environment

A still from Chris Morgan's short movie about grizzly bears.
grizzlybearfilm.org

If you feel like you're just waking up from a long winter, you're not alone. Bears feel the same way. And they're out and about in the North Cascades.

Beekeepers flock from all over the country to California every February and March to watch billions of honeybees buzz around the state's almond trees. Eighty percent of the country's commercial bees visit the Golden State each spring.

So I went to check out the scene at an almond orchard at the California State University, Fresno, in Central California.

"Really, the key is to stay calm around bees, because if you're afraid, then your body physiologically changes and they can sense that," beekeeper Brian Hiatt tells me. "They literally can smell fear."

Cantwell Opposes Mining Near Mount St. Helens

Mar 23, 2016

Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell said Monday that she’s concerned about an exploratory mining project that’s proposed on Goat Mountain, just north of the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

Ascot USA, Inc. wants to drill more than 60 exploratory holes on 23 sites in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The company’s searching for metals like gold, copper and silver.

Across the West, groundwater reserves are being depleted. Nature can’t replenish the aquifers as quickly as they’re being drawn down for irrigation, industry and drinking water.

Officials from at least three governments are considering the establishment of a local air authority in the greater Portland area.

Multnomah County chair Deborah Kafoury said during her State of the County address Friday that Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality should do more to crack down on air pollution.

Until the agency does, Kafoury said the county plans to hire a consultant to look into forming a local air agency. She said the effort has extended beyond Multnomah County.

Oregon’s Top Utility Regulator Resigns

Mar 19, 2016

Oregon’s top regulator of power companies announced her resignation Friday in a letter to Gov. Kate Brown.

Susan Ackerman is a longtime utility lawyer who was appointed to the Oregon Public Utility Commission in 2010 and promoted to chairwoman in 2012. The three-member board regulates investor-owned utilities including their natural gas and electricity rates.

Video: When Enforcement Lags For Livestock Grazing Rules

Mar 18, 2016

The federal government permits livestock grazing on more than 240 million acres of public land — an area bigger than Texas and Oregon combined.

And despite all its regulations to protect the land from livestock damage, some of those rules aren’t being fully enforced.

This 1-minute video explains what’s at stake with America’s unenforced grazing rules:

Oregon regulators said Thursday air and soil samples continue to show low health risks for Portland residents. But the level of arsenic in some areas is elevated.

A new test for arsenic around Uroboros Glass in North Portland showed levels several times higher than the state guideline.

But David Farrer with the Oregon Health Authority said people needn’t be concerned.

After days of anticipation, a fuzzy wing flopped out of the remains of an egg shell Friday morning, signaling the hatching of a baby bald eagle who's been watched and fretted over, via an eagle cam set up at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.

The bird then worked its way out of its shell over the next hour, emerging more fully around 8:20 a.m. ET. Throughout the process, its parent eagle alternated between peering attentively (to be honest, eagles don't seem capable of anything but) and nestling over the fledgling and a second, as-yet-unhatched, egg.

Pigeons in London have a bad reputation. Some people call them flying rats. And many blame them for causing pollution with their droppings. But now the birds are being used to fight another kind of pollution in this city of 8.5 million.

"The problem for air pollution is that it's been largely ignored as an issue for a long time," says Andrea Lee, with the London-based environmental organization ClientEarth. "People don't realize how bad it is, and how it actually affects their health."

Springer, the one-ton baby orca displaced from her pod, chased Washington ferries until she was caught and reconnected with her family.
AP Photo/Cheryl Hatch

SeaWorld says it will end its killer whale breeding program and will stop making the mammals perform tricks for stadium crowds. It’s a historic about-face from the days when SeaWorld hired people to capture wild killer whales in Puget Sound. 

One of two eggs laid by a mated pair of bald eagles in Washington, D.C., is hatching, according to officials watching the nest at the U.S. National Arboretum.

"We have a pip in process!!" said an update sent by the American Eagle Foundation on Thursday morning, which clarifies, "It's not technically a full pip until there is a full hole."

The hole in the shell appears to have grown larger as of mid-afternoon Thursday, but the eaglet has yet to emerge. The group says it could take between 12 and 48 hours for the eaglet to fully emerge from the shell.

In a major concession to critics and animal welfare groups, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Inc. says it will stop breeding captive killer whales.

SeaWorld's treatment of its killer whales, or orcas, was put in the spotlight three years ago by Blackfish, a documentary that examined the death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was killed by an orca named Tilikum. Since then, in a steady campaign on social media, critics have demanded SeaWorld end its orca breeding program.

Uroboros Glass has signed an agreement with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality that prohibits the use of cadmium, chromium and nickel to protect public health until pollution controls can be installed on the company's furnaces.

Idaho counties could declare federal forestland within their borders to be a "catastrophic public nuisance" under a measure approved by an Idaho legislative committee Tuesday.

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