Willamette Valley

Willamette River
3:02 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Willamette River Advocates To Tour River, Assess Health

River pollution in the Willamette in 2001
Credit 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.

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Infrastructure
3:00 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Updated Dam Failure Maps Available

Inundation map for Oakridge, if the Hills Creek Dam were to fail.
Credit 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.

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Oregon Farming
9:05 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Converting Grass Seed To Grain In The Willamette Valley

Greenwillow Grains worker preps grain for bagging.
Credit 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.

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Environment
5:38 pm
Wed December 25, 2013

Oregon Farmers Can Help Threatened Bird

The streaked horned lark.
Credit 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.

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Winter Weather
11:21 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Warmer Weather Coming This Weekend

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.

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Environment
11:10 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Frosty Temperature Will Soon Ease

Photo by Oregon Live

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.”

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