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PostThu Aug 30, 2018 2:33 pm 
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SEPA Notification: Long-Term Conservation Strategy for the Marbled Murrelet RDEIS
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DNR RE SEPACENTER <SEPACENTER@dnr.wa.gov>
2:13 PM (1 hour ago)

to DNR

SEPA File No.  12-042001

REVISED DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT ON THE LONG-TERM CONSERVATION STRATEGY FOR THE MARBLED MURRELET

This proposal is to amend the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) 1997 State Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan (State Trust Lands HCP) to include a long-term conservation strategy for the marbled murrelet.  This is a joint revised draft environmental impact statement (RDEIS) between U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and DNR to satisfy both the National Environmental Policy Act and the State Environmental Policy Act. This proposal was not included at the time of adoption of the State Trust Lands HCP because the plan provided only an interim conservation strategy for the marbled murrelet. The interim strategy was to remain in place until more scientific information could be collected on habitat on DNR-managed lands and the marbled murrelet’s biological needs to make the development of a long-term conservation strategy possible. At this stage in planning, the proposal for a long-term conservation strategy is described as a set of seven alternatives, including a no action alternative. The alternatives represent a range of approaches to long-term marbled murrelet habitat conservation on DNR-managed lands within 55 miles of marine waters. The development of these alternatives was guided by a need, purpose and objectives approved by the Board of Natural Resources and USFWS. The no action alternative reflects what would occur if DNR did not adopt a marbled murrelet long-term conservation strategy. The location for this proposal is in the six westside planning units (land in range of the marbled murrelet in Clallam, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum, and Whatcom counties) of DNR’s State Trust Lands HCP.

Notice of Public Meetings:

October 9, 2018 – Forks                                                           October 15, 2018 – Seattle
Rainforest Arts Center                                                                Ballard Library Meeting Room
35 North Forks Avenue                                                              5614 22nd Ave NW
6:00 – 8:00 pm                                                                          5:00 – 7:00 pm

October 11, 2018 – Cathlamet                                                  October 17, 2018 – Burlington
River Street Meeting Room                                                        Burlington Public Library Rotary Community Meeting Room
25 River Street                                                                          820 East Washington Avenue
6:00 – 8:00 pm                                                                          6:30 – 8:30 pm


To review the RDEIS and additional information, or to submit comments on this proposal, visit DNR’s website at:

http://www.dnr.wa.gov/long-term-conservation-strategy-marbled-murrelet
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PostThu Aug 30, 2018 6:38 pm 
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Well... that's all fine and well, but where is the Economic Impact Statement?

'Whatever the Cost' of the Endangered Species Act, It's Huge

Scott Pruitt Ends an Obama Administration Abuse of Power

DeBolt speaks in favor of economic impact study on increased marbled murrelet habitat protections 02/14/18

Walsh calls for economic impact study on increased marbled murrelet habitat protections 02/14/18


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PostThu Aug 30, 2018 7:45 pm 
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economic and social impacts of the ESA in Thurston County

This is but one of a couple dozen videos that were posted on YouTube years ago by "STOP" which profiled victims of the ESA because of the Mazama Pocket Gopher.

I can't find the one featuring the woman who was prohibited from raising a vegetable garden or building a fence on her property, and was ordered to remove an existing brick fence that had stood on the property for several decades. Unfortunately the link above is the only one of these videos that I can find right now - there were a couple dozen of them just a couple years ago.

What exactly is "suitable habitat" for the Marbeled Murrelet? As this creature does not construct a "nest" per se, how do we actually know for sure what "nesting sites" are?

What exactly is "suitable habitat" for the Bull Trout? Is it, as a Washington State fisheries biologist claimed, a Class IV (ephemeral) stream that drops 200 vertical feet over a distance of less than a quarter of a mile, like Phelan Creek, requiring the installation of a $30,000 bridge? (in 2008 dollars)( 47°35'43.1"N 124°02'50.0"W )

Where is the Economic Impact Statement for DNR's plan for management of the Marbeled Murrelet?

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PostThu Aug 30, 2018 8:25 pm 
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Ski wrote:
Well... that's all fine and well, but where is the Economic Impact Statement?

'Whatever the Cost' of the Endangered Species Act, It's Huge

Scott Pruitt Ends an Obama Administration Abuse of Power

DeBolt speaks in favor of economic impact study on increased marbled murrelet habitat protections 02/14/18

Walsh calls for economic impact study on increased marbled murrelet habitat protections 02/14/18

Probably all that pales in comparison to what we spend for Trump to fly back and forth for golfing vacations. And that is just Trump. How about Zinke.

As to the cost of the Endangered Species Act, what is the "cost" of causing another species to go extinct? What is that worth? What is the value of your life - not to be critical, just what is it?
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PostThu Aug 30, 2018 8:35 pm 
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You obviously chose not to read the article. Trump's golfing expenses are a pittance in comparison.

