KUOW's environment beat brings you stories on the ongoing cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, alternative energy, the health of the Puget Sound, coal transportation and more. We're also partnered with several stations across the Northwest to bring you environmental news via EarthFix.

Following a summer of record wildfires across the Northwest, Washington state officials worry that residents in burned-over areas could be facing floods and mud in the wake of incoming storms.

Strip-mining spoil piles in background in Colstrip, Montana, June 1973.
Flickr Photo/U.S. National Archives (Public Domain)/http://bit.ly/1MAbdwV

David Hyde speaks with Montana Public Radio news director Eric Whitney about how a coal town in Colstrip, Montana could be shuttered by climate change.

For the first time, prosecutors have obtained a federal Lacey Act conviction for trafficking in poached Northwest maple wood.

Washington is taking legal action against Volkswagen in the wake of a diesel vehicle scandal. Back in September, Volkswagen admitted to installing special software in some of its diesel vehicles, causing them to give false readings during pre-sale air quality tests. Forty-seven states, including Washington and Oregon announced investigations.

Now Washington has given the company formal notice that they violated the state’s Clean Air Act.

Port of Seattle cranes loom overhead. After a port slowdown last year, retailers and growers are trying to repair the damage of lost business.
Flickr Photo/Dennis Hamilton (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1SxOe9r

Ross Reynolds speaks with Fred Felleman, Seattle's most-recently elected Port commissioner, about why he thinks Seattle's citizens should pay attention to the doings at the Port of Seattle.

In 1987, late in the Cold War, in a government reading room in Richland , Washington, a historian was studying newly released documents about the Hanford nuclear reservation. Then, a strange man approached her.

Heavy rains have flooded the one road in and out of La Push on the Washington coast. That means the 300-400 residents of the Quileute Indian Reservation are cut off.

President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline last week because of environmental concerns, but the decision may not be enough to keep Canada’s controversial tar sand oil locked in the ground.

A photographer from Wenatchee, Washington, has made a revealing discovery at the scene of a remote and long-abandoned fire lookout: a pile of very old firewood.

Washington forestry officials have updated state guidelines for evaluating unstable slopes that, if logged, could contribute to landslides.

Oregon's Fish and Wildlife Commission voted Monday to remove wolves from the state's list of endangered species.

The decision changes little in the short term for Oregon’s known population of 81 gray wolves. A state management plan would continue to permit killing wolves only if they're caught in the act of attacking or involved in repeated livestock damage.

A Washington state senator says he will try again in January to convince his colleagues to ban marine mammal shows. That announcement Monday came as SeaWorld said it will end orca whale performances at its San Diego theme park next year.

When the sand on the beach threatens to overrun your house and your driveway, long walks on the beach might not seem quite so romantic anymore. Some Oregon coastal communities want to form a new type of governmental agency just to deal with the problem of too much sand.

Shane Underwood (left) and his son, David, stand at the Quinault Indian Nation’s seafood plant in Taholah, Washington. The loss of the largest glacier that feeds the Quinault River and rising seas are threatening the tribe’s way of life.
Ashley Ahearn, KUOW/EarthFix

TAHOLAH, Wash. - A big question will confront international leaders in the next round of climate talks in Paris: How do they help poor, island and coastal nations threatened by rising oceans, extreme weather and other climate change-related risks?

In the Northwest, sea-level rise is forcing a Native American tribe to consider abandoning lands it has inhabited for thousands of years.

Two of the largest timber companies in the United States, Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek, announced plans Monday to merge under the Weyerhaeuser name.

The combined company will be the largest private timberland owner in the South and the Pacific Northwest, with stock worth $23 billion and a portfolio of more than 13 million acres.

That includes 7.3 million acres of Southern yellow pine forests in the Southern U.S., 3 million acres of Douglas fir forest in Oregon and Washington, and 2.6 million acres of mixed hardwoods in Michigan and the Northeast.