2013: A Good Year For West Coast Log And Lumber Exports

Feb 24, 2014
Sean Mack / Wikimedia Commons

Lumber and log exports from the West Coast rose about 20 percent last year, with demand peaking in the fourth quarter.

Most of the West Coast logs shipped overseas are going to China, although Japan has upped its demand, as well. With limited forestlands of their own, these countries rely on the United States’ timber supply.

Washington State University

Washington State University has extended the contract of its president Elson Floyd. 

The WSU board of regents made the announcement at a special meeting today in Pullman. Floyd’s current contract was due to end in 2016. The regents extended that five years to 2021. 

The university says Floyd asked that his current level of compensation—$625,000 a year--remain unchanged at this time. 

Floyd has served as WSU president since May of 2007.

Courtney Flatt

Ice climbers are a lot like snowboarders and skiers – they count on winter weather to create the right conditions for their sport. But here’s a big difference: mountain resorts can manufacture snow; no one has invented a machine to freeze waterfalls. And as winter temperatures rise, outdoor recreationalists worry that climate change could threaten some ice climbing destinations.

High Enrollment In A State With No Love For Obamacare

Feb 24, 2014

The latest figures on who's signing up under the federal health care law tell a surprising story about one of the most conservative states in the country. Even though Idaho politicians regularly condemn Obamacare, Idahoans are signing up at one of the highest per capita rates in the country – second only to Vermont.

Tom Banse

Athletes with ties to the Northwest won three gold and two silver medals at the Winter Olympics that just wrapped up in Sochi, Russia. If Idaho, Oregon and Washington were a separate country, we'd be right behind Poland and tied with Finland on the medal table.

M.O. Stevens / Flickr

President Obama recently ordered a minimum wage increase for federal contractors. Now Washington Governor Jay Inslee says he may consider a similar executive order at the state level. The Democrat made his comments Friday after a meeting with the President at the White House where minimum wage was discussed.

M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia

Oregonians could soon notice more alerts about people with Alzheimer's or dementia who have gone missing. Oregon lawmakers Friday sent a measure to the governor that would require law enforcement agencies to create plans to alert the public using any technology of the agency's choice. 

This summer marijuana stores will open for business across Washington. The new legal pot market is modeled on a system the state adopted 80 years ago when prohibition ended. If there are other parallels between the legalization of alcohol then and marijuana today.

Idaho Bill Banning Secret Video Of Farms Moves Ahead

Feb 21, 2014
Martin Pilát/Flickr

A measure that seeks to bar animal rights activists from making undercover video in Idaho dairies is moving ahead in the state House. What critics call the “ag gag” bill is a reaction to a 2012 video that showed workers abusing cows at a farm near Twin Falls. Farmers say they need protection from what they call “vigilante” tactics.

Census Of Agriculture Shows Fewer Oregon Farms

Feb 21, 2014

New statistics from the US Department of Agriculture show the number of working farms in Oregon shrank by more than 8 percent between 2007 and 2012. The figures were included in preliminary data from the agency's 2012 Census of Agriculture.