environment

Wolves are a frequent topic of discussion in the Pacific Northwest and in 2015 Oregon will begin changing how these animals are managed. In 2005, The Oregon Department Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) introduced the Wolf Conservation Management Plan to help stabilize the states' wolf population. The plan is reviewed every five years and is set to be reviewed again this year.

It's been 75 years since salmon and steelhead last swam into the upper reaches of the Columbia River above Grand Coulee Dam.

Flickr Photo/Kartik Ramanathan (CC-BY-NC-ND)

A night so black you can’t see your hand waving in front of your face. So dark you could just reach out and grab a star.

True darkness is daunting and mesmerizing. For city slickers, it can be terrifying. And according to author Paul Bogard, it is necessary.

Solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, geothermal and waste-to-energy electricity production could account for 98 percent of Oregon’s and Washington’s electricity needs in just 15 years, according to two new reports.

The reports from the Wind Energy Foundation's Renewable America project, which promotes wind development, say developing renewables would create hundreds of thousands of jobs for the region.

Gov. Jay Inslee has been pushing for a “polluters pay” carbon reduction plan for the majority of his time in office. Tuesday marked the first time that plan went before the state legislature, when the House Environment Committee held a hearing of HB 1314. The bill, which was drafted by the governor’s office, has 37 sponsors, all Democrats.

Some people ride a bike instead of driving a car to reduce their contributions to climate change. Others shrink their carbon footprint by installing solar panels on their rooftops. Now, a Portland brewery has another suggestion: Drink low-carbon beer.

Migration Brewing introduced its new low-carbon brew on Thursday. It's a variation on the brewery's longtime red beer Blood, Sweat and Red, with half the carbon footprint. They call it the Little Foot Red.

Flickr Photo/Barnaby Wasson (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Tonight on KUOW Spotlight, we present the latest episode of Reveal.

Part 1: The Murkiness Of American Day Care Reports

State inspection reports of day care providers are public record, but accessing them is still a problem for many parents. Washington state posts records online, but more than a dozen states don’t.

A new distillery in the Tri-Cities is hoping to solar power your alcohol.

The founders of Solar Spirits are planning to distill vodka, gin and eventually whiskey – they would become one of the first distilleries in the Northwest to use solar power. The group calls their process “craft tech.”

Ever since residents in a Southern Oregon community near Gold Beach claimed weed killer sprayed from a helicopter poisoned them in late 2013, the Eugene-based environmental group Beyond Toxics has been pushing hard for stricter rules governing aerial spraying.

Now it has company.

The Obama administration is proposing new protections for large portions of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The U.S. Department of Interior says it's the first time it's recommended additional protections and that their new recommendations have the potential to be one of the largest conservation measures "since Congress passed the visionary Wilderness Act over 50 years ago."

Sens. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, left, and Kevin Ranker. On Christmas Day, Ashley Ahearn asked them to join her at the Spar Cafe, a bar in Olympia.
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Earlier this winter, Ashley Ahearn was growing tired of polarized political debate.

She wondered: Did politicians actually believe what came out of their mouths? So she invited Sens. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, and Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, leaders, to drinks at Spar Cafe in Olympia.  

KUOW Photo/Sara Lerner

A dead gray whale was found floating under a ferry terminal in downtown Seattle this week. On Thursday, word was spreading fast about the enormous creature.

Kathy Powers, a dock worker, ran down to take a look between ferry trips. 

Clean Water Services of Hillsboro has an advanced treatment process that can turn sewage into drinking water.

The company, which runs four wastewater treatment plants in the Portland metro area, wants to show off its "high-purity" system by turning recycled wastewater into beer.

But under current rules, the state of Oregon wouldn't allow anyone to drink it.

It’s summertime in Australia, and bushfires are always a problem. But this season it’s been really bad — the worst in more than three decades if you measure by area burned.

There have been no human fatalities, but the fire has taken a heavy toll on wildlife. Many animals have been killed, others badly injured.

Editor's note: find the latest information on this story here.

Idaho biologists say the state’s wolf population likely continued its decline in 2014 -- and that may be because few of them are breeding.

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