Recent NCCC Actions

JUNE 2018 to FEBRUARY 2019

Advocacy carried out by dedicated N3C volunteers to protect and preserve the North Cascades lands, waters, plants, and wildlife.

EXPANDING, ESTABLISHING, and PROTECTING WILDERNESS AREAS

Why it matters: Federal land designation as Wilderness and Park is the gold standard of ecosystem protection, precluding most damaging industrial and commercial exploitation.

  • Submitted comments to the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality opposing proposed changes to the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) limiting public input to the process.
  • Signed joint letter to the Secretary of Agriculture opposing proposed weakening of the Roadless Rule in Alaska and potentially elsewhere.
  • Signed joint letter opposing expansion of access to the Excelsior Mine in an Inventoried Roadless Area (IRA).
  • Signed joint letter opposing the Draft Decision Notice for the Excelsior Mine Redevelopment.
  • Signed joint letter to the British Columbia government opposing timber sales in the upper Skagit River Drainage
  • Attended “stakeholder” and public information meetings on the Mountain Loop Highway Feasibility (Paving) Study.
  • Attended the Seattle City Light (SCL) kick-off meeting in Newhalem for the upcoming Federal relicensing cycle for the Skagit Hydro Electric facilities. N3C board members joined the Steering Committee and Resource Workgroups meeting throughout 2019.
  • Submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest for the record of the loan of gate keys for the CERCLA track to Monte Cristo in 2018.

PROMOTING ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND RECREATION IN WILD AREAS

Why it matters: balancing access with economics and Wilderness preservation, we evaluate motorized use and places where it needs to be limited to reduce land impacts and recurring road repair costs.

  • Signed joint letter with comments from the 11 conservation and recreation groups on the Stemilt-Squilchuck Recreation Plan Preferred Alternative.
  • Contributed $3,000 to the Liberty Bell Conservation Initiative for trail maintenance and rerouting at the heavily used Liberty Bell Spires climbing area at Washington Pass.
  • Submitted letter to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in support of a Trust Land Transfer (TLT) in the Cascade River water shed.
  • Attended a public meeting with the Outdoor Alliance (mostly recreational groups) celebrating Public Lands.
  • Attended a “Town Hall” meeting sponsored by North Cascades National Park in Newhalem, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the park. Board member David Fluharty sat on a panel of experts and spoke about N3C’s role in the North Cascades and the founding of the National Park.
  • Signed another joint letter to Congress requesting inclusion of funding for the Legacy Roads and Trails in the FY 2019 budget.
  • Following a ground truthing visit to the Baker Lake Road, submitted scoping comments on the proposed conversion of the last two miles from road to trail.
  • Signed joint letter supporting the Baker Lake Road to Trail Project in 2019 EA.
  • Submitted a letter questioning the need for an expanded new parking lot as part of the Baker Lake Road to Trail Project 2019 EA.

PROTECTING ANCIENT FORESTS AND PROMOTING RESPONSIBLE FOREST MANAGEMENT

Why it matters: like real estate, they’re just not making ancient forest anymore. We seek to restore watersheds and fisheries damaged from decades of heavy logging and road building and protect significant forests from degradation.

  • Submitted comments to the Bureau of Reclamation on the Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plant (KDRPP) and Keechelus to Kachess Conveyance (KKC) Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS).
  • Submitted joint comments with 30 other organizations on the Icicle Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS) for dam maintenance & reconstruction in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
  • Submitted joint comments on the Icicle Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (FPEIS) for dam maintenance & reconstruction in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

Photo by John Hechtel

PROTECTING WILDLIFE AND HABITAT

Why it matters: from microscopic fungi to top predators, the wilderness ecosystem’s living members are interdependent, so keeping viable populations of each species is essential to preserve the ecosystem for future generations.

  • Signed joint letter to the Secretary of Interior and the Secretary of Commerce requesting a 60-day extension of the public comment period for the proposed rule changes to the Endangered Species Act.
  • Signed joint letter to the Washington State Governor’s Task Force on the Southern Resident Killer Whales to consider federal land management actions as part of their plan to recover the orca population.
  • Signed joint letter to the mayor of Seattle expressing concerns about the nomination of Debra Smith to be superintendent of Seattle City Light (SCL).
    Attended a meeting on the Marbled Murrelet and the DNR EIS for logging on state lands, submitted comments in support of the strongest protection for marbled murrelets.
  • Signed joint letter to the Washington State House of Representatives and Senate supporting bills regulating motorized suction dredge mining in salmon-bearing streams.