Author Archives: vashonmauryaudubon2

Clean-fuel standard could help birds at risk from climate change

To avoid the worst impacts of climate change on people and birds, we must drastically reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. In the Puget Sound region, that means focusing on the transportation sector, which produces more than 43 percent of the climate pollution in our area. The biggest contributors are gasoline and diesel.

Two efforts are in the works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has proposed a clean fuel standard that would reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 25 percent by 2030. The standard would apply to King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

The proposed clean fuel standard would set a limit on greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels. This would give an advantage to cleaner fuels like electricity and biofuels, leading to more infrastructure and better access to these fuels for everyone. Low-carbon biofuels could come from locally sourced materials, including food, agricultural and forest waste.

On the state level, Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, who represents Vashon Island, sponsored a low-carbon fuel standard in the last legislative session. Gov. Jay Inslee has asked the Legislature to pass this standard in the 2020 session. Passage of the PSCAA’s proposed standard could push the legislature to pass a similar standard that would apply statewide.

Washington Audubon has expressed support for the PSCAA’s proposed rule and has made a low-carbon fuel standard one of its priority issues in the state’s 2020 legislative session.

You can advocate for a clean-fuel standard by joining Vashon Audubon’s contingent to Audubon Washington’s lobby day in Olympia, to be held January 30. Send a message to if you want to participate. In addition to a clean-fuel standard, Audubon will be supporting a 100 percent clean-electricity standard that would phase out coal-generated electricity and phase in electricity from clean resources, and a clean-building package designed to reduce new buildings’ energy use.

Learn how to use native plants to attract and support birds

Vashon Audubon is offering two sets of free classes for Island residents to learn about native plants that birds favor—and how to plant them so the plants and birds will thrive.

1. Hands-on creation of a demonstration garden
The first set of classes is hands-on: an opportunity to help create a demonstration garden for improving bird habitat at the Vashon Heritage Museum. Participants will dig and remove invasive plants at the site on Saturday, Jan. 11; create mounds and add woody debris on Saturday, Jan. 25; and plant natives on Feb. 1. The work will be done from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.; participants can come for all or some of the time. Refreshments will be provided.

Interested? Contact Dana Schuerholz at

2. Classroom presentations and field trips
The second set of classes provides classroom presentations and discussions, followed by field trips to Island properties and instruction on proper planting.

In the first class, on Thursday, Jan. 23, participants will learn about the benefits of 18 native ground covers and shrubs, the light and soil conditions they require, and which birds are attracted to them. This class includes a drawing—winners will get plants to take home.

The second class, on Wednesday, Feb. 19, is focused more on birds: the life history and interesting facts about Island birds, how they use native plants, and at what time of year.

These two classes will be held at the Land Trust Building from 7-8:30 pm.

On Saturday, March 28, participants will visit two properties with gardens, wetlands, and/or forest and learn planting and siting techniques.

To learn more or sign up for this set of classes, contact Sylvia Soholt at


Need a last-minute gift?

The 2020 Birds of Vashon-Maury Island calendar makes a lovely present. It features beautiful photos taken on the Island by local photographers.

The calendar can be purchased at the Vashon Bookshop for $15. The calendars are almost sold out, so online orders are no longer available.

Vashon Audubon is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization. Proceeds from calendar sales support  our activities, such as free presentations by bird experts, participation in Chautauqua Elementary School’s fourth-grade bird program, Vashon High School scholarships, and programs that promote native plants for birds as well as climate solutions.

Nov. 14 program: Vashon Bird Count 2020

Thursday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m., Vashon Land Trust building

Free and open to all

The annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is the largest and longest-running bird census in the world, with more than 75,000 participants spread out over more than 2,500 count circles across the Western Hemisphere.

Join Vashon CBC Coordinator Ezra Parker to learn more about our local count. Following a review of the history and past results of the Vashon CBC, find out how easy it is for anyone to participate in the 2020 survey and make an important contribution by conducting a count of the birds at their own home.

This program includes an instructive session with tips for successfully identifying winter backyard birds.

Dana Hofman memorial

Vashon Audubon has lost one of its stalwarts. Dana Hofman, husband of Lindsay Hofman, died November 1 of complications from heart disease.

Dana served on the Vashon Audubon Board for several years, and was a sturdy supporter of Lindsay and Audubon for many years before that. For those of us who served on the Vashon Audubon Board, “Dana and Lindsay” are almost one word, no spaces.

Join in remembering Dana at a memorial service at the Presbyterian Church on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 1 PM. A high tea will follow the service.

Lindsay invites friends and family to drop by the house at 5 PM later that day. Lindsay says they will be “celebrating Dana’s life and enjoyment of wine.” The Hofman home is at 21107 Westside Highway SW.

If you would like to make a donation to Vashon Audubon in honor of Dana, please send it to Vashon Audubon, PO Box 838, Vashon, WA 98070.

Audubon urges delay in Marbled Murrelet decision

The Washington Board of Natural Resources is scheduled to vote on a Long-Term Conservation Strategy for the Marbled Murrelet on December 2. Scientists have warned that the proposed strategy will not help recover the population in our state.

Vashon Audubon has signed a joint letter from all 25 Audubon chapters in Washington, urging the board to delay the vote and carefully consider a more effective alternative strategy. We encourage our members to also write to the board individually.

Find more information about the issue and actions you can take on Seattle Audubon’s website. The Washington Environmental Council has an online comment tool

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