Environment

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.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) has officially asked President Obama to designate a remote area in southeastern Oregon as a national monument.

Blumenauer is the only member of Oregon’s Congressional delegation to openly ask Obama to create an Owyhee National Monument.

An interagency incident management team has taken over the Hart Fire burning on the Spokane Indian Reservation. The wildfire spread rapidly onto tribal land, but response hasn’t kept up with the pace of the blaze. Strong winds spread the fire fast enough to force an initial attack crew to flee.

Lawyers for victims of the deadly 2014 Oso landslide say the state of Washington has engaged in a “shocking” cover-up to hide evidence. The allegation, first reported by The Seattle Times, comes just five weeks before the state goes on trial.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Tuesday declared a state of emergency in 20 counties mostly on the dry side of the Cascades, an area vulnerable to wildfire. Resources are stretched thin in the battle to save homes and property.

A large group of mountain goats moves along slope near Mount Baker. The photo was taken from the air in late July by state wildlife researchers.
Courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

That’s a lot of mountain goats – 90 to be exact. The aerial photo was taken in late July near Mount Baker by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

There's been a recent rebound for a species that was decimated decades ago by hunting, the department’s Rich Harris told KUOW’s Emily Fox.


The rain fell for days, sometimes 3 inches or more in a single hour, as streets became rivers and rivers ate up entire neighborhoods in southeast Louisiana.

Between Aug. 11 and Aug. 14, more than 20 inches of rain fell in and around East Baton Rouge, one of the hardest-hit parishes. And in some parishes in the region, as much as 2 feet of rain fell in 48 hours.

The National Weather Service says the likelihood that so much rain would fall in so little time was about one-tenth of 1 percent. A flood this bad should only happen once every thousand years.

When a fast-moving, erratic wildfire ignites, firefighters right away try to save homes and steer the flames away from life and property. But experts say the real danger often occurs in the hours after the big wall of flames rips through.

Finding beauty along Seattle's toxic scar

Aug 22, 2016
Courtesy of Tom Reese

Bill Radke speaks with photographer Tom Reese and journalist Eric Wagner about their book, "Once and Future River: Reclaiming the Duwamish." The three talk about the history of the Duwamish, how it became Seattle's forgotten river and the efforts to clean it up.

Spokane, Washington, the state’s second largest city, found itself surrounded by flames Monday after high winds and heat Sunday caused the rapid spread of three separate wildfires.

People walk along sun-baked University Way Northeast in Seattle on Friday.
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

If you're dripping with sweat during this heat spell, you can blame Canada (kind of).

Washington state climatologist Nick Bond told KUOW's Kim Malcolm that warm air is flowing down from the northeast, contributing to this hot weather.

Cynthia Beal was looking for a new thing. It was 2004. She’d just sold her successful natural foods grocery store in Eugene and wondered what venture she should embark upon next.

“I thought to myself, what is gonna happen to our bodies when we die? What do we do? How to we dispose of ourselves? What do we do with us? That was just a fascinating question,” she says.

Construction of a controversial crude oil pipeline set to span at least 1,168 miles from North Dakota to Illinois has temporarily been halted in North Dakota amid protests by Native American tribes.

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux fear the pipeline could potentially contaminate their local drinking water and lands sacred to the tribe.

Devastating floods in Louisiana have left an estimated 40,000 houses damaged; some 86,000 people have applied for federal disaster aid in the wake of the disaster.

It's a crisis some people are comparing to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The disaster area stretches over 20 parishes, Eileen Fleming of member station WWNO reports, and officials are working to determine how to provide temporary housing to meet the extreme need.

In southeast Washington, the Range 12 Fire is finally out. But now there’s 176,600 acres of black. And it’s roasted much of the valuable habitat on the Hanford Reach National Monument.

Washington wildlife officials have halted their efforts to kill wolves after shooting two members of a pack that had been preying on livestock in the state’s northeastern corner.

The state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife says it suspended the campaign to kill members of the Profanity Peak Pack Thursday. The decision comes after wildlife officials shot and killed two members of the wolf pack from a helicopter on Aug. 5.

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