environment

Megaload Hurdles
10:23 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Shipper, Forest Service At Standoff Over 'Megaloads'

Bett Haverstick/Friends of the Clearwater. A member of the environmental group Friends of the Clearwater took this photo on July 22 at the Port of Wilma of what appear to be Omega Morgan’s 'megaload' shipments.

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 4:02 pm

An Oregon shipping company and the U.S. Forest Service appear to be at a standoff over whether huge pieces of oil equipment will pass through a scenic stretch of Idaho. These so-called “megaloads” are ultimately headed to the oil sands of Alberta, Canada.

The Forest Service says it can’t authorize shipments that are as wide as two lanes and the length of five semi-trailers to use a protected portion of Highway 12. At least, not without a lengthy review.

Read more
Plant Species Status
10:14 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Farmers Question Science Behind Endangered Listing For Bladderpod

Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 5:52 pm

A group of farmers in southeast Washington is trying to stop the federal government from giving endangered species protection to a rare plant. It’s called the White Bluffs bladderpod. And it grows on a narrow ribbon of federal land and farms.

A farmer group is using genetic tests to claim that the plant is not as rare as it seems.

Read more
Summer Music
10:00 am
Mon July 22, 2013

News From D.C., Ann Powers On Music Festivals, And Keeping A Healthy Planet

Flickr Photo/Sheri Foreman

  News From D.C.
We preview the week ahead in Washington, D.C. with Jill Jackson, Capitol Hill Producer for CBS News.

Ann Powers On Music Festivals
Here in the Northwest, fans of live music are a bit spoiled, especially if you’re a fan of festivals. There’s Sasquatch in the spring, Capitol Hill Block Party in the summer, and Bumbershoot over Labor Day weekend. And then there are the newcomers to the festival scene: Timber, City Arts and Doe Bay Fest, just to name a few. Nationally  music festivals are on the rise as well and turning huge profits. What’s behind the rise of music festivals? Which ones are worth checking out this summer? Ann Powers is a critic and correspondent for NPR Music.

A Critical Decade For A Healthy Planet
People have had it pretty good on planet earth for centuries, but the world is changing. Human activities are altering the planet we live on. What are the planet’s limits before it starts to collapse? Katy Sewall talks with photographer Mattias Klum and sustainability expert Johan Rockstrom.

Read more
Parched Crops
10:23 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Drought Conditions Expand Across Inland Northwest

Droughtmonitor.unl.edu.

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:19 pm

Federal agencies have expanded how much of the Northwest they think is suffering from drought.

An updated map released Thursday shows 88 percent of Idaho's territory is now categorized in moderate to severe drought. Just over half of Oregon is similarly parched. Washington state is faring better with just a sliver of land on the Idaho border classified in drought conditions.

Read more
Environment And Business
8:00 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Environmental Debt With Amy Larkin

How can business and the natural world successfully coexist?
Flickr Photo/rlpporch

Environmental debt — global warming, extreme weather, pollution — is weakening the global economy. Amy Larkin, formerly of Greenpeace, discusses how the natural world and business can coexist. She spoke at the Elliott Bay Book Company on July 1.

Publicly-Accessible Telescope
3:57 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Local Company Uses Crowd Funding To Launch Space Telescope

Local company Planetary Resources successfully completed a campaign to crowd fund a publicly accessible telescope.
Flickr Photo/NASA Goddard Photo and Video

Planetary Resources, a company based in Bellevue, decided to bridge the gap between the planet and the cosmos with the world’s first crowd-funded, publicly-accessible telescope. Their Kickstarter campaign recently raised over $1.5 million from 17,614 people in just 33 days.

Read more
Invasive Species
11:20 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Crayfish Turf Wars Of The Northwest

Red swamp crayfish aren't native to the Northwest but where they've been introduced, they're taking over.
Earthfix Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Gumbo and jambalaya may not be at the top of Northwest menus. But if the invasive red swamp crayfish has its way, that could change.

