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For Immediate Release

Eastern Washington Wolf Coalition is Offering a Reward for Information Leading to the Prosecution of Wolf Poachers

Date: December 13, 2017 Time: 3:00 P.M. Location: Spokane, WA

Contacts: Mike Petersen, The Lands Council, 509-209-2406, mpetersen@landscouncil.org Chris Bachman, The Lands Council, 509-209-2401, cbachman@landscouncil.org


SPOKANE, Wash. – In response to two recent wolf poaching incidents in NE Washington, to support bringing these poachers to justice, The Lands Council is offering a total of $5,000 for information that leads to conviction in these cases. The conservation advocacy group Western Wildlife Conservation is adding an additional $1000, raising the total reward for conviction to $26,000. Poaching of any animal is unacceptable, poaching of an animal protected under state endangered species law is an egregious act and should be punished to the full extent of the law. Poaching is stealing from the people. Our wildlife and wildlands are held in public trust, they belong to us all. Penalties for illegally killing a state endangered species, a misdemeanor, range up to $5,000 and/ or one year in jail. Intentional killing of an endangered species should be classified as a felony with strong penalties to effectively deter poaching. The Lands Council is working to recover a sustainable resilient wolf population in Washington. We seek collaborative partnerships with community members, especially those affected by our recovering wolf population. Wolves, as apex predators, have been shown to have a positive impact on ecosystems, balancing prey populations and helping habitat recover following years of over browsing. *Neither the perpetrator or his family can benefit from the reward being offered.


Stop the Lifting of the Oil Export Ban

The Senate is trying to make a deal with Big Oil to sacrifice our health, economy, and environment over lifting the crude export ban. Lifting the export ban would mean more oil trains, more oil tankers, more risk of accidents and oil spills. It’s a bad deal.

Senators from Washington and Oregon are fighting the tide against this deal making. Tell your Senators you appreciate their work and encourage them to tell their colleagues in other states to stop working on a deal that would lift the export ban.

Please do so by using the hotline set up by our brothers and sisters of the United Steelworkers today: 1-877-607-0785 (The line will automatically connect you with your Senator based on your zip code. Calling a second time will result in reaching your other Senator).

The United States banned exporting American-produced crude oil overseas in the 1970s to protect us from oil shortages and spikes in gas prices. Yet, despite all their talk about caring ‘energy independence’, Big Oil has made a high priority repealing the export ban – that way they can make huge profits and put us – our communities, our waterways – at risk.

Tell your Senator today – the American people and our environment come before Big Oil’s wish list. Hotline: 1-877-607-0785.

The lifting of the ban would result in more oil drilling. More carbon emissions. More risk. And, it would represent a step backward at a time when we should be moving beyond dirty fuels and doubling down on investments in clean energy. Passing this bailout for the oil industry is a terrible idea.

The American people can out play Big Oil. Tell your Senator today (1-877-607-0785) – there is no deal to be made with Big Oil.

Key talking points:
• Thank you Senators Cantwell, Murray, Wyden, and Merkley for not negotiating with Big Oil
• Hold your colleagues to the same line: no lifting of the crude export ban
• I oppose ANY deal that around lifting the crude oil export ban.
• The lifting of the ban puts my community and our waterways at risk.
• The lifting of the ban is bad for our climate.

Tesoro Savage Vancouver Energy Project

Tesoro-Savage has proposed to build and operate a crude oil shipping terminal on the banks of the Columbia River that would handle an estimated 360,000 barrels of oil per day coming into the project by rail and leaving by tanker down the river to other ports around the Pacific, making it the largest oil terminal on the West Coast. This would result in mile-long trains carrying explosive crude oil along old railroad tracks through the Grays Harbor communities, over the Chehalis River, out through the Harbor, and throughout Washington.

This oil terminal is dangerous because of:

