environment

Agriculture
8:37 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Northwest Farmers Take Heart In Prediction Of Rainy Spring

Wheat fields in Lincoln County, Wash.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 4:56 pm

Northwest farmers call him “the weather man.” And at a farming conference in Spokane, he offered a reason for them to be optimistic about the upcoming season.

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Resource Management
8:59 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Why Is Lake Washington's Water Level So Low? Ask The Engineers

The Lake Washington Ship Canal connects the lake with Puget Sound via Lake Union. The Army Corps of Engineers controls the water level of the lake by manipulating the water flow at the Ballard Locks.
Credit Flickr Photo/Seattle Munincipal Archives

You may have noticed that water levels at Lake Washington beaches are very low.

But if you think there might be some connection with the drought that is now gripping much of the western U.S., think again.

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EarthFix Reports
10:21 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Are You Going to Eat That? China’s Latest Reason It Considers Northwest Shellfish Unsafe

China's ban on West Coast shellfish continues nearly two months after it alerted U.S. officials of high toxins in two shipments of geoduck clams.
KUOW Photo/Katie Campbell

After China banned all imports of West Coast shellfish, officials in the U.S. defended the imports by saying the Chinese tested the wrong parts of the clams.

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EarthFix Reports
9:26 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Pot vs Fish: Can We Grow Salmon-Friendly Weed?

A national park ranger helps other law enforcement agencies eradicate a marijuana growing operation discovered in the park.
David Snyder for the NPS

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 1:48 pm

As marijuana has become more mainstream, the business of cultivating the plant has boomed. That’s true nowhere more than in coastal northern California. There, the so-called Emerald Triangle of Mendocino, Trinity and Humboldt counties is believed to be the largest cannabis-growing region in the US.

But as the hills have sprouted thousands of new grow operations, haphazard cultivation is threatening the recovery of endangered West Coast salmon and steelhead populations.

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Agricultural Act
9:05 am
Mon February 3, 2014

How The Farm Bill Funds Environmental Programs, Too

The Farm Bill funds more than just agriculture. The new bill will also affect the Northwest environment policy.
Courtney Flatt

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:58 pm

The Farm Bill doesn't just put billions of dollars into agriculture programs. The Agricultural Act of 2014, as the bill is formally called, will also affect conservation of Northwest wildlife and natural resources.

The House has passed a version of the bill, and it's expected to go to the Senate Monday.

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EarthFix Reports
8:56 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Washington Senator, Chefs Weigh In Against Pebble Mine

Jason Lake has been fishing in Bristol Bay for 25 years. Nearly 1,000 in Washington hold commercial fishing permits which brings in over $100 million to the state.
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) stood at Seattle Fishermans’ Terminal Thursday alongside chef Tom Douglas and fishermen to denounce a controversial mine proposed at Bristol Bay, Alaska.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

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Oil Boom
12:27 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Much Of North Dakota's Natural Gas Is Going Up In Flames

Gas flaring near Highway 85 southwest of Williston. Analysts estimate that almost 30 percent of the gas being produced in the state is burned off.
Jeff Brady/NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 8:44 am

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

North Dakota's oil boom isn't just about oil; a lot of natural gas comes out of the ground at the same time. But there's a problem with that: The state doesn't have the pipelines needed to transport all of that gas to market. There's also no place to store it.

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Southern Ice Storm
1:51 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Weather Experts: It's 'Wrong' To Call Atlanta Storm Unexpected

Traffic is snarled along the I-285 perimeter north of Atlanta's metro area Wednesday. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has called Tuesday's snow storm "unexpected" — prompting a response from weather forecasters.
David Tulis/AP

Meteorologists are used to people faulting their weather predictions. But when Georgia's Gov. Nathan Deal called Tuesday's crippling winter storm "unexpected," he drew responses from several forecasters. One answer came from the head of the American Meteorological Society, who also lives in Georgia.

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EarthFix Reports
12:31 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Feds Declare Salmon Fishery Disaster For Washington Tribes

A Native American takes part in a salmon ceremony. On Tuesday, the U.S. commerce secretary declared a fishery disaster for the Fraser River sockeye salmon fishery in Washington. That could lead to aid to nine tribes and non-tribal fishers.
KUOW Photo/Katie Campbell

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce has declared the Fraser River sockeye salmon run a “fishery disaster” for nine tribes and non-tribal fishers in Washington state.

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EarthFix Reports
10:41 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Wild Fish Group Announces Plan To Sue Over Hatchery Fish In Puget Sound

Research indicates when hatcheries release juvenile fish in large quantities into a river, the influx can overwhelm the wild juveniles that may be present.
Credit Flickr Photo/Kitaro & Kawauso

Environmental groups are turning to the courts to block the placement of hatchery-reared fish in rivers where wild fish are struggling for survival.

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EarthFix Reports
9:56 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Developing A Taste For Geoduck In The Northwest

Michael Gifford, chef at Seattle's How To Cook A Wolf, shows off a geoduck he's preparing.
Ashley Ahearn

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 1:00 am

The Locavore movement is thriving in the Northwest -- with one big exception. When it comes to Puget Sound geoduck clams, the shellfish industry and local chefs are still trying to create a demand for them at home.

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Radioactive Waste
9:18 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Washington State Slaps Fine For Mishandled Waste At Hanford

Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 3:20 pm

Over the last several years, Hanford Nuclear Reservation managers have mishandled barrels and boxes of hazardous and radioactive waste in the central part of the site.

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Environment
3:41 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Urban Sustainability With Majora Carter

Majora Carter
Credit ced.berkeley.edu

Ross Reynolds speaks with former activist Majora Carter about her work organizing low-income communities around environmental issues.

EarthFix Reports
9:39 am
Fri January 24, 2014

How Do You Squeeze Gardens Into Cityscapes? Think Vertical

Seattle's vertical garden is an art installation that asks passersby to consider innovative ways to squeeze gardens into urban areas.
Nate Watters

In dense, concrete-locked urban areas like Seattle space for gardening is hard to come by. After all, this is a city where land is so valuable that people spend an average of $346 per square foot on their homes.

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Agriculture
12:48 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

How Drones And Satellites Can Boost The Biofuel Crop

High-tech cameras, sensors, aircraft and satellites could more accurately predict crop yields and increase the cost-effectiveness of biofuels. Dan Long holds the small aircraft equipped with cameras, while John Sulik holds the controls.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 9:47 am

Northwest farmers are trying to get into the business of biofuels.

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