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Oregon Fish & Wildlife

The debate over the use of "cyanide bombs" to kill wildlife took a couple of turns of late. 

After the Oregon legislature passed a law banning their use, the federal EPA filed plans to continue the use of the M-44 devices in other states. 

The sharp reaction from wildlife protection groups was soon followed by the EPA announcing it would reexamine the use of cyanide in the M-44s. 


This time of year, it's easy to see pictures of wildland firefighters wearing yellow shirts and green pants.  It's not just a uniform; the clothing is fire resistant.  And it's not always comfortable. 

A quest to find FR clothing that is also easy to wear led to the creation of the Rogue Valley company Massif, which now supplies FR clothing to all branches of the armed forces.  We get the story of Massif's birth, growth, and sale in this month's edition of our business segment, The Ground Floor. 


A question that probably crosses many minds about people who enter the United States and stay, without permission, is "why?" 

You've heard many stories about the dangers people face back in their home countries.  Jeremy Slack at the University of Texas-El Paso went in search of people who had such stories to tell. 

And he found people who see the risk of discovery and deportation far more acceptable than the risk of death if they stay home--or get sent home.  Slack's book is Deported to Death: How Drug Violence Is Changing Migration on the US–Mexico Border

John R. McMillan/NOAA Fisheries

Oregon has been spending millions of dollars to make life easier for salmon, and there's more spending on the way.  The state just announced $15 Million on the way from the Pacific Coast Salmon Recovery Fund

The federal money from the fund gets a state match, with grants distributed by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board

William Smith

We've complained loud and long about the smoky summers of the past two years, and with good reason.  But there is one place we'll tolerate some wood smoke: on our food. 

Summertime is barbecue time, and that is the focus of this month's edition of Savor, our food segment.  Food stylist Will Smith returns to help lead a discussion of barbecue, with guest Paul Disbrowe, the author of the cookbook Thank You for Smoking

juanedc, CC BY 2.0,

John Simpson spent much of his adult life laboring on a book.  You'd think he might have long since devoted himself to streaming video, but no, he still has a passion for the printed word. 

It all makes more sense when you realize the book he labored on is the Oxford English Dictionary, where he was chief editor for 20 years.  He wrote of the work of compiling and editing the OED in another book, The Word Detective: Searching for the Meaning of It All at the Oxford English Dictionary

Dan Cook, USFWS, Public Domain,

The salmon of our region are very adaptable; they've survived millions of years in both the ocean and freshwater streams.  But humans have presented some challenges to the fish, and climate change compounds the situation. 

A recent study looked at climate pressures on salmon and steelhead populations up and down the West Coast, and it gives some indication of which species will require more attention and assistance to survive. 

Heartisan Films

People marveled years ago at the ability of non-human primates to learn sign language and communicate with people.  Ann Southcombe is one of the people who got to "talk" to gorillas and orangutans, but she's captivated by the depth of understanding and emotion she finds in many animals. 

Her story is told in the documentary film "Gorilla Girl," which premieres in Grants Pass this week, in a benefit for Wildlife Images, the animal rehab center. 

Wies van Erp / Flickr

You've probably heard about those studies where people are asked to rate their driving ability, and most of us rate ourselves well above our actual abilities.  Well, it's not just driving.  We tend to be overconfident in our knowledge, and it's become a lot more obvious in the Internet age. 

Michael Patrick Lynch takes a look in a pithily-titled book, Know-It-All Society.  It examines how social media amplifies our human failings, and leads to us valuing the expression of emotion (usually outrage) over the finding of truth. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Public Domain,

An encroaching wildfire is one of scariest situations any of us can face.  Evacuating people is one thing: grab important stuff, get in the car, and go. 

The process gets far more complicated when there are livestock animals to transport.  Southern Oregon Emergency Aid is set up to help livestock owners get their animals to safety when an evacuation is ordered. 

Tami Bishop and Linda Bacon of SOEA join us on the phone. 


