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.

A study released Monday by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences indicates that some mammals might be unable to keep up with environmental changes. Aaron Kunz explains what that means for the Pacific Northwest.

The study looked at nearly 500 species in North and South America. It determined that close to 10 percent will not be able change habitat in order to keep pace with climate change.

In the early part of the 20th century, when many Northwestern rivers were dammed, fish hatcheries provided a way to keep salmon in rivers. But now an estimated 5 billion hatchery fish are released into the Pacific every year. A collection of research released Monday highlights possible concerns about how all those hatchery fish might be impacting wild stocks. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Conservation Groups Sue to Stop Logging Project

May 8, 2012

Conservation organizations will proceed with a legal challenge of the Goose Logging Project in the McKenzie River Watershed in the Willamette National Forest. KLCC's Christina Kempster has more on the story.

Photo by Courtney Flatt / Northwest News Network

Nine fluffy owlets recently turned up at Washington State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Doctors thought the babies looked like great horned owls. But to their surprise, the owlets turned out to be an even more unusual species. As correspondent Courtney Flatt reports, help poured in from around the country to solve the tiny owls’ identity crisis.

Photo by Ashley Ahearn / Northwest News Network

Honeybees have run into some trouble. Diseases, funguses and pesticides are just some of the factors scientists believe may be contributing to the decline of these insects nation-wide. But honeybees play a critical role in pollinating everything from the Washington apple crop to the flowers in your back yard. Ashley Ahearn reports on one booming business that’s bringing bees back to the urban environment. Care to borrow a bee?

Photo by Anna King / Northwest News Network

In the remote valleys of southeast Oregon both birds and cattle flourish. This is where mountain streams feed an oasis of lakes and marshes in the high desert. Cattle ranchers and wildlife advocates have been fighting over that valuable grassland for decades. Now, they’ve struck a delicate truce that keeps both birds and burgers in mind. Correspondent Anna King has our story from way outside of Burns, Oregon.

Forest Service officials in northeast Oregon have announced they will put on hold a plan to close forest roads. Amelia Templeton reports.

The plan was to go into effect this summer. It would have made about half the roads in the Wallowa-Whitman forest off limits to cars and off road vehicles. The goals: protect habitat and create a more efficient road network. But local residents protested.

Mac Huff is a fishing guide in Joseph, Ore. He says closing the roads would create problems for hunters. And make it harder for him to find fuel for his wood stove.

Photo courtesy of Conservation Northwest

TWISP, Wash. -- A Twisp, Washington man has changed his plea to guilty in a high-profile federal wolf poaching case. As part of a plea agreement, the 62-year-old man will not go to prison. The lack of jail time greatly disappoints a conservation group. Correspondent Tom Banse has more on the story.

Photo by Ashley Ahearn / Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA -- Washington Senator Maria Cantwell has introduced a bill to get one thousand acres of the San Juan Islands declared a National Conservation Area. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Photo by Amelia Templeton / Northwest News Network

CHILOQUIN, Ore. -- You won’t find Lost River suckerfish on any menus in the Northwest. But for years, this fish was a staple for the tribes living in Southern Oregon. Now the fishery is in trouble, and the Klamath tribes are trying to figure out how to bring it back. Amelia Templeton reports.

Senate Holds Hearing On Protecting San Juans' Public Lands

Mar 23, 2012
Photo by KenBungay / Flickr

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A bill to establish a National Conservation Area that would give permanent protection 1,000 acres of unique landscapes in the San Juan Islands is wending its way through Congress. A key committee took up the legislation Thursday.

SEATTLE - A federal judge ruled Thursday that Washington and Oregon can resume killing sea lions on the lower Colombia River at the Bonneville Dam.

Whats Next for Wolves After Court Decision

Mar 15, 2012

BOISE - The wolf hunt in Idaho will continue through June in part of the state. That’s because the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday upheld Congress’s decision to strip federal protection for wolves in Idaho and Montana. Aaron Kunz has reaction to the decision.

Photo by: Dan Cook / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

DALLESPORT, Wash. – Columbia River Indian tribes are keeping their ancient traditions alive in the coming weeks with ceremonies to open their spring fisheries. As Courtney Flatt explains, predictions of strong salmon runs are giving the tribes extra reason to celebrate.

Courtesy by: Lisa Hayward

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The latest plan to save the imperiled Northern spotted owl allows shooting an invasive rival bird, the barred owl. An important part of the recovery plan is getting accurate owl counts. Researchers have been experimenting with specially trained dogs that can identify spotted owl and barred owl roosts. But as Correspondent Tom Banse reports, it's not clear yet whether the technique will catch on.

Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

MEDFORD, Ore. -- The US fish and Wildlife service has proposed two new steps to help shrinking populations of the northern spotted owl. The agency may designate state and private land critical owl habitat. And it will kill barred owls. Amelia Templeton reports.

Photo courtesy Nereus Program.

VANCOUVER, B.C. – In Greek mythology, the original god of the sea was named Nereus. Among other powers, he could prophesy the future. That’s why researchers at the University of British Columbia thought to name a project to predict future ocean conditions after Nereus. Now, the initial computer simulations are out. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

Photo credit Wikimedia Commons

BOISE, Idaho -- Idaho lawmakers are looking for ways to reverse the decline in the state’s dwindling sage grouse population. They’re worried that if the state doesn’t act, the federal government will impose its own plan to protect the bird under the Endangered Species Act. Aaron Kunz reports.