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Environment

Hungry and disappearing: Is the orcas’ future already here?

Every day this summer, Jeanne Hyde scanned the waters off the west side of San Juan Island, hoping that the killer whales would show up.…

West’s future looks gloomy in new Climate Change report

This story originally appeared on High Country News. The complexity of climate change means it’s hard to trace simple lines from cause to effect in…

Fire burns under a Superfund site in Washington

It’s not a Dumpster fire, but could be something far more serious: A fire may be smoldering under a landfill-turned-Superfund cleanup site in southeastern Washington. This…

First a fee increase, is privatization of the parks next?

A proposal to nearly triple the entrance fees at 17 of America’s most popular national parks — including Olympic and Mount Rainier in Washington —…

A legal fight begins over proposed coal export in Longview

Backers of a coal export terminal proposed in Southwest Washington are suing state regulators over their denial of a key permit needed to build the project.…

Coming to Washington ski slopes: Fake snow

This winter, skiers and snowboarders will see something new at Crystal Mountain — a robust $5 million snowmaking system designed to fight warmer winters in…

A coal mine could be revived in King County

The Pacific Northwest was once a coal mining powerhouse. In the late 1800s, the area around Oregon’s Coos Bay had over 70 coal mines. Later, Washington’s…

Sally Jewell on what’s at stake in Trump’s Interior Department

This story originally appeared on High Country News. Sally Jewell was Interior secretary under President Barack Obama from April 2013 until his term ended in…

A local cautionary tale for shrinking national monuments

Last month, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke submitted a report to President Trump recommending reducing the size of six national monuments, including Utah’s Bears Ears. He…

On climate, western governors pick up where Trump left off

This story originally appeared on High Country News. The governors of California and Washington traveled to New York City last week to send a strong,…

Can copper, gold save towns near Mount St. Helens?

This story originally appeared on KUOW/EarthFix. Mining operations almost always touch off environmental opposition. So, when there’s talk of an open-pit mine in the shadow of…

Can we save the orcas with … mud?

If we want more of our iconic but endangered black-and-white Puget Sound orcas, we might want to start by providing more mud. The same is…

Your fleece is contaminating our oysters

This story originally appeared on KCTS9/EarthFix. Sarah Dudas doesn’t mind shucking an oyster or a clam in the name of science. But sit down with her…

Lessons about Seattle from the Cooper’s hawk

To visit the Queen of Seattle one must first step over empty beer bottles and condom wrappers before skidding down a dirt slope and traipsing…

Smoky, unhealthy air could be new reality for Northwest

This story originally appeared on NWPR/EarthFix. On Wednesday, as smoke blotted out the sun across the city of Portland, about a dozen people were hiding…

The burning of the Columbia Gorge is a tragedy

Yellow skies and red suns: Seattle is literally inhaling the remnants of Northwest forests as fires ravage the region, from western Montana’s Glacier National Park…

On San Juan Island, saving the life of a rare butterfly

Deer graze on tall prairie grass. Bushy-tailed foxes chase rabbits across a windswept landscape. Bald eagles perch along cliffs overlooking the Strait of Juan de…

Atlantic salmon have no business being here

It was a gorgeous summer evening on Orcas Island. Wearing shorts and a t-shirt, I dug my bare feet into the sand on a friend’s…

First wildfire, now teens replenish a tribe’s huckleberry harvests

This story originally appeared on EarthFix. When Inez Bill’s father died about fifteen years ago, she wanted to gather huckleberries for his funeral, so she…

A fishy excuse? Tribes say eclipse didn’t cause Atlantic salmon escape

Lummi Tribal fishermen fishing near Samish south of Bellingham Bay have already reported catching some of the thousands of Atlantic salmon escapees that fled a…

Flora, fauna and phones? Mt. Rainier eyes cellphone service

This article originally appeared on EarthFix. The Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise is where most people come first when they visit Mount Rainier National Park.…

National parks’ future could be in Pioneer Square

It's a time of year when many of us are off in Washington's biggest national parks: Rainier, Olympic, North Cascades. But a small park unit…

One of the West’s iconic birds is in trouble

This story originally appeared on NWPR/Earthfix. The Interior Department has released new recommendations for a plan to protect greater sage grouse. The guidelines will give…

Years of work to save a fish species might be… dammed

This story originally appeared on EarthFix. A chilly pool of water forms at the base of Clear Creek dam in Washington’s Cascade mountains. Somewhere —…

About those smoky skies …

This story originally appeared on KUOW. Winds from the north and northeast have carried wildfire smoke from British Columbia over Washington and Oregon. “We didn’t expect…