The world did not stop rotating on its axis when the last Auroch was killed. Or the last Dodo. Or the last Passenger Pigeon.

While admittedly well intentioned, the ESA has become weaponized, and the taxpayers are the victims.

I suppose that's all fine and well if you're willing to foot the bill. When we have people in this country going hungry, when our infrastructure is falling apart at the seams, when our schools are not adequately funded, I am not.

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PostThu Aug 30, 2018 9:23 pm 
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Ski wrote:
You obviously chose not to read the article. Trump's golfing expenses are a pittance in comparison.

The world did not stop rotating on its axis when the last Auroch was killed. Or the last Dodo. Or the last Passenger Pigeon.

While admittedly well intentioned, the ESA has become weaponized, and the taxpayers are the victims.

I suppose that's all fine and well if you're willing to foot the bill. When we have people in this country going hungry, when our infrastructure is falling apart at the seams, when our schools are not adequately funded, I am not.

I agree with your last statement. But those are societal problems that are very hard to solve with the current trend in the distribution of wealth. Whether there is enough wealth in our society to solve most of those problems I don't know. Certainly certain very rich folks like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are thinking of more than themselves. Gates work in Africa is quite amazing both in terms of his use of his wealth but also in the time he devotes to solving what he perceives to be some of the world's great problems.
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PostFri Aug 31, 2018 5:33 am 
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Over ten years ago I  was up at the cabin on the Duckabush for memorial day weekend. DNR had the smolt trap just upstream. Nobody tended to it all weekend and smolt began dying by day three. Day four and a guy showed up to do his work. I went over to watch and visit. He was happy to talk as he discarded the dead smolt. He told me then that the Marbled Murrelet was going to be the new spotted owl. His wife was at that moment getting paid to sit in the fog on the coast and listen for and count the marbled murrelet. It is just a big racket to transfer wealth in the name of the environment. The spotted owl is worse of than it ever was. The bull trout are worse off than they ever were. The Hood canal steelhead are worse off than they ever were. The hood canal chinook is worse of than they ever were. I can go on and on.

Probably twenty years ago I took a job at the federal hatchery in Quilcene clipping fins on the broodstock summer chum. They wanted to be able to distinguish between the hatchery/wild broad stock and the wild fish in the river. In the process of clipping, the tiny fish we lost 34%.At the end of the day, I would go out and see thousands of dead smolt. nobody cared. It is not about the fish and birds it is about the money.F the EPA.
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PostFri Aug 31, 2018 7:08 am 
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Gregory wrote:
I would go out and see thousands

There aren't that many.
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PostFri Aug 31, 2018 7:23 am 
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Wait. Does ski actually claim that Marbled Murrelet habitat protection contributes to world hunger?  dizzy.gif Yikes. There's plenty of food to feed everyone. It's distribution problem. 40% of food purchased in the U.S. is thrown away. Mowing down old growth forests will not help.

We can feed everyone, rebuild the infrastructure, support public schools AND protect old growth habitat. It starts with progressive taxation, specifically raising taxes on the billionaire winners of the global economy game. Deeming perpetual economic growth and tax breaks for the Koch Brothers as the cure for all the world's problems is a cancer, not an answer.
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PostFri Aug 31, 2018 7:48 am 
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Come on, Steve... is that what I said above?
No, it's not what I said at all.

Did you even bother to read the articles I linked to?

I am greatly concerned about the decline in return runs of anadromous salmonids - salmon and steelhead - particularly here in Washington State.
But, as Gregory notes above, listing them as TES (Threatened or Endangered Species) has had no positive effect - the numbers of fish returning upstream has not increased as a result of any action taken under the ESA.

When you start looking at the amount of money being spent on TES listed animals, it gets crazy. All the Bill Gates and Warren Buffets and Saudi Princes combined don't have enough money to foot the bill for all this. Again, read the articles I linked to above.

Again, while I fully agree with the basic premise and intent of the ESA, it's been weaponized by groups like "Center for Biological Diversity", who use it as a means to line the pockets of their legal teams.

And again, if you want to foot the bill, I'm sure that the federal government will be happy to accept your donations. I do not want my tax dollars spent frivolously and pointlessly on farcical projects like the $30000.00 bridge over Phelan Creek that I mentioned above.

I may not be a fisheries biologist, but I do recall that during half the summer of 2007 (when the length of the 2180-010 road had to be walked while NPS, DNR, USFS, and the Quinault Tribal Nation dickered over who was going to foot the bill for the bridge) that there was no water in the channel at all and I do not recall ever having seen or heard of any Bull Trout that had the capacity to climb up slopes that ascended over 200 vertical feet in less than a quarter of a mile. There's one tiny example of public money being pissed away for no good reason.

