Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0003185
Received: 11/17/2013 10:00:00 PM
Commenter: Laura Ackerman
Agency: Cowlitz County, the Washington Department of Ecology, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Initiative: Millennium Bulk-Terminals Longview EIS
MBTL-EIS-0003185-60079.pdf Size = 1412 KB
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From:Laura Ackerman <email@example.com> Sent:Sunday, November 17, 2013 10:00 PM To:firstname.lastname@example.org Subject:Spotted Frogs and coal trains plus other animal studies. Plus photos.
Please accept these comments as part of scoping for the proposed Longview Coal-Exporting Terminal. And because the information is new, please accept them into scoping for the proposed Cherry Point Terminal as well.
On a field trip to the Fish Lake Trail, just above the Spokane County Park, Fish Lake, on 9-14- 2013, I found several dozen Columbia spotted frogs: Rana luteiventris. This frog is on the state candidate list and the federal species of concern list. Its cousin, the Oregon spotted frog that lives on the west side of Washington state, is on the endangered species list.
These frogs and other amphibians and reptiles live extremely close to the route coal trains will take to and from the ports. The tracks along this stretch of the rail are no more than 100 feet at any given point, and are mostly much closer. This is a very popular, paved, biking and walking trail in Spokane County.
Fish Lake itself, is just down the cliff a few hundred feet, and is also very popular as a swimming and non-motorized boat lake. Fishing and recreation boats are common. Because gasoline motors are not allowed on the lake it tends to have poorer residents of the county who can't afford motorized boats using it. These people will be heavily exposed to diesel fumes and coal dust.
Here are two issues I want scoped for the draft EIS: 1. The impacts of diesel fumes, coal dust, noise from trains on tracks and horns, increased train traffic (impairs wildlife crossings) and global warming on all wildlife species from the Powder River Basin to the terminals and the routes in between. And especially those flora and fauna that are on the decline like amphibians, reptiles, bees, and apex predators. Studies are included in this email. And for your information, amphibians are the most imperiled vertebrate species in the world.
2. The effects of diesel fumes, coal dust, noise from trains on tracks and horns, and increased train traffic and global warming on all trails, lakes, paths, and other recreational areas that are public and private within a mile of the train routes from the Powder River Basin to all the potential facilities. Many users of the above areas will be exposed to more of the negative effects of train transport because of where they work or live. The lake and park are next to the Cheney Spokane Highway. People live near the lake and park and it's fairly well traveled. So residents and visitors will get an increased dose of vehicle exhaust including diesel. If you add the potential for several more oil trains along that route with coal trains, negative impacts would be highly significant.
Here are some studies, not exhaustive, to support the necessity of the above actions on flora and fauna. Please also read the captions below the enclosed photos.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112200637.htm Why timing of bird migration is changing.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130518153747.htm Frogs salamanders and climate change.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121010083935.htm Drought and climate change impact salamander survival rate.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130617160902.htm Predators affect the carbon cycle.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130219091014.htm Top predators have sway over climate
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714142133.htm Loss of top animal predators has massive ecological effects.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120621151520.htm Top predators dey to extinctions as planet warms.
http://www.veterinarytechnicianschools.com/infographics/where-wild-things-shouldnt-be.html. This graphic is about American roads, but animals are killed on train tracks as well. Most animals migrate south and and north and lots of tracks are east and west so it causes collisions. Migration routes for animals near train tracks needs to be studied for potential negative impacts.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121212162715.htm Study on impacts of climate change on cold-blooded animals.
http://www.iucn.org/about/work/programmes/species/news/?12086/1/Almost-one-in-five- reptiles-struggling-to-survive&utm_source=IUCN???? Bulletin&utm_campaign=9ddf5398ee- e_bulletin_February_20133_7_2013&utm_medium=email. Similar to above.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305200306.htm Lizards facing mass extinction from climate change.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205102637.htm Climate changes faster than species can adapt according to rattlesnake study.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130527100624.htm Even farm animal diversity is decling. The decline in domestic and wild species is partly due to habitat loss, mono-croping, diseases, but part of it is also global warming.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130709175747.htm Evolution too slow to keep up with climate change. Vertebrates.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2435.12000/abstract Grasshoppers and noisy roadside habitats.
http://blog.nwf.org/2012/09/protecting-wildlife-from-toxic-coal-ash-in-montana-and-beyond/ Please see linked study.
An adult. Rana luteiventris. This frog is on the St. candidate list and the Federal species of concern list. Its cousin, on the west side of the state, the Oregon spotted frog is
on the endangered species list for the state.
Underside of the adult. Probably a female. They are about 4 inches and bigger than males.
I found about 60 today, juvenile and adults. My bike is on the Fish Lake Trail, the stream next to them is where I found them, about 25 feet to the right is the BNSF train tracks. It's at most, 100-150 feet away from the trail along its course.There are plenty more south along the trail.
Juvenile I caught to measure. Spotted frogs are the most aquatic frog in the state and on the decline. 4.5 cm SVL.
Columbia spotted frogs here. The bridge above is a train trestle.
Col um bia Sp ott ed Fro g - Kn ow n Dis tri but ion
Open WA Herp Atlas HomePage
Washington Herp Atlas, 2013. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, U.S.D.I. Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service http://www1.dnr.wa.gov/nhp/refdesk/herp/index.html Train along the Fish Lake Trail taken from my canoe on Fish Lake. Sept. 2013. This is one of many trains along the trail every day. Fish Lake is next to Cheney Spokane Highway between Cheney and Highway 195.
Thank you for considering these comments.
Laura Ackerman 3118 S. Windsor Rd. Spokane, WA 99224 email@example.com