300 Third Avenue West
Seattle, Washington 98119
BRANCHES IN TACOMA EVERETT OLYMPIA AND BELLINGHAM
November 14, 1989
Ms. Christine Gregoire
Director, Department of Ecology
Olympia, WA 98504
Re: Environment 2010 Conference
Dear Ms. Gregoire:
The Mountaineers is the largest outdoor and conservation organization in the state of Washington, with over 11,000 members. Since our founding in 1906, we have participated actively in the efforts to protect Washington's extraordinary environment.
We wish to congratulate the 2010 Committee for undertaking the ambitious and important mission of describing threats to the Washington state environment and setting priorities for working on solutions to the problems. Some of our members were among the participants in the conference. We appreciated the opportunity to express all of our concerns about the threats to our state's environment.
Our special concerns revolve around two particular issues: Global Warming and Wildlife Habitat.
In the spring of this year, the Mountaineers Board of Directors passed a resolution adding the problem of global warming to our list of high priority environmental issues. Therefore, we are disappointed that the 2010 Committee has adopted the viewpoint that "scientific uncertainty about the magnitude of impacts warrants placing it at a lower priority". Those who follow this issue will recall that the lead researcher, Dr. Hansen, stated that the Bush Administration altered his testimony to make it appear that global warming was still in the questionable category rather than adequately established as a fact. Apparently, the 2010 Committee has taken the administration's report at face value. This very alarming attitude places the U.S. at odds with other world powers on the issue of global warming. Most other countries are strongly critical of the U.S. position on this issue.
The Mountaineers have studied this issue and believe that it must be immediately addressed at both the federal and state
TO EXPLORE, STUDY. PRESERVE AND ENJOY THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF THE NORTHWEST
November 14, 1989
level. We therefore reguest that you delete from the 2010 report the reference to inadequate scientific data and begin inmediately to tackle the problems and solutions to global warming, which have been well documented in the literature. As a country, we cannot afford to wait for more scientific data on this issue.
In regard to wildlife, your written description entitled "Wildlife: the issue is habitat", adequately, but briefly, describes the situation in Washington. Therefore, it comesas a surprise that none of the 23 "threats to resources" specifically refer to wildlife. The "threats" do not deal adequately with the land issues, and particularly, they do no deal with habitat. Your categories of lands are "forest lands, recreation lands, range lands, and agricultural lands". The last three category descriptions are human "use" categories, whereas "forest" is more generic. We suggest, for consistency, that you change "forest" to "timber" and add more categories descriptive of wildlife habitat, the loss of which is not even noted in the "threats to resources" list. We request that you add the following categories to your "threats" list and place them all in the highest priority, in order to properly reflect the true situation in Washington:
Loss of old growth habitat
Loss of marine habitat
Loss of riparian habitat
Loss of shrub - steppe habitat
Loss of specific endangered and threatened species habitat.
It is mandatory that any report documenting threats to the environment in the state of Washington in 1989 state in the strongest possible terms that wildlife habitat is dangerously threatened, and that the protection of these areas constitute a highest priority for the state of Washington.
We commend the 2010 Committee on its good intentions and work. We will continue to participate in this dialogue and look forward to hearing from you in regard to our requests.
Carsten Lien, President