Environment

Environment & Planning

Desmond O'Boyle

The 77th Annual Oregon Logging Conference returned to Eugene last weekend. Industry professionals, equipment, and networking are the main attractions. Saturday morning featured family activities and some friendly competition.

All the heavy equipment is on display and demonstrations are ongoing here at the 2015 Oregon Logging Conference. This mobile wood splitter can dissect a tree into firewood fast.

Big toys and industry information sharing aren't the only activities going on Saturday.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Oregon’s snowpack is at a record low for this time of year. Some areas of the Cascades haven’t received any snow yet. Ski areas are suffering and the lack of snow could affect stream flows this summer.

Oregon could experience decent storms through late March before the snowpack levels peaks in April. Liana Ramirez with the National Weather Service in Portland says the low snow levels may cause warmer water temperatures this summer.

Ashley Ahearn / Earthfix

This congressional session could be a big one for climate change.
Democrats have introduced legislation on behalf of Governor Jay Inslee that would charge polluters for the CO2 emissions they release into the atmosphere.
Republicans are in control of the senate and have signaled that they’re not interested in working with the dems on the Governor’s climate legislation.
Is there any common ground?

Tom Larsen is the City of Eugene’s Traffic Engineer.  His purview includes traffic signals, calming zones and street signs. In conversation last week, he began with what brought him to the position he's now held for a decade.

Oregon Zoo

It's been a really warm winter so far in Western Oregon. On this Groundhog Day, we checked in with the National Weather Service for a forecast.

Punxutawny Phil of Pennsylvania saw his shadow, which means 6 more weeks of winter. That's may be true for the east coast, but not in Oregon. Meteorologist Amanda Bowen:

Bowen: "Any local groundhogs likely would not have seen their shadow, since it was fairly cloudy so that would theoretically indicate an early arrival of spring for us and sure enough we're expecting warmer than usual weather over the next month or so."

Recorded on Friday, January 30th, 2015

Air Date: Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015 from 12:05 to 1:20 p.m.
Downtown Athletic Club, 3rd Floor Ballroom

Lou Sennick / The World

Construction is wrapping up on a new marine museum and aquarium on the Southern Oregon Coast.

After seven years of planning, the Charleston Marine Life Center expects to open its doors to the public this spring. The 6,000 square foot museum overlooks the Charleston Harbor. It’s a part of the University Of Oregon Institute Of Marine Biology.

Director Craig Young explains how the design of the building incorporates the landscape:

Jes Burns / Earthfix

If you’ve hiked anywhere in the Northwest, there’s a good chance you’ve seen an illegal trail. Often they’re quick shortcuts or paths to off-trail viewpoints. But in extreme cases, they’re longer, surreptitiously constructed trails that wind through public and private land.

The unauthorized trails can cause a range of problems in wild areas. As more and more people spend time in the woods, closing down these illegal trails has become increasingly difficult.

There's one case where wildlife officials and trail users are trying to solve the problem together.

Willamettepass.com

In preparation for heavy snow on the East Coast, airlines have canceled flights and officials have declared states of emergency. At the same time, Oregon ski resorts are facing a winter with little snow.

Willamette Pass resort’s homepage says simply: “Keep praying for snow.” Both it and Hoodoo opened for a handful of days early this season, but have been closed since. Still, there are some bright spots in Oregon:

:Berg: “We’re so lucky to have Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Hood Meadows and Timberline where they have three, four, five feet of snow. It really makes a difference.”

Oregon State University

19 environmental groups have signed a letter urging Oregon legislators to tightens the rules for aerial spraying of weed killer.

The Eugene-based Beyond Toxics has been pushing for stricter rules since a group of Southern Oregon residents claimed such spraying poisoned them in 2013.

Director Lisa Arkin says the letter gives the effort more diverse support.

Pages