Willamette Valley

Oregon Allergy Associates

Allergy season is in full swing in the Willamette Valley. According to the Oregon Allergy Associates Research Department, Friday the grass pollen count is at high levels, and the tree pollen is at a moderate level. Because of large grass seed farming and general geography Eugene is consistently ranked as one of the toughest cities for allergy prone patients. Judy Moran is a nurse at Oregon Allergy Associates. She says just because the season is staring a little earlier this year, doesn't mean clear breathing will come sooner.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is looking to acquire two parcels of land in the Willamette Valley. The plan for both properties is to restore them to their natural habitat and make them available for public use.

oreblueberry.com

It is peak blueberry season in the Willamette Valley. Oregon is on track to break its harvest record for at least the 10th straight year.

Oregon and Michigan are the two top producers of blueberries. Bryan Ostlund is with the Oregon Blueberry Commission. He says since the discovery of the fruit's health benefits about a decade ago, demand has continued to increase, especially internationally:

willamette.edu

A small group of volunteers are touring the Willamette River this weekend to highlight work that needs to be done to improve its health.

The Willamette River Blitz starts Friday in Eugene at Whitley Landing. Volunteers will paddle down the river stopping in Corvallis and Salem and ending in Portland Monday. Travis Williams is the Executive Director for the environmental group “Willamette Riverkeeper.” He says the purpose of the trip is to focus on needed improvements and to monitor habitat restoration.

Karen Richards

What happens if a dam fails during normal summer conditions? What if a dam breaks when it’s flooding or snowing? To answer those questions, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has updated its dam failure inundation maps.

The Corps created maps of failure scenarios for all 13 dams in the Willamette Valley. Their release last year drew hundreds of requests. The Corps is holding viewings for those citizens who expressed interest. Matt Craig is a Dam Safety Program Manager.

Greenwillow Grains

When grass seed prices crashed in 2008, a group of Willamette Valley farmers decided to switch part of their production to food crops.  Now, not only are their results successful, but they may be laying the foundation for a different kind of food economy in Oregon.

Oregon Department of Agriculture

The federal government is counting on Willamette Valley farmers to help the recovery of a threatened bird. This fall, the streaked horned lark was added to the endangered species list.

The bird prefers open habitat, which has been declining, so it's showing up on agricultural land. Typically, finding an endangered species on your land would prohibit any disturbance to the area. But in this case, an exemption will not penalize farmers who find the lark on their property.

Warmer Weather Coming This Weekend

Dec 12, 2013

Freezing rain is expected in the early afternoon Thursday, but normal temperatures will begin creeping up this weekend.

The South Willamette Valley should be experiencing warmer weather as early as Friday, with temperatures predicted to reach the mid 40s in the afternoon. Hydrologist Andy Bryant of the National Weather Service says despite some Friday night cold, the weekend should be warmer.

Frosty Temperature Will Soon Ease

Dec 9, 2013

The South Willamette Valley has experienced record setting lows this past week.

The area hasn’t felt anything this low since the early 1970s. With recorded temperatures reaching minus  10, some residents are fearful that the current frost will continue. Meteorologist Matthew Cullen is with the National Weather Service in Portland.

“Temperatures will gradually be increasing. So we’re still going to be on the cold side for the next few days, but will gradually coming back towards where we should be, kind of normal for this time of year.”