* Efforts Underway To Remove Sunken Tug In Columbia River Navigation Channel
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving will begin removal of the sunken Tug DIANE this Friday, September 13, 2019.
The tug removal will take place during day light hours from Friday until Sunday, September 15, 2019.
SMIT Salvage, under contract with SUPSALV, will anchor the crane barge and set-up on Friday. Divers will anchor the barge on the upstream side of the Tug DIANE and lower a current screen in place to protect divers from the high current. Divers will remove any remaining fuel on the DIANE and install lifting chains on Saturday. The crane will lift and remove the Tug DIANE on Sunday.
The U.S. Coast Guard will establish a safety zone around these salvage operations and will have two boats on site during removal efforts to monitor operations.
Bonneville Power Administration will be reducing daytime flows out of Bonneville Dam during the three day operation to support safe dive operations.
The 45-foot recreational tug sunk two years ago in the Columbia River between river miles 142 and 143, just downstream of Bonneville Dam. The tug is partially within the Federal Navigation Channel and is currently a hazard to river navigation.
Navigation is the Corps’ oldest mission, dating back to 1871, authorizing it to maintain the nation’s waterways for navigation and commerce. The Portland District is responsible for half of the Corps’ oceangoing dredge fleet, helping to keep waterways open along the West Coast and as far as Hawaii and Alaska.
* Montana Offers Reward For Information In Shooting of Dozens Of Pelicans
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is offering a reward of as much as $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of people who have shot and killed pelicans – possibly dozens of them – along the Bighorn River below Yellowtail Dam.
It is illegal to shoot pelicans – which also are a federally protected migratory bird – in Montana.
FWP game wardens have seen or retrieved nearly a dozen dead pelicans in the world-class blue-ribbon trout water between the dam and Two Leggins Fishing Access Site. They believe dozens more may have been shot and killed this summer in the same area.
Anyone with information about the illegal killing is asked to call 1-800-TIP-MONT, FWP’s poaching 24-hour poaching hotline, or game warden Jake Barzen at 406-860-7796.
The 1-800-TIP-MONT program is a toll-free number where people can report violations of fish, wildlife or park regulations. Callers may remain anonymous. It is similar to the well-known Crimestoppers program and offers rewards for information resulting in conviction of persons who abuse Montana’s natural, historic or cultural resources.
* WDFW Sets Online Webinars On Wolf Post Recovery Planning
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has scheduled three online, interactive webinars this September and October to discuss planning and management for wolf populations once they are no longer listed as endangered in the state.
“We know that wolves are a huge topic of interest to the public and we want to hear everyone’s input, in a respectful and productive way, on how to manage them,” said WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. “These digital open houses will allow anyone who is interested to learn about Washington’s wolves, ask questions, and find out how to provide feedback on the topic.”
While public comment won’t be accepted during the webinars, the goal is to both educate about wolves and share ways that people can voice their thoughts to WDFW concerning wolf management. This input will help to inform the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process that will be used to develop a post-recovery plan for wolves.
The dates for the interactive webinars are:
•Tuesday, Sept. 17, 6-7:30 p.m.
•Wednesday, Sept. 25, 12-1 p.m.
•Tuesday, Oct. 15, 6-7:30 p.m.
Everyone is welcome to take part in these webinars. They can be accessed by either clicking the links above or going to the home page of the WDFW website at wdfw.wa.gov and clicking on a link there.
There are other ways to participate in WDFW’s scoping process as well; WDFW is accepting comments via an online survey, online commenting, and in writing by mailing to Lisa Wood, WDFW – Wolf Post-Recovery Plan Scoping, PO Box 43200, Olympia WA 98504-3200.
“This is an important topic that many people are passionate about and we want ideas on how to find a balance where wolves can coexist with people, livestock, and other wildlife,” Susewind added.
The public scoping comment period remains open until Nov. 1. The Department’s work to develop this plan is a multi-year effort and, as wolf management options begin to take shape, there will be further opportunities to engage with agency staff.
More information on wolves in Washington and wolf post-recovery planning can be found at wdfw.wa.gov/wolves-post-recovery