oso landslide

Lawsuits against the Washington Department of Natural of Resources and Snohomish County over the deadly Oso landslide can go forward.

brewbooks / Flickr

Shortly after this year's deadly Oso landslide, investigative reporters revealed that loggers had clear-cut in a no-logging zone directly above the hillside that collapsed.

That logging, back in 2004, removed trees in an area scientists had said could worsen the risk of landslides.

A report out Tuesday from the Department of Natural Resources leaves unanswered the question of why logging took place on what should have been forbidden ground.

brewbooks / Flickr

Washington state essentially prohibits logging on unstable slopes - since removing trees can worsen erosion and landslides. But it's not always obvious which slopes are unstable.

State officials Wednesday adopted a more cautious approach around slopes like the one that collapsed onto the town of Oso in March. That deep-seated landslide killed 43 people.

Snohomish County / Flickr

How to prevent unsafe logging on steep slopes that could cause future landslides will be at the center of discussions tomorrow in Olympia.

In the wake of the Oso tragedy, the state’s Forest Practices Board is in the process of updating permitting guidelines. The board is rewriting the section of its manual that deals with unstable slopes, based on the latest and best advice from a panel of geologists. State Forester Aaron Everett says while the guidelines are not binding, they should make it harder for companies seeking to log in unsafe areas.

KUOW

The Oso landslide devastated one stretch of one valley in Snohomish County. But Washington state is dotted with landslide-prone slopes. An investigation by KUOW and EarthFix has found that many local governments do much less than Snohomish County to keep people from building on dangerous ground. 

We're Staying In Oso, But Every Day We Say Goodbye

Sep 26, 2014
Aileen Imperial / KCTS

Ron Thompson was known as the mayor of Steelhead Drive. He and his wife Gail Thompson lost their home and many neighbors in the Oso landslide. But they’ve decided to stay in Oso, and start over in a new home just four miles from the old one. They find hope in rebuilding their community while striving to find meaning in the disaster.

Read the Thompsons' story on Medium. 

KCTS Photo / Aileen Imperial

KUOW's Patricia Murphy brings us the story of Oso Chapel Pastor Gary Ray.

Pastor Ray helped provide spiritual and emotional support for a community that prided itself on its strong sense of independence.

Copyright 2014 KUOW

Stacey Jenkins / KCTS

Reporter Phyllis Fletcher brings us the story of Bob and Julie DeYoung. Bob helped recover bodies of friends and neighbors killed in the landslide. His wife Julie took care of people who survived. Today they're figuring out how to take care of their own needs. This is their story, in their own words.

In Oso, Being Mayor Is Now A Full-Time Job

Sep 23, 2014
Aileen Imperial / KCTS

Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin grew up in this small town, like his father and his father before him. Though he moved away when he was younger, Rankin felt he had to move back. The town, he says, is something you can't get out of your soul.

KUOW and KCTS 9 collaborated to produce this series.

Snohomish County / Flickr

43 people lost their lives in the Oso landslide in March. The six-month anniversary is Monday, September 22nd. So far, nearly 60 legal claims have been filed against the state of Washington stemming from the slide.

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