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SW Oregon River Gets Special Protections With Designation

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – State officials have given a southwest Oregon river a special designation that could end an effort to build a nickel mine nearby.

The Statesman Journal reports (http://stjr.nl/2t26zW5) that Oregon’s Environmental Quality Commission voted 5-0 Thursday to designate the North Fork Smith River as an Outstanding Resource Waters.

The designation is part of the Clean Water Act that allows states to protect pristine waterbodies.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality took public comments and supported the designation.

[…]

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Oregon Carves a Path for Water Transfers in the West

SINCE 1971, CRIS Converse and her family have relied on water from Oregon’s Whychus Creek to raise cattle and grow hay. Their Pine Meadow Ranch thrives, in part, because the family’s water rights date back to 1850, assuring access to water virtually without limit.

By the 2000s, however, concern for Oregon’s salmon populations had become a powerful movement. And salmon that had spawned in Whychus Creek for millennia couldn’t get past the Converse family dam.

So Converse agreed to sell […]

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New agricultural wells prohibited in Oregon’s Walla Walla subbasin

Mateusz PerkowskiCapital Press Published on May 11, 2017 4:44PM

SALEM — Oregon’s water regulators have unanimously voted to stop permitting new agricultural wells in Northeast Oregon’s 300,000-acre Walla Walla subbasin due to groundwater depletion concerns.

At its May 11 meeting, the Oregon Water Resources Commission also designated the subbasin as a “serious water management problem area,” which means irrigators with existing basalt wells must install flow meters to measure their water usage and report it to state regulators.

The restriction […]

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Tribal chairman defends water call

CHILOQUIN —Don Gentry, chairman of the Klamath Tribal Council, isn’t shy about defending the water claims made by the Tribes to divert water on the Williamson and Sprague River systems in mid-April, nor in explaining the justification behind them.

The Klamath Tribes made the request for water to provide for maintenance of the streams and riparian areas and the lakes to provide for fish and other resources valuable to the Tribes, according to Gentry.

He sat down with the Herald […]

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Nestle pipes water from national forest, sparking protests

USA TODAY NETWORK Corinne S. Kennedy and Ian James, The (Palm Springs, Calif.) Desert Sun April 3, 2017 |

PALM SPRINGS, Calif.— A little after 1 p.m. Sunday, a steady stream of cars pulled off Highway 18 at Lake Gregory Drive. Their occupants exited, darting across the road during traffic breaks and posting up on a dirt lot next to Grotewolds Carpet Station. Others caught rides there after meeting at a high school up the road.

Dressed in bright colors […]

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Who owns the water in Weed, California?

BY LEONIE SHERMAN | APR 1 2017 The Sierra Club

When the citizens of Weed, California turn on their taps, pure gravity-fed spring water flows out. It’s been that way for over a century. But Roseburg Forest Products (RFP) owns the land beneath the springs. If the Oregon-based timber giant has their way, Crystal Geyser will bottle and ship that water as far away as Japan and locals will need to find another source.

Water rights in this picturesque hamlet, […]

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Judge: More Water Must Be Released From Columbia, Snake Dams

AP March 27, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge in Oregon says that beginning next year, the government must spill more water from dams on the lower Columbia and Snake rivers to improve the chances that protected salmon will survive.

U.S. District Judge Michael Simon said in a ruling Monday that the salmon continue to be imperiled and that the Army Corps of Engineers must spill more water for the fish at eight dams. However, he declined to […]

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Montana senate fails to adopt more stringent environmental review for water bottling facilities

BY TRISTAN SCOTT // MAR 25, 2017 // NEWS & FEATURES

Sen. Jennifer Fielder of Thompson Falls, left, listens as Sen. Bob Keenan of Bigfork speaks at the 64th Montana Legislative Session in Helena on April 24, 2015. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead BeaconSHOW CAPTION

Bigfork Republican Sen. Bob Keenan’s final effort to adopt a more stringent environmental review process for water-bottling facilities failed on Friday, dealing a blow to residents in his district who are desperately trying to halt plans […]

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New Zealand river granted same legal rights as human being

Thursday 16 March 2017 00.50 EDT

In a world-first a New Zealand river has been granted the same legal rights as a human being.

The local Māori tribe of Whanganui in the North Island has fought for the recognition of their river – the third-largest in New Zealand – as an ancestor for 140 years.

On Wednesday, hundreds of tribal representatives wept with joy when their bid to have their kin awarded legal status as a living entity was passed […]

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Aerial spray ban best way to ensure clean water

By Justin Workman For The Register-Guard MARCH 27, 2017

Spring is upon us, inspiring images of flowers in colorful bloom. But for some in Oregon, it means the beginning of the spray season.

It’s a time when the big timber corporations such as Weyerhaeuser, Seneca, Roseburg and Giustina use helicopters to aerially spray cancerous concoctions of herbicides on their clearcuts. These timber companies are creating their own special spring shower that kills everything living except for newly replanted fir trees. […]

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