Environment

Environment & Planning

Updated 8:15  a.m. Monday

Transportation

• Lane Transit District - 24 will not serve Pearl St. and 34th-it will stay on Donald
28 will not serve Martin, service will end at Snell.
41 & 43 will not run on 8th-using 6th or 7th instead.
EmX using alternative stop at Hilyard Station only. Posted: Mon. 10th, 06:31 AM

  • Tonight's (Sat. 2/8) UO Opera Ensemble presentation "A Tale of Two Women" has been cancelled or postponed. As of this writing (9:40 a.m. on 2/8), the Sun. 2/9 presentation is still planned, though this may change.
  • The Eugene Folklore Event for Saturday, Feb.. 8th has been cancelled.

Updated 10:12 a.m. Saturday

Updated at 12:25 p.m. Thursday

Oregon State Police report hazardous road and weather on I-5 between Salem and Eugene and urge caution.  Request people not drive unless they have to. 

All Lane Community College Campuses will close today (Thursday, February 6) at 1 p.m.

Counties
Benton County and City of Corvallis offices are closing due to snow and icy conditions across the county as of 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6.

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.

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."

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.

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.”

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.

Killing One Owl Species To Save Another

Jan 31, 2014
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.

Spotted Frog Proposal Revives Endangered Species Fears

Jan 30, 2014
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.

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.

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.”]

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."

Rachael McDonald

The South Willamette Valley has been blanketed in fog and clouds with an air stagnation advisory in place for more than a week.

At the Oregon Coast Monday, the sun was shining and the temperature was in the mid-50s. Meanwhile Eugene-Springfield has been encased in fog and clouds with temperatures barely edging above 40.

No Logging In Store For Mildred Kanipe Park

Jan 20, 2014
nrttoday.com

There won't be any logging in Douglas County's *Mildred Kanipe (Can-ipe) Park, for now. County Commissioners decided to defer a proposed harvesting plan until all other options have been exhausted.

Douglas County assumed responsibilities for managing the 11-hundred acre plot of land in 2012. The County didn't want to use any of its general funds to develop it into a sustaining campsite. It proposed logging a 20-acre portion to pay for the changes. Douglas County Commissioner Doug Robertson says the group "Friends of Mildred Kanipe Park" offered to raise the funds themselves.

Rachael McDonald

Two young Eugene women had their day in court  Thursday in a lawsuit asking the state of Oregon to do more to prevent climate change.  A three judge panel of the Oregon Court of Appeals heard arguments at the University of Oregon Law School in Eugene.

mildredkanipepark.org

An outpouring of opposition to logging has delayed a decision by Douglas County Commissioners on the future of a public park.

Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park near Oakland is over a thousand acres. The parks department requires it to cover its own costs. A planning committee has recommended clear-cutting 20 acres of the park. A campground, built with the logging revenue, would make the park self-sustaining.

Gary Groth is Douglas County's Parks Director. He says the county has to follow a court judgment to raise money. It requires the county to use "sustained yield."

More oil is moving along Northwest railways. The Bakken Oil fields of North Dakota are booming. But Bakken oil is explosive at relatively low temperatures. There have been several oil train accidents since the boom began, one of them costing the lives of 47 people in Quebec.

That’s prompted KUOW’s EarthFix team to take a look at how prepared the Northwest is for the rise of oil train traffic. Ashley Ahearn reports.

University of Oregon

For years paleontologists have searched for a way to duplicate fragile fossils without damaging them. Now scientists with the University of Oregon say 3D printing is the secret.

The University’s Museum is building an exhibit on the evolution of salmon.

The centerpiece is the fossil head of a sabertooth salmon that spawned in Oregon roughly 5 million years ago.

Imagine a sockeye, “Put a big old gnarly tooth in the front jaw. That would be a saber-tooth salmon. And also make it a lot bigger.“

Tree Sitters Don’t Buy Logging Designed To Mimic Nature

Jan 10, 2014
Amelia Templeton

A group of protesters and college students has spent the past six months living in the woods on a ridge near Roseburg, Oregon. They’re using civil disobedience to try to prevent logging on the site. It sounds like an old story in the Northwest. But there’s a new twist. A forestry professor says the logging was designed to mimic nature.

Last year, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management sold the rights to log a small grove of Douglas firs to a private company called Roseburg Forest Products.

Devan Schwartz

The Northwest wine industry has grown tremendously over the last few decades.

That’s had a big economic impact but that growth has also changed the region’s landscape.

