1. Exxon's long-term plans revealed - Big Oil's mega-load shipments begin moving into the Northwest.
2. Washington's Clean Energy Windfall - Creating carbon-free energy, good jobs, and healthy communities.
3. Fall Fundraiser continues - There's still time to win some great prizes!
4. Baby Orca - New killer whale calf appears in Puget Sound.
But first...a short note on the latest salmon lawsuit:
As you probably are aware, our litigation to ensure the federal government lives up to its responsibilities to protect and restore wild salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin is taking its next step in federal court.At the end of this week (Oct 29), we will submit the filings by conservation and fishing plaintiffs, with our allies - the State of Oregon and the Nez Perce Tribe - in our challenge of the Obama Administration's "same old-same old" salmon plan. U.S. District Judge James Redden's verdict is likely to be rendered in the first quarter of 2011 - it's right around the corner! Stay tuned for news around this filing toward the end of this week...
1. Exxon's long-term plans revealed
Mega-load shipments begin moving into the Northwest
Local citizens, businesses and conservationists continue to fight Big Oil’s plans to ship mining equipment up our salmon rivers and scenic highways to the Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada.
Recently, over 40 regional and national organizations wrote a letter urging Northwest members of Congress to provide oversight on this project.
The issue has recently been covered in the New York Times: "Oil Sands Effort Turns on a Fight Over a Road"
If you haven't already, please take action on this issue.
Exxon moves the first mega-loads to the Northwest
Despite widespread opposition, this month Exxon imported its first shipment of heavy loads through the Port of Vancouver and barged them 435 miles upriver to the Port of Lewiston. This act of arrogance—permits have not been issued and Conoco’s similar mega-loads are stalled at the Port by court order—is proof that Exxon views our rivers and roads as a mere resource at their disposal and cares little about public input.
Recently translated Korean documents reveal what people have suspected: Exxon wants permanent use of the Columbia-Snake Rivers and scenic Highway 12 to ship massive loads of mining equipment to the Tar Sands. While Exxon continues to claim it plans to send only 207 mega-load shipments in the next year, documents obtained by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) show that Exxon has signed long-term contracts with Korean manufacturers for equipment over the next two decades.
And it’s not just Exxon hoping to make a new “High & Wide” shipping route through the Northwest. Idaho Department of Transportation has met with Harvest Energy, another company involved in the Tar Sands that wants to use Highway 12 for their industrial shipping route.
Opposition grows among elected leaders, agencies and citizens
With the realization that Big Oil wants to permanently transform one of the Northwest’s most beloved pristine recreation areas into a permanent industrial corridor, opposition is mounting. Forest Supervisors for the Clearwater and Lolo National Forests are now on record in opposition. The Missoula, MT City Council and local Idaho state representatives are working to stop the shipments. Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio wrote a letter to the Dept. of Transportation expressing his concern over the impacts of this proposal and lack of public review and oversight.
Most recently, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) publicly expressed his concerns about Exxon’s plans and the impacts to the Northwest and is following the issue closely.
As Big Oil’s intentions become clear, concerns are growing. With your help, we can stop Exxon from turning our rivers and roads into their own dirty highway. Please contact your elected leaders and urge them to oppose Big Oil’s push for a Big Road. At the very least urge them to require public and environmental review of such a far-reaching project that, if allowed, will change the character of the scenic Highway 12 corridor forever.
2. Harnessing Washington's Wind
Creating carbon-free energy and good jobs and healthy communities – and further diminishing the need for 4 dams on the lower Snake.
by Joseph Bogaard, outreach director, Save Our Wild SalmonA recent article in the Vancouver Columbian highlighted the wind energy investments in Kittitas County in and around the Columbia Gorge east of Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. This is one of our region’s most promising areas for generating this clean and affordable energy source. Indeed, the wind blows a lot around here. Based on projects currently under construction and in the permitting process, more than 1,000 wind turbines should be online within the next several years able to produce 1200 MW of energy. That’s enough to support roughly 300,000 homes.In addition to bringing new carbon-free energy online, the projects are also creating lots of much needed, good-paying jobs, generating significant tax revenues, and creating an important revenue stream for farmers and rural landowners that is – at least in some cases – is allowing them to stay put and keep the land in the family instead of selling to developers.Read more at the WSR Blog.
3. Fall Fundraising Contest
Support the cause, tell your friends, win some great prizes
***We are already almost halfway there!***
At just about $2,350 dollars, the SOS Fall Fundraiser has reached almost half of our goal of $5,000.
