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More and more people are using publicly owned lands for recreation. Public agencies are struggling to keep up with the demand for rangers, trail maintenance – even the need to restock toilet paper in outhouses. The problem could get worse under President Trump’s hiring freeze. 

M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia Commons

School districts across Oregon are warning of potentially deep budget cuts, if legislators don’t find additional money for public schools. 

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says February’s legal success against the Trump Administration’s original travel ban is a major victory for checks and balances.

          

Oregon DEQ Prepares For Big Staff Cuts Under Trump

Mar 22, 2017
Rob Manning / OPB

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality expects to lose more than 30 people in the agency’s core programs protecting air and water quality because of President Trump’s proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency budget, according to an internal DEQ memo.

Idaho Governor Butch Otter Tuesday declared seven north Idaho counties as disaster areas, thanks to flooding caused by heavy snowmelt and rain.

Flickr User: Wildcat Dunny / FLICKR Creative Commons

Kite flyers, picnickers, and Ultimate players treasure Seattle’s Gas Works Park--but beneath its sparkling grass lies a toxic legacy of its industrial past. Puget Sound Energy is now working with public officials to clean up the mess.

Spokane's Episcopal Diocese Ordains First Female Bishop

Mar 20, 2017
Doug Nadvornick / SPR

Spokane’s Episcopal Diocese installed its first female bishop during a ceremony on Saturday. In the majestic Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, some of the highest-ranking leaders of the American Episcopal Church joined Gretchen Rehberg for one of the most important days of her life.

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

The state of the salmon population in Idaho’s Snake River was the topic of a passionate discussion during a conference hosted by members of Idaho’s Nez Perce Indian tribe over the weekend.

Courtesy of Tesoro

 

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Port of Vancouver regarding a controversial proposed oil terminal.

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Among many proposed budget cuts, the Trump administration wants to completely eliminate the National Endowments for the Humanities and the Arts. The proposed budget cut would  impact numerous art-related programs and groups in Washington state. 

nature.org

 

When wildfires roared through Washington during the summer and fall of 2014 and 2015, they caught people’s attention, even Democratic state lawmakers from the Puget Sound area such as Rep. Larry Springer.

The Daily Astorian

Hunters, fishermen and environmental activists: it’s not often these groups are mentioned in the same breath. But recently they’re finding themselves standing shoulder to shoulder over the issue of public lands.

Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

The Pacific chorus frogs’ call is ubiquitous in the Northwest. But the amphibians are having more and more trouble hearing themselves. Traffic is drowning them out.

Courtesy of the Washington Department of Ecology

One bill would give the state oversight of railroad’s oil spill planning and impose a fee on railroads to pay for spill preparation.

Another would require railroads to prove financial responsibility for oil train crashes. It would also prohibit the legislature from funding new oil or coal projects.

Amelia Templeton / Oregon Public Broadcasting

The West Coast is on track for a meager and potentially disastrous salmon season. Fishery managers today/Monday proposed closures and severe cutbacks protect a record-low run of Klamath River fish.

Rachael McDonald / KLCC

Petroleum industry groups have joined the Trump Administration in seeking appeal of a climate change lawsuit that’s set to go to trial next fall. The suit was brought against the federal government by 21 youth plaintiffs.

Jurors Convict Malheur Defendants in 2nd Trial

Mar 10, 2017
Ryan Haas / OPB

A federal jury has convicted occupiers Jason Patrick and Darryl Thorn on felony conspiracy charges for their roles in last year’s armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Defendants Duane Ehmer and Jake Ryan were acquitted of conspiracy, but convicted on lesser charges.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is seeking the resignations of 46 United States attorneys who were appointed during President Obama’s administration. But Oregon's top prosecutor says that does not affect him.

Brian Moen / Creative Commons

The Northwest is home to many of the world’s most popular apples. But it also has apples many believed no longer exist. On eastern Washington’s Steptoe Butte, researchers found two apple varieties they thought extinct, the Spokesman Review reports.

Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

Washington school districts are breathing a collective sigh of relief. The state Senate voted Wednesday night to delay the so-called "levy cliff" for another year. Democrat Andy Billig of Spokane said the move would bring certainty to school districts planning next year's budget.

Associated Press / AP Images

The Tacoma City Council has voted to temporarily ban new or expanded correctional facilities across the city. This includes the privately-owned Northwest Detention Center. The measure is in place for six months, while the council works on permanent regulations. 

King County Releases Findings On Sewage Plant Failure

Mar 8, 2017
Des Runyan / FLICKR Creative Commons

On Tuesday, King County released preliminary findings of what went wrong at the West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant. This February, an electrical failure there caused flooding and a massive dump of sewage into Puget Sound.

Associated Press / AP Images

A so-called ‘dreamer’ recently arrested near Seattle will remain in immigration detention. A federal judge says he’ll make a decision early next week about whether to release Daniel Ramirez Medina from a Tacoma lockup.

Ramirez claims his arrest violated his constitutional rights. Because at the time, he had lawful status in the country through the DACA program.

Mark Rosenbaum is one of Ramirez’s attorneys. He says this case is asking the court to clarify the broader rights of all DACA recipients.

WSDOT / FLICKR

Last year, gun violence shook communities in Marysville and on Whidbey Island, Washington. Some lawmakers in Olympia said it was the result of inadequate mental health resources.

Work place deaths jumped close to 50 percent in Oregon last year. The new state numbers prompted one expert to say he’d failed. 

Alan Stanton / Flickr

It’s been a tough winter for the Northwest. For some places, it was the coldest winter in decades. There was plenty of snow and rain and a cycle of thawing and freezing. That adds up to some serious road damage - potholes, rough surfaces and washed out roads.

Associated Press / AP Images

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says he’s reviewing the new White House travel order. Ferguson says the revised Executive Order came as a result of the state’s challenge over the original policy.

  Atomic Geography is a compelling story of inherited guilt and achingly slow progress at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. While the story may occasionally get lost in the weeds, even the weeds have a strange glow about them.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Images

Oregon Rep. Greg Walden told Republican activists Saturday that he’s close to producing a bill that will serve as his party’s chief vehicle for replacing the Affordable Care Act.

Second Oregon Refuge Trial To Go To Jury This Week

Mar 6, 2017
Rick Bowmer / AP Images

The second trial of people linked to last year’s occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge will go to the jury this week.

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