Alex Baumhardt

Alex Baumhardt

Alex Baumhardt is a reporter for Oregon Capital Chronicle. She 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.

Oregon teens reporting ‘eco-anxiety’ from climate challenges, report finds

By: - June 14, 2022

The issue of global climate change became achingly apparent to 17-year old Ukiah Halloran-Steiner of Yamhill County during the 2020 Labor Day weekend wildfires. She was kayaking on the Rogue River in southern Oregon with her family when smoke and wind blew through. “Bats were flying in the middle of the day and my eyes […]


U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden raises concerns over shortage of firefighters, federal spending on fire prevention

By: - June 13, 2022

Oregon faces a shortage of wildland firefighters that could be “a recipe for trouble,” according to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden. Wyden wrote to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently with concerns that their agencies weren’t prepared to handle another catastrophic fire season such as that of […]

Empty classroom with desks

Some Oregon kids with disabilities being denied access to summer learning, classroom hours owed

By: - June 13, 2022

State Sen. Sara Gelser Blouin, D-Corvallis, had experienced what she calls a “bad education day” before she showed up to a June 2 legislative education committee.  A parent in her district had gone to Facebook to share that their middle school would no longer provide her child with a disability class time after third period […]

Oregon groups will meet this weekend to protest gun violence, advocate for reforms

By: - June 10, 2022

Marches against gun violence and to advocate for gun control legislation will occur Saturday and Sunday in four Oregon cities.  Community groups in Sherwood, Beaverton, Portland and Salem are organizing the events as part of the nationwide March for Our Lives movement. That movement started in 2018 as a youth-led response to ending gun violence […]

Guadalupe Martinez, of Boardman, and her under the sink filter not working

Morrow County declares emergency over groundwater nitrate pollution

By: - June 9, 2022

In an unprecedented action, the Morrow County Commission Thursday declared a local state of emergency over groundwater nitrate pollution that has compromised drinking water for many in the region. Commissioners Jim Doherty and Melissa Lindsay voted to make the declaration – in effect until the end of the year – establishing the commission to act […]

Several insurers will offer coverage for summer programs nearly derailed by state rules

By: - June 9, 2022

The Oregon Association of Education Service Districts announced Thursday that three insurance agents will provide specialty coverage for sexual assault and molestation to community groups offering summer learning programs.  Last week, the Oregon Department of Education announced a requirement that community groups have such insurance in order to receive the $50 million in state grants […]

Oregon groups appeal to president over concerns of white supremacist threats

By: - June 8, 2022

After a white supremacist recently killed 10 Black shoppers at a grocery store in New York, Reyna Lopez started to get texts from the leaders