Police departments across the country compile many statistics on crime, and have done so for a long time.  What is now the Uniform Crime Reporting system (UCR) was first conceived in 1929. 

But police do not consistently track the numbers of people killed by police.  So assessing who gets killed and why requires a bit more sleuthing, and the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University-Newark has undertaken just such an investigation. 

Researchers used both national death reporting statistics and numbers compiled by Fatal Encounters, a journalist-led database on police shootings. 


Des Moines, Iowa, in the heart of the grain belt, gets about three feet of precipitation every year.  But the real heart of American agriculture is California's Central Valley, where about a third that much water falls in a year. 

From the earliest days of white settlement, California's booming economy--whether based on mining or agriculture--has required amounts of water nature did not provide.  Mark Arax, son of a farm family in the valley, tells the story anew in The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California

He tells of practices past and present that provide prosperity while depleting the land. 


Large parts of rural Josephine County do not have fire districts in the local government sense.  They are instead protected by private businesses that perform fire and medical emergency services for fees. 

An advisory vote last spring showed strong support for the formation of a rural fire district, and the legislature allocated some money for the project in an appropriations bill late in the session.

State Senator Herman Baertschiger of Grants Pass is the Republican leader in the senate. 

Jackson County Stockmen's Assn. Facebook page

Hemp may be the hot crop of the moment, but there are still plenty of agricultural products standing on four legs.  Cattle ranching continues to provide beef for consumers and cash for producers, and the Jackson County Stockmen's Association is right in the middle of it all. 

JCSA lets members share expertise and facilities, so small ranches can use some of the resources common to bigger operations.  This month's Stories of Southern Oregon goes into the history of cattle ranching and the association's role in it. 

JonRidinger, CC BY 3.0,

For every single one of the people now playing major league baseball, there are four or five guys grinding out a living in the minor leagues, hoping to make it to "the show." 

As the major leagues have expanded, the minor leagues have contracted.  Not long after World War II, more than 400 American cities fielded professional teams, brimming with players who had some talent... just not enough. 

Longtime sportswriter Gaylon White pays homage to the heyday of the minor leagues and their players, in Left on Base in the Bush Leagues: Legends, Near Greats, and Unknowns in the Minors


The chemical glyphosate may not be a household word, but products that contain it get used in many households.  Glyphosate is the key ingredient in herbicides like Roundup, which makes money for Monsanto and makes environmentalists cringe. 

The City of Eugene recently decided to place a moratorium on the use of Roundup on city property, in order to protect public health.  We get into the specifics of the ban and its uses with reps from Beyond Toxics and the group Consumer Safety


Maybe you do not relish the idea of all those other living things in you and on you, yet there they are.  As as we've come to understand the microbiome--the collection of micro-organisms that inhabit our bodies--a lot of different terms have been used. 

Nicolae Morar at the University of Oregon thought some of the terms were not especially helpful.  So he took his skills in philosophy and got together with UO microbiologist Brendan Bohannon. 

They recently put out a joint paper outlining suggested terminology for the microbiome, and that's the subject of this month's Curious: Research Meets Radio. 


"That's just me, that's who I am."  Ever say that?  Some of us are completely sure of who we are, some of us search all of our lives for a good answer to "why am I like this?" 

Scientist and author Bill Sullivan can help answer that question.  But it's a long-ish answer that includes things like DNA, environment, even microbes.

Writers and composers have created musicals about all kinds of subjects, why not "the change?" 

You mean...?  Yep.  "Menopause the Musical" travels the country, reminding women of a certain age what they're going through, and educating the rest of the population about the ups and downs. 

MTM plays Redding August 14-15, with songs set to tunes from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. 

Public Domain/Wikimedia

Sergei Eisenstein's silent film, "Battleship Potemkin," retains its status as one of the most influential and deeply studied films of all time. But as with all silent films, the experience of watching it is much better with music.

Nearly 100 years after it was made,  Britt Festival Orchestra director Teddy Abrams asked orchestra bassist Nathan Farrington to create a new musical soundtrack to accompany the film.