conservation

Friends of Badger Mountain

Conservationists in Washington’s Tri-Cities are nearing a deal to secure a trail right-of-way on a scenic peak. That would get closer to the goal of establishing a 20-mile trail that could offer sunny, dry hiking at times of year when most trails elsewhere in the Northwest are muddy or snow covered.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When it comes to watering your lawn during drought and wildfire season, what’s the sweet spot between water conservation and fire hazard?

Miguel Vieira / Flickr

If you enjoy hiking in the pristine Alpine Lakes Wilderness in Washington's Cascade mountains, then a package of bills moving through Congress applies to you.

They'll make sure you can continue visiting for years and years to come. The Alpine Lakes area is actually one of dozens across the country affected by this package of bills. Senator Patty Murray says these lands are crucial.

"Designating these will make sure that they are managed and protected into the future and can't be sold of or used in ways that don't allow the public to use them," Murray said.

Redwood Burl Poaching Spreads To Oregon

Jun 13, 2014
Michael Schweppe / Wikimedia

Redwood burl poaching has long been an issue in the Redwood National Park in California. But now a conservation group says it’s spotted evidence of this type of tree damage in a national forest in Oregon.

Ashley Ahearn / KUOW

Steelhead in Puget Sound have been listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act since 2007. Millions of dollars have been spent improving the habitat of this iconic fish, but the population isn’t increasing. In fact, a lot of the fish aren’t even making it out of Puget Sound and scientists can’t pinpoint why.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife

The Oregon Department of Forestry has reached a settlement with conservation groups that had sued to prevent logging in forests that are home to a threatened seabird. The agreement was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Eugene and still must be approved by a judge.

Dominio Público / Wikimedia Commons

New legislation could put 126,000 acres of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula into permanent conservation.

Democratic Senator Patty Murray introduced the Wild Olympics Act on Friday. It’s a chunk of national forest land almost as big as the city of Chicago. The Act would also provide protection for 19 rivers on the Olympic Peninsula.

Community leaders in southeast Washington are looking to develop parts of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation as a prime spot for tourists.

Basher Eyre / Wikimedia Commons

Updating your home can have a dramatic effect on energy savings. One Central Washington couple reduced their energy use by about one-third.

Photo Credit: Washington Secretary of State

Last night’s election put Washington’s electoral map on display. For the most part, western counties near the Puget Sound voted one way, while Eastern Washington voted more conservative on the issues of same-sex marriage, legalizing marijuana and in the race for governor.

Conservation groups say one of the largest wetlands on the west coast has been allowed to go virtually dry this fall.

RICHLAND, Wash. – Two conservation groups have filed a lawsuit against county commissioners on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge. The Skamania County commissioners have lifted a development moratorium.

Photo by: Gunnar Ries Amphibol / Wikimedia Commons

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has re-issued the kill order for four wolves in a pack in the Northeastern corner of the state. Starting Wednesday marksmen will take to the field, Ashley Ahearn reports.

Photo by Anna King / Northwest News Network

This week fire crews declared the Taylor Bridge fire 100-percent contained. Now that the massive blaze in central Washington is controlled forest scientists say Northwest residents should brace for more large fires like this. Munching insects, parasitic plants and global climate change are part of the problem. Correspondent Anna King reports from the field with one of Washington’s top forest managers.

State officials have called off orders to kill four members of a wolf pack in Northeastern Washington. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Idaho Wildlife Summit Considered A Success

Aug 27, 2012
Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Idaho’s Fish and Game Department told stakeholders this weekend they are losing funding for valuable wildlife conservation programs. This weekend’s public summit was held to get some help from the people they serve. Earthfix reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

The annual Sawtooth Salmon Festival brought in many visitors to Stanley in central Idaho this weekend. That’s despite a nearby wildfire that’s brought in smoke to the area.

The festival coincides with the return of sockeye and chinook salmon to the Stanley area. So far 160 sockeye have arrived so far. That’s down from the hundreds that showed up last year.

Annie Morrison is an intern at Idaho Rivers United, which organized the event. She says festival goers got a chance to see salmon spawning.

