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  • Voters to decide fate of state's climate act

    Aspen Anderson|Updated Mar 18, 2024

    The debate over how Washington reduces greenhouse gasses is headed for a showdown in November. To supporters, The Climate Commitment Act (CCA) is a "gold standard" environmental policy, because it sets carbon limits on polluters who must pay if they don't meet emission goals. To critics, the program is failing because it isn't really reducing emissions, is pushing up the cost of gasoline and much of the $1.8 billion it has generated isn't going to projects that reduce...

  • State proposes pesticide ban despite current research

    Aspen Anderson|Updated Feb 24, 2024

    Neonicotinoid pesticides are known for their harmful effects on the nervous systems of insects and a proposal in the state Legislature calls for banning them for household use. “About ⅓ of our agricultural sector needs pollination to thrive, and our pollinators, bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds in this state are under more and more threat,” said prime sponsor Sen. Marko Liias, D–Edmonds. Others, however, say blaming household use of pesticides on a decline in bee populations mischaracterizes the current research. Allan F...

  • Mt. Baker Ski Area looks to more sustainable future

    Hailey Hoffman, Cascadia Daily News|Updated Feb 12, 2024

    Skiers and snowboarders return to a more sustainable Mt. Baker Ski Area, with millions spent to upgrade power sources to reach a future goal of using renewables. More than a foot of snow fell over the weekend, providing enough on top of the base to finally open the mountain to pass holders Wednesday, Dec. 13, and to the general public on Thursday. This week's opening is about a month later than last year due to warm and rainy weather, but skiers and snowboarders said opening...

  • Legislation would impose fines for untreated sewage discharge

    Aspen Anderson|Updated Feb 7, 2024

    A proposal to fine counties and cities when untreated sewage is released into Puget Sound is part of an effort to save dwindling salmon runs. The bill, proposed by Rep. J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, imposes a 1-cent-per-gallon fee on municipal discharges of untreated sewage into Puget Sound. The bill, HB 2290, is part of a comprehensive five-bill bipartisan initiative to preserve salmon populations and support the fishing community. The Department of Ecology did not oppose the bill...

  • Demand for affordable homes near transit hubs faces hurdles, critics say

    Mary Murphy|Updated Jan 22, 2024

    Washington cities could soon be required to block off zones near public transit for multifamily housing, if new regulations are approved by the state Legislature. Some regulation is necessary, backers say, if cities want to provide affordable housing and make it easy for people to get to work. "I ran for office because of the enormous challenges that people of my generation, people in their 30s and 40s, face in finding a home in this state," Rep. Julia Reed, D-Seattle, said....

  • Wolverines designated a threatened species by Fish and Wildlife Service

    Ann McCreary, Methow Valley News|Updated Jan 14, 2024

    High in the mountains above the Methow Valley lives a small population of rare wolverines, one of the most elusive mammals in North America. The North Cascades are one of the few areas in the United States where wolverines are still found. But their snowy alpine habitat in the North Cascades and elsewhere in the West is becoming increasingly fragmented and degraded due to human activity and climate change. The imperiled species will gain new protections with a recent decision...

  • Valley snow levels are low for this time of year

    Marcy Stamper, Methow Valley News|Updated Jan 14, 2024

    When it comes to our sense of the weather, a lot of it may actually be linked to perception. "It's funny how your memory is different from the data," Methow Trails Executive Director James DeSalvo said. In his 14 years with Methow Trails, while every year has been different, last year was exceptional - and that probably colors people's sense of the "typical" Methow winter, DeSalvo said. Last winter, with copious dumps of early-season snow, Methow Trails opened its Nordic...

  • WSDA seeks assistance in halting Japanese Beetle spread

    Kennia Perez, Sunnyside Sun|Updated Dec 28, 2023

    The Washington States Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is asking for help from Yakima County residents in stopping the spread of Japanese Beetles. Residents that live in Grandview, Sunnyside, Outlook, Mabton and Prosser can receive free treatment that will help stop the spread of the beetles. In 2023, more than 19,000 beetles were caught within the Yakima, Benton and Franklin County with an increasing number of beetles being caught in Sunnyside and Mabton. To read more from...

