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Fire burns in the North Santiam State Recreational Area on March 19. Oregon Department of Forestry

An early-season wildfire near Lyons, Oregon burned 60 acres and forced dozens of homes to evacuate Tuesday evening, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) said, as KTVZ reported.

The initial cause of the fire was not yet known, but it has been driven by the strong wind and jumped the North Santiam River, The Salem Statesman Journal reported. As of Tuesday night, it threatened around 35 homes and 30 buildings, and was 20 percent contained.

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A protest against the Jordan Cove LNG terminal and Pacific Connector pipeline corresponding with the Department of State Lands hearing in Salem, Oregon. Rick Rappaport

By Simon Davis-Cohen

When the incumbent Democratic Governor Kate Brown defeated Republican Knute Buehler in a contentious race for Oregon's governorship, many in the state's climate movement let out a momentary sigh of relief. Brown had promised to "lead on climate" while Buehler had pledged his support for new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Now, residents are working to hold Governor Brown to task over what they see as the most pressing climate issue facing the state: the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and its Pacific Connector Gas pipeline. Backed by the Canadian company Pembina Pipeline Corporation, the project would transport natural gas extracted via hydraulic fracturing (fracking) from Colorado to Oregon's coast, where it would be super-cooled into liquid form and loaded on ships to international markets.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Port of Longview, Washington. Sam Beebe / Ecotrust, CC BY-SA 3.0

By Shawn Olson-Hazboun and Hilary Boudet

A year after Washington state denied key permits for a coal-export terminal in the port city of Longview, the Army Corps of Engineers announced it would proceed with its review—essentially ignoring the state's decision.

This dispute pits federal authorities against local and state governments. It's also part of a larger and long-running battle over fossil fuel shipments to foreign countries that stretches up the entire American West Coast.

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BottleDrop

Glass bottles used to have value. For instance, Coca-Cola famously operated a returnable glass bottle program for 80 years until its last refillable bottling plant in Minnesota closed its doors in 2012. These days, glass bottles are recycled or—more often than not—tossed in the trash.

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An abandoned smoldering truck on Interstate 5 south of Pollard Flat, CA on Sept. 5. JOSH EDELSON / AFP / Getty Images

Another explosive wildfire ignited in California Wednesday, shutting down about 45 miles of the major highway Interstate 5 near the Oregon border, The Associated Press reported.

The so-called Delta Fire grew to 15,294 acres, or 23.9 square miles, and suspended the Wednesday night Amtrak service between California and Oregon, USA Today reported.

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Lance Koudele / Columbia Riverkeeper

By Miles Johnson

Why does a river organization like Columbia Riverkeeper dedicate so much energy to fighting fossil fuel projects?

First, fossil fuels threaten clean water. Think oil spills, pipelines that degrade salmon streams, coal dust in the river, and aerial deposition of mercury from coal-burning power plants. But we have additional motivation to fight fossil fuel infrastructure: climate change is harming the Columbia River and our communities right now. And giant fossil fuel corporations want to build more infrastructure—pipelines, fracked gas refineries, shipping terminals—to lock our region into continued reliance on dirty energy. Together, we are taking a stand to protect clean water and our climate.

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In our rapidly changing climate—where weather patterns are less predictable, and drought and heatwaves have become longer and more intense—the world's wine producers can be particularly hit hard.

Vintners in South Africa, France, Australia, California and more find themselves grappling with the effects of climate change, the Associated Press reported, as a tiny swing in temperatures can change the sugar, acid and tannin content for some grape varieties, making it difficult for wineries to replicate batches produced in the past.

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Left: Humboldt Marten. Charlotte Eriksson Oregon State University / Right: Marijuana Plant. Pixabay / CC by CC0

The Humboldt marten—a rare, house cat-sized cousin to the weasel found in old-growth forests in northern California and Oregon—is being driven to the brink of extinction due to over-trapping, deforestation, road construction, wildfires, climate change and even pesticides associated with marijuana cultivation, the Associated Press reported.

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A dead bull elk found on the Silvies Valley Ranch in Oregon's Harney County last fall; it appeared to have been shot with a high-powered rifle during archery season and was left to waste by the poachers. Oregon State Police

By Becca Cudmore

"Oregon State Police, this is Andrew," said the dispatcher covering Oregon's wildlife TIP (Turn In Poachers) line. It was mid-May, and Andrew Tuttle was prepared to answer a call on the latest deer wandering around with an arrow through her skull, or possibly a dynamited trout. (Salmon and steelhead were running upriver at the time.) His next step would be to pen down the who, what, when and where details and then send them through to an on-the-ground trooper in the caller's region. (In this case, the caller was a reporter inquiring about the agency's work. No further action needed here.)

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Eagle Creek fire. Curtis Perry / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

A teenager who admitted to starting the Eagle Creek Canyon wildfire in Oregon that singed approximately 48,000 acres of forest land in September was ordered to pay $36.6 million in restitution.

Hood River County Circuit Judge John A. Olson admitted that the youngster will probably never be able to pay the total amount, but was obligated under state law to issue the full award to the victims of the massive blaze, including residents whose properties burned down and the state and federal departments that fought the fire, The Oregonian reported.

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Jim Yuskavitch

By Jim Yuskavitch

Frank Moore is a fly-fishing legend—at least along Oregon's North Umpqua River, which has been renowned for its summer steelhead since the 1930s, when Western fiction author Zane Grey fished its waters. Moore is a D-Day veteran; he returned after the war to live beside the river with his wife, Jeanne. Together, they became among the North Umpqua's most vocal and effective advocates. In 1966 they founded the Steamboaters, a group of local angler-conservationists who still zealously guard the welfare of the river and its population of wild and wily steelheads.

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