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How climate change impacts our Pacific Northwest recreation –
Federal gov’t. moves to protect west coast Orca’s

Crystal Mountain’s 2014 very warm winter.
By: Dean J. Koepfler,
News Tribune

“How climate change will hit outdoor recreation in the Pacific Northwest”

“In Washington state, outdoor recreation is a way of life, a high-profile industry, and a major economic contributor. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Forest Service collected in a 2014 report, 1,038,229 people visited Mount Rainier in 2011 and spent more than $33 million within 100 kilometers of the park. ‘Access to national forests also provides significant economic benefit to the region,’ states the report. ‘In the past decade, half of visitors live within 80 km, and average visitor spending is $13 billion per year in and near national forests nationwide.’

This prominence and popularity make the industry’s vulnerabilities to climate change especially visible. ‘Outdoor recreation means you’re recreating in the wild, in the environment, which we’re used to looking a certain way,’ said Amy Snover, director of the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group, which conducts scientific research on the effects of climate change in the Pacific Northwest. From the vegetation we expect to see growing, to the amount of snow we rely on for winter sports, to the water levels we consider normal – ‘All of these things are driven by climate,’ she said, and as climate change worsens, ‘they’re not going to be the same.'”

“When it comes to activities that will be impacted, ‘Skiing is an obvious one,’ said Snover, because the Northwest’s mountains ‘aren’t particularly high’ and warming raises the snow line. ‘Rising temperatures will ultimately decimate our mountain snowpack,’ meaning less snow, more rain in mountain areas, and a shorter ski season,” by Megan Burbank, The Seattle Times.

Read more

“Feds propose major habitat protections for killer whales”

  • Editor’s note: Will President Trump instruct Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to tell NOAA to back off of this proposal?

U.S. protections for the waters that a group of endangered orcas call home could soon expand beyond the Seattle area to encompass much of the West Coast, from the Canadian border to central California.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a proposal Wednesday [Sept. 18] to increase the critical habitat designation for southern resident killer whales by more than sevenfold under the Endangered Species Act.

“Just 73 orcas remain in the Pacific Northwest population, the lowest number in more than three decades. They’re struggling with a lack of chinook salmon, their preferred prey, as well as toxic contamination and vessel noise,” by Sally Ho, Associated Press.

Read more However, the U. S. Navy must also reduce their massive sonar ping frequencies that disorient and injure Orcas.

Posted by Steve on September 20, 2019 at 12:01 am | Permalink

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