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.
A satellite image of smog over China. Westerly winds can carry air pollution from China across the Pacific Ocean in just a few days. A new study is linking air pollution in the Western United States to China’s booming exports.
Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 3:45 pm
The federal government is standing by its previous plans for managing the Columbia River to prevent the extinction of its salmon and steelhead. That means little would change for dam operations on the West's biggest river -- but only if it wins court approval.
The Gray Wolf River drops more than 5,000 feet in elevation on its 25-mile run from the Olympic Mountains to where it empties into the Dungeness River near the town of Sequim, Wash. This section is in National Forest and could one day be logged.
Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 2:26 pm
An environmental group is calling for a major expansion in habitat protection for Puget Sound's killer whales.
Research shows the endangered orcas that live in Puget Sound in the summer are venturing up and down the West Coast in the winter to forage for food. Scientists tracking these southern resident orcas have followed the whales as far north as Alaska and as far south as Monterey, Calif.
When Rep. Cary Condotta campaigned for labeling genetically modified food last fall, he noticed reactions were different depending on the type of food: fish or plant. “When you start talking about modifying animals to grow faster and larger, boy, they light up,” he said. “People go, really? They’re not doing that, are they?”
The worst-case environmental scenario at an oil terminal on the lower Columbia River means 3.8 million gallons of crude spilling into sensitive wildlife habitat and shutting down a public drinking water intake, according to a draft response plan facility managers filed with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
In desperation to save the rare northern spotted owl, biologists are doing something that goes against their core — shooting another owl that's rapidly taking over spotted owl territory across the northwest.
"If we don't do it, what we're essentially doing, in my view, is dooming the spotted owl to extinction," says Lowell Diller, senior biologist for Green Diamond, a timber company.
Pete Knutson and his son Dylan sell wild salmon at farmers markets around Seattle. "We had people passing on our fish this year. It was directly because they were worried about Fukushima," Pete Knutson said.
Following the 2011 tsunami in Japan, a nuclear reactor released hundreds of millions of gallons of radioactive water into the ocean. That sparked fear that contaminated water would reach the West Coast, but three years later, scientists say that radiation in our waters isn’t necessarily linked to the nuclear reactor.
Marcie Sillman talks over the news from Canada with Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer, including Neil Young’s environmental stance, issues with the flu season, and effects of the latest exchange rate.
A small percentage of trains carrying hazardous materials are inspected as they move through Oregon and Washington. Safety advocates and legislators are more concerned about what federal regulations allow than the fewer than 1 percent of cars found with safety violations.
This dead juvenile coho salmon was found in a tributary of California's South Fork Eel River. About 20 large-scale marijuana farms are located upstream from the watershed pictured. All of them divert water from the stream.
Credit Courtesy Scott Bauer
Left: A North Coast marijuana grow site in 2010, with nothing but a little white roofed structure. Right: The same site in 2012.
Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 2:08 pm
For many users and advocates of marijuana, the boom in the West Coast growing industry may be all good and groovy. But in California, critics say the recent explosion of the marijuana industry along the state's North Coast — a region called the "emerald triangle" — could put a permanent buzz kill on struggling salmon populations.