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21 thoughts on “EPA now holding hands with Puget Sound Partnership

  1. Federal officials getting cozier with their state counterparts does not necessarily mean anything but more hungry bureaucrats at the recovery fund trough. Researchers at the University of Oregon have determined the NUMBER ONE threat to Puget Sound is increasing human population. The VAST MAJORITY of this will come from immigration and the VAST MAJORITY of that; immigration from outside the country. Unfortunately, that issue is not even on the table amongst the politically-correct salmon saving bureaucracy for fear it be called racist, xenophobic. Absent a solution to the human growth issue, nothing these boards, committees, agencies and councils do will “save” Puget Sound. The money will – strictly – fund the careers of like-minded (and like-voting) bureaucrats. Until they acknowledge and raise the issue of immigration reforms, they should not be taken seriously.

  2. BlueLight, That’s right, but I hadn’t thought to use it here.
    The picture is horrific and we don’t talk about it any more.

    A few days ago, I goggled to get the numbers of ILLEGAL aliens in this country to suggest that Jeff had left off an important segment of the reason our health care system is not doing well .. and the estimated numbers are staggering.

    I also read about folks here illegally for twenty years or so and established in our society. I learned that our own immigration laws make staying here and going underground almost mandatory, otherwise, they leave this country and can’t apply for immigration for a ten year period.

    How can we have border patrol, trying to keep people out, yet entice and accept illegal aliens to stay once they’re here?
    The estimated amount of money they make here and send out of this country is amazing too.

    You’ve raised a point that hadn’t occured to me, BlueLight…

    “Researchers at the University of Oregon have determined the NUMBER ONE threat to Puget Sound is increasing human population. The VAST MAJORITY of this will come from immigration and the VAST MAJORITY of that; immigration from outside the country. Unfortunately, that issue is not even on the table amongst the politically-correct salmon saving bureaucracy for fear it be called racist, xenophobic. Absent a solution to the human growth issue, nothing these boards, committees, agencies and councils do will “save” Puget Sound. The money will – strictly – fund the careers of like-minded (and like-voting) bureaucrats. Until they acknowledge and raise the issue of immigration reforms, they should not be taken seriously.”

    If this is true … Chris…?

    Sharon O’Hara

  3. Is there some link to the OSU study? Does it actually single out immigration or is that your own interpretation?

    You might want “bureaucrats” aiming to protect and restore Puget Sound to take on your pet issue, but EPA is not going to deal with environmental problems through “immigration reforms.” There is plenty of opportunity to improve Puget Sound by improving the way society (ab)uses land and water, and those actually mesh with the laws EPA is supposed to administer.

  4. My “pet” issue, Mark? There’s that passive-aggression so popular amongst those getting a piece of the pie: marginalize everyone out of step with the status quo (that’s profiting the like-minded).

    But to your question…

    No less than the National Research Council has found, “If the average annual growth rate for the past half century continues, the current population of approximately 10 million (Oregon, Washington and Idaho) will swell to 65 million by 2100. (National Research Council, 1996).

    The title of the Oregon State University research project is “Salmon, 2100” remember, therefore, the 2100 date benchmarked above. In light of that, the lead authors wrote:

    “…it is delusional to expect that wild salmon runs can be maintained, much less restored, alongside a doubling, tripling, or more of the region’s human population.”

    They then raise this question: “…should society control Western North America’s rate of human population growth, which is driven almost entirely by immigration from outside the United States and Canada…?”

    To which, they conclude: “Most people would assuredly find the prerequisite changes in policies on human population growth rate and associated economic reorientation to be draconian; there is little evidence of the willingness of most people even to consider such choices.”

    I am not sure who the “most people” are who are unwilling to consider such choices. Certainly most people tasked with “saving” Puget Sound and Pacific salmon.

    Your assertion that the EPA (and I assume you would also include the Puget Sound Partnership and all the other agencies working on “recovery) are “not going to deal with environmental problems through immigration reforms” means – simply – that they will not, then, be successful. How much money should we give to agencies that continue to ignore the number one cause of the problem they are tasked with solving?

    Continued deceit on behalf of the restoration community will:

    1) Continue to allow – no, facilitate – the overwhelming of our natural resource base. [Let me put this simply: You cannot have your cake and eat it, too. For illustrative purposes, let’s say each person’s in the Pacific Northwest (OR, WA, ID) current total environmental impact is expressed as a benchmark value of 1.0. The 10 million population referenced above, therefore, will have a total environmental impact of 10 million. Say you could get people to reduce their “footprint” by 25% (a huge decrease that WILL NOT happen). That would reduce each person’s footprint to 0.75, and the current total population footprint to 7.5 million. Doubling the population; however, – even at the unobtainable 0.75 footprint – imposes on the region an INCREASED total of 15 million.

