Environment

forest policy
1:25 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Conservation Groups And State Settle Timber Lawsuit

the marbled murrelet is a threatened shorebird that nests in Oregon's coastal forests.
Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Oregon Department of Forestry has reached a settlement with conservation groups that had sued to prevent logging in forests that are home to a threatened seabird.   The agreement was filed Wednesday in U-S District Court in Eugene and still must be approved by a judge.

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Environment
2:19 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Oregon Chub Could be Taken Off Endangered Species List

The Oregon chub is a tiny minnow found only in the Willamette Basin.
Credit Rachael McDonald

A small minnow native to Oregon's Willamette Valley could be removed from the Federal Endangered Species List. The Oregon chub is the first fish to be de-listed because its population has been restored. The announcement came Tuesday near Eugene.

The Oregon Chub was listed as endangered 20 years ago. At that time there were only about 1000 of the tiny fish in the Willamette Basin. Three years ago it was moved to threatened status. Now, biologists say there are more than 100 thousand Oregon chub.

Bangs: "Bouncing around in my hand. But that's a little Oregon chub."

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Oregon Chub
9:00 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Oregon Minnow Is The First Fish Recovered From Endangered Species List

Oregon Chub
Credit Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

 

A tiny, unsung fish that lives only in Oregon's Willamette Valley is suddenly in the limelight. The Oregon chub is a minnow that was listed as endangered more than 20 years ago. But it’s on the rebound. Three years ago, the species was upgraded to threatened status. Officials are now petitioning to make Oregon chub the first fish ever to be recovered and removed from the endangered species list.

Auer: "Hank! Come."

John Auer and his dog Hank are in the middle of his family's 900-acre farm near Monmouth.

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Winter Weather
7:00 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Cascade Snowpack Forecast To Get Boost This Weekend

Santiam Pass from Hoodoo.
Credit Shaun Che

The Cascades could see some much-needed snow this weekend, as cold air moves into the Northwest.

The snowpack so far this winter in the Cascades is low – really low.

Pierce: “The mountain areas, and especially on the east side as well, very low snowpack… Some of the lowest snowpack totals that we’ve seen in a couple decades.  In some cases, 20 and 30 year lows.”

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Weather
11:51 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Frigid Weather This Week In Northwest

Freezing rain on a tree branch.
Credit Wikipedia

The northwest is in for another arctic blast this week. Snow is likely this weekend in the lower elevations, including the south Willamette Valley.

Andy Bryant is with the National Weather Service in Portland. He says it will be very cold this week in Oregon. In the Willamette Valley daytime highs will be in the low to mid 30s Wednesday and Thursday. He says overnight lows will be in the teens.

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Wildlife
7:14 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Killing One Owl Species To Save Another

Biologist Lowell Diller bands a spotted owl on forest lands owned by the Green Diamond Resource Company in Humboldt County.
Liam Moriarty, JPR

It’s been nearly 20 years since the Northwest Forest Plan scaled back logging across the region, in large part to preserve habitat for the endangered northern spotted owl. But the spotted owl continues to decline. Scientists blame the larger, more aggressive barred owl for pushing the spotted owl out of its natural habitat. Now, federal wildlife managers have begun shooting barred owls to see if removing the competition will allow spotted owls to recover. A look at the controversy over the wisdom -- and ethics -- of killing one owl species to save another.

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Spotted Frog
6:24 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Spotted Frog Proposal Revives Endangered Species Fears

Credit Oregon Fish & Wildlife

Twenty-three years ago, the listing of the northern spotted owl under the Endangered Species Act was one of the factors that led to a sharply reduced Northwest timber harvest. Now, wildlife officials are proposing to list the Oregon spotted frog. If approved, this listing would not have nearly the far-reaching impact the spotted owl listing had. But, officials in Klamath County are pushing back against a proposal they fear will lead to intrusive and economically-damaging regulations.

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Shellfish
7:28 am
Wed January 29, 2014

As China's Shellfish Import Ban Drags On Northwest Chefs (re)Learn How To Cook A Geoduck

A geoduck crudo prepared by chef Michael Gifford.
Credit Ashley Ahearn

It’s been almost two months since China banned all shellfish imports from most of the west coast after finding high levels of arsenic in a sample from Washington.
The move has hit Washington hard. Particularly the geoduck clam industry.
These long-necked oddities are a delicacy in China… but here in the Northwest, not so much. That might be changing. Ashley Ahearn headed to one of Seattle’s hottest restaurants to find out how one chef is whetting appetites for this local clam.

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Environment
8:27 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Scientists Say Stop Worrying About Fukushima Radioactivity In West Coast Fish

It’s been almost 3 years since the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. Hundreds of millions of gallons of radioactive water were released from the Fukushima nuclear plant. Fish there have been contaminated and some Japanese fisheries are still closed due to ongoing leaks. That’s made many people nervous about eating fish caught on this side of the Pacific Ocean.

It’s a gray Sunday morning at the Ballard farmer’s market in Seattle.

[Market sound “Hey Charlie. You got your seahawks gear on.”]

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Weather
11:17 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Unusually Dry Winter Sparks Small Wildfires in Oregon

Several wildfires sparked overnight in the Oregon coast range and Cascade foothills. The National Weather service has issued a rare January Red Flag Warning for the region.

Trina Hartley is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland.  She says strong easterly winds encouraged the small blazes. A few are in the Cascades in southern Oregon But there were also several fires in the coast range.

Hartley: "On the coast in particular it's hard to get a fire started in July so to have these fire starts in January is extremely rare."

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