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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Help stop extreme anti-wolf bills in the Washington Legislature!

From Jim Davis, Executive Director of NCCC and expert in wolf recovery:

Dear Conservation Advocate:

We received word late last week that three extreme, anti-wolf bills have been introduced to the Washington State Legislature this session.  We need your help to stop them.

Representatives Taylor, Shea, and McCune have introduced House Bills 1107, 1108, and 1109 that:

-    Circumvent a process to develop a scientifically-based wolf management plan for Washington.
-    Challenge the authority of the US Fish and Wildlife Service to protect wolves in Washington.
-    Make it difficult for the state to work with the US Fish and Wildlife Service on wolf recovery.
-    Support wolf poaching by prohibiting the citation or arrest of anyone who illegally kills a wolf.
-    Spread unfounded fears that wolves carry diseases that are harmful to humans and wildlife.

To review these bills, go to:

HB 1107 (bogus wolf disease bill) http://dlr.leg.wa.gov/billsummary/default.aspx?year=2011&bill=1107

HB 1108 (anti-wolf protection bill) http://dlr.leg.wa.gov/billsummary/default.aspx?year=2011&bill=1108

HB 1109 (requires state legislature to approve wolf plan) http://dlr.leg.wa.gov/billsummary/default.aspx?year=2011&bill=1109

Please send a letter or email to your State Representatives urging them to stop this back door attempt to harm wolf recovery in Washington.  Copy your letter to key members of the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources (see below list).  Please make a special effort to copy your letter to Representative Brian Blake (committee chair).  We have provided a sample letter below, but please personalize the letter to include your own thoughts.

Dear Representative ________________,

     As a citizen who cares about wildlife in Washington, I am greatly troubled by three bills recently introduced into the state legislature.   House bills 1107, 1108, and 1109 would greatly hamper our ability to help wolves recover in our state.  I strongly urge you to do everything in your power to stop these extreme and irresponsible bills from moving forward.  Wolves are just beginning to make a comeback here in Washington, and they should be managed like all native wildlife to ensure their long-term survival.

     People and wolves can live together in Washington if we develop a responsible management plan that is based on the best available science.  House Bill 1109, proposed by Rep Taylor and others, would require the legislature to buy off on a final wolf plan.  This is not a scientific approach to wolf management.  Never in history has the state legislature been required to approve a recovery plan for an endangered species.   House Bill 1109 would allow politics to interfere with sound science.   In fact, the overall approach taken in all three bills is extreme and unnecessary.

     A majority of Washington citizens want wolves back in our state.  A 2008 poll by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife found that 75% of Washington State residents support restoring wolves.

     Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Following is additional background information you can use for writing your letter.

-    The bills would make an end-run around an existing public process to develop a state wolf plan. 
-    The bills reflect an extreme minority view that should not be made into Washington law.
-    Most Washington State citizens support wolf population recovery.  A 2008 poll by the WA Department of Fish and Wildlife found that 75% of respondents support restoring wolves.
-    House Bill 1109 would require the legislature to buy off on a final wolf plan.  Never in history has the state legislature been required to approve a recovery plan for an endangered species. 
-    House Bill 1109 would allow politics to interfere with scientifically-based decision-making.  
-    To date, only one cow has been confirmed as a probable wolf depredation in Washington.
-    Washington’s draft wolf plan will allow ranchers to protect their livestock when attacked.
-    Washington’s draft wolf plan includes a compensation program for lost livestock.
-    Big game populations (and hunter success rates) in Washington are as high as ever.
-    In Idaho, where there are hundreds of wolves, most deer and elk populations are doing well.
-    In Minnesota, a state where native wolf populations have always existed, there are now over 3,500 wolves and deer hunting continues to thrive.
-    House Bill 1008 makes the entirely false and outrageous claim that wolves are having a negative impact on deer and elk populations in Washington.
-    One of the biggest challenges to wolf recovery is that our state has a serious poaching problem. At least two wolves and likely more have been killed by poachers here in the last two years.
-    House Bill 1108 would make it illegal to prosecute wolf poachers.
-    Anti-wolf advocates are claiming that wolves are primary carriers of hyatid and other diseases.  In fact, wolves play a minor role in spreading disease. Coyotes, wild dogs, and even family pets are more likely to spread these diseases.
-    According to the Centers for Disease Control, the risk to humans in the US is low.  People at risk are those who come into contact with foxes, coyotes, and/or their stool.
-    Wildlife veterinarian Mark R. Johnson writes that wolves eat carrion and by removing it from the environment, they may reduce the spread of diseases to other animals.
-    Scientists Scott Creel and John Winnie, Jr. report that wolves also cause elk to congregate in smaller groups, possibly slowing the spread of diseases that thrive among dense populations.

House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources


Rep. Brian Blake, Committee Chair
(D) 19th Legislative District
105 Modular Building F
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7870              (360) 786-7870
brian.blake@leg.wa.gov


Rep. Timm Ormsby
(D) 3rd Legislative District
122G Legislative Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7946
timm.ormsby@leg.wa.gov 

Rep. Christine Rolfes
(D) 23rd Legislative District
105 Modular Building D
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7842
christine.rolfes@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Hans Dunshee
(D) 44th Legislative District
103 Modular Building F
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7804     (425) 257-1770
hans.dunshee@leg.wa.gov
  
Rep. Kristine Lytton
(D) 40th Legislative District
203 Modular Building B
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7800
Kristine.lytton@leg.wa.gov            

Rep. Eric Pettigrew
(D) 37th Legislative District
434B Legislative Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7838      (206) 587-5543                 
eric.pettigrew@leg.wa.gov
  
Rep. Kevin Van De Wege
(D) 24th Legislative District
434A Legislative Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7916         (360) 582-9830  
kevin.vandewege@leg.wa.gov  

Rep. Derek Stanford (Vice Chair of Committee)
(D) 1st Legislative District
204 Modular Building E
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7928         
derek.stanford@leg.wa.gov

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Suiattle Travel and Access Management Environmental Assessment comments due!

COMMENTS DUE BY MONDAY, JAN 31st

Please be in touch with the US Forest Service Darrington Dsitrict about the proposed "Suiattle Access and Travel Management" plan. To be honest, there aren't many options here, and while the FS is proposing closing some miles of already wiped out roads (and roads that dump fish killing silt in prodigious amounts), many more are proposed to remain open or in "storage" (waiting for the next round of logging).
Fact is, neither the FS nor us the taxpayers can afford to maintain many of these roads, and it's time to remove them and give fish and our pocket books a better chance to survive.

Ideas for comments should include closure of road 26 at Downey Creek. Convert the old road bed to trail.

Decommission all roads currently slated for level 1 (storage) and level 2 (high clearance), converting those to trail where it makes sense.

Check out:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/mbs/projects/

Comments sent to:
comments-pacificnorthwest-mtbaker-snoqualmie@fs.fed.us

Written:
Forest Supervisor, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Attn: Suiattle ATM Comments
2930 Wetmore Ave
Suite 3A
Everett, WA. 98201

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hilarious parody of Small Hydro

Check out this chuckle from the folks at The Hydropower Reform Coalition...

Small Hydro Power from Tom11 Films on Vimeo.
http://www.hydroreform.org/news/2011/01/06/small-hydro-animated-parody

Keep in mind, the threat is VERY real, no laughing matter. License applications are currently in the works for new low-power dams on Ruth, Swamp, Barclay and Martin Creeks in the North Cascades!