Read more
Eurasian milfoil
8:38 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Bellevue Closes Beaches To Fight Invasive Species

Signs (and an unseen lifeguard) deter swimmers at Bellevue's Meydenbauer Beach Park until herbicide sprayed nearby has had 24 hours to settle to the bottom of Lake Washington.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

The city of Bellevue, Wash., closed two public beaches to swimming Monday as it sprayed herbicide into Lake Washington’s Meydenbauer Bay. It plans to close a third beach on Wednesday.

Bellevue is fighting an invasive weed known as Eurasian watermilfoil.

Read more
Megaload Hurdles
11:28 am
Thu July 11, 2013

'Megaloads' Opponents Count On Federal Hurdles To Halt Trucks

Imperial Oil

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 5:20 pm

Oil companies still may find a way to move huge, so-called “megaloads” through a scenic corridor in Idaho, once traveled by Lewis and Clark. But for now at least, opponents of the extra-large shipments are hoping government red tape has closed that option.

Read more
Military Base Conservation Efforts
11:27 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Federal Agencies Pool Money To Preserve Buffer Around Military Base

Spc. Reese Von Rogatsz US Army

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 3:21 pm

Urban development around military bases in the Northwest and across the nation is creating a headache for the U.S. Defense Department. So Wednesday, several federal agencies announced they will pool money to preserve buffer lands, starting with Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma.

Federal and state money will be used to buy conservation easements or buy property outright to prevent development on more than 2,600 acres of farmland and prairie. The land is in Thurston County, Washington near Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Read more
Climate Change
1:15 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Song For A Warming Planet

McCarty Glacier, Alaska. Left: July 30, 1909. Right: August 11, 2004.
Credit NASA

As a student at University of Minnesota, Daniel Crawford was exposed to the latest science on climate change. He learned that the planet was warming rapidly. Scientists have struggled to communicate the gravity of that discovery with others, and so, as a planet we've failed to make changes that would slow the warming trend.

But Daniel has a tool unavailable to most scientists. He plays the cello. By translating NASA's collection of historic temperature data into notes, he tells the story of Earth's climate change with a song. It's an unpleasant song. But it's also a song whose melody can't be easily forgotten.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, July 10:

Read more
Washington Train-To-Ship Oil Terminal
11:55 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Port Of Vancouver Reconsiders Proposed Oil Terminal

Washington's Port of Vancouver is reviewing a proposal for an oil terminal fed by the Bakken fields in North Dakota - the same source of oil attached to the train explosion in Quebec last weekend.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT

UPDATE 7/10/13, 4:09 p.m. PT: The Associated Press is reporting that the death toll for the Quebec train crash that rocked a small town over the weekend has reached 50. Canadian officials have declared that the missing people in the explosion are now presumed dead.

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.

Read more
Hanford Cleanup Update
9:26 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Massive Hanford Waste Dump Reaches 15 Million Ton Mark

Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 4:52 pm

Managers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation say crews have cleaned up 15 million tons of radioactive soil and debris from near the Columbia River. It’s gone to a massive dump at the center of the site.

In central Hanford, a ceremonial load of soil marked 15 million tons of waste disposed of at the 52-football-field-sized dump called ERDF. Dozens of truck horns blared in response.

Read more
Puget Sound Movement
1:24 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Ghost-Net Busters

Credit flickr photo / Jennyvids

Lost and abandoned fishing nets kill untold numbers of sea creatures around the world every year. But there's a growing global movement to remove what are known as "ghost nets" and prevent new ones. And it's starting in the Puget Sound.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, July 9:

Read more
Oil Transportation
10:31 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Canada's Oil Train Disaster Sparks Northwest Concern

Freight train burning in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada.
Flickr Photo/Transportation Safety Board of Canada

The weekend’s deadly oil-train derailment and explosion in the Canadian province of Quebec has raised concerns in the Pacific Northwest, where there are several proposals to increase the amount of oil transported into to the region by train.

By Monday afternoon the confirmed death toll had reached 13, with 50 people still missing after Saturday’s derailment of more than 70 tanker cars. They were filled with oil from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota — home of the largest oil boom in recent US history.

Read more

Pages