Environment

From Daphne Singingtree's Facebook album.

Confrontations between local police and activists have left many injured, as the winter continues to turn frigid at a protest encampment on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

National Park Service.

This weekend, a hunting event targeting coyotes is planned in Lake County.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, some conservationists want it canceled.  

Brian Bull / KLCC

A national day of solidarity was held today for Native Americans protesting an oil pipeline project in North Dakota.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, hundreds gathered in downtown Eugene to show their support.

Brian Bull

Activists against the Dakota Access oil pipeline development in the Midwest held an international “Day of Action” today.  Among the dozen protest sites in the Pacific Northwest, was Cottage Grove.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Brian Bull

A review of over 20,000 groundwater sites by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) shows half of the nation’s states have high --to very high-- potential to become corrosive.  As KLCC's Brian Bull reports, this includes Oregon and Washington.

Tiffany Eckert

More people are choosing alternative ways to spend the hereafter — that includes natural burial — which means no embalming or encasement in non-biodegradable packaging. KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert reports on one Eugene woman's mission to resurrect an old practice for dealing with the dead.

Lost Lake is a seasonal alpine lake—just off the Santiam Pass Highway and it’s aptly named. Once a year, it disappears, not by evaporation or seepage. It flows away down a big hole in the lake bed. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert visited the site and talked to a hydrologist about the phenomenon at lost lake.

Very Old Firewood Tells A Tale Of Flammable Forests

Nov 28, 2015
John Marshall

A photographer from Wenatchee (Washington) has made a revealing discovery at the scene of a remote and long-abandoned fire lookout. Who knew a pile of very old firewood could tell a story? Correspondent Tom Banse brings it to us.

Ashley Ahearn / Earthfix

As sea levels rise and the global climate changes, international leaders gathering in Paris this month face increasing pressure to tackle the issue of “climate refugees”.

Some island nations are already looking to move their people to higher ground, even purchasing land elsewhere in preparation.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, one coastal tribe faces a similar choice.

Jes Burns

In October, the Environmental Protection Agency took steps to protect public health by tightening restrictions on smog. The new clean air standard is not as far-reaching as health and environmental advocates were calling for. But it’s more strict than many industry representatives wanted to see.

What Does Species Recovery Look Like For Wolves?

May 5, 2015
Wolf
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Desmond: Since wolves first started returning to Washington and Oregon in the late 1990s, the population has been increasing steadily – especially over the past few years.

Now wildlife officials are taking a look at the species’ protected status. In late April, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission initiated the process of removing wolves from the state’s endangered species list.

All this brings up questions of whether the wolf has actually recovered enough to dial back protections.

With me now with some answers is EarthFix Correspondent Jes Burns.

Recorded on Friday, January 30th, 2015

Air Date: Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015 from 12:05 to 1:20 p.m.
Downtown Athletic Club, 3rd Floor Ballroom

Anna King

In the midst of the Tri-Cities [in southeast Washington] there’s a dramatic group of mountains known as The Rattles. Their close proximity to the city means urban dwellers can hike a 15-hundred-foot peak and enjoy dramatic views on their lunch break or even after supper. But it also means these ridgelines are prime turf for expensive view-homes. Now, A band of avid hikers, are trying to protect as much of the area from development as they can. They want to raise money to buy land for a network of public trails.

Rachael McDonald

The northwest is famous for political activism-- WTO protests, tree-sits, Occupy… When activists get arrested, there's a law firm in Eugene that might represent them for no little or no money. Lauren Regan's Civil Liberties Defense Center celebrates its tenth year at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference this weekend.

uo lawblog

Thousands of Environmental activists, lawyers and students will be at the University of Oregon in Eugene this weekend for the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference. The 3 day event begins Thursday afternoon.

The theme of the law conference this year is "Running into Running Out"

Brinson: "With the 6th largest mass extinction currently happening, we've got to do something. So hopefully, this conference can be an opportunity for people to figure some of this stuff out."

It’s been almost 3 years since the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. Hundreds of millions of gallons of radioactive water were released from the Fukushima nuclear plant. Fish there have been contaminated and some Japanese fisheries are still closed due to ongoing leaks. That’s made many people nervous about eating fish caught on this side of the Pacific Ocean.

It’s a gray Sunday morning at the Ballard farmer’s market in Seattle.

[Market sound “Hey Charlie. You got your seahawks gear on.”]

Tree Sitters Don’t Buy Logging Designed To Mimic Nature

Jan 10, 2014
Amelia Templeton

A group of protesters and college students has spent the past six months living in the woods on a ridge near Roseburg, Oregon. They’re using civil disobedience to try to prevent logging on the site. It sounds like an old story in the Northwest. But there’s a new twist. A forestry professor says the logging was designed to mimic nature.

Last year, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management sold the rights to log a small grove of Douglas firs to a private company called Roseburg Forest Products.

Conservation Group Turns Christmas Trees Into Salmon Habitat

Dec 30, 2013
Michael D. Ellis

Before you kick your dying Christmas tree to the curb, consider this: Members of the conservation group Trout Unlimited would love to turn that tree into fish habitat.
 

On three Saturdays in January, the Tualatin Valley chapter of Trout Unlimited will be collecting Christmas tree donations at two locations in the Portland metropolitan area. Later, they’ll place the trees into a side channel of the Necanicum River near Seaside, where they will provide predator protection and food sources for baby coho salmon.

