Category Archives: Landslides

New brochure alerts landowners to landslide hazards and what to do

Geology experts in Washington and Oregon have produced an easy-to-read brochure that can help people understand landslide risks, the underlying geology of slides and precautions that could avoid a disaster.

I have written a lot of words about landslides through the years, often relating stories of people involved in a catastrophic slope failures. But this new publication excels as a concise discussion of what people need to know if they live on or near a steep slope.

After the Oso landslide in the Stillaguamish Valley three years ago, I wrote a piece in the Kitsap Sun to help residents of the Kitsap Peninsula understand the risks they could be facing. Now I can point people to this graphically rich pamphlet, called “A Homeowners Guide to Landslides for Washington and Oregon” (PDF, 3.8 mb). It was produced by the Washington Department of Natural Resources and the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.

“Our job is to understand Washington’s complex geology and how it impacts the people who live here,” Washington State Geologist Dave Norman said in a news release. “We want to make sure we put that information into their hands.”

Water is often the key ingredient in determining whether the soils on a slope will hold together or become a dangerous mass of moving earth. A cubic foot of water — just 7.5 gallons — weighs 62.3 pounds. Water not only weighs down a slope, it also pushes the grains of soil apart, making for a more slippery material.

To prevent water from increasing the risk of slides:

  • Maintain healthy vegetation,
  • Use drought-resistant plantings,
  • Fix leaking plumbing immediately,
  • Direct downspout runoff well away from slopes, and
  • Plant trees and shrubs, which uptake water more efficiently than lawns.

Actions that people should avoid are mostly related to water and the pressures exerted from piling up dirt. The publication advises against:

  • Adding water to steep slopes,
  • Placing fill soil on or near steep slopes,
  • Placing yard waste or debris on steep slopes, and
  • Excavating on or at the base of steep slopes.

An appropriation by the Washington Legislature in 2015 allowed DNR to extend its hazard mapping with the use of high-resolution lidar. See the Washington Lidar Portal for locations where high-res imaging has been applied, or learn more about LIDAR and the mapping project.

A lot of other information can be found on DNR’s Geologic Hazards website, and you can use a mobile app to learn about the local geology while you travel.

A 2007 map of geologic hazards in Kitsap County (PDF 16.7 mb) can be found on the county’s website. A study by federal geologists identified 231 landslides of significant size in Kitsap County, potentially affecting 1 percent of the county’s total area. Read the report or download the map (PDF 34.1 mb) from the U.S. Geological Survey website.

I can’t sign off on this topic without mentioning that landslides may occur more often in the future because of the patterns of rainfall expected in the Northwest as a result of climate change. Check out my story, “Shifting ground: Climate change may increase the risk of landslides,” in the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound.

If you are looking for an easy-to-understand report about climate change, I highly recommend “State of knowledge: Climate change in Puget Sound” by the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group.

Puget Sound farmers expected to change as climate changes

I’ve been going through the new report about climate change in the Puget Sound region, and I can tell you that the most optimistic chapter is the one on farming. Check out the story I wrote for the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound.

To be sure, farmers will have plenty of problems to contend with. Rising sea levels and more intense rainstorms will probably causing flooding and seawater intrusion where it has never been seen before. Some of today’s farmland could become unsuitable for agriculture, and drier summers will force much better management of limited water supplies.

Temperatures are rising in the Puget Sound lowlands. Graphic: Climate Impacts Group
Temperatures are rising in the Puget Sound lowlands. // Graphic: Climate Impacts Group

But as the climate undergoes change, farmers can change with the climate, growing crops suitable for the conditions they face, said Kelly McLain, senior natural resources scientist with the Washington Department of Agriculture.

“Farmers are extremely adaptable,” Kelly told me. “I think water is going to be the limiting factor for almost all decisions.”

It’s hard to find that kind of optimism anywhere else when it comes to climate change in the Puget Sound region. The story I wrote to accompany last week’s release of the new report discusses the likelihood that landslides will increase because of more intense rainfall patterns. See “Shifting ground: Climate change may increase the risk of landslides” and the Water Ways post on Nov. 19.

