Environment

Logging Roads Case
6:12 am
Fri June 1, 2012

DOJ Advises Supreme Court to Pass On Oregon Logging Roads Case

An active logging road on federal land in the Applegate Valley, in Southern Oregon.
Photo by Amelia Templeton Northwest News Network

The Supreme Court is being advised not to take on a controversial logging pollution lawsuit that began in Oregon. Amelia Templeton explains.

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Bristol Bay Mining
7:10 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Report Details Risks of Proposed Mine Near Alaska's Bristol Bay

Bristol Bay, in Southwestern Alaska, is the home of one of the world’s largest runs of Sockeye salmon. In fact, all five types of salmon spawn in the bay’s freshwater tributaries.

Bristol Bay could also become the home of a new mine to extract copper, gold and other minerals.

The Environmental Protection Agency has released a risk assessment study on how mining could impact the ecosystem there. The Agency will hold a public hearing in Seattle Thursday.

Ashley Ahearn reports that fishermen in the Northwest are watching the process closely.

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Klamath Dam Removal
7:03 am
Wed May 30, 2012

California Tribe Asks Feds to Stop Licensing Klamath Dams

A California American Indian tribe Tuesday asked federal regulators to order the removal of four dams on the Klamath River. The tribe says a restoration plan for the river is stalled. Amelia Templeton reports.

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Salmon Virus
7:00 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Deadly Virus Makes First Appearance in Washington Salmon Farm

A deadly virus that prompted salmon farmers in British Columbia to kill 560,000 fish has shown up for the first time in Washington. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Wildlife Forensics
7:32 am
Fri May 25, 2012

In Ashland, A Crime Lab For 34,000 Species

The illegal trade of wildlife is big business- worth an estimated $5 billion a year, and growing. But who do you call to investigate a crime when the victim is an elephant, or a butterfly?

Turns out, there’s only one forensics team in the world that can handle crimes involving thousands of rare and endangered species. The team works at the U.S Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab in Ashland, Oregon. The lab isn’t open to the public. But reporter Amelia Templeton got a glimpse inside.

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Puget Sound Acidification
7:28 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Algae and Puget Sound Acidification Linked

Christopher Krembs, an oceanographer with the Washington Department of Ecology, photographs algae in Puget Sound.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn Northwest News Network

The ocean absorbs a large portion of the CO2 that we release into the atmosphere from our power plants and tail pipes. But when it gets there that CO2 makes the water more acidic and less hospitable for some creatures, like shellfish. In Puget Sound some shellfish hatcheries have already lost millions of oyster larvae because of exposure to acidic water.

Ocean acidification has scientists and policymakers in the Northwest concerned. Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has convened a panel on Ocean Acidification, which met this week. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Longview Coal Terminal
6:43 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Longview Considers Coal Exports At Former Aluminum Plant

Residents of Longview, Wash., want to see a new industry take over the old Reynolds aluminum smelter site south of town. But they disagree over whether a proposed coal export terminal will be a good fit. Cassandra Profita reports.

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Water Conservation
6:38 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Water Conservation Linked to Energy

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.

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Tsunami Debris
6:35 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Spy Satellites Used In Search For Tsunami Debris

A personal message on this soccer ball confirmed it washed to sea from a Japanese school during the 2011 tsunami. The ball drifted ashore at Middleton Island, Alaska.
Photo by David Baxter. Northwest News Network

Another piece of confirmed tsunami debris – part of a restaurant sign – has washed ashore in Alaska. But marine scientists can’t say how much other Japanese disaster debris is trailing behind. This problem surfaced at a U.S. Senate hearing Thursday. As correspondent Tom Banse reports, researchers are now getting some access to spy satellite imagery.

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Water Rights
6:48 am
Thu May 17, 2012

A Water Plan For Fish, Families And Farmers

Doling out water in the arid western United States is tough to do. There’s not much to be had, and everyone wants a fair share. What’s fair? It depends who you ask. But as correspondent Courtney Flatt reports, one basin in central Washington is finding a way for fish, farmers and communities to have enough water.

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