environment

Environment
7:37 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Ozone Levels Bounce Back, Showing First Increase In 35 Years

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 9:22 am

Remember the giant hole in the Earth's ozone layer? Scientists say it's shrinking a little, thanks in part to the elimination of chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, beginning in the 1980s.

For the first time in 35 years, scientists have confirmed a statistically significant increase in the amount of ozone, which shields us from skin cancer and protects crops from sun damage.

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Wild Animals
3:06 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

When Sally Sees Seals On The Seattle Seashore, She Stops

Flickr Photo/inarges (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with Brenda Peterson, co-founder of Seal Sitters, about what people should do when they see seal pups lining Washington's beaches.

EarthFix Reports
11:05 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Indoor Marijuana Growers Create Big Demand For Northwest Energy

An indoor medical marijuana growing facility in Oakland, California.
Flickr/Rusty Blazenhoff https://www.flickr.com/photos/blazenhoff/6716761531/in/photolist-bexaci-j6CvG2-3J2ju-egU4pY-egNhFV-egNic6-egNiiT-egU4Jf-fEgJgt-fEgJfe-nVP5VW-afDraH-3DYxK-3J2jo-3J2j6-3J2jx-3J2iZ-3J2jc-3J2iQ-3J2iD-bevX

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 6:14 pm

Power planners are studying how much indoor marijuana growing could increase the region’s electricity demands in the near future.

The study is being conducted by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. Researchers say they need to know how much energy is being used by Washington’s licensed indoor cannabis producers -- and how much that usage will increase as pot production expands.

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EarthFix Reports
11:05 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Seattle Area Leaders Announce Plans To Merge Duwamish River Clean Up Efforts

a 2012 file photo of scrap metal that environmentalists say was contributing to pollution in the Duwamish River.
Katie Campbell

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 4:47 pm

SEATTLE -- King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced plans Monday to combine efforts to clean up of the Duwamish and Green River watershed.

The strategy calls for coordinating the work of governments, non-profits and businesses already involved in the clean-up.

Constantine said bringing all the players together will improve the chances that the cleanup will work, permanently.

"We can begin to get more value for each dollar, to get more clean up, to get better environmental outcomes, and economic outcomes," he said.

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EarthFix Reports
11:04 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Coal Export Backers Appeal Permit Denial For Columbia River Project

Coal mining operations near Gillette, Wyoming. The state's governor is one of three coal supporters appealing Oregon's decision to deny a permit for a coal-export project on the Columbia River.
Katie Campbell

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 4:22 pm

The developer of the proposed Morrow Pacific coal export project, as well as two project supporters, have appealed the state of Oregon's decision to deny a permit for a dock on the Columbia River.

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Wildlife
7:11 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Groups Plan To Sue Over Feds' Wildlife-Killing Tactics In Idaho

File photo of a coyote

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 4:45 pm

Four environmental groups said Monday they will sue the USDA's Wildlife Services program to stop what they call the unlawful killing of wildlife in Idaho.

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Wildfires
7:33 am
Mon September 8, 2014

It's Always Been Home: Sticking It Out After Fire And Mud In Washington's Methow Valley

Kent Stokes, 28, of Twisp, Washington, surveys the ruins of his large shop and home. He estimates his family lost about 20,000 acres of grazing land in the fires this year.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 7:51 am

Kent Stokes, 28, can’t believe who survived the Carlton Complex wildfire.

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Wildfires
7:33 am
Mon September 8, 2014

After Fire And Mud In Washington's Methow Valley, Some Choose To Leave

The day after the flood near Twisp, Wash., Patty Cho and her boyfriend Sal Asaro, 24, pick on the porch of their yurt and plan their next move. With no power, running water and surrounded by mud, they were looking for a new home.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 8:01 am

Hunkered low on the front deck of a yurt are two 20-somethings. The hut is plopped in the middle of a winding mountain canyon in Washington’s Methow Valley near the town of Twisp.

