environment

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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Coal Plan Hearings
5:48 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Hundreds Turn Out For Hearing On Columbia River Coal Plan

Protest organizers held what they dubbed a "people's hearing" outside the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality meetings in Portland. Resident Mark Hill said the department is not looking at the bigger picture.
Credit Cassandra Profita

Coal opponents danced, waved banners and cheered Tuesday outside a Portland hearing about a proposed export terminal. It was a quieter scene inside the meetings in Eastern and Western Oregon, where officials heard hundreds of public comments.

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Canadian Oil Train
6:25 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Canadian Oil Train Tragedy Draws Attention To Rising Oil Train Traffic In Pacific Northwest

Aerial view of charred freight train in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada. The photo was taken Sunday, a day after the train of crude oil derailed. As of Monday the death toll had reached 13 and about 50 people remained missing and unaccounted for.
Credit Transportation Safety Board of Canada

A train loaded with oil exploded in Eastern Canada over the weekend. There are 13 confirmed deaths and dozens more missing. The train was carrying oil from the massive Bakken Oil Fields of North Dakota.

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Wind Power Batteries
6:41 am
Mon July 8, 2013

New Battery To Store Wind Energy Being Tested In Tri-Cities

A new battery power storage system that may provide some long term solutions to storing power from the electrical grid is being tested in the Tri-Cities. Steve Jackson reports.

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Wind Farm Case
7:00 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Washington Supreme Court Hears Wind Farm Case

The Supreme Court of Washington Thursday heard arguments in a case about a controversial wind farm in the Columbia River Gorge. Then-Governor Chris Gregoire approved the project more than a year ago. Environmentalists say it will harm wildlife, recreation, and scenic views. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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Climate Care
7:26 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Obama Highlights Carbon Storage, Northwest Researchers Hope For More Funding

One of the less-talked-about points in President Barack Obama’s climate change plan is capturing and storing carbon before it’s released from power plants. Research is taking place in the Northwest to keep carbon out of the atmosphere by injecting it permanently underground.For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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