  • Whatcom industrial site owners fined nearly $1M for dangerous waste violations

    Isaac Stone Simonelli, Cascadia Daily News|Updated Dec 7, 2023

    The Washington Department of Ecology issued a $900,000 fine to Treoil Industrial site's owners in Whatcom County on Tuesday, Dec. 5, for non-compliance with the state's dangerous waste laws. The action comes after years of environmental negligence at the 34-acre site, historically used for refining biodiesel and processing tall oil - liquid rosin from pine trees. The site, owned by Jagroop Gill and Campbell Land Corporation, has been a matter of environmental concern for decad...

  • Snow geese population a problem for Skagit farmers

    Lauren Gallup, La Conner Weekly News|Updated Nov 30, 2023

    In late autumn on the cusp of cool winter days, snow comes early to Washington when thousands of aloft avians, snow geese, land here in a flurry of white feathers. "We call it a snow storm, they just will move as one," said birder Julie Hagen. "It's just this chaotic whirlwind of birds, they move like a cloud and then they just lift up in the air." In late October, as the snow geese began landing in the Skagit Valley, Hagen went out to enjoy the sight that many Western Washing...

  • Western Washington provides a prime habitat for mushrooms

    Cade Barker, The Reflector|Updated Nov 30, 2023

    Joining a mushroom club can provide the right education for those interested. Mushroom clubs can be found throughout western Washington as the region's climate provides a prime habitat for a wide range of species. Rachel Bouchillon, 2023 president of the South Sound Mushroom Club, became a mushroom enthusiast when she was a kid, and her passion has only grown. Bouchillon said she would go out and hunt for them in the woods to try and identify them. According to its website, th...

  • Grizzly restoration plan elicits strong opinions

    Ann McCreary, Methow Valley News|Updated Nov 16, 2023

    The idea of restoring grizzly bears to the North Cascades brings up strong emotions, which were evident among speakers at a packed house in the Winthrop Barn on Friday night (Nov. 3). A public meeting was held to gather comments and provide information on a proposal to reintroduce grizzly bears to the North Cascades Ecosystem, a 9,800-square-mile area in Washington, which includes the Methow Valley, that once supported a healthy population of grizzlies before they were hunted...

  • Whiteman Cove Restoration to Begin in 2024

    Chris Rurik, Key Peninsula News|Updated Nov 9, 2023

    Restoration of salmon habitat at Whiteman Cove is set to begin in 2024, following a $6.9 million appropriation in the state capital budget. The project, led by the Washington Department of Natural Resources, will restore the cove's historical channel, putting the cove under full tidal influence for the first time in six decades. YMCA Camp Colman has been wrestling with the impacts to its camp programs. DNR Project Manager Birdie Davenport said that 90% of the design has been...

  • 1 million planted: StreamTeam celebrates environmental milestone

    Rick Bannan, The Reflector|Updated Nov 2, 2023

    Clear but chilly weather provided a perfect environment for hundreds of trees and shrubs to be planted in the ground on Bells Mountain, Saturday. Volunteers swarmed the hillside to install a variety of native plants for Clark Public Utilities' celebration of Make a Difference Day, Oct. 28. The event was organized under the utility's "StreamTeam" - an initiative intended to improve habitat that impacts Clark County's waterways. The StreamTeam is a group of volunteers,...

  • Tribes import bison to reservation

    Scott Hunter, Grand Coulee Star|Updated Oct 4, 2023

    The Colville Tribes announced Monday it had released nearly two dozen buffalo onto the open range on the reservation "to live in the wild" and that they planned to release all 30 they were receiving from the Kalispel Tribe. The animals once lived by the millions, primarily in the central plains for North America, until they were nearly driven to extinction through uncontrolled hunting and a U.S. government policy of eradication tied to intentional harm against, and control...

  • Clam season likely but numbers down

    Staff, Chinook Observer|Updated Sep 21, 2023

    OLYMPIA - On the up side, it appears likely there will be razor clam digging on the peninsula starting Sept. 29 through Oct. 2. On the down side, the number of clams has plummeted to less than a quarter of what there were in the pandemic-scuttled season of 2020-21. Of the four clamming areas on Washington's outer coast, a timely start to the season appears most likely here on the peninsula and on the Twin Harbors beach from approximately Tokeland to Westport, based on recent...

  • Wildfire spared endangered pygmy rabbit population

    Kalie Worthen of the Wenatchee World, Quincy Valley Post-Register|Updated Sep 21, 2023

    The Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit population, nestled in recovery sites near Quincy, was spared from the Baird Springs Fire. The Pacific Northwest native endangered species resides primarily in two sites, Beezley Hills and Sagebrush Flats, in a coordinated recovery effort by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The Baird Springs Fire "didn't hit any of our areas," said Jon Gallie, wildlife biologist for WDFW. "It was a nice bullet to dodge." The brush fire, which...

