Environment

Environment & Planning

Walking In The Woods With Google Trekker

Jul 6, 2015
Jes Burns / Earthfix

Exploring the Pacific Northwest’s natural wonders is getting a little bit easier. Google reconfigured its car-mounted Street View cameras for the hiking trail.

The idea is that people will be able to virtually walk mapped trails from the comfort of home. One Oregon conservation group is hoping this will inspire more people to visit and protect public lands.
 

Chris Pietsch, TWITTER

A 4.2 magnitude earthquake occurred Saturday morning near Springfield. That's according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was gaged at about 6 miles deep. One resident in Dexter who contacted KLCC reported seeing her sliding glass door move. Springfield resident, Stephanie Songchild described her experience.

Ashley Ahearn / Earthfix

Any gardener can tell you it’s been a pretty great growing season so far in the Northwest.

Well, the same is true for the marine algae that produce neurotoxins that make shellfish and crabs dangerous to eat.

The warm sunny waters this spring have contributed to a massive toxic algae bloom that’s shut down some recreational and commercial fisheries on the West Coast.

And it’s costing coastal communities millions.

inciweb

Wildfire season in the Northwest has started early this year. Crews are battling the more than 5-thousand acre Buckskin fire right now. As of Wednesday, it's 60 percent contained.

Scientists refer to the Buckskin as a “reburn” because it’s on land that was scorched by wildfire in the recent past. These reburns are a positive indication that the forests are recovering from decades of fire suppression.

Devil's Staircase
Rachael McDonald

Oregon U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley introduced a bill last week to expand wilderness in the state. The legislation has failed to pass 3 times in Congress.

The bill would designate more than 200 thousand acres of land as wilderness or national recreation areas. The bill creates the Devils Staircase Wilderness in the Oregon Coast Range southwest of Eugene. It also expands the Wild Rogue Wilderness. Josh Laughlin with the conservation group Cascadia Wildlands says he's hopeful public support can help get the bill passed this time.

https://twitter.com/amberwilmarth

High temperatures and drought conditions in Oregon mean campers need to be extra vigilant this year to prevent forest fires. Willamette National Forest officials are worried about fireworks during the upcoming 4th of July holiday.

Ken Gregor - Incident Commander

Updated Sunday 2:00 pm:

Lemolo Lake Resort and the Forest Service Campgrounds at Poole Creek and East Lemolo remain open.  Bunker Hill, Inlet, and Crystal Springs  Campgrounds are closed to protect public safety.

The Bunker Hill Complex is located 15 miles north of Diamond Lake.  The fire complex consists of one larger fire called the Bunker Hill Fire and several small fires all burning within the Umpqua National Forest.

Rachael McDonald

The McKenzie River Trust for years has been working to return the area around the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers to a more natural free-flowing waterway.

At Green Island, north of Coburg, the trust is restoring a side channel of the Willamette River where gravel pits had disrupted habitat for salmon and other wildlife.

The project was a partnership with Wildish Company which did the work of reconfiguring the three ponds.

Oregon Water Resources Department

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has declared a drought emergency in Sherman County due to a lack of snow pack and low water conditions. This brings the number of Oregon counties under drought emergency to twenty. Last year, only ten counties had the designation.

Gov. Brown says the signs are already apparent in many of Oregon's rivers, streams, fields and yards.

City of Portland

Fireworks go on sale Tuesday in Eugene. The Eugene Police Department is reminding people to keep Fourth of July celebrations safe and legal.

Last year, the Eugene City Council approved two new changes to the city’s fireworks code. Legal ones like spinners, wheels and fountains can be purchased only from retailers between June 23 and July 6 and December 31 through January 1. Any illegal fireworks like bottle rockets, firecrackers and any other types that explode carry a maximum fine of 2,500 dollars.

Pages