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The fate of the gray wolf stands in sharp contrast to that of the northern spotted owl. 

While conservation groups seek to move the owl from threatened to endangered, the gray wolf could move in the other direction. 

But are a few dozen wolves in Oregon enough to consider a stable population?  Under the current rules, yes. 

Russ Morgan is the Wolf Coordinator for Oregon Fish & Wildlife

Colin Hay Live Session

May 8, 2015
Soleil Rowan

Colin Hay may be best known as the lead singer for Men At Work, the platinum selling Australian band that topped worldwide charts in the '80s with anthems like “Down Under,” “Overkill,” and “Who Can It Be Now?” Hay’s justifiably proud of his place in pop history, but since moving to Los Angeles in 1989, he’s made 12 solo records in a new chapter of his lengthy and prosperous career. His most recent is called "Next Year People," released in 2015.

Edward J. O'Neill/National Fish and Wildlife Service

The ongoing efforts to distribute water in drought years always cause concern for someone. 

We recently visited with the Klamath Water and Power Authority about its program to pay some landowners to pump groundwater rather than irrigate. 

Some observers are less interested in the details than in the fact that it happens at all. 

Klamath River observer and critic Felice Pace certainly has some questions. 

Whitehorse Live Session

May 8, 2015

Whitehorse formed in 2010 by husband and wife solo musicians Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland. The two toured in each other’s bands for years, but they put aside their award winning individual careers to build a new band out of their exceptional guitar playing, his and her harmonies and a flair for dramatic, narrative songwriting.

River Design Group

When the talk turns to removing dams from streams, the attention turns to the Klamath River. 

But while the long process of (maybe) removing four large dams inches forward, smaller projects are underway. 

WaterWatch of Oregon is one of several players working to remove a pair of small dams from Evans Creek, a tributary of the Rogue River. 

A magnitude 3.3 earthquake hit Wednesday morning just outside Redding, California.

The US Geological Survey reports the epicenter of the quake, which struck at 11:30 a.m., was about 2.5 miles northwest of Redding, near the intersection of Keswick Dam Road and Quartz Hill Road.

NOAA

Earlier this month, California Governor Jerry Brown issued an historic order mandating that the state cut its water use by 25 percent. That's not an across-the-board cut.

While water hogging cities will have to cut their water use by as much as 36 percent, water super-savers like Santa Cruz may barely see any cuts.

It's all being hashed out by state regulators right now, who are are expected to finalize the cuts later this week. So who are the state's biggest water hogs, and water savers?

Oregon Fish & Wildlife

Since wolves first started returning to Washington and Oregon in the late 1990s, the population has been increasing steadily – especially over the past few years.

In late April, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission started the process of removing the predator from the state’s endangered species list.

All this brings up questions of whether the wolf has actually recovered enough to dial back protections. JPR’s Liam Moriarty spoke with Jes Burns, from the EarthFix environmental news team. 

Wikimedia

Declining federal timber revenue has driven Josephine County to the brink of insolvency. 

And the impact has been most acutely felt in public safety, where just a handful of deputies are available to patrol for the sheriff's department. 

Voters have rejected several property tax levies to boost patrols, and they get another chance to decide a levy, in the May 19th election. 

Measure 17-66 is the latest effort, and we will hear both sides in this hour. 

BLM/Public Domain

Some of the fiercest arguments over proper federal forest management in Oregon focus on the "O & C lands," forests once granted to the Oregon & California Railroad to finance construction. 

Back in federal hands, they are supposed to give half their timber revenue over to the counties containing them.  But with little timber being cut, county budgets have suffered. 

BLM is out with a draft of its management plan for Western Oregon forests, and will take comments into July. 

In this hour, we visit first with EarthFix reporter Jes Burns to get perspective on the lands and plans. 

Very few musicians of any stripe so personify a musical genre as completely as Tony Furtado embodies Americana roots music. Tony is an evocative and soulful singer, a wide-ranging songwriter and a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist adept on banjo, cello-banjo, slide guitar, and baritone ukulele who mixes and matches sounds and styles with the flair of a master chef (he’s also an accomplished sculptor, but that’s another story). 

Scott Sanchez/Wikimedia

Curry County on the Oregon coast needs help.  The loss of timber dollars from the federal government hit the county hard, and county services have been cut to the bone. 

County leaders will try once again in the May 19th election to pass a levy to fund the sheriff's office.  This one differs from past efforts in that the property tax rates would not be the same for residents inside and outside the cities in the county. 

We hear from both sides of Measure 8-81 in this hour, separately. 

The supporters, including Sheriff John Ward, will go first. 

Chris Lehman/Northwest News Network

Starting in July, adults in Oregon can legally use recreational marijuana.

But thousands of Oregonians will still have criminal records for marijuana offenses that would have been legal under the new law. Now, Oregon lawmakers are considering a proposal to wipe the slate clean for people convicted of certain marijuana offenses.

Details of the measure are still being negotiated but it's likely to apply only to people who did things that will be legal once the voter-approved Measure 91 takes effect.

The Interagency Fire Center released an outlook for the upcoming fire season on Friday. 2015 could be a big year for major wildfires in the Northwest.

One important predictor of fires is the moisture level of dead wood, called the "fuel moisture value." The value is measured at several sites across the state.

Marina Burity/Wikimedia

The stakes are a bit higher in the quest to build--or stop--a liquified natural gas terminal on the Oregon coast, and a pipeline to it. 

A similar plan for Northern Oregon just got blocked by Clatsop county, and the supporters of that proposal plan to appeal. 

The Jordan Cove proposal for the Coos Bay area is still active, for the moment. 

Katie Orr/CPR

The California drought is not only making fire season longer and more dangerous, it’s making fires harder to fight. Low water levels mean there may not be enough natural supply to fight fires. And that means firefighters have been forced to be creative.

Wikimedia

"Driving while hispanic" is not an official term, but it's one that surfaces from time to time in our region, indicating issues even here with law enforcement and race. 

And while much of the country is focused on those issues, Oregon Action and other groups want changes. 

OA is pushing for state laws that would curtail or end racial profiling by police. 

NOAA

The West Coast is in its second straight year of unusually warm water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. JPR looks at what makes this particular warming phenomenon so unique, and what consequences may be in store for the Northwest.

No EID For Downtown Medford

Apr 29, 2015
Google Maps

It's back to square one for the Metro Medford Downtown Association

MMDA wanted the city council to create an economic improvement district to spruce up the look of the downtown streets. 

But business owners did not support the idea in big enough numbers, and the council decided against the plan. 

Rowan Moore Gerety/NWPR

The Affordable Care Act has expanded coverage to more than 10 million Americans who were previously without health insurance, and provided subsidies to millions more. But it hasn’t changed much for those who have fallen behind in paying for health care. 

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