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Salish Sea Salmon Net Pen Ban Decision in B.C.?

B.C. First Nations and Conservationists to B.C. Premier:

No Salmon Net Pen Lease Renewal

British Columbia First Nations led the effort to stop salmon net pen operations in their territories to protect the wild salmon in the Salish Sea. OFCO joined Our Sound, Our Salmon coalition members to sign on to a letter requesting that B.C. Premier Hogan not renew the 20 leases that were due to expire in B.C.

Noted scientist Alexandra Morton’s take on the decision: Ministers and B.C. government acknowledged problems with diseased salmon and impacts on wild salmon, moved leases to “month by month” instead of renewing for a full term. It is unclear if the decision gives leases four more years of operation or if First Nations will actually have a say to stop net pens operating in their territories with diseased fish.

Members of the ‘Namgis First Nation stand in protest of a ship transferring one million Atlantic salmon smolts to Marine Harvest’s Swanson Island Farm. Days before this photo was taken, the Canadian Federal Court dismissed the First Nation’s court bid to block the restocking of the open-net salmon farm in its traditional territories off northern Vancouver Island, claiming that the ‘Namgis had filed their application ‘too late,’  but admitting that there was a ‘real and non-speculative likelihood of harm’ from the net pen operation. Photo: Alexandra Morton

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Northwest Forest Plan Update: Final Science Synthesis Report Published

Marbled Murrelet, Northern Spotted Owl, Climate Change and Federal Forests

The U.S. Forest Service published their final science synthesis report for the update of the Northwest Forest Plan,

The report includes chapters on the Marbled Murrelet, Northern Spotted Owl, climate change (Vol. 1), other species and aquatic lands (Vol. 2), and tribes, cultural values and environmental justice (Vol. 3). In three volumes, the survey covers science by the Forest Service, federal agencies, tribes and universities since 1994 when the Northwest Forest Plan was enacted. The science will help lay the foundation for federal forests on the Olympic Peninsula and the 16 other forests in Western Washington, Oregon and Northern California. The area covers 24 million acres of public lands.

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U.S House of Representatives Investigates Environmental Groups Enforcing Environmental Laws for Navy

Rep. Bishop (R-UT), Chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, and Rep. Westerman (R-AR), Subcommittee on Oversight, have launched an investigation into the environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)’s efforts to protect aquatic species from military operations in the Pacific. The basis: NRDC is acting on behalf of China to weaken national security and must register as a “foreign agent.” The letter to NRDC states that given the “close ties between NRDC and the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese Communist Party,” the Committee wants to explore the close relationship and NRDC’s efforts to influence U.S. security policy. The proof of NRDC’s ties?: the fact that NRDC reports on China’s environmental efforts and helps China to maintain a positive perception to the American public, and that NRDC is more critical, litigious and takes an adversarial approach to the U.S. government—in particular the U.S. Navy’s operations in the Pacific.

“We are interested in environmental litigation by U.S.-based 501(c) organizations against the Department of Defense and its negative impact on our national security,” House Natural Resources Committee Chair Rob Bishop and Oversight Subcommittee Chair Bruce Westerman wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis. – Reuters

NRDC responded to the probe saying they were looking forward to meeting with the Committee, and that their work is on behalf of Americans and the world our future generations will inherit.

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Climate Costs of Militarizing the Olympic Peninsula

Growler jet - Google free imageWhat happens when the world’s largest user of fossil fuels fails to fully disclose its contributions to air pollution, respiratory diseases and climate change? What would you say to the fact that in a draft environmental impact statement (EIS), the U.S. Navy analyzed the exhaust emissions of only 36 of its 160-jet fleet of EA-18G Growler jets, and that the analysis covered only takeoffs and landings?

Emissions from Naval flight operations beyond about six miles from the corners of each runway are not analyzed. Greenhouse gases for takeoffs and landings are listed in the EIS but are not added up, so if readers want to know the totals, they have to do the math themselves.

Please read the full, well-researched article by Karen Sullivan here.

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Board Member Jill Silver Recognized for Invasive Plant Work

Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times

Jill Silver, founder of 10,000 Years Institute, has been recognized for her work on invasive plants in habitat areas on the Olympic Peninsula. See this Seattle Times article by Linda Mapes.

Mapes writes about Jill’s “Pulling Together in Restoration” project, a two-year state grant of the Washington Coast Restoration Initiative and other support, to deploy a crew of 25 people, with family-wage jobs, to protect salmon habitat in what the writer calls “a gold standard.” Thanks to Jill for her leadership as an OFCO Board member, for representing OFCO in the Olympic Peninsula Forest Collaborative, and for protecting our Olympic Peninsula habitat.