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Conservation Matters

Conservation Matters – Conservation Matters is the title of of our conservation column in the bi-monthly OPAS Harlequin Happenings newsletter. We will post our column every two months for you to read.


 October 13, 2017 WSACC Meeting Report

fom the November – December Harlequin Happenings newsletter

by Mary Porter-Solberg, Conservation member

The Washington State Audubon Conservation Committee (WSACC) meeting met October 13 in the Red Cedar Hall at the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Center in Blyn.

Gail Gatton, Executive Director of Audubon Washington, began the meeting by sharing Audubon WA priorities in the 2018 Washington State legislative session that will include securing funding in support of science and mapping needs in Willapa Bay. In addition, Audubon WA will advocate for carbon pricing legislation. One of the challenges in this short, 60-day legislative session is the need to pass a Capital Budget that requires a 60% majority vote in both houses of the legislature.

Matt Anderson, Vice President of Climate at the National Audubon Society, acknowledged that the decision of Washington State Audubon Chapters to support I-732, putting a price on carbon, provided a model for the Audubon network even though the initiative failed. Audubon Washington is in talks with potential partners to make sure there will be opportunities for climate action in the 2018 legislature and/or on the ballot. Matt reminded us that 1.2 million Audubon members are the voice for change. We can make a difference if we are contacting our decision makers before and after they vote.

Bob Phreaner, OPAS President, presented our Resolution to Cease Permitting Atlantic Salmon Aquaculture in Washington’s Marine Waters. Birds and native fish rely on a healthy marine food web that now suffers from the antibiotic drugs, inadequately maintained net pens, lack of comprehensive regulations, and harvesting methods used in industrial Atlantic salmon production. We ask that Washington State Chapters urge their elected officials to introduce and pass legislation to cease issuing permits for Atlantic salmon marine net pen aquaculture in Washington State; and that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) cease to renew or extend existing aquatic leases for Atlantic salmon net pen aquaculture.  All chapters in attendance agreed to pass the resolution. Read the entire resolution on our Conservation News page of our website. http://olympicpeninsulaaudubon.org/conservation/conservation-news/

Megan Friesen, the new Conservation Manager at Seattle Audubon, reported that the Board of Natural Resources (BNR) plans to announce their preferred alternative for the Marbled Murrelet Long-Term Conservation Strategy at the BNR meeting on November 7.

Following our meeting, Lynda Mapes, author and environmental reporter for the Seattle Times, provided an entertaining slide show from her book, Elwha, a River Reborn. She has personally explored and reported on the Elwha River dam removal and continues to observe the river’s renewal and recovery.