Tell County To Expand Scope of EIS Review for Plants and Animals

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Tue, Apr 01, 2014, 12:27 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Please support county wildlife and habitat by asking the county to expand the scope of its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) review of plants and animals. Under current plans, the county will rely on state and local information that is not complete or comprehensive, and in some cases, may not be current.  I have prepared a scoping comment below to provide an example of what to say in your own letter. Please feel free to copy my sample, or draft a comment of your own. 

The scoping process is open for public comment until April 7th, and can be sent to  More information is available on the county website under the link for the EIS Scoping Document.



Please expand the scope of the plant and animal EIS review to include: 1) habitat, numbers and diversity of species and plants throughout the county, with special emphasis on county owned parks and open space; 2) unique species, and; 3) bird and wildlife migration routes and habitat connectivity.

Whatcom County lacks a comprehensive, county-wide, quantifiable wildlife and habitat review and assessment that is supported by field investigation. Wildlife issues cannot be reviewed on a site-specific basis and require detailed analysis on a comprehensive landscape scale.

We need data to create a baseline standard that can measure and monitor the status of local plants and animals to protect against a loss in ecological function.  The proposed scope of the EIS review is not sufficient to create a functional baseline standard. 

 We need to expand the EIS scope to determine the following issues:

·        whether county comprehensive plans and zoning protect against a net loss of biodiversity. This should be quantifiable and measurable.

·        whether adequate and/or appropriate mitigation is being required for development. 

·        whether we are protecting genetically distinct and biologically significant local species, such as Cherry Point herring, and the North/Middle Fork and South Chinook Salmon, or regionally significant habitat such as the Chuckanut Wildlife Corridor.

·        where and to what extent aquatic invasive species are a threat.

·        whether county policies to remove and/or kill “nuisance” species such as beaver, elk, deer, starlings and geese are appropriate, effective or an appropriate public expense.

·        whether the parks department is dedicating and protecting adequate open space and habitat for local species and habitat connectivity.

·        whether roads, fences, trails, infrastructure and utilities are being sited in locations that create barriers for wildlife and a habitat sink. 

·        whether adequate information is available during site specific permit reviews to protect larger ecosystem functions.

·        Data is needed to develop wildlife management policies and procedures.  Currently, the county  has none. We need to protect wildlife while avoiding human/wildlife conflicts.

Thank you for considering my concerns as part of the EIS analysis for the 2016 county comprehensive plan update process.

Tell County To Expand Scope of EIS Review for Plants and Animals

Tue, Apr 01, 2014, 12:27 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Please help us protect county wildlife by ensuring that the scope of the EIS review is adequate. A sample scoping letter is included.


Public May Comment On EIS Scoping For County Comp. Plan Until April 7th

Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 1:23 am  //  Wendy Harris

The public has a week to comment on the scope of issues reviewed under the EIS.


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Specializing in German vehicles...

My State of the Lake Report for 2014

Fri, Mar 28, 2014, 12:32 am  //  Wendy Harris

On March 26, 2014 the city and county provided their update and assessment on the status of Lake Whatcom. This is mine.

2 comments; last on Apr 01, 2014

Propaganda Replaces Public Information:  An Analysis of the Lake Whatcom TDML Process

Sun, Mar 16, 2014, 11:52 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The public is not provided with a proposed plan or adequate information prior to the annual "state of the lake" meeting

4 comments; last on Mar 18, 2014

Action Alert for Tonight: Waterfront Wildlife and Habitat Not Being Protected as Promised

Mon, Feb 24, 2014, 3:33 pm  //  Wendy Harris

We were led to believe the city would review waterfront wildlife and habitat connectivity. It turns out that the city intends to focus only on nearshore fish.


Wendy Harris on Citizen Journalism

Sat, Feb 22, 2014, 12:16 am  //  Wendy Harris

Accepting the Paul deArmond award of citizen journalism on Feb 7, Wendh Harris gave this speech. We think it deserves its own post.


Bellingham Seeks “Flexibility” To Sell Wholesale Rural Sewer Services

Sun, Feb 09, 2014, 9:35 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The mayor wants to amend a city law to increase flexibility for a GMA provision that should be used rarely, if ever at all.

