environment

Environmental DNA
6:43 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Science Fiction Becomes Reality For Species Surveys

Postdoc researcher Jimmy O'Donnell at the UW lab bench where he processes eDNA samples.
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Imagine how cool it would be to detect rare or invasive species, study biodiversity or to estimate fish abundance with just a scoop of air or a dip of water. It'd be like science fiction come true. Well, science fiction is indeed becoming reality through a new sampling technology called environmental DNA.

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Road De-Icing
6:53 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Road De-Icing Researchers Say Hold The Salt, Pass The Vodka By-Product

Salt helps melt ice on roads, but it also has adverse effects on the environment.
Credit Sgt. Jorge Intriago / U.S. Air National Guard

The search is on to find an alternative to salting the roads in winter. Salt helps melt the ice, but it also builds up in stream beds and drinking water.

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Food Waste
7:57 am
Wed November 19, 2014

From Table To Truck: How Food Waste Could Run Your Car

New fuel is being made from fermented food waste.
Credit AP Images

Remember that last scene in Back to the Future?

“Marty you’ve got to come with me,” Doc said.
“Where?” Marty said.
“Back to the future,” Doc said.

Doc tears into Marty’s driveway in the DeLorean time machine and raids the trash can.

“I need fuel,” he said.

He puts some banana peels and the remains of a half-empty beer can into the fuel tank and tells Marty to get in the car. Back in 1985, using food waste for fuel seemed about as far off as flying cars. But now, it’s reality. Welcome to the future.

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Food Waste
7:29 am
Mon November 17, 2014

How Northwest Cities Are Reducing The Impacts Of Food Waste

Credit szczel / Flickr

In the U.S., we waste about 40 percent of all of the food we produce. A lot of that food winds up rotting in landfills and releasing air pollution. But many cities are trying to turn it into something more valuable and less harmful to the environment.

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Environmental Lawsuits
5:43 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Environmental Groups Sue Over Nuclear Power Permit

On Friday, environmentalists sued the Columbia Generating Station in Richland, WA for violating the Clean Water Act.
Credit Energy Northwest / Northwest News Network

Three environmental groups filed a lawsuit Friday claiming the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant is harming endangered fish. The groups are suing a Washington state permitting agency because they said it issued a permit that violates the Clean Water Act.

The environmentalists said the Columbia Generating Station in Richland discharges too much toxic material into the water. They said that material can accumulate in fish that people eat.

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Land Purchase
6:12 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Group Makes Largest Private Land Purchase in Washington History

The Nature Conservancy bought nearly 48,000 acres of land from timber company Plum Creek, making it the largest private land purchase in Washington State history.
Credit The Nature Conservancy

A conservation group has made the largest private land acquisition in Washington’s history, purchasing forest land in the Cascade Mountains from a timber company.

The Nature Conservancy bought nearly 48,000 acres of land in the Cascade Mountains, between Snoqualmie Pass and Cle Elum.

The lands are home to spotted owls, elk, salmon, and ponderosa pine. The purchase also encompasses the headwaters of the Yakima River.

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Salmon Cannon
7:04 am
Fri September 26, 2014

A New Technology To Transport Fish: The Salmon Cannon

Washington Deparment of Fish and Wildlife crews load 30-pound fall chinook salmon into the salmon cannon. The cannon sucks the fish up to a truck at 22 miles per hour. The fish will then be driven to a nearby hatchery.
Credit Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

Salmon may soon have a faster way to make it around dams. There’s a new technology that’s helping to transport hatchery fish in Washington. It’s called the salmon cannon — yes, you read that right.

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Coal Risks
5:47 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Is Coal Dust Risky? Scientists Are Looking Into It

Scientists are studying the effects of coal on the surrounding environment after it leaves the train.
Credit Mark Herren / Flickr

Coal has been transported around the country by rail for decades. But very little research has been done on what coal does to the environment when it escapes from trains.With two large coal export terminals proposed for Washington state, one federal agency is hoping to add good science to the debate over coal in the Northwest.


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Wolf Kill Ban
6:57 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Ketchum City Council Passes Resolution to Use Non-Lethal Tactics to Control Wolf Population

Ketchum, Idaho is asking the state to collaborate on a project that helps ranchers use alternative measures against wolves.
Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife

The resort town of Ketchum, Idaho is asking the state to back off on killing wolves. They say it’s bad for business. Last night, the Ketchum City Council passed a resolution urging wildlife managers to use non-lethal tactics to control the wolf population.


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Wildlife Killings
6:25 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Groups Plan To Sue Over Feds' Wildlife-Killing Tactics In Idaho

A breeding alpha female wolf was killed this past week by a federally contracted sharpshooter who shot the wrong wolf.
Credit USDA / Northwest News Network

Four environmental groups say they will sue the government to stop what they call the unlawful killing of wildlife in Idaho. They say tactics like shooting wolves from helicopters, blowing up beaver dams and spraying lethal chemicals in the wild have caused widespread damage.

The groups sent notice that they intend to sue the USDA's Wildlife Services program.

Travis Bruner heads the Hailey, Idaho-based Western Watersheds Project. It's one of the groups that joined the impending lawsuit.

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