  • Blue Lake Fire spreads north of Hwy 20 in 'slopover' of strategic burnout

    Marcy Stamper, Methow Valley News|Updated Aug 31, 2023

    In its first week, the Blue Lake Fire grew slowly - it was just 290 acres after burning for eight days - but it has nearly doubled in size since Friday, after strategic firing operations used to burn vegetation in the fire's path to keep it from spreading ignited a spot fire on the north side of the North Cascades Highway on Saturday (Aug. 26). As of Tuesday (Aug. 29), the fire, burning west of Washington Pass near Bridge Creek, was 1,056 acres, about one-fourth of that north...

  • Scientists monitor juvenile European green crab populations in Drayton Harbor

    Grace McCarthy, The Northern Light|Updated Aug 17, 2023

    Scientists are keeping a close eye on Drayton Harbor waters after discovering a sizable population of juvenile European green crabs, indicating growth of the highly invasive species. In 2022, scientists found 313 European green crabs, about half of which were juveniles, said Allie Simpson, ecosystem project coordinator for the Northwest Straits Commission. Many of the juvenile crabs were found in a small creek between Dakota and California creeks last September and October....

  • Drought emergency officially declared for Methow, Okanogan watersheds by DOE

    Marcy Stamper, Methow Valley News|Updated Aug 2, 2023

    The Methow watershed is officially under a drought emergency. Okanogan County is one of 12 counties across the state hit with a drought declaration by the Washington Department of Ecology on Monday (July 24). The Okanogan watershed is also in a drought emergency. Ecology declares a drought when there is less than 75% of normal water supply and the corresponding risk of undue hardship to irrigators, households and businesses. The rest of the state is under a drought advisory,...

  • Combating toxicity in trail culture

    Jason D. Martin, Cascadia Daily News|Updated Aug 2, 2023

    Over the last several years, my family and I have been section hiking the Washington portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. The PCT is a 2,653-mile trail that starts on the Mexico border, travels up through California along the spine of the Sierra-Nevada mountains, then cuts up through Oregon and Washington via the Cascades and finally concludes at the Canadian border. Some people - like us - do sections of the trail, taking short periods away from our lives to be in the...

  • Skagit County drought worsens

    Ken Stern, La Conner Weekly News|Updated Jul 20, 2023

    The drought conditions for Skagit County? Not good. The U.S. Drought Monitor’s website’s weekly report lists almost the entire county in drought by area, 97.5%. Greater La Conner is in a small coastal slice of moderate drought, as is the Cascades region. Together, 11.4% of the county is in moderate drought. The rest of the county is in severe drought, 86.1%, except for the northeasternmost corner, 2.5%, measured as abnormally dry. Skagit River streamflow at the Mount Vernon bridge was measured as record low. The def...

  • DNR leadership preps for worsening wildfires in Washington

    Julia Lerner, Cascadia Daily News|Updated Jul 20, 2023

    With wildfire season already underway in Western Washington, the state's Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said firefighters are better equipped to handle more intense wildfires across the state. During a visit to Whatcom and Skagit counties this week, where she sat down for an interview with Cascadia Daily News, Franz focused on the environmental challenges the Department of Natural Resources has faced through her tenure - like wildfires - and her approach to solving...

  • Experts warn: 'Leave seal pups alone'

    Madisun Tobisch, The Northern Light|Updated Jul 20, 2023

    As the local harbor seal population enters its annual pupping season, experts urge beachgoers to steer clear of baby seals – even if they appear abandoned. Mother seals give birth to one pup at a time and often leave their newborns on an empty shoreline while they forage for food for up to 24 hours, according to NOAA's guidelines on viewing marine life. The beach in the early morning looks much different than it does around noon, and if a mother seal returns to see o...

  • Floating ban coming to South Fork Nooksack Riverv

    David Nunez, Cascadia Daily News|Updated Jul 13, 2023

    Floating down the South Fork Nooksack River will soon be off-limits for the summer. Whatcom County Council approved the ban by a 4-2 margin, with one council member absent, after a lengthy public comment period during a Tuesday, July 11 meeting. The ban will be in place yearly between the dates of June 1 and Oct. 31 until the number of Chinook salmon in the South Fork reach 50% of a 9,900 recovery goal. The current recovery number of naturally spawning chinook salmon is at...

