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 and California have struck a deal with PacifiCorp and federal regulators on a new path to removing four aging dams on the Klamath River without congressional approval.

The move was hailed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and the Obama administration as a key step forward after years of delays in implementing a landmark agreement designed to resolve ongoing conflicts over water.

"Oregon is moving forward in the Klamath Basin," she said in an statement. "We can't afford to sit back and wait for another crisis to batter these communities."

Following the militant occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, the Obama administration is weighing whether to move forward with a huge land conservation proposal in an Oregon county that has drawn strong local opposition.

A decision by President Barack Obama to protect up to 2.5 million acres surrounding the remote Owyhee Canyonlands could help cement his legacy for protecting the country’s wild lands.

Capturing Valhalla: OPB's Toughest Shoot

Jan 30, 2016

In the summer of 2015, OPB’s Oregon Field Guide and a team of highly skilled canyoneers embarked on a journey to explore Valhalla — an uncharted gorge hidden in the Oregon wilderness.

The expedition was a dream come true for crewmembers who have spent their lives working in and exploring the outdoors. It would prove to be the most challenging project in Oregon Field Guide’s 27-year history.

Descending Into Uncharted Territory

Jan 30, 2016

For most of the crew, a nearly 100-foot waterfall crashing down moss- and fern-covered rock was an awe-striking symbol of the journey ahead. The previously uncharted falls boomed through their bodies; the echo carried far past their sight and off into the mysterious canyon.

Discovering Oregon's Secret Canyon

Jan 30, 2016

The forest is a lush green, tangled with downed logs and whips of vine maple. Mike Malone calls out to the hikers behind him.

“Watch out, there’s devil's club right here,” he says, pointing to the spiny shrub near his path.

Malone and his companions are pushing their way through miles of rough terrain. It is a tossup if the forest is preferable to the icy cold stream. But crossing through both are necessary to get to Valhalla.

Park officials are partially crediting the record number of Crater Lake National Park visitors last year with a low snowpack that opened roads and facilities earlier.

The Bulletin reports a news release from the park shows visitation up 13.5 percent compared to 2014, at 664,000 visitors in 2015.

The park has been closely tracking visitors for 25 years.

Last winter's low snowpack allowed the park's roads and facilities to open earlier in the spring.

It might be the best classroom assignment professor Loren Davis’ students will ever get.

On Friday, Davis directed his anthropology students to dig through a pile of soil excavated from the school’s football field, where workers recently discovered the remains of an ancient mammoth.

They spent the afternoon searching for extinct animal bones and fragments and learning how to identify them.

Anthropology student Annie-Rose Eaton said it's the first time she's done any excavating.

One of the most distinctive sounds in mountainous regions of the Northwest is the territorial honk of the American pika. Their call kind of sounds like a duck accidentally ate a dog’s squeaky toy.

Climate change has long been considered a threat to the small mammal.

“We’ve long suspected that the American pika… vulnerable to changing climate. So we wanted to dig in to learn more about what kinds of factors were pushing them towards extinction,” says National Park Service Ecologist Tom Rodhouse, co-author of the study.

Low Oil Prices Hurting Northwest Oil Terminals

Jan 29, 2016

With plans for new oil terminals still pending throughout the Pacific Northwest, low oil prices are hampering operations at existing crude-by-rail operations in the region.

Oregon and Washington fish and wildlife officials are debating whether to close the only Columbia River sturgeon fishery below Bonneville Dam to protect the fish until the population rebounds.

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