Environment

Environment

a sign for a prescribed burn in the Giant Sequoia National Monument, Calif., remains posted two years after the fire. The prescribed burn, a low-intensity, closely managed fire, was intended to clear out undergrowth and protect the heart of Kings Canyon National Park from a future threatening wildfire. The tactic is considered one of the best ways to prevent the kind of catastrophic destruction that has become common, but its use falls woefully short of goals in the West. CREDIT: BRIAN MELLEY/AP

Across The West, Land Managers Face Hurdles In Fighting Fire With Fire

Prescribed fires are credited with making forests healthier and stopping or slowing the advance of some blazes. Despite those successes, there are plenty of reasons they are not set as often as officials would like, ranging from poor conditions to safely burn to bureaucratic snags and public opposition. Continue Reading Across The West, Land Managers Face Hurdles In Fighting Fire With Fire

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Colville Tribal member Crystal Conant releases the final salmon into the upper Columbia River on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. Conant said salmon’s reintroduction to the upper Columbia will help heal the tribe and the ecosystem. CREDIT: COURTNEY FLATT/NWPB

Tribes Release 1st Salmon Into Upper Columbia Since Dam Construction

Salmon are now swimming in the upper Columbia River for the first time in decades. For regional Native tribes, Friday’s ceremonial fish release is a big step toward catching fish in traditional waters. Cheers erupted from the crowd as the first salmon was released since 1955 into the Columbia River above Chief Joseph Dam. Continue Reading Tribes Release 1st Salmon Into Upper Columbia Since Dam Construction

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Volunteer Emergency Manager Dorothea Thurby of Warm Springs takes inventory of bottled water Aug. 2, 2019. CREDIT: Emily Cureton/OPB

Residents Of Warm Springs Reservation Still Without Clean Water After 3 Months

The Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Central Oregon has been without safe drinking water all summer. Some people don’t have running water at all. In May, a burst pipe led to a cascade of infrastructure failures. That leaves around 4,000 people improvising for an essential human need. Continue Reading Residents Of Warm Springs Reservation Still Without Clean Water After 3 Months

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Marine organisms like these gooseneck barnacles are crossing the Pacific Ocean to North America by hitching rides on floating debris composed of man-made materials — mostly plastic. Courtesy of Russ Lewis

Plastic’s New Threat: Indestructible Rafts For Ocean-Crossing Invasive Species

The 2011 earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Fukushima, Japan, also triggered tsunami warnings for our coastlines here in the Pacific Northwest. And while the resulting waves did not turn out to be catastrophic when they reached our local shores, those same forces delivered a wake-up call. Continue Reading Plastic’s New Threat: Indestructible Rafts For Ocean-Crossing Invasive Species

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A mobile home park destroyed by last year's wildfire in Paradise, California. Those rebuilding homes and lives say they're getting contradictory messages about whether the water is safe to drink. CREDIT: Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Trouble In Paradise: Water Uncertainty Frustrates Victims Of California’s Devastating 2018 Wildfire

After the 2018 Camp Fire, scientists detected dangerous levels of cancer-causing benzenes from burned plastics in some water lines. Recent tests show the problem has not gone away. Chronic exposure to benzenes can heighten the risk of blood cancers such as leukemia. Continue Reading Trouble In Paradise: Water Uncertainty Frustrates Victims Of California’s Devastating 2018 Wildfire

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Wolves on a trail camera near Republic, Wash., in Ferry County. Courtesy of University of Washington

Lawsuit Seeks To Block Washington State From Killing Wolves

A lawsuit filed Thursday seeks to prevent the state of Washington from killing more wolves from a pack that is preying on cattle. The Maryland-based Center for a Humane Economy filed the suit in King County Superior Court, contending too many wolves have been killed as a way to protect livestock at a single ranch in the Kettle River Range in Ferry County. Continue Reading Lawsuit Seeks To Block Washington State From Killing Wolves

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These goats from a herding operation based in Ephrata were in Wenatchee in July to clean out fire fuels near Broadview neighborhood that burned in the 2015 Sleepy Hollow fire. CREDIT: COURTNEY FLATT/NWPB

Hey, That’s My Grass! Goats Chomp Fire Fuels Around Previously Burned Wenatchee Neighborhood

A fire district around Wenatchee has come up with a new way to make wildland fires less severe. Chelan County Fire District 1 is ditching the hand tools and machinery that firefighters traditionally use to thin overgrown brush. Instead, they’re turning to a more natural approach to thin out fuels around the Broadview neighborhood that burned in the 2015 Sleepy Hollow fire. Continue Reading Hey, That’s My Grass! Goats Chomp Fire Fuels Around Previously Burned Wenatchee Neighborhood

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Libby Harrison, who at the time was the mayor of Pateros, and her husband are rebuilding their home, which burned in the 2014 Carlton Complex. They’re doing most of the work themselves and hope to move back in, in a few months. CREDIT: Courtney Flatt/NWPB

Pateros And North Central Washington Continue Rebuilding 5 Years After Carlton Complex Fire

Five years later, the Carlton Complex is still the single largest fire in Washington state’s history. By the end of summer, the Okanogan Long Term Recovery Group will have rebuilt 39 homes. The group’s contractors are putting the finishing touches on the final two homes now. They’ve held a ribbon cutting at nearly each spot. Continue Reading Pateros And North Central Washington Continue Rebuilding 5 Years After Carlton Complex Fire

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