Islanders noted for helping with salmon recovery.…

Posted March 14, 2009 at 1:53 pm by

You know, one of the rea­sons the local killer whales are on the endan­gered species list is a short­age of their main din­ner: salmon. Recov­er­ing the salmon’s pre­vi­ous num­bers is a key to restor­ing a healthy ecosys­tem… and sev­er­al islanders have been key to that recov­ery effort. Here’s more from Bar­bara Rosenkot­ter, who is the Lead Enti­ty Coor­di­na­tor for Salmon Recov­ery for our county:

San Juan Coun­ty Vol­un­teers Receive Salmon Recov­ery Cit­i­zens Awards
On March 10 at the State Capi­tol in Olympia, the Wash­ing­ton State Salmon Recov­ery Lead Enti­ty Pro­gram hon­ored out­stand­ing vol­un­teer cit­i­zens at the ten year anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of the Lead Enti­ty.  Eight cit­i­zens and groups from all over the state were select­ed for their ded­i­ca­tion and sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion toward salmon recovery.

The San Juan Islands com­mu­ni­ty was well rep­re­sent­ed among the win­ners with awards being giv­en to Jim Slo­comb of San Juan Island and vol­un­teer beach sein­ers from through­out the San Juans.

The first local win­ners were a group of over 44 vol­un­teer “Beach Sein­ers”. The beach sein­ers were rec­og­nized for out­stand­ing and ongo­ing vol­un­teer efforts sup­port­ing crit­i­cal salmon recov­ery projects that assess the use of the San Juan Islands’ nearshore envi­ron­ments by young salmon.

Many of the sein­ers are WSU Beach Watch­ers work­ing with Fish­eries Oceanog­ra­ph­er Dr. Tina Wyl­lie-Echev­er­ria to gath­er data crit­i­cal to the under­stand­ing of salmonid resources and habi­tat use. To do this work, they trav­el via a 20’ research ves­sel and, dur­ing the March through Sep­tem­ber sam­pling sea­son vis­it five or more sites, in all kinds of weath­er, ten times per month. They set over 500 beach seines on nine islands, sam­pling thou­sands of fish includ­ing pink, chum, Coho and Chi­nook salmon as well as impor­tant prey species for fish, marine birds and marine mam­mals such as sand lance, her­ring, surf smelt and shin­er surf perch.

Anoth­er group of beach sein­ers are a part of com­mu­ni­ty cit­i­zen sci­ence teams orga­nized by Kwiaht on Lopez and Wal­dron Islands. This group helped with the project described above and also con­duct­ed a study of the prey used by juve­nile salmon guid­ed by Rus­sel Barsh. These vol­un­teers, work­ing in small groups with micro­scopes on evenings and week­ends, iden­ti­fied and count­ed more than 4,000 bits of fish, crus­taceans, insects and oth­er prey items and devel­oped dig­i­tal tax­o­nom­ic keys and pho­to atlases for ref­er­ence and train­ing future vol­un­teers. More than 35 Lopez and Wal­dron vol­un­teers par­tic­i­pat­ed in exten­sive spe­cial­ized train­ing, field and lab work, con­tribut­ing over 1200 vol­un­teer hours.

Both high­ly ded­i­cat­ed teams plan to mon­i­tor juve­nile salmon abun­dance and prey use over the next few years.

The beach sein­ing vol­un­teers are: Marolyn Mills, Chuck O’Clair, Har­ry Dick­en­son, Rick Ekstom, Martha Dick­en­son,  Mike Kaill, Zach Williams, Mike Grif­fin, Chuck Rust, Mar­tye Green, Robin Don­nely, Tom Don­nely, Phil Green, Mar­ta Branch and Orcas Island stu­dents, Lor­ri Swan­son, Chris Davis, Mike O’Connell, Jim Pat­ton, Andria Hagstrom, Quinn Freed­man, Kim Secun­da, Don­na Adams, Fred Adams, Lance Brit­tain, Isa Delahunt, John Droubay, Lau­rie Glenn, Ann Gwen, Hol­ly Love­joy, David Loyd, Julie Loyd, Daphne Mor­ris, Diane Robert­son, Steve Ruegge, Josie Scru­ton,  Dan Silkiss, Elsie Silkiss, John Swan-Sheer­an, Lor­ri Swan­son, Gretchen Wag­n­er, John Waugh, Susie Waugh, Cathy Wil­son, Susan Wilson.

These 44 ded­i­cat­ed cit­i­zen vol­un­teers demon­strate that it tru­ly does take a com­mu­ni­ty to sup­port salmon recov­ery efforts and have pro­vid­ed over 2400 hours of vol­un­teer time.

