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outdoors

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.

  The National Park Service wants to increase entrance fees to pay for park improvements.

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.

Courtesy of Litsa Dremousis

TJ Langley wished that he had been born a century prior, even if REI didn't exist back then.

Langley loved the outdoors and riding his bike around Seattle, but at his core, Langley was a climber. Five years ago, he died on a trip in the North Cascades.

A conservation group has made the largest private land acquisition in Washington history, purchasing nearly 48,000 acres near the Cascade Mountains' Snoqualmie Pass east of Seattle.

The Nature Conservancy announced Monday it has bought the land from timber company Plum Creek. The land acquisition cost about $49 million.

More swimmers in the Northwest are trading the comfort of the pool for a workout in open water.

Ross Reynolds talks to Langdon Cook, author of the book "The Mushroom Hunters: On The Trail Of An Underground America," about fall foraging.

PORTLAND -- Inside the operating room at the Portland Audubon Society Wildlife Care Center, head veterinarian Deb Sheaffer is carefully inserting a syringe into the shoulder of an injured red-tail hawk.

The hawk was brought in with a broken wing after it was hit by a car. And as with most raptors brought into the center, Sheaffer and her colleagues want to test it for lead poisoning.

“It’s a very simple blood draw.” Sheaffer said. “It takes one drop of blood, and we run it through a machine, and it takes about three minutes and we get a result back.”

Federal land managers in Idaho project minimal environmental damage from allowing a predator hunting derby to take place in the north-eastern part of the state.

Americans are discovering — or rediscovering — the allure of outdoor living, according to a 2014 survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Whether the instinct stems from a primordial desire to reconnect with the natural world or to disconnect from in-house clutter and chaos, people who can afford it are transporting traditional indoor areas — kitchens, dining rooms, bedrooms, entertainment centers — outside.

Under fire from free speech advocates and nature enthusiasts, the U.S. Forest Service, said Thursday it has absolutely no intention of charging people to take pictures on public land.

The U.S. Forest Service is developing a rule that would let it decide whether the media could film or take photos in wilderness areas.

Courtesy of Friends of the Conservatory at Volunteer Park

Friends of the Conservatory at Volunteer Park confirmed this morning that their Amorphophallus titanum, better known at the corpse flower, has burst out in all its short-lived and pungent glory.

The flower blooms only about once every three years for 24 to 48 hours and releases a putrid smell to attract carrion beetles. 

The story most people learn about the Nez Perce Tribe and the capture of Chief Joseph doesn't tell the whole history. 

Remotely monitored video cameras are replacing some human fire lookouts on mountaintops around the Northwest.

A Death Sentence Turns Into A Call Of The Wild

Sep 4, 2014
Courtesy of Leo Egashira

Leo Egashira, 60, is no stranger to death. He once saw his life flash before him when chased by a thousand-pound muskox in Greenland.

However, he had an even scarier encounter when he received an HIV diagnosis back in 1992. The life-changing event fostered his appreciation of the outdoors.

This is the final part of a three-part series on the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Read Part I here and Part II here.

MALHEUR COUNTY, Oregon – A 2.1-million-acre wilderness proposal here includes breathtaking red rock canyons, prime habitat for sage grouse and the largest herd of California bighorn sheep in the country.

Only a handful of grizzly bears now roam the North Cascades of Washington.

Their numbers are so small that none of the 20 grizzlies have been sighted since 2010. The bears may now be getting some help.

A three-year process from the National Parks Service will find out if grizzly bears should be restored in the North Cascades. Officials are looking at a wide range of options. Those options include letting the bears recover on their own to transplanting bears from British Columbia.

KUOW Photo/Derek Wang

They may be beautiful to look at in the wild, but with their sharp horns, mountain goats have been a cause of concern in the Olympic National Park, especially since a goat fatally gored a 63-year-old hiker in 2010.

As part of their mountain goat action plan, the National Parks Service is considering a change of scenery for the animals. The goats may be moved to another mountain range in Washington that has seen a decline in the goat population, according to Parks spokeswoman Barb Maynes.

What's Killing Clams? Solve This Low Tide Mystery

Jul 14, 2014
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

One of the lowest tides of the year this weekend revealed a "crime scene" at the beach at Golden Gardens Park in Seattle.

Grays Harbor County, Washington, is the first county in the Northwest to strike back against pricey recreation permits now being required by some large timber companies. The county's commission voted unanimously Monday to take a tax deferral away from private timberland owners that charge for public access.

How Washington Is Working To Increase Latino Fishers

Jun 25, 2014

WENTACHEE, Wash. -- About 150 people line the shoreline at the Beehive Reservoir in north central Washington. Spanish and English mix, as anglers plunk lures into the lake. And just as quickly as the lures sink to the bottom, rainbow trout bite down on the chartreuse-colored bait.

"You've got a bite," someone on the shoreline shouts.

The small reservoir is about a 20 minute drive from downtown Wenatchee. But Norma Gallegos said it’s a trip made by only a few of the city’s Hispanic residents.

Hikers Trapped In Dense Rhododendron Forest

Jun 19, 2014

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with news of a rhododendron rescue. Who knew a shrub known for its brilliantly colored blooms could be life-threatening? But a couple hiking in Ireland's Knockmealdown Mountains was trapped when they got lost on a hillside so thick with wild rhododendrons, one rescuer told the BBC it was as impenetrable as a jungle - so dense that people could not hear each other, which is why it took five hours to rescue them. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Editors' Note: This post has been revised to clarify and correct reporting on the findings of the bike helmet study. The researchers looked at head injuries, not just brain injuries, so the descriptions have been changed to head injuries throughout. The lead researcher said in response to follow-up questions that the study was designed to look at the risk of head injuries as a proportion of all injuries related to bicycling, so the headline and descriptions of the work have been changed to reflect that distinction.

Doctors in Wenatchee have been passing out some unusual prescriptions lately – not pills, but mountain hikes. It’s called the Foothills Hiking Challenge.

Alpine Ascents International Monday released the name of the second company guide who was killed in this weekend’s climbing tragedy on Mount Rainier. His name was Eitan Green, a Colby College graduate from the Boston area. He was based in Seattle and had guided for Alpine Ascents since 2009.

Mount Rainier is one of the most popular climbing destinations in the nation, but this weekend, it became the scene of a terrible tragedy -- the second worst climbing tragedy in the mountain's history. Six climbers apparently fell to their deaths.

Six climbers who were descending from near the top of Mount Rainier have perished in the worst accident on the snow-capped volcano in decades. 

Memorial Day weekend in the Northwest coincides with prime time for ticks. These arthropods can drink your blood for days without you knowing.

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