Friday, June 11, 2010

Planning for BLM classification of San Juan Acreage

The BLM has begun the process of revising the Resource Management Plan for the State of Washington. These lands include acreage in Eastern Washington and acreage (nearly 1000 acres) in the San Juan Islands. The plan for Eastern Washington is being revised, but the plan for the San Juans is being written for the first time...currently there is no Management Plan for the BLM lands in the San Juan Islands(with the exception of Iceberg Point and Watmough Bay which have been designated as ACEC's, or areas of critical environmental concern). I think there are several other pieces of BLM land that would benefit from that designation.
This is our chance to have some input into how we would like to see our BLM lands managed.
BLM is asking us to make comments, and I would like to encourage all of you to take advantage of this process. Comments can be made by going to the following website. The website also provides a description of the planning schedule, the preliminary issues and the preliminary planning criteria.
The comment period ends June 25, 2010.

If you want to comment, but need guidance, I would suggest contacting Nick Teague, or Russel Barsh

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Indian Island Marine Health Observatory

Saturday, Sunday and Monday are important Research and Outreach days on Indian Island. Saturday and Monday will be spent taking invertebrate surveys and beach seining. Sunday will be an Outreach day led by Anne Harmann. There is a need for volunteers for each day, so please come down to the Island at 11:00 on any or all of these days. It will be perfect beach weather!

We are trying to protect an Oystercatcher nest on the island. We were given permission to place signs near the nest, hoping that the signs will help to keep visitors at a distance. It would be great to have a few extra volunteers to help talk to visitors about the importance of protecting these amazing birds.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Councilman Bob Myr Hosts Public Meeting on Lopez

On Wednesday, June 23, 2010, from 4-5:30 p.m. Councilman Myr will hold a meeting at the Lopez Island Library to discuss Lopez Village Planning, CAO, Best Available Science, Shoreline Master Program, County budget, Odlin south, and the National Conservation Area.

Land Bank Limekiln Preserve Tansy Ragwort Weed Pull

On Sunday, June 13, 2010, from 2-5 p.m. join other volunteers to pull Tansy Ragwort weed at the Limekiln Preserve. Tansy Ragwort is a noxious weed.
Meet at the Westside Lake parking lot (orange cones). Bring gloves and carpooling is suggested as parking is limited. Call 378-4402 for more details.
In addition, a second pull is scheduled for Saturday, June 26, 2010, from 2-5:00 p.m.

Land Bank Turtleback Scotch Broom Clearing

On Saturday, June 12, 2010, from 1-4 p.m. join other volunteers, the San Juan County Land Bank, and the San Juan Preservation Trust at the North Valley Overlook Meadow to control the Scotch broom on Turtleback.
Meet at the Turtleback North Parking Lot. Please bring water and gloves. This is a beautiful site and some real progress in eliminating broom from the meadow has been made thanks to the past efforts of staff and volunteers. Please call 378-4402 for more information.

CAO Meeting and Workshop

On Thursday, June 10, beginning at 8:45 a.m. the San Juan County Council and the Planning Commission are holding a joint meeting to discuss the Critical Area Ordinance Work Plan and to take public comment. The meeting will be at the Fire District No. 3 Hall, 1011 Mullis Street, Friday Harbor, WA.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Have You Found an Artifact in Your Garden?

Have you found an artifact in your garden, hiking or digging somewhere? If so, Stephanie Jolivette would like to know about it. Stephanie is an archaeologist and graduate student at the Burke Museum (U of W) and is doing research on the ancient people who lived in our islands thousands of years ago. She does not want your "finds", but would like a photo and a measurement. Please send this information to her:

Stephanie Jolivette
University of Washington
Burke Museum
Box 353010
Seattle, WA 98195-3010
Phone: 206-685-3849 ext. 1

Eating Chilean Sea Bass is Depriving the Antarctic Orcas

There has been a dramatic decline in the "ecotype-c" Orca, which lives in the Ross Sea. These orcas prefer Chilean Sea Bass, also called Antarctic Toothfish. Due to the popularity of this fish, they have been overfished and now may be the cause of the decline of the Ross Sea orcas. So here is another reason to stop eating Chilean Sea Bass, which are also caught by illegal fishermen using long lines. For more information:

Friday, June 4, 2010

Orcas Beach Watcher David Schermerhorn Has Safely Returned to the US

David Schermerhorn, a member of the 2009 Beach Watchers' class, was among those detained by the Israelis during the recent attack on the flotilla off Gaza. David was released unharmed by Israel yesterday and flown to Turkey. His daughter confirmed this morning that he has returned to the US. Best wishes, David - we're glad to have you safely home!

New NOAA Website for Oil Spill

NOAA has a new website with daily updates on the Deep Horizon oil spill. There are links for emergency responders, students/teachers, interested public, research institutions and other agencies. Also, there are fact sheets, great visuals and who is doing what.

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Fisherman Bay Project Underway on Lopez

Lopez Beach Watchers met on June 2 with Russel Barsh, Madrona Murphy, and several interns to discuss summer plans for Fisherman Bay monitoring and research. WSU Beach Watchers and Kwiaht are partners in this project - the Fisherman Bay Marine Health Observatory - which will follow the pattern of the Indian Island and Port of Friday Harbor MHOs already well underway.
This summer's work on Lopez will focus on three aspects of the bay's ecology: 1) seabirds and their prey; 2) marine life and water quality, and 3) Fisherman Bay's relationship with Lopez village and its other neighbors. Lopez ornithologist Kelly Palmer-McCarty will conduct two workshops on identifying seabirds and their prey, to train volunteers to monitor seabird activity in the Bay on an ongoing basis. The first workshop will be Mon. Jun 7 from 1:30 to 5:30 at the Lopez Library. The second will be on Jun 14. Kwiaht intern Ann Harmon is also setting up protocols for regular sessions to inventory fish and other sea life in the Bay. Stay tuned for further updates!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Class

The San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network (SJCMMSN) is currently recruiting volunteers on all islands in preparation for the upcoming stranding season. Members of the Network respond to calls on both live and dead marine mammals that come ashore or wash up on local beaches. Amy Traxler, Coordinator of the SJCMMSN, states that “even though we do response work year-around, June through August is the busiest time due to all the harbor seal pups that come ashore.”

There will be two classes offered – one in Friday Harbor and one at the Lopez library. Attending one of the classes is mandatory for volunteers, both old and new.

The first class will be held on June 15 from 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at the Lopez library. The second class will be held on June 17 from 9:30 am – 12:00 pm in the upstairs classroom at the fire station across from The Whale Museum.

If you’d like to reserve a space in the class or would like additional information on what’s involved in being a volunteer, please contact Amy at The Whale Museum at 378-4710 x27 or via email at

Lopez volunteers needed.

Jacques Cousteau's Birthday Celebration

On Saturday, June 12, in celebration of International Ocean’s Day and the 100th anniversary of Jacques Cousteau’s birth, there will be a local happening at the Eastsound waterfront directly across from the Outlook Inn. Please join your friends and neighbors to give pause to honor the sea – the heart of the earth – at 1:30-2:00p.m.. The Earth Ball will be there and music from the Odds. All are welcome and everyone is invited to contribute songs, poems, or anything to focus on our oceans.

Help develop management plan for 1,000 acres of BLM land

The US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) invites you to participate in development of the San Juan Resource Management Plan (RMP). This RMP will guide management of approximately 1,000 acres of BLM-administered public lands in the San Juan Archipelago. To learn more and to find out how you can be involved, come to our open house meeting from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 5, 2010 at the Mullis Center in Friday Harbor. For more information, please visit the at project website