Oregon

BLM Proposes Sage Grouse Protection Plans

May 28, 2015
Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington

The BLM is proposing actions like improving habitat, managing fire more carefully, and preventing habitat fragmentation.

Dan Morse is with the Oregon Natural Desert Association. He's pleased that the plan calls for protections for two of the state’s most important habitat strongholds.

“Our hope is that those protections will be meaningful. That being said we cannot only focus on those large areas. Because disconnecting sage grouse populations is a sure recipe for their extirpation,” says Morse.

Supporters of a proposal to extend paid sick time to most Oregon workers say the legislation has stalled.

Ore. Governor Declares More Drought Emergencies

May 22, 2015
Bert Kaufmann

Governor Kate Brown declared drought emergencies in eight additional counties around Oregon Friday, bringing the total to 15.

She also released a public service announcement launching #ORdrought.

“It may look green now, but we are going to experience one of the worst droughts in the history of our state. Snow pack is at historic lows and severe water shortages are nearly a certainty in many areas,” says Brown.

Brown added that it’s likely to be a difficult fire season.

Oregon is looking for volunteers for a new pay-by-the-mile tax.

Oregon lawmakers will consider a proposal that would allow women to get oral contraceptives and contraceptive patches without a doctor's prescription.

Oregon could join a national movement to change the way the president is elected.

Oregon economists told lawmakers Thursday that a robust economy means they'll have more money to spend on schools, human services and public safety.

A measure that would require many Oregon employers to provide paid sick leave is poised to advance in Salem.

NOAA

Regional power managers are meeting in Portland this week. One issue they're looking at is how drought conditions across the Northwest may affect the region's supply of hydropower.

Water supply forecasts are looking bleak for many Northwest rivers this year. Snowpack levels in many areas are far below average, and they're not likely to improve.

John Fazio is a power systems analyst for the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. He said that will mean less water in rivers and less hydropower.

The Oregon Supreme Court tossed out much of the state legislature's 2013 attempts to curb pension payouts to retired public workers.

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