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Natural resources

A bill for parks and much more

The odds that Congress will reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund before it is scheduled to expire Sept. 30 improved...

Date: 07/28/2015 | Editorials

Bidder cries foul on PUD turbine contract

EVERETT — A hydroelectric systems company near Bellingham says the Snohomish County Public Utility District improperly skewed its bid to build two turbines, which tipped the contract to a British competitor.

Date: 07/21/2015 | Local News

New rule to protect streams near coal mines

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration proposed new regulations Thursday designed to reduce the environmental impact of coal mining on the nation’s streams, a long-anticipated move that met quick resistance from Republicans, even as the administration projected only modest job losses in coal...

Date: 07/17/2015 | Business Wire

New drought challenge: Protecting fish from warm, shallow water

Fishery managers are taking unprecedented steps to protect fish from potentially lethal conditions caused by the drought this summer. Fishing is restricted in some areas and hatcheries are having to make changes.The state Department of Fish and...

Date: 07/10/2015 | Local News

House passes bill to hasten forest projects

WASHINGTON — The House passed a bill Thursday designed to improve the health of national forests by scaling back the environmental reviews that go into some timbering projects and discouraging lawsuits that delay projects.

Date: 07/10/2015 | Nation & World

Make parks fund permanent

If Congress were seeking a vote on a valuable program that would allow it to pat itself on the back and celebrate its ability to work in a bipartisan fashion, it could do no better than renewal of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Date: 07/07/2015 | Editorials

Some environmental victories

In the interests of positive reenforcement, let's take the opportunity here to make note of some legislative successes by lawmakers, even as they plod on with their third special session to come to some final agreements related to budgets and education.Specific to parks,...

Date: 07/06/2015 | Editorials

Update to water quality rules could affect county's farmers

OLYMPIA — State officials are rewriting water quality rules and the update could change how Snohomish County farmers use manure lagoons.The Department of Ecology is updating permits it issues for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. Those are farms that discharge...

Date: 07/04/2015 | Local News

State timber near Index fetches $1.4M in auction

INDEX — The state Department of Natural Resources auctioned timber on 119 acres of state land near here for $1.41 million on Wednesday.

Date: 06/18/2015 | Local News

Federal lands should be kept for benefit of all

The federal government owns large chunks of the West. It owns 65 percent of Utah, 69 percent of Alaska and 83 percent of Nevada. Some Westerners see unfairness in that. They should not.Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska recently slipped an item into a nonbinding budget...

Date: 06/14/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Senate budget risks gains made for state lands

Nationally, over the last few years, we've witnessed an anti-public lands campaign take hold — from Cliven Bundy's brazen standoff with the Bureau of Land Management to the more insidious creep of consistent underfunding for our national parks. However, it seemed absurd that that...

Date: 06/14/2015 | Commentary

Local legislators cautiously optimistic about end to second special session

Some local legislators say that they remain optimistic about an end to the second special legislative session in Olympia. Many, however, say that they won’t know much until leaders finish negotiating.

Date: 06/11/2015 | South County Politics

Oil plunge forces soul-searching on Alaska’s bills

Oil has been Alaska’s lifeline. The collapse of crude prices could change everything.

Date: 06/07/2015 | Nation & World

BLM announces plan to save the sage grouse

WASHINGTON — There’s an odd but uniquely American bird out West that dances on a wide stage to mate with hens, and the federal Bureau of Land Management announced a long awaited plan Thursday that aims to help them so they don’t go extinct.

Date: 05/29/2015 | Nation & World

Clear rules for cleaner waters

The Obama administration's issuance this week of the Clean Water Rule to restore safeguards under the 1972 Clean Water Act will help keep our waters clean — from stream to sea and...

Date: 05/29/2015 | Editorials

Water outlook for Yakima Basin declines again

YAKIMA — This year’s water supply outlook for the Yakima Basin continues to decline.The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is now predicting that holders of junior water rights will receive only 44 percent of their normal water this year.

Date: 05/19/2015 | Northwest

'Decoy' groups fighting transfer of public lands to states

Across the West, lawmakers are considering the costs and benefits of moving public land management from the federal government to the state. While the debate stirs passions, a new analysis provides some sobering figures on the economic gains that states stand to make.The...

Date: 05/17/2015 | Commentary

Second shot to reduce carbon

There may yet be some hope that the Legislature can pass carbon-reduction legislation this year.With the special session well under way and little being said publicly about budget negotiations, Democrats in the House have

Date: 05/13/2015 | Editorials

House votes to block EPA regulation of streams, wetlands

WASHINGTON — House Republicans on Tuesday voted to block government rules that would clarify which streams, tributaries and wetlands should be protected from pollution and development under the Clean Water Act.

Date: 05/12/2015 | Nation & World

Keep our public lands public

For nearly 50 years, the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund has invested nearly $17 billion nationwide and $500 million in Washington in state and federal land conservation projects and matching grants for state and local...

Date: 04/21/2015 | Editorials

Adapting to changes, good and bad, in our climate

Before there was a California, New England fed itself. Somehow. The soil was lousy, the climate cold and the diet limited (lots of cabbage, no avocados). At least there was plenty of water.Thanks to improved transportation, the production of fruits and vegetables followed...

Date: 04/14/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Towels, TP are new uses for wheat straw

WICHITA, Kan. — A company plans to roll out a new line of tissues and paper towels this month that incorporates wheat straw and bamboo, which it hopes will provide a rapidly renewable and environmentally friendly source of fiber for its products while giving farmers a new market...

