Environment

Climate Change
6:52 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Symptoms Of Climate Change Part II - Toxic Algae And Warming Waters: The Climate Connection

The Williford family got violently ill from eating these mussels.
Credit Ashley Ahearn

Every year, during the warmer months, blooms of algae dot Northwestern waters.
Some of that algae can release toxins, which poison shellfish and the people who might eat those shellfish. In recent years, toxic algal blooms have been more potent and lasted longer. That has scientists trying to understand how our warming climate could be contributing to the problem.

Jacki Williford: “Hi, come on in.”

Jacki Williford and her family live in the suburbs east of Seattle.

Her 7-year old son Jaycee runs by in a Seahawks jersey teasing his little sister.

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Climate Change
7:41 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Symptoms Of Climate Change Part I: How Farmworkers Experience A Warming Climate

Farmworker Victor Gonzales
Credit Courtney Flatt

If you work outdoors in the summertime, you’d better learn to take the heat. That’s true for people who repair roads, landscape yards, or build houses. Too much exertion and not enough shade or water, and you could get sick. In the first installment of our series, ‘Symptoms of Climate Change,’ EarthFix reporter Courtney Flatt finds out how the increasingly hot sun is affecting people who make their living by harvesting our crops.

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Aquariums
6:08 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Aquarium In Tacoma To Let Visitors Dive In Shark Tank

Credit By Ingrid Barrentine/PDZA

Beginning tomorrow Friday 10/11, an aquarium in Tacoma (Washington) will let paying visitors dive in a shark-infested tank. That's right. The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium has built a dive cage in a tank that is home to 17 sharks. Experienced SCUBA divers can even swim out into the center of the pool.

Ah, the things you might question there's high demand for. Well, more than four hundred people have already made reservations to take a dip in a tank full of sharks. Cue the theme music from the movie Jaws, shall we?

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Wildfires
10:41 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Oregon Inmates Helped Fight Wildfires In 2013

Inmates fighting the Douglas Complex fires in 2013
Credit Photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Forestry

Hot-shot crews and volunteers weren’t the only ones fighting fires in Oregon this year. More than 800 inmates from the state’s correctional institutions worked side-by-side combating blazes.

The State Department of Corrections and the Oregon Department of Forestry have teamed up since 1951 to fight wildfires. Inmates go through the same nationally certified training course as civilians do. DOC Communications Manager Elizabeth Craig says the program benefits both the forests and the inmates.

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weather
11:07 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Record Rainfall For September In Western Oregon

Credit wikimedia

The weekend brought two heavy rainstorms through western Oregon. The rain made this the wettest September on record in many parts of the state.

Eugene's rainfall was measured at more than 6 inches. The previous record for the month of September was about 5.5 inches in the late 1800s. Astoria got more than 10, also breaking its record for the month.

Andy Bryant is a hydrologist with the national Weather Service in Portland. He says two storms came through this weekend.

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Forest Management
11:00 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Early Rain Means Pile Burning Will Start Soon In The Siuslaw National Forest

Early rain arriving in Oregon will allow fall pile burning to begin in the Siuslaw National Forest.
The piles consist of woodland debris near roadways, and scenic areas in Oregon's forests. The practice is done every year in the fall to help prevent wildfires. Interagency Fire Staff Spokeswoman Nancy Ashlock says the reason they need to start now is because early rain makes the piles very receptive to moisture.

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Forest policy
7:27 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Proposed Logging Project Seeks Comments

McKenzie River.
Credit BLM

The Bureau of Land Management is in the scoping stages of a proposed logging project east of Eugene near the town of Vida.
 

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Forest policy
8:13 am
Mon September 23, 2013

House Passes Logging Bill

Old growth trees in Oregon's coastal forest.
Credit Rachael McDonald

The Republican-controlled House has approved a bill to sharply increase logging in national forests. It includes a plan drafted by members of Oregon's congressional delegation to raise money for beleaguered counties.

The O & C Bill sets aside about million acres of Oregon's public land for preservation. Another million or so would be managed under the state forest practices act. Timber harvest revenue would help counties like Lane. Sid Leiken is Chair of the Lane County Board of Commissioners.

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Forests
6:45 am
Thu September 19, 2013

White House Threatens To Veto Forest Bill

Siuslaw National Forest in Oregon's coast range.
Rachael McDonald

White house budget officials say they will advise the president to veto a logging bill the House is discussing this week.

Lawmakers from the Northwest introduced the controversial bill.

Washington representative Doc Hastings wrote half of it. His part of creates a logging quota in each national forest.

Oregon house members wrote the other half. Their section would sign over about a million acres of forests in Western Oregon to a logging trust managed by the state.

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Environment
12:50 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Devils Staircase Hike Not For the Faint of Heart or Body

Devil's Staircase
Credit Rachael McDonald

Oregon's coast range forests are a patchwork of private, state and federal land, much of it heavily logged for the past century. One pocket of old growth forest southwest of Eugene has avoided the chainsaws, mainly because of its steep terrain. There's a bill in congress to designate the 30-thousand acre tract as Wilderness. KLCC's Rachael McDonald took a guided hike to the secluded Devil's Staircase.
 
Our journey begins at the end of a logging road about 10 miles northeast of Reedsport.
 
Derbyshire: "This is where we're trying to get…"
 

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