In the case of the Marbled Murrelet, what's affected is anything that might constitute "suitable habitat" for the animal. What exactly is "suitable habitat"? Is it any so-called "old growth"? Somewhere some time ago some judge sat up in front of a courtroom and defined "old growth" as any tree older than 80 years. At what point do all of the trees become more than 80 years old, effectively making all forest lands "suitable habitat" and therefore off limits to any timber harvest activity?

Sorry, but the ESA has become a black hole - sucking up lots of money and restricting any activity on lots of public and private lands and the animals being listed aren't doing any better than they were before.

Again, scroll up, click on the links, and read the articles. The ESA isn't working.

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PostFri Aug 31, 2018 8:28 am 
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Ski wrote:
Did you even bother to read the articles I linked to?

The one in National Review article praising Scott Pruitt as savior? The Competitive Enterprise Institute rant against big guhment? The article about the pro-timber WA GOP state rep rants? Yup, I read them. I keep track of the Feed the Beast propagandists.

Here's how Feed the Beast works:

1. Give huge tax breaks to billionaire oligarchs, raise defense spending, explode deficit and debt
2. Wait a bit, sound the alarm re exploding deficit and debt
3. Create fear, pit citizens (e.g., environmentalists, working poor, public education, infrastructure advocates) against each other as they fight for the few crumbs left on the table
4. Enable the above via the Gospel of St. Ayn and diverting blame away from billionaire rich oligarchs by fueling cultural wedge issues, e.g., NFL player kneeling, etc.
5. Blame the poor and powerless for the problems caused by the rich and powerful, using all means necessary, e.g., xenophobia, racial tension, religion wedge issues
6. Billionaire oligarchs get richer and more powerful
7. Loop back to #1, repeat
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PostFri Aug 31, 2018 9:01 am 
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While some of your points are certainly valid, that doesn't explain the fact that the ESA has been ineffective in restoring populations of the animals listed as TES. (i.e., anadromous salmonids, the numbers of which continue to decline.)(see the WDFW notices I've posted in the "WDFW news releases" thread - they announce closure after closure after closure of fisheries all around the State due to declining numbers.)

You are way off base if you think I'm some fan of the Koch brothers or Ayn Rand, Steve.
I'm about as leftie as leftie gets when it comes to social and environmental issues, but when I see public money being pissed away like it is on the ESA, I have to say "enough already".

The citations on all of those incidents cited in the articles are listed below the articles - that stuff isn't just made up. Nor are the stories from people in Thurston County whose real estate values have gone down the toilet as a result of the Mazama Pocket Gopher.

How would you feel if the WDFW and USFWS came knocking on your door and told you that NO, you could not build that shop behind your house that you always dreamed of, or that NO, you could not dig up a small plot and have a vegetable garden, or NO, you could not dig post holes and erect a fence around your property? Would you be okay with that?

You're refusing to look at the impacts this is having on the little people, Steve, because (as with gb) the facts don't fit your narrative.

Go ahead - please tell me again how effective the ESA has been in restoring runs of anadromous salmonids. I am anxiously awaiting your facts to support the argument that the ESA is working as intended in that regard.

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PostFri Aug 31, 2018 9:28 am 
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SIYSteve wrote:
The article about the pro-timber WA GOP state rep rants?

They were asking for amendments to require an Economic Impact Study.

Why are you afraid of looking at the numbers?

It is telling that you (and obviously others, including USFWS, DNR and other agencies) don't want the dollar cost made part of the public record.

==

And bear in mind before you go off on another tangential rant about Koch Brothers, Ayn Rand, ad nauseum:

I won Second Prize in a County-wide poster contest in my freshman year of high school - the subject of the posters had to be "environmental issues".
In my sophomore year I was on the street marching on the first "Earth Day".

You clearly have me confused with somebody else, Steve, if you think my motives have anything to do with supporting the kleptocrats currently running the country.

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PostFri Aug 31, 2018 12:41 pm 
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I see that the distance from salt water of mm habitat has increased by five miles.

Ski, the trees claimed to be suitable for mms are not chosen by age, but by characteristics.  They like trees with large diameter limbs.  Often that does mean large old growth.

For example, parts of the forest North of Randle met the (then) fifty mile requirement but did not meet the habitat type.  However, because of the distance, restrictions were put in place.

It isn't always a decision based on science, sometimes it is a pissing  match. Biologists are no different than others when it comes to that.

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PostFri Aug 31, 2018 3:23 pm 
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Ski wrote:
to require an Economic Impact Study

Apples and oranges. An environmental assessment is science. Once that is done then it makes sense to do an economic study to find the most cost effective solution. This is politics. IMO the two things are distinctly different and should not be combined. The science likely would get even more polluted than it already is..
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