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ICYMI: Caves, Climate And Creatures

Our big project with Oregon Field Guide explored Mount Hood's glacier caves.
Our big project with Oregon Field Guide explored Mount Hood's glacier caves.

In case you missed it, a roundup of some of the interesting Northwest environmental news stories (from our team and others) in October.

One of our big stories of this year is a partnership with OPB’s Oregon Field Guide television program. The ambitious project, dubbed Glacier Caves, delves into a world seen by few, more than a mile of glacier caves hidden under Mount Hood. (And coincidentally, in the same week our story came out, news of a similar glacier 'tunnel' in northern Sweden was reported.

The effort produced a multi-platform project that included a super cool multimedia digital story, a television documentary that premiered as OFG’s 25th anniversary season opener, radio reports and web articles. It’s part adventure story, part climate science report and it's fully worth diving in for the 30-plus minutes of your time.

Read the multimedia digital story: THIN ICE: Exploring Mount Hood's Glacier Caves

Watch the documentary: Glacier Caves: Mount Hood’s Secret World

There were two big climate stories this month.

Health risks from a warming climate

Our special four-part series Symptoms Of Climate Change: Will A Warming World Make Us Sick? linked climate impacts to health risks. (It dovetails closely with a report out this week identifying the greatest climate risks in the Northwest.)

Latest effort to align West Coast carbon reduction efforts

Late in October, West Coast Governors Jerry Brown, John Kitzhaber and Jay Inslee, along with British Columbia Christy Clark signed the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy. It’s a regional effort to align carbon reduction efforts. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, this is the latest effort for a regional strategy, with a 2008 pact called the Western Climate Initiative failing to produce the planned regional cap-and-trade program.

In this new, non-binding agreement, California and British Columbia have a head start with carbon reduction systems in place. Oregon and Washington will face some serious legislative roadblocks in upholding their ends of the agreement.

We love ourselves some creatures.

After a legal Puget Sound octopus hunt caused local outrage, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department opted to prohibit recreational octopus harvesting at seven popular dive spots. Meanwhile, a New York Times Magazine piece deftly juxtaposes the outcry over hunting the cephalopod with the the rave reviews of fresh giant Pacific octopus on a hip new restaurant’s menu.

Washington Fish and Wildlife shared a new map showing that radio-collared Washington wolves have been tracked sojourning great distances deep into Canada.

Could boat-transported goats be the answer to controlling invasive species on islands? A very unscientific effort on the Willamette shows that it might just be possible.

Chinook salmon are making their way above one of the dams currently being removed on the Elwha River. A videographer, who has been documenting the Elwha dam removal for years, caught some of them on camera in an area called Indian Creek.

-- Toni Tabora-Roberts

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Toni Tabora-Roberts