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Our Supporters and Members rock!

For your great response to our year-end fund appeal. We raised over $3,000. Needed now more than ever – major changes that rolled back protections for over 3 million acres of Northern Spotted Owl habitat in WA, OR and CA, and exempting thousands of acres of federal lands from NEPA were put into place in December 2020. There is a lot of work to do. Watch for news updates and action alerts. Check our Newsletters!

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Measuring the impact of military flights on the Olympic Peninsula soundscape

Noise is expected in urban settings, but what happens when noise infiltrates rural and wilderness areas, even one of the country’s most beloved National Parks?

In this virtual talk, environmental scientist Lauren Kuehne shares the results of several years’ work to measure the extent of noise pollution on the Olympic Peninsula from military training flights by some of the most powerful aircraft in the world. Training with these aircraft (called Growlers) initiated in 2016, leading to almost immediate complaints from residents and visitors, and the US Navy is set to increase the number of flights in 2021.

Ms. Kuehne will discuss results from the monitoring work and describe planned future work to assess impacts on wildlife and communities, within the broader picture of policy and regulatory processes related to noise pollution in the wilderness (and urban) areas. These include the Environmental Impact Statement currently in progress, the role of the Federal Aviation Administration, and advocacy-based organizations. This work has been recently covered by multiple local and regional media outlets, including the Seattle Times, the Tacoma News Tribune, and the Olympian, so this talk is an opportunity to hear about the science directly.

Date and Time: Thursday, January 28th @ 4:00 pm

Meeting registration and link: Join with Google Meet or Join by phone +1 316-550-0106 (PIN: 141543102)

Where: University of Puget Sound, Thompson Hall Science and Mathematics Seminar, info at  

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Support Dabob and Toandos Heritage Forests

[OFCO supports Peter Bahls, Executive Director of Northwest Watershed Institute on the following issue]:

Friends of Dabob Bay and Toandos Peninsula:

Protecting the Heritage Forests of the Toandos Peninsula will require the State Legislature to support funding the Trust Land Transfer program (TLT) – a  little known program makes it possible for the WA Department of Natural Resources to reimburse the School Trust when high priority conservation lands are taken out of timber production and permanently protected. It also allows DNR to buy replacement lands for the School Trust more suitable for timber production.

A statewide coalition of conservation groups and education advocates are asking the Legislature to fund four TLT projects during this 2021-23 biennium, including Devils Lake Natural Area Addition on Dabob Bay, where the Natural Area boundaries were expanded with broad public support in 2016. At Devils Lake, a total of 370 acres of state timberland are proposed for permanent protection that includes rare forests and 1 mile of steep pristine shoreline.

With your help, we can build support for TLT funding so that by the next 2023-25 biennium, Toandos Forest can also be protected as part of an expanded Dabob Bay Natural Area.”

Contact your elected officials directly or sign the petition and send a message to Olympia.

Thank you!

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OFCO Opposes Navy Training in Washington State Parks

OFCO submitted a comment letter to the Washington Commission of Parks because

  1. the training activities unnecessarily contradict environmental laws,

  2. may risk public health and safety,

  3. restrict public enjoyment of publicly funded State parks, and contradict the purpose of public recreational facilities.

The Commission will hold a special meeting to hear public comments on Jan. 26th (registration closed). The Commission will meet on January 28th. See information at:].

Environmental Challenges in the Times of Covid-19

The year 2020 has brought the entire nation many surprises, but none as critical as the Covid-19 pandemic that has forced all of us to change the way we live, work, and play.

Like other businesses, nonprofit or profit, OFCO has been forced to change to new ways of conducting our research. Our boots on the ground inspections of forest lands will require modifications and some additional costs.

To make matters worse, the current administration has curtailed every protection in place for over twenty years and have given polluters carte blanche to exploit sacred and pristine areas. Thankfully, environmental advocates and federal courts are a bulwark against polluters. For example, the courts have struck down the Army Corps of Engineers’ permit for the shellfish industry in Puget Sound.

Setbacks need to be reversed. If that does not come to pass, our battles will turn into wars—but the environment will be the biggest loser.

Stay strong, take action, support environmental protections as we reconstruct and expand protections for ours and future generations.

Please honor us by reading our newsletter with our latest updates on the Marbled Murrelets and Pacific Seafoods litigation, and other excellent articles by our board members and executive director.

                                                                                                                     —Connie Gallant, President