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.

Oregon Smokejumper Dies In Alabama

Dec 21, 2016

An Oregon firefighter died Monday from injuries he sustained while working in Alabama.

Redmond Smokejumper Ray Rubio, 52, sustained serious injuries from a fall in November.

The Army veteran had been in Alabama to assist with the outbreak of multiple large fires.

A judge has cleared the way for eight Seattle-area youths to move ahead with an expanded lawsuit that contends Washington has failed to take action on climate change.

The Washington suit is one of several brought against states by children who say they're not doing enough to protect them from climate change. A U.S. District Court judge in Eugene, Oregon, ruled last month that a group of Oregon youths can move ahead with a similar case against the federal government.

Climbers and hikers in the Pacific Northwest have seen first-hand how our glaciers have been shrinking in recent decades. But, until now, scientists couldn’t prove those changes were due to climate change.

Scientists have long known that, globally, glaciers are shrinking because of climate change. But looking at individual glaciers is a different matter, says Gerard Roe, a professor of earth and space sciences at the University of Washington.

A lot has to happen behind the scenes to get great radio interviews and stories to your ears. The producers of OPB's daily news talk show, "Think Out Loud," have a unique view of the conversations that end up on the air.

OPB looks back at the stories that defined 2016 in Oregon, Southwest Washington and the United States.

When U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in mid-February this year, Republicans in Washington, D.C., promptly announced they would not vote on any candidate to fill the vacancy until after the election. Meanwhile, Democrats urged those across the aisle to meet with Merrick Garland, outgoing President Barack Obama’s nominee for the bench.

Winter Storms Give Oregon Snowpack An Early Boost

Dec 20, 2016

Across Oregon and much of Washington, the snowpack is above normal.

Julie Koeberle, a hydrologist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, said the string of winter storms across the Northwest in recent weeks is benefiting the region’s snowpack.

“Year’s past, we’ve had a little bit of a slow start to the snow season. And so, this year we’ve had an early start and it’s benefited the ski areas," Koeberle said. "It’s been great for recreation."

Judge Halts Logging On State Forest In Oregon

Dec 20, 2016

A federal judge in Eugene has ordered a pair of Oregon timber companies not to log on a former section of state forest near the south coast.

U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken told Scott Timber Company and Roseburg Forest Products to halt further work on a parcel called Benson Ridge in the Elliott State Forest.

At Lyle Falls, Washington’s Klickitat River rushes through steep canyon walls toward the Columbia River Gorge.

It’s one of a few places where members of the Yakama Nation still fish from scaffolds using dip nets. Fishermen say it’s the only place that comes close to what used to exist at Celilo Falls on the Columbia River.

For thousands of years, generations of tribal fishermen have learned to fish on platforms above the falls. That tradition continues in fishermen like James Kiona Jr., who grew up watching his elders fish here.

The agency in charge of managing Oregon's water resources is being stretched to the limit.

That's one of the findings in a new audit from the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

The Oregon Water Resources Department oversees the state's water rights and works to ensure the state has an adequate supply of water for the future.

The new audit says the agency has been focusing too much time on managing existing water rights instead of working to sustain Oregon's water resources for the long run.

Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered a sound coming from one of the deepest spots in the ocean. They believe it’s the song of a Minke whale, but it’s not like any they’ve identified before.

The so-called “Western Pacific Biotwang” is more horror movie than Nashville ballad. A low moan at the beginning is typical of baleen whales, but it was the end that caught the ear of OSU researcher Sharon Nieukirk.

“What makes this call special is the second part, and the way it sweeps way up and it sort of has that metallic twang sound to it,” she said.

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