  • Forest Health Collaborative marks decade of restoration efforts

    Marcy Stamper, Methow Valley News|Updated Jul 6, 2023

    Two dozen members of the North Central Washington Forest Health Collaborative celebrated the group's 10th anniversary in May, hailing its effectiveness in accelerating forest-restoration projects through consensus-driven work by its diverse member organizations - from the U.S. Forest Service to environmentalists to loggers. U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore came from Washington, D.C., to attend the celebration, and praised the group for its diversity, Trout Unlimited...

  • Wildfire in east Skamania County prompts 'Go Now' evacuation orders, closes part of Highway 14

    Kelly Moyer, Camas-Washougal Post-Record|Updated Jul 6, 2023

    A wildfire burning near Underwood, Washington, across the Columbia River from Hood River, Oregon, in rural Skamania County, has closed part of state Route 14 (Highway 14) and prompted Level 3 "Go Now" fire evacuations for people living within a two-mile radius of the fire's epicenter. Skamania County firefighters responded to reports of a wildfire Sunday, July 2, and said Monday morning that the fire, known as the Tunnel 5" fire, spread in the afternoon thanks to hot, windy...

  • First Japanese beetles of the year detected in Grandview

    Kennia Perez, Sunnyside Sun|Updated Jun 29, 2023

    GRANDVIEW - The Washington State Department of Agricultures (WSDA) has detected their first Japanese Beetle for 2023. The beetle was detected in a trap near the Grandview High School on Tuesday, June 20. In 20222 the larvae for the beetle were first detected on June 13, the larvae were detected in the garden of one of the residents within the infestation area of Grandview. After confirming the specimen was the beetle the WSDA installed traps surrounding the property to...

  • Public Weighs in on Burley Lagoon Geoduck Farming

    Sara Thompson, Key Peninsula News|Updated Jun 15, 2023

    Update: The Key Peninsula Land Use Advisory Council voted 5-2 to recommend approving shoreline permits to expand the geoduck farm with several conditions May 30. The Gig Harbor council voted 3-2 to recommend denying them. More than 100 people gathered May 22 for the first opportunity to speak publicly about a Taylor Shellfish Co. application to convert part of its current oyster and clam bed farms in Burley Lagoon to geoduck. The joint meeting of both the Key Peninsula and...

  • Citizen scientists monitor Birch Bay, Drayton Harbor for red tide

    Ian Haupt, The Northern Light|Updated Jun 1, 2023

    A group of Blaine residents who routinely monitor the toxin levels in Birch Bay and Drayton Harbor took samples last month that indicated shellfish poisoning in local waters. Every Tuesday, the Drayton Harbor Harmful Algal Bloom Hunters go out to Birch Bay Village Marina and Semiahmoo Marina to take mussel and phytoplankton samples that are then sent to a state lab in Shoreline that returns results on the coastal region's water quality to the group the next day. The group foun...

  • WDFW proposes 'downlisting' state's gray wolf protections

    Ann McCreary, Methow Valley News|Updated May 26, 2023

    Gray wolves in Washington, now listed as an endangered species under state law, would be reclassified as a sensitive species based on a recommendation by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The public is invited to comment on the recommendation, which is a result of a “periodic status review” that is conducted by WDFW every five years for wildlife that are listed as endangered, threatened or sensitive. The announcement opens a 90-day comment period that ends Aug. 16. WDFW staff is recommending dow...

  • Cause, timeline undetermined after 'catastrophic' slide on road to Mount St. Helens

    Chad Taylor, The Reflector|Updated May 19, 2023

    A massive landslide on Sunday night took out a section of the upper portion of state Route 504, also known as Spirit Lake Highway. As of Tuesday morning, only one thing was certain: It's going to be a long time before travelers can make it up to the Johnston Ridge Observatory or other upper reaches of the road, which takes drivers from Castle Rock to Mount St. Helens. A news release from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) on Tuesday afternoon stated the...

  • No concrete plans to transport Tokitae, despite hopes

    Julia Lerner, Cascadia Daily News|Updated May 4, 2023

    No concrete plans exist to transport Tokitae, the Southern Resident orca currently housed at the Miami Seaquarium, back to Washington waters, federal agencies said this week. In late March this year, leaders at the seaquarium, alongside Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and members of the environmental nonprofit Friends of Toki, announced ambitious plans to move the orca from a pen at the seaquarium back to waters in the Pacific Northwest, the natural habitat of Southern...

