Environment

Environment & Planning

Neighbors Hope To Derail Vancouver Oil Terminal

Jan 26, 2015
Conrad Wilson / OPB

An oil company wants to build the largest oil-by-rail terminal in the country on the banks of the Columbia River. The Vancouver Energy Project would ship oil daily from the Port of Vancouver, Washington to refineries along the West coast. The companies backing the project promise jobs. But, neighbors are worried.
 

Linda Garcia drives along the streets of the Fruit Valley neighborhood in Vancouver, Washington. For almost the last 20 years, it’s the place she’s called home.

“My neighborhood is my family.”

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Cente

2014 was the hottest year on record. That’s according to data released Friday by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In the Northwest, temperatures also rose above normal.

After a warm summer and winter, last year was the second hottest on record for Oregon and the fifth hottest on record for Washington.

The hottest year for both states is still 1934, when the Dust Bowl plagued the West.

Karin Bumbaco is the assistant state climatologist in Washington.

oregon.gov

Over the past five years Oregonians have reported pesticide misuse, now there is a clear path to address their concerns. The State has created a document describing how information is exchanged and which state agency will be assigned to a person's case. Oregon's Pesticide Analytical and Response Center, or

PARC, serves as the liaison between state agencies and citizens. Dale Mitchell is with the Department of Agriculture. He says people need to know who to contact and what to do if they are exposed to pesticides.

Predator Defense

Hunters in Eastern Oregon are having another Coyote Derby this weekend. Predator advocates say these contests highlight an outdated approach to wildlife management in Oregon.

The Harney County Coyote Classic offers prizes of guns and cash for teams of hunters who kill the most coyotes.
Brooks Fahy heads Predator Defense of Eugene.

Cascadia Wildlands

Two environmental groups are challenging a timber sale outside of Springfield that they say is the largest clear-cut on federal land in 20 years. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Eugene.

The project, called The Second Show Timber Sale, is on nearly 260 acres of Bureau of Land Management Land near Shotgun Creek outside Springfield. Nick Cady is with Cascadia Wildlands, one of the conservation groups which filed the lawsuit. He says the BLM neglected to analyze the effects of the project in relation to other private logging projects in the area.

Bend has made it to the semifinals in a national competition to save energy. The two year challenge is called the Georgetown University Energy Prize. A launch party to kick off the Bend Energy Challenge is Wednesday.

Bend is one of 50 communities around the country still in the running for a $5 million prize based on the city's reduced energy use.

The Environmental Center in Bend first learned of the competition in fall 2013. Since then, the city has been filing paperwork and constructing a plan on how to save energy.

Jes Burns / Earthfix

The West Coast of the United States and Canada is like a superhighway for migratory birds. Dozens of species travel from summer nesting grounds in Alaska down into Washington, Oregon and California. The cackling Canada goose is one of them.

In the 1980s there were only about 25-thousand left, but now the population is averaging more than a quarter million.

It’s farmers in Oregon and Washington that are paying the price for the recovery.
 

Marie and Joe Gadotti are sick of the geese.

Marie Gadotti: “I have my own pet name for them; they’re flying rats.”

What Illegal Four-Wheeling Does To Public Lands

Jan 5, 2015
Courtney Flatt / Earthfix

This time of year, back roads are getting muddy. This is when enforcement officers start to worry about people driving their cars illegally on public lands – through the mud. Spinning tires and heavy rigs can destroy habitat. It’s also costly to repair the damage.

“Drivers, are you ready?”

They call it mudding. Mud is everywhere. Liquid brown splashes up for feet high. Jeep, after truck, after four-wheeler plunges into a mud bog in Ethel, Washington. The vehicles race through the mud to see how far they can go.

EWEB

The Eugene Water and Electric Board is hoping to get one of two malfunctioning roll gates on the Leaburg Dam repaired by mid-January.

One of three roll-gates broke down on the 85-year old dam on the McKenzie River in 2012. EWEB has been working on repairs and hopes to have it back in operation in a couple of weeks. Late last month, a 2nd roll-gate malfunctioned. EWEB spokesman Lance Robertson says the utility hasn’t yet determined why.  He says the dam is basically out of commission- with only one gate working.

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Beginning January 1, Oregon hunters will be able to kill more cougars. The changes come as conflicts between humans and the big cats are on the rise.

In many parts of Oregon, cougars have begun pushing into populated areas. There has been an uptick in what wildlife officials call “non-hunting mortalities” - situations where cougars are killed because of danger to humans or livestock, or unfortunate run-ins with car fenders.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy:

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