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EarthFix Reports
7:33 am
Mon September 8, 2014

The Last Dam on Whychus Creek Slated for Removal

The last remaining concrete dam on Whychus Creek.
Mathias Perle

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 12:52 pm

The removal of the last remaining concrete dam on Whychus Creek near Sisters, Oregon is slated to get underway following a ceremony on Monday.

The removal is a part of a larger campaign to restore the creek to a condition it hasn’t seen since the first dams were built there at the end of the 19th century.

The dam’s removal will reopen 13 miles of upstream spawning and rearing habitat for chinook salmon, steelhead, and redband trout.

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EarthFix Reports
7:33 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Wolf Shot By State Was Alpha Female

The helicopter shooting of a wolf in northeastern Washington didn’t go as planned. A sharp shooter accidentally took out the livestock-killing pack’s alpha female.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 4:02 pm

The helicopter shooting of a wolf in northeastern Washington didn’t go as planned. A sharp shooter took out the livestock-killing pack’s alpha female, jeopardizing the entire pack's chances of survival.

The so-called Huckleberry wolf pack repeatedly attacked a herd of sheep in August, killing at least 24 sheep. Non-lethal attempts to keep the wolves away from the sheep in Stevens County were unsuccessful. That prompted the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to authorize the killing of four wolves.

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Environment
7:12 am
Sun September 7, 2014

U.S. Pacific Blue Whales Seen Rebounding Close To Historic Levels

Off the coast of Southern California, a crowd watches a blue whale rise to the surface earlier this summer. A new study says the population of blue whales off the West Coast is close to historic levels.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Sun September 7, 2014 8:16 pm

Decades after the threat of extinction led to them being protected from whalers, there are now about 2,200 blue whales off the West Coast, according to a new study. That's roughly 97 percent of historical levels, say researchers at the University of Washington who call their findings a conservation success story.

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Essay
4:21 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Hi! I'm A Nutria (That Pesky Rodent With Orange Teeth)

Credit Drew Christie

Olympia has developed a pesky problem. The Olympian reports that several dozen nutria are infesting Capitol Lake.

Wildlife agents from the U.S. Department of Agriculture killed four of the beaver-sized rodents that had become a nuisance, and several more killings will be scheduled.

Nutria are considered an invasive species that destroy marshlands. But what brought them to Washington State in the first place?

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Author Talk
9:49 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Can The Soil Really Save Us From Climate Change?

Credit Kristin Ohlson's book "The Soil Will Save Us."

This week on Speakers Forum we’ll hear from author Kristin Ohlson. Her new book is "The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet."

In it she sheds light on our understanding of soil and its crucial role in capturing and storing carbon emissions. Ohlson details how changes in how we farm may hold the key to countering global warming.

Ohlson is a freelance journalist and author based in Portland, Ore. She’s written for the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, Utne and Salon. Her books include "Stalking the Divine" and "Kabul Beauty School."

Ohlson spoke at The Elliott Bay Book Company on July 28. Thanks to Anna Tatistcheff for this recording. 

EarthFix Reports
8:22 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Northwest Climate Study Shows Rising Temperatures Linked to Human Activity

This image of the coal-fired plant in Colstrip, Mont., was made in the 1980s by Montana native David T. Hanson. It was part of an exhibit at Modern Museum of Art in New York.
David T. Hanson http://www.davidthanson.net/

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 10:19 am

A recent study has found that the Northwest’s average annual temperature increased significantly over the last century, and that the shift is most likely caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

The study was published by researchers at the University of Idaho and Oregon State University. It found that the region's average annual temperature has risen by a total of 1.3­ degrees Fahrenheit over the last hundred years.

The study drew together data from 141 weather stations across Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming from the period between 1901 and 2012.

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EarthFix Reports
8:22 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Conservation Groups Concerned Oil Spill Would Harm Wildlife

An oil train moves through Skagit County in Western Washington, headed to refineries in the Northwestern part of the state.
Katie Campbell

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 11:54 am

As more oil trains travel along the Columbia River and Puget Sound, conservation groups worry that cleanup plans could harm sensitive wildlife, like endangered salmon and shorebirds.

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