Legislative/Advocacy Action

Addressing Climate Change

Audubon, at the national, state, and Black Hills chapter level, strongly support a carbon tax or fee to address climate change — a threat to our environment that is already making more likely severe storms, flooding, droughts, wildfires, and sea level rise. National Audubon scientists have determined that climate change is the greatest danger to avian wildlife. The study identifies 314 North American species of birds that are expected to lose more than half of their habitat by 2080. On the state level 189 Washington State species are similarly at risk, about half of the species found in the state.

Two major aspects of addressing climate disruption are (1) implementing measures to reduce the release of greenhouse gases that cause global warming and (2) preserving or managing habitat so that more species of birds and other wildlife can adapt to a new and ever-changing environment.

BHAS and Audubon Washington actively supported the Carbon Tax Initiative I-732, as well as the proposals from the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy and the Governor that were under consideration during the 2017 legislative session, including active lobbying at the 2017 statewide Audubon Lobby Day in Olympia. Audubon is also organized to protect and preserve strongholds that are scientifically identified to be likely to remain relatively stable for endangered species.

LBA Woods Park

The City of Olympia has acquired the two wooded parcels behind LBA Park in SE Olympia (originally slated for housing), which together form the 150-acre LBA Woods. Previously, the BHAS Board had endorsed the effort by the LBA Woods Park Coalition to preserve both parcels as a natural park and endorsed the eventually successful effort to establish a Metropolitan Parks District, supported by a property tax, through a ballot measure in 2015. The Coalition has established a “Friends of LBA Woods” volunteer stewardship group and is partnering with the Olympia Parks Department to plan and host work parties to help with removal of invasive plant species and to organize a native-plant salvage on the five-acre parcel in the LBA Woods that will be partially cleared for installation of a water tower. The Coalition is also tracking the tranportation plans for east-west extension of Log Cabin Rd. from Boulevard to Wiggins Rd. BHAS is conducting work parties and field trips.

Updating Urban Critical Areas Ordinances

Black Hills Audubon is helping develoheron croppedp or update urban Critical Areas Ordinances that protect critical wildlife habitat.

We support changes in language in the City of Olympia’s Comprehensive Plan regarding species protection to benefit locally important wildlife species and habitats, such as that of the Great Blue Heron.

Updating Non-Urban Critical Areas Ordinances

The Thurston Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved an updated Critical Areas Ordinance on July 24, 2012.  Black Hills Audubon wa

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s supportive of updating this ordinance and participated by submitting Best Available Science reports, by submitting comments (including suggested improvements to the CAO drafts), and by encouraging its members to support updating the CAO.  Read more in the Olympian article (in Word) or (in PDF)

In 2010, BHAS had submitted three CAO-related reports to Thurston County on the Best Available Science for:

  • Important Marine Habitats (report prepared by Donna J. Nickerson)
  • Geology (report prepared by QWG Applied Geology)
  • Important Habitats and Species (report prepared by Sustainable Fisheries Foundation)

See Thurston County’s web site about the Critical Areas Ordinance update.