    20 million x 0.75 = 15 million

    Again, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too; an obvious fact that the intellectuals in the restoration community either do not get or – more likely – do not admit. Which leads us to the second impact of continuing the institutionalized deceit…

    2) Loss of credibility with the public. You know, the ones who will, ultimately, vote, fund and abide with any recovery proposals. These simple folks (and, yes, the restoration community holds them in deep contempt) intuitively know we can’t have our cake and eat it, too. As they see the EPA, the Puget Sound Partnership and the rest of their brethren continue to ignore the main issue, these agencies will lose credibility.

    Here is the link to the Salmon 2100 project page. I haven’t perused all of the PDF’s, I have the book.

    http://oregonstate.edu/dept/fw/lackey/Salmon2100.htm

  5. For what it’s worth, I don’t think anyone can deny that population growth is an environmental issue. To the extent that immigration increases the population of the Northwest, this issue cannot be avoided when addressing the full spectrum of issues.

    Many environmental groups focus their missions narrowly. Others choose to avoid talking about immigration for fear of getting caught up in an emotional battle with racial overtones.

    One Northwest group that does not shy away from the issue is Sightline Institute, which tends to focus on the big-picture issues, such as energy, transportation and food supply — with population a clear driver in most discussions.

    Although a dozen years from its first publication, the book “Misplaced Blame” by Sightline director Alan Durning and Christopher Crowther still has something to say about immigration.

    The environmental magazine “E” has discussed the issue of immigration for many years, even analyzing why various environmental groups choose to avoid the topic. Editor Jim Motavalli explores the issue in an article last year in the May-June issue of “E”.

  6. All of our area’s elected representatives who claim to support Puget Sound restoration and salmon recovery – Norm Dicks, Jay Inslee, Christine Gregoire, Phil Rockefeller, etc. – should come out, visibly, in support of immigration control. Otherwise, “Puget Sound restoration” is little more than a good looking banner under which they transfer taxpayer money to political supporters.

  7. I don’t really want to turn this blog into a debate over what should be done about immigration, but it seems almost everyone favors “immigration reform.” The debate is over what that means and who is ready to take action now.

    Here is Norm Dicks’ statement on immigration. Others probably have their own positions.

  8. Thanks, Chris. A couple things…

    1. Our State should end policies that encourage immigration. The “in-state tuition for children of illegals” would be an example.

    2. The Immigration and Naturalization Service should be as “cozy” with the Puget Sound Partnership as the EPA and, in fact, should be a partner in the restoration team.

    3. The Puget Sound Partnership should recognize immigration as the threat it is. Their Action Agenda does not even contain the word “immigration”.

  9. Interesting too, the senior Sande’s immigrated legally from Norway (?), settled in Tanhya and started Sande Boat Works in Belfair. Earl Sande knows what he’s talking about.

    BlueLight, Just when I’m beginning to wonder and seriously worry about the fate of this country, you step up. I think I love you. Chris too. If we’re really lucky future generations will be in your debt.

    Now who has the nerve to put a second oar in the water of enlightenment on our way to reform and action?

    The Puget Sound Partnership?
    Sharon O’Hara

  10. Thanks, Sharon, but I wouldn’t hold your breath for the Puget Sound Partnership to advocate the reforms I am discussing. Institutions profiting from the status quo are unlikely to be agents of change.

    I appreciate Chris’ discomfort with the immigration issue, but ignoring it is not – to me – a responsible tact. The public – ultimately – will not allow it. There will come a point where people will realize the restoration “experts” are ignoring the real problem and will vote to suspend funding and turn cynical to future endeavors (even legitimate ones).

    As for Norm Dicks, et al… I believe they HOPE the money they are allocating is being put to beneficial use. I think they WANT Puget Sound healthy and vibrant. I don’t believe they are being given an honest narrative by their advisers. Again, those profiting from the status quo have little incentive for change.

    The narrative they tell is factually deficient and socially divisive. It goes like this: European settlement has degraded the pristine ecology of Puget Sound.

    Institutional “environmentalists” use the Tribes as heavies and hold them up as quasi-religuous stewards. The white public sees the Tribes as hypocrites. The Sound degrades. The environmentalist community (largely Democrat voters) doesn’t like to discuss immigration reform because (personally) they were schooled in liberal institutions that champion “diversity” and (politically) for fear of upsetting the growing Hispanic vote (again, predominately Democrat). Talk of immigration reform is dismissed as “rascist”.

    But, is immigration reform racist?

