Environment & Planning

Cascadia Wildlands

The Forest Service is looking for public comment on a nearly 25-hundred acre logging proposal in the Willamette National Forest near McKenzie Bridge. The Goose Project has already been blocked by a federal judge.

Long Road Ahead For Northwest Forest Plan Update

Mar 16, 2015

Revisions to the Northwest Forest Plan are in the works. The groundbreaking 1994 management plan limited logging on old-growth forests and put in place environmental protections for wildlife like the northern spotted owl.

Timber interests and environmental groups appear to be gearing up for a multi-year fight over how federal forestlands are managed in Washington, Oregon and Northern California.

Jes Burns / Earthfix

The legislatures of Washington and Oregon both have bills in front of them that could limit suction dredge mining. The gold mining technique uses large floating vacuums to suck up rocky streambeds and sift out precious metals. If Oregon lawmakers don’t act this session, miners will be forced to pack up their dredges and go elsewhere.

There are very few spots that are more significant in the lore of mining in Oregon than Josephine Creek. The way miner Tom Kitchar tells it, it was here that a group of white settlers first discovered gold in the state.

Nick Dobric, Oregon Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.

Oregon is being praised for its efforts to remove invasive juniper trees, which are harmful to the greater sage grouse.

A report issued from the Natural Resources Conservation Service says Oregon has been a leader in removing juniper and replanting native grasses and sagebrush. NRCS Agency Chief Jason Weller says sophisticated mapping has helped the State locate the invasive plant.

Oregon’s low snowpack is result of one of the warmest winters recorded. That’s according to a report released by Oregon State University.

In February, more than 100 high temperature records were broken throughout the state. Director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute Phillip Mote says the state also experienced unusually long intervals without rain or snow.


Oregon's new governor has asked for a delay in a hearing on a youth lawsuit over climate change. Governor Kate Brown wants time to look over the case in which she is a defendant. The hearing had been scheduled for this week.

Scott McGuffin

Arsenic in drinking water supplies is a worldwide problem. A discovery by scientists at the University of Oregon could lead to a new way to remove the toxic chemical, making groundwater supplies safer for communities.

Call it a cleanse. Or detoxification. That’s basically the process happening in groundwater, identified by University of Oregon geology professor Qusheng Jin.

He tested well-water in Creswell, Oregon, and found microbes are naturally transforming toxic water-born arsenic into a gas that can rise and get trapped in the soil, where it’s less of a problem.

Ask any Northwest skiers and they’ll tell you it’s been a bad year for snow.
They’re right. Snow levels are at record lows for Washington and Oregon.
But it’s not time to hit the panic button yet.

Scott Pattee, a water supply specialist with the National Resources Conservation Service, checks snow levels at Stevens Pass ski resort in Washington's Cascade Mountains.Credit Ashley Ahearn / EarthfixEdit | Remove

Scott Pattee: "Alrighty, off we go."

A new hydroelectric turbine is up and running in the City of Astoria. The renewable energy project is expected to save the city thousands in annual power costs.

The turbine is located in Astoria’s Bear Creek Reservoir and will balance the amount of power used by the city’s water treatment plant. Pacific Power spokesman Tom Gauntt says the idea for the hydroelectric turbine began in 2006 when the city was looking for renewable energy ideas. The generator was partially funded by donations from Pacific Power customers.  

Crater Lake Has Record Low Snow Levels

Mar 2, 2015

Crater Lake is experiencing record low snow levels for this time of year.  Sunday it was at 37 inches. That's about a third of what the average depth is for this date. Marsha McCabe works for the park. She explains where she notices the lack of snow the most:

"It's pretty unusual because you can actually see out of the windows on the first floor of the buildings. Which, normally this time of year, they would be buried."