outdoors

If you weren't able to take advantage of the new powder this week, the clock is ticking.

The National Weather Service in Portland tweeted that Thursday is expected to be the warmest day so far of the season. Temperatures are forecast to range from about 60 on the coast to nearly 80 in parts of central Oregon.

Much of the Northwest has very low snowpack right now. But Mt. Bachelor near Bend is faring better than most western ski resorts.

After a bit of snow over the weekend, Mt. Bachelor now has the third deepest snowpack of any U.S. resort. That's according to On The Snow, a website that tracks resort conditions across the country.

There Is Still Some Winter In The Methow Valley

Mar 6, 2015

Marcie Sillman talks to James DeSalvo, the executive director of the Methow Trails, about the winter weather in the Methow Valley.

It’s truffle season in Oregon’s forests. On a recent weekend, forager Eric Lyon leads a big black Labrador into a stand of Douglas fir trees near the town of Banks.

"Where's the truffle?" he says to the lab named Leroy.

Leroy keeps his nose close to the ground. He's on the scent of a truffle.

"There’s maybe six, 10 inches of the soil that has truffle aroma," explains Lyon, "but they can isolate the exact spot and I just use my little spoon and pop it out."

Leroy stops and digs gently with one paw. "Great aroma! Oh, that's a good one Leroy," Lyon says.

Two experienced hikers arrived safe and sound at the Mexican border Sunday, four-and-a-half months after beginning their trek in the North Cascades.

You might call it the forester's version of Google Earth: new satellite mapping that's giving scientists a clearer view of insect outbreaks in Northwest forests.

A study published this week describes how scientists with Oregon State University have combined new satellite imagery with older data from airplane and ground surveys to show in unprecedented detail where insects are damaging trees in the region.

Thousands of people are expected to start long distance treks on the Pacific Crest Trail this year.

Grizzly bear
Flickr Photo/Proggie (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Chris Morgan, founder of Western Wildlife Outreach, about a proposed plan to reintroduce grizzly bears into the North Cascades.

Bluebird skies, warming temperatures, and snow-free terrain might have you itching to hike your favorite trail.

But be prepared to encounter a "closed trail" sign. Several Northwest hiking routes are off-limits to humans this time of year. That's because the region’s migrant mule deer still need a few months to themselves.

“Giving them a little bit of space and a little consideration can be helpful to ensure that we have healthy deer populations,” said David Volsen, a district wildlife biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Hike, outdoor, A trail marker designating the Pacific Crest Trail.
Flickr Photo/Dan Hurt (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Jack Haskel, Pacific Crest Trail Association's Trail Information Specialist, about the impact that the book and recent movie, "Wild," is having on the PCT.

An Oregon Senate bill introduced Tuesday would tighten rules for aerial pesticide spraying on forest land and overhaul how the state responds to complaints of drift and exposure.

The bill has been in the works since 2013, when 16 Curry County residents filed complaints with the state that they became ill after an herbicide application. Dubbed The Public Health and Water Resources Protection Act, the bill would:

The "rock pile" is a popular spot for recreational diving and fishing.
Courtesy of Howard Cunningham

The Navy plans to build a new pier and support buildings on Ediz Hook in Port Angeles, to the chagrin of some locals. One of the proposed sites is right on top of a popular recreational diving and fishing spot.

The $16 million plan includes three proposed sites along the 3-mile sand spit that separates Port Angeles from the Strait of Juan De Fuca.

It's been a tough winter so far for many Cascade Mountains ski resorts. Five in Oregon and Washington have suspended operations until they get more snow.

Workers at the Summit at Snoqualmie are even gathering snow from parking lots and building edges and moving it uphill to keep a few runs open.

Nationally, the Pacific Northwest stands out for its low reliance on snowmaking, but that may change.

A ‘lifesaver’ for the resort

Ski season is now in full swing, but the lodge at one of the region’s most famous destinations is closed for the season.

It was open season on the pineapple in ski country last week. Crystal Mountain posted a video bemoaning a recent run of warm, wet weather known as the pineapple express.
Screenshot from Vimeo

This year’s ski season is getting off to a slow start thanks to an old skiers’ nemesis: the pineapple express.

Unusually warm and wet weather has been washing away the snow on the region’s ski hills. Fresh snow finally started falling over the weekend.

But not before some innocent pineapples had to die.

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