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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Two National Parks in One Week!

Happy Easter, All!
**Click on the title of this blog to link to photo album (click on "Two National Parks in One Week!")**

Note the linked pics from below Cascades Pass are from yesterday/Friday. The ones from the coast 4/14-17. The glacier guru in me is quite pleased with the awesome snowpack even though this means we have not had a Spring to speak of (yet to hit 70F in Seattle). There was (is) a meter of snow above about 3,500', rather stable/uniform with no stratification in that meter (but plenty of other layers and avalanche danger over the top). Amazing amount of potential energy up on those big peaks!

Read the captions with the photos--they tell the story.

There are hundreds of thousands of acres like this in Washington that are UNPROTECTED. Choose to make a difference, now and for generations to come. Join us at

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


REI is sponsoring a free screening of 
The Irate Birdwatcher, Crest Pictures' latest film, at the Seattle Flagship store on Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 7 pm - 8:30 pm. We will be there to introduce our film and to answers questions afterwards. Tom Hammond, spokesperson for the American Alps Legacy Project, will also be on hand to give a brief talk about their proposal to expand the North Cascades National Park. 

The Irate Birdwatcher is first meant to be a documentary about wilderness preservation – to encourage citizen activism and stewardship, but it's also a moving testament to Harvey Manning, the legendary Northwest writer and conservationist. As many know from his 100 Hikes series, Harvey was an avid outdoorsman who spent a lifetime roaming our local peaks and valleys, and writing passionately about them. He was also a staunch conservationist dedicated to their protection, unafraid to speak his mind about those causes closest to his heart, namely wilderness preservation. In the early 60s Harvey (using the pen name the "Irate Birdwatcher") became the voice of a band of hikers and climbers, turned conservationists, who spearheaded the grassroots movement bringing us the North Cascades National Park, as well as other designated wilderness areas in Washington. The inspiring words spoken in The Irate Birdwatcher were taken from the many writings Harvey authored over the years. He has often been called a visionary and a crusader; David Brower of the Sierra Club pronounced him, "Hero of the Earth."
 The 55-minute film follows Harvey through the decades as he unveils the beauty of Washington's wildest places, and discovers the need to stand up and fight for their very survival.  For more information regarding the screening time, location and reservations (space is limited) see:

The Irate Birdwatcher
Crest Pictures 
Filmed and Edited by Robert Chrestensen
Produced and Directed by Robert and Kathy Chrestensen
Words by Harvey Manning
Voice by Earl V. Prebezac
Music by David Michael
To view a short trailer visit The Irate Birdwatcher homepage:

For additional background information, including the film synopsis, bios and promotional stills, and to read what people are saying about it, go to the Media page on the Birdwatcher website:

The film in its entirety, along with a few bonus features, is available on DVD at: Kathy Chrestensen
Crest Pictures ~
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Outraged? I am!!

Following is an email I received from Defenders regarding legislation
removing wolves in the Northern Rockies from endangered species protection.
This was added to the recent budget agreement between the Senate, House, and
President. This is a terrible precedent, as well as very bad for wolf
recovery. I forwarded this email because it provides an easy method of
contacting our legislators to protest. Apparently, it sends the message to
everyone in the House and Senate, with Cantwell requesting a phone number to
assure she hears only from Washington residents. Act now. Tomorrow will be
too late.

James - It's outrageous. The leadership in Congress has decided to include a
provision eliminating vital life-saving protections for wolves in the
Northern Rockies, Oregon and Washington... as part of a completely unrelated
must-pass spending bill!

Tell your <>
representative and senators that your outraged by the inclusion of the wolf
provision and urge them to remove this provision before the bill is
approved. Take action now.

Save America's Wolves

Help Save Wolves

<> Wolf Face
in Woods (Copyright Larry Allen 2009)

A must-pass federal spending bill being considered this week would eliminate
protections for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies and Oregon and

<> Save Wolves
- Take Action

Tell <>
Congress to remove anti-wolf provisions in the spending bill to fund the
government for the rest of the year.

<> Share on
Facebook! <>
Share on Facebook

<> Outraged by
the Congressional Wolf Deal? Tell Congress.

Dear James,

I'm mad as hell.

Despite all of our hard work in opposition to the elimination of federal
protections for wolves - opposition that stopped the last, "lame duck"
Congress from removing federal protections for wolves in the Northern
Rockies - it is clear that congressional leadership now intends to include
similar language in the current budget bill that funds the government to the
end of September.

This is shameful. Not only do these provisions substitute politics for
science in the protection of endangered species, but they also have NOTHING
to do with the federal budget!
Tell Congress to leave our wolves alone. Send your message now.

The language being considered removes federal protections from wolves
("delists" wolves from the endangered species list) not only in Idaho and
Montana... but also in states like Oregon and Washington where the wolf
population is only now beginning to get a toehold.

immediately email or phone your two senators and member of the House of
Representatives at (202)224-3121.

Tell them that it is outrageous that the 2011 budget bill includes a
provision that puts politics above science in the protection of endangered
species, and demand that they eliminate the non-budget wolf provision from
that bill.

I can't overemphasize how difficult this fight is. The fact that our
opposition has buried this provision in a gigantic, "must-pass" bill funding
the government makes it VERY hard to reach. But we have to try. Please help
-- it is essential that we make our voices heard.

