Thursday, March 17, 2011

Logging, Coal Dust and the Progress of Man

Timber Harvest in the Chuckanut Range by Lee First

Lee First and all our friends over at RE Sources for Sustainable Communities and the North Sound Baykeeper's Team are great to work with, we all love the Pacific Northwest, the Salish Sea, the Cascades and our Home Ground of Whatcom and Skagit Counties!

Lee, a field investigator for North Sound Baykeepers shared this photograph from a recent hike in the Chuckanuts.

Although this timber harvest was on private land, high up on top (as revealed by the spectacular view of the San Juans) it is an indicator of the degradation that this beautiful area is being exposed to from the extractive resources industry.

Soon, the Chuckanuts, Chuckanut Bay, Samish and Bellingham Bays will be exposed to 25 million +  tons of coal passing through each year - for decades if action isn't soon taken. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad states on their own website that each coal car, on these 150 car trains, can lose as much as one ton of coal between the mines in Wyoming and Montana and Cherry Point, Washington.

Coal dust and particulates will be deposited along the tracks and in the surrounding landscape of the Skagit River Valley, the Chuckanuts, the oyster beds of Samish Bay, numerous salmon streams, Larrabee State Park, through Edgemore, Fairhaven, Boulevard Park, South Hill, Western Washington University, downtown Bellingham and the neighborhoods heading out to Cherry Point.

Families enjoying an event at Boulevard Park just yards from the BNSF tracks
copyright Paul Anderson 2011
The progress of man can better be measured by safe and healthy families, clean air, clean water and sustainable communities.

Please support the Chuckanut Conservancy.

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