Tillamook County Estuaries- Part 6/6

Ecological Dilemma:  Will Human Activity Impact Nature/ Natural Systems with Positive or Negative Outcome(s)?

Tillamook is more than dairy farms and the Tillamook Cheese Factory.

Tillamook is a place where ecological decision-making has been molded by an interesting palette of circumstances. What I discovered during Oregon Master Naturalist field studies in the Tillamook area leads me to believe that important lessons have been learned and are still being learned about the impact human activity has on nature and natural systems.

Tampering like that done by the TB Potter Realty Company/Army Corps of Engineers at the beginning of the twentieth century can be disastrous- as witnessed in the events that lead to the losses at Bayocean Park. Acidification of ocean waters due to increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are harmful- as demonstrated by oyster larvae die off  at the Whiskey Creek Oyster Hatchery in the early twenty-first century. Add to these events the catastrophic forest fires of 1933, 1939, 1945, and 1951 that ravaged half of the forest in the watershed, and the loss of almost 85% of its historical intertidal wetlands  due to agricultural and urban development… The stage is set for gleaning understanding from past experiences to improve future experiences in Tillamook County estuaries.

The Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, a National Estuary Project, provides a pathway for this to happen. People, like Lisa Phipps, who believe that the region’s problems are solvable will keep watchful eyes on the ecological remediation targets that have been identified, and persist in moving toward the achievement of goals set by stakeholders in the Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan.      Right?

I will hope so, as long as politics don’t get in the way. I don’t know the details of this situation, but was dismayed to find a letter from the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership in which Lisa Phipps is trying to protect part of the TEP’s budget by asking NOAA not to remove a source of funding that supports some of the TEP program.

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Click icon to view Letter to NOAA

In this Ecological dilemma, will politics be the human activity that will Impact Nature/ Natural Systems with Positive or Negative Outcome(s)?

Can anyone weigh in on this situation?

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