Earthfix Northwest Environmental News

Earthfix
7:17 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Three Things About The Political Pep Rally In Klamath Falls

A mat of algae in the Sprague River, an important tributary in the Upper Klamath Basin.

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 9:17 pm

But that's what's in the works for Wednesday morning, when U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Gov. John Kitzhaber will all converge on Klamath Falls to hail the almost-done deal for dividing up scarce water in a thirsty corner of the Northwest.

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7:26 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Megaload Pulls Out Of Northeast Oregon Port Despite Protesters

Cathy Sampson-Kruse is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation. Police arrested her after she laid down in front of the so-called megaload bound for Canada.

A massive load of oil equipment is on its way to Canada, along a winding route that began near Hermiston, in northeast Oregon.

Protesters tried to stop the shipment by getting in the way. But the so-called megaload rumbled forward, on its journey through Oregon and Idaho.

About two-dozen protesters held signs and blew horns while police kept them away from the truck and trailer. The megaload takes up two lanes and stretches 380 feet.

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10:00 am
Fri November 29, 2013

EarthFix Conversation: Author Calls For Philosophical Shift On Use Of Hatcheries In The Northwest

Author Jim Lichatowich's new book takes a hard look at the use of fish hatcheries in the Northwest.

In the late 1800s, when dams were first built around the Northwest, salmon and steelhead stocks began to decline. Fish hatcheries were put forth as a solution. Wild fish were taken from Northwest rivers and spawned in captivity, ensuring future generations of fish could be released back into the wild every season.

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2:00 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Idaho Company Pushes 'Poop' Compost In Super Bowl Ad Contest

Author Jim Lichatowich's new book takes a hard look at the use of fish hatcheries in the Northwest.

A small Northwest compost company is one of four finalists vying for a free 30-second Super Bowl ad.

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1:00 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Displaced By Development, Urban Goat Herd Needs A New Home

Twelve goats living in Portland's Central Eastside Industrial District will have to move out so a developer can break ground on a new apartment building.

A dozen goats tromp around on their very own playground while traffic zooms by in Southeast Portland's industrial district.

Here, on the city's so-called "goat block," bike tours and families with children stop to visit the goat herd outside a chain-link fence. Each goat has a name and a "friendliness" rating posted outside the fence and once a day, a caretaker walks one of the friendly goats around the neighborhood for people to pet.

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12:08 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

New Hope For An Endangered Deer

Workers move an endangered 159-pound buck into a crate to be transported to a refuge 60 miles away. Biologists moved the deer because a dike could have breeched at any moment. Now biologists are recommending to list the deer as threatened.

Washington's Columbian white-tailed deer have had a rough time surviving. In fact, their population fell so much they were once thought to be extinct.

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Earthfix
9:17 am
Tue November 26, 2013

How Wyden’s O&C Bill Walks The Line Between Logging And Conservation

Foresters visit an old clear-cut on BLM land near Roseburg, Oregon.

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden has introduced a bill that sets the stage for sweeping changes in the management of 2.1 million acres of federal forest in Western Oregon.

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1:00 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Coal Ships And Tribal Fishing Grounds

Tribal treaty fishing rights give Washington tribes the opportunity to weigh in on, and even block, projects that could impact their fishing grounds.

This is the second installment of a two-part series. Read part one here.

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Dozens upon dozens of crab pot buoys dot the waters around Jay Julius’ fishing boat as he points the bow towards Cherry Point. The spit of land juts into northern Puget Sound.

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10:15 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

California Finds No Reason To Protect Wolves

Wolf OR7 was the first known gray wolf in California for decades. He's since returned to Oregon. A new study suggests wolves need no protections in the state since there are no wolf populations

As U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers removing the gray wolf from the federal list of protected species under the Endangered Species Act, a study by California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife finds that the gray wolf does not need protections in the state, according to a Capital Press report:

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1:00 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Documents Reveal Destruction Of Native American Archaeological Site At Cherry Point

Jay Julius is a Lummi tribal council member and fisherman. He cites the Pacific International Terminals' non-permitted actions at Cherry Point as a source of tribal opposition to the Gateway Pacific Terminal.

This is the first installment of a two-part series.

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Three summers ago the company that wants to build the largest coal export terminal in North America failed to obtain the environmental permits it needed before bulldozing more than four miles of roads and clearing more than nine acres of land, including some wetlands.

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2:44 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Putting A Price On Wind Power's Eagle Kills

Our infographic explains how wind turbines pose dangers to golden eagles and other types of birds.

One of the country's biggest energy corporations has agreed to shell out $1 million in a settlement over the 14 golden eagles killed by its Wyoming wind turbines.