My third and final story in the series, which will be published next week, talks about coming changes in habitats — and thus species — expected in Puget Sound as air temperatures increase, sea levels rise, rainstorms grow more intense and oceans undergo acidification.

Total annual precipitation does not appear to be changing in the Puget Sound region. Graphic: Climate Impacts Group
Total annual precipitation does not appear to be changing in the Puget Sound region.
Graphic: Climate Impacts Group

I took on this writing project as part of my work for the Puget Sound Institute, which publishes the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. PSI commissioned the climate report with funding from federal and state governments. The Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington compiled the best scientific knowledge into a very readable report, which can be found on the encyclopedia’s website or on the website of the Climate Impacts Group.

One interesting chapter of the report, called “How is Puget Sound’s Climate Changing?” (3 mb) supports the understanding that climate change is not something we need to wait for. It’s something that scientists can measure now, although climatologists expect the changes to come faster as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase.

Here are a few of the changes that can be measured, along with a bit of explanation about the uncertainty:

  • Average air temperatures have been increasing in the Puget Sound lowlands and are currently about 1.3 degrees higher than in 1895. Higher temperatures have been found to be statistically significant for all seasons except spring, with the overall increase shown in a range between 0.7 to 1.9 degrees F.
  • Nighttime air temperatures have been rising faster than daytime temperatures. Nighttime lows have been increasing by about 1.8 degrees since 1895, while daytime highs have been increasing by about 0.8 degrees.
  • The frost-free season has lengthened by about 30 days (range 18-41 days) since 1920.
  • As in other areas, short-term trends can differ substantially from long-term trends. Cooling observed from 2000-2011, for example, has not altered the long-term temperature increase.
  • An ongoing debate questions how much, if any, of the long-term warming trend is a result of natural climate variability. One study says up to 80 percent may be natural, caused by atmospheric circulation, not by greenhouse gas buildup. Other researchers have been unable to replicate the findings for other data sets.
  • Total annual precipitation does not appear to be increasing or decreasing over a long time scale. Spring precipitation has increased at a statistically valid 27 percent for the months March through May.
  • Most studies are finding modest increases in the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation compared to historical levels, but results depend on the time period and methods of analysis.
  • Ongoing variability in weather patterns related to El Nino and the Pacific decadal oscillation will continue to strongly influence temperature and precipitation for relatively short periods. It is not clear how long-term climate change will interact with these more variable climate patterns.

Climate report describes changes coming to the Puget Sound region

How climate change could alter life in the Puget Sound region is the focus of a new report from the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group.

A 1997 landslide on Bainbridge Island killed a family of four and resulted in five homes being condemned for safety reasons. Landslides can be expected to increase in the future because of changes in precipitation patterns. Kitsap Sun file photo
A 1997 landslide on Bainbridge Island killed a family of four and resulted in five homes being condemned. Landslides can be expected to increase in the future because of changes in precipitation patterns.
Kitsap Sun file photo

In concert with the report’s release, I’m writing three stories for the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound, all focusing on specific aspects of the report, beginning with landslide risks. See “Shifting ground: climate change may increase the risk of landslides” on the Puget Sound Institute’s blog.

As the new report describes, increased flooding, more frequent landslides and decreased salmon runs are likely, along with declines in some native species and increases in others. We are likely to see more successful invasions by nonnative species, while summer drought could cause more insect damage to forests and more forest fires.

The report, “State of the Knowledge: Climate Change in Puget Sound,” pulls together the best predictions from existing studies, while updating and expanding the range of topics last reported for Puget Sound in 2005.

“When you look at the projected changes, it’s dramatic,” said lead author Guillaume Mauger in a news release. “This report provides a single resource for people to look at what’s coming and think about how to adapt.”

The report includes examples of communities taking actions to prepare for climate change, such as merging flood-management districts to prepare for increased flooding in King County and designing infrastructure to contend with rising sea levels in other areas.

“In the same way that the science is very different from the last report in 2005, I think the capacity and willingness to work on climate change is in a completely different place,” Mauger said.

Sheida Sahandy, executive director of the Puget Sound Partnership, said the people of Puget Sound must be prepared for changes that have already begun.

