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What is Needed to Protect Agriculture in Pierce County

by Amy Moreno-Sills, Futurewise Pierce County Coordinator

Pierce County’s thriving agricultural sector is threatened by the loss of farmland.  At the landscape level, its climate and soil present ideal conditions for successful agriculture, as well as its proximity to urban centers.  Unfortunately, its proximity to urban centers and a fast growing central Puget Sound present its greatest threat.  Pierce County’s rapidly growing areas are its farmlands’ friend and foe.

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How We Can Get Seattle Moving

by Hilary Franz, Executive Director and Bryce Yadon, State Policy D

Like many urban areas that experienced dramatic growth after World War II, Seattle grew up around the car.  Now roadway traffic presents the city with its biggest headache – congested roads which create problems in terms of economic growth, social equity, and quality of life, not to mention the environment in terms of its contributions to climate change.  With the population expected to grow by another 120,000 by 2035, congestion and its negative impacts are only going to get worse. 

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Getting 8th Graders Excited About Their Local Groundwater

by Jeanette Ordoñez, Community Outreach and Education Coordi

When looking for solutions to today’s problems we can find great inspiration and innovation in the minds of today’s youth.  At Futurewise we have had the privilege to work with local youth on a number of occasions, the most recent of which was working with the 8th grade science classes at Olympic Middle School in Auburn. The cities of Auburn and Algona in South King County are partially underlain by a groundwater contamination plume that stems from the Boeing Auburn Fabrication Plant. We are working with the community, including the youth, to communicate and engage them in the cleanup process. 

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A Letter From Hilary

by Hilary Franz, Executive Director, Futurewise

As 2015 comes to a close and we mark the end of our 25th Anniversary, I am so excited about what Futurewise has been able to accomplish with the support of the Washington community.  I couldn’t be more proud of how we are wrapping up our 25th Anniversary in this beautiful state.  We’ve had wins across our programs and across Washington.

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Q & A with James Balog

by Jack Siddoway, Development Coordinator, Futurewise

On October 28th, Futurewise had the privilege of welcoming renowned photographer, James Balog, to the EMP Museum for a multimedia presentation on his experience photographing the dynamic intersection between humanity and the environment. For 35 years, photographer James Balog has broken new conceptual and artistic ground on one of the most important issues of our era: human modification of our planet’s natural systems. He and his Extreme Ice Survey team are featured in the 2012 internationally acclaimed, Emmy® award-winning documentary, Chasing Ice, and in the 2009 NOVA special, Extreme Ice.

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Over a Year Later, Have We Done Anything to Prevent the Next Oso?

by Tim Trohimovich, Director of Planning & Law, Futurewise
Little progress to prevent another Oso has been made in the over year and half since the tragedy. Few counties have updated their regulations to protect people and property from landsides. The one county that has updated its landslide regulations, Snohomish County --the County where Oso occurred – went in the opposite direction of what would be expected by reducing landslide protections that could prevent another Oso. 

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Welcome to New Members of Team Futurewise

 Over the last few months, Futurewise has had the pleasure of welcoming two new Board members and three new staff members.  We have the great fortune of continuing to attract great talent, and a wide variety of expertise and experience to our organization.  Please familiarize yourself with our new Board members and staff by reading the following brief summaries of their backgrounds and interests.

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Reframing the Climate Resilience Conversation: Futurewise's Climate Equity Atlas

by Lexi Brewer, Sustainable Communities Manger

This year, 2015, is shaping up to be a landmark year for action on climate change. Locally, King County released ambitious new reduction targets just last week, and the City of Tacoma is in the process of drafting a climate resilience strategy. Futurewise is developing a Climate Equity Atlas to help conversations around Climate Justice as our state moves towards specific actions to mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects.   

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A Letter From Hilary

by Hilary Franz, Executive Director, Futurewise

As Futurewise celebrates its 25th anniversary year, we reflect on the past two and a half decades and we look at the road ahead and our plans for the next 25. In this Futurewire and in our Agenda for Change, you will get a sense of the amazing work we are doing and our direction moving forward. We invite you to learn more about the work we are doing and join us as we embark on our next 25 years.

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Protecting Our Water Before the Well Runs Dry

by Bryce Yadon, State Policy Director, Futurewise

It is not even June and we are already feeling it. With historically low snowpack, falling river levels, and hotter than usual temperatures, our state is already facing a drought emergency. Futurewise’s 2014 landmark water settlement with Kittitas County and the Department of Ecology helps provide some buffer to Kittitas in the midst of this drought emergency. And luckily, Futurewise was able to defeat attempts in Olympia to reverse the settlement agreement and to undercut the ability for other communities in Washington State to protect their communities and ensure available water resources.

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