Eastern Washington

Judge: Failed salmon restoration has cost billions

It's Groundhog Day. Again. Or maybe not. On May 3, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon trashed the federal government’s plan for managing dams on the…

How wildfires pump millions into Washington’s rural economy

On a sunny March day just south of Yakima, Greg Bailey is standing next to his firetruck. For now the truck looks like any other…

Bitcoin miners have discovered Washington

Most of the Pacific Northwest’s power comes from hydroelectricity. Central Washington counties like Chelan –well-positioned to tap the powerful Columbia River cutting through it – enjoy some of…

Cantwell measure allows more irrigation in return for fish, land protections

Getting U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell's bill through committee was definitely a milestone — but whether it marked progress forward toward a more rational and cooperative…

Racism and the public lands: the case of Coon Lake

President Barack Obama’s recent announcement of the official name change of Mount McKinley to Denali has reawakened interest in the longtime dispute over whether we…

Wildfires threaten Methow’s long road to recovery

This article originally appeared in the Aug. 3, 2015 issue of High Country News. Since its publication, fires have again blown up in north-central Washington.…

Small nukes: a long-term prospect for Tri-Cities?

The Tri-Cities face a good wait before learning whether the area could be home to a new nuclear enterprise. The designers of the nation’s first…

Washington burning: Wildfires are adding up

Wildfires have burned about 74,000 acres of Washington since June 1 — roughly twice the acreage that burned in the same period in 2014. And…

In Hanford, the hunt for black holes and gravity waves enters new era

In 2000, Betsy Weaver got hooked on a vision of things unseen. As a student at Washington State University, Weaver’s physics program was visited by…

Small nuke reactors: Search for site is planned

  The Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council will begin searching for potential sites to  locate small modular reactors. That information came from a recent…

The unique economics of Washington craft beer

There are currently 274 breweries in Washington state, and 78 in the Emerald City. No other city in the world can boast Seattle's numbers. Even San…

Measure to build nuclear reactors nears breakthrough in Legislature

Washington is one House vote away from beginning to search for a potential manufacturing site for small modular reactors. That site will likely be at…

When tragedy struck a NW baseball team

I am the shadow sinister called Fate … I am the Master Umpire, and I call the plays the way I see them. I have…

With snow disappearing, state steps up drought preparations

Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday declared all of Washington to be in a drought, kicking in state-backed remedial measures on a scale never seen before.…

Big change for forests, animals east of Snoqualmie

Look into the forest: It's dark in there among the skinny trees crammed close together. This isn't old growth. No massive trunks, no cathedral groves…

Did port slowdowns bust our hay export boom?

While Washington's farmers rejoiced at the recent resolution of the four-month-long work slowdown at West Coast ports, the ill effects of that protracted labor dispute…

In Pasco, shock and anger linger over the fatal shooting of an unarmed man

"They killed him like a dog," said Rosa Zambrano. Standing on the sidewalk in front of a makeshift memorial for her cousin, Antonio Zambrano-Montes, Rosa…

Lawmakers eye tax break extension for state’s last 2 aluminum plants

In the 1980s, Washington had 10 aluminum smelting plants employing roughly 10,000 people. Today, the state has two Alcoa plants in Ferndale and Wenatchee that…

Splitting state in two? An invitation to talk

“The Western part of the Territory appears to the people of this valley like some foreign land, and it is about as little talked of…

Are we ready for the next disaster?

Two of the biggest natural disasters in Washington state’s history hit within just a few months of each other this year. The Senate Natural Resources…

5 lessons for the future: How I-594 did so well with suburban, rural voters

Last Tuesday’s resounding victory for Washington’s Initiative 594 made it the ballot measure that launched a million think-pieces. The Atlantic called it “a historical rebuke”…

Didier, Newhouse in close congressional race. DelBene wins her second term.

Clint Didier is in a tight race for a congressional seat but he remained in danger of going 0-and-3 in running for public office as…

Oil train safety: A whole lot of worry among Washingtonians

The subject was oil train traffic, and most of a roughly 750-person crowd Thursday night opposed the increasing transportation of crude oil by rail across…

Gold mine’s pending closure brings the blues to Republic

North central Washington's Buckhorn gold mine is scheduled to close at the end of 2015, a frightening prospect for the area's economy. That closure will…

E. Washington’s 15th District: Where Hispanic voters may make a difference — someday

This is the state Senate contest where race might have been a factor. But it probably won't be. The Senate face-off is in eastern Yakima County's…