Author

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. She previously worked in Iceland and Qatar and was a Fulbright scholar in Spain where she earned a master's degree in digital media. She's been a kayaking guide in Alaska, farmed on four continents and worked the night shift at several bakeries to support her reporting along the way.

Calvin Mukumoto selected as new state forester

By: - October 29, 2021

The Oregon Board of Forestry on Friday picked a forester from Coos Bay to lead the Oregon Department of Forestry. Calvin Mukumoto, a former member of the state Parks and Recreation Commission and Board of Forestry and the U.S. Board for the Forest Stewardship Council, will lead the agency’s 1,200 employees and a budget of […]

At an Oregon public hearing, all but one speak out against industrial chicken farm

By: - October 29, 2021

People in live testimony and in writing overwhelmingly oppose a major chicken farming operation planned for outside Scio. The Oregon Department of Agriculture heard from about a dozen people against a new confined animal feeding operation at a public hearing on Oct. 20. It was a fraction of the more than 100 who submitted written […]

Tribes to deploy beavers in bid to save Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge

By: - October 28, 2021

The Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge looks very different today than it did 35 years ago. About 45 miles north of Klamath Falls along the Williamson River, it’s natural waterways are limited, and over the last few decades it’s spent more and more of the year in drought conditions with parts nearly or fully drying […]

Oregon senators want closer scrutiny of Chemawa Indian School

By: - October 26, 2021

It’s been six years since the Chemawa Indian School in Salem was last reviewed by the federal Department of the Interior, which found then that “the school did not have an adequate plan in place to ensure students’ educational achievement.”  Now U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have asked the department to look into […]

Oregon’s new wildfire czar explains his job – Q&A

By: - October 25, 2021

Last week, Doug Grafe wrapped up orientation at his new job as state wildfire programs director. He takes on his new job after 17 years at the Oregon Department of Forestry, appointed by Gov. Kate Brown. He will advise her on preventing wildfires and carrying out the mandates of Senate Bill 762.  That legislation, passed […]

Future of clean trucks, buses facing key agency vote in November

By: - October 22, 2021

A future with electric garbage trucks and school buses and less polluting freight trucks is up for a vote in November by the state Environmental Quality Commission.  The commission is considering two new rules for manufacturing cleaner and zero-emissions medium- and heavy-duty trucks, buses and vans sold in the state. Vehicles that would be covered […]

Oregon State professor lands grant to clean up wood burning stoves

By: - October 20, 2021

In the leadup to winter, researchers at Oregon State University are teaming up with the Nez Perce tribe and local manufacturers to develop a cleaner way to burn wood in stoves.  They have received $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to research and develop a cheap device that can be put into a […]

Plan for one of Oregon’s largest chicken farms draws criticism; hearing set

By: - October 20, 2021

Eric Simon got into chicken farming 20 years ago after a career as an electronics technician because, he said, he was poor. With his wife and two young kids, he moved 30 miles from Corvallis to rural Brownsville and bought a house on 40 acres on the edge of town. He built barns and then […]

A view from King's Mountain in the Tillamook State Forest.

Conservation work in Oregon forests gets federal boost

By: - October 18, 2021

Two state agencies have been awarded a $750,000 federal grant to continue work on a state plan for protecting endangered species and species that could become endangered in the next 70 years in Oregon’s northwest forests. The Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife share the grant, which will be […]

Dire warnings about the vaccine mandate unlikely to play out in Oregon

By: , and - October 18, 2021

Rural officials have warned for more than a month that the vaccine mandate would put some Oregonians at risk as employees resigned or were fired. That mandate took hold Monday, covering tens of thousands of state employees, health care workers and school staff. Not long after Gov. Kate Brown imposed that mandate in August, Baker […]

Shortage of bus drivers the latest staffing challenge for schools

By: - October 15, 2021

A shortage of bus drivers in many parts of the state have shown just how valuable the ride to and from school is. Districts and bus companies have been forced to combine or cancel routes, boost hourly pay and offer four-figure bonuses to attract drivers.  In Eugene this week, parents were notified that rides on […]

USDA investment in Hispanic-serving Institutions will flow to community college in Salem

By: - October 14, 2021

A community college in Salem is among 21 Hispanic-serving institutions in the country to receive a share of a $12 million dollar investment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Chemeketa Community College is one of three in the state considered Hispanic-serving because student enrollment is at least 25% Hispanic. At Chemeketa, 29% of students are […]