  • Legislature passes multiple environmental bills in time for Earth Day

    Alexandria Osborne, Washington State Journal|Updated Apr 26, 2023

    Legislators celebrated Earth Day with the passage of environmental bills in the final hours of the legislative session. The package creates new laws that regulate the use of foam blocks for docks, govern production of hydrogen to power buses, provide for the study of carbon monoxide and places new restrictions on battery sales. Substitute House Bill 1085, by Rep. Sharlett Mena, D-Tacoma, prohibits the sale and distribution of expanded foam blocks and floats used in overwater structures, unless the foam is contained in a...

  • Bills push for improving salmon habitat, removing barriers

    Renee Diaz, Washington State Journal|Updated Mar 8, 2023

    Starting at the Olympia Ballroom in the state capital's historic district, students from across Washington carried inflatable orcas and salmon and marched through the streets of Olympia to the steps of the Legislative building. Chanting "Save our salmon," members of the Washington Youth Ocean and River Conservation Alliance (WYORCA) and other environmental groups advocated for the protection of Northwest salmon runs and the orca pods that depend on them. "We need Inslee and th...

  • Blaine without a hornet buzz this year as trapping ends

    Grace McCarthy, The Northern Light|Updated Dec 15, 2022

    Washington state scientists are wrapping up their search for the northern giant hornet this year without detections in Blaine or statewide, but are asking the public to remain vigilant of the world's largest hornet. "The public has been responsible for half of our detections," said Karla Salp, Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) public engagement specialist. "We have traps we know can work but the more people we have continuing to look for the next couple of...

  • 70 flood-prone properties tabbed for federal aid

    Cal Bratt, Lynden Tribune|Updated Dec 8, 2022

    WHATCOM - A total of about 70 flood-prone properties have been identified by the county as eligible to be either bought out or have buildings raised with public money. It's connected to the record flooding that hit Whatcom County in November 2021. There are two rounds of application for Hazard Mitigation Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Public comment on the first round of application is happening now, through Dec. 15. The county hopes to receive a...

  • Three controversial battery energy storage facilities proposed in Skagit

    Julia Lerner, Cascadia Daily News|Updated Dec 1, 2022

    As demand on the electric grid continues to rise and state mandates on clean energy use inch closer, utility providers are scrambling to find alternative storage options for clean energy products. The Washington Clean Energy Transformation Act requires the state's electricity supply to be free from greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, marking a significant shift from traditional coal, oil and gas. But in order to reach that goal, companies need to find ways to make clean energy p...

  • One year into the Methow climate plan

    Marcy Stamper, Methow Valley News|Updated Nov 17, 2022

    Switching to energy-saving appliances for heating and cooling. Building a water bank to preserve water for local agriculture. Adding charging stations for electric vehicles. Planting more trees in Twisp. These are just a few of the programs already underway to lessen the impacts of climate change on the local level. Resilient Methow, a community organization dedicated to equity and climate solutions and the well-being of future generations, held its first update on the Methow...

  • WDFW records cougar attacks on wolves; four confirmed since 2013

    Brandon Hansen, The Reflector|Updated Nov 17, 2022

    The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) recently reported evidence that cougars are killing wolves in Washington. By using radio collar data, WDFW staff were able to track wolves. When a collar gave off a mortality signal, officials discovered the dead wolf was indeed killed by another predator. WDFW Wolf Biologist Trent Roussin found one dead wolf in a steep canyon that was thick with trees. Signs pointed to the wolf being attacked while traveling down an old...

  • DNR cancels leases for last 2 net-pen salmon farms in Puget Sound

    Julia Lerner, Cascadia Daily News|Updated Nov 17, 2022

    The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has canceled the two remaining finfish net-pen aquaculture leases in Puget Sound, officials announced Monday night. The two leases, one in Rich Passage off Bainbridge Island and one off Hope Island in Skagit Bay, are owned by Cooke Aquaculture. Net-pen aquaculture continues to be controversial in Washington, where the farming system is considered "high risk" because of the possibility of failure, according to the Canad...

  • WDFW acquires shrub-steppe lands in Rendezvous area

    Marcy Stamper, Methow Valley News|Updated Nov 11, 2022

    Mule deer and other wildlife will benefit from an additional 220 acres of protected shrub-steppe in the Rendezvous area recently purchased by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The 200-acre property called Rendezvous West is accessed via Gunn Ranch Road, where it connects with National Forest land. The 20-acre Rendezvous East parcel is on the north side of Highway 20, across from Big Valley. Big Valley is already part of the wildlife area. It has a popular...