“To protect Puget Sound, we need to plan for the ever-increasing impacts of climate change,” she said in a news release. “This report helps us better understand the very real pressures we will face over the coming decades. The effects of climate change impact every part of what we consider necessary for a healthy Puget Sound: clean water, abundant water quantity, human wellbeing, and a Puget Sound habitat that can support our native species.”

Work to compile the report was funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency via the Puget Sound Institute at UW Tacoma, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the state of Washington.

The report will become part of the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound, where my climate-change stories will reside after publication over the next three weeks. I’m currently working part-time for the Puget Sound Institute, which publishes the encyclopedia and is affiliated with the University of Washington — Tacoma.

For other news stories about the report, check out:

How did one magazine article generate such a tsunami of public alarm?

I am still baffled, as are the folks at the University of Washington’s Seismology Lab, why people freaked out over the earthquake article, titled “The Really Big One,” published this month in New Yorker magazine.

Could it be that Northwest residents were unaware or had forgotten about the risk of earthquakes in this area until a national magazine called attention to the problem?

Was it the lack of credible details about earthquake risks in the original article, which included this quote from an emergency-management official: “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.”

Or maybe it was the rapid spread of information via social media and the huge number people living in other parts of the country who texted, tweeted and inundated Facebook with worries about their relatives in the Pacific Northwest.

“I don’t really know what it was,” said Bill Steele, my longtime contact at the UW’s Seismology Lab. “We are a bit baffled by it. There is nothing really new.”

Hazard maps are used by structural engineers to design building to withstand shaking. This map depicts maximum ground acceleration (measured in gravitational pull) predicted in a rare earthquake with a 2 percent chance of occurring in the next 50 years. Hazard maps of more likely earthquakes are similar but with less emphasis on the Seattle and subduction fault zones. Kitsap Sun graphic
Hazard maps are used by structural engineers to design buildings to withstand shaking. This map depicts maximum ground acceleration (measured in gravitational pull) predicted in a rare earthquake with a 2 percent chance of occurring in the next 50 years. // Kitsap Sun graphic

Although the author, Kathryn Schultz, left out specifics about which areas might be affected more than others, she did tell a compelling — and fairly accurate — story about what could happen when the North America plate breaks free of the Juan de Fuca plate, which is sliding underneath it.

I was pleased to see that she came back this week with a follow-up article describing where the greatest shaking would occur and which areas would be at greatest risk from a tsunami unleashed by slippage along the Cascadia subduction zone. She also suggests steps that people can take to protect themselves and their property — something I have always felt is a mandatory part of any story I write about earthquakes. Review a webpage put together by the Kitsap Sun.

I’ve been very fortunate to have worked as a news reporter during a time when many important discoveries were made in Northwest seismology. I accompanied researchers digging in swamps, riverbanks and man-made trenches, where they found traces of ancient earthquakes. That work and much more comprises a body of evidence across many disciplines that helps us understand how bad our “big one” could be.

In 1999, I paused from covering individual discoveries about earthquakes to write a story for the Kitsap Sun focusing on a few of the researchers and their key findings. We called the story “Finding Fault: 13 Years of Discoveries.”

I can’t begin to recount all the stories I’ve written about earthquakes through the years, but I do recall warning people a few years ago to get prepared after the massive Japanese earthquake made headlines across the the globe (Kitsap Sun, March 11, 2011):

“While Japan struggles to recover from one of the greatest earthquakes in world history, West Coast seismologists are warning that a quake just like it could occur at any time off the Washington and Oregon coasts.

“In broad-brush terms, ‘the two earthquakes are very similar,’ said John Vidale, director of the Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network at the University of Washington. ‘As a first guess, what might happen here is what happened there.’

Of course, we have had our own earthquakes that should give us plenty of reason to get prepared. The 6.8-magnitude Nisqually earthquake on Feb. 28, 2001, occurred in the Puget Sound region and served as a powerful wakeup call for many people.

