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Sockeye return to Deschutes River

BEND (AP) — Oregon's Deschutes River saw a large number of native sockeye salmon return to its waters in 2016.

Corps told to approve pipeline easement

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers was ordered to allow construction of the Dakota Access pipeline to proceed under a disputed Missouri River crossing, North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven said on Tuesday, the latest twist in a months-long legal battle over the $3.8 billion project.

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Leaders push for Mt. Hood land exchange

Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Representatives Greg Walden (R-Hood River) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland), introduced legislation this week to push forward a long-stalled land exchange on Mount Hood.

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OR faces reduction in timber money

SALEM (AP) — A U.S. Forest Service program that infused rural communities with millions to make up for lost timber revenue is drying up, and that means Oregon will see a 90 percent reduction in the payments that have kept critical services afloat in many counties since environmental rules curtailed logging nearly 30 years ago.

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Surviving winter’s bite

Feeding wildlife in winter can negatively impact their success, says ODFW

Winter is a hard time of year for wildlife, but feeding deer can bring health problems that threaten their lives, said Jeremy Thompson, biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s office in The Dalles.

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Rule easing public lands transfer concerns hunters, others

BOISE, Idaho— A change in U.S. House rules making it easier to transfer millions of acres of federal public lands to states is worrying hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts across the West who fear losing access.

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UP files suit on Mosier project

Union Pacific Railroad has sued the Wasco County Commission in federal court over its rejection of a proposed expansion of tracks near Mosier.

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Radioactive contamination spreads in shuttered Hanford plant

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — Radioactive contamination is spreading inside a deteriorating processing plant on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state that was last used in the 1950s and 1960s to process plutonium for the U.S. nuclear weapons program.

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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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