Category Archive: Federal Lands

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Olympic National Park Needs Your Help to Remove Non-native Mountain Goats

Dear OFCO Members and Supporters –

Please consider attending a meeting below and also commenting to support Olympic Park Associates (OPA) in their efforts to protect the Olympic National Park. They have worked on this issue for many years and have worked to achieve a compromise solution. Thank you for your help!

Support is needed for the draft plan to remove goats from Olympic National Park and Forest. Public meetings are scheduled for mid-August and comments accepted through September 26.

After decades of study and experiment, Olympic National Park has decided to take action to remove non-native mountain goats and restore degraded alpine habitats in the Olympics.

The Park’s preferred alternative (Alternative D) in its draft Mountain Goat Management Plan proposes to live-capture and relocate goats to native habitats in Washington’s North Cascades where goat populations are in steep decline. Following that, remaining non-native goats will be removed by aerial and ground-based shooting by park staff and trained volunteers.

OPA supports this sound and far-reaching approach to resolve this long-standing threat to the Park’s ecological integrity and public safety. We recommend the goal of the final plan be to eliminate all non-native goats from the Olympics.

The plan, developed by the National Park Service in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and the Washington State Dept. of Fish and Wildlife with significant public participation, is a thoughtful and sensitive compromise approach. It will eliminate exotic goats from the Olympics, protect irreplaceable alpine plant and animal communities, and help restore struggling native mountain goat populations in the North Cascades.

We urge you to contact park planners and express your support for Alternative D: live capture and relocation followed by lethal removal.

If you can, please plan to attend one of these public informational meetings scheduled for mid-August:

Olympia: Mon. 8/14, 5–7 PM
Olympic National Forest Supervisor’s Office
1835 Black Lake Blvd. SW
Everett: Wed. 8/16, 5–7 PM
Everett Public Library Auditorium
2702 Hoyt Avenue
Port Angeles: Tues. 8/15, 6–8 PM
Olympic National Park Visitor Center
3002 Mount Angeles Road
Seattle: Thurs. 8/17, 5–7 PM
Seattle Public Library (Douglass-Truth Branch)
2300 Yesler Way

It is essential that this problematic threat to irreplaceable park resources, as well as visitor safety, finally be resolved.

To comment on the plan:

Go here and click on “Comment Now.” Support the park’s preferred alternative (Alternative D) and urge park planners to aim for complete removal of non-native goats from the Olympics, not merely a reduction in number.

For more information on the long-standing problem of non-native mountain goats in the Olympics, go to this Olympic Park Associates web page and follow the links for background.

To review the Park’s Goat Management Plan DEIS, click here.

Thank you for defending Olympic National Park’s wilderness and ecological integrity.

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Broad Coalition of Rural Americans Cheer Wild Olympics Act Reintroduction as Local Endorsements Increase

Senator Murray and Congressman Kilmer have introduced the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The bill would protect environmentally sensitive parts of the Olympic Peninsula, support outdoor recreation opportunities, and preserve and grow jobs on the Olympic Peninsula. “It is critical that we keep fighting to ensure these pristine areas of the Olympic Peninsula are preserved for generations to come,” Murray said.

Read more …

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OFCO to File Objection on Forest Service Draft Decision to Permit War Games

Growler jet - Google free imageThe Olympic Forest Coalition is working with the West Coast Action Alliance and Karen Sullivan, retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist, to object to the U.S. Forest Service Notice of Decision/Finding of No Significant Impact (ND/FONSI). This is an administrative step that will allow the Forest Service to issue a 5-year special use permit to the Navy, allowing it to use roads in the Olympic National Forest for electronic warfare training exercises. The permit will allow the Navy to station mobile emitters on these roads that Growler jets and ships will use in overflights and electromagnetic targeting, 260 days per year, 8–16 hours per day, including weekends.

 

 

Why OFCO and the West Coast Action Alliance are submitting an objection:

  • The Navy special use permit application and the U.S. Forest Service decision improperly “segmented” the electronic emitters from the directly associated training exercises—specifically, jet overflights—in order to get findings that there will be no significant impacts. This is illegal. The training exercises can be carried out on Dept. of Defense lands and not endangered species (Marbled Murrelets and Northern Spotted Owl) habitat.
  • The U.S. Forest Service used the Navy’s Environmental Assessment (2014) and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Opinion (2016) as the basis for its finding of no significant impact. Both documents excluded the cumulative actions and cumulative impacts from the directly related training activities (overflights). The analysis used outdated, inadequate, incomplete and invalid data and science.
  • Our objection proposes that the U.S. Forest Service complete a full Environmental Impact Statement with adequate science, cumulative actions and impacts, and full disclosure of all documents and public participation processes. We are requesting a meeting to hear their response to our objection.

Objections are due by Friday, January 13. The rules say that you can’t object if you didn’t comment in 2014, unless there is significantly new information. And there is! You may submit your own objection. Follow West Coast Action Alliance advice here. You can read more information on the special use permit here.

Remember, as Karen says, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Watch for further action on related decisions and take action. Sign up for OFCO newsletters and e-alerts by sending a request to info@olympicforest.org, and check the West Coast Action Alliance site for updates.

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Year-end Appeal

   ex•tir•pate verb
        1  root out and destroy completely
        2  Synonym: weed out, destroy, eradicate, stamp out, root out, wipe out, eliminate, suppress, crush

Dear Friends,

You and I know there are pivotal moments when we are challenged to step up and keep going. No matter how tired or discouraged, even when we cannot see clearly a path forward. Now is one of those times in ways you may not yet know about.

