Environment

Environment & Planning


Farmers challenging a Southern Oregon county’s voter-approved ban on genetically engineered crops have agreed to settle. If approved by the court, Oregon’s first countywide ban will have cleared a final legal hurdle.

Devan Schwartz/OPB

People have been fighting about scarce water resources in the Klamath Basin in Southern Oregon and Northern California for decades. 

Recorded on: Friday December 4th, 2015

Air Date: Monday December 7th, 2015

Seven times in the past two years, Oregon was the site of bee die-offs involving hundreds of thousands of bees. Each event was associated with the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. Bees are vital to a functional ecosystem — and food production.

KPLU

If you’re a resident killer whale, Puget Sound can be a busy, noisy place.  During the summer tourist season - when orcas come into the Sound regularly - they can be surrounded by more than 20 boats. New research out this week shows the speed of those boats is a critical factor in how much noise they make, underwater.
 

The cost of fighting wildfires has skyrocketed over the last 30 years. At the same time, close to two million acres of wildland have been developed each year.

One of the major drivers of that expense is protecting lives and property in fire-prone areas where people didn’t used to live.

Conventional wisdom says forests in the West are overstocked and need to be thinned to prevent “catastrophic” wildfires. But some researchers say focusing on reducing fuels downplays a greater and growing driver of wildfire: climate change.

A century of putting out wildfires has left many forests in the West much thicker than in the past. That buildup of fire fuel is widely seen as a disaster waiting to happen. 

And an innovative project in Ashland, Oregon is an example of an increasingly popular approach to dealing with that fire risk.

Lane Community College

The Global Climate Summit takes place in Paris this week. Lane Community College President Mary Spilde was invited to the White House earlier this month to take part in a meeting in advance of the conference.

Desmond O'Boyle

As world leaders gather in Paris at the Global Climate Summit this week environmental activists around the world held rallies and marches asking political leaders to develop a comprehensive plan addressing climate change.

John Marshall

A photographer from Wenatchee (Washington) has made a revealing discovery at the scene of a remote and long-abandoned fire lookout. Who knew a pile of very old firewood could tell a story? Correspondent Tom Banse brings it to us.

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