3 comments; last on Feb 11, 2014

The Hidden Costs of Costco

Sun, Feb 09, 2014, 2:36 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Costco imposes indirect costs on our community that are as real and tangible as road construction expenses.

1 comments; last on Feb 13, 2014

Have You Exceeded Your Right To Information?

Sat, Feb 01, 2014, 12:35 am  //  Wendy Harris

Filing a public record request could land a citizen in jail under a proposal reflected in a Herald opinion article.

2 comments; last on Feb 03, 2014

Port Memo Addresses Marina Fraud Allegations

Fri, Dec 20, 2013, 3:56 pm  //  Wendy Harris

A Port of Bellingham internal memo tries, but fails, to justify changes in cost estimates for alternative marina sites.

5 comments; last on Dec 22, 2013

Lummi Influence Over the Waterfront Planning Process Continues to Grow

Tue, Dec 17, 2013, 12:21 am  //  Wendy Harris

Army Corps advised DOE that it will not issue a waterfront permit without Lummi approval

2 comments; last on Jan 13, 2014

On Monday, City Council Votes “third and final” Approval of Waterfront Plan

Sat, Dec 07, 2013, 12:33 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Local activist calls on Bellingham City Council to table the unpopular waterfront plans and engage in meaningful public process

2 comments; last on Dec 08, 2013

Lecture on County Water Issues Draws Crowd

Fri, Dec 06, 2013, 11:03 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The county will be required to consider water quality and water quantity when planning rural growth.

3 comments; last on Dec 10, 2013

Waterfront Development Bonus Yet Another Bad Idea

Sat, Nov 30, 2013, 8:11 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The waterfront plan allows a development bonus for payments made to the Lake Whatcom land acquisition fund

1 comments; last on Dec 01, 2013

City and Port Ready To Act on Waterfront Plan

Fri, Nov 29, 2013, 9:43 pm  //  Wendy Harris

A number of important issues need to be resolved before waterfront planning is complete, but the city council and port commission are ready to act.

2 comments; last on Nov 30, 2013

Port Unable To Protect Public Safety

Fri, Nov 22, 2013, 9:01 pm  //  Wendy Harris

If the port can not construct the airport safely, should it be entrusted with dangerous waterfront cleanup work?


City Council Misled On Waterfront Planning

Wed, Nov 13, 2013, 3:16 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The city adminstration has been providing misleading/ incorrect information to the city council to avoid waterfront plan revisions.

1 comments; last on Nov 18, 2013

Gloomy Fate For Waterfront Wildlife

Sat, Nov 09, 2013, 9:47 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The COB administration continues in its refusal to analyze waterfront wildlife issues, even though this is a prerequisite step in protecting wildlife from the impacts of development

3 comments; last on Nov 10, 2013

COB Staff Manipulates Waterfront Planning for Controversial Overwater Walkway

Tue, Oct 15, 2013, 2:46 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Requesting waterfront handouts for the Overwater Walkway while proclaiming autonomy from further public review is unjustifiable.

2 comments; last on Oct 16, 2013

Treaty Rights and Public Rights Ignored In Overwater Walkway

Tue, Oct 08, 2013, 2:22 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The city staff considers the overwater walkway a done deal before official approval or resolution of treaty right conflicts

4 comments; last on Oct 16, 2013

Status Of Waterfront Analysis For Plants and Animals

Wed, Oct 02, 2013, 10:19 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The city administration asserts that there is no gap in waterplant plant and animal analysis


COB Habitat Restoration Master Plan Open House

Wed, Oct 02, 2013, 10:01 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Bellingham is holding an open house to introduce the public to its habitat restoration master plan, despite being at a preliminary draft stage

3 comments; last on Oct 04, 2013

Wildlife Impacts Missing In COB Waterfront District EIS

Sat, Sep 28, 2013, 5:05 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The city and port have not addressed wildlife impacts from waterfront development and this should be done before a waterfront plan is enacted.


City Council Waterfront Work Sessions Begin

Mon, Sep 09, 2013, 12:07 am  //  Wendy Harris

The staff will be explaining the public's concerns, but the public is not allowed to testify.


