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UP agrees to changes following spill

BILLINGS, Mont. — The nation's largest freight railroad has agreed to more thorough inspections and maintenance improvements after a fiery oil train derailment in Oregon and the discovery of more than 800 potential safety violations across its sprawling network.

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Quiet land battle unfolds in E. OR

JOHN DAY — A judge this fall dissolved the Grant County Public Forest Commission at the behest of a former county supervisor who worried it was becoming a risk, citing the takeover of a federal wildlife refuge in a neighboring county. The commissioners feel they lost, by the stroke of a judge's pen, a tool voters gave them to fight back.

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Congress awards $30M in grants

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Lands Access Program has awarded the Oregon Department of Transportation more than $30 million to improve access to federal lands in the Columbia River Gorge. The funding includes $29 million to complete a new portion of the Historic Columbia River Highway Trail and connect it at Mitchell Point Crossing; $2.6 million for the Columbia Gorge Express to improve access to Multnomah Falls; and $300,000 for the Historic Columbia River Highway Congestion Mitigation Plan.

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Union Pacific, opponents file appeals

In November, the Wasco County Board of Commissioners reversed an earlier decision by the county’s planning commission and voted unanimously to deny Union Pacific Railroad’s application to add several miles of new track through the Mosier area. With the county’s denial, an appeal from the railroad was virtually guaranteed, and it came on Dec. 9.

Congress floats river program

Act will focus on Columbia River

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Columbia River Restoration Act has passed in the House and the Senate as part of the Water Resources Development Act. The legislation will now be sent to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law.

Columbia River Restoration Act passes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Columbia River Restoration Act passed in the House and the Senate Friday as part of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The legislation will now be sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

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Derailment costs continue to rise

VANCOUVER (AP) — Six months after a train hauling Bakken crude oil derailed in Mosier, officials in Washington, Oregon, and elsewhere are still tabulating a bill to send to Union Pacific Railroad.

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Standing up for Standing Rock

Two Mosier men are heading to the frozen plains this month to support the protesters at Standing Rock.

Agencies look at dam removal

Three federal agencies will take public comment in The Dalles tonight, Dec. 6, about the effect of 14 dams on air, water, land and wildlife along the Columbia and Snake rivers.

Dog River waterline project faces delay

A little more study will be needed on the Dog River Pipeline Replacement Project in The Dalles before the first shovelfuls of dirt get turned.

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Scenic Area celebrates birth

November 2016 marks three decades since a reluctant President Ronald Reagan signed the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act into law. Reagan reportedly held his nose while he penned a crucial turning point in the long-simmering battle over the gorge’s fate.

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The battle over a state-owned forest

This land is your land? Elliot State Forest for sale

COOS BAY (AP) — In December, the Oregon State Land Board will meet to announce the fate of the Elliott State Forest after public testimony. Last year, the board decided to sell off 82,500 acres that belong to the Common School Fund because it was hemorrhaging money. After several lawsuits, one over violations of the Endangered Species Act, the state began looking for a way to compensate for the $4 million loss that state land director Jim Paul said the school fund has incurred since 2013.

Groups, BNSF reach deal on coal dust suit

A coalition of environmental groups last Tuesday reached a tentative agreement with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF), signaling the end of a three-year court tussle over coal pollution.

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TD pipeline protester sets out to N. Dakota

For Thanksgiving this year, The Dalles resident Solea Kabakov will be offering herself as a shield to protect Native American elders offering prayers in protest of an oil pipeline in North Dakota.

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New line on track in Mosier

County gives green light to project

Wasco County has given a green light to Union Pacific Railroad’s expansion plans for the Mosier area. On Sept. 26, the county planning commission voted 5-2 to approve the railroad’s “Mosier Double Track Extension” project, although there are multiple conditions attached to the approval.

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