Grateful to Housing Trust
There is a lot of talk about ending houselessness, but the Methow Housing Trust (MHT) is doing more than talking, they are doing something about it. Despite the massive complications, obstacles and impediments, the people of the MHT are — with considerable compassion, foresight and generosity — providing stable, affordable and permanent housing to vulnerable full-time residents of the Methow Valley. These residents are vital to our community — they are our community.
Supporting our community and eliminating or preventing the despair, hardship and suffering that lack of housing can cause makes for a healthier and better place for everyone. The people that have created, worked and contributed to the Methow Housing Trust deserve to be recognized for the humanitarian actions they have initiated. Their efforts in easing the burden for so many is beyond reproach. So, with deep-felt gratitude and gratefulness, I thank them.
Humans are the problem
Re: “What about the seals,” Jan. 5. The writer points out the state estimates 80,000 seals in the Salish Sea and indicates this to be a problem effecting salmon populations. That may seem to be a large number, but considering the Salish Sea is more than 400 miles long from Olympia to the northern end of Vancouver Island ( not including the San Juan Islands, the Straits of Juan de Fuca, Hood Canal and Queen Charlotte Sound) it may not be an unnatural abundance of seals.
The writer then presumes if each seal eats one salmon per day the total would be 29.2 million salmon per year. The problem with this assumption is they may not each eat one salmon per day. After all, there are many species of fish in these waters and many other species of marine organisms seals eat. The question that needs to be asked is: If there is an over-abundance of seals, what is the cause?
Humans may decide reducing the seal population will enhance salmon populations but it may have no significant or beneficial effect. Tinkering with a carburetor will not fix a car if the problem is four flat tires. Even worse, there may be unintended consequences of tinkering with an ecosystem with misguided ideas.
Consider the effects of the near extermination of fur seals in the 19th century. Sea urchins multiplied out of control when they were no longer being preyed upon by seals. The urchins, which eat kelp, then wiped out much of the kelp beds all along the Pacific coast. This had a complex and devastating effect on a wide variety of other sea life. Fixing salmon migratory obstructions, like culverts, is a simple, obvious problem that has been created by humans and can be easily remedied if we are willing to pay the price. The problem is not seals. It is humans, and our careless history of impacting wildlife and ecosystems without understanding long-term effects.
I heartily endorse Mark Miller’s letter to the editor that appeared in your Jan. 5 edition, requesting that Winthrop provide at least one additional access point to Highway 20 for the new Methow Housing Trust development near Cascade Condominiums. Not only is it important for Winthrop to provide additional access/egress to that new community, but such access/egress needs to be maintained by Winthrop.
I live in Edelweiss, and when it was planned, U.S. Forest Service Roads provided the needed secondary escape route. Fast-forward 50 years, and the Forest Service no longer maintains our emergency escape route, East Fawn Creek Road, FS100. Having two access/egress points at Cascade Condominiums will allow residents to evacuate more quickly and will allow firefighters better access to prevent structure and wildfires. It is vital that Methow Housing Trust and Winthrop look ahead and do all they can to prevent the situation that Edelweiss currently finds itself in.
Thanks, local producers
As we all experienced the dairy, egg and produce shortages this last week due to pass closures preventing supply trucks from reaching our local stores, we became acutely aware of the valuable service our local food producers provide.
Thanks to local farmers, ranchers and other producers, we were able to provide our customers with milk, eggs, onions, potatoes, squash, shallots, micro greens, cabbage, apples, pears, flour, grains, cereal, bread, honey, cheese, salmon, lamb, beef, pork, coffee, wine and other locally produced items solely because of the suppliers in our community and region. They deserve our thanks and appreciation for keeping the Methow Valley fortified with delicious and healthy food and beverages amidst not just the recent blizzard, but throughout all the storms of life.
Glover Street Market