Duke Energy struck the agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice on Friday. The announcement came after the energy giant was hit with misdemeanor charges under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

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12:04 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Artists Tell Stories Of Dead Bees

Artist Sarah Hatton has created a series of works using thousands of dead bees displayed in spirals symbolic of agriculture. She wants to bring attention to bees' decline due to pesticide use.

A headline at green blog Inhabitat mentioning ‘thousands of dead bees’ and ‘dizzying mandalas’ drew me in. The image that greeted me when I clicked through did not disappoint.

In an email, Canadian artist Sarah Hatton shared her inspiration for the series of works:

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8:25 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Turning Deep-Fried Thanksgiving Turkey Grease Into Biofuel

Planning a deep-fried turkey for Thanksgiving? You can recycle the used oil into biodiesel by dropping it off at New Seasons in Portland and Vancouver, Wash., next week.

I've never had deep-fried turkey, but I've heard it's delicious. It also requires several gallons of cooking oil. And when the cooking is through, it leaves behind a vat of used oil.

To biofuel companies, that's feedstock.

At least one biofuel maker would be happy to take those Thanksgiving leftovers.

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7:51 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Vancouver Barge Company Signs On To Coal Project

Tidewater Barge Lines, based in Vancouver, Wash., signed a deal with Ambre Energy to operate tugboats and barges needed to move the coal 218 miles down the Columbia River — if the project receives permits.

While Ambre Energy awaits state and federal permits to build a controversial coal export terminal at the Port of Morrow, the company signed a letter of intent with Tidewater Barge Lines for transportation service along the Columbia River.

Tidewater, based in Vancouver, Wash., will operate tugboats and barges needed to move the coal 218 miles down river — if the project receives permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Oregon Department of State Lands and Department of Environmental Quality.

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8:45 am
Thu November 21, 2013

New Research: Lab Fish Fed Plastic More Likely To Develop Tumors, Liver Problems

The unaltered stomach contents of a dead albatross chick photographed on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific in September 2009 include plastic marine debris fed the chick by its parents.

The majority of the plastic pollution in the ocean, by volume, comes in the form of tiny confetti-sized particles, which, as anyone who's ever kept a pet fish can attest, resemble fish food.

And fish are fooled as well.

More than 40 species of fish, globally, are known to consume plastic.

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3:24 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Hungry For Climate Change Action

Using the hashtag #FastingForTheClimate hunger strikers around the world posted images of empty dishes.

SEATTLE -- Michael Foster hasn’t eaten in nine days.

He’s not on a diet, or a cleanse. The the middle-aged father of two decided spontaneously last Monday to voluntarily fast to draw attention to climate change talks happening on the other side of the world.

I spoke with Foster at lunchtime on Day 8. He was “huuuuuuuungry,” he said.

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Earthfix Northwest Environmental News
11:42 am
Wed November 20, 2013

China’s Building Boom Revives Northwest Log Export Debate

A scaler grades logs that Teevin Brothers are preparing to ship to China. It can take 37,000 logs to fill a vessel.
Credit Amelia Templeton, EarthFix

Ports along the Oregon and Washington coast are looking to reopen log yards that shut down years ago, and provide the raw material to feed China’s construction boom. But some residents in Newport Oregon say a proposal to export logs there isn’t good for the community, and will hurt Northwest mills. From EarthFix, Amelia Templeton has this report.

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11:30 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Group Sues Yacolt Mining Company Over Water Pollution

An environmental group is suing a mining company in Clark County for water pollution. Local resident David Rogers shows a photo of his bathtub filled with well water.

A Clark County environmental group has filed a lawsuit against a Yacolt mining operation, claiming years of pollution and violations of the federal Clean Water Act.

In a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, Friends of the East Fork Lewis River claims that the Yacolt Mountain Quarry and its owners have discharged dirt, silt and other pollutants into tributaries of the East Fork. The suit names quarry operator J.L. Storedahl & Sons, Inc., company leaders and landowner Brent Rotschy as defendants.

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8:02 am
Wed November 20, 2013

First 'Megaload' Moves On Oregon Roads Sunday

Erik Zander of Omega Morgan discusses the megaload plans at a public meeting Monday night in John Day.

State transportation officials say Omega Morgan’s first oversized load to move through Eastern Oregon will hit the road in Umatilla the night of Sunday, Nov. 24.

Erik Zander, the Hillsboro-based company’s project manager, said at a meeting Monday night in John Day the date is not firm, as he doesn’t yet have the permit.

However, if the move does start Sunday, it could take about six nights to travel through the state under perfect conditions – or longer, with delays possible for weather and the holiday break, he said.

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1:56 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Tesla Fire Investigation Launched

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is taking a proactive approach addressing concerns about safety for his company's luxury electric vehicle, the Model S, after three recent car fires. On his company’s blog, Musk writes,

“While we believe the evidence is clear that there is no safer car on the road than the Model S, we are taking three specific actions ... "

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