Environment

Environment & Planning

Oregon Department of Forestry

Tuesday the Oregon State Land Board gave the green light to sell five scattered tracts in the Elliott State Forest east of Coos Bay.

The 27-hundred acres have been managed by the state for almost a century. Earnings from timber sales go to the state's Common School Fund. Due to restricted harvests, the School Fund lost money in 2013, reducing payments to all Oregon school districts. Jim Paul is with the state land board. He says this sale may set a precedent for future state land sales.

Lane County:
Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner has canceled his Community Meeting Scheduled for Wednesday evening at the Cottage Grove Community Center

• Lane Council of Governments - LCOG - Meals on Wheels in Lane County are closed except in Florence. Cafe 60 Dining Rooms in Lane County are closed except in Florence. Posted: Wed. 11th, 07:45 AM

City of Eugene:

Winter Weather Closure Information For Tuesday

Dec 9, 2013

University of Oregon:
 UO will resume its regular schedule Tuesday morning at 8.

Oregon State University:
Campus reopens at 9am Tuesday.

Lane Community College:
Lane Community College:  LCC Eugene and Cottage Grove locations opening at noon: 8 and 10 a.m. finals will be rescheduled. 12 p.m. finals will be on time. Florence center open.

Frosty Temperature Will Soon Ease

Dec 9, 2013

The South Willamette Valley has experienced record setting lows this past week.

The area hasn’t felt anything this low since the early 1970s. With recorded temperatures reaching minus  10, some residents are fearful that the current frost will continue. Meteorologist Matthew Cullen is with the National Weather Service in Portland.

“Temperatures will gradually be increasing. So we’re still going to be on the cold side for the next few days, but will gradually coming back towards where we should be, kind of normal for this time of year.”

Oregon Department of Forestry

The state of Oregon may decide to sell up to 3-thousand acres of the Elliott State Forest. The Land Board meets Tuesday in Salem.

Stink Bug Spread Alarms Growers, Scientists

Dec 6, 2013
Tom Banse

A malodorous invasive bug has gone from a worry to a certifiable nuisance for some Northwest (or Western) farmers and gardeners. The name of this insect is a mouthful: the brown marmorated stink bug. Researchers say the population really seems to have taken off this year. With the approach of winter, these stink bugs are leaving the fields and may just crawl into your home.

Agreement Could Mean End To Klamath Water Wars

Dec 5, 2013
flickr

For decades, farmers and ranchers have engaged in a bitter tug-of-war with fishermen and Indian tribes over scarce water supplies in the Klamath Basin. Now, government officials and stakeholders have announced the broad outlines of an agreement they say could finally bring peace to the region.

At the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, Governor John Kitzhaber, Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and an array of state and federal officials met with Klamath water users. They came to unveil what they called an historic agreement. Senator Wyden …

‘Tis the season for cold, and by Friday, arctic air might mix with moisture to bring snow to the Willamette Valley.

Steve Pierce is with the American Meteorological Society. He says this week’s chilly weather has been heading our way from Alaska.

Pierce: “That’s now sliding down across the entire Willamette Valley today and will be in place by this evening. People will notice the temperatures will drop substantially tonight as colder drier air moves over the area.”

Rachael McDonald

US Senator Ron Wyden's bill to increase timber harvest in Western Oregon is generating criticism from both sides of the ongoing logging debate.

Doug Robertson is a Douglas County Commissioner and the President of the Association of O & C Counties. He says he's still analyzing Senator Wyden's bill but...

Klamath Tribes and Ranchers Strike Water Sharing Deal

Dec 3, 2013
flickr

In Oregon’s Klamath basin, tribes say they have reached a major breakthrough in negotiations over sharing water with local ranchers.

They have the outline of a deal that could end 38 years of lawsuits and pave the way for removing four dams.

The conflict came to a head this summer when the Klamath Tribes used their senior rights to protect fish by shutting off the water to nearby ranches.

Those shutoffs sparked new negotiations. Don Gentry, Chairman of the Klamath Tribes, says the two sides have reached an agreement in principle.

This weekend is expected to end with a storm followed by a cold snap. Overnight lows are forecast to drop into the teens next week.

Rain and wind are expected to hit late Sunday in the Pacific Northwest. If you're traveling over the Cascades and coast range Sunday, National Weather Service meteorologist Matthew Cullen says be prepared for heavy rain.

Cullen: "But we do think it will stay rain until very late Sunday evening. If you're driving back Monday definitely some accumulating snow is very possible so definitely be aware and be alert for those conditions."

Wyden Proposes Timber Compromise

Nov 27, 2013
Rachael McDonald

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has unveiled a bill to balance competing demands on more than two million acres of federal forest land in the state. So far, opinions differ on whether he’s found an approach that can resolve this long-standing tug-of-war.

Flanked by Governor John Kitzhaber, the Senate Democrat said his bill hit the sweet spot between conservation and cutting timber.

Ron Wyden: “We have found a way to create good-paying jobs in rural Oregon, and protect our natural treasures.”

Cassandra Profita

Across the Northwest, thousands of people are weighing in on controversial new fossil fuel projects. Agencies have collected more than 200,000 public comments on coal export and oil-by-rail proposals. What happens to all those comments? EarthFix reporter Cassandra Profita goes behind the scenes of a coal export project in Longview to find out.

People attending public comment sessions on coal export and oil-by-rail projects often hear a warning something like this.

Drill to Prevent Further Worse Spills

Nov 13, 2013

Members of the Army Corps of Engineers and EWEB worked together Wednesday in an oil spill response drill at Dexter Dam. The scenario depicted the failure of the dam’s powerhouse transformer, causing 58-hundred gallons of insulating oil to spill into the Middle Fork Willamette River. EWEB and the engineers were joined by fire departments and response teams from the surrounding towns and counties. EWEB spokesman Joe Harwood says the main goal of the exercise was to be prepared ahead of time.

Beyond The Curb: How Recycling Works Best

Oct 22, 2013
Karen Richards

Recycling works because it's economically feasible. Someone makes money re-using your papers and packaging. To ensure recycling is also environmentally sound, consumers need to put the right things, in the right way, in the bin. Some of the no-no's may be surprising. To avoid mistakes, it helps to know what happens after you bring your recycling to the curb.

Veneta just hit a milestone. For the last four years, the city has been planning and constructing a pipeline to connect with Eugene Water and Electric Board's distribution system. Tomorrow (Thursday) the community will celebrate their success in securing a long term water supply.

National Earthquake Drill Thursday

Oct 16, 2013
The Great Shake Out

Thursday morning, Oregonians will participate in a national Earthquake Drill. Organizers of the Great Shake Out are encouraging everyone to take part.

Linda Cook is Lane County Emergency Manager. She says it's inevitable that earthquakes will affect our region.

Cassandra Profita

Climate change models are predicting hotter summers in the Northwest. And experts say the health risks from that heat are higher in places known as urban heat islands. In the third installment of our series, ‘Symptoms of Climate Change,’ EarthFix reporter Cassandra Profita explains how dark pavement and rooftops in these city neighborhoods make hot weather more hazardous to human health.

Stephens: “Oh, kitty you’ll have to get down. Come on. Shoo.”

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.

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.

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?

Oregon Inmates Helped Fight Wildfires In 2013

Oct 6, 2013
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.

Pixabay

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.

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.

BLM

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

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.

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.

Devil's Staircase
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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