Pin It

As the Worm Turns 

The giant Palouse earthworm might just get some protection after all. Plus, the Tour de France will finish without Farrar.

click to enlarge Jodi Johnson-Maynard hand sorts soil on Moscow's Paradise Ridge - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Jodi Johnson-Maynard hand sorts soil on Moscow's Paradise Ridge

Gardeners, soil scientists and worm fetishists chalked up a win this week when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined the giant Palouse earthworm may merit protection as an endangered species.

The fight to protect the worm — found to be significantly smaller than scientists originally thought after pulling two 10-inch wrigglers of the ground in March — has been steady and slow, but Noah Greenwald, co-sponsor of the petition to protect it, says this is a step in the right direction to seeing the species protected.

“I’m optimistic that they’ll determine the species warrants listing,” he says. “I think it’s really obviously endangered.”

This decision by Fish and Wildlife reverses a previous ruling that evidence of the GPE was inconclusive by the Bush administration. Greenwald says even if the species had been found during the eight years of Bush’s presidency, it still wouldn’t have seen protection.

“There was hostility toward protecting species and they would delay protection,” he says, noting that 62 species were listed as endangered during the eight-year Bush administration, as opposed to 522 listed under Clinton.

This week’s ruling by Fish and Wildlife means the giant Palouse earthworm will be researched over the next year to see if it does, in fact, prove worthy of the “endangered species” moniker. And if it does, Greenwald says it will then get in line along with some 200 species on the “waiting list” for protection.

Down for the Count

We mentioned two weeks ago that while much of the focus around the 97th running of the Tour de France this month had been on the big-name contenders for the overall first place prize, we were excited about the rivalry between dominant sprinter Mark Cavendish and a Wenatchee-born upstart named Tyler Farrar.

We’ve been following him on Bloglander, The Inlander’s mega-blog, since the race’s start. So we were dismayed when, in the middle of last Thursday’s 16th stage, race commentators announced that the Wenatchee Wonder had suddenly quit the race, citing injuries sustained in a nasty accident in Belgium the week before.

“I am devastated to leave the Tour and my teammates,” Farrar writes in a press release. “The pain was just too much. I couldn’t push through. I wanted to get to Paris more than anything. Instead, I’ll be watching my teammates from home. That’s not where I want to be.”

The three-week-long race contains two more stages that should be perfect for the kind of sprint finish at which Farrar normally excels — including Sunday’s final stage, which takes riders towards the finisher’s podium in Paris.

In case Sunday’s finale is the first time you’ll be tuning in, Lance Armstrong has long since been dropped from contention, with first and second places being fought over by Luxembourger Andy Shleck and last year’s champion Alberto Contador, a
  • Pin It

Speaking of...

Latest in News

  • Crash > Click > Cash
  • Crash > Click > Cash

    Lawyers and chiropractors already have your name, your address and the police report from your car accident — and they want you to hire them
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Starting Small
  • Starting Small

    A village of tiny houses in Spokane Valley could serve as a model for fighting homelessness in the region
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Drastic Action
  • Drastic Action

    Spokane among seven school districts sued by State Superintendent of Public Instruction; plus, trio of police-chief finalists are in town
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap

Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap @ Boots Bakery & Lounge

Last Wednesday of every month

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Joel Smith

More by Leah Sottile

  • Imaginary Friends
  • Imaginary Friends

    The very real role that fantasy plays in our everyday lives
    • Aug 13, 2014
  • Expert Advice
  • Expert Advice

    Dab? Vape? Indica? Sativa? A few tips for beginners
    • Jul 9, 2014
  • In the Veginning
  • In the Veginning

    At the first Spokane VegFest, you'll get a bellyful, not an earful
    • Jun 18, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Lane Ends Ahead

    Spokane wants to improve a mile-long section of Monroe — but that means taking away two lanes
    • Jul 7, 2016
  • Too Smart for School

    What happens when a 12-year-old prodigy tries to go to college in Spokane?
    • Jun 30, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • The Virtue of Renee
  • The Virtue of Renee

    After a homeless woman was run over while sleeping outdoors, her family grapples with the events that led her there
    • Mar 11, 2015
  • A New Voice
  • A New Voice

    The Black Lens, continues Spokane's long tradition of African-American publications
    • Jan 21, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation