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Stories about the environment focused on the Pacific Northwest, with many from KNKX's Environment reporter, Bellamy Pailthorp.
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last modified
2019-08-20 23:55
last episode published
2019-08-20 21:37
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3.26 days
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Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

Trails, roads close as 'flying' goat season continues on Olympic Peninsula

More than 200 mountain goats so far have been captured and transported from in and around Olympic National Park. Wildlife managers are working to relocate the entire population to native habitat in the North Cascades.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

'Hot Water Reports' use government's own data to highlight unsafe conditions for fish

When salmon and steelhead don't get the cold water they need, it costs them more energy to survive. Their reproductive success can be diminished and they become more vulnerable to disease.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Seattle City Council to discuss mayor’s proposed tax on oil-powered home heat

Seattle is aiming to become carbon neutral by 2050. Mayor Jenny Durkan has proposed a new tax on oil-powered residential heat to encourage a switch to cleaner electric sources. The city council takes up that proposal in committee Friday.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Revised federal rules could affect 10 species awaiting endangered status — and likely more

Trump administration changes to the Endangered Species Act could significantly impair future efforts to protect vulnerable species and their habitats in the state. That’s according to wildlife officials who have been poring over hundreds of pages that ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Canoe Journey 2019 marked by 'hope, healing, happiness and hospitality'

Five days of inter-tribal festivities wrapped up over the weekend as the 2019 Paddle to Lummi came to an end. This year, nearly 100 canoes made their way to the shores of the Lummi Nation’s Stommish Grounds near Bellingham, for a celebration of unity a...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Lummi Nation announces suit to 'repatriate' captive orca from Miami Seaquarium

Native American tribes and first nations from around the region are celebrating their annual canoe journey this weekend. Along with songs, stories and dancing, their five-day gathering at the Lummi Nation, near Bellingham, will include the Lummi announ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

State accepting public comment on central waterfront cleanup plan in Bellingham

It’s been more than a dozen years since the Georgia Pacific pulp mill on Bellingham’s waterfront shut down and the local port district took ownership of 137 heavily polluted acres. Residents recently got a chance to tour the central waterfront parcel a...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Washington AG Bob Ferguson sues U.S. Navy over Growler noise

A citizens’ fight against jet noise from the U.S. Navy’s expanding fleet of Growler jets on Whidbey Island is getting help from the state’s top lawyer. Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed suit against the Navy , calling its environmental impact sta...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Northwest seismologists see lessons learned from California quakes

Seismologists in the Pacific Northwest have been getting a lot of calls in recent days after a major earthquake rattled remote Southern California over the Fourth of July weekend. No one was killed, but the event raised many questions.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Southern resident orcas seen off Washington coast after unprecedented absence since May

Whale scientists have spotted several southern resident orcas off the west side of San Juan Island, in Haro Strait. The sighting comes after an unprecedented absence that had many worried.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Mine proposal near U.S.-Canadian border raises concerns on both sides

A proposed exploratory mine near the U.S.-Canadian border is raising concerns in both countries. The development involves a major salmon producing river for Puget Sound.
Craig McCulloch author

Climate change will cost Washington $24 billion in ‘high tide tax,’ report says

A new study from a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group takes a look at the near-term costs of projected sea level rise due to climate change. Washington faces the highest cost on the West Coast for impacts to shorelines.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Canadian government re-approves controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

VANCOUVER, B.C.— As expected, the Canadian government has approved — again — the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. If built, it could see a sevenfold increase in tanker traffic through the Salish Sea.
Craig McCulloch author

King County deploys ‘Connect’ app in costly fight against noxious weeds

King County has a new mobile app that aims to make it easier for residents to reach local government services. As officials unveil the app this week, they’re highlighting its use in the fight against noxious weeds , for which it has so far been most fu...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Local nonprofit encourages less carbon pollution, more trees for cities and towns

Carbon credits that protect forests have been around for more than 20 years. Companies that want or need to reduce their carbon footprint can purchase offsets, and that money is invested to preserve or plant trees. Trees inhale carbon dioxide, so they ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

'Deceptive solution' or bridge fuel? Fight over half-built LNG project continues in Tacoma.

Puget Sound Energy CEO Kimberly Harris wasn’t surprised to receive a call from Gov. Jay Inslee the afternoon of May 8. But she was surprised to hear what he had to say.