During the 2001 Nisqually earthquake, many roads were damaged. Here, Janine Morris, right, and her daughter, Erin, 12, explore a section of Highway 302 near Victor in Mason County. Kitsap Sun file photo, 2001.
During the 2001 Nisqually earthquake, many roads were damaged. Here, Janine Morris, right, and her daughter, Erin, 12, explored a section of Highway 302 near Victor. // Kitsap Sun file photo, 2001.

The Nisqually quake was called the “miracle quake” because nobody was killed, although one man died from a heart attack that could have been related to the event. About 400 people were injured and damage estimates ranged up to $4 billion. (U.S. Geological Survey)

In the Puget Sound region, the shaking from the Nisqually quake could be something like area residents will experience in a Cascadia subduction-zone quake, though shaking from a subduction quake is expected to last longer, depending on how much of the plate breaks free. Things will not be the same in all places, and communities closest to the Olympic Mountains might experience the most damage from a subduction quake.

Five years after the Nisqually quake, Phyllis Mann, who was director of Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management at the time, was still wondering why many people were not prepared for an earthquake in Kitsap County.

“Kitsap has never depended on the federal government as part of its plan,” Phyllis told me in a Kitsap Sun story published Feb. 28, 2006. “The federal government can’t be with us the day of the disaster. With the exception of the military, which is part of our community, you can’t count on the feds early on.”

Mann used our interview to direct pointed questions at Kitsap County residents:

“Why aren’t you ready? What is it going to take? We keep asking this question and finding out that people aren’t prepared. Where is your food and water for three days? (A week is the latest recommendation.) Where are your reunion plans? Is it my responsibility as the county emergency manager to make sure everyone does it?”

The New Yorker article failed to mention an earthquake threat that should be of equal concern to residents of the Puget Sound area. You may have heard of the Seattle fault, which runs from Seattle across Bainbridge Island and Central Kitsap to Hood Canal.

Although the frequency of huge earthquakes on the Seattle fault appear to be less than those along the Cascadia subduction zone, we must not forget that a quake on the Seattle fault about 1,100 years ago lifted up the south end of Bainbridge Island by 21 feet and created a tsunami that inundated shorelines now occupied by people. By contrast, a tsunami coming from the ocean after a subduction quake might raise the water level quickly in Puget Sound but probably no higher than what we see with daily tides.

In a way, the Seattle fault put the Kitsap Peninsula on the map with a red bull’s-eye, which I wrote about five years ago. See Kitsap Sun, May 8, 2010, along with the map on this page.

Bill Steele told me that he is sure that Kenneth Murphy, regional director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, regrets saying, “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.” That may be a good “operating assumption” for an agency trying to plan for the worse possible emergency, but it is not a very good description of what seismologists predict by modeling various scenarios.

Bill said many people failed to read the New Yorker article carefully and took the comment to mean that most of Western Washington would be hit with a 50-foot wall of water — something that could not be further from the truth.

“The good news for us is that we have a pretty good 10,000-year history of what happened on the fault,” Bill said. “We know how the shaking will be distributed.” Again, look at the hazard map on this page and note the strip of red along the coast.

While many earthquake experts are surprised by the reaction to the New Yorker article, it has accomplished one goal of those who understand the risks: getting people to create earthquake kits, secure homes on their foundations and other things that could help prevent damage and get people through the emergency.

“You have to take your hat off to the author,” Bill told me, “because she got a lot of people thinking. It is not like the New Yorker has that many subscriptions.”

Emergency managers may be studying the cascading events triggered by the New Yorker article, including the initial publication, the ripples running through social media and the public alarm that rose up and eventually died down.

Directing public concern into action is what folks like Bill Steele and others are doing right now. Check out the video in the player below for Bill’s appearance on “New Day Northwest,” and visit the webpage of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network for basic information and scheduled discussions about earthquake risks. One public forum is scheduled for Tuesday at the University of Oregon, and other forums are under consideration at the UW.

Amusing Monday: Crack appears in Mexican desert

For this week, let’s call it “Amazing Monday.” When I first saw this video, I thought it was a fake animation for a science fiction film. But it turns out that it could be the answer to a troubling riddle: What is dryer than a desert?

The crack might also be the result of erosion from either an underground or surface channel following an unusually heavy rain. Despite the attention in Mexican and U.S. news outlets, I have been unable to find a good explanation.

