environment

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
EPA

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.

EarthFix

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.

Lone Caribou Herd In Lower 48 Keeps Federal Protection

May 7, 2014
U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service

U.S. Wildlife officials said a small herd of mountain caribou found in the Northwest will retain federal protection. But, it will be as a threatened species rather than endangered. These caribou are the last in the Lower 48.

What you pour down your drain could be hurting fish and wildlife populations on the Columbia River – and possibly people too.

punditmom.com

Pollution in Asia can influence weather over much of the world. Those are the findings from a new climate study from northwest researchers, who teamed up with researchers from Texas.

Higher Nitrate Air Pollution In Central Wash.

Apr 11, 2014

Researchers have found the source of an unusual pocket of air pollution in central Washington. Tiny particles from large agricultural operations mix with vehicle exhaust. That creates nitrate pollution.

Northwest River Forecast Center

Irrigators, hydropower dam operators and tugboat captains are sitting pretty across most of the Northwest. That's according to the latest regional water supply forecast. 

Hal McCune, URS

The Umatilla Chemical Depot is nearing final cleanup. It letting go of 60 more workers Thursday. The northeast Oregon military site is where tons of deadly chemical weapons were stored for decades. 

Bryan Weyers / Wikimedia Commons

The Navy is pursuing permits to conduct exercises in a large area of the Pacific Ocean. The Northwest Training and Testing Range stretches from Northern California to the Canadian border.

Risk Of Falling Trees Shutters Northwest Camping Areas

Feb 10, 2014
U.S. Forest Service

Forest managers in north Idaho and western Washington will be closing some popular camping areas this year. They say nearby trees are infected with root rot and post a threat to campers. It’s a problem Northwest forests may see more of in the coming years, as Jessica Robinson reports.

Jessica Paterson / Flickr

This week, Oregon may join Washington in backing away from a proposal to protect bees by restricting certain pesticides. An Oregon legislative panel is set to amend a measure Tuesday that would instead create a task force to study the possibility of future restrictions.

Panel Finds Feds Didn't Use Best Science In Wolf Plan

Feb 7, 2014

A new independent review finds the federal government used uncertain science when it proposed taking the gray wolf off the endangered species list across the Lower 48.

Floating Offshore Wind Farm Gets A Green Light

Feb 6, 2014
Kim Hansen / Wikimedia

A proposal to build a floating wind farm off the coast of Southern Oregon took a step forward Wednesday. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Gov. John Kitzhaber announced that a Seattle developer is now free to submit plans for the project. 

Scott Butner/Flickr

Farmers across the country are hoping that Congress will soon pass a new Farm Bill. The bill helps guide agricultural policy. One version of the bill would limit the public’s access to information about agricultural pollution. And that is drawing interest -- and concern, from groups that don’t normally get involved with farm policy.

Over the last several years, Hanford Nuclear Reservation managers have mishandled barrels and boxes of hazardous and radioactive waste in the central part of the site.

Shawn Murphy / Flickr

Senator Maria Cantwell wants the White House to stop a proposed mine in Alaska that she says will threaten jobs in Washington state. The proposed Pebble Mine, in Western Alaska, sits near Bristol Bay, which is one of the world’s most abundant salmon habitats. About 1,000 Washington residents hold commercial fishing permits there. At a rally at Fisherman’s Terminal in Seattle, Cantwell described the mine as a “giant cauldron of toxic waste.”

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.

Washington’s mostly Republican Senate majority will formally unveil a proposed 12-year, $12 billion transportation funding package Thursday.

gibbseynz/Flickr

As Washington and Oregon consider proposals for three coal export terminals, many have raised questions about how much coal dust could come off the trains that would service those terminals. If the Gateway Pacific Terminal is built near Bellingham up to 18 coal trains could travel along the I-5 corridor every day. According to new research, some dust will escape from those trains.

Puget Sound Still In "Critical Condition"

Nov 1, 2013

Puget Sound just got the results back from its annual check up…and they’re not good. A new report from the Puget Sound Partnership labels the Sound as still in “crisis” but says some small progress has been made.

Anna King

A dried-out three-mile-stretch of creek in Central Washington will soon swell again with water. It’s part of a project near Ellensburg to pipe irrigation water from the Yakima River to keep water in the creek for salmon and steelhead.

The Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against the EPA calling on it to do something about the acidifying waters of the Northwest.

The ocean absorbs millions of tons of greenhouse gases every day, and those gases are lowering the ocean’s pH and causing problems for shellfish and other creatures.

Under the Clean Water Act a water body can be declared “impaired” if it is too acidic.

Then it falls on the EPA to regulate the source of the pollution that’s causing the problem. In this case – CO2 emissions.

Furloughed EPA Workers Anxious to Return to Work

Oct 16, 2013

A deal is in the works today for Congress to end the partial government shutdown. If it goes through, hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal employees could be back at work as early as tomorrow.

Environmental and commercial fishing groups filed a lawsuit in federal court Friday calling on Washington State to update the fish consumption rate. The groups say the state has failed to acknowledge how much fish people eat. That standard will dictate how much pollution is allowed into the water before fish are dangerous to eat.

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