environment

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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Hanford Whistleblower Case
5:33 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Judge Drops Dept. Of Energy From Hanford Whistleblower Case

Hanford Nuclear Reservation whistleblower Walt Tamosaitis testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight in December 2011.
Image via U.S. Senate U.S. Senate

A high level whistleblower at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is moving ahead with a lawsuit against a federal contractor. But Walt Tamosaitis would have to appeal in order to take the federal government to court. At issue is the safety culture at Hanford.

Walt Tamosaitis sued the U.S. Department of Energy and contractor URS after he was removed from his job. He claims it was retaliation for raising safety concerns about the $12 billion waste treatment plant going up in southeast Washington.

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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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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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