Trump Plan Would Cut Puget Sound Cleanup Budget by 93 Percent

— from Joel Connelly, Staff — A draft Trump administration plan, proposing deep cuts in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, would slash the EPA’s budget for Puget Sound cleanup by an astounding 93 percent. During the current fiscal year, the EPA will have spent $28 million on restoration and … Continue reading

House to Hear Bill Re: Oil Transportation Safety Call or email to voice your opinion

— from Stephanie Buffum — At this time, the Oil Transportation Safety Bill (HB 1611) is making its way to a full floor vote in the State House. This is a commonsense bill that holds the oil industry accountable for the risks they pose to our communities and waterways. The … Continue reading

Navy Shares Drinking Water Sampling Results

— from Mike Welding, NAS Whidbey — The following update is provided as part of the Navy’s ongoing community drinking water testing for the emerging, national environmental issue of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). As of Feb. 25, 2017, the Navy has received 173 lab results from drinking water sampling … Continue reading

Ranker Outdoor Early Learning Pilot Passes Senate

— from Dave Pringle, Senate Democratic Communications — A bill introduced by Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, passed the state Senate [Tuesday] with bipartisan support. “This bill will help children get outside at an early age, letting them learn and thrive outdoors while preparing for their future,” Ranker said. “We’re … Continue reading

Forest Stewardship Classes Upcoming A forestry class for landowners

Saturdays, March 11- April 8, 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Skagit Valley College Community Room — from San Juan Islands Conservation District — Your Land. Your Trees. Your Goals. This comprehensive university-based forestry class will help you get the most out of the land you love. Whether you have just a few … Continue reading

Guest Opinion | Comp Plan? What’s That? Who Cares? Orcas Islanders face stewardship vs. exploitation

— by Joe Symons — I am not working on the Comp Plan because it brings me joy. The motivation for this work is love: love of these precious islands and a strong impulse for stewardship instead of exploitation. There is hardly anything more boring and dry than a comp … Continue reading

Speak Up Now to Establish Whale Protection Zone Email your preference today

— from Stephanie Buffum — [On] March 1, our local San Juan County Marine Resources Committee (MRC) wants to hear from citizens about whether it should facilitate a community conversation about a proposed whale protection zone. We need to show up and tell them – Yes. If you can’t attend … Continue reading

Governor Spotlights Threats to Washington’s Economy and Natural Resources from Invasive Species

— from Susan Zemek, Office of the Governor — OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee declared the week of Feb. 26 as Invasive Species Awareness Week in Washington State, noting that invasive species cost the United States more than $137 billion annually in crop damage, loss of fish, and damage to … Continue reading

Ferry Update: Friday sailings served by the Kitsap Chelan Out for Engine Repairs

— from Washington State Ferries (WSF)– UPDATE: 9 pm: On Friday, February 24, the Kitsap temporarily joins the [Anacortes-San Juans] route as the #2 vessel while the Chelan undergoes engine repairs. Vessel capacity remains the same and full galley service will be available. UPDATE 9 am: The 11:20am sailing from … Continue reading

Draft Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) Available

— from San Juan County Communications — The county has received draft digital flood map layers from FEMA that include base flood elevations. The County has begun to use the base flood elevation information in the DFIRMs rather than requiring a determination from a federal agency.  The draft DFIRMs will … Continue reading

Whidbey Airplane Noise Case Remanded Back to Trial Court

— by Lin McNulty — The Washington Court of Appeals, Division One, in a ruling on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 reversed a lower court ruling in Jonathan Deegan and Alice O’Grady v. Windermere, et. al and remanded the case back to the trial court. When Jonathan Deegan and Alice O’Grady purchased … Continue reading

Orcas Women’s Coalition Sets Initiatives for Action

— from Paula Treneer — The Orcas Women’s Coalition (OWC), formerly known as the CWOO, met on Sunday, February 19, continuing discussions and setting initiatives for the group to address specific issues that affect individuals, locally, at the state and federal level. These discussions and initiatives include education, climate change, … Continue reading

Islanders Get “First Dibs” on County Camps 2017 San Juan County Resident Camping Reservations

— from San Juan County Parks and Fair — San Juan County Parks & Fair is again offering advance camping reservations for people who reside in our county year ‘round. Choose from: San Juan County Park San Juan County Fairgrounds (RVs only) Odlin County Park Shaw County Park for any … Continue reading

Local Students Explore … Edible Insects

— from Russel Barsh — Are easily-grown insects such as crickets the sustainable food of the future? The United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) thinks so, and promotes international research identifying edible insects and ways of raising them. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently granted hundreds of thousands … Continue reading

Stewardship Network Accepting Good Steward Award Nominations Calling all tree huggers

— from Amy M. Nesler — Look out Oscar, the Finnie is coming! Its award season here in the San Juans. Know someone who deserves to walk the stewardship red carpet? Nominate them for a Good Steward Award. Since 2008, the Good Steward Awards, affectionately known as “Finees,” have been … Continue reading

Author Spagna to Read at Darvill’s on Living Lightly Artsmith Salon Series at Darvill's Bookstore

Friday, February 24, 5:30 pm at Darvill’s Bookstore — from JoEllen Moldoff for Artsmith — Ana Maria Spagna returns to read from her nonfiction book, Reclaimers, about removal of the White Salmon River dam, and her new middle-grade novel, The Luckiest Scar on Earth, about the adventures of a back-country, … Continue reading