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Natural Resource News, Information and Resources from Around the World

Company Behind Farmed Fish Escape to Move More Salmon

SEATTLE (AP) — A company whose collapsed net pens released thousands of farmed Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound is planning to move juvenile fish into another aquaculture facility over objections by the governor. The Department of Fish and Wildlife said Tuesday that Cooke Aquaculture received a permit to transport one million juvenile farmed Atlantic salmon from its hatchery to existing net pens in waters off Bainbridge Island. Gov. Jay Inslee and Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz said in a joint statement that they were concerned about the move. Inslee said he asked the company to withdraw its request and...

Scientists Count Nearly 300 Hitchhikers From 2011 Japanese Tsunami

Researchers say nearly 300 species of fish, mussels and other sea critters hitchhiked across the Pacific Ocean on debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, washing ashore alive in the United States. The researchers and outside experts say it the largest and longest marine migration ever documented. The scientists and colleagues combed the beaches of Washington, Oregon, California, British Columbia, Alaska and Hawaii and tracked the species to their Japanese origins. Study lead author James Carlton at Williams College says this could be a problem if the critters take root, pushing out native species. He calls it “ecological roulette.” Scientists found...

WDNR Eases Campfire Restrictions

With rain and cooler temperatures easing fire danger across Washington, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is lifting campfire restrictions for recreational use. Effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, campfires will be allowed in approved fire pits in designated campgrounds Washington lands protected by DNR. Because forests and rangelands remain dry from the summer’s low precipitation totals, other forms of outdoor burning, such as debris burning, remain prohibited under the burn ban ordered by Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “We’re thankful to have rain help wet our landscapes, but as we saw with a quick moving...

Warm Waters off West Coast has Lingering Effects for Salmon

SEATTLE (AP) — The mass of warm water known as “the blob” that heated up the North Pacific Ocean has dissipated, but scientists are still seeing the lingering effects of those unusually warm sea surface temperatures on Pacific Northwest salmon and steelhead. Federal research surveys this summer caught among the lowest numbers of juvenile coho and Chinook salmon in 20 years, suggesting that many fish did not survive their first months at sea. Scientists warn that salmon fisheries may face hard times in the next few years. Fisheries managers also worry about below average runs of steelhead returning to...

Forest Service spends record $2B battling forest fires

WASHINGTON (AP) — The US Forest Service has spent more than $2 billion on fire protection while battling forest fires around the country — a record as wildfires blacken the American West in one of the nation’s worst fire seasons. Wildfires have ravaged the West this summer with 64 large fires burning across 10 states as of Thursday, including 21 fires in Montana and 18 in Oregon. In all, 48,607 wildfires have burned nearly 13,000 square miles (33,586 square kilometers). The fires have stretched firefighting resources, destroyed more than 500 homes and triggered health alerts as choking smoke drifted...

Fish and Wildlife Commission Takes Action on Protective Status of 8 Species

  The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission took action on the protective status of yellow-billed cuckoos, loggerhead sea turtles, fishers and five whale species at its Sept. 8-9 meeting in Port Angeles. The commission is a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission. During the meeting, commissioners agreed to list yellow-billed cuckoos as an endangered species in Washington and elevate the level of state protection for loggerhead sea turtles from threatened to endangered. In 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service distinguished the cuckoo in western North America as a...

National Forest Foundation – From Seed to Tree: How We Restore Forests

The National Forest Foundation receives generous donations from individuals, small businesses and corporations to support tree planting on our National Forests. We work closely with the U.S. Forest Service to complete these important projects. So what happens when a partner like Boxed Water gives us a call and says they’d like to plant 1 million trees over five years? Learn how we go from seeds to trees below. National Forest Foundation Project Each reforestation project has a specific purpose. Wildfire commonly creates a lot of reforestation need, particularly in the Western U.S.  Before beginning any part of the reforestation...

Washington DNR Bans All Outdoor Burning

  With multiple fires burning on the landscape and communities suffering from dense layers of smoke, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has expanded its burn ban to cover the entire state. “Wildfire and smoke is affecting every community around the state as we see the hot, dry summer take its toll on our forests,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “Without any relief from this weather in the foreseeable future and with our firefighters spread across the Northwest, we can no longer allow outdoor burning anywhere in Washington.” The Washington State Department of Natural Resources...

WDFW Commission to Consider Listing Status of 8 Species at Meeting

  The WA Fish and Wildlife Commission will take action on the protective status of yellow-billed cuckoos, loggerhead sea turtles, fishers and five whale species at a public meeting Sept. 8-9 in Port Angeles. The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene both days at 8 a.m. at the Red Lion Hotel, 221 N. Lincoln St., in Port Angeles. A complete agenda is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings.html. During the meeting, the WA Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider WDFW’s recommendation to list yellow-billed cuckoos as an endangered...

Farmed Atlantic Salmon Removal Continues

On Aug. 19, an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 10-pound farmed Atlantic salmon escaped into the waters of Puget Sound after a pen holding some 305,000 of the species suffered a structural failure. So if you need a good excuse to spend the day fishing, the WA Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has you covered. In an effort to protect native species, WDFW officials are urging everyone to hit the water and catch as many of the escaped farmed Atlantic salmon as possible. Despite Warren’s assurances that the species poses no threat to native fish populations, he doesn’t want...