EarthFix Northwest Environmental News

Oregon voters had plenty of other measures to vote on aside from Measure 97. And they approved nearly all of them. Here's a rundown:

Oregon Measure 94 was going down. It would have allowed state judges to serve past age 75. The Constitutional Amendment repeals the state's mandatory retirement age for judges in Oregon.

Steve McMinn ducks into the hollow of an old maple tree and tears a chunk of wood from its insides. It’s not easy to find the perfect tree.

“Sometimes your fingers can tell you more than your eyes,” he said. “It has to be a straight tree, a fairly large tree, a tree that didn’t grow too quickly nor too slowly.”

It also has to be flexible enough to vibrate, pleasing to the eyes and ears, and strong enough to hold a musical instrument together.

When it comes to the amount of trash produced, Oregon is moving in the wrong direction. A new report Monday from the Department of Environmental Quality shows households are producing more solid waste, but recycling and composting less of it.

In a year that has broken record after high-temperature record, politicians in Washington state are saying a vote for them is a vote for the climate. Two initiatives on the ballot claim to be major advances in fighting climate change. KUOW fact-checks the initiative claims.

Environmental activists have lined up in support of Sound Transit 3, the ballot measure (officially known as Prop. 1) that would double the size of the region's light-rail system and make other transit improvements.

Supporters call it the most important vote you can cast for the global climate.

It’s the deep-bellied growl that stops them.

The researchers are just approaching the grizzly bear when he begins expressing his displeasure. Grizzly No. 1225 had been smart enough to avoid a huge, metal box trap. But not the leg snare next to it.

Northwest oil train opponents are celebrating after a county in the Columbia River Gorge rejected a track-expansion request from Union Pacific Railroad.

This is the third story in a three-part series. Read part one and part two.

In 2011, a bill creating a new tax on birdseed to fund wildlife conservation had widespread support, including the governor’s. It failed.

Five years ago this week, a wolf known as OR-7 began a long journey across Oregon. He traveled some 1,200 miles, including a stint in northern California, before settling in southern Oregon.

Some biologists thought OR-7 would forever remain a wandering bachelor and never pair up. But he found a mate in 2014, and the two have produced pups for the past three years in a row.

Michelle Dennehy with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says much has changed for wolves since OR-7 was born in 2009 in eastern Oregon.

This is the second story in a three-part series. Read part one and part three.

DRY RIVER CANYON, Ore. — In the middle of the night, at the edge of a Central Oregon canyon, a man in a jumpsuit sent mating calls into the darkness.

This is the first story in a three-part series. Read part one and part two.

For wildlife in Oregon, the best way to stay alive is to make sure someone wants to kill you.

Several hundred supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe staged a protest at the Army Corps of Engineers building in downtown Portland.

A plan to build an oil pipeline across land and rivers important to the Standing Rock Sioux has sparked one of the largest, most diverse tribal protest movements in decades. Last week, more than 100 protesters were arrested at their encampment in North Dakota.

In Portland on Monday, hundreds of protesters gathered in solidarity, carrying signs that declared "Water is Life" and "No Dakota Access Pipeline."

Agreement Reached To Help Oregon's Spotted Frog

Oct 28, 2016

The Upper Deschutes River and the Oregon spotted frogs that live there will see higher water flows under an interim deal reached Friday between environmental groups, irrigation districts and the Bureau of Reclamation.

The agreement comes after conservation groups filed suit.

“This is the first of many steps to restore a natural flow regime in the Deschutes,” said Noah Greenwald of the Center for Biological Diversity in a release.

The Center and WaterWatch of Oregon were parties to the agreement.

Copyright 2016 ERTHFX. To see more, visit ERTHFX.

Reaction is coming in fast to the not guilty verdicts for the seven Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupiers.

The FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice released exactly the same press release saying while they had hoped for a different outcome, they respect the verdicts and thanked the jury.

But outdoor groups are angry.

Audubon Society President David Yarnold said he’s outraged and that wild lands belong to everyone, not the people who hold them at gunpoint. He said the verdicts undermines the rule of law.

New Plan Aims To Recover Threatened Snake River Salmon

Oct 27, 2016

Northwest dam operations are getting a closer look from federal officials charged with ensuring the survival of imperiled fish that migrate hundreds of miles up the Columbia and Snake rivers to their native Idaho streams

LISTEN: 58 Years Of Climate Change In One Minute

Oct 27, 2016

Climate change is a gradual process, driven by invisible pollution. So it can be hard to wrap your brain around.

But atmospheric scientists at the University of Washington have made it possible to listen to the planet changing.

Ten years ago, a group of farmers, ranchers, anglers, environmental activists, tribal members, power companies and politicians in Southern Oregon and Northern California started meeting. They were trying to come up with a grand bargain for the Klamath Basin — a deal to prevent the kinds of water wars that rocked the region in 2001 and 2002.

United States commercial fisheries are doing fine overall, but fishermen on the West Coast are hurting. A 2015 annual report out Wednesday from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a stark fall-off in the big seafood money-makers in the Pacific Northwest.

Nationally, 2015 was an above average year in terms of catch rate, commercial value and national seafood consumption.

Chris Maletis is driving his SUV along Highway 551 between Aurora and Wilsonville at the southern end of Clackamas County. It takes a few minutes to drive around the 385 acres Maletis owns here with his brother Tom.

“We’re coming right up on the airport, which employs hundreds of people,” said Maletis, who contends this area is urban in nature.

The property includes the Langdon Farms Golf Club. But Maletis sees his land as helping address the region's — and especially Clackamas County's — shortfall of industrial property.

Oregon Election 2016: Ballot Quick Look

Oct 25, 2016

As Election Day nears, there's still time to submit your ballot in Oregon. The deadline for all ballots is 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, and remember, it's too late to mail them in. You can drop them off at your local elections office or at a secure ballot drop box. Oregon.gov has a handy search tool to help you locate your drop box to make sure your ballot is received by the right elections office in time to be counted.

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