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 the first story in a three-part series on the wildlife refuges of the Klamath Basin and water in the arid West. Read Part two here.

Driving around Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge is like being on bird safari. Guides today are refuge manager Greg Austin and biologist John Vradenburg.

Washington Lawmakers Leave Enviros Feeling Shorted

Jul 21, 2017

Washington’s legislative session, the longest in state history, did not deliver the money environmentalists wanted for toxic cleanup, oil transportation safety, or natural resources.

Going into the session, the Environmental Priorities Coalition — made up of more than twenty Washington environmental groups — had placed a priority on getting the state to spend more on environmental protection.

Chris Wolf and his colleagues at Oregon State University had a question. They wanted to figure out which is worse: chopping down an acre of woods in a forest that’s already been disturbed or chopping down an acre of woods in a forest previously untouched by humans.

Going into the study, he said, “we were more concerned about forest loss in areas that had already experienced a great deal of forest loss.”

Wolf and his team hypothesized that cutting down a last little patch of remaining forest would have disastrous effects for biodiversity.

Forestry Asks Landowners For Help Avoiding Eclipse Wildfires

Jul 21, 2017

Oregon’s Department of Forestry is asking land owners in several districts around the state to help ensure the agency is prepared to respond to wildfires as the solar eclipse approaches.

Land owners in several districts in the path of totality were sent letters from the Department of Forestry earlier this month asking residents to plan ahead. Fire responders warn of the challenges that might arise with an estimated 1 million visitors coming to the state to witness the eclipse.

What's the best way to ensure the return of salmon and steelhead to something like their historic numbers in the Columbia and Snake rivers? It’s been a hotly debated question for more than 20 years. And it's getting a renewed look with a controversial option on the table:

Removing the four lower Snake River dams.

Opponents of expanding the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon say the move was rushed through with little public notice. Supporters point to a series of well-attended public meetings and a comment period in which more than 5,000 written comments were received.

But Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s visit to the monument last weekend showed that the community divide over the monument is far from resolved.

Terrestrial is KUOW’s podcast exploring the choices we make in a world we have changed. Subscribe to the show. And join the Facebook group.

Why would a fourth-generation rancher who doesn't put much trust in the government choose to work with federal agencies to restore salmon runs on her property?

Federal and state agencies are investigating a string of wildfires in southeastern Oregon with a potential link to military training exercises.

Seven small fires ignited across state and federal lands on July 11, all attributed to human activity — a suspicious pattern that indicates they could be connected, according to federal officials.

In August, Oregon will be the first state in the continental U.S. in the path of a total solar eclipse. The rare celestial event is attracting crowds of first-time eclipse viewers as well as seasoned eclipse-chasers, also called “umbraphiles.”

Biologist Mark Buktenica scours the shoreline of Crater Lake. He scans white sun-bleached rocks, takes a step, flips a rock.

Scan, step, flip.

Downed flying ants coat the surface of the water. A lizard hunts nearby. Small grey-green toads, about the size of a quarter, hop out of his way.

Scan, step, flip.

“Good candidate, perfect rock, but no salamanders,” he mumbles under his breath.

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