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.

This is a guest post by Sarah Craig, assoc

The benefits of an above-average snowpack measured in most locations statewide earlier this year have yet to be fully realized due to extreme heat and little precipitation.

While water reservoirs have reaped rewards from winter snow, people who rely on small tributaries for farming or irrigation are looking at potential shortages.

The Interior Department has released new recommendations for a plan to protect greater sage grouse. The guidelines will give more leeway to mining, ranching and industry groups. They’ll also change a conservation plan that took years to devise.

Sage grouse are iconic birds in the West — including in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. But their numbers in 11 states have dramatically declined with their loss of habitat.

The time is almost here. On the morning of Monday, Aug. 21, many in America will collectively raise their heads to the sky to witness the first total solar eclipse in the region in 38 years. This time around, Oregon is ground zero and the state is preparing for a phenomenon that has been embraced by people from all over the world. Here are some key things to know before the solar eclipse completely covers our lives.

Oregon officials say Willamette River steelhead are on the verge of extinction because they’re getting eaten by sea lions at Willamette Falls.

They're asking Congress for permission to kill some of the sea lions this year to protect the fish.

Native winter steelhead are already on the Endangered Species List because they’re threatened by the impacts of dams and habitat loss.

But with more and more sea lions feasting on fish below Willamette Falls, new data show the steelhead now face about a 90 percent chance of being wiped out altogether.

Lawmakers in Congress passed a major win for West Coast crab fishermen that now goes to President Donald Trump's desk for his signature.

The bill permanently extends a tri-state fishery management agreement in Washington, Oregon and California.

The Cinder Butte fire burning 10 miles outside of the town of Riley, Oregon, was burning 52,223 acres as of Saturday morning. 

The fire is threatening archeological sites with strong cultural and historical significance to the Burns Paiute and Klamath tribes.

"We're working with our partners to identify those and be very respectful while working to contain the fire in those areas," said Nick Cronquist, a public information officer with Northwest Incident Management Team No. 10.

Wildfires across the Northwest could prolong smoky conditions in the Willamette Valley.

The National Weather Service says westerly winds could clear smoke Friday night into Saturday as temperatures dip below triple digits, but smoke is expected to return.

“There’s a good chance that the smoke is going to be coming back in Sunday or Monday depending on how strong the wind is and how long the wind shift holds,” said David Bishop with the National Weather Service in Portland.

Oregon To Kill Wolves That Preyed On Livestock

Aug 3, 2017

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has decided to kill members of the Harl Butte wolf pack in Eastern Oregon in an attempt to disrupt the pack’s behavior and prevent future livestock losses.

The decision comes after Wallowa County ranchers requested lethal control because the pack has attacked cattle seven times in the past 13 months. It marks the eighth time state officials in Oregon or Washington have taken lethal action on wolves that preyed on livestock.

Two Oregon wildlife photographers will have their their pictures of honeybees featured in the new Protect Pollinators Forever postage stamps scheduled to be released this week.

The stamps are designed to pay tribute to pollinating insects. Studies show native bees and butterflies are at risk from pesticide exposure and habitat loss.

The series features five photos of honeybees and monarch butterflies on various flowers.

Two of the five stamps in the series showcase images of honeybees by photographers Michael Durham of Portland and George Lepp of Bend.

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