Saving Blanchard

The legacy begins with you

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Along the coastline of Chuckanut Drive, the logging countdown is on.

Blanchard Mountain, the Oyster Dome Trail, and surrounding hiking trails and campgrounds are in imminent danger of being clearcut as long as people stand on the sidelines. This is not only about saving the trees and protecting a vital ecosystem that provides a safe haven for animals and humans alike, it is also about humans stepping up, speaking out, being active, responsible and empowered.

Thousands of residents know this forest well. They come every week, all year long, for recreational activities and memorable sunsets. This place is part of the beauty that defines the Pacific Northwest, and in return we identify with it. Of course, Blanchard Mountain isn’t the only endangered place in the world, but it is in our local backyard and now is the time to take action to save it.

From my experience on this planet, the story I have seen play out over and over goes like this: People have an obligation to take care of their daily lives. They work hard, raise families, go to school, and find themselves busier than they anticipated. Meanwhile, the environment they care about slips away. So many times we just put off writing that letter or contributing money to a worthy cause because that is just one more thing to put on the to-do list.

In this case, the result of postponing these simple efforts will be the loss of 1,600 acres of forest along the last part of the Cascade Mountain Range. If the $7.7 million still needed to permanently protect Blanchard isn’t found when the current legislative session ends on April 23, logging will start in July and the impacts will be irreversible. To put it bluntly, this is the grand invitation for waking up in 2017. Standing up for Blanchard Mountain is the training we need to get back on point for dealing with the present state of our society in this country.

Getting in contact with your local representatives is easier than you think. With just a few clicks, you can send comments to Governor Jay Inslee (http://www.governor.wa.gov), contact the State Legislature (http://www.leg.wa.gov), sign your name on an online petition (http://www.change.org or www.bit.ly/SaveBlanchardMtn), glean details at a land trust site (http://www.conservationnw.org) and more. Most of these tasks can be accomplished within 15 minutes. If you type up your thoughts and mail a personal letter, it takes less than an hour. Start somewhere.

In fact, make contacting elected officials a daily routine. Once local representatives catch wind of people’s interest they are more likely to pay attention.

At the moment, there is a local online forum going on with the locals of the Blanchard area, some of which have been working to preserve Blanchard Mountain for quite some time. This is open to anyone and there are plenty of people to connect with. It’s a great place to start.

Recently, people have been making the trip to Olympia to visit and speak with Legislature representatives. Letters are being written, petitions are being signed, people are passing out flyers along the trailheads, actions are being posted daily online and active discussions pertaining to strategies for what is coming up next are being held.

Most of all, people are needed and will be needed to keep this momentum and effort going forward. If you have ever made time to take a hike up to the Oyster Dome, please take time to speak out and take action to protect your forest.

Activist, writer and musician David A. Smith (Dave Salad) has called the Pacific Northwest home since 2006.

More Outdoors...
Pool Project
In search of safer swimming

Full disclosure: I’ve seen Molly Monahan in a bathing suit.

On a recent visit to Hawaii, Monahan, 64, was among a posse of vacationers sharing living space at a remote property on the Big Island. I joined her for a couple of snorkeling sojourns to nearby tidal pools, and can attest to the…

more »
Water Day
Stretch your understanding

It’s time to walk the walk and talk the talk on water.

The quality and availability of water is a huge topic in the state Legislature, as federal funding for projects recedes in the new administration and new mandates are handed down by federal and state courts. Water quality monitoring…

more »
Snow Daze
Embracing endless winter

It was midmorning on Super Bowl Sunday and the gnarliest storm of the winter was in the process of turning the Mt. Baker Highway into a sleet-encrusted ice ribbon full of fallen trees, downed power lines and disabled vehicles lodged windshield-deep in drifting piles of oceanic snow.…

more »
Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest

8:00am|Whatcom County

Wings of Courage

10:00am|Mount Baker Theatre

Library Tour

6:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Cuban Salsa

6:00pm|Bell Tower Studios

Dig Into Spring

6:00pm|Mount Vernon City Library

Cultivating cannabis cognizance


Community Film

6:30pm|Ferndale High School Auditorium

Open Mic

7:00pm|Village Books


8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Swing Dance

8:30pm|Eagles Hall


9:30pm|Green Frog

MBT HBIII Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest

8:00am|Whatcom County

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Fun with Cheese

6:00pm|Ciao Thyme Commons

Bellingham Reads

6:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

Harbor Porpoise Presentation

6:30pm|Burlington Public Library

Gather Round

7:00pm|Honey Moon Mead & Cider

Books on Tap

7:00pm|Maggie's Pub

Maloney & Tergis

7:00pm|Old Main Theater

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Alton Brown Live

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Semiahmoo Stewardship

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Trove Village Books
Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest

8:00am|Whatcom County

Community Coffee and Tea

9:00am|East Whatcom Regional Resource Center

Searching for Phoebe

2:00pm|Lynden Library

CSA Happy Hour

5:00pm|Diamond Jim's Grill

Pickling Class

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Growing Alliance Fundraising Dinner

5:30pm|YWCA Ballroom

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Miwako Kimura Reception


Pops Concert

7:00pm|Unity Spiritual Center

Artists protect the Salish Sea


see our complete calendar »

MBT HBIII Bellingham Farmer’s Market Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Northwood Steak and Crab Lester and Hyldahl Trove Village Books