Waterfront Planning Before City Council and Port Commission

Fri, Sep 06, 2013, 2:52 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Elected officials continue to rely on inaccurate and misleading reports by the city and port staff regarding waterfront development.


Bellingham Receives A Wake Up Call

Fri, Aug 16, 2013, 11:11 am  //  Wendy Harris

When the Bay stinks so bad that the public is calling 911, it is time to revisit waterfront redevelopment priorities

12 comments; last on Aug 19, 2013

Water Agreement Fails Scrutiny

Tue, Aug 13, 2013, 11:31 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The City of Bellingham memorandum of agreement with Lynden does not make sense. What is going on?

4 comments; last on Sep 10, 2013

Bellingham To Provide Water to Lynden

Fri, Aug 09, 2013, 8:42 pm  //  Wendy Harris

A conceptual agreement between COB and Lynden exchanges water for a new, but unneeded, water withdrawal site on the Middle Nooksack.

3 comments; last on Aug 10, 2013

Lake Whatcom Promoted As Secret Vacation Get-A-Way

Sun, Jul 28, 2013, 2:44 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Redevelopment of 14 acres along Lake Whatcom is contrary to the efforts to restore water quality.

1 comments; last on Jul 29, 2013

Meat Packinghouses and Berries: A Bad Combination

Sat, Jul 20, 2013, 3:53 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Proposed rezone of farm land to allow meat packinghouses will undermine the long term viability of our farm economy.

1 comments; last on Jul 23, 2013

Public Hearing on Amendment to the Bellingham SMP

Mon, Jul 08, 2013, 4:11 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The city would like to amend our city shoreline regulations to allow greater waterfront shoreline development.

1 comments; last on Jul 11, 2013

City Moves Forward With ASB Interim Trail Before Waterfront Plan Approval

Fri, Jul 05, 2013, 9:51 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Does Waterfront District planning, or public process, mean anything when it occurs subsequent to project development?

1 comments; last on Jul 06, 2013

Noise Issue Reflects Larger City Infill Problems

Fri, Jun 28, 2013, 7:02 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Bellingham needs to do a better job of protecting quality of life and health impacts that flow from infill

1 comments; last on Jul 18, 2013

County Attempting To Reduce Stormwater Standards in Birch Bay UGA

Tue, Jun 25, 2013, 10:10 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The County wants to exempt the Birch Bay UGA from the requirement to follow current version of stormwater standards in the DOE stormwater manual.


County Council Fails To Update Stormwater Standards For Lake Whatcom

Mon, Jun 24, 2013, 9:59 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The County Council fails to enact updated stormwater standards that are 2 1/2 years overdue.


Mayor Linville Raids City Budget Funds To Subsidize Private Development

Mon, Jun 17, 2013, 5:00 am  //  Wendy Harris

In what is becoming a hallmark of the Linville administration, the mayor is seeking funding for an off-site wetland mitigation program that has not yet been approved.

4 comments; last on Jun 22, 2013

County Slaughterhouse Proposal Moves Closer to Enactment

Fri, May 31, 2013, 6:20 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Ideologically Stubborn Council Majority Ignores Existing Industrial Zoning for Slaughter and Meat Processing Operations

2 comments; last on Jun 01, 2013

The Myth of Waterfront Public Process

Thu, May 16, 2013, 11:55 am  //  Wendy Harris

The public process on the revised waterfront plans is an empty charade

1 comments; last on May 17, 2013

Watch What You Say, Bellingham

Wed, May 15, 2013, 10:23 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The political censor police are listening to you

5 comments; last on May 16, 2013

Notes From The City Planning Commission Meeting

Fri, May 10, 2013, 9:22 am  //  Wendy Harris

The City Planning Commission Advocates "Free Market Capitalism" Approach to Waterfront Planning.

1 comments; last on May 12, 2013

Silver Lake Geese Remain At Risk

Thu, May 09, 2013, 11:07 pm  //  Wendy Harris

A recent letter by the Parks Department fails to contain reassurance that the geese will be safe from extermination this year.


Herding Dogs May Be Too Late To Save Silver Lake Geese

Fri, May 03, 2013, 10:16 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The Humane Society is bringing herding dogs to control Silver Lake geese, but it is not an optimal situation for success.


Questioning County Park Funding Priorities

Wed, May 01, 2013, 10:31 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The County Parks Department has allocated funding for playground equipment, but has not allocated funding for wildlife management planning.

1 comments; last on May 03, 2013

County Parks Department Releases “National Enquirer” Style Memo On Geese

Wed, Apr 24, 2013, 6:05 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The only urgency underscored by the Silver Lake geese is the urgency of enacting a comprehensive wildlife strategy.

4 comments; last on Apr 29, 2013

ACTION ALERT: Death Sentence Hangs Over Silver Lake Geese

Sat, Apr 20, 2013, 10:52 am  //  Wendy Harris

There will be no due process for the Canada geese, or the public, before the County Parks Department lethally removes the geese from Silver Lake

4 comments; last on Apr 24, 2013

Waterfront Plans Fail to Protect Historic Buildings

Wed, Apr 10, 2013, 10:24 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The Waterfront District Sub-Area Plan needs policies that favor adaptive reuse and preservation of historic waterfront structures


City Proposes New Economic Development Policy

Sat, Apr 06, 2013, 1:06 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The city's proposed new Economic Development Chapter is based on an outdated economic theory

1 comments; last on Apr 06, 2013

County Slaughterhouse Rezone: Dumb and Dumber

Fri, Apr 05, 2013, 3:59 pm  //  Wendy Harris

New slaughterhouse proposal "wishes away" current agricultural zoning restrictions.

10 comments; last on Apr 21, 2013

The GPT Scoping Summary Report Released

Mon, Apr 01, 2013, 3:00 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Government agencies responsible for the GPT project have completed review of the scoping comments.


Coming Soon to the Waterfront: More Dioxin and Toxic Waste

Tue, Mar 26, 2013, 9:36 pm  //  Wendy Harris

A beneficial reuse provision in the Waterfront District Sub-Area Plan would allow construction materials that are contaminated with bioaccumulative toxins.


Waterfront “Planned Action Ordinance” Limits Restoration and Public Input

Tue, Mar 26, 2013, 8:59 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The City Planning Department has included a technical document in the waterfront proposal without disclosing important impacts.

1 comments; last on Mar 30, 2013

Troubling Implications of Variance Request

Fri, Mar 01, 2013, 4:19 pm  //  Wendy Harris

A variance request pending before the City could create a loophole for developers seeking to avoid compliance with development standards.

5 comments; last on Mar 07, 2013

Waterfront EIS Revised Without Public Process

Tue, Feb 19, 2013, 9:40 pm  //  Wendy Harris

An "Updated Preferred Alternative" reduces the number of waterfront jobs and expands the boundary of the waterfront district.


Public Hearing on New Bellingham Economic Development Policy

Wed, Feb 13, 2013, 2:59 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Participate in the public process by commenting on the new Economic Development chapter to the city comprehensive plan

1 comments; last on Feb 15, 2013

The County Planning Commission is Broke

Wed, Jan 30, 2013, 12:09 am  //  Wendy Harris

The planning commission no longer serves its purpose due to Council's poor appointment choices

2 comments; last on Feb 10, 2013

Aquatic Invasive Species Plan for Lake Whatcom

Mon, Jan 28, 2013, 1:52 am  //  Wendy Harris

Improving ecosystem functions holistically is the best form of protection for the Lake Whatcom.

1 comments; last on Jan 28, 2013

EIS Scoping Period for GPT is Closed

Tue, Jan 22, 2013, 6:19 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Links to a few noteworthy GPT scoping comments .

1 comments; last on Jan 22, 2013

Is Noncompliance Addicting?

Fri, Jan 11, 2013, 1:35 pm  //  Wendy Harris

A proposed amendment to the Lake Whatcom watershed moratorium will increase water quality degradation

1 comments; last on Jan 12, 2013

Noncompliance 2013: The Game

Sun, Jan 06, 2013, 11:49 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Watch the Whatcom County Council wiggle its way out of the latest round of GMA compliance requirements for Lake Whatcom

1 comments; last on Jul 27, 2013

Whatcom County STILL Not Compliant With GMA

Fri, Jan 04, 2013, 11:37 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Council majority willing to spend, and spend, and spend public funds defending development rights

2 comments; last on Jan 05, 2013


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