Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > It's only money, right? (Seattle Times 03/11/24)
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PostMon Mar 11, 2024 4:59 pm 
Six things to know about the costliest salmon recovery program in Washington

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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treeswarper
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PostMon Mar 11, 2024 5:34 pm 
Can't read it. I switched over to the Spokane paper and it'll have the same article in a couple of days, I think, maybe.

What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human末animals and aliens are great possibilities
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PostMon Mar 11, 2024 6:49 pm 
treeswarper wrote:
Can't read it.
Delete your cookie. I think you get three freebies

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PostTue Mar 12, 2024 7:07 am 
The new Chambers Creek bridge in Steilacoom is going to cost $53 million. Like all the other culvert projects, I think it is money well spent. Also, it is not like Washington has a choice on these projects. They were court ordered to do them, and you would have to change the Endangered Species Act if you want to stop it. https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/article286553425.html

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PostTue Mar 12, 2024 8:26 am 
altasnob wrote:
I think it is money well spent
In some cases, that might well be the case. In others, not so much: FS road 2180-010 between its junction with the 21 road and the Upper Queets Road - you'll find a little bridge jumping over Phelan Creek. Go up there in late July or August and tell me it's "money well spent".

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostTue Mar 12, 2024 8:50 am 
Ski wrote:
altasnob wrote:
I think it is money well spent
In some cases, that might well be the case. In others, not so much: FS road 2180-010 between its junction with the 21 road and the Upper Queets Road - you'll find a little bridge jumping over Phelan Creek. Go up there in late July or August and tell me it's "money well spent".
This has occurred on many forest roads. We've spent a lot of dollars ripping out culverts and closing roads and building bridges or fish friendly pipes to get fish under roads, while downstream, conditions suck. It's another landowner downstream who is not interested in improving fish habitat. Projects happening upstream from dams that block fish from naturally swimming up the Cowlitz river, instead of in other drainages. There's a fish truck that runs 5 days a week transporting salmon around the dams. That's how salmon migration now takes place. This is nothing new and it does provide fish biologists and construction companies with a living wage. Culverts are designed for the "weakest" fish, in case you didn't know. The article appeared in the Spokane paper today.

What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human末animals and aliens are great possibilities
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PostTue Mar 12, 2024 9:01 am 
In my neighborhood they're spending $600k to install a box culvert in place of a pipe that sees a trickle of water one week per year. It exits to the top of a 60 ft cliff over the beach. Mind numbing stupidity.

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PostTue Mar 12, 2024 9:31 am 
treeswarper wrote:
We've spent a lot of dollars ripping out culverts and closing roads and building bridges or fish friendly pipes to get fish under roads, while downstream, conditions suck. It's another landowner downstream who is not interested in improving fish habitat. Projects happening upstream from dams that block fish from naturally swimming up the Cowlitz river, instead of in other drainages.
The idea is that, eventually, the up stream and down stream problems also get fixed. It may take a lifetime or two to do it, but you have to start somewhere.

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PostTue Mar 12, 2024 9:37 am 
Schroder wrote:
In my neighborhood they're spending $600k to install a box culvert in place of a pipe that sees a trickle of water one week per year. It exits to the top of a 60 ft cliff over the beach. Mind numbing stupidity.
I don't know why they are repairing culverts that no scientist would conclude could ever be suitable salmon habitat. I would be interested to know how much we are spending on similar projects, and the scientific justification for these projects. But it is hard to divide these projects into legitimately needed, and waste of money, becuase it is somewhat subjective whether a particular stream could support salmon. Take the project you describe. I assume that any culvert in Western WA sees more than a trickle of water one week per year. And maybe after this trickle of water is allowed to return to its natural state it will start to carve a canyon down that 60 ft beach cliff. So, in 100 years, that trickle actually does become salmon habitat.

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PostTue Mar 12, 2024 10:03 am 
altasnob wrote:
Schroder wrote:
In my neighborhood they're spending $600k to install a box culvert in place of a pipe that sees a trickle of water one week per year. It exits to the top of a 60 ft cliff over the beach. Mind numbing stupidity.
I don't know why they are repairing culverts that no scientist would conclude could ever be suitable salmon habitat. I would be interested to know how much we are spending on similar projects, and the scientific justification for these projects. But it is hard to divide these projects into legitimately needed, and waste of money, becuase it is somewhat subjective whether a particular stream could support salmon. Take the project you describe. I assume that any culvert in Western WA sees more than a trickle of water one week per year. And maybe after this trickle of water is allowed to return to its natural state it will start to carve a canyon down that 60 ft beach cliff. So, in 100 years, that trickle actually does become salmon habitat.
Because on the Department of Ecology map this has been designated a "Fish" stream, as have several other drainages in the same area. The maps have obviously never been field checked for these designations and now they're rushing to be compliant with the court order with false information.

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PostTue Mar 12, 2024 10:31 am 
when 520 bridge was redone, they had to add time and $$ to add new culverts from Lake Washington to some nasty ponds at Overlake golf course. Zero chance a fish will use them

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PostTue Mar 12, 2024 11:45 am 
altasnob wrote:
I don't know why they are repairing culverts that no scientist would conclude could ever be suitable salmon habitat.
For the same reason that a federally-employed fisheries biologist determined that Phelan Creek was "suitable habitat" for the bull trout. I urge you to drive up there in late August and tell me how much water you see under the bridge. Then take a peek at the 7.5 topographical and note that there's a 200-foot vertical drop about a quarter mile downstream. As schroder notes above: mind numbing stupidity

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostTue Mar 12, 2024 11:45 am 
Schroder wrote:
Because on the Department of Ecology map this has been designated a "Fish" stream, as have several other drainages in the same area. The maps have obviously never been field checked for these designations and now they're rushing to be compliant with the court order with false information.
Maybe it is cheaper, overall, the spend $600k fixing the culvert you describe than battle with the tribes in court on what is, and what is not, a fish stream. Just because something is not a fish stream, today, does not mean it won't become a fish stream down the road. With all the development in the Puget Sound, and increase in impermeable surfaces, these little trickles will soon be gushing torrents.

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treeswarper
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PostTue Mar 12, 2024 11:52 am 
altasnob wrote:
Maybe it is cheaper, overall, the spend $600k fixing the culvert you describe than battle with the tribes in court on what is, and what is not, a fish stream. Just because something is not a fish stream, today, does not mean it won't become a fish stream down the road. With all the development in the Puget Sound, and increase in impermeable surfaces, these little trickles will soon be gushing torrents.
We ought to be working on streams that presently would make habitat. Then, if money is available, do the nice to have work. Mapping is good, but it definitely needs on the ground verification. Any of us who have worked with current maps realize that bit. But I have a feeling this has turned into a Look How Much We Are Spending To Restore Salmon, Aren't We Good mission rather than actually doing some thinking about where the dollars would do the most good. Thinking takes time and budgets have to be spent quickly.

What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human末animals and aliens are great possibilities

Anne Elk
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PostTue Mar 12, 2024 11:55 am 
@altasnob - No, they won't. they are ephemeral draws that are rain-fed or (like some at higher elevations) only have water in them right after the snow melts in late summer. I recall two of them on a project site - up near Mosquito Meadows on the old Randle District - and I clearly recall a conversation with the project lead on that sale proposal - there were two ephemeral draws that ran down the side of a hill on the project site - they had been designated Class IV - and they had to leave a two-tree-length buffer around both of them. You'll find little ephemeral streams like that all over western Washington. Your point about the $600K being "cheaper than a lawsuit" is more than likely the reason these projects are being done, because there ain't no "saving the fish" in a stream that doesn't have water in it year-round.

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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