Date: 04/12/2015 | Nation & World

Give 5 to help us protect salmon

Imagine a river brimming with abundant wild salmon stocks. Imagine healthy, clean streams for our children to explore and play in. Imagine robust riparian forests full of fecundity. Twenty-five years ago a group of dedicated volunteers set out to make...

Date: 04/11/2015 | Commentary

Index timber sale will proceed after landslide review

INDEX — The state Department of Natural Resources is moving forward with a $1.2 million timber sale after taking a second look at landslide risk.The 119-acre harvest on state land near Index known as the

Date: 04/05/2015 | Local News

Oil council: Arctic drilling needed now

WASHINGTON — The U.S. should immediately begin a push to exploit its enormous trove of oil in the Arctic waters off of Alaska, or risk a renewed reliance on imported oil in the future, an Energy Department advisory council said in a study submitted Friday.The U.S. has...

Date: 03/27/2015 | Business Wire

State not interested in letting Navy use land for exercises

SEATTLE — Washington has told the U.S. Navy that it’s not interested in allowing state land on Olympic Peninsula to be used for electronic warfare exercises.

Date: 03/02/2015 | Northwest

Tree harvest held up

Conservation dispute delays logging near Wallace Falls

Date: 03/02/2015 | Local News

Feds plan new drilling rules for Arctic

WASHINGTON — Two years after an Arctic drilling barge went dangerously adrift in Alaskan waters, the Obama administration moved Friday to impose stringent safety standards on future offshore oil and gas exploration along the state's northern coastline.The Interior...

Date: 02/21/2015 | Nation & World

Study of little fish a big deal

There's a bit of tongue-in-cheek about La Conner's annual Smelt Derby, which celebrates its 50th anniversary on Feb. 28 in the Skagit Valley town on the Swinomish Channel.

Date: 02/18/2015 | Editorials

Learn about Puget Sound while helping to protect its waters

Beach Watchers is looking for people who enjoy hanging out on the beach and have some spare time to devote to volunteering.

Date: 01/28/2015 | Explore NW

Apply the lessons learned from Oso slide

Months after the tragedy that took the lives of 43 people, the Oso landslide is still top of mind.That's as it should be as state and local officials make decisions about how to prevent, or at least prepare for the next major landslide. Three news items demonstrate:

Date: 01/21/2015 | Editorials

Timber sale on state lands on hold over landslide concern

INDEX — A timber sale on state lands in Snohomish County has been put on hold after concerns were raised about a potentially unstable landslide zone underneath the harvest area.

Date: 01/20/2015 | Northwest

Plenty of reasons not to pave Mountain Loop Highway

The Herald article, "Local leaders hope to pave reaminder of Mountain Loop Highway," on Dec. 22 failed to discuss the environmental impacts that paving and required widening of the highway between...

Date: 01/02/2015 | Commentary

Lawsuit for Washington wildfire claims prepared

BREWSTER — More than 150 property owners are preparing to sue the state of Washington over wildfire damage claims that have been denied by the state Department of Natural Resources.

Date: 12/28/2014 | Northwest

Cooperative work will meet needs of farms, fish

Can farms and fish co-exist, and even thrive, in Snohomish County's riverways? As co-chairmen of the Snohomish Sustainable Lands Strategy, we believe the answer is yes — and that fish and farm advocates can make more progress by working together than by fighting each other as both...

Date: 12/14/2014 | Commentary

Replenish steelhead runs with return to hatcheries

As keeper of the angling archives for the Snohomish Sportsmen's Club for the past 55 years, I am somewhat amazed by all the furor over hatchery fish and steelhead in particular. If a person is a poor historian they can't be a good fish biologist. My archive room has many...

Date: 11/23/2014 | Commentary

Blocked here, coal exports flow south

SAN FRANCISCO — When it comes to exporting American coal, the West Coast's loss is the Gulf Coast's gain.While environmental opposition has stymied plans to build terminals in the Pacific Northwest and California, the Mississippi River town of Darrow, Louisiana, has a...

Date: 11/22/2014 | Business Wire

Study finds Americans using less water

BOISE, Idaho — Americans are using less water, though people in the Northwest individually use more than the national average and Idahoans use more than people in any other state.

Date: 11/16/2014 | Northwest

Snohomish Conservation District merits taxpayer support

In recent weeks, we've outlined some of the budget considerations in addition to K-12 education that the Legislature is going to have to address when it convenes in January, including transportation,

Date: 11/06/2014 | Editorials

Everett Marshland’s future a bit muddy

EVERETT — Low-lying farmland could be turned into hundreds of acres of restored wetland.Or, in the opinion of one farmer, it could be a huge boondoggle.The area is the Everett Marshland on the eastern edge of the Lowell neighborhood, on the west bank of the...

Date: 11/04/2014 | Local News

Dave Aldrich warrants third term on PUD

The races every two years among those seeking a spot on the Snohomish Public Utility District's board of commissioners ought to earn just as much attention from voters as campaigns for city council, county executive or the Legislature. The Snohomish...

Date: 10/16/2014 | Editorials

Film, Oct. 15 at Historic Everett Theatre, depicts fight to save wild steelhead

The wild steelhead, Washington's iconic state fish, will have its Everett debut on the big screen Wednesday, when the newly released documentary, "Wild Reverence: The Wild Steelhead's Last Stand," is shown at the Historic Everett Theatre.In this film, Washington...

Date: 10/14/2014 | Commentary

Southwest braces as Lake Mead water levels drop

LAS VEGAS — Once-teeming Lake Mead marinas are idle as a 14-year drought steadily drops water levels to historic lows. Officials from nearby Las Vegas are pushing conservation, but are also drilling a new pipeline to keep drawing water from the lake.

Date: 08/12/2014 | Nation & World

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