Anoth­er San Juan Coun­ty award win­ner was Jim Slo­comb. He was hon­ored for his efforts as a ded­i­cat­ed salmon recov­ery project vol­un­teer. He began donat­ing time in 2001 with the For­age Fish Habi­tat Assess­ment project and has con­tin­ued ever since.  Slo­comb has recent­ly vol­un­teered hun­dreds of hours in order to com­plete the very com­plex Geo­graph­ic Infor­ma­tion Sys­tems (GIS) mod­el­ing required for the Salmon Habi­tat Pro­tec­tion Blue­print project.

“Many in our com­mu­ni­ty are grate­ful for all the time that Slo­comb ded­i­cates to marine resource pro­tec­tion efforts.  He has served on the coun­ty’s Marine Resources Com­mit­tee (MRC) for ten years and con­tin­ues to pro­vide count­less hours of vol­un­teer ser­vice to help the MRC achieve their goals and pro­gram objec­tives” com­ment­ed Bar­bara Rosenkot­ter, Lead Enti­ty Pro­gram Coor­di­na­tor for San Juan County.

Jim often donates the use of his boat for sur­vey and mon­i­tor­ing work. For the past two years, Slo­comb has also vol­un­teered hun­dreds of hours sam­pling water qual­i­ty in San Juan County.

Dur­ing the cel­e­bra­tion event in Olympia, mem­bers of the pub­lic also had an oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn more about lead enti­ties, which are local, cit­i­zen-based orga­ni­za­tions that devel­op salmon habi­tat pro­tec­tion and restora­tion projects with the help of tech­ni­cal experts.   Lead enti­ty coor­di­na­tors and vol­un­teers from across the state were on hand to dis­cuss their work and projects.

Estab­lished by the state Leg­is­la­ture in 1998, the Lead Enti­ty pro­gram has grown to 27 lead enti­ties across the state and is con­sid­ered a nation­al mod­el for cre­at­ing effec­tive restora­tion projects at the local level.

“Salmon recov­ery and habi­tat restora­tion in our water­sheds would not be pos­si­ble with­out the part­ner­ships and com­mit­ment cre­at­ed through this crit­i­cal pro­gram,” WDFW Deputy Direc­tor Joe Stohr said.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, please con­tact Bar­bara Rosenkot­ter, San Juan Coun­ty Salmon Recov­ery Lead Enti­ty Coor­di­na­tor, 360–370-7593 or

Somebody wrote, so I looked it up for you…

Posted March 14, 2009 at 12:00 pm by

Some­body wrote, so I looked it up for you:
This is a good link to book­mark so you can stay on top of this impor­tant issue:

Has the Large Hadron Col­lid­er destroyed the world yet?

Click here. Now.

Fill out the survey.…

Posted March 14, 2009 at 11:56 am by

Pamela Williams biking with Ian.

Pamela Williams biking with Ian.

Tim & Shan­non & the bike club want to hear from you — this is get­ting off to a great start (that’s Pamela Williams out bik­ing with Ian last sum­mer, right):

The San Juan Island bike club is look­ing for input from local bicy­clists and would love to have any­one who is inter­est­ed go to our web­site and click on the Sur­vey link on the home page. We are a new­ly form­ing club here and would like to have more mem­bers and we would like to know what poten­tial mem­bers are inter­est­ed in. So far we haven’t had an offi­cial club meet­ing, but we’re think­ing that when the weath­er gets nicer, and more peo­ple par­tic­i­pate in our group rides, one of these times we’ll have a meet­ing after the ride and start mak­ing this club more of a tan­gi­ble thing.

Could you put a link to our web­site on your update, and let your read­ers know about our sur­vey invi­ta­tion? The sur­vey clos­es at the end of March so we’re hop­ing peo­ple will get on there before that.

Thanks so much!

Tim Dus­trude and Shan­non Dean

The Gulliksons are back.…

Posted March 14, 2009 at 11:31 am by

Glen and Bobbie

Glen and Bobbie

It was a nice sur­prise to see Glen and Bob­bie (right) on the fer­ry yes­ter­day — they’re back from their tour of the States (and a chunk of time in sun­ny Flori­da) to move back aboard on their boat & return to work on the island.

Grandma and Cam…

Posted March 14, 2009 at 11:29 am by

Aimee and Cam

Aimee and Cam

That’s hap­py grand­ma Aimee spend­ing the day last Sat­ur­day with her daugh­ter Mis­a’s boy Cam, who, by the way, is two.

Putting girls in the middle of things.…

Posted March 12, 2009 at 3:56 pm by

A friend sent me this lit­tle video, which I thought you might like.…after you take a peek at it (it’s only a cou­ple of min­utes long), you might check out the Heifer Project & the peo­ple at Kiva for ideas. See what you think. Let’s get things moving.

