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Coast Seafoods Delays Complying with Clean Water Act – Asks Court to Re-review Its Decision

Coast Seafoods has petitioned the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for an en banc review (review of the appellate decision by the Ninth Circuit by 11 judges). The Ninth Circuit Court has the discretion to grant the petition or not, but there must be a basis for the court’s review.

In an interview by the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader, OFCO President Connie Gallant said, “We are not trying to close the business and only want the company to get a permit and filter any pollutants. The goal has not changed. That is the way to keep the bay cleaner. It’s the only fair thing for residents of the community. Kids swim in the bay and around the marina, and there’s a lot of activity from shrimpers. It affects our local economy if the waters are full of brown crud coming out of their pipes.”

The Ninth Circuit will respond to the petition in the next several weeks, either to grant it or not. See the original decision by the Ninth Circuit and more information here.

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Marbled Murrelet Conservation Topic of Interview

Author photo by Michael Ruth 2017

Maria Ruth, author of the book Rare Bird and member of Black Hills Audubon, was interviewed on the Marbled Murrelet Long-Term Conservation Strategy (LTCS) decision facing our state on the TVW show “The Impact,” which will be following the story as it evolves. We have a way to go to tell the story of the Marbled Murrelet. The narrative that protecting endangered species is responsible for the decline in forestry and timber-dependent counties is still dominant, even though the economics of timber, the excessive clearcut harvests of the seventies and eighties reducing available supply, and profits on foreign exports eclipsing paying American wages in local mills are equally important factors.

Latest news on the timelines: The second Draft EIS on the “preferred alternatives” for the LTCS will be out in late summer.

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Governor Inslee Signs HB 2285 into Law

Chapman/Inslee signing bill

Rep. Mike Chapman spearheaded an effort to get a bill signed into law that would support Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz’s multi-stakeholder “Solutions Table,” Marbled Murrelet protections, and communities. The advisory group will include representatives from industry, conservation groups, Trust beneficiaries (counties) and others. The Solutions Table will look at strategies for funding essential services in Olympic Peninsula communities. The bill will have the Dept. of Natural Resources report to the legislature on developments.

“This legislation brings everyone together, so we can listen to each other and work together with the federal government because the Endangered Species Act is a federal law that we can’t change in Olympia,” said Rep. Chapman.

Gov. Inslee signed the bill into law on March 23.

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The Elwha: A River and a Vision Restored


Essayist, poet and conservationist Tim McNulty wrote a wonderful “Letter to America” about the hope of the Elwha dam removal. Thanks to Tim and for their efforts to protect, respect and conserve our Olympic Peninsula.

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Heroines of the Olympic Peninsula

Connie Gallant, OFCO’s Board President and driving light for our organization for many years, gave a speech in 2013 dedicated to the heroines who worked to protect the wild places, species and environment of the Olympic Peninsula. In a moment when gender denigration and physical security is debased in the highest office in the country—including the U.S. Forest Service and the investigation into Chief Tooke’s misconduct toward women and the ongoing investigation into treatment of women in the ranks— we can be inspired by Connie’s dedication, her research, and the women conservationists who worked for the Olympic Peninsula over the past 100 years.

Like Rosalie Barrow Edge, suffragist and conservationist, who organized a demonstration in Port Angeles during President Roosevelt’s 1937 visit to the Olympic National Park because the U.S. Forest Service clear-cut thousands of acres. The Service moved the boundary signs for the president’s visit so he would not see the devastation. Three thousand people lined the streets with placards. The president promised and delivered protections for the park. The current administration proposes vastly increased timber harvests on all federal public lands without enforcing environmental protections.



“People ought to make preservation of watersheds, forests, soil, and all living species their personal responsibility—because all lead to the mother of every living thing: the earth.” –Rosalie Barrow Edge (1877–1962)



And Polly Dyer changed the map of the Olympic Peninsula, Washington state, and the country through tireless, savvy, bi-partisan steadfast determination to set aside public lands as protected wilderness, with joy, a smile and rubber boots into her 90s.



“Wilderness cannot—and should not—wear a dollar sign. It is a priceless asset which all the dollars man can accumulate will not buy back … Congress, through this bill, can help take the price tag off some of these remaining wilderness forests.”
–Pauline “Polly” Tomkiel Dyer (1920–2017), June 1957





Read the full story of these and other heroines in Connie’s speech, including OFCO’s former Executive Director Bonnie Phillips, one of Time magazine’s 1998 Heroes for the Planet.