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Environmental Update

OPB | Oct. 17, 2011 9:50 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 10:44 p.m.

Some major energy and resource projects are being considered around the Northwest.

The State Land Board is hoping to increase logging in the Elliott State Forest in order to help pay for schools. The proposal would increase the amount of lumber produced from 25 million board feet to 40 million board feet per year. It would generate an additional $3.6 million for Oregon schools and an estimated 120 new timber jobs. Environmental groups worry it would harm endangered species such as the spotted owl and coho salmon.

A proposed wind farm in the Columbia River Gorge is being considered by Washington Governor Chris Gregoire. The project has faced criticism from Seattle Audubon and the Friends of the Columbia River Gorge. Opponents say it could harm spotted owls and interfere with views in the nearby National Scenic Area.

And three transmission line projects, totaling nearly 1700 miles in new lines, are being fast-tracked by the federal government. Wildlife advocates are worried the lines could disrupt nesting for sage grouse and other species, but some say a lack of energy line infrastructure is holding alternative energy back from its full potential.

EarthFix reporter Courtney Flatt fills us in on these issues.

Would any of these projects affect you? How? Do you support them?

GUEST:

  • Courtney Flatt: EarthFix reporter based in Richland, WA.

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