Help us reach this goal by November 11th and enter to win some fantastic prizes!
Find out more about what we're giving away here.
Save Our Wild Salmon will be giving away prizes to the five friends of salmon who raise the largest contributions between now and November 11th as part of an exciting fall fundraising drive - whether by organizing friends and family to donate to us in your name, or by an individual contribution.
We have valuable prizes from Patagonia, Granite Gear, craftsman John Miao of Xcalibur Rods, author David James Duncan, photographer Neil Osborne, and more!
CONTEST DEADLINE: Thursday, November 11th, 2010
Custom made for wildsalmon.org, model X908-49' 8wt, 4 piece fly rod: fast action, tip action, 57 million modulus.This thing is amazing! The rod would retail at about $700.More about the rod from John Miao:"Legend has it that there is a man who lives in the North Pole named Santa Claus. Legend also has it that there was a man who caught a 1,000lb bluefin tuna on a fly rod. His name was Lee Wulff.In reality, Mr. Wulff, at 77 years old, caught a 960lb bluefin tuna on 130lb test with big game tackle off of Nova Scotia.Mr. Wulff was a champion of the Atlantic salmon. Lee spent most of his life educating the public on the importance of Catch & Release for game fish, and wanted most to be remembered as the Father of that practice.This rod is a tribute to the spirit of Mr. Wulff. We can stand by the sidelines and expect that our troubled fisheries will be saved by a jolly man in red, or make a positive contribution and continue in the spirit of Mr. Wulff and Save Our Wild Salmon."
Patagonia - Watermaster WadersAfter years of consistent support for our campaign, Patagonia is a true champion of Save Our Wild Salmon and a huge supporter over the years. After all, their CEO and founder is a dam buster! For the contest, Patagonia has provided us with a great pair of their Watermaster Waders.
Granite Gear - SOS Tote Bags Jeff Knight and Dan Cruikshank, founders of Granite Gear, have also been huge supporters for years. These guys recently crafted some great Save Our Wild Salmon-themed tote bags, a percentage of the proceeds going to SOS. If they look good on the Vice-president, they'll look even better on you!Neil Ever OsbornePhotographer Neil Ever Osborne trekked into the heart of the Snake River Basin twice this summer to capture the region's pristine habitat and highlight the epic migration of Snake River salmon and steelhead. This prize includes three mid-sized prints. Lost RiverAs captured by photographer Frederic Ohringer, the beauty and value of eastern Washington's agricultural landscape is joined with an image of fishermen (David James Duncan and friends!) casting into a wheat field. The beautiful image is accompanied by a short essay by acclaimed author David James Duncan, whose novels include The River Why and The Brothers K. Duncan has signed the print as well.
4. Orca baby!
New killer whale calf appears in Puget Sound
From Christopher Dunagan of the Kitsap Sun:The birth was reported by observers with the Center for Whale Research, who spotted the baby Wednesday off the south end of San Juan Island. The newborn has been designated L-116, the next available number for L pod.The calf is believed to be the first offspring of L-82, born in 1990. The newborn appears to be less than a week old, and researchers say the calf appears healthy.This is the third calf born into L pod this year. The first, L-114, did not survive more than a few days. The second, L-115, was born in August and still appears healthy. Both L-115 and L-116 and their mothers are in the same subgroup that has been traveling together. The new calf brings the total for the three Southern Resident pods to 90.Meanwhile, a large number of killer whales was reported Thursday traveling through Puget Sound. They were seen from the Kingston and Bremerton ferries as well as from Blake Island and West Seattle. They were identified as Southern Residents.At this time of year, orcas are seen more frequently in Central and South Puget Sound as they switch from foraging for chinook salmon, their primary prey in the San Juan Islands, to the more abundant chum salmon coming back to streams throughout Puget Sound.
In other orca-related news, Puget Sound kayak guide Martine Springer of Sea Quest Expeditions recently added her voice to Working Snake River for Washington. Here's a clip:"Imagine yourself in a kayak flowing down a broad ribbon of blue water. Surrounding you are more islands than you can count, and in the distance, you see snow-capped mountain peaks. Your flotilla of companions rounds a headland crowned by an old lighthouse, and suddenly, they appear."Read more at Working Snake River for Washington.
For more infomation on the orca / salmon connection, check out this great video.
Also check out our great partners on this issue:Center for Whale Research -- Orca Network -- People for Puget Sound