Environment

Fuel Cells
6:26 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Fuel Cells Could Power Your Neighborhood

Researchers have developed a fuel cell that could one day power your neighborhood. From EarthFix, Courtney Flatt explains, this new system is much more efficient than power plants.

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Pygmy Rabbit Breeding
6:51 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Pygmy Rabbits Successful Breeding A Step Forward

Pygmy rabbits are the smallest rabbits in North America.
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.

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Ocean Floor Ecology
6:28 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Deep-Sea Stowaways Get A Leg Up From Scientists

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.

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Hatchery Fish
6:46 am
Thu June 7, 2012

NW Tribes Working on Hatchery Reform Using Genetics

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.

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Pesticide Testing
6:39 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Lane County Residents Try DIY Pesticide Testing

A group of Lane County residents has formed an unusual partnership to test streams for chemicals. The residents are worried that herbicides sprayed onto clear-cut forests are drifting into nearby waters. Amelia Templeton of Earthfix reports.

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Energy Plan
6:58 am
Wed June 6, 2012

How Important Are State Energy Plans?

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber Tuesday released plans to increase renewable energy in the state. Both Washington and Idaho already have energy plans in place. Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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Elwha River Recovery
6:28 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Spring Brings New Life To Washington's Recovering Elwha River

On the Olympic Peninsula the largest dam removal project in history is well underway. The Elwha River flows from the Olympic Mountains down to the Strait of Juan de Fuca near the mouth of Puget Sound. Ashley Ahearn reports that as the two dams come out, new life is coming into the Elwha River.

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Sandhill Crane Recovery
6:24 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Sandhill Cranes Make A Noisy Comeback In The Cascades

A pair of Sandhill Cranes nesting near Howard Prairie Lake, in the Cascades.
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.

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Gold Mining Regulations
6:54 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Court Rules For New Regulation Of Gold Mining In Western Salmon Streams

Gold mining with small dredges is popular in the rural Northwest. Today, the 9th circuit court ruled that the Forest Service has to strengthen its regulation of this kind of mining in salmon streams. Amelia Templeton of Earthfix reports.

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Black-Tailed Deer Research
6:23 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Managing Black-Tailed Deer Through Their Diets

A black-tailed deer grazes on the Palouse.
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.

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