Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Proposed Wolf Bauer Point

The Whatcom County Council passed a resolution supporting the naming of a point of land along Birch Bay Wolf Bauer Point: http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/DocumentCenter/View/15900.

Birch Bay and proposed Wolf Bauer Point

My introduction to Wolf Bauer was his work on assessing the shoreline processes at Birch Bay. He very early on recognized that the alterations along the shoreline that had taken place in the past would have long lasting consequences that would harm other private property, public infrastructure, recreational uses and environmental resources. His visionary approach to Birch Bay will ultimately have to be done and is close to coming to fruition. Hence, it is fitting that his name be applied to a shoreline land-form at Birch Bay.

The particular land-form is rather remarkable.

Sediment from landslides and shore erosion on the bluffs on the outer south edge of the bay is transported towards the head of the bay by wave action. The point is at the end of an amazingly long berm that separates Birch Bay and the lower end of Terrell Creek for a distance on nearly two miles.

Wolf Bauer left a legacy of rethinking the Washington State landscape. He was a pioneer of mountaineering in the Cascade Range inspiring others to climb in the Cascade range as well as elsewhere in the world. He helped popularize kayaking as a means of local recreational transportation and interaction with the Pacific Northwest environment. He was instrumental in the formation of the Washington Environmental Council, an environmental policy advocacy group that has shaped how Washington views and manages the environmental resources we have. He played a key role in the development and passage of the Shoreline Management Act.

Wolf Bauer died late last month at the age of 103 (seattletimes.com/obituaries/wolf-bauer-103). He left Washington State a better place.          

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