The crack is said to be about three-fourths mile long and up to 25 feet deep. Some nice close-in photos were posted on the website of Excelsior, a daily newspaper based in Mexico City. They show people standing next to the giant fissure. (When watching the video, it’s worth blowing it up to full screen.)

In a Washington Post story last week, reporter Joshua Partlow quoted a geologist at the University of Sonora as saying the crack was probably caused by pumping groundwater for irrigation:

“The chair of the geology department at the University of Sonora, in the northern Mexican state where this ‘topographic accident’ emerged, said that the fissure was likely caused by sucking out groundwater for irrigation to the point the surface collapsed.

“‘This is no cause for alarm,’ Inocente Guadalupe Espinoza Maldonado said. ‘These are normal manifestations of the destabilization of the ground.’”

I think the geologist’s comments were meant to quell fear and speculation that started running wild when the crack first opened. While it may not be cause for alarm, I can’t believe that a crack this size — which has cut off more than one roadway — can be considered a good thing. Nevertheless, it is fascinating, and I’d like to learn more about it.

Tsunami video offers insight to West Coast residents

A dramatic video that shows Japan’s March 12 tsunami from ground level has received a lot of attention on YouTube, probably because of its shock value. Our hearts go out to the Japanese people. Meanwhile, I believe this video can offer important insights for those of us who live or visit ocean communities on the West Coast, such as Ocean Shores.

How much time would we have to get to higher ground after an earthquake? The video shows the water level rising rapidly, as the photographer goes up a stairway to get to higher ground. At the end of the video, six minutes in, the serenity of the street has been turned into chaos.

While I worry about coastal communities, where a tsunami is a likely threat, I’m also concerned about waterfront residents and visitors along the Puget Sound shoreline. Although the chance of a tsunami in Puget Sound may be less than on the coast, one could be triggered by an earthquake on the numerous faults that run through the sound, including the Seattle, Tacoma and South Whidbey faults. Earthquakes also may cause massive landslides that can create big waves when hitting the water.

Continue reading

Amusing Monday: Baby, the rain must fall

With the weather we’ve had the past couple days, it’s hard to forget the gusher of water coming down upon our heads and changing the landscape in familiar places.

Kitsap Sun photo

Of course, we can’t live without rain — especially if we wish to remain The Evergreen State — but sometimes a little less of it would do us well.

With our rampaging weather in mind, I’ve selected 20 quotes from a variety of sources who apparently have given some thought to the subject of rain.

1. A visit is like rainwater. You pray for it when it stays away, and it’s a problem when it rains too much. — Hebrew Proverb

2. A rainy day is the perfect time for a walk in the woods. — Rachel Carson

3. Rain, rain, go away, come again another day. — Traditional Proverb

4. I’m just waiting for people to start asking me to make the rain disappear. — David Copperfield

5. Sunshine is delicious; rain is refreshing; wind braces us up; snow is exhilarating. There is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. — John Ruskin

6. A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightning. — James Dickey

7. And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow. — Jerry Chin

8. Into each life some rain must fall. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

9. Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. — Langston Hughes

10. All was silent as before, all silent save the dripping rain. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

11. He who marries on a rainy day will be happy for the rest of his life. — French Proverb

12. A rose must remain with the sun and the rain or its lovely promise won’t come true. — Ray Evans

13. Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain. — Author unknown

14. Those who profess to favour freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. — Frederick Douglass

15. Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots. — Frank A. Clark

16. Giving advice to the ignorant is like the rain falling on muddy ground. — Iranian Proverb

17. A banker is a man who lends you an umbrella when the weather is fair, and takes it away from you when it rains. — Author unknown

18. Remember even though the outside world might be raining, if you keep on smiling the sun will soon show its face and smile back at you. — Anna Lee

19. The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain. When I’m inspired, I get excited because I can’t wait to see what I’ll come up with next. Find out who you are and do it on purpose. — Dolly Parton

20. I can see clearly now; the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way.
Johnny Nash

Sources:

Inspiration Falls!
Hub Pages
Said What?

