Tuesday, September 12 ,2017 7:00 Social; 7:30 Program Padilla Bay Interpretive Center 10441 Bayview-Edison Road Mt. Vernon, Washington
It’s not winter yet, but as the days shorten and the temperature drops, our thoughts turn toward lower latitudes.
Join Dennis Paulson on a trip he and his wife made to southern Florida last December. Birds were abundant, as were not surprisingly so many other forms of wildlife – lizards, turtles, butterflies and dragonflies – that disappear from our state in winter.
Enjoy a photo-illustrated tour of Florida, from manatees and dolphins at Crystal River to Great White Herons and White-crowned Pigeons in the Florida Keys.
MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD September 2017
By Irene Perry
Welcome to Skagit Audubon
Skagit Audubon offers opportunities to connect with nature year-round. Our monthly programs run September through June. Guest Speakers present topics including birds, wildlife, geology, photography, environmental research, ecology and nature travel to name a few. Mark your calendars to attend a program each second Tuesday of the month at the Padilla Bay Interpretive Center. Arrive at 7:00 p.m. for a fun social time before the program begins at 7:30. Most programs are free and open to the public.
Check our calendar each month for field trips and hikes. All levels of birding experience are welcome on field trips. Libby Mills continues to chair our field trip committee. If you would like more information on attending, leading or suggested locations, please contact email@example.com. Hikes are planned each Wednesday with varying degrees of difficulty. Our active hikers are led by Joan Melcher. Hiking locations include trails in Skagit County and beyond. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Carpooling is encouraged to field trip and hiking locations. Remember if you're driving, you may need a Discover Pass or U. S. Forest Service parking permit. Riders should help with the driver's expense. Be a part of reducing fossil fuel emissions.
Our board continues to grow. At the June general meeting, members voted to add two new Representative positions. Many returning board members are past presidents, chairpersons and representatives who continue to volunteer their time and talents to keep our chapter strong, active and a recognized advocate for environmental causes in our communities. Ron Holmes has moved from Representative to Secretary. A special welcome to new board members, Neil O'Hara, Treasurer, Mary Sinker, Publications; and Representatives, Jeff Osmundson, Scott Petersen and Katherine O'Hara. Past President's will be leading our chapter meetings. If you are interested in becoming a board member or would like to attend a board meeting, please contact, Irene Perry, Immediate Past President, email@example.com. Board Meetings are held first Tuesday of the month September through June at the Padilla Bay Interpretive Center conference room, 7:00 p.m.
Whether you're a returning member or new to our chapter please plan to attend at least one event or activity each month, inform others on conservation issues important to you and invite a friend, relative or new neighbor to a program, field trip or hike. Membership is encouraged for $20.00 per household each year. Pam Pritzl, Membership Chair, will answer any questions regarding membership, firstname.lastname@example.org. Membership forms are available through our newsletter and on our website. Our mission is watching birds, protecting habitat and connecting with nature. Spread the word and share this mission with others. Get involved and together we'll make a difference.
Conservation Report, September 2017
By Tim Manns
Nearing the end of a summer that passed too quickly, lots of conservation issues await attention. Locally, the main one conservation-minded citizens worked on through the summer was not new. In June, this report mentioned the Skagit County Commissioners’ hiring an anti-Endangered Species Act organization, the self-proclaimed American Stewards of Liberty, for advice on preventing the US Fish & Wildlife Service and National Park Service from pursuing restoration of the grizzly to the North Cascades. This project is not some agency whim but, rather, required implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Public reaction to our commissioners taking this action and spending $5,000+ of county funds to do it, was loud and swift. On August 7, the commissioners held an afternoon meeting with scant notice to take public comment and sign a letter to Secretary of Interior Zinke, written by American Stewards of Liberty, calling for a halt to any grizzly restoration work in the Cascades. The letter is replete with exaggeration and inaccuracy; nonetheless, the commissioners made a public show of signing it and claiming they do not actually adhere to the anti-Endangered Species Act, anti-public lands ideology of the Stewards of Liberty. This is, in fact, easily proven untrue. Since at least 2001 Skagit County Commissioners have been paying a Washington, D.C. lobbyist ($137,000 to date) to push for weakening the ESA, giving local officials such as themselves control over national public lands, and, with a recent $5,000 additional payment, undercutting grizzly restoration in the vast wilderness of the North Cascades. The mission of the Audubon Society is the protection and restoration of wildlife diversity and the habitat to support it. Until now, we had little idea how contrary to this mission the thinking and activities of our county commissioners actually are. We will continue to work with other groups and individuals to preserve our national public lands and to keep this bedrock environmental law, the Endangered Species Act, strong.
Issues related to fossil fuels continue in the Northwest. With marine waters, two oil refineries at March Point, pipelines, and a mainline railway, Skagit County remains a key location in the question of whether investment in a fossil-fuel based economy continues or a concerted transition away from fossil fuels gets underway. If British Columbia’s new provincial government is unable to block expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline to Vancouver, there will likely be a doubling of the capacity of the Kinder Morgan pipeline already bringing tar sands crude to March Point. Will the refineries then double as terminals for exporting crude oil? These developments promise vastly increased oil tanker and barge traffic in the Salish Sea with a proportional risk of catastrophic spills. A related issue is the Coast Guard’s rulemaking to designate commercial anchorages near Vendovi and Samish Islands without any serious environmental review. And, earlier in the summer, Skagit County Planning & Development Services determined Tesoro’s project to produce and export xylene would have no adverse environmental effects requiring mitigation.
Current wildlife-related issues here in addition to grizzly restoration include Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife’s proposed plan for managing elk in the Skagit Valley, a National Park Service plan to transplant non-native mountain goats out of Olympic National Park to the North Cascades, where they are native but declining, and the Department of Natural Resources’ long-awaited long-term management plan for the marbled murrelet on state trust lands. For more information on any of these or other issues too numerous to mention here, please contact me (Tim Manns, email@example.com). I’m happy to send any Skagit Audubon member the issues summary prepared for the board.
Chelan Ridge Hawk Migration Festival 2017
Pateros, WA (City Park), Saturday, September 16, 2016; 8:00 am – 3:00 p.m.
Join the Chelan and Entiat Ranger Districts, North Central Washington Audubon Society, and HawkWatch International this fall for the eighth annual Chelan Ridge Hawk Migration Festival! This family event combines free activities in Pateros Memorial Park with trips to Chelan Ridge to learn about and celebrate raptors as they journey to winter territories. At the park participants will find vendors, live raptors, interpretive booths, and projects for kids.
Friday night, September 15th, we will offer a workshop with an expert from HawkWatch International on raptor migration and field identification to prepare you for your trip up to the ridge.
The trip with free shuttle to and from Chelan Ridge lasts 4 hours and includes seeing banded raptors released.
From 8 AM to noon, there will be a field trip to Wells Wildlife Refuge.
More information and on-line registration for the shuttle, field trip, and workshop will be available July 1st at www.ncwaudubon.org.
Public Comments Sought on Draft Olympic National Park Mountain Goat Management Plan
The National Park Service, the US Forest Service, and Wash. State Dept. of Fish & Wildlife invite the public to review and comment on a proposal to translocate non-native mountain goats from Olympic National Park to the North Cascades where they are native and declining. To review the draft plan and submit a comment, visit: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/OLYMgoat.
Skagit Audubon Society holds monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month except for the months of July and August. We meet at 7:00 pm at Padilla Bay Interpretive Center(Google map), 10441 Bayview-Edison Rd. Mount Vernon. Meetings are open to all.
The board of directors meets at the same location at 7:00 pm on the first Tuesday of each month, except for the months of July and August.