Local Current Issues

Urgent Action Alert: Attack on Public Lands

Our public lands in Washington state - the ones that belong to all of us - are under attack. On Tuesday, February 14, your legislators will be voting on a bill that will make it impossible for state agencies to protect existing and acquire new public lands. HB 1008 will force the state to sell off our existing public lands before we can acquire any new public lands. At a time when our population growth is bursting at the seams and preservation of green space and wild space is more important than ever, this is just plain short-sighted  

Click here to contact your Representatives and tell them to vote NO on HB 1008.

As someone who cares about birds and other wildlife, you know that our public lands are home to hundreds of bird species and a wide variety of wildlife, some of which already face huge threats from development, climate change, and other human impacts. In many cases, state public lands provide critical breeding habitat for species fighting for survival such as the Snowy Plover, Streaked horned Lark, and the Marbled Murrelet.

At a time when healthy habitat is dwindling, we should be focused on protecting public lands, not selling them off or creating new barriers.

We must stop this legislation in its tracks. Email your Representative today and ask them to vote NO on HB 1008. Our public lands are just too important.  

UPDATED: Action Alert:  Help Protect the Marbled Murrelet in Washington State!

UPDATE: A previous version of this article had the wrong date for the public meeting, the correct date is January 19th!

This endangered seabird feeds in the ocean and flies up to 55 miles inland to nest in old growth forest. The Washington state population of this unique bird has shrunk by 44% over the last 15 years, leaving only about 7,500 birds remaining.

Now your input is needed to protect the Marbled Murrelet!

Extinction of the bird in our state would lead to a gap and genetic bottleneck between the southern populations in Oregon and N. California and the northern populations in British Columbia and Alaska. These populations are also under threat – for example, Marbled Murrelet in Alaska have declined 70% since the 1990’s. 

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is proposing the Long-term Conservation Strategy, a plan for the next 50 years.  But all their proposed alternatives will lead to the extinction of the Marbled Murrelet!

  • Attend the public information meeting on January 19, 201 7, in Cathlamet, WA.

6:00—8:00 p.m., Julius A. Wendt Elementary School, Multipurpose Room, 265 S. 3rd St.

Of the four meetings, this one is in our part of SW Washington. There will be no oral public comments, but your attendance will show that the public is concerned about the extinction of this species. Timber interests will be out in force, so attendance of every person who cares about Marbled Murrelet will be important!

DNR staff will describe the Marbled Murrelet plan for .5 hour and the Sustainable Harvest Calculation for .5 hour, and then there will be 1.0 hour for the public to ask questions of DNR staff at information tables. Your questions of DNR staff will be noted. You can also fill out a comments postcard – remember you can comment as many times as you like before the deadline.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to carpool from the Kelso/Longview area. It appears we will have a window of warmer weather, so we can travel safely!

  • Comment on the Long Term Conservation Strategy by March 9, 2017.

 Further information:


Action Alert:  Oppose Mining at Mt. St. Helens

To learn about the Goat Mountain area that would be affected by Ascot Resources’ proposed mine, watch this video:

Because of current mining laws, once a company can show a mine’s economic viability, it is very difficult to stop a mine on federal land. NOW is the time for you to act.

Go to this link https://cascadeforest.org/get-involved/action-item-2/ and sign the petition against the mine.  

To learn more about the work of Cascade Forest Conservancy, the sponsor of this petition, go to https://cascadeforest.org/our-work/mining/

Approval of this mining project would set terrible precedents. The mining lease area borders a national monument, and the land was bought with Land and Conservation Fund dollars for outdoor recreation and conservation.

Read more: Action Alert:  Oppose Mining at Mt. St. Helens

Dep. of Natural Resources Denies Lease for Millennium’s Coal Export Terminal in Longview

On January 3, 2017, Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Peter Goldmark denied Millennium Bulk Terminal’s Ltd.’s for lease of public aquatic land that would be part of the proposed coal export terminal in Longview, Washington. It is highly unlikely that Millennium can proceed without this permit. 

This is a victory for the Tribes, Washington’s Audubon chapters, other environmental organizations, and thousands of people who staunchly opposed this project for six years. Thank you to all who wrote comments, signed petitions, rallied, marched, wrote letters, gave public testimony, and lobbied our elected representatives. Your voices were heard.

At the same time, Commissioner Goldmark expanded Puget Sound’s Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve north of Bellingham, adding 45 acres previously considered for a large coal export terminal.

For more, see newspaper accounts or go to http://www.dnr.wa.gov/news/dnr-expands-puget-sound-columbia-river-protection