Environment

Bees
1:18 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

"Bee Friendly" Plants Can Be Poisonous To Pollinators

Lisa Arkin of Beyond Toxics with her backyard beehive in Eugene.
Credit Rachael McDonald

A national report released Wednesday finds that half of the plants sold at major retailers as "bee friendly" are actually poisonous to bees. The plants are pre-treated with pesticides that are harmful to pollinators according to the study by Friends of the Earth.

Neonicotinoids are pesticides that kill bees and other pollinators. Lisa Arkin is with Eugene-based Beyond Toxics. She says retailers don't label plants to indicate whether they've been treated with these chemicals.

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Rogue Wilderness
7:31 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Expanding Rogue Wilderness

Conservation groups are pushing to increase the size of the Wild Rogue Wilderness in Southern Oregon.
Credit Devan Schwartz / Earthfix

On the fiftieth anniversary of the Wilderness Act, the Rogue River in Southern Oregon welcomes a busy summer season of rafters, kayakers and fishers.

For EarthFix, Devan Schwartz reports on a proposed expansion of the Rogue Wilderness — and why it’s taking so long to become a reality.

The Rogue is one of the West’s most iconic rivers. And many conservationists are calling for Congress to expand the wilderness area surrounding it.

Robyn Janssen is with Rogue Riverkeeper. She helped organize a recent trip down the Rogue to highlight the river’s environmental issues.

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Bee Health
5:01 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Eugene Company's License Suspended Following Bee Deaths

Credit victoriaaft.com

The Oregon Department of Agriculture has suspended the license of the company responsible for more than 1,000 bee deaths earlier this week in Eugene. Glass Tree Care and Spray Service applied pesticides at an apartment complex in North Eugene on 17 linden trees, the same types of trees involved in thousands of bee deaths last year in Oregon. Bruce Pokarney is the Communication Director for the ODA. He says before the company can resume applying pesticides they must adhere to certain conditions.

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Pollution
12:49 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Toxic Chemicals In Oregon's Waterways

Willamette River
Credit Wikipedia

Oregon's industrial facilities dumped more than 1 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the state's waterways in 2012. In a new report, Environment Oregon ranks the state 33rd worst in the nation for water pollution.

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Northwest Beer
7:26 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Tasting Old Growth Forest In Your Beer

Matt Wagoner points to a standing dead tree on a recent hike.
Credit Cassandra Profita / Earthfix

Some Portland brewers have a challenge for you. Can you taste the forest in their beer? Is it an old growth forest or one that's been logged? They’ve been collecting wild yeast from both types of forest and using it to ferment some beer. EarthFix reporter Cassandra Profita joined a recent hiking group that tasted the results.

Wagoner: "Alright, let's stop right here."

Matt Wagoner of the Forest Park Conservancy, is leading a hike through a little known parcel of old growth forest. It's about 20 minutes from downtown Portland.

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Logging
5:57 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Conservation Group Files Lawsuit Against Timber Sale Near Oregon's Crater Lake National Park

A stand of trees in the area of the Bybee Timber Sale on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.
Credit Oregon Wild

The recent discovery of Oregon's wandering wolf, known as OR-7, and his new pups is one reason a conservation group filed a lawsuit against a logging project near Crater Lake National Forest. Oregon Wild filed the lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service in District Court in Medford Wednesday.

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Outdoor Recreation
4:10 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Boaters Encouraged To Give Feedback To Oregon Marine Board

Do you kayak, canoe or paddle? The Oregon State Marine Board is looking for input from non-motorized boaters. They’ve been on the road since early June and are in Eugene today (Tuesday) and in Bend Thursday.

Scott Brewen is a director with the Oregon State Marine Board. He says for the first time in the state’s history, non-motorized boating is more popular than motor-boating:

Brewwen: “In all different types of boating from flat water to white water, kayaking, canoes, stand up paddleboard, we’re seeing growth in all areas so it’s pretty exciting.”

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Wildlife
6:37 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Not Much Refuge In Klamath Basin For Migratory Birds

An ibis at the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge.
Credit Devan Schwartz / Earthfix

A prolonged drought is putting pressure on water supplies for the Klamath Basin’s wildlife refuges. EarthFix’s Devan Schwartz reports on how the nation’s original waterfowl refuge may be too dry this summer to provide a stopover for millions of migratory birds. It's part two in our series, Refuges in Trouble.
 

In 1908, Teddy Roosevelt designated the Lower Klamath Lake refuge to protect millions of migrating birds.

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Environment
8:01 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Turning Around Malheur Refuge One Carp Carcass At A Time

It took a backhoe to dump some of the carp removed from Malheur Lake during a recent fishing operation.
Credit Devan Schwartz / Earthfix

What could be the largest carp removal project in history is underway at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Southeast Oregon.

EarthFix’s Devan Schwartz reports on the attempts to curb the invasive fish that has destroyed bird habitat for decades.

Minnesota fishermen are pulling in thousands upon thousands of carp from Malheur Lake, the main feature of the national wildlife refuge.

Tim Adams tosses carp from net to boat.

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Fire Season
1:21 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Burn Ban Starts Monday In Most Oregon Counties

This weekend is the last chance for backyard and open burning in many places in Oregon. Lane, Linn, Benton and Marion Counties have all declared June 15 as the last day.

Neil Miller is with the Oregon Department of Forestry. He says early this year, they considered starting the burn ban sooner than usual. But spring rains relieved their concerns about fire danger:

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