EarthFix

News Fixed on the Environment.

EarthFix is a public media partnership of KLCC, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Idaho Public Television, KCTS9 Seattle, KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio, Northwest Public Radio and Television, Jefferson Public Radio, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Q&A: So Why Are Atlantic Salmon In The Northwest?

Aug 25, 2017

Last weekend, a net pen broke apart near Washington’s Cypress Island. The pen held 305,000 Atlantic salmon, non-native fish.

The company that owns the pen, Cooke Aquaculture, says it is unsure exactly how many Atlantic salmon escaped. It estimates somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 fish. Cooke and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are inventorying fish are still inside the pens.

The U.S. Forest Service is moving forward with a plan to allow exploratory mining near Mount St. Helens.

The agency issued a draft decision approving Canadian company Ascot Resources Ltd.’s plans to drill for copper and gold in Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Patrick Lair with the U.S. Forest Service drove into the Ochoco National Forest to see how things looked after hosting thousands of eclipse visitors.

He drove the same road on Wednesday that more than 30,000 people took to get into the massive Symbiosis Festival on Big Summit Prairie – a patch of private land in the middle of the national forest.

"At one point, we had bumper-to-bumper traffic from the prairie out past Prineville," he said. "I'm kind of amazed not to see more trash on the sides of the road."

Deer graze on tall prairie grass. Bushy-tailed foxes chase rabbits across a windswept landscape. Bald eagles perch along cliffs overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca and snow-capped Olympic Mountains.

The southern tip of Puget Sound’s San Juan Island is a wildlife-viewing wonderland.

The U.S. Secretary of the Interior is recommending reducing southern Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, according to the Washington Post.

The boundary shift comes after a Trump administration review of more than 20 national monuments across the West.

State wildlife officials have authorized the killing of two wolves from a pack in Eastern Oregon after confirming four attacks on livestock.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said non-lethal deterrents failed to prevent the Meacham Wolf Pack from attacking cattle and sheep on private land in Umatilla County.

Portland Public School students will still not be able to use campus water fountains when the new academic year starts next week. 

Instead, students returning to school on Wednesday will continue drinking bottled water while PPS begins the process of replacing non-classroom water fixtures to deal with the problem of high lead levels in its water. The replacements will be installed in six waves of 15 schools at a time. 

Q&A with OPB reporter Kristian Foden-Vencil

Geoff Norcross: So just how bad is this fire now?

Kristian Foden-Vencil: Well, it’s destroyed 20 outbuildings, 13 vehicles and five homes. A Level 3 mandatory evacuation order was in place for 3,400 homes. That's been dropped to level 2 now as firefighters have made some progress and the weather has turned more cooperative. But in total, up to 4,000 people have been affected.

Commercial fishing boats are scrambling to catch as many Atlantic salmon as they can after a net pen broke near Washington's Cypress Island. Fishers reported thousands of the non-native fish jumping in the water or washing ashore.

A fish farm's net pen failed Saturday afternoon when an anchor pulled loose and metal walkways twisted about. Onlookers said it looked like hurricane debris.

Rural Economy | Sage Grouse Plans | Steelhead

Aug 10, 2017

Rural Oregon was hit harder by the recession than urban areas, and it is still recovering. Central Oregon regional economist Damon Rundberg shares a report showing that even after seven years of uneven economic recovery, Oregon’s rural counties remain below peak employment. And we hear from OPB’s Amanda Peacher about one ranch that’s trying a new economic model.

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