We are writing on behalf of the Olympic Forest Coalition to ask for your help. This month, after more than 10 years, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources issued two policy decisions that have the potential to drive Marbled Murrelets into extirpation in Washington, or to put us on a path toward a vibrant, sustainable habitat for the murrelets and other important indicator species in our forests. The two policies are the Long Term Conservation Strategy (to save endangered species) and the Sustainable Harvest Calculation (to set timber logging levels for the next decade). Both together will change the face of our environment for the foreseeable future in the beautiful stretch of forest along the coast—the Olympic Experimental State Forest. And it could mean that Marbled Murrelets become “extirpated”—a term used by scientists and policy makers to describe the elimination of species in our forests, but not yet across the world.

The Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife reports that we are losing Marbled Murrelets from Puget Sound and Washington coastal waters at an annual rate of -4.65%.

Added to this evolving policy is an urgent and critical problem: The U.S. Forest Service will issue a permit to allow the U.S. Navy to conduct military testing in the fragile habitats of Olympic forests, the Salish Sea, and the Pacific Coast Marine Sanctuary. Jets will be given a permit to fly training exercises 260 days per year, 16 hours per day, over Olympic forests and waters. National security must include securing our natural environment.

We have days to organize, educate and provide scientific, economic and policy direction to the newly elected Commissioner of Public Lands, the Board of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—to convince them to take a decision that will make state forest lands a safe place for endangered species, water and other natural resources, and livelihoods for our forest communities.

OFCO needs your financial help to ensure that the voices of environmental protection are organized, uplifted and heard in Olympia, and that we speak to decision-makers with good science and economics balancing the interests of vibrant ecosystems and communities. And, if necessary, we must have the resources to mount a legal challenge to state or federal agencies to enforce the Endangered Species Act for Marbled Murrelets, bull trout, and Northern Spotted Owls.

“The bell has rung. We have 90 days to save the Marbled Murrelets. After 30 years of work—it comes down to this.” ~Marcy Golde, OFCO Board Member

 

We are asking your help to raise $10,000 in support of this campaign. OFCO has a legal trust account of $10,000 to match your support of our Marbled Murrelet campaign.

Your contribution will directly support:

 

  • Reporting on science, policy options and action to ensure grassroots Peninsulans have the information to make informed decisions and to change decisions affecting our shared environment and communities.
  • Organizing members and supporters to engage federal and state agencies in charge of Olympic forests and waters in the January 2017 hearings, through the public comment and objection periods ending, respectively, in January and March 2017.
  • Analyzing and monitoring timber sales on public lands to ensure that they meet legal requirements and that logging doesn’t destroy the forests needed by endangered species
  • The last resort: Mounting a powerful legal challenge to stop the worst policy from going forward. OFCO is working with renowned Seattle law firm Ziontz Chestnut, representing tribes, environmental and public interest groups, and local businesses in Washington state for over 60 years.

We need you to do more than make a donation; we need you to lift up your voices, to attend the so-called Public Meetings in January, to write decision-makers in state and local offices, and to be ready to engage your elected officials between now and March. Sign up for OFCO action alerts by sending a request to info@olympicforest.org.

We are not alone in working to save the Marbled Murrelet and to stop the Navy. The Olympic Forest Coalition has strong allies—the Washington Forest Law Center and the Marbled Murrelet Survival Project and its members (Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Washington Environment Council and others). The West Coast Action Alliance, Olympic Park Associates, and National Park Conservation Association also engage in efforts to save the marine sanctuary, communities, and Olympic forests from excessive and unnecessary military training exercises.

It is not too late. Our dedicated scientist advocates assure us that we can protect the Marbled Murrelets in our state. Newly elected state officials with environmental values and track records will take office in January.

Please click here to print a donation form to send in with your check. If you prefer donating online, please visit olympicforest.org/join-us to contribute through our PayPal account.

Monthly giving, through your bank or PayPal, is an easy way to provide support and avoid renewal reminders, along with their postage and natural resource costs. If you’d like to learn more about giving monthly, please email info@olympicforest.org.

Season’s greetings, along with our thanks for your continued support and commitment to protecting endangered species, conservation, our forests and waters, and our collective power.

Connie Gallant                        Marcy J. Golde                            Patricia Jones                                                                             President                  Board/Murrelet Survival Project              Executive Director

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Navy Training Exercises in Olympic Forest 260 Days a Year, 16 Hours per Day Given the “Go Ahead” over Local Protests

U.S. Forest Service Proposes to Issue a Permit to Navy for Military War Games in Olympic National Forest – Finds There Will Be “No Significant Impact” on Wildlife

The U.S. Forest Service will issue a permit to the U.S. Navy to allow electronic training exercises in the Olympic National Forest, according to their draft decision notice. We have until mid-January to raise objections turn these planes away from our forests and marine waters. OFCO and the West Coast Action Alliance are analyzing data from OFCO’s Freedom of Information Act request on the impact decision report issued by the U.S. Forest Service. The report found that there would be NO significant impact on wildlife and communities from the Growler jets strafing through our area, destroying wildlife and quiet. National security must also include protecting our natural resources—our national parks! We need your support for the campaign! Information from the U.S. Forest Service can be found here. Become informed and reach out to your elected officials to express your objections.

Help with learning about the problems and formulating your comments and objections can be found through the West Coast Action Alliance portal.

Learn about Emmy-award-winning sound ecologist Gordon Hempton’s campaign to make the Olympic National Park a quiet sanctuary. Watch the video on his page about the natural soundscape we hope to protect.

Become a Quieteer! Follow the National Parks Conservation Association’s campaign and legal challenge. Watch the brief video on their page, to hear what’s at stake.