The news that happened this past week impacting the outdoors in your area.
Climate change is impacting many common species as it combines effects with habitat loss. Conservationists are now looking at larger-scale programs that focus on preserving and creating habitat in a way that promotes a larger healthy ecosystem, and they are working with private landowners and other interest groups in new ways to make it happen. The goal is to slow down biodiversity loss.
Water in the United States is relatively cheap compared with most countries, and because of it, we have one of the highest water usage rates per capita. Water used for irrigation or personal consumption is generally not priced based on market factors of supply and demand. This short article makes the case for matching water rates to what it costs to deliver it to homes and farms, and in doing so, reduce our national water consumption.
We are experiencing a record year for returning salmon in the Pacific Northwest. This parallels an ongoing trend in dam removal, one that has had notable restorative results on long-dammed rivers. This op-ed by Terry Flores, Executive Director of Northwest RiverPartners, argues that these results demonstrate that hydropower and salmon conservation can work together.
Beavers and irrigation channels have a contentious history. Landowners in Washington have, for years, killed or relocated beavers whose dams block the manmade water channels. However, when it comes to restoring natural riparian areas, beavers are a low-cost asset. In Washington's Yakima Valley, an area where beavers are traditionally thought of as pests, they are now being deployed to build dams and restore the upper tributaries of the Yakima River.
As oceans warm, fish are moving farther north to cooler waters. A report published in the ICES Journal of Marine Science used historical data from 800 commercial fisheries to show this relocation is happening now. In a local example seen this summer off the Washington coast, a warm patch of the Pacific Ocean, caused by milder weather and less ocean mixing, meant salmon detoured north to a cooler route around Vancouver Island to return to their spawning streams.
One of the joys of fall in Oregon is the arrival of edible mushrooms. Many towns around the state hold mushroom festivals this time of year. Find out when one is happening near you, with events planned in Yachats, Portland, Salem, Eugene and more.