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

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

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.