News from our member organizations

Maui County Moves Forward with GE Moratorium Initiative

News from Beyond Pesticides - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 9:31pm
(Beyond Pesticides, July 1, 2014) Early last month, Maui County residents gathered enough signatures to require a county-wide vote on legislation that will put in place a moratorium on the planting of genetically engineered (GE) crops. This achievement represents the first ever citizen driven initiative in Maui County, which encompasses Maui, Molokai and Lanai islands. […]

Smart Grid Northwest to host launch event and annual member meeting

News from NW Energy Coalition - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 3:54pm
Coalition member Smart Grid Northwest (formerly Smart Grid Oregon) is hosting a launch event in Portland on Thursday, July 24 featuring keynotes from Jon Wellinghoff (former FERC chairman, partner at Stoel Rives) and Elliot Mainzer (administrator & CEO, Bonneville Power Administration). Wellinghoff will share his vision for a smarter grid and energy future. Mainzer will provide insights into the region's most pressing energy challenges and where grid advances will have the biggest impact.

In Cambodian Riverside Villages, New Attitudes toward Turtles

News from Conservation International - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 7:00am
Sarith is one of dozens of villagers who have gone from being hunters to guardians of this unusual species.

New York Court Upholds Communities’ Right to Protect Residents from Fracking

News from NRDC - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 10:00pm
ALBANY (June 30, 2014) — The New York Court of Appeals today upheld communities’ right to use traditional local zoning laws to keep fracking out of their borders if they so choose. The ruling came in two cases decided jointly—one brought by an oil company and the other a dairy farm that wanted to lease its land—challenging the towns of Dryden and Middlefield’s decisions to ban the industrial activity there.

Supreme Court Greenlights California’s Clean Fuels Plan

News from NRDC - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 10:00pm
WASHINGTON (June 30, 2014) – In a big win for the fight against climate change, the Supreme Court today declined oil and ethanol companies’ request to review a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).  This fuel standard is one part of California’s broader clean energy plan (AB32) and aims to cut carbon emissions associated with the production of fuels used by cars and trucks.

Pesticide Production Leaves a Legacy of Poisoning and Contamination

News from Beyond Pesticides - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 9:01pm
(Beyond Pesticides, June 30, 2014) Decades later there are still horrifying impacts from a legacy of dumping in the environment tens of thousands of pounds of chemical waste used in the production of pesticides. The production  by the Hooker Chemical Company of C-56, the progenitor of many now banned organochlorine pesticides, has resulted in contamination […]

Tour de France 2014 Poll: Would You Watch It In Pioneer Square?

We’ve heard “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowds of 150-200+ who have packed Nord Alley in Pioneer Square during the lunch hour the past couple of weeks. They’ve come to watch the World Cup matches on a big-screen TV behind the Nord Building, which houses our offices/bike gift shop and Back Alley Bike Repair.

We’re looking into whether we could show coverage of the Tour in the Alley weekdays during July 5-27. Since we have a really small staff, we can only undertake the full outdoor logistics if we know lots of people will show up. We’ll provide the popcorn, you bring your favorite coffee or sports beverage, and we have a race viewing party.

NBC Sports Network hasn’t published its schedule so we don’t know whether we could run during the lunch hour or at some other time. The Tour partially overlaps the World Cup, which wraps up July 13, and that may affect the schedule as well.

If we can figure out a way to manage the logistics, would you come watch and would you bring friends?

Our decision depends on in large part on how many people say yes. Share this poll with your friends who live/work/bike in places that make Pioneer Square a reasonable destination for hanging out with a lot of people who love bicycling.

To receive notice on whether we’re going ahead, fill out the e-news sign-up form at the bottom of the poll. Share your ideas for other events that would bring you to Pioneer Square too.

Poll: TdF 2014 Viewing How often would you come watch the 2014 Tour de France on a big screen in Nord Alley behind the WA Bikes office? Every day 50-75% of the time (7-11 workdays) 25-49% of the time (3-6 days) Less than 25% of the time (1-2 workdays) Doesn't work for me; thanks for thinking of it What time of day would you be able to come? Around the lunch hour Morning Afternoon End of the workday I'd usually bring this many friends with me 1-2 3-5 6 & up My answers above also apply if you hold it inside for a smaller group Yes No Ideas for other events you would attend (or host?), either at the WA Bikes office/store in Pioneer Square or somewhere else (where?): Name * First Last name * Last Email Address * City * ZIP code * Optional: tell us about your biking interests (check all that apply): Travel Rides/Events Safety Education Policy/Advocacy Infrastructure/Connections Racing Other (describe below) If other, please describe We send event invitations, e-news, action alerts, and emails asking for your support of our work Check here if you prefer not to receive emails asking for your financial support of our work. Check here if you do not want us to exchange your email information with other organizations whose missions complement ours By filling out this form, you opt in to receive email updates about bicycling events and issues in Washington State.