Seattle director's passion for saving Bristol Bay from mining inspires his film, 'The Wild'

Bristol Bay, Alaska, provides more than half of the world’s sockeye salmon. And every summer, hundreds of commercial fishermen from the Puget Sound region join Alaskan locals to reap the benefits of its pristine salmon habitat.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Washington's 100% clean electricity law touted as nation’s strongest — but how will it work?

Washington state now has the strongest clean electricity law in the nation. That's how many environmentalists describe new regulations that force utilities to get off coal by 2025 and to be 100 percent free of greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Orca recovery bills signed by Gov. Inslee bring big wins for salmon habitat, environment

“For as the orca go, so go we.” Those were words from Gov. Jay Inslee as he signed five bills that aim to help keep endangered Southern Resident killer whales from going extinct. All are based on recommendations from the orca recovery task force he con...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

National parks group sues U.S. Navy in pursuit of information on Growler jet training

A national parks organization filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Navy last week, related to jet training at Air Station Whidbey Island. The nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association sued the Navy to get more information about the exercises, which...

Forterra invests $1 million to help Hamilton residents relocate flood-plagued town

A town on the Skagit River that’s plagued with chronic flooding is one step closer to moving out of the flood plain. That’s thanks to a $1 million investment from the conservation group, Forterra.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Empty, clean and dry: Top 10 tips for recycling and what it might cost (or not)

Recycling the right way is a point of pride around here. “Obsessive Compulsive Recycler, you’re one of us,” local insurance company Pemco says in one of its cheeky Northwest Profiles. But getting it right has become more difficult, after China stopped ...

Businesses for Bristol Bay issue a plea from Seattle: suspend permitting on Pebble Mine

More than 200 businesses — including many in Washington state — are calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to suspend permitting for the controversial Pebble Mine project. The proposed mine would be located in the headwaters of the world’s largest...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

‘State of the Air' report gives failing grades to Washington for sooty particulate pollution

Warmer weather and wildfire smoke are causing more air pollution in Washington. Three metropolitan areas in the state have the worst air pollution in the nation. They made the top-15 list for particle pollution in this year’s “ State of the Air ” repor...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Community solar comes to Snohomish County

Solar power can feel out of reach. Upfront costs are usually considerable and you need a sunny roof or open space where you can put the panels. Community solar projects make it more accessible, by allowing ratepayers to buy shares in an installation th...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

State House passes HEAL Act for environmental justice, a first for Washington

A bill that would address environmental justice is still alive in the state Legislature. The so-called Healthy Environment for All, or HEAL, Act passed the House in the nick of time, getting a last-minute bipartisan vote of 88-10 just after 5 p.m. Wedn...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

State suspends summer fishing for Chinook on Columbia River, limits Puget Sound seasons

Low numbers of Chinook salmon expected to return to the Columbia River this summer have led state and tribal officials to close that fishery until Aug. 1. They’ve also announced new restrictions on Puget Sound Chinook.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Whale watching by land and by boat sparks 'sheer joy,' inspiring lifelong orca advocates

Experts and enthusiasts agree, whether on water or on land: it’s difficult to describe the feeling people get in the presence of orcas. “I wish you could bottle what happens when people see whales,” said Donna Sandstrom, while passing out binoculars to...

Western Washington welcomes back wolves as endangered population continues to rise

Endangered gray wolves are back in Western Washington. That’s according to the latest census of the endangered population from state wildlife officials. It’s the first time the count has included a pack living west of the Cascades.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Orca advocates urge Legislature to pass emergency package for Puget Sound orcas

Members of Gov. Jay Inslee’s orca recovery task force and environmental groups supporting its work say they have four critical bills that are still in play this legislative session. They’re calling on state lawmakers to keep moving the bills forward.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

State public lands commissioner seeks unprecedented $55M increase to wildfire budget

Based on legislative budgets released so far, a major increase in state funding for wildfire fighting and prevention looks likely. Washington's Commissioner of Public Lands, Hilary Franz, has requested an unprecedented $55 million dollars to fight and ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Washington getting closer to mandate for 100% clean energy

One of the biggest priorities among environmental groups working in Olympia this year is passage of a law to transition the electrical grid to 100 percent clean energy by 2045 . It’s also a cornerstone of Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest policies to address cl...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Northwest fishing fleet renews fight against proposed mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay

