Tuesday, December 11; 6:45 Potluck; 7:30 Program Padilla Bay Interpretive Center 10441 Bayview-Edison Road
Our annual December potluck and slide show will once again feature photos and videos submitted by you! Please send your pictures and videos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Pictures should be in .jpg format with a resolution of about 5 mb. Videos should be in Quicktime format or .mp4, and less than 1 minute (actually, any video format that works on Mac). Also, please include the who, what, where and when, so Ronan can introduce your presentation. Finally, please have your pictures and videos submitted to Ronan no later than Dec. 1st. Questions? Please contact Ronan directly.
Please bring potluck food to share. Plates, utensils and paper products will be supplied. After the meal we will view favorite nature photos ~ a collective view of how Skagit Audubon Society members see nature both here and abroad.
Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. This is not a contest
Conservation Report, December 2018
By Tim Manns
With Election Day past, it’s tempting to think we’ve done what needs to be done for conservation politics and can now turn entirely to other things. Recent years have shown how important it is to stay engaged and be an active citizen year-round. Make sure your Member of Congress knows the importance of protecting the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (see the November Skagit Flyer), of renewing the Land & Water Conservation Fund, of keeping a strong Endangered Species Act (https://www.audubon.org/conservation/endangered-species-act). In the state legislature a less evenly divided House and Senate open the possibility of passing environmentally important bills difficult or impossible to move in recent years. On the Skagit Audubon website, see the last Skagit Flyer’s Conservation Report for Audubon’s legislative priorities for the 2019 session (January 14 – April 28). Audubon Washington will be asking chapter members to contact our state legislators to support these priorities. (Most Skagit members live in the 40th, 10th, or 39th Districts.) Letters, phone-calls, and emails from constituents really matter. What matters even more, is showing up in Olympia. On January 29th Audubon Washington will hold a Lobby Day for members from around the state. When you register to participate in this easy, interesting, and worthwhile exercise in citizenship, Audubon Washington staff will make appointments for you to meet with your district legislators and will provide training and printed information on the key bills supporting the Audubon mission. Watch the Audubon Washington website for registration details: http://wa.audubon.org/conservation/advocacy.
In the November Conservation Notes on the Skagit Audubon website you can read about conservation issues in more detail. I’ll highlight just two on which it would be helpful for as many people as possible to take action. The Department of Natural Resources extended its deadline to December 6th for comments on the draft plan for managing marbled murrelet habitat on state trust lands. The second item is the planned continuation of the Guemes Channel Trail in Anacortes. The city’s Parks Department has been planning to build this 12-foot wide, paved bicycle trail through the wetland buffer of the Ship Harbor Interpretive Preserve (SHIP). A careful approach would call for consideration of alternative routes and a thorough study of the potential environmental impacts of each. Would the planned route adversely affect the function of the buffer in protecting the SHIP wetland with its diverse birds, mammals, and plants? If you live in Anacortes, please contact your city council member and the mayor requesting careful environmental review and consideration of alternate routes. The mayor has shown herself open to the concerns of conservation groups and individual citizens.
Swans, snow geese, other waterfowl and seabirds have returned to winter in Skagit County’s fields, wetlands, and bays. Visiting birders and non-birders in great numbers will be coming again to see them. Local Audubon members have the knowledge and motivation to model good behavior and encourage it in others: Stop and park safely. Don’t block driveways or farm roads. Don’t trespass. Keep your distance from the birds. Have a look at this interesting and relevant website for the Mindful Birding project: http://www.mindfulbirding.org/.
If you see a dead, sick, or injured swan, call the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 24-hour hotline: (360) 466-4345, ext. 266. Do not handle the bird. Leave a short, detailed message with your name and phone number plus the location and condition of the swan(s). WDFW collects information to assess the impact of lead poisoning and power line collisions, the main causes of accidental swan deaths.
Murrelet Deadline Extended
The deadline to send comment letters about the DNR Murrelet Plan has been extended to December 6, 2018. See complete article on page 10 of the November Newsletter and below.
Please Comment on the DNR Murrelet Plan
As mentioned many times in this newsletter, Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is writing a long-term strategy for managing Marbled Murrelet habitat on state trust lands. This small seabird, listed as a Threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act, nests high in old growth trees and dives after the small fish it eats in marine waters. Much of the best, not-yet-protected nesting habitat for the fast declining bird is on state trust lands, and DNR has a legal responsibility to manage that habitat to help the bird survive. It also has a legal mandate to provide timber harvest revenue to support schools and other public institutions that are trust fund beneficiaries. DNR’s latest try at a long-term strategy balancing these requirements is open for public review through November 6th. Specifically what is out for review is a lengthy, revised environmental impact statement.
Audubon is part of a coalition of conservation groups studying that EIS and preparing talking points for suggested comments. As of this writing, the points are not yet available but will be when you see this newsletter. It’s important that DNR hear from people who want our public agency to have a scientifically-based plan with real promise to stop and reverse the murrelet’s decline.
This year’s count will be on Saturday, December 29, 2018. For information about participating, contact Tim Manns (email@example.com or 360.333.8985)
The Education Committee needs volunteers to help with a number of adult presentations coming up in the next several months. These Power Point presentations are scheduled at libraries and private organizations/clubs in the area. If you can help give part of a presentation (already written), that would be great; or, you can assist with the computer and help answer questions from the audience. If you can lend a hand, please contact Sheila at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.