Online technology means up-to-date weather info

The Kitsap Peninsula largely escaped the onslaught of rains on Wednesday, thank to the “rain shadow” effect of the Olympic Mountains. See Brynn Grimley’s story in yesterday’s Kitsap Sun.

The rain shield eventually broke down as the storm direction changed, and we got hit pretty good yesterday. But the scattered flooding and mudslides didn’t come close to what we saw in December of 2007.

The biggest problem in this area was Highway 166 between Port Orchard and Gorst, where perennial mudslides disrupt the normal traffic flow. See Travis Baker’s story in today’s Kitsap Sun.

As for other areas of the state, it’s worth noting that the Sun’s Web editor, Angela Dice, and other newspaper Web editors used some relatively new online tools — including Twitter and Publish2 — to keep people updated about the weather. If you logged onto the Sun’s weather coverage, you would have access to a growing list of links about weather events taking place all over the state.

This flood of information was made possible through a collaboration of online journalists and others who believe that getting information out to people is more important than old-fashioned competition, which used to dominate the news business. It’s actually one of the few bright spots in an shrinking industry where news coverage suffers amid the evaporation of advertising revenues.

The story of this week’s collaboration was featured today in the online publication “Publishing 2,” which reports on developments regarding an online system that helps connect journalists together. The author of the piece, Josh Korr, calls this week’s effort a “quiet revolution” in which “four journalists spontaneously launched one of the first experiments in collaborative (or networked) link journalism to cover a major local story.”

For the average reader, this new approach means that newspaper Web sites become richer with breaking news. You could use the Kitsap Sun, for example, to figure out which roads were blocked at any one time pretty much anywhere in the state.

Want to be even more current with events? Go to the search engine on Twitter and type in “#waflood.” You’ll see a twittering of reporters, highway engineers and other people tweeting about the latest developments on the roads and rivers.

Meanwhile, geologists for the Washington Department of Natural Resources have developed a network to share information about mudslides with the hope that knowledge will help reduce future problems. Check out the map of recent mudslides and learn about the hazards and what you can do about them.

Download agency letters addressing the Bremerton boardwalk

Construction of a new boardwalk from downtown Bremerton to Evergreen Park is supported by more than a few people, as evidenced by letters sent to the Army Corps of Engineers. But most of the letter writers don’t tackle the thorny environmental issues involved with the overwater structure and its significant impacts on fish habitat.

On the other hand, state and federal agencies and the environmental group People for Puget Sound have raised many more issues than I could cover in Sunday’s Kitsap Sun story.

I would like anybody interested to be able to read the agency letters I’ve seen, so I’m posting them here for you to download. Some agencies, such as the National Marine Fisheries Service and Washington Department of Ecology, are involved directly in permitting, so they have chosen not to comment at this time.

Suquamish Tribe (PDF 208 kb)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (PDF 180 kb)
Washington State Department of Natural Resources (PDF 108 kb)
People for-Puget Sound (PDF 973 kb)

Olympic National Forest is now on the flip side

The economics of Olympic National Forest has been turned upside down.

The forest was once the wood basket of the Northwest, generating enough money from the sale of massive fir and cedar trees to build roads, trails and campgrounds — and more roads. The forest generated enough money to support a large staff of foresters and forest rangers and have money left over to support other forests.

Over the years, experts have come to realize that natural systems were often ignored in the effort to get the wood out. And this isn’t just the view of tree-huggers and spotted-owl lovers.

Farmers and residents in the Skokomish River Valley have paid the price of too much logging and road-building in the upper watershed. Shellfish-growers and others who depend on natural resources have suffered, along with fish and wildlife best suited to old-growth conditions.

And so the economics has turned. Now, much of the logging involves commercially thinning second-growth forests to restore old-growth conditions at a faster pace. Under new stewardship programs, the money can be used to decommission roads that are still sending massive amounts of soil and gravel downstream into the Skokomish River and other waterways. Congress is now putting money back into the forest for ecosystem recovery rather than taking money out.

There is a lot more to this story than I was able to tell in today’s Kitsap Sun. It’s a story I’ll be telling for a long time to come.