Jes Burns

Reporter

Jes Burns is a former KLCC host/reporter.  As of September 2014 she is a reporter for EarthFix.

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Recreation
7:36 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Ashland Fights Illegal Trails With Community Involvement

A mountain biker shoots down Lower Missing Link, an illegal trail outside of Ashland, Oregon.
Credit 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.

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Wildlife
6:16 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Second Strain Of Avian Flu Arrives In Oregon

File photo of a Mallard Duck
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Wildlife officials in Oregon say a mallard duck shot by a hunter near Eugene has tested positive for avian flu.

The strain of influenza is relatively common in Europe and Asia and has not caused any human sickness. The flu does not appear to cause illness in wild waterfowl, which have evolved with the virus. But it could kill falcons and hawks, as well as domesticated birds.

Oregon officials say they are not surprised this strain of avian flu has arrived in the state. Wild birds in Washington, California and Utah have also tested positive.

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Canada Geese
6:53 am
Wed January 7, 2015

As Canada Goose Populations Recover, Northwest Farmers Pay The Price

Some of the thousands of Canada Geese making their winter home in Oregon's Willamette Valley.
Credit Jes Burns / Earthfix

The West Coast of the United States and Canada is like a superhighway for migratory birds. Dozens of species travel from summer nesting grounds in Alaska down into Washington, Oregon and California. The cackling Canada goose is one of them.

In the 1980s there were only about 25-thousand left, but now the population is averaging more than a quarter million.

It’s farmers in Oregon and Washington that are paying the price for the recovery.
 

Marie and Joe Gadotti are sick of the geese.

Marie Gadotti: “I have my own pet name for them; they’re flying rats.”

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Bottle Returns
6:57 am
Tue January 6, 2015

As More Bottle Redemption Centers Go On-Line In Oregon, Bottle Deposit Increase “Likely”

Cynda Webb at Medford BottleDrop.
Credit Jes Burns / Earthfix

A nickel isn’t what it used to be. Back in the 1970s, two nickels could buy you a postage stamp, and a just few more could get you a loaf of bread. So when Oregon’s Bottle Bill went into effect in 1972, the nickel deposit on a soda made people take notice -- and return empties that were a large part of Oregon’s litter problem.

Not so today. But changes are underway to get Oregon’s plummeting bottle return rate back to early levels. Redemption centers continue to pop up.

And Oregonians will likely see the deposit raised to a dime sooner rather than later.
 

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Elliott State Forest
7:17 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Elliott State Forest Options Do Not Include Land Auctions

Credit Oregon Department of Forestry

The Oregon State Land Board is meeting in Salem Tuesday [Dec. 9] to discuss how to increase revenues from the Elliott State Forest. Earlier this year, after the forest began losing money, the Board decided to sell off parcels to timber companies.

But now the state is moving away from private auctions and focusing on public management.

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Biomass
7:54 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Southern Oregon Hopes To Lead Northwest U.S. In Campus Biomass

Southern Oregon University Facilities Manager Drew Gilliland wants to replace the natural gas boilers on campus with biomass cogeneration.
Credit Jes Burns / Earthfix

As universities around the country try to meet carbon reduction goals, a growing number are opting to burn wood to produce power on campus. Southern Oregon University is vying to be the first campus in the Northwest to adopt this biomass technology, as it’s called.

Tucked away on the backside of Southern Oregon University’s Ashland campus is a modest 1950s era warehouse. Puffs of cloud-white steam emerge from its smokestack, the result of burning natural gas to produce heat for the campus.

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Forest Policy
7:27 am
Fri November 14, 2014

New Version Of O & C Timber Legislation Clears Senate Committee Hurdle

Credit Rachael McDonald

Thursday the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed a new version of Oregon Senator Ron Wyden’s bill to boost logging on public forests called O & C lands -- named for the Oregon and California Railroad that once owned them.

Jes Burns of EarthFix explains some of the changes.

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November 2014 Election
6:46 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Democratic Businesswoman Faces Uphill Climb In Oregon's Republican-Leaning 2nd District

Oregon's 2nd District
Credit USGS

Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District is a Republican stronghold. The GOP has held the seat since early 1981, and that likely won’t change this November.
This year’s Democratic challenger is hoping to make inroads by positioning herself as a moderate alternative on issues such as the economy and natural resources.

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Nickel Mine
7:52 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Proposed Oregon Nickel Mine Fails To Secure First Permit

The Kalmiopis Wilderness. A nickel mine proposed for a roadless area outside the wilderness has run into difficulty in the permitting process.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A controversial nickel mining project in a roadless area of Southwestern Oregon has failed to clear an early hurdle. The state has denied a UK-based company permission to use water from a small creek.

It’s difficult to use water when there’s no water flowing. Or so discovered Red Flat Nickel Corporation when the State of Oregon denied its application to use water for five years.

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Disasters & Accidents
5:27 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Yellow Point Fire Crews Brace For Red Flag Weather Warning

Yellow Point Fire
Credit Oregon Department of Forestry

The Yellow Point Fire, burning about 25 miles west of Cottage Grove is now 45% contained.  The Oregon Department of Forestry says crews have run more than 25 miles of hose.  Water is being distributed to the line.  Spokeswoman Shirl Fredenburg says crews are working hard to wet the area around the fire ahead of a forecast red flag weather warning.

 “Low humidity and dry, hot weather… that could be a factor.  But they have high expectations that they’ll keep it under control.”

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