Environment

Environment & Planning

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:

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Willamette Valley anglers will be delighted to find an early bonanza of hatchery trout in local waterways.  A dam malfunction turns out to be good news for folks who want to go fishing for New Years.

Willamette Riverkeepers

Rising water and colder temperatures have driven many illegal campers from the banks of the Willamette River. Behind, they leave a remarkable amount of trash. Recently, 50 volunteers got together to clean up a one-mile stretch of river in Eugene. 

Volunteers are walking the riverbank along the railroad tracks off Franklin Blvd., and removing anything that doesn't belong. It's no easy task. The nearly 2 tons of trash collected by volunteers includes soiled mattresses and broken television sets. And that's just the debris they could touch.

Ashley Ahearn / Earthfix

It may be pretty wet this time of year in the Northwest, but that hasn’t stopped an ongoing battle over water in Washington’s Skagit river valley.

Richard and Marnie Fox want to build a new house on their land, but they can’t get a building permit. The state says there’s not enough water in the area to support any more new residences without endangering salmon - especially during the drier parts of the year.

The Foxes are taking legal action. Their case will go before a judge on Tuesday.

Wind Warning Surges Along Oregon Coast

Dec 11, 2014
Amanda Butt

A high wind warning is in effect along the Oregon coast today. Winds are expected to reach up to 85 miles per hour in the higher coastal elevations. This extreme weather threat caused Siuslaw school district to shut down for the day and public officials prepared for emergencies.

The National Weather Service has forecast high winds all along the Oregon Coast. Siuslaw Fire and Rescue Chief Jim Langborg began warning the Florence community on social media and preparing his responders when he heard the storm was on its way.

Oregon Department of Forestry

The Oregon State Land Board is meeting in Salem Tuesday [Dec. 9] to discuss how to increase revenues from the Elliott State Forest. Earlier this year, after the forest began losing money, the Board decided to sell off parcels to timber companies.

But now the state is moving away from private auctions and focusing on public management.

Anna King

As Congress prepares to adjourn next week, still unresolved is a pair of bills with wide-reaching implications for southern and western Oregon. Over the past year, Senator Ron Wyden has pushed hard for compromise measures that would address long-standing conflicts over logging and water. But now those bills are in limbo.

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