Today is Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

ECOLOGY

County seeks more state money to finish shoreline plan

By Marcy Stamper
The Okanogan County commissioners are awaiting a decision from the Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) as to whether the agency will …

Commissioners exempt smaller projects from environmental review across county

By Marcy Stamper
The standards for which construction projects will automatically be reviewed for potential environmental impact will be the same across the county, following …

Season for firewood cutting changed

The Methow Valley Ranger District has decided to limit the season for firewood gathering to reduce damage to roads in the spring and lessen the impact on other resources. By limiting the season for firewood gathering to May 1 to Dec. 31, the district is now consistent with most other ranger districts in the Okanogan-Wenatchee...

Comment on Buckhorn Gold Mine permit

The Department of Ecology has prepared a new wastewater-discharge permit for the Buckhorn Gold Mine near Chesaw. The draft five-year permit will have more rigorous standards for pollution discharge than the previous one, according to Ecology. The permit regulates the creeks where the mine can discharge treated wastewater. The permit would also allow the discharge...
Learn about whitebark pine, climate

Learn about whitebark pine, climate

Connie Mehmel, a Forest Health Specialist for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, will discuss whitebark pine and its role as an indicator of climate change and forest health on Sunday (Aug. 25) at the Methow Valley Interpretive Center. Mehmel, a former Methow Valley resident, is the Interpretive Center’s featured speaker in its monthly “Last Sunday” lecture...
Researchers say ‘adaptation’ makes more sense than fighting wildfires

Researchers say ‘adaptation’ makes more sense than fighting wildfires

By ANN McCREARY Rather than spending money to fight extreme wildfires like the deadly Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona, we’d do better to create “fire-adapted” communities in fire-prone areas like the Methow Valley, according to Peter Morrison of Pacific Biodiversity Institute (PBI) in Winthrop. “We spend billions of dollars a year in our attempts to...
In search of ponderosa pines

In search of ponderosa pines

Study looks at ‘imperiled’ trees’ role in the valley ecosystem   By ANN McCREARY Walking through the Methow Valley a century ago, you would find yourself in the midst of open stands of large ponderosa pine trees that dominated the landscape. Today, only a fraction of those expansive, park-like ponderosa pine forests remain, and their...
Planning commission asks for more details in county comp plan

Planning commission asks for more details in county comp plan

By MARCY STAMPER Okanogan County planning commissioners are trying to strike a balance between including enough detail in the comp plan to guide water use and lot density, with an explicit decision by the board of county commissioners to keep regulations out of the plan. “The county commissioners were very sensitive about loading the comprehensive...