Environment

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Trump rolls back oil train rules

PORTLAND (AP) — The Trump administration has angered environmental groups and some residents of the Columbia River Gorge by rolling back a 2015 rule on oil train safety. The Obama administration rule change required trains carrying highly explosive liquids to have electronically controlled pneumatic brakes installed by 2021 — systems intended to help prevent fiery oil train wrecks like the one that happened in the Oregon last year, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Thursday.

Curbside recycling going to landfill

Many items that previously have been recycled are headed for the trash heap until Northwest officials figure out what to do with them. Jim Winterbottom, district manager of Waste Connections, Inc., which operates The Dalles Disposal and Hood River Garbage, told The Dalles City Council on Oct. 23 that China is not accepting recycled materials from the West Coast at this time. “All this stuff we’ve been getting away with for years is coming back to haunt us,” Winterbottom said.

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Photos show fire losses

CASCADE LOCKS (AP) — Aerial photos show severe damage to some parts of the Columbia River Gorge from a large wildfire that continues to burn.

Groups sue Washington state to stop killing of wolves

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Two conservation groups filed a lawsuit Monday that seeks to stop the state of Washington from killing more wolves.

Monuments to be resized hold artifacts, key habitat

SALT LAKE CITY — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's recommendation to shrink four sprawling national monuments in the U.S. West jeopardizes protections for ancient cliff dwellings, scenic canyons and habitat for endangered fish and threatened Mojave desert tortoises. The recommendations, revealed in a leaked memo submitted to the White House, would scale back two huge Utah monuments — Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante — along with Nevada's Gold Butte and Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou.

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Poaching ring to face charges

Investigation began by OSP in The Dalles

SEATTLE — An extensive poaching ring is responsible for slaughtering more than 100 black bears, cougars, bobcats, deer and elk in southwestern Washington state and northwestern Oregon, with many of the animals hunted with dogs and then left to rot, authorities said Friday. The investigation began with Oregon State Police troopers who were looking into poaching in The Dalles.

Fire management practices criticized

SALEM (AP) — Intense wildfires plaguing much of the West have rekindled controversy over logging restrictions and fire management practices that critics say have created explosive fire seasons.

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Fire devastates Gorge — and nature lovers

TROUTDALE — A fast-moving wildfire chewing through Oregon's forestland is threatening more than homes and people. It's also devouring the heart of the state's nature-loving identity.

OR lowers bag limits for summer steelhead

Deschutes summer steelhead impacted

PENDLETON (AP) — Opening day won't be an abundant day when summer steelhead season arrives Friday on the Grande Ronde and Imnaha rivers. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced this week it's lowering the bag limit to one fish per day on both tributaries.

ODFW OKs wolf killings

UMATILLA, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has authorized the killing of two wolves from a pack in northeastern Oregon. The agency said Thursday in a statement that wolves have killed four calves from a local ranch.

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‘Love your Columbia’ event focuses on Klickitat

Klickitat Advocacy has organized “Love Your Columbia” on Aug. 26, giving volunteers the opportunity to pick up litter, pull invasive weeds and perform other restoration at Columbia River locations in their communities.

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Commentary: Communities can become 'fire-adapted'

In recent years wildfire seasons in the western United States have become so intense that many of us who make our home in dry, fire-prone areas are grappling with how to live with fire.

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Secretary ponders fate of Oregon monument

SALEM — After touring the "unique" Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon and speaking to ranchers, loggers and environmentalists, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke must next make a recommendation on whether it should be abolished or resized.

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Oil train legislation sent back to committee after criticism

PORTLAND — State lawmakers sent a proposed oil train safety bill back for more work Friday after growing concerns that an amendment favoring the railroad industry had watered down key provisions on public oversight and financial accountability.

OR sees historic low in 2017 steelhead return

SALEM (AP) — Steelhead fish in Santiam and Willamette rivers in northwestern Oregon have hit low levels not seen in over 40 years, fisheries managers said.

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