Tag Archives: Mike Anderson

Hood Canal awards honor local efforts to improve ecosystem

Mike Anderson, chairman of the Skokomish Watershed Action Team, and Thom Johnson, a leading expert in the recovery of Hood Canal summer chum salmon, have been named recipients of this year’s Hood Canal Environmental Awards.

Other recipients of the awards, which are sponsored by Hood Canal Coordinating Council, are Shore Friendly Mason and Shore Friendly Kitsap, two programs that actively enlist waterfront property owners in the protection and restoration of their shorelines.

Hood Canal // Photo: Dale Ireland
Hood Canal // Photo: Dale Ireland

I learned this afternoon that the awards ceremony on Nov. 4 will be dedicated to Rich Geiger, the longtime district engineer for Mason Conservation District. Rich, who died unexpectedly on Sept. 22, held the “technical vision” for the restoration of the Skokomish River watershed, according to Mike Anderson. (See Water Ways, Oct. 8.)

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Skokomish can be considered ‘poster child’ again

In 1988, I took a flight in a Cessna single-engine airplane over the South Fork of the Skokomish River. The trip was offered by Project Lighthawk, an organization that used small aircraft to provide a bird’s eye view of environmental problems throughout the West.

We flew over Hood Canal before reaching Olympic National Forest, where the scene was dominated by extensive brown patches — clearcuts, where all the trees had been removed from mountaintops, valleys and even steep, impassible slopes. Gone were old-growth trees, with trunks up to 6 or 8 feet across.

At the time, The Wilderness Society was working with Lighthawk to estimate how much land had been logged over and how much remained. Their conclusion was that the Forest Service had overestimated the amount of standing timber remaining in the area. Check out the Time magazine article by John Skow from Aug. 29, 1988.

Pictures taken from Lighthawk airplanes helped awaken people across the country to the need to protect remaining old-growth forests, recalled Mike Anderson of The Wilderness Society. I quoted Mike in a Kitsap Sun story from February of 2009:

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