Alex Baumhardt

Alex Baumhardt

Alex Baumhardt has been a national radio producer focusing on education for American Public Media since 2017. She has reported from the Arctic to the Antarctic for national and international media, and from Minnesota and Oregon for The Washington Post.

Clear-cuts and logged swaths of the Tillamook State Forest from above on Oct. 13, 2023. (Jordan Gale/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Habitat plan for western state forests could cost counties $18 million a year in timber revenue

By: - December 8, 2023

To avoid major lawsuits under the federal Endangered Species Act, state and federal agencies have crafted a plan to reduce the amount of timber logged from Oregon’s western state-owned forests annually by up to 40%. Officials in some counties that have relied on those timber revenues for the past 80 years are angry and worried […]

With federal money running out, states are scrambling to ensure families have child care.

Early child care shortages in Oregon costing parents jobs, survey finds

By: - December 5, 2023

Public funding to boost early child care options in Oregon has grown by millions during the past few years, but options are still limited for many parents who are forced to choose – and lose – jobs, according to a survey from Portland State University. More than 40% of parents said they or their partner […]

Solar panels atop storage units in rural Virginia were funded by a Rural Energy for America program grant. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

USDA grows solar power in rural Oregon despite limited transmission, assistance

By: - December 1, 2023

More farmland across the U.S. will need to host power-generating solar panels for the country to decarbonize the electric grid and meet targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Departments of Energy and Agriculture. But that’s not the sell that officials at the USDA’s Rural Development office use to entice Oregon farmers […]

The Lower Monumental Dam on the Snake River, in southeast Washington.

Feds consider removing Snake River dams in leaked agreement with plaintiffs in lawsuit

By: - November 30, 2023

The Biden administration and federal agencies are prepared to remove four lower Snake River dams to save imperiled salmon species, according to a leaked proposal among parties in a federal lawsuit and the administration’s environmental council. Republican representatives in the Northwest, as well as some electric utilities, are not pleased about the proposed agreement.  The […]

Hundreds of educators, parents and students joined a rally Nov. 1. 2023 at Roosevelt High School in northeast Portland to support striking teachers who want better pay, smaller class sizes and more planning time among other demands. (Alex Baumhardt/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Oregon governor signals state funding to schools must improve following Portland teachers’ strike

By: - November 28, 2023

The conditions that led to Portland’s first teachers’ strike reflect historic and statewide issues that need to be addressed by state leaders, according to Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek.  “We’re going to step up and have a different conversation in the coming year,” she said at a news conference Tuesday.  To start, Kotek laid out four […]

Schools spent little of $19 million from state on substitute teacher training

By: - November 27, 2023

When Debbie Fery started hearing this year from substitute teachers who had not been paid for time spent taking mandatory trainings, it felt personal.  Fery, treasurer and chair of government affairs for the Oregon Substitute Teachers Association, and a substitute teacher herself, took her own fight to get paid for a required safety training to […]

Wildfires in September 2020 burned a large swath of the Oregon Cascades. (Photo courtesy Oregon State University)

Climate change, drought, wildfires reduce value of private forestland in the West by billions

By: - November 27, 2023

Investing in private timberland in the West has become increasingly risky, according to a new study from Oregon State University researchers, with values declining by billions of dollars in the last two decades.  The economic value of private timberland in California, Oregon and Washington has declined by about $11 billion since 2004, or around 10%, […]

A map of the Gas Transmission Northwest Express pipeline, or GTN Express, from the Idaho-Canada border to Southern Oregon. It runs from the Canada-Idaho border to Malin, a town in southern Oregon’s Klamath County.

West Coast leaders urge feds to reverse decision allowing natural gas pipeline expansion

By: - November 22, 2023

State attorneys general in Oregon, Washington and California and two Oregon-based environmental groups are asking federal energy regulators to reconsider their approval of a natural gas pipeline project that would increase the flow of gas through the Northwest.  Federal regulators voted unanimously Oct. 19 to allow Calgary-based TC Energy to expand the capacity of its […]

Shana McConville Radford to be first director of tribal affairs for Oregon governor

By: - November 21, 2023

Shana McConville Radford of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation will join Gov. Tina Kotek’s administration as Oregon’s first tribal affairs director.  McConville Radford, 39, had since May 2022 served as deputy director of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. “The tribal affairs director role is an unprecedented role in the […]

Projects to restore Columbia River Basin health in Oregon get $31 million

By: - November 20, 2023

Oregon tribes, state agencies, farmers and ranchers are getting more than $31 million from the federal government to reduce toxic pollution in the Columbia River and its tributaries. It’s the last of $79 million that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has dedicated to improving the health of the Columbia River Basin since 2021, under the […]

The Elliott State Forest after a section was logged near Loon Lake. (Photo courtesy of Francis Eatherington)

Oregon State University drops out of plan to manage Elliott State Research Forest

By: - November 17, 2023

After five years of collaborating with tribes and state agencies to create the largest research forest in North America, Oregon State University officials have decided they will no longer participate in its management. The announcement came in a letter from the university’s new president, Jayathi Murthy, to the State Land Board on Monday, just over […]

Pears move through a processing and packing facility in Wapato, Washington. (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

Oregon and Washington fruit packers vote to unionize fails

By: - November 15, 2023

One of the first and largest attempts to unionize fruit packers in the region in recent years has failed. A total of 328 employees of Washington-based Mount Adams Fruit voted Monday and Tuesday on unionizing with the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 3000. About 59% voted “no” and 41% voted in favor. Many of […]