Environment

Climate Change
6:42 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Eugene Teen Continues Work to Combat Climate Change

18-year old Kelsey Juliana will graduate from South Eugene High School Saturday.
Credit Rachael McDonald

The Oregon Court of Appeals is expected to issue its ruling Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by two teens who want the state to do more to prevent climate change. One of the plaintiffs in the case, Kelsey Juliana, is about to graduate from high school. KLCC's Rachael McDonald spoke with her recently about what's next.

I met up with Kelsey Juliana at Amazon Park. As we walked the 18 year old told me her plans.

Juliana: "I will be graduating from South Eugene High School June 14th. And then, I will be leaving mid-July to join the Great March for Climate Action."

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Environment & Salmon
3:28 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Trying To Bring Back A Wild Spring Chinook Run Above Cougar Dam

The Portable Floating Fish Collector will be at Cougar Reservoir for the next two years, catching newly-hatched wild Chinook Salmon to be transported to the bottom of Cougar Dam.
Credit Angela Kellner

Behind Cougar Dam on the reservoir is a new project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It’s a Portable Floating Fish Collector, or PFFC. It's about the size of a tennis court. It's moored in place, but can be moved around the body of water to find the sweet spot. After a two-year trial run, it will be disassembled, loaded onto trucks and taken to either Lookout Point or Detroit Reservoir.

Greg Taylor: "My name is Greg Taylor, I'm a fish biologist for the Corps of Engineers at the Willamette Valley project. We operate a number of fish facilities at the dams and then we've got this brand new facility that we're bringing on line here at Cougar Reservoir.

The long-term goal of this project is to get a sustainable run of wild Spring Chinook established above Cougar Dam. The Portable Floating Fish Collector that we're working with today captures juvenile fish in the reservoir so that we can transport them safely downstream.

Shortly after the dam went in place, they were evaluating whether they could establish a run of fish above the dam and it didn't work for a number of reasons. We had temperature issues associated with the dam. So the trap and haul and the downstream passage systems that we had just didn't work so at that time they made a decision to produce hatchery fish in mitigation for the old system that was in place. We've got fish listed on the Endangered Species Act. There's an emphasis on wild fish and wild fish production and so this project is really trying to move towards getting those wild fish reestablished above the dam.

It's sort of a stationary fish vacuum. We've got water being pulled into the throat and then fish go over this velocity barrier and then get caught in a little trap down there and then we'll be able to bring the fish up and then we process them and transport them downstream.

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Environment
3:18 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Environmental Organizer Thomas Linzey To Speak in Eugene, Wednesday, June 4th

Credit paxonbothhouses.blogspot
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Natural History
10:40 am
Thu May 29, 2014

UO Museum Digs Into Millions Of Years Of Oregon's History

A sculpture of the saber-tooth salmon that lived in Oregon millions of years ago. The replica of it's skull made with a 3D printer is on the counter below.
Credit Rachael McDonald

A giant sloth and an even larger saber-toothed salmon once lived in Oregon, millions of years ago. These creatures are some of the highlights of a new exhibit at the U of O's Museum of Natural and Cultural History in Eugene. The grand opening is Friday evening.

"Explore Oregon" features a collection of fossils and other geologic items the museum has had for a long time but never put on display. Project Director Ann Craig says, with the museum's recent expansion, there's finally enough space to share the collection with the University and greater community.

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Population
2:32 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Salem Still Tops Eugene as Oregon's "Second City"

According to census estimates released last week for cities of 50 thousand or more,  Salem has once again nosed out Eugene as the state’s second largest city.  As of July 2013,  Eugene’ s population was about 159 thousand, while Salem topped  160, 000.

Portland remains Oregon’s largest city by a factor of four.  Bend was the clear state leader in percent of population growth last year at two-point-nine.  Eugene, Springfield, Salem and Corvallis all saw small population gains, with none registering as much as one percent.

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Pests
8:34 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Stopping The Stink Bug Invasion

Credit Flickr Creative Commons: Armed Forces Pest Management Board

Northwest researchers are teaming up to stop an invasion of stink bugs moving across the region. The bugs, which can smell like dirty gym socks, ruin tree fruit and grape vines. Those crops are vital to Northwest agriculture.

You have to go through three airlocked doors to get to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s stink bug research lab.

The quarantined, closet-sized room has it’s own ventilation system. The stink bug colony of about 400 bugs is kept inside an even smaller room within the lab.

Chemist Lee Ream opens the door.

Ream: “So, here’s our colony.”

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May 2014 Primary
8:28 am
Tue May 13, 2014

GMO Battle Divides Jackson County Farmers

Jim and Marilyn Frink farm 500 acres in the Sams Valley area in Jackson County.
Credit Liam Moriarty / JPR

The people with perhaps the most direct economic stake in the fate of Jackson County’s proposed ban on growing genetically modified crops are the county’s farmers. Jefferson Public Radio’s Liam Moriarty visited Rogue Valley farmers who stand on opposite sides of Measure 15-119 to find out how they see it.

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Environment
7:47 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Study: Georgia Pacific Effluent Off Nye Beach Not Showing Up In Marine Life

Credit City of Newport

For years, residents of Newport have raised concerns about effluent from a Georgia Pacific Mill in Toledo.  Since 1957, the company has pumped it’s wastewater through a pipe that discharges into the ocean, about .75 miles off Nye Beach.  A new study from Oregon State University is adding to a growing body of evidence showing the effluent is not causing significant impact on the surrounding environment.  

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wildlife
6:25 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Saving The Greater Sage Grouse

Male Sage Grouse
Credit USFWS Pacific Southwest Region

The West’s greater sage grouse are in trouble. The birds make their homes in desert sagebrush country. But their habitat is shrinking – because of people, wildfires, and agriculture. With fewer wide-open places to live, sage grouse numbers are dwindling. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt takes a look at one program that’s relocated sage grouse from Oregon to Washington.

It’s early in the morning, hours before sunrise.

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Water Contamination
9:25 am
Sun May 11, 2014

Eugene Springfield Wastewater Facility Fined For Sewage Spill

An areal view of Metropolitan Wastewater Management Treatment Plant
Credit http://www.mwmcpartners.org

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has fined a Eugene Springfield sewage treatment company for a spill that occurred during a harsh February storm.

Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission was fined $7,800 dollars for releasing approximately 54,000 gallons of sludge into a drainage ditch connected to Flat Creek. The reason for the overflow was a pump failure caused by a power outage. Esther Westbrook is a Compliance and Enforcement Officer for the Oregon DEQ.

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