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Environment

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…

Will the biofuels era take off at Sea-Tac?

Gov. Jay Inslee’s administration wants Washington to become the nation’s leader in aviation biofuels. One big aspect of that push would be to have Sea-Tac…

To dam or not to dam? That’s this fish story

What’s the best way to ensure the return of salmon and steelhead to something like their historic numbers in the Columbia and Snake rivers? It’s…

First it was threatened, now could Hanford Reach expand?

Some Tri-Citians are pondering whether more land could be added to the Hanford Reach National Monument, now that the area has dodged a Trump administration…

Trump threatens Hanford Reach; locals are unenthused

When President Bill Clinton created the Hanford Reach National Monument in Eastern Washington in 2000, some local officials objected. They wanted at least some local…

Seabird deaths offer clues to ocean’s mysteries

This story originally appeared in Hakai Magazine. Coleman Byrnes leads our small team of four through the rainforest of Olympic National Park in Washington State.…

No air conditioning? Boohoo

If you’re cold, put a sweater on. If you’re too warm, take a layer off. Everyone here learns to dress in layers, right? Not anymore.…

Is it really OK to eat steelhead?

What does "good" mean? If you're trying to be environmentally responsible while picking out a steelhead fillet to grill or saute or maybe steam with…

Seattle’s new seawall: Holding back the tide, protecting salmon

This story originally appeared on EarthFix. Thousands of tourists migrate to Seattle’s waterfront each year to experience the ferry rides, kitschy stores and sweeping views…

Birth defects a mystery in Eastern Washington

This story was originally produced for EarthFix. Two toddlers run around Sally Garcia Acosta’s house. They squeal as they take their toy cars for a…

Whidbey locals ask: Is the drinking water safe?

Wearing gloves that barely fit, Garry Stone slipped two small, square-shaped bottles, one after the other, under a stream of water from his well. After…

Hanford tunnel breaches, workers take cover

This story was originally published by Oregon Public Broadcasting.    The U.S. Department of Energy issued an emergency alert Tuesday morning at the Hanford Site…

Washington businesses hope to kill Inslee’s carbon cap

Can a state environmental-protection regulation be considered a "tax"? That’s a central question in a lawsuit by business interests against Washington’s regulatory cap on carbon-pollution…

Prof bites back at WSU over wolf story

This story originally appeared on EarthFix. A Washington State University professor says the university violated his academic freedom after he spoke out about the killing…

The Pacific Northwest’s fix-it movement is growing

This story originally appeared on EarthFix. Paul Savino’s first patient of the day collapsed under the weight of an overgrown child. He's seen these symptoms…