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Lake Quinault Case Dismissed

Lawsuit dismissed that sought to revoke the ownership of Lake Quinault from the Quinault Indian Nation A federal judge on July 24, 2019 dismissed a lawsuit that sought to revoke the ownership of Lake Quinault from the Quinault Indian Nation. The judgement affirms two prior court decisions rejecting the claim that the Quinault Nation has no jurisdiction over the lake. “This latest court decision once again affirms our ownership of Lake Quinault and builds on decades of progress asserting the Nation’s exclusive and sovereign right to manage natural resources on our reservation,” said Quinault Nation President Fawn Sharp. “Lake...

QIN Declares Drought Emergency on Reservation

Quinault Nation leaders have declared a drought emergency for the Quinault Indian Reservation as snow pack in the Olympic mountains has dwindled to zero percent of normal while total precipitation this year over the western Olympic Peninsula is the third lowest since 1895. The U.S. Drought Monitor on June 11 upgraded the drought classification for the Olympic Peninsula from “moderate” to “severe.” Drought conditions are expected to bring water shortages and restrictions as well as increased wildfire risk and hazards posing a threat to people, fish and wildlife. “The coming summer is likely to bring one of the worst...

Blueback Closure Latest Climate Change Impact

The decision to close commercial fishing for Quinault River blueback (sockeye) salmon for conservation purposes this year is part of the ongoing effort by the Quinault Indian Nation to deal with the very tangible costs of climate change. After announcing the blueback closure on the river last week for 2019, Quinault President Fawn Sharp traveled to Washington, D.C. with a message for Congress about how the entire Quinault ecosystem from the glacier to the ocean is being harmed by climate conditions that have major impacts, economically as well as environmentally. “We are really trying to do some forecasting, not...

Climate Change Effects the Pacific Northwest

Climate change effects — among them, increasing wildfires, disease outbreak and drought — are taking a toll on the Northwest, and what’s to come will threaten and transform our way of life from the salmon streams to ski slopes, according to a new federal climate assessment released Friday. The 1,000-plus-page report, produced by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, is the most comprehensive evaluation to date of climate change effects on the nation’s economy, human health, agriculture and environment. Thirteen federal agencies contributed to the report, which was required to be published by Congress. The federal report’s stark, direct...

Quinaults Can Regulate Water Quality

The Quinault Indian Nation can now regulate water quality on bodies of water within the reservation under a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency action that provides the tribe with the same authority under the Clean Water Act as the state of Washington. The EPA last week approved a Quinault request to assume responsibilities of the Clean Water Act’s Water Quality Standards and Certification programs. “Specifically, this approval will enable the QIN to establish the regulatory and scientific foundation for protecting water quality by setting water quality goals and standards for the surface water bodies within the reservation,” the EPA...

Quinault Officials Skeptical of Chehalis River Dam

A month-long “scoping” period began Friday as state and federal regulators develop a framework for what will be examined in a pair of environmental impact statements on a proposal to build a dam to control flooding in the Chehalis River basin. Note: For more complete and recent information on the proposed dam please click HERE. The scoping process is to get public comment on the breadth of the environmental review. The Quinault Indian Nation immediately submitted a series of questions and concerns about the proposed Chehalis River dam, including how much it would cost, who will pay for it...

Governor Inslee Announces Agreement to Boost Salmon

Governor Inslee announced yesterday that representatives from the United States and Canada have agreed to recommend their governments approve new coast-wide fishing agreements under the Pacific Salmon Treaty. The agreement outlines each nation’s fishery management plans for Chinook, coho and chum stocks from 2019 to 2028. If approved, the treaty will result in more salmon returning to Washington and Oregon waters, where many populations are listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. Governor Inslee Says This Step Comes at a Crucial Time “This step comes at a crucial time as we continue to see declines in Chinook...

WDFW Authorizes Transfer of Atlantic Salmon into Net Pens

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has authorized Cooke Aquaculture to transport about 800,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon from the company’s hatchery in Rochester, Wash., to existing net-pen facilities in Puget Sound. WDFW issued the fish transport permit this week after working to ensure Cooke had met all of the state’s requirements for fish health. Earlier this year, state lawmakers passed legislation to phase out Atlantic salmon net pen operations in Puget Sound as soon as 2022. Cooke is continuing its operations in the meantime. On Aug. 2, Cooke submitted applications to move a total of 800,000 1-year-old...

Emily Zimri Shout Out!

Good Morning, My name is Hannah Zimri, I wanted to send you a quick note letting you know how how much my daughter Emily learned on your page, http://qlandandwater.org/departments/fisheries/marine-resources/ . She has been at summer camp the last few weeks, and she came home with a new passion for environmentalism and combating pollution. They had been doing some cleanups and education about pollution, and learning about the terrible pollution in our oceans really struck a nerve with her. Emily has been doing quite a bit of research at home and learning more about efforts to combat this tragedy- She...

More Tree Health Issues Across the State

As the seasons change and the weather warms, DNR Forest Health staff tend to get more inquiries about tree health issues across the state. Some issues such as root diseases or Douglas-fir bark beetle mortality are relatively common, while others are less common but equally attention-getting. The latter includes red and dead branches, red and newly dead trees, and impacts on trees of various ages and sizes. A couple of issues in two of our most common tree species have emerged this year, including western hemlock defoliation and mortality, and tip dieback in Douglas-fir. You may have seen some...