  • Old Cedars golf course reopens as Gordy Jolma Family Natural Area

    Rick Bannan, The Reflector|Updated Nov 11, 2022

    What was once the Cedars at Salmon Creek Golf Course officially reopened on Nov. 2 as the Gordy Jolma Family Natural Area. The remnants of sand traps were the only clear signs that the land was once used as a golf course as vegetation overtook what were once manicured fairways and greens. The titular cedars and other tall trees flanked the sides of the now meadows, save for patches of trees strategically placed to challenge the golfers of days past. Now those trees serve to...

  • Willapa Bay green crab war enters new phase

    Luke Whittaker, Chinook Observer|Updated Oct 27, 2022

    OCEAN PARK - They can crawl, but they can't hide. The war on an invasive crab wreaking havoc on Willapa Bay has entered a new phase, with scientists implementing an innovative intertidal tracking technology to help pinpoint the movements and behavior of European green crab above and below the tide line. The goal of the project is to help maximize trapping efforts by better understanding where to find the highest concentration of the crab, which have devastated clam populations...

  • What's the Deal With: Bellingham's plum shortage?

    Olivia Hobson, Cascadia Daily News|Updated Oct 13, 2022

    If you were looking forward to a bountiful plum harvest in Bellingham this fall, you aren't alone if your gathering efforts seem fruitless. Local plum trees might produce less fruit for a variety of reasons, and the exact cause is impossible to determine, said Lynn Loveland, a horticulturist at My Garden Nursery. But calcium deficiencies, pruning blunders or a lack of pollination could all lead to a less-than bountiful harvest. This year, the chilly, wet spring could be a...

  • Volunteers tackling growing amount of roadside litter

    Evan Caldwell, Stanwood Camano News|Updated Oct 5, 2022

    Conner Smith added another piece of litter to his already packed trash bag. "It hurts my soul to see people take advantage of a place so pristine," he said while pausing his work along Camano Hill Road. "You see garbage, and it just irks you." Smith is one of a handful of the Camano Cleanup Crew, a group that recently adopted the stretch of island roadway to pick up litter. It is one of seven groups on Camano that participates in the county's Adopt-A-Road program. However, the...

  • A 'desperate' year for bears in search of sustenance

    Ann McCreary, Methow Valley News|Updated Sep 29, 2022

    Hungry bears have been unusually persistent and destructive in seeking food near homes in the Methow Valley this year, in some cases repeatedly breaking through electric fences to get at beehives. Living with bears is always a fact of life for Methow Valley residents, but bears this year seem to be "more desperate to eat" and bolder about foraging near homes, said Jason Day, a law enforcement officer with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). "It all started back...

  • Aleutian Isle fishing vessel recovered after 39 days

    Julia Lerner, Cascadia Daily News|Updated Sep 23, 2022

    The Aleutian Isle fishing vessel has been removed from the waters off San Juan Island after 39 days, the U.S. Coast Guard announced Thursday night. Efforts to recover the vessel, which was under more than 250 feet of water in the Haro Strait, were complicated by environmental concerns and short diving windows. "We are so pleased to see the vessel safely out of the water," USCG Commander Kira Moody wrote in an announcement. "The unique environment of the San Juan Islands and...

  • Wildfires close trails, bring smoke to valley

    Marcy Stamper, Methow Valley News|Updated Sep 15, 2022

    The Methow Valley Ranger District has closed additional trails from the Harts Pass area north to the Canadian border and west to the Ross Lake National Recreation Area because of wildfires. Smoke from these fires and others in the region settled over the Methow Valley, Chelan and Wenatchee last week, bringing what the National Weather Service in Spokane “some of the worst air quality not only in the country but the world.” The lightning-caused fires, burning in the Pas...

  • Whidbey Island waters dyed red for shellfish health

    Julia Lerner, Cascadia Daily News|Updated Sep 8, 2022

    The waters around Whidbey Island will be dyed red Monday, Sept. 12, to allow the state Department of Health (DOH) to study wastewater movement in the region. DOH will be working in the waters beginning Friday and will remain until Sept. 14 to analyze wastewater movement near the Oak Harbor Clean Water Facility (CWF). Waters around the facility, which opened its doors in 2019, were supposed to be evaluated three years ago, but technology issues and the COVID-19 pandemic delayed studies. The red dye, rhodamine, is fluorescent...

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