Thousands of people in the Pacific Northwest — commercial fishermen, their crews, sport fishermen, seafood processors, even many boat builders — depend on wild salmon caught every summer in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. The Trump administration has re-started ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

1.5 million acres of greenway along I-90 earns National Heritage Area recognition

A sweeping public lands package was signed into law Tuesday by President Donald Trump, containing numerous benefits for Washington state. It includes a National Heritage Area designation for the Mountains to Sound Greenway , which covers 1.5 million ac...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Port of Seattle holds first summit on sustainable jet fuels

The Port of Seattle is holding its first summit on sustainable aviation fuels . It’s part of a push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from flights that originate at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Washington invests $4 million this year to bring climate science into classrooms

In what’s been called the most ambitious statewide climate science education initiative in the country, Washington state is putting $4 million dollars this year toward training teachers who want to integrate climate science into their lesson plans. It’...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

State collects feedback as regulators consider restrictions on salmon fishing

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has launched two months of public meetings as regulators decide how much salmon can be harvested from state waters. The process includes the first official statewide forecasts detailing how many salmon are expe...

Compromise on orca protection removes whale watching moratorium, garners criticism

A de facto ban on whale watching boats that would have required them to stay 650 yards away from endangered Puget Sound orcas for three to five years has been stripped from revised legislation. The compromise goes against a recommendation from Gov. Jay...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Canada's energy regulator again approves Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion

Canada’s National Energy Board has again approved the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. If completed, the project will see a massive increase in oil tankers through the Salish Sea.
Craig McCulloch author

Climate groups urge Inslee to denounce fracked natural gas in Washington

Climate activists rallied on the Capitol steps in Olympia on Thursday and delivered boxes containing nearly 150,000 written comments to Gov. Jay Inslee. They're urging him to reject proposals for fracked gas infrastructure in Washington, including two ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Report: Tests show unsafe lead levels in water at more than 60 percent of Washington schools

More than 60 percent of Washington schools tested by the state Department of Health last year show unsafe levels of lead. That’s according to a nonprofit group that's pushing for higher standards in the wake of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Oyster growers push for pesticide permits to control burrowing shrimp this summer

Oyster growers want to force the state Department of Ecology to allow the use of pesticides in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. A bill before the state Legislature would require the agency to grant permits to control burrowing shrimp. It also would transf...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Urban paradox: Crews must be extra careful as they demolish Alaskan Way Viaduct

Demolition of Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct is underway. Crews began tearing down a former on-ramp near First Avenue and Columbia Street on Friday. Another piece near the market began coming down shortly thereafter. Unlike the almost instantaneous impl...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

How a tiny population of mountain caribou protect old-growth forests in the Northwest

For centuries, mountain caribou have inhabited the unique inland rainforest of the Pacific Northwest. And they were once so abundant, they were considered an "insurance food" for indigenous tribes in the area that spans the northeastern corner of Washi...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Legislature considers statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at retailers

One of the top issues for environmental groups this legislative session is the pollution caused by thin, single-use plastic bags. They fly out of landfills into waterways, harming marine life and water quality. They also gum up recycling machinery and ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Views clash as Legislature considers de facto ban on orca whale watching

A bill to shield endangered Puget Sound orca whales from noise and other disruptions caused by vessel traffic got a first hearing in Olympia on Tuesday. The most controversial piece of the proposed legislation would implement a temporary, de facto ban ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

KNKX Connects: Aerial photographs show Washington's dramatically receding glaciers

Mountains loom large in the Skagit River Valley. Visitors come from all over the world to spend time exploring the massive peaks of the North Cascades. But few people get the perspective on them enjoyed by two men who are documenting the response of Wa...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Canada’s energy regulator reviews pipeline's impact on climate change

This week, Canada’s energy regulator is listening to feedback on the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. It’s part of a two-step process to consider the possible effects of the expansion on climate change.
Craig McCulloch author

Access to nature in prisons can improve outcomes, research shows

The healing power of nature is well established. People who garden, take frequent hikes or regularly play with a dog or cat experience the benefits firsthand. Time spent with nature is known to improve mental health, increase physical health and reduce...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

British Columbia government tells Canada's energy regulator to reject pipeline expansion

The TransCanada pipeline and opponents have filed their final submissions to Canada’s energy regulator. This second review of the proposed pipeline expansion, which would see dramatically increased oil tankers in the Salish Sea, was ordered by a court ...
Craig McCulloch author