Stink Bug Spread Alarms Growers, Scientists

Dec 6, 2013
Tom Banse

A malodorous invasive bug has gone from a worry to a certifiable nuisance for some Northwest (or Western) farmers and gardeners. The name of this insect is a mouthful: the brown marmorated stink bug. Researchers say the population really seems to have taken off this year. With the approach of winter, these stink bugs are leaving the fields and may just crawl into your home.

Agreement Could Mean End To Klamath Water Wars

Dec 5, 2013
flickr

For decades, farmers and ranchers have engaged in a bitter tug-of-war with fishermen and Indian tribes over scarce water supplies in the Klamath Basin. Now, government officials and stakeholders have announced the broad outlines of an agreement they say could finally bring peace to the region.

At the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, Governor John Kitzhaber, Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and an array of state and federal officials met with Klamath water users. They came to unveil what they called an historic agreement. Senator Wyden …

Rachael McDonald

US Senator Ron Wyden's bill to increase timber harvest in Western Oregon is generating criticism from both sides of the ongoing logging debate.

Doug Robertson is a Douglas County Commissioner and the President of the Association of O & C Counties. He says he's still analyzing Senator Wyden's bill but...

Klamath Tribes and Ranchers Strike Water Sharing Deal

Dec 3, 2013
flickr

In Oregon’s Klamath basin, tribes say they have reached a major breakthrough in negotiations over sharing water with local ranchers.

They have the outline of a deal that could end 38 years of lawsuits and pave the way for removing four dams.

The conflict came to a head this summer when the Klamath Tribes used their senior rights to protect fish by shutting off the water to nearby ranches.

Those shutoffs sparked new negotiations. Don Gentry, Chairman of the Klamath Tribes, says the two sides have reached an agreement in principle.

This weekend is expected to end with a storm followed by a cold snap. Overnight lows are forecast to drop into the teens next week.

Rain and wind are expected to hit late Sunday in the Pacific Northwest. If you're traveling over the Cascades and coast range Sunday, National Weather Service meteorologist Matthew Cullen says be prepared for heavy rain.

Cullen: "But we do think it will stay rain until very late Sunday evening. If you're driving back Monday definitely some accumulating snow is very possible so definitely be aware and be alert for those conditions."

Wyden Proposes Timber Compromise

Nov 27, 2013
Rachael McDonald

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has unveiled a bill to balance competing demands on more than two million acres of federal forest land in the state. So far, opinions differ on whether he’s found an approach that can resolve this long-standing tug-of-war.

Flanked by Governor John Kitzhaber, the Senate Democrat said his bill hit the sweet spot between conservation and cutting timber.

Ron Wyden: “We have found a way to create good-paying jobs in rural Oregon, and protect our natural treasures.”

Beyond The Curb: How Recycling Works Best

Oct 22, 2013
Karen Richards

Recycling works because it's economically feasible. Someone makes money re-using your papers and packaging. To ensure recycling is also environmentally sound, consumers need to put the right things, in the right way, in the bin. Some of the no-no's may be surprising. To avoid mistakes, it helps to know what happens after you bring your recycling to the curb.

Cassandra Profita

Climate change models are predicting hotter summers in the Northwest. And experts say the health risks from that heat are higher in places known as urban heat islands. In the third installment of our series, ‘Symptoms of Climate Change,’ EarthFix reporter Cassandra Profita explains how dark pavement and rooftops in these city neighborhoods make hot weather more hazardous to human health.

Stephens: “Oh, kitty you’ll have to get down. Come on. Shoo.”

Ashley Ahearn

Every year, during the warmer months, blooms of algae dot Northwestern waters.
Some of that algae can release toxins, which poison shellfish and the people who might eat those shellfish. In recent years, toxic algal blooms have been more potent and lasted longer. That has scientists trying to understand how our warming climate could be contributing to the problem.

Jacki Williford: “Hi, come on in.”

Jacki Williford and her family live in the suburbs east of Seattle.

Her 7-year old son Jaycee runs by in a Seahawks jersey teasing his little sister.

Courtney Flatt

If you work outdoors in the summertime, you’d better learn to take the heat. That’s true for people who repair roads, landscape yards, or build houses. Too much exertion and not enough shade or water, and you could get sick. In the first installment of our series, ‘Symptoms of Climate Change,’ EarthFix reporter Courtney Flatt finds out how the increasingly hot sun is affecting people who make their living by harvesting our crops.

By Ingrid Barrentine/PDZA

Beginning tomorrow Friday 10/11, an aquarium in Tacoma (Washington) will let paying visitors dive in a shark-infested tank. That's right. The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium has built a dive cage in a tank that is home to 17 sharks. Experienced SCUBA divers can even swim out into the center of the pool.

Ah, the things you might question there's high demand for. Well, more than four hundred people have already made reservations to take a dip in a tank full of sharks. Cue the theme music from the movie Jaws, shall we?

Pixabay

The weekend brought two heavy rainstorms through western Oregon. The rain made this the wettest September on record in many parts of the state.

Eugene's rainfall was measured at more than 6 inches. The previous record for the month of September was about 5.5 inches in the late 1800s. Astoria got more than 10, also breaking its record for the month.

Andy Bryant is a hydrologist with the national Weather Service in Portland. He says two storms came through this weekend.

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