Aaron Kunz / Boise State Public Radio

Restoration work to make a section of Idaho’s Salmon River better for salmon and steelhead is about to get underway. It’s also the focus of a nationwide campaign dedicated to conservation.

Photo by Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Firefighters on the scene of a destructive wildfire in central Washington are hoping to make major progress Wednesday toward containment of the blaze. The Kittitas County sheriff's office estimates more than 70 homes and cabins have been destroyed. The fire has chased hundreds of people from their homes. Amidst the ashes, correspondent Tom Banse found one unusual story of survival.

ODFW to Launch Unmanned Drone on Oregon Coast

Jul 24, 2012

Wildlife officials plan to launch an unmanned aircraft on the Oregon coast. They hope the drone will allow them to monitor seabird populations on hard-to-reach rocky islands that serve as nesting grounds. KLCC’s Jes Burns reports.

Campaign Says Gillnet Ban Heading To Oregon Ballot

Jul 3, 2012

Oregon voters likely will decide this fall whether to ban gillnet fishing in the Columbia River and other state waters. Campaigners say they turned in enough signatures Monday to qualify their gillnet ban as a ballot measure in the November election. Oregon requires more than 87,000 valid signatures on petitions for initiatives that change state law.

Eric Stachon is spokesman for the Stop Gillnets Now Coalition. He says the group turned in more than 138-thousand signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State.

Photo courtesy Oregon Zoo

It’s been a decade-long struggle for Washington’s pygmy rabbits. The palm-sized bunnies have been all but wiped out from the state. And efforts to breed them in captivity were failing. So, biologists are now attempting to breed the rabbits in their natural habitat. Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt explains, the pygmy rabbits are finally doing what rabbits are supposed to do.

Scientists working more than a mile underwater off the Washington coast have learned that the bottom of the ocean is surprisingly vulnerable to human disturbance. Even from scientists. KUOW's John Ryan reports from Seattle.

There is a growing concern that hatcheries could cause our Northwest fish to lose their wild streak -- and ability to survive. A laboratory in Idaho hopes to change that. Earthfix reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

Since April, 20 sea lions have washed up dead in Oregon and Washington. EarthFix’s Ashley Ahearn reports the majority of the animals were shot.

Photo by Amelia Templeton / Earthfix

Hunters once killed nearly all the greater sandhill cranes in Oregon and Washington. But the local crane population has made a comeback. In June, in the mountain lakes of the Cascades, you might hear a pair defending its nest. Amelia Templeton reports.

Most sandhill crane chicks hatch in May. If you get too close to a nest, mom and dad will throw back their heads and beat their wings. This pair is nesting near Howard Prairie Lake, in the Cascades. The adults are grey, with red caps. And they’re about the size and weight of a sixth grader.

Photo by Courtney Flatt / Northwest News Network

PULLMAN, Wash. – Black-tailed deer roam forested areas of western Washington and Oregon, but some say their numbers are declining. Scientists suspect that’s because these deer are having trouble finding food to eat. Correspondent Courtney Flatt spoke with researchers who are studying black-tailed deer’s diet. Once they know what deer like to munch on, wildlife managers can make sure those plants keep growing in the wild.

The illegal trade of wildlife is big business- worth an estimated $5 billion a year, and growing. But who do you call to investigate a crime when the victim is an elephant, or a butterfly?

Turns out, there’s only one forensics team in the world that can handle crimes involving thousands of rare and endangered species. The team works at the U.S Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab in Ashland, Oregon. The lab isn’t open to the public. But reporter Amelia Templeton got a glimpse inside.

Water Conservation Linked to Energy

May 18, 2012

A Northwest environmental group is offering a new reason to conserve water: it’s a way to save energy and shrink your carbon footprint. Aaron Kunz explains.

Conservation group Idaho Rivers United monitored 15 water providers in western Idaho to see how much energy they used. It’s the first research of its kind in the country -- and it’s attracting attention.

Liz Paul of Idaho Rivers United says the group hopes the information gives the public a new way of thinking about the water they use.

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