Environment

Weather
9:40 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Think It's Been Cold? Brace Yourself For Colder Weather

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."

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Forest Management
7:55 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Wyden Proposes Timber Compromise

Credit 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.”

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Recycling
1:47 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Beyond The Curb: How Recycling Works Best

Sanipac's Eugene co-mingle drop off center
Credit 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.

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Climate Change
6:53 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Symptoms of Climate Change' Part III: Cities Face Higher Health Risks In Heat Islands

HelenRuth Stephens has asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She says hot weather drains her energy and makes it hard to breathe.
Credit 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.”

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Climate Change
6:52 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Symptoms Of Climate Change Part II - Toxic Algae And Warming Waters: The Climate Connection

The Williford family got violently ill from eating these mussels.
Credit 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.

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Climate Change
7:41 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Symptoms Of Climate Change Part I: How Farmworkers Experience A Warming Climate

Farmworker Victor Gonzales
Credit 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.

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Aquariums
6:08 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Aquarium In Tacoma To Let Visitors Dive In Shark Tank

Credit 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?

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weather
11:07 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Record Rainfall For September In Western Oregon

Credit wikimedia

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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Forest policy
7:27 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Proposed Logging Project Seeks Comments

McKenzie River.
Credit BLM

The Bureau of Land Management is in the scoping stages of a proposed logging project east of Eugene near the town of Vida.
 

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Forest policy
8:13 am
Mon September 23, 2013

House Passes Logging Bill

Old growth trees in Oregon's coastal forest.
Credit Rachael McDonald

The Republican-controlled House has approved a bill to sharply increase logging in national forests. It includes a plan drafted by members of Oregon's congressional delegation to raise money for beleaguered counties.

The O & C Bill sets aside about million acres of Oregon's public land for preservation. Another million or so would be managed under the state forest practices act. Timber harvest revenue would help counties like Lane. Sid Leiken is Chair of the Lane County Board of Commissioners.

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