    Did salmon decline because WHITE men moved into the area? No. Salmon declined because MORE people moved into the area. Instituting policies to restrict immigration is not racist, it is environmentalist. We are not attempting to keep out brown people. We are attempting to keep out MORE people: brown ones, black ones, yellow ones, red ones, white ones. Impact is not shaded in accord with a person’s skin color. Rather it is the commonality of people that is the problem it is what the people under those skins do that is the problem: they eat, drink, drive, screw, have kids, have dogs, shoot fireworks, shoot guns, ride horses, motorcycles, boats. And, no matter WHERE the army of social engineers might have them live: THEY WILL STILL DO ALL OF THESE THINGS. And more.

    Climate change, cap and trade, salmon recovery, etc. will, ultimately, face the fact that the unfettered movement of peoples is contrary to sustainable community. Those organizations that do not face this are part of the problem and should be replaced. The question is whether we will do it in time.

  11. BlueLight, What, specifically, can the ordinary person do to actively effect change?
    I know we can individually stop supporting the organizations but that won’t change much if they can apply for and get government money.

    I think the Puget Sound Partnership will at least address it right here. They have a few good people in the organization and good people won’t ignore facts before them. Otherwise, they better give away their mirrors – they won’t like what they see.

    Thank you for bringing light to the murky waters.
    Sharon O’Hara

  12. “What, specifically, can the ordinary person do to actively effect change?”

    Demand that the Puget Sound Partnership (and other agencies tasked with saving the environment) articulate the effects immigration is having on the Puget Sound region. They should be a leading voice for reform. They should state, clearly, what the impacts are and state, honestly, that – unless immigration is checked – nothing they do will stop the decline of Puget Sound. The public should know the agency they task (and fund) to restore Puget Sound is focused on the real issue. They should not be allowed to ignore the number one cause of the problem they are tasked with solving. If they continue to be quiet on the matter, ask your elected representative to cut their funding.

  13. Before we get too carried away on the single issue of immigration, I think it is fair to say that the Puget Sound Partnership and other state environmental agencies understand the impacts of population growth.

    They know how development causes changes that can overwhelm efforts to protect and restore the ecosystem.

    While it is fair to ask (or demand) that the Puget Sound Partnership weigh in on policies affecting population and immigration, we need to remember that state agencies have no authority over federal immigration laws and regulations. If you want to change immigration policies, Congress is the one that must act.

    I recently heard that the number of border patrol agents has doubled in the last few years. I’ve also heard that the downturn in the economy has helped stem the flow of illegal immigrants.

    If anybody has information they’d like to share, please feel free. When I get a chance, I’ll try to pull together some ideas about immigration reform for a wider discussion.

  14. “While it is fair to ask (or demand) that the Puget Sound Partnership weigh in on policies affecting population and immigration, we need to remember that state agencies have no authority over federal immigration laws and regulations. If you want to change immigration policies, Congress is the one that must act.”

    Congress has appropriated large amounts of money to the PSP. The public has a right to demand that money is going toward the actual problem. The PSP has an obligation to the public to – visibly – press Congress for immigration control.

    Washington State has many immigrant friendly policies that need to end. The “in-state tuition for children of illegals” is one example. The State doesn’t get to say “we can’t do anything about it”. Neither does the PSP.

  15. You are no doubt right about state tuition and other state policies. I need to learn more about this subject. But it is a mistake to act as if immigration is the “actual problem” and that protection and restoration efforts amount to nothing.

    As long as people want to move here, it will be an upstream battle. You could stop the migration of illegal and legal immigrants as well as people coming from other states and you would still have environmental problems that need attention.

  16. Chris… “You could stop the migration of illegal and legal immigrants as well as people coming from other states and you would still have environmental problems that need attention….”

    Chris isn’t it likely that Nature heals herself if given a chance without human interference and overloading the system?
    Sharon O’Hara

  17. “But it is a mistake to act as if immigration is the “actual problem” and that protection and restoration efforts amount to nothing.”

    Immigration is the actual problem (again, I refer you to the OSU report). Environmental degradation is the consequence. Without fail.

    The only “protection” is prevention. “Restoration” is impossible.

    That currently parading as “protection” and “restoration” is nothing more than an effort to treat the symptoms of a disease. The disease will progress under the current regimen. How long are you willing to let the physicians tinker around the edges?

  18. BlueLight, sometimes I think your provocative statements are designed to evoke responses — and I keep taking the bait. I can assure you that ecosystem restoration is working throughout Puget Sound. Whether the rate of restoration is keeping up with ecosystem damage caused by population growth is another question.

    Sharon, nature may heal itself, given enough time. But restoration can be considered an emergency response. For example, if you find a “hanging” culvert that blocks the passage of salmon, the best thing to do is replace the culvert with a structure that will allow passage. The result is increased spawning habitat and stream productivity. Without such action, nature might take decades to wash out the culvert, creating other concerns at that time.

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