environment

New Wolf Confirmed In Southern Oregon

Jan 14, 2015

Wildlife officials in Oregon say a new wolf is roaming the wooded hills near Klamath Falls. It’s in some of the same territory staked out by OR-7, the famous wandering wolf.

Over the past month, wildlife biologists have found wolf tracks and a trail camera captured a partial image of a wolf in the southwest Oregon Cascades, near the border with California. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Michelle Dennehy says the wolf is not member of the newly-designated Rogue Pack, which is tracked by GPS collar.

The Navy conducts training and testing in a stretch of the Pacific roughly the size of Montana.

It wants to continue and expand its activities in these waters off the West Coast from Washington to Northern California. But first, the Navy must renew its permit under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

The plan calls for detonating explosives, moving vessels, and deploying 700 more sonobuoys per year. And that's drawing criticism from environmentalists who say the increased use of sonar poses increased risk for whales and other marine mammals.

U.S. Coast Guard/Travis Marsh

The Seattle Port Commission decided on Tuesday to let Shell Oil's Arctic drilling fleet use West Seattle as its home port.

Shell's drill rigs and barges would overwinter at the Port of Seattle's Terminal 5 in West Seattle while the terminal is being renovated.

The Imperium Renewables biodiesel facility in Grays Harbor, Washington, uses canola and other plant oils grown in Washington and Canada to produce clean diesel.
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

HOQUIAM, Washington — Before he launched a biofuel company, John Plaza was a pilot for Northwest Airlines, where his job was balancing the fuel mix on long flights across the Pacific.  

When you think about major uses of energy in the U.S., transportation and power plants come to mind. And then there are buildings — which account for 20 percent of total energy consumption in the United States.

Much of that energy is pure waste: heat escapes from poorly insulated walls and lights remain on when no one is around.

Energy efficiency is one of the few issues with wide bipartisan support in both the public and the private sector.

Dredging of the Lower Snake River started Monday after a delay of several weeks due to a court challenge.

Governor Jay Inslee.
Flickr Photo/GovInslee (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with KUOW's Olympia corespondent Austin Jenkins about the politics around the carbon tax and other issues facing the state legislature this session. 

Scientists tracking the radiation are using their data not just to gauge threats to human health, but to bolster the science of climate change, as well.

“This is kind of an experiment that’s never really been conducted before in our lifetime,” says John Smith of Canada’s Bedford Institute of Oceanography.

With snow levels way below normal, some Northwest ski teams have been scrambling to find slopes with enough snow to hold their scheduled races.

Competitions scheduled for courses at lower elevations on Mount Hood this weekend were either canceled or moved uphill to ski resorts with higher slopes.

Right now, snow levels across the Cascades are about 70 percent below average, according to Andy Bryant, a hydrologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Warm weather has precipitation falling as rain rather than snow everywhere but the mountain peaks.

Officials say a tiny, unsung fish that lives only in Oregon's Willamette Valley is the first endangered fish in the U.S. to be recovered.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is planning to announce Tuesday its petition to remove Oregon chub from the Endangered Species List and touting the success story of a minnow that's no more than three inches long.

New Oregon Rules Require 10 Percent Cleaner Fuels

Jan 8, 2015

The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission voted 4-1 Wednesday to pass new rules that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels by 10 percent over a decade.

The rules require companies that import fuel into Oregon to reduce the carbon intensity of their fuel mix. That will mean substituting alternative fuels such as biofuel, natural gas, propane or electricity for gasoline and diesel.

Bill Gates Helps Make Water From Human Waste

Jan 7, 2015
Courtesy of GatesNotes

Bill Gates will put his money where his mouth is when it comes to getting potable water to developing countries.

On his blog, Gates posted a video of a machine that makes “sewage sludge” a renewable resource.  Developed by Sedro-Woolley company Janicki Bioenergy, the project is being funded by the Gates Foundation.

Called the Omniprocessor, the machine burns solid human waste and transforms it into electricity, clean ash and, most importantly, clean drinking water.

So clean that Bill Gates would drink it — and he does.

Tow boat captains, wheat exporters, and the directors of the farthest inland ports in the Northwest are breathing easier today.

LUMMI RESERVATION, Wash. -- The Lummi Nation issued a letter Monday to the U.S. government seeking to end the project's permitting process for a coal-shipping project encircled by their Puget Sound fishing grounds.

Closing The Gender Gap Among Bicyclists

Jan 5, 2015

PORTLAND -- On most mornings, Hau Hagedorn bicycles to work with her husband, riding along with their three boys as they pedal to school.

It’s been a family ritual that began eight years ago when Hagedorn bicycled while her children rode along in a cargo trailer. It wasn’t an easy habit to start.

“I’m pretty petite and it’s quite a load when you’re hauling kids,” says Hagedorn, who lives in North Portland and works downtown. “It was hard at first, but I tried to focus on the health aspect.”

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