Environment

Environment
3:00 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Photo confirms grizzly in Washington's N. Cascades

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says a hiker's photo confirms a sighting of a grizzly bear in North Cascades.
Joe Sebille Courtesy of Conservation Northwest

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says a hiker's photo confirms a sighting of a grizzly bear in Washington state's North Cascades for the first time in perhaps half a century.

Read more
Environment
8:40 am
Fri July 1, 2011

Update: Shooting spotted owl's rival won't work, expert laments

A new plan for saving the northern spotted owl was released this week.
Associated Press

A new plan released yesterday for saving the northern spotted owl is taking aim – maybe literally – at a rival bird.

Federal agency leaders said Thursday the spotted owl is losing out to a bigger, more aggressive invader from the eastern United States, the barred owl.

However, one biologist whose research led to the listing of the spotted owl believes shooting and other measures to control the barred owl are too little too late.  Because, he lamented, the spotted owl's population has shrunk over the last 15 years in spite of conservation efforts. (Interactive map inside)

Read more
Environment
7:00 am
Thu June 30, 2011

Spotted owl recovery plan pits one species against another

Threatened northern spotted owl adult with young (Strix occidentalis caurina.)
Photo by Jim Thrailkill USFWS

It’s an icon of the northwest.

With its muted brown feathers and dark eyes, the northern spotted owl doesn’t look all that impressive. But scientists say its survival indicates the health of the entire forest ecosystem. That’s why conservationists want the government to protect more of the old-growth habitat spotted owls prefer.

But a recovery plan for the owl due for release this morning is ruffing feathers.

Read more
Environment
2:45 pm
Tue June 28, 2011

Whale skeleton being processed for assembly, display in Tacoma

After being buried for six months under over 10 yards of horse manure, the gray whale bones, including the skull are excavated by a team of volunteers from Highline Community College's Marine Science and Technology Center.
Highline Community College MaST Center

The skeleton of a gray whale that died last year in Seattle is taking shape in Tacoma.

Highline Community College marine biologist Rus Higley, staff and volunteers are bleaching and assembling the skeleton for display in later this year. (Photo gallery inside)

Read more
Discover Pass
3:57 pm
Sat June 25, 2011

Fees boost price of Washington state park pass beyond $30

Washington State Parks

The true cost of the new annual pass for Washington state parks will be $30 plus fees, when purchased online or at a licensed dealer.

Read more
Environment
8:58 am
Fri June 24, 2011

Zoo releases new video of clouded leopard cubs

Point Defiance Zoo has released new photo and video of its clouded leopard cubs.
Seth Bynum Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Just a day away from public viewing, the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium has released a new photo (above) and a new video of the newborn clouded leopard cubs.

Read more
Environment
8:00 am
Wed June 22, 2011

Leopard cubs to make debut at Point Defiance Zoo

11-day old clouded leopard cubs being cared for by zoo staff biologists in their new cub room exhibit.
Seth Bynum Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

(Updated with new video)

The newborn clouded leopard cubs at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium will be available for public viewing this weekend, zoo officials say.

Read more
Environment
2:19 pm
Tue June 21, 2011

Puget Sound 'streaks' are likely harmless algae bloom

Marine plankton at the surface of Puget Sound east of Vashon Island. 6/20/11
Washington Department of Ecology

It may look like a toxic "red tide," but don't panic. Scientists with the Washington Department of Ecology say the reddish orange streaks in Puget Sound this week appear to be a harmless algae bloom.

Read more
Hanford Nuclear Reservation
1:50 pm
Tue June 21, 2011

DOE Poneman's letter to Hanford employees

To the EM community - 

The safety of the DOE workforce and the communities around our facilities is of the utmost importance to Secretary Chu and is something that requires constant vigilance.  As he says regularly, "We must always be looking for ways to strengthen our approach to safety and foster a questioning attitude at each of our sites."   

Read more
Metro Transit
11:49 am
Tue June 21, 2011

Higher car tab fees proposed to avoid Metro Transit cuts

Metro Transit will slash service if a hike in car tab fees isn't approved, according to King County Executive Dow Constantine.
Gary Davis

Are you willing to fork over extra money to register your car in order to keep buses running?

King County Executive Dow Constantine is betting you are. He’s urging the King County Council to pass an emergency ordinance temporarily increasing car tab fees by $20 per vehicle. The two-year charge would generate about $25 million per year and be used to preserve Metro Transit service at current levels.

Read more
Environment
3:10 pm
Thu June 16, 2011

Invasive eelgrass doesn't follow the usual invader's script

Japanese eelgrass smothered Willapa Bay clam beds in September 2010.
Dr. Kim Patten WSU Extension

WILLAPA BAY, Wash. – The usual story of invasive species goes something like this: An exotic plant or critter hitches a ride on an incoming cargo ship. Alarm bells go off. An eradication campaign starts. But now there's a non-native seaweed on the West Coast that breaks the mold. Japanese eelgrass has defenders along with its critics.

Read more
Environment
9:50 am
Thu June 16, 2011

Annual gypsy moth hunt begins

Unwanted: The gypsy moth
Ian Marsman Flickr

The summer search is under way across Washington for the gypsy moth, an invasive insect capable of defoliating forests and urban landscapes.

Read more
Environment
10:29 am
Wed June 15, 2011

Two clouded leopards born at Point Defiance Zoo

Two clouded leopard cubs were born yesterday at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.
Seth Bynum Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

(Update with new photo and video)

Chai Li, a female clouded leopard at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, gave birth to a litter of two cubs Tuesday. Staff had been on a round-the-clock pregnancy watch of the 23-month-old clouded leopard for the past 24 hours.

This is Chai Li’s first litter. She and the cubs’ father, 23-month-old Nah Fun, were born at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Thailand and put together as a future breeding pair when they were five days old.

Read more
Hanford Nuclear Reservation
3:58 pm
Tue June 14, 2011

Statement on safety at Hanford by Bechtel

Suzanne Heaston, Bechtel’s spokeswoman in Richland. (Bechtel is the prime waste treatment plant contractor.)

WTP management and employees are fully committed to a strong nuclear safety and quality culture, and we welcome every opportunity to improve it. We will work with the DOE to carefully study the DNFSB report and any supporting information provided to identify further opportunities for enhancement.

Read more
Hanford Nuclear Reservation
3:56 pm
Tue June 14, 2011

Statement by the Department of Energy on safety at Hanford

Jen Stutsman, a DOE spokeswoman:

At every level of the Department of Energy, we take our obligation to protect the safety of our workers and the public very seriously. We are committed to fostering a questioning, safety-driven attitude among all of our federal and contractor employees. That is why the Department has in place a number of distinct safety programs that include independent nuclear safety reviews and an integrated safety management program headed by the DOE Office of Health, Safety and Security.

Read more

Pages