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Speaking of Jacobsen’s bills, he’s also back with a proposal to declare the Olympic marmot the official “state endemic mammal.”
The bill describes the creatures in language similar to how my onetime neighbors in Coeur d’Alene used to describe Californians:
Olympic marmots hibernate from September to May. During the morning and afternoon on summer days they feed and spend time sunbathing on rocks. In the evening, they return to their burrow. Olympic marmots are relatively easy to see during the summer months along Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park. Olympic marmots eat herbs, grasses, and flowers. They prefer plants that are soft and easy to digest. They may also eat fruits, legumes, and insects.
Olympic marmots are highly social and may live in groups of over a dozen animals. Gregarious bonds are made between individuals in a family. Olympic marmots identify each other by touching noses and smelling cheeks.
Alas, it remains unclear that this will be the Year of the Marmot in Olympia. An identical proposal failed to pass last year.