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The post Tour de France 2014 Poll: Would You Watch It In Pioneer Square? appeared first on Washington Bikes.

Instagram Weekly Roundup: Portrait of a Hiker

News from Washington Trails Association - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 1:40pm

This week's shots and stories on our Instagram roundup revolve around you. From family camping snapshots to dramatic selfies, we love seeing you making memories on Washington's trails.

Whether it's in your latest trip reports or on your Instagram feed, we love exploring Washington's wild places through your eyes. On Instagram? Follow us @washingtontrails and tag #washingtontrails when you're out adventuring this summer!

#wabikes on Instagram

Washington Bikes is using Instagram to tell the story of bicycling in our state, so follow us @wabikes. We recently asked our fellow Washington IGers to share biking images from their communities with us by tagging their images #wabikes. Thanks for sharing! We have been regramming some of your images and here’s a sampling:

@cadenstockwell shared the pure joy of summer biking in Wenatchee’s Sage Hills.

@stephen70 gave us a glimpse of his morning commute in Spokane.

And we joined @lww76 on a family ride in Walla Walla.

It’s inspiring and reaffirming to see who is biking, where in Washington folks are riding, and why they are biking. Please keep sharing by following us @wabikes and tagging #wabikes on Instagram.


The post #wabikes on Instagram appeared first on Washington Bikes.

Big Things Come in Small Climates

News from Conservation International - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 6:52am
For years, climate scientists ignored small patches of vegetation — yet they held a big secret.

Roundup Resistance Spurs Texas Push for Emergency Use of Controversial Herbicide on GE Cotton

News from Beyond Pesticides - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 9:01pm
(Beyond Pesticides, June 27, 2014) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering a request by Texas regulators to allow the use of a controversial herbicide, propazine, to battle Palmer amaranth, a glyphosate-resistant “super weed” that has been plaguing growers of genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-tolerant cotton in the state. Propazine, an active ingredient in Milo-Pro, would be sprayed on […]

National Parks Conservation Association on the Passing of Former Senator Howard Baker

News from National Parks Conservation - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 4:44pm
Statement by Craig Obey, Vice President of Government Affairs for the National Parks Conservation Association

Snohomish County Bikes: Gravel Grinding the Stillaguamish Valley

Snohomish County Bikes: an ongoing series highlighting great Snohomish County bike rides. Share your own great ride with us here!

Gravel grinding is one of the cycling industry’s genres-du-jour. Loosely defined as any ride taking place predominantly on dirt and gravel fire roads, logging roads, or the thousands of miles of Midwestern “B roads,” gravel-grinder races and events are popping up all over the place from the original TransIowa race to Vicious Cycles’ Gran Fondo series in Eastern Washington. And though the terminology is as much marketing as anything, gravel grinding’s popularity makes sense. After all, who doesn’t love a good, challenging two-wheeled adventure with little to no car traffic to distract from the ride?

Nestled between impressive Cascade peaks at the northern tip of the Stillaguamish Valley, the town of Darrington is a hotbed of gravel adventure riding opportunities. Over 100 years of mining and logging industry have left a large network of gravel roads snaking their way through the forests around town. Darrington cyclist George Winters has spent years exploring and mapping gravel routes that leave right from town and offer terrific views of waterfalls, rivers, lakes, and, of course, the Cascade Mountains. He’s compiled that knowledge into a comprehensive map with GPS tracks, photos, difficulty rankings, and riding tips.

Extensive gravel griding opportunities exist in Darrington.

The routes listed range from 5-23 miles. Because they all loop back to town, they can easily be combined for longer days in the saddle. Winters rides these routes on a 1.5-inch wide mountain bike tire and recommends people use a GPS unit for navigating.

If you’re only going to do one, Winters suggests Bridge to Nowhere-Whitehorse Trail as the loop to do. The route starts on the northern terminus of the Whitehorse Trail before connecting with DNR logging roads that loop back to the Whitehorse at the Bridge to Nowhere. At 12 miles, it’s short enough to be accessible, but features steep gravel climbs. It is rated 3 stars on a scale of 1-to-4.

Bridge to Nowhere. Photo by George Winters.

Other options to consider:

The Squire Creek Loop: A looped trail through mixed old and young forest with views of a beaver pond, and Jumbo and Whitehorse Mountains.

The North Mountain Climb: A challenging climb that rewards riders with wide-open views of Jumbo and Whitehorse Mountains and the Stillaguamish Valley.

The Gold Hill Loop: A scenic, 24 mile ride on paved and gravel roads with occasional views of Pugh and Whitechuck mountains, Clear Creek, and the Sauk River.

When you’ve had your fill of gravel adventure consider swinging by Mountain Loop Books and Coffee to refuel. The owner Tony bike toured across Ireland and loves to chat with his customers. Or quench your thirst at the newly opened Whiskey Ridge microbrewery located in the old City Hall building.

Josh Cohen is a freelance writer, editor of The Bicycle Story and a contributing author to the newly released Cycling Sojourner: a Guide to the Best Multi-Day Tours in Washington.

Sign Up to Receive Updates on Biking in Snohomish County First name * First Last name * Last Email * City * Postal Code * Check here if you haven't ridden your bike in Snohomish County yet Not yet What types of information do you want us to provide to make your bike visit to Snohomish County fantastic? Tell us about your biking interests in general (check all that apply) Travel Rides/events Safety Education Policy/advocacy Infrastructure/connections

The post Snohomish County Bikes: Gravel Grinding the Stillaguamish Valley appeared first on Washington Bikes.

Camp Before a Work Party, Shorten Your Time to the Trailhead

News from Washington Trails Association - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 2:05pm

As the snow melts, WTA's work parties move up into the mountains. This can add a bit of driving time the trailhead in the morning, making for an early start to the day in order to meet the crew at 8:30 a.m. Fortunately, for some of our summer locations, you are welcome to camp at the trailhead, either the evening before the work party, or stay and sleep after we've stashed the tools for the day. That way, whether you're an early-riser or a night owl, you can still join a WTA work party, enjoy your beauty sleep and be on time.

Stay at the ranger station in Verlot

Because we're working on so many trails on the Darrington Ranger District this summer, the folks at the Verlot Ranger Station have made the campground near the ranger station available to volunteers so you can stay the night after a work party, or arrive the day before and enjoy a leisurely morning.

Anyone signed up for these WTA work parties is welcome to stay one or more nights while you help maintain these trails. If you are interested in staying the night after your work party, simply let the crew leader know once you're there. If you'd like to stay the night before, contact the office to make arrangements before heading out.

Read more about the camping opportunites when you sign up for any of these work parties online.

Lake 22

June 26, 27 & July 1, 2, 3

The trail to Lake 22. Photo by "Pith Helmut Jack" or friends.

Come help WTA prepare this very popular trail for the heavy use it receives in the summer season. Work on a trail that follows a creek, passes by a half-dozen waterfalls and arrives at the peaceful alpine lake below the northeast ridge of Mount Pilchuck. We'll be doing general maintenance including drainage, rock steps, and tread repair at an avalanche slide.

>> Sign up for one or more of these dates on our volunteer page.

Mount Dickerman

July 8, 9, 10, 11

Views from the summit of Mount Dickerman make the steep ascent worth every step. Photo by Suj'n Chon.

Help us maintain this very busy, steep trail leading to views of rugged Del Campo, Big Four and Glacier peaks. We'll hike in about two miles, with 2500 feet of elevation gain. Though it's a steep hike, views of the craggy peaks and sprays of wildflowers will be a great reward, as will your nearby campsite after the work party is over.

>> Sign up for one or more of these dates on our volunteer page.

Pinnacle Lake Trail

July 15, 16, 17

Pinnacle Lake is the perfect spot to take a refreshing dip after a day of trail work. Photo by Whidbey Walker.

Join WTA as we replace a puncheon bridge on this popular trail. Enjoy a short approach to Bear Lake as you work in the shadows of Alaskan cedar. Once the puncheon project is complete, we'll move on, doing tread restoration and drainage improvement on the trail leading up to Pinnacle Lake, surrounded by heather fields and glacier-polished rock.

>> Sign up for one or more of these dates on our volunteer page.

Independence Lake - North Lake Trail

July 22, 23, 24, 25, 29, 30, 31

A hiker eyes what's around the corner on a sunny Independence Lake Trail. Photo by Janice Van Cleve.

Because this is a great trail for beginning hikers and small children, it's especially important that the Independence - North Lake Trail be in the best shape possible. We'll be repairing winter damage, including tread repair, drainage, brushing, rock work and maybe even logging some fallen trees out!

>> Sign up for one or more of these dates on our volunteer page.

Camp with us at Mount Rainier National Park

It's hard to leave Mount Rainier after a long day of hiking, not to mention after a long day of trail work! Take the opportunity to make a weekend of it by staying at a campground near the trailhead where we'll meet in the morning.

Free camping is available to volunteers, but be sure to let us know at least a week before the day you'll be joining us. You can indicate in the comments when you sign up if you are planning to stay the night.

We'll be working on the iconic Wonderland Trail out of Longmire until mid-July, and once that project is done, we'll tackle maintenance on other trails out of Longmire. So join us for work in one of Washington's most treasured locations, and afterwards, kick back in camp and enjoy your surroundings.

Wonderland Trail - Longmire

June 27, 28, 29 & July 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13

Longmire Trails

July 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27

>> Sign up for one or more of these dates on our volunteer page.