WSF adds back the Sidney/Anacortes run.…

Posted March 12, 2009 at 3:42 pm by

After dis­cussing whack­ing the spring­time run of the inter­na­tion­al boat, Wash­ing­ton State Fer­ries announced today they will run the route, start­ing March 29th. Here’s more, from them:

WSDOT Fer­ries Divi­sion (WSF) will add ser­vice hours and re-open the Anacortes/Sidney, B.C. route with the begin­ning of the spring sail­ing sched­ule on Sun­day, March 29.

WSF will pro­vide one round trip sail­ing per day between Ana­cortes and Sid­ney, B.C. through the spring on the 124-car fer­ry Chelan. Cus­tomers are encour­aged to make reser­va­tions for trav­el on this route on the WSF Web site.

Anacortes to Sidney ferry in Washington State

Anacortes to Sidney ferry in Washington State

Getting sports back in the schools.…

Posted March 12, 2009 at 3:41 pm by

volleyball at FHHSJust received this note from schools super­in­ten­dent Michael Soltman.…as you know, the school board cut the fund­ing for school-fund­ed sports last week. Now, the schools are look­ing for anoth­er enti­ty to work with on this, so they’re get­ting a cam­paign ready to reach their goals, with Island Rec. Here’s more:

Island Rec and SJISD Announce Part­ner­ship to Fund Ath­let­ic Pro­grams: San Juan Island Park and Recre­ation Dis­trict (“Island Rec”) and the San Juan Island School Dis­trict have announced a part­ner­ship to devel­op a fund­ing strat­e­gy to con­tin­ue an inter­scholas­tic ath­let­ic pro­gram for Island stu­dents.  At a School Board meet­ing last week, the board took action to reduce near­ly $800,000 from its $9 mil­lion oper­at­ing bud­get.  Pro­gram reduc­tions includ­ed sig­nif­i­cant cuts in admin­is­tra­tion and non-instruc­tion­al ser­vices, reduc­tion of 3 teach­ing posi­tions, and the elim­i­na­tion of fund­ing for the ath­let­ic pro­gram.  At the meet­ing, Super­in­ten­dent Solt­man said, “We remain com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing inter­scholas­tic ath­let­ic pro­grams to our Island stu­dents, but we must find a way to fund this pro­gram out­side of the Dis­tric­t’s gen­er­al fund.”

“Island Rec is the com­mu­ni­ty’s Park and Recre­ation Dis­trict and a nat­ur­al part­ner to approach to obtain resources to sus­tain this essen­tial pro­gram for our youth.  Over 289 stu­dents par­tic­i­pate on 14 ath­let­ic teams, annu­al­ly, includ­ing stu­dents from the pub­lic school, pri­vate schools, and home schools through­out the com­mu­ni­ty,” Solt­man said.  Ralph Hahn, Chair of the Island Rec Board of Direc­tors said, “Island Rec’s Board is in full agree­ment of doing what we can to sus­tain the sports pro­gram for our kids.  It is just not an option for our com­mu­ni­ty to elim­i­nate its inter­scholas­tic sports program.”

Details of the fund­ing strat­e­gy will be dis­cussed at a pub­lic meet­ing sched­uled for Wednes­day, March 18th, 7:00 p.m. at the Mid­dle School Com­mons.  “Now is the time for all peo­ple con­cerned about sus­tain­ing this sports pro­gram to join us at this meet­ing,” said Sal­ly Thom­sen, Island Rec Direc­tor. The fund­ing solu­tion must include a plan to renew the Island Rec Park Dis­trict levy in Novem­ber with suf­fi­cient capac­i­ty to sup­port the annu­al cost of the ath­let­ic program. 

football at FHHS

football at FHHS

Assum­ing a suc­cess­ful levy in Novem­ber, first tax receipts would be received in April 2010, pro­vid­ing enough rev­enue to fund the win­ter and spring sports sea­sons. How­ev­er, in order to fund the fall 2009 sea­son, $45,000 must be raised this spring.  Pur­ple and Gold and Fri­day Har­bor Ath­let­ic Asso­ci­a­tion have joined this effort as part­ners to con­duct fundrais­ing and serve on the Island Rec. Levy Com­mit­tee.  “It’s up to us as a com­mu­ni­ty to devel­op a sus­tain­able fund­ing source for this pro­gram,” said Elisa Howard, Pres­i­dent of Pur­ple and Gold. “Fri­day Har­bor Ath­let­ic Asso­ci­a­tion is com­mit­ted to this part­ner­ship.  We must insure that a sports pro­gram is avail­able for our kids,” said Don Galt, Jr., Pres­i­dent of FHAA.