OLYMPIA — State forestry officials warn that insects are causing a forest health hazard across most of Okanogan County, and are calling for intensive thinning projects on private, state, federal and tribal lands. The warning issued by state Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark Thursday identifies four areas statewide — including parts of Ferry, Klickitat and Yakima counties — where forests are at serious risk of considerable damage, and where immediate efforts to save them could help.
TWISP — After building up a small, local business selling organic vegetables from her Twisp farm, Kelleigh McMillan decided one day to give them away instead. Now — six years later — McMillan and a handful of volunteers are feeding hundreds of people who can’t afford farmers market prices for things like fresh, locally-grown tomatoes, carrots, lettuce or peas.
MALOTT — A temporary weir that will allow fish biologists catch and release every fish swimming up the Okanogan River this fall was completed last week. Beginning lastSaturday and continuing through the end of September, biologists will observe and handle thousands of summer and fall chinook, sockeye and steelhead as they swim up the river to spawn.
OROVILLE — Five environmental groups say the state Department of Ecology failed to consider key elements of state environmental standards when it certified a proposal to rebuild Enloe Dam near Oroville last month. The five groups — American Whitewater, Sierra Club’s Washington chapter, the North Cascades Conservation Council, the Center for Environmental Law & Policy, and the Columbia River Bioregional Education Project — filed an appeal this month with the state Pollution Control Hearings Board, questioning Ecology’s water quality certification.
OROVILLE, Wash. (AP) — Five environmental groups say the state Department of Ecology didn't consider water quality standards when when it approved plans to rebuild Enloe Dam near Oroville. The Wenatchee World (http://is.gd/R1ufUt ) reports the five groups have filed an appeal with the state Pollution Control Hearings Board.
EAST WENATCHEE — The Washington State Parks Commission will hear how much revenue the Discover Pass is taking in and discuss the best mix of funding for keeping state parks financially stable at a meeting in Wenatchee on Thursday. The meeting is open to the public, and begins at 9 a.m. at the agency’s eastern region headquarters office, 270 Ninth St. N.E., Suite 200 in East Wenatchee.
CHESAW — The state has fined the company that owns and operates the Buckhorn Mine near Chesaw $395,000 for repeated and continuing water-quality violations. The major violations by Crown Resources Corp., a subsidiary of Toronto-based Kinross Gold Corp., occurred last year and this year during spring runoff, when the company failed to capture all the water from rain and snowmelt to treat, according to the state Department of Ecology.
STEHEKIN — The National Park Service has revised its plans for how to deal with major flooding on the Stehekin River in response to comments to a draft plan developed following recent floods. But the plan still calls for giving the river more room to grow, and does not rely on dredging the river, building dikes, or using other methods to prevent the river from flooding from private land or State Park facilities, said National Park Service geologist Jon Riedel.
OKANOGAN — An Eatonville man lost his car, more than $12,000 and six days of freedom for baiting and killing black bears at his Winthrop cabin. James Erickson, 52, pleaded guilty in Okanogan County District Court Friday to 14 counts of bear baiting and three counts of unlawfully hunting big game and was sentenced to 180 days in jail, with 174 days suspended.
MALOTT — Torrential downpours in localized areas Sunday stopped traffic, sent mud flowing onto porches and garages, and tore away portions of several roads, including Highway 97 near Malott. “It was a crazy little storm,” said Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers. “We had mudslides everywhere, and lightning strikes. It was nuts,” he said.
NESPELEM — About 1,000 wild horses that are damaging rangeland on Colville Indian Reservation will be rounded up and given up for adoption over the next few years. Officials from the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation say they plan to remove between 200 and 400 horses every year until about 200 are left. A herd can increase by 25 percent a year, officials said.
NCW — Three companies in North Central Washington were among those fined for violating state environmental laws in the first quarter of this year. C&O Nursery of East Wenatchee was fined $3,000 for burning plastic farm chemical containers, cardboard and other garbage in a burn barrel.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bill authored by Rep. Doc Hastings that would allow the National Park Service to relocate and rebuild the upper Stehekin Valley Road passed the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday. The bill was among 14 provisions included in the Conservation and Economic Growth Act, which passed 232-188.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A package of bills including one that allows the U.S. Border Patrol to ignore 16 environmental laws on federal lands within 100 miles of Canada or Mexico passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday. The House voted 232-188 in favor of 14 bills, called the Conservation and Economic Growth Act, or H.R. 2578. Reps. Doc Hastings and Cathy McMorris-Rodgers voted in favor of the bill. Rep. Reichert — also a Republican — voted against it. He was one of 19 Republicans voting against the bill. Sixteen ...
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bill set to be heard in the U.S. House of Representatives late today would allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to ignore several environmental requirements on federal land within 100 miles of the U.S. border with Canada. The National Security and Federal Land Protection Act would allow the U.S. Border Patrol and the Department of Homeland Security to bypass 16 environmental laws — from the Endangered Species Act and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental ...
OLYMPIA — The state Department of Fish and Wildlife will begin charging $150 next month to apply for a permit required for construction projects in and around state waters. The new fee for a hydraulic project approval will help pay for the time it takes the agency to ensure projects such as dock construction, culverts and bulkheads meet state standards to protect fish and shellfish.
HOLDEN VILLAGE — The mining company responsible for cleaning up Holden Mine plans several projects in preparation for the major cleanup work scheduled to begin next year. Plans include improving the Forest Service road from Lucerne to Holden Village, constructing a bypass bridge, installing bulkheads on two mine portals, and developing equipment staging areas.
CHELAN — A Chelan County judge on Wednesday agreed to order the removal three man-made peninsulas created nearly 50 years ago in a bay on Lake Chelan’s south shore. Superior Court Judge Lesley Allan found that the 6.12-acre undeveloped property owned by GBI Holding Co. impairs the public’s right to use the bay, and benefits only the owners of the property.