I care about the future of our wolves and I know you do too. Please take a
moment right now and lend
<> your voice
to our fight to protect these magnificent animals.

With Gratitude,

Rodger Schlickeisen

Rodger Schlickeisen, President Signature
Rodger Schlickeisen
Defenders of Wildlife


(c) Copyright 2011, Defenders of Wildlife

Please do not respond to this message.

0> Click here to update your information or unsubscribe.

Defenders of Wildlife is a national, nonprofit membership organization
dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their
natural communities.

Defenders of Wildlife can be contacted at:
1130 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Holden Mine project: what's the goal, $107m locally in 2 years, or the best long-term outcome?

Economic benefits all-around! But who makes sure the "clean-up" (containment is all it is) is really done right for the long term? Holden Village just wants it to be done in 2 years, with some bennies on the side. The mining company likewise prefers to minimize costs - if we don't track this closely, Phase Two will likely be deemed "unnecessary..."

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bumping Lake ancient forest at risk: Hearings announced

Yakima Herald-Republic - Monday, April 04, 2011 AT 10:44PM
Hearings to collect environmental concerns on basin water plan

Two upcoming public meetings will give Yakima River Basin residents a chance to suggest what needs to be considered in an environmental review of a proposed $5 billion plan to meet future water needs.
The two meetings -- in Ellensburg on May 3 and Yakima on May 5 -- will launch preparation of an environmental impact statement.
A stakeholder group spent 19 months reaching agreement on the plan's elements, including new and expanded storage, fish ladders, fish habitat and watershed enhancements, more water conservation, aquifer storage, operational changes, and water banking.
Wendy Christensen, technical projects program manager for the federal Bureau of Reclamation in Yakima, said the meetings are an opportunity to share details of the plan and gather public comment on alternatives, potential impacts and reasonable mitigation measures.
The stakeholder group included irrigation districts, the Yakama Nation, fish managers and other local, state and federal agencies.
They were brought together by the bureau and the Washington Department of Ecology to devise a broader plan than that considered in a 2008, five-year storage study. That study concluded the proposed Black Rock reservoir, east of Yakima, would be too costly at about $5 billion for construction and did not meet federal cost-benefit guidelines.
A draft of the environmental impact statement is expected to be issued in the winter, followed by a final document next spring.

If you go
Public meetings to consider environmental issues in a plan for future basin water needs are scheduled in May.
Two sessions will be conducted at each meeting, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.
* May 3: Hal Holmes Center, 209 N. Ruby St., Ellensburg.
* May 5: Yakima Area Arboretum, 1401 Arboretum Way, Yakima.

Written comment will be accepted through May 19 and should be addressed to the attention of Candace McKinley, environmental programs manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 1917 Marsh Road, Yakima, 98901.
Email comments should be submitted to .

* On the Net:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cherry Point Will Become the Largest Coal Exporting Facility in North America

Cherry Point Will Become the Largest Coal Exporting Facility in
North America

via Chuckanut Conservancy by
Paul Anderson on 3/27/11

"Our export agreement with the Gateway Pacific Terminal gives us rights to
ship 24 million metric tons of coal annually. These volumes are a part of
total terminal capacity that will be permitted to move up to 54 million
metric tons of all bulk commodities at capacity, including up to 48 million
metric tons of coal, depending on market demand and other factors. "

Peabody Coal Company Spokesperson Beth Sutton in her response to one in a
series of articles by Eric De Place in The Weekly Score from Sightline
Daily. Read it here!

Here is a link to an article in Commodities Now on the explosive demand for more
coal in China if the economies of scale can be improved by building a
facility on the west coast. In other words by building this facility at
Cherry Point it will create and open up a huge market for coal from Wyoming
and Montana. The economics aren't there if the coal is shipped out of

So when the spokesperson for Peabody Coal company says "depending on market
demand and other factors", she is being a bit misleading implying that this
is all market driven and somehow important in the reasoning behind the
approval for building/permitting this facility. China will simply buy the
coal from Indonesia or Australia if this facility isn't built. Their version
of free market forces don't calculate in the cost to the degradation of air
quality, water quality, home devaluations, health costs, noise, etc., etc.,

According to Eric DePlace, the quality of this coal in btu's produced, is
inferior, thus cheaper per metric ton - if you add the cost of shipping
through the Panama Canal it will simply make it too expensive and the market
will not be there for Wyoming and Montana coal.

So! The economy of scale requires a huge facility on the west coast.The
marketing campaign focuses on 24 million tons passing through our town, but
by opening this facility to ship coal to China an almost insatiable demand
for western coal will be created requiring at the minimum twice the amount
passing through the Chuckanuts and Bellingham and more than twice the number
of ships coming into the facility than is being advertised in the Bellingham

Plus we will have to give them tax subsidies and pay for the vast majority
of upgrade requirements required by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe.

And let's be realistic about shipping wheat from this facility - it won't
happen it's a deflection by the marketing people. The vast majority of
wheat from eastern Washington is barged down the Snake and Columbia River to
loading facilities near Portland and further downstream.

The odds that anything but a token amount will ever be shipped out of a
facility in Whatcom County are next to nil.

Largest coal shipping facility in North America - are we really that proud
of the direction this spectacular county is heading?