Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

The helicopter shooting of a wolf in northeastern Washington didn’t go as planned. A sharp shooter took out the livestock-killing pack’s alpha female. Officials worry that could lower the pack’s chances of survival.

Serge Melki / Flickr

KING 5 reports that a federal contractor hired to kill wolves hunting Washington sheep has accidentally killed the pack's alpha breeding female.

The pack, known as the Huckleberry Pack, has been preying on sheep in northern Stevens County.

Katie Campbell / EarthFix

More oil trains traveling along the Columbia River and Puget Sound mean an increased risk for oil spills. Conservation groups worry methods to clean up those spills could harm sensitive wildlife.

The Golden Anniversary For Wilderness In America

Sep 2, 2014
David Steves / EarthFix

When you consider how long mountains, forests and deserts have been a part of the American landscape, 50 years is the blink of an eye.

But it’s something of a milestone when a law protecting these places turns 50. That’s happening this week.

To kick off our series on Wilderness, David Steves from our EarthFix team hiked into Washington’s Cascade Mountains. He brings us this report on what a half-century of wilderness protection has meant for a place called the Goat Rocks.

EPA Says Idaho Must Clean Up The Air In The Silver Valley

Aug 20, 2014
MegLearner / pixabay

The EPA has given the state of Idaho notice that a corner of the Idaho panhandle isn't meeting stricter new air quality standards. The agency intends to change that by forcing the state to reduce what are called “fine particulates” in the air.

Oregon Denies Permit For Controversial Coal Export Dock

Aug 19, 2014
Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission

The state of Oregon Monday denied a controversial permit for a coal export dock on the Columbia River. For EarthFix, Cassandra Profita reports.

Report Raises Safety Concerns About Oil By Water

Aug 7, 2014
Kill van Kull / Flickr

Many communities across the Northwest are worried about the safety risks of shipping crude oil by rail. But a new report raises safety concerns about another shipping method: Oil by water. For EarthFix, Cassandra Profita reports.

Courtney Flatt / Northwest News Network

Drones could soon be the newest gadgets in forest conservation. A group of Washington college students recently built and tested a drone that will survey the health of the forest. The hope is that drones will speed up restoration efforts and save some money. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

Oregon Ponders Smoking Ban At All Beaches

Jul 25, 2014
Mark Hogan / Flickr

Oregon could become the first West Coast state to ban smoking on all of its beaches. The Oregon State Parks Department is seeking public input on the proposal.

Seattle Considers Fining Residents For Failure To Compost

Jul 24, 2014
normanack / Flickr

A growing number of cities in the Northwest – including Seattle and Portland – give residents the option of putting household food waste in a curbside compost bin. But in a push to boost recycling rates, the city of Seattle is rethinking the optional part.

New Safety Rules Proposed To Curb Oil Train Fires

Jul 23, 2014
Paul Sullivan / Flickr

The U.S. Department of Transportation proposed a comprehensive set of rules Wednesday in response to fiery crashes involving trains carrying crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota.

Scientists Say Earlier Slide Set Up Oso Disaster

Jul 22, 2014
Dave Norman / Washington DNR

A small landslide in 2006 set the stage for the catastrophe that claimed 43 lives in Oso, Wash. this past March. A panel of scientists says that first slide left a loosely packed mass of debris suspended above the Steelhead Haven development and its neighbors.

Martin D. Adamiker / Wikimedia

Today President Obama announced several initiatives to help prepare for a warming climate. He said wildfires, heat waves and rising sea levels brought on by climate change threaten public safety.

MTSOfan / Flickr

The federal Bureau of Land Management plans to capture and remove fewer wild horses from Western rangelands this summer. An agency statement blames budget constraints and already-full holding pens. Correspondent Tom Banse has more.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

The federal government led a bus load of journalists to points across the Hanford nuclear site. Officials wanted to show off what they’re doing to keep workers safe from chemical vapors. Since the spring a run of workers have needed medical attention from vapor exposure. Correspondent Anna King was on the bus, and files this report.

Bureau of Land Management / Flickr

The wildfire season is off a slow start in the U.S. and in the Northwest. Numbers from fire mangers show total fires and the number of acres burned are well below the 10 year average.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise says so far this year the number of fires is down by nearly 30 percent, and the number of acres burned is down by about 60 percent compared to the 10 year average.

Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

It’s back to court for the federal government and salmon advocates. Fish supporters Tuesday once again challenged the government’s plan to manage dams on the Columbia River and protect endangered salmon and steelhead. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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.

Not Much Refuge In Klamath Basin For Migratory Birds

Jun 11, 2014

A prolonged drought is putting pressure on water supplies for the Klamath Basin’s wildlife refuges.

EarthFix’s Devan Schwartz reports on how the nation’s original waterfowl refuge may be too dry this summer to provide a stopover for millions of migratory birds.

Devan Schwartz / EarthFix

What could be the largest carp removal project in history is underway at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Southeast Oregon.

EarthFix’s Devan Schwartz reports on the attempts to curb the invasive fish that has destroyed bird habitat for decades.

David T. Hanson / EarthFix

The Obama administration’s new rules to cut CO2 emissions sparked some interesting conversation in Seattle this week. At a conference held downtown, leaders in the energy sector gathered to talk about the future of coal in the West. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

FlickrLickr / Wikimedia Commons

Northwesterners love their diesel pickups. A new report by a diesel industry group shows Oregon and Idaho are in the top ten when it comes to highest rates of diesel vehicle ownership in the nation. But the overall rate pales in comparison to other parts of the world. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Malcolm / Wikimedia

This time of year, young Northwest cougars are getting kicked out of the nest by their mother cats. That means many of these young adults are looking for their own home range. But these rookie hunters are in a cat-crowded field. That sometimes ends in trouble.

Oregon Landowners Agree To Protect Sage Grouse

May 21, 2014
Pacific Southwest Region U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

One county in Southeastern Oregon has announced one of the largest land conservation agreements in the state to protect greater sage grouse. The birds live in sagebrush country, but their habitat is shrinking because of people, wildfires and invasive species.

Central Oregon Grapples With Rising Oil Train Safety Risks

May 20, 2014
Friends of the Gorge

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden will meet with emergency officials in Central Oregon this week to talk about oil train safety. For EarthFix, Cassandra Profita reports.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

A 70-year-old woman has been criminally charged for allegedly feeding bears at her house on Washington's Long Beach peninsula. This is believed to be the first time someone has been prosecuted under a relatively new law against feeding large wild carnivores. The accused woman denies the charges.

Dam421 / Wikimedia

The bears have woken up and once more that’s creating problems around the region. Washington Fish and Wildlife police are recommending that an Ilwaco woman face charges for allegedly feeding wild bears. Wildlife agents have removed seven problematic black bears from her neighborhood and had to euthanize five of them since last fall.

At Superfund Site, Pavement Used To Help The Environment

May 13, 2014

The nice weather we've been having means work on the ground is resuming at one of the largest Superfund sites in the nation. The EPA is trying to clear decades of mine pollution from Idaho's Coeur d'Alene River Basin. This summer managers are using an environmental remedy you might not expect: pavement.


New research from the University of Washington provides detailed predictions for the collapse of the Thwaites glacier in West Antarctica. When that glacier melts, it could trigger even more extreme sea level rise than scientists previously thought. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

Kristen Steele / Flickr

For months now, Washington Republicans have been predicting that Governor Jay Inslee will use his executive powers to enact something called a low-carbon fuel standard. Inslee acknowledges he’s looking at ways to do this without legislative approval. Either way he thinks Washington is poised to move forward.