Environment

Land Use
11:50 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Straub Family Opposes Springfield UGB Expansion

Signs opposing the City of Springfield's UGB expansion line Seavey Loop Road near Mt. Pisgah.
Credit Rachael McDonald

The City of Springfield's efforts to expand their Urban Growth Boundary to a rural area near Mount Pisgah have hit a snag. The largest landowners on Seavey Loop Road have changed their stance from neutral to opposed to the city's plans.

Bob Straub started acquiring land on Seavey Loop in the 1950s. The late Oregon governor's grandson manages the 56 acres with his sisters.

Straub: "My grandfather liked the idea of preserving the land for farming use. He always felt a close connection to the farming community."

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Pesticides
5:40 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Oregon Lawsuit Challenges Protection For Farming, Forestry

Kathyrn Rickard. Rickard says she developed a rash, stomachache and headache. She also says her dogs and cats vomited after the spray.
Credit Amelia Templeton / Earthfix

The plaintiffs are residents of Cedar Valley, a community near Gold Beach that was accidentally sprayed in October by a helicopter applying pesticides to nearby timberland.

The state recently handed down a fine and revoked the company’s license. But resident John Burns says that’s not enough.

Burns: “The state laws in effect have not done anything for us and we have been violated. Our civil and constitutional rights have been violated. Our property, our animals, livelihood, our health. Everything has been violated.”

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Oregon coast
1:02 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Lincoln County Commissioners Oppose A National Marine Sanctuary Off Oregon's Coast

The waters off Cape Blanco were being considered as candidates for National Marine Sanctuary status.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners voted Wednesday to oppose the designation of a National Marine Sanctuary in Oregon coastal waters.
 

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Infrastructure
3:30 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Decaying Fish Culverts Could Be Fixed With Agreement Between Departments

Credit washingtondnr.wordpress.com

Oregon’s highway system has about 35 thousand culverts built in to allow safe passage for fish. According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, about one third of those are in poor condition and need to be replaced. But funding those repairs has become difficult as ODOT’s budget continues to experience shortfalls. An agreement between ODOT and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife could be a solution.

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Beyond Toxics
1:12 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Beyond Toxics Files Civil Rights Complaint Over Seneca Biomass Permit

Beyond Toxics has filed a civil rights complaint with the federal government over LRAPA's decision to issue Seneca Sustainable Energy a permit to discharge more particulates into the air in west Eugene.
Credit Seneca Sustainable Energy

A Eugene based environmental watchdog group has filed a federal complaint against the Lane County Air Protection Agency, or LRAPA, over its decision to allow a biomass plant to increase its emissions.

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Wildfire
11:39 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Crews Battle Small Lightning Sparked Blazes Near Oakridge

Helicopters are being utilized for bucket drops to slow the progress of the fires.
Credit Inciweb

Crews are using a firm hand to keep a pair of small wildfires in the Willamette National Forest southeast of Oakridge from growing. The Staley Complex is just over 100 acres but it's in steep, rugged terrain which is hard for firefighters to access. Fire spokesman Peter Frenzen says the blazes were sparked by lightning.

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Wildfire
6:58 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Study Says Poor Planning Contributes To Wildfire Costs

An Oregon Army National Guardsman looks for spot fires around the Government Flats Complex fire from a Blackhawk helicopter, near The Dalles, Aug. 21, 2013.
Credit Oregon Military Dept.

Wildfires in the West are getting bigger, hotter – and more costly. A new report from a national science advocacy group says climate change is one major reason wildfires are getting worse. And short-sighted development policies are a big reason they’re costing more.

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Wildfire
11:47 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Wildfire Smoke Blankets Willamette Valley

The Beaver Complex is comprised of the Salt Creek Fire (20 miles northwest of Medford) and the Oregon Gulch Fire (15 miles east of Ashland), lightning-started fires that started on July 30-31.
Credit Inciweb

Smoke from southern Oregon wildfires is making its way to the Willamette Valley and the central Cascades. That's what's creating hazy conditions. But state regulators say air quality is good for the Eugene-Springfield area. It's rated moderate in the Bend area.

Clinton Rocky is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland. He says the hazy skies should stick around through Tuesday.

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forest policy
8:56 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Should Controversial Southern Oregon Timber Harvest Become Regional Model?

The BLM's Buck Rising timber sale abuts private timber clear cuts, which critics say both impact the same watersheds.
Credit Devan Schwartz / Earthfix

A controversial method of logging is being tested on a Bureau of Land Management forest in Southern Oregon. The idea is to remove trees in the same way nature does. It’s being touted as a model for the Pacific Northwest.

Critics say it’s just a new twist on the same old problem: too much logging and not enough environmental protection.

Steep hillsides slant toward a bright blue sky. This section of forest, known as the Buck Rising site, is a checkboard landscape. It ranges from intact forests, to stands of thinned trees, to clearcuts.

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Environment
11:36 am
Tue July 29, 2014

First 2014 Confirmed Case of Rabies in Oregon Reported

Credit National Geographic

A fox found near a residence in Junction City has tested positive for rabies. It’s the first confirmed Oregon case of an animal with the disease this year.  Lane County Public Health says this is the first report of a rabid fox in Lane County since the 1960’s. The animal was tested and confirmed for rabies at the O-S-U Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Corvallis. Rabies, endemic in the bat population, is only rarely seen in foxes, especially in the U.S. It’s a viral disease, carried in the saliva of an infected animal, transmitted when the animal bites.

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