Environment

Environment
5:12 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

WSU scientists save bald eagle

SPOKANE, Wash. — Scientists at Washington State University were able to save a bald eagle that was found in Idaho suffering from lead poisoning, and this week they released the majestic predator back into the wild.

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Environment
3:48 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Death penalty returns for Bonneville sea lions

California sea lion feasts on a salmon. Photo courtesy of CRITFC

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 12:00 am

The federal government has reauthorized the death penalty for the most troublesome California sea lions which congregate at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.

A lawsuit by the Humane Society of the United States forced a temporary halt to selective killing of sea lions below Bonneville Dam. Northwest states, tribes and the federal fisheries agency went back to the drawing board.

Now they've returned with pretty much the same answer as before regarding how to stop sea lions from eating too many threatened salmon.

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Renewable Energy
1:48 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

An under-used resource in Washington: forest biomass

Slash such as the branches and stumps shown here in Wishkah, Washington could be used for sustainable biofuels. A new study from the Commissioner of Public Lands says market use of such biomass could double without any impacts to forest sustainability.
Photo by Hugo90 Flickr

Renewable energy is growing on trees in Washington – and right now, much of it is going up in smoke.

That’s the word from Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, who has just released the results of a study on forest biomass.

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The Salt
1:23 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

Insect experts issue 'urgent' warning on using biotech seeds

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 12:28 pm

For America's agricultural biotech companies, the corn rootworm is threatening to turn into their worst nightmare.

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Environment
10:48 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Seen a wolf? Report it on state's new website

This Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife photo shows OR-11, a male pup from the Walla Walla pack, waking up from anesthesia after being fitted with a radio tracking collar in northeastern Oregon.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — People who think they've seen a wolf, heard one howl or found other evidence of wolves in Washington have a new place to share their story.

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Energy Efficiency
10:17 am
Tue March 6, 2012

LED streetlight test puts Seattle arterial in national spotlight

New LED lamps like this one on 15th Avenue NW in Ballard will be tested this week, with hopes of setting energy-saving standards for new lighting on major arterials. Officials say they can save millions of dollars once installed citywide.
Bellamy Pailthorp Photo KPLU News

Later today, road crews will shut down a 15-block stretch of a major arterial in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. For three nights, the city is testing the use of new LED lighting to replace old-fashioned street lamps.

The study is part of a regional effort that could set the standard for more energy efficient streetlights across the country.

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Winter storm
2:39 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

President Obama issues disaster declaration for January snowstorm

A sign of spring amidst the January snow in Northgate. 1/18/2012
Erin Kohlenberg flickr.com

It's official now. The January snow and ice storm was a disaster!

President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster exists in 11 Washington counties that were hard hit by the storm during the period of January 14-23, 2012.

Preliminary estimates indicate more than $32 million in eligible damages.

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Environment
11:31 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Environmentalists push climate change suits on behalf of kids

Nelson Kanuk, a 16 year old from Kipnuk, Alaska, has a lawsuit against the state of Alaska that aims to force the state to reduce carbon emissions.
Courtesy of OurChildrensTrust.org

EUGENE, Ore. – Environmental lawyers are trying a new legal tactic, hoping to force the government to take more aggressive steps against global warming. They’re bringing lawsuits on behalf of kids – including young plaintiffs in the Northwest . The cases use a legal theory put forth by a University of Oregon professor.

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Environment
1:26 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Hybrid cars still a rarity in the Northwest

The hybrid badge on a Toyota Prius
Carlos Perez flickr.com

We may think about driving hybrid cars, but very few of us actually buy one.

A poll by of Washington and Oregon drivers by Seattle-based PEMCO Insurance finds less than 2% say they own a hybrid.

However, more than half of the drivers in Washington (56%) and Oregon (59%) say they'd consider buying a hybrid the next time they shop for a car.

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Environment
7:18 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Spotted owl recovery plan: more active forestry management...and shooting rivals

The highly adaptable barred owl has moved in from points east and pushed out the endangered northern spotted owl. Lethal and non-lethal removals are part of the new spotted owl recovery plan announced by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
caroltlw photo Flickr

In the long saga to protect the northern spotted owl, it's now officially "owl vs owl."

US Fish and Wildlife says the decline of the iconic northwest species can’t be helped without killing some of its more aggressive cousins, the barred owl.

It’s part of a court-ordered plan to increase the spotted owl’s forest habitat.

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Environment
1:50 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Puget Sound 'tub' tainted by industrial residue of toxic dioxin

A dioxin survey map from the EPA, establishing baseline data through sampling by the research vessel Bold. Sediment samples were collected and analyzed at 70 locations throughout the Sound.
US EPA image

When you think about Puget Sound, a bathtub might not be the first image to come to mind.

But that’s one way environmentalists and scientists sometimes describe it, because the shape of Puget Sound is an important factor when it comes to keeping it clean.

A long-awaited report from the Environmental Protection Agency on the health effects of dioxin is confirming what many experts have known for a long time. 

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Environment
9:36 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Northwest back country ripe for more avalanches

An avalanche near Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park
Mike Danisiewicz National Park Service

The conditions that led to fatal avalanches in the Washington Cascades could get worse this week. Three expert skiers died near Stevens Pass on Sunday and a snowboarder died in a separate avalanche near Snoqualmie.

Mark Moore is the director of the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center. He says a crystalline layer of frost prevented new snow from bonding with the bottom layers. He estimates that led to hundreds if not thousands of avalanches in remote areas over the weekend.

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Envisioning the Future
5:31 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Waterfront design workshops at Town Hall Seattle

A conceptual rendering of the view looking at Elliott Bay and Pier 62/63 from the proposed Overlook Fold, which would help reconnect the waterfront to downtown and the Pike Place Market.
Courtesy james corner field operations and City of Seattle

Should the Pike Place Market be connected to Elliot Bay with new walkways?

That’s one of many expensive questions on the minds of landscape designers in charge of rebuilding Seattle’s waterfront.

In less than a week, the city will once again convene stakeholders and the public for help shaping the future of the city’s  “front door” on Puget Sound.

The group Waterfront Seattle is calling on the public to join in discussions that will help determine what the new waterfront will look like, after the Alaskan Way Viaduct comes down.

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Whale Hunting
9:37 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Judge allows 'Whale Wars' to continue

A Sea Shepherd crew tangles with a Japanese whaling ship in Antarctic waters in 2011
Sea Sheperd Conservation Society

A federal judge in Seattle Thursday refused a request for protection made by Japanese whalers. The whalers were hoping to put a stop to almost daily harassment by an aggressive anti-whaling group based in western Washington.

U.S. federal district court judge Richard Jones did not give a reason for denying the request for a preliminary injunction. It would have prevented the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society from interfering with the Japanese whaling fleet.

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Environment
4:50 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Pot plantations laying waste to national forests

This marijuana grow site was discovered in Ross Lake National Recreation Area, in North Cascades National Park, in 2008. Many more have been found in the Northwest's national forests, including Oregon's biggest ever last summer, in Wallowa County.
National Parks Service Photo

With its delicate, bright-green leaves, it’s a beautiful plant to look at.

And its medicinal qualities are well-known, but it requires huge amounts of water and light to grow. 

And that’s just the start of the problems caused by marijuana that authorities have been discovering growing in national forests.

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