  • Increased delays at railroad crossings. The DEIS finds that these projects would block car traffic at railroad crossing intersections along the rail route and that there would be “substantial increases” in vehicle delays between East Aberdeen and the project – including at the Olympic Gateway Plaza. Emergency vehicle access could also be delayed.
  • Derailments. The DEIS finds that “no mitigation measures would completely eliminate” the possibility of a oil train derailment or the possibility of an oil spill, fire, or explosion from a train derailment. In the summer of 2014, there were 3 separate train derailments with grain or other non-hazardous materials near Hoquiam – the same tracks that would carry oil. There has been a string of oil train derailments, fires, and explosions across the U.S. and Canada in the last few years; we should not be inviting disaster into Grays Harbor.
  • Increasing risk of an oil spill or explosion. The DEIS determines that the projects’ increased rail traffic would increase the risk of a derailment, spill, fire, or explosion. The record of oil train accidents, fires, and explosions across the U.S. and Canada shows that these are not isolated, once-in-a-lifetime risks. These are risks I do not want my community to face.
  • Oil spill into the Chehalis River. The trains that feed these terminals would roll along the Chehalis River, exposing it do the possibility of an oil spill. This would harm the river and also leak spilled crude oil into the Grays Harbor estuary.
  • Increased oil train traffic along the Columbia River and through the Columbia River Gorge. The DEIS limited its cumulative impact review and did not consider the elevated risks along the entire rail route, including in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
  • Oil tanker and barge traffic in Grays Harbor. The DEIS finds that the increased marine vessel traffic from these terminals would increase the risk of a collision and oil spill into Grays Harbor. Even a small oil spill into Grays Harbor would harm fish and wildlife, commercial, tribal, and recreational fishing, and tourism.
  • The type of crude oil being shipped through my community. The DEIS fails to adequately review the type of crude oil being shipped through these terminals. Bakken oil from North Dakota and tar sands crude from Alberta are both extremely hazardous but in different ways, and the final EIS would need to fully review their unique health risks, spill clean-up issues, and global warming impacts.
  • Impacts on salmon and other fish and wildlife in Grays Harbor. The DEIS finds that the risk of an oil spill is low, but cannot be fully mitigated and if a spill occurred, the environmental damage would be significant. Many studies have shown that salmon and other fish are harmed by exposure to crude oil even in very small amounts. To protect a healthy Grays Harbor, we should deny the permits for these projects.
  • Cumulative impacts from 3 terminals and more. There are 3 separate terminals proposed for Grays Harbor, and I do not want my community to turn into an industrial oil shipping zone Looking even broader, with proposals for other crude-by-rail terminals, coal export terminals, and LNG shipping terminals, the impacts on communities throughout Washington and Oregon of this rush to turn the Pacific Northwest into a thoroughfare for dirty and dangerous fossil fuels does not comport with my vision of our future.
  • Building hazardous oil terminals in a earthquake and liquefaction area. An earthquake causing direct damage, liquefaction, shoreline subsidence, or tsunamis could cause an oil spill into Grays Harbor; these well-known risks simply cannot be mitigatedRespecting tribal treaty rights and tribal culture. The Quinault and Chehalis peoples have lived in this area since time immemorial. The Quinault Indian Nation has a treaty with the U.S. government to fish and gather in Grays Harbor, and the DEIS finds that there is a risk that those resources will be harmed. The state agency on historic preservation has already written that it disagrees with the DEIS that there is a low probability of disturbing cultural and archaeological materials. Moreover, the Quinault Indian Nation is a large economic provider in Grays Harbor county.
  • Shorebirds and the National Wildlife Preserve. The Grays Harbor NWR is an Aquatic Resource of National Importance, provides irreplaceable biological and ecosystem services, and affords important opportunities for wildlife-oriented recreation, education, and research. These crude-by-rail proposals would pose unacceptable risks to fish and wildlife. The possibility of a future oil spill, and the potential for resulting impacts, cannot be fully discounted. We as taxpayers, own the national wildlife refuge.
  • Threatened and endangered species. Several species that are protected under the Endangered Species Act could be harmed by these projects, including bull trout, marbled murrelets, snowy plovers, and streaked horned larks. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has stated that “redevelopment proposals bringing crude-by-rail to properties managed by the Port, including but not limited to the current Grays Harbor Rail Terminal proposal, would pose unacceptable risks to fish and wildlife trust resources managed and co-managed by the Service. Proposals bringing crude-by-rail to properties managed by the Port would present a corresponding, inherently higher cumulative risk over time of significant hazardous material releases to the terrestrial and aquatic environments.”
  • Public health and noise, especially the impact on people who live along the tracks. The list of schools, parks, hospitals, and senior centers within 1 mile of the proposed project site and a quarter mile from the rail road tracks (DEIS at 3.2-5 to 3.2-8) is disturbing. The DEIS also finds impacts from noise impossible to mitigate
  • Impacts on climate change. In order to have any chance to stave off global warming disaster, we must start weaning ourselves off of fossil fuels. The DEIS discusses the direct emissions from the rail-transportation part of these projects, and finds a 2.6% increase in greenhouse gas emissions from rail in Washington—over 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent each year. The DEIS improperly limits its cumulative effects on climate change analysis to the Grays Harbor terminals, even though federal agencies, like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have called on Ecology and Hoquiam to review the cumulative impacts of all oil and coal shipping terminals proposed for Washington ports.

Stand Up to Oil

Cheney, Spokane and the Spokane Valley cannot escape coal and oil through our communities. All coal and oil trains coming to Washington State will come through the Spokane area.  An oil spill would have devastating impacts on our communities, and our governor  has a lot of influence over the decisions to build these coal and oil facilities.   For example,  the governor is the decider to build or not to build the largest oil-by rail-facility in the U.S  in the city of Vancouver, which is proposed by Tesoro-Savage.  We need to push him to make the decision that protects our community. The Governor needs to be reminded of his great responsibility to the citizens he represents.

Please sign this petition to have your voice heard.