April Ehrlich


April Ehrlich is a reporter at Jefferson Public Radio. She covers a little bit of everything, including stories about wildfires, poverty and homelessness, and cannabis. She focuses on in-depth investigative journalism and data reporting. She advocates for journalists across Oregon as the vice president of the Oregon territory chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Reach her at 541-552-7075 or ehrlicha@sou.edu.

About 400 people turned out to a community meeting with fire managers in Merlin, Oregon, as the Taylor Creek Fire threatened hundreds of homes.
Emily Cureton / OPB

Josephine County officials are again asking rural voters if they would like a publicly funded fire district. But this time, it’s in the form of an advisory question on the May 21 ballot.

KIamath Riverkeeper

The U.S. Supreme Court has closed the book on a years-long battle to overturn a ban on suction dredge mining in Oregon’s salmon-bearing streams.

The court declined to hear their petition on Oregon’s 2017 ban on using industrial dredging machinery in streams that are critical coho salmon breeding grounds. The dredges suck up gravel from streambeds so miners could sift for precious metals.

Miners argued that a federal law dating back to the mid-1800s renders Oregon’s moratorium illegal.

Jim Carey of Klamath County Public Health / Oregon Smoke Blog

Smoke-filled summers caused parts of southern Oregon to violate national air quality standards in 2017. Now the state is asking federal regulators to disregard those smoky days when calculating overall air quality measurements.

Creative Commons

A rare salamander that only exists on the Oregon-California border is at the heart of a potential lawsuit against the federal government.



Wolf populations are increasing in Oregon, which makes a proposed wolf management plan released Monday all the more controversial. In fact, neither conservationists nor cattle owners are entirely happy with the proposal.


Many Oregonians continue to struggle to make rent, according to data the state released this month.

Thirty Oregon cities are severely rent burdened, which means more than a quarter of their renters put more than half their income toward housing. The number of severely rent-burdened cities in Oregon hasn’t changed since last year’s count.

Still, the number of individual households that are severely burdened by rent has slightly decreased from last year. Ariel Nelson with Oregon Housing and Community Services says the factors playing into those numbers are complex.

Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology

When a wildfire ignites, bulldozer operators often carve lines through plant life to keep flames from spreading.

Creative Commons

Coastal species that were once only seen in Baja, Mexico, are now showing up as far north as the Oregon coast. Scientists say the influx is unprecedented.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Snow levels on Mount Ashland last year were, for the lack of a better term, depressing. The ski resort was closed through much of the season because of weak snow levels.

But now, the mountain is booming. By the end of February, Southern Oregon’s snowpack was 115 percent of the normal. Oregon’s statewide snowpack was 120 percent of normal. Other areas even had averages reaching 200 percent of normal.

April Ehrlich | JPR

Outside the remote town of Elkton, Oregon, the Cisco family’s four small dogs are bundled in puffy jackets. So is the family of three elderly sisters and their niece. You can see their breath when they speak.

Douglas County Government

This week’s winter storm left thousands of Oregonians without electricity. Many residents in Douglas County didn’t have power for several days, and some will continue to lack power for several more.

Parts of the county got more than a foot of snow over the weekend, triggering a wave of blackouts. 

Pacific Power has restored power to most of its customers. But rural homes serviced by the local utility, Douglas Electric Company, could remain without power for several more days.

Jirawat Ouicharoen

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is a really big deal, not just in Southern Oregon, but nationally.


Layoffs and even bankruptcy have burdened Oregon newspapers this year, and it’s only February.

Adding to the list are the Ashland Daily Tidings and the Medford Mail Tribune, which lost five editorial positions this month.


UPDATE: Wednesday, 2/13, 11:30 a.m. -- The Shasta County Sheriff's Office has declared a local state of emergency due to the snow storm.


The city of Ashland is one of the few Southern Oregon cities where ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft don't operate. City councilors almost changed that until the mayor stepped in with veto power.

When someone flies into the airport in Medford, they can take an Uber ride into Ashland, but not on their way back. That’s because Ashland’s rules are too strict for ride-sharing businesses to operate here.


Destructive wildfires along the California-Oregon border in recent years has the U.S. Forest Service pursuing projects to clear forests of burnt debris and trees that could feed future fires.

Josephine County Sheriff's Office

The Josephine County Sheriff's Office is looking for deputies, and it’s letting the world know through a flashy YouTube recruitment video.


To President Donald Trump, the government shutdown is a means to an end. But for millions of other Americans, it’s a threat to their food source or their housing.

Dawn Myers manages Oregon’s food stamp program. She says her department has been fielding calls from worried people.

“It’s a difficult time,” Myers said. “It’s always stressful for people when they’re unsure about receiving benefits.”

April Ehrlich | JPR News

Nearly two-thousand people crowded outside the Jackson County Expo Center in Central Point Tuesday night to protest a proposed natural gas project that needs a state permit to proceed.


JPR News

For the last few months Southern Oregonians have been awash in slick mailers, TV commercials and online ads about a Canadian energy company. But at first glance, you might not realize that they’re advertising a natural gas project.

The mailers are large and glossy. They show photos of people who could easily be your neighbors roasting marshmallows and camping down by the lake, or sitting on barstools at a nearby diner.

They say things like “we are your neighbors and friends” and “protecting Oregon’s natural beauty.”