President’s Notes – November – December, 2018
by Bob Phreaner
On October 12 and 13, the OPAS delegation of Ken Wiersema, Judi White, Enid Phreaner and Bob Phreaner participated in the Audubon Council of Washington (ACOW) annual meeting held at the Brightwater Center in Woodinville, WA. Ken spoke at the Education Seminar, and I represented OPAS at the Washington State Audubon Conservation Committee (WSACC). Seventeen Audubon chapters approved a WSACC resolution asking the WA State Legislature to increase the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Budget for the biennium of 2019-2020. In addition, the resolution requests that the legislature identify permanent long-term funding, which would support the WDFW mission to conserve all Washington species and their habitats. The long term funding will help replace the declining revenue from hunting and fishing licenses.
ACOW attendees heard National Audubon’s Chad Wilsey discuss birds as the storyteller of Climate Change in the National Parks. On average, 23% of bird species found in a given national park could be completely different by 2050 if carbon emissions continue at their current pace. New research led by the National Audubon Society and National Park Service, and published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE, supports our mission to safeguard and manage protected lands for birds and wildlife in a changing world. Parks will host more over-wintering species because of temperature and precipitation changes. In Olympic National Park, we are predicted to lose Clark’s Nutcracker, Mountain Bluebird, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and seasonally, Common Loons. You can read more about the results of this study at wwwaudubon.org/climate/nationalparks.
On the lighter side, about 20 delegates, including the four from OPAS, showed up with our binoculars in front of the Brightwater Treatment Plant on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. for a “field trip”. When the leader arrived, she was wearing a hardhat, safety glasses, and a reflective vest. We were given the underground tour of the Brightwater sewage treatment plant. The bird list was limited, but we learned a lot about fertilizer.
OPAS has many events coming up in the next couple of months. Be sure to take advantage of the OPAS Birds and Beverages event at Wind Rose Cellars on the second Tuesday of each month (11/13 and 12/11) and the Book Discussion Group event on November 27 where Bruce Fryxell will moderate a discussion of the Sixth Extinction. The OPAS Board implemented these new activities this year so that you can meet your fellow members and enjoy bird-related conversations. We met Rainier Audubon’s Dan Streiffert at ACOW and can assure you of a great presentation at the November 28 OPAS meeting where he will take us rafting in the Arctic National Wildlife refuge. Plan to attend the Dungeness River Audubon Center’s Nature Mart on November 16 and 17 for your holiday shopping pleasure. To celebrate the season you can participate in the Sequim-Dungeness Christmas Bird Count on December 17 and the Port Angeles CBC on December 29th.