon dioxide gas, most of which comes from burning coal to generate electricity.  As a result, the Sierra Club has initiated a ‘Beyond Coal Campaign’.  Nationally, they have been active in preventing over 100 new coal burning electric generating plants from leaving the drawing boards.  Locally, they want Washington to be the first coal-free state:  free of coal burning in our state and free of importing coal generated electricity from out of state.

New Guidance On Climate Change to Improve National Environmental Policy Act






FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 18, 2010
CONTACT: Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384
Washington, D.C.-- The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) today issued three new draft guidance documents with regards to the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act, which has now been protecting our environment for 40 years.  In addition to the draft guidance on global warming emissions and climate change, CEQ also issued guidance on mitigation and monitoring and establishing and applying categorical exclusions. 
Full details on all three are available at: http://bit.ly/clfwZB

Statement of Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director 
"The National Environmental Policy Act is one our nation's most important and most successful environmental laws.  It's very encouraging to see that after 40 years of success in protecting our environment, the Obama administration is adapting the law to help it better address the greatest environmental challenge of today--climate change.  Given the impacts of global warming pollution, considering these emissions under NEPA is clearly the right thing to do.

Oil Lobby Descends On Olympia to Oppose Gas Tax

by Sara Kiesler on Mon, Feb 8, 2010

Big Oil dug its hands into Seattle last year, helping defeat the disposable bag fee with an unprecedented dump of cash—and they’re putting similar pressure on the state capitol right now.

In Olympia, two bills (one in the house and senate) introduced last Friday would raise the tax on oil imported into the state. The update is called the Clean Water Act of 2010, but the original 0.7 percent tax on hazardous materials was passed by voter initiative in 1987 as part of Initiative 97.

Your Local Sierra Club: New Places, New Faces

by Trevor Kaul, Cascade Chapter Director

The Cascade Chapter has long been a leading voice for environmental protection in Washington.  With your help, we have won protections for special places like the Reiter Foothills and Wild Sky Wilderness Area. And over the years, we have helped change the way our state’s leaders think about urban issues like transportation and city planning. 

Now your local chapter is making some changes that will help us even better represent the interests of our state’s environment.

Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to State's Municipal Water Law

 
Media Advisory for Monday, January 11, 2010
For additional information:  Rachael Paschal Osborn (director, CELP)
509.954-5641 (mobile), rosborn@celp.org

   Supreme Court to hear challenge to state's municipal water law
Overpumping threatens Washington rivers, drinking-water aquifers

OLYMPIA – On Tuesday, January 12, the Washington State Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a landmark lawsuit challenging municipal water rights.  The plaintiffs include individual water right holders who claim injury to their water rights as a result of the law, conservation groups, and Indian Tribes.