In Oregon’s Willamette Valley, you don’t see a lot of oak trees anymore. Spacious oak savannas have been replaced by farms and vineyards.

Devan Schwartz reports on one family holding onto an old oak tradition, despite the odds.

Economists are predicting a global wine shortage, and that means demand for Northwest grapes will only grow.

Ski Industry Praying For Snow After Record Dry Year

Jan 3, 2014
Mt Bachelor Ski Resort

2013 was a record dry year in Eugene and Medford [Oregon]. Many areas around the region have gotten half of their average snowfall or less. That’s got Northwest ski resorts, many of which haven’t even opened yet, nervously waiting for snow. So are thousands of workers and retailers who depend on the ski season. And, there’s little relief in sight.

Tom Banse

Chances are you can't see the Milky Way at night. That's because the glare from city lights washes out all but the brightest stars where most people live. A smattering of Northwest cities and counties are taking action by passing new rules for outdoor lighting. It's not all about the stars. And some people take a dim view of light regulation.

Once you're aware of obnoxious lighting, you'll "know it when you see it," says City of Tumwater, Washington senior planner David Ginther.

Pixabay

2013 was a really dry year for Oregon. Climate scientists at Oregon State University say it was the driest on record for Eugene despite a soggy September.

Deputy Director of the Oregon Climate Service at OSU Kathie Dello says Eugene saw less than half of its normal precipitation this year. Dello says September brought a lot of rain but not enough to make up for the rest of the year. The snow-storm in early December was very dry. Dello spoke by cell from a ski trip in the Cascades.

Sauvie Island To Open To Waterfowl Hunters

Dec 30, 2013

Waterfowl hunters will soon have a new location at their disposal. The former duck hunting club, Flight's End on Sauvie Island opens to hunting January 1st. 

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife acquired the property in September through the Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Program. The agreement guarantees more than $117 million for fish and wildlife habitat conservation and restoration, protecting a minimum of 16,880 acres of important native habitats.

Conservation Group Turns Christmas Trees Into Salmon Habitat

Dec 30, 2013
Michael D. Ellis

Before you kick your dying Christmas tree to the curb, consider this: Members of the conservation group Trout Unlimited would love to turn that tree into fish habitat.
 

On three Saturdays in January, the Tualatin Valley chapter of Trout Unlimited will be collecting Christmas tree donations at two locations in the Portland metropolitan area. Later, they’ll place the trees into a side channel of the Necanicum River near Seaside, where they will provide predator protection and food sources for baby coho salmon.

Creating A Northwest Lamprey Hatchery

Dec 27, 2013
Courtney Flatt

Pacific lamprey numbers are quickly declining throughout Northwestern waters. Tribal elders remember times when the Columbia River was black with the eel-like fish.

Now, Northwest researchers are trying to develop a lamprey hatchery – the first of its kind in the world. But, there are challenges ahead.

Pacific lampreys were once a major staple in Northwest tribes’ diets. The oils were a source of vitamins. Babies used lamprey tails as teething rings.

Now, as numbers decline, lamprey only make it to the table during ceremonies or special occasions.

Rodent Poisoning Harms Wildlife, Raptors

Dec 26, 2013
audobonmagazine.com

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife noticed an uptick of wild animals killed by rodent poison this fall.

ODFW Veterinarian Julia Burco says a lot of times, the problem stems from people not reading directions carefully enough. She says people may notice they have rodent problems but might not think of the consequences of other animals directly or indirectly ingesting bait.

Oregon Department of Agriculture

The federal government is counting on Willamette Valley farmers to help the recovery of a threatened bird. This fall, the streaked horned lark was added to the endangered species list.

The bird prefers open habitat, which has been declining, so it's showing up on agricultural land. Typically, finding an endangered species on your land would prohibit any disturbance to the area. But in this case, an exemption will not penalize farmers who find the lark on their property.

Penalties Of $2,800 For Wilsonville Bee Deaths

Dec 23, 2013
Rich Hatfield, Xerces Society

Penalties are in for a company implicated in the deaths of bumblebees in Oregon earlier this year. The Oregon Department of Agriculture has issued civil penalties to the pesticide company and its employees.

$2,886. That’s how much pesticide company Collier Arbor Care and four of its employees will pay for bumblebee kills.

The most notable incident killed 50,000 bumblebees in Wilsonville, Ore. Collier employees incorrectly applied a pesticide to blooming linden trees.

The fine also includes a smaller incident in downtown Portland.

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