Environment

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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weather
10:34 am
Tue January 21, 2014

High Pressure Is The Culprit For South Valley Fog

Credit 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.

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Douglas County Parks
9:35 am
Mon January 20, 2014

No Logging In Store For Mildred Kanipe Park

Credit 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.

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Climate Change
2:06 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Appeals Court Hears Climate Suit

17-year-old Kelsey Juliana of Eugene is calling on Oregon to do more to address climate change.
Credit 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.

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Douglas County Parks
5:14 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Mildred Kanipe Park Logging In Question

Credit 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."

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