environment

Polar Bears
6:57 am
Wed July 31, 2013

How Polar Bears At Oregon Zoo Help Us Understand Climate Change

Tasul is one of two polar bears at the Oregon Zoo that researchers are tapping for help studying the effects of climate change on wild polar bears.
Credit Oregon Zoo

A polar bear at the Oregon Zoo are helping researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey study how climate change is affecting wild Arctic polar bears. For EarthFix, Cassandra Profita reports.

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Oil Terminal Lease
5:57 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Vancouver Oil Terminal Lease Would Allow Exports

The Port of Vancouver has released copies of the lease agreement Port commissioners approved last week for a controversial oil terminal. EarthFix reporter Cassandra Profita reports the lease does not restrict terminal developers from exporting oil overseas.

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Carbon Storage
7:05 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Field Test Near Pasco Renews Attention On Viability Of Carbon Storage

Carbon dioxide is being injected half a mile underground via this well head next to the Boise Inc. pulp and paper mill in Wallula, Wash.
Credit Tom Banse

This week, technicians in southeast Washington continue a field test to show how carbon dioxide could be injected and trapped deep underground. It's an experiment led by the Pacific Northwest National Lab. Injection of fifty tanker truck loads of CO2 will take about four weeks. Then comes about a year and a half of monitoring to see if the global warming gas stays locked away forever beneath ancient lava flows.

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Oil Terminal
7:01 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Hundreds Protest Vancouver Oil Terminal

The rally and march, organized by Portland Rising Tide, drew marchers from as far away as Benton County, Oregon and Olympia, Washington, with concerns about a range of processing and transportation projects.
Credit April Baer

Hundreds of people came to Vancouver's waterfront Saturday for a sun-baked demonstration against the fossil fuel industry, and its projects in the Northwest. April Baer reports.

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Adopt-A-Highway
9:02 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Nearly 700 Inactive Groups Purged From Washington’s Adopt-A-Highway

Members of the Street Invasion Ryders motorcycle club pick up trash along I-5 near Olympia. They are members of the state’s Adopt-a-Highway volunteer program

You’ve seen the Adopt-A-Highway signs by the side of the road. But have you ever seen a volunteer group picking up trash? In the past three years, Washington state has purged nearly 700 inactive organizations from the program – and taken down their signs. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has the story of Washington’s effort to clean up this long neglected volunteer program.

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Northwest News
9:47 am
Tue July 23, 2013

So What Is The White Bluffs Bladderpod, And Why Does It Matter?

The White Bluffs bladderpod is a small plant growing on a tiny strip of Washington land. It’s the focus of a big fight between farmers and the federal government. And there’s still a lot scientists don’t know about the plant.
Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

The White Bluffs bladderpod is a small flower facing some big issues.  It’s a short plant with bright yellow flowers and small inflated pods – hence its name.  At first glance, there’s nothing special about it.  It isn’t edible and doesn’t have any herbal use that we know of.   But the bladderpod is rare.  It appears to grow only in a 17 mile long strip of federal lands in the Columbia Basin.  Right now, U.S. Fish and Wildlife lists the bladderpod as “threatened.”  They would like to list it as “endangered.” 

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Environmental Policy
5:06 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Hastings, Jewell Face Off At Committee Hearing

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
Credit Northwest News Network

Washington State is home to two key players when it comes to national environmental policy. Sally Jewell is the Interior Secretary and a Seattle resident. Doc Hastings is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and a Republican from Pasco. They faced off for the first time on Capitol Hill.

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Red Swamp Crayfish
6:12 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Fighting (And Cooking) Invasive Crayfish In Northwest Waters

Red swamp crayfish aren't native to the Northwest but where they've been introduced, they're taking over.
Credit Ashley Ahearn

Gumbo and Jambalaya may not be at the top of traditional Northwest menus, but if the invasive red swamp crayfish has its way, that could change. The crayfish – also known as a crawfish or crawdad – is native to the Southeastern U.S. and the Gulf Coast.

But over the past decade this firey-clawed, and delicious, crustacean has moved in on Northwestern lakes. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

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Vancouver Oil Terminal Postponed
7:10 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Vancouver Oil Terminal Could Be Postponed Following Quebec Tragedy

There are now 15 confirmed deaths in the oil train explosion that rocked a small town in Quebec Province over the weekend.

The tragedy has given the commissioners of the Port of Vancouver in Washington pause as they consider a proposal for a terminal to move oil from trains onto ships. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Mountain Biking
6:01 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Do Mountain Bike Trails Belong In The Cascade Mountains?

Campers at the Timberline on Mount Hood in July. Timberline is one of three ski areas in the Northwest exploring lift-assisted mountain biking as a summer recreation option.
Credit Amelia Templeton

More than a million visitors have ridden the chair lifts at the famous Whistler resort in British Columbia. That figure doesn’t count skiers or snowboarders- it’s just the number of mountain bikers there. The brisk business at Whistler has inspired ski areas from Stevens Pass in Washington to Mount Bachelor in Oregon to build their own summer bike parks. But Amelia Templeton of EarthFix reports, some environmental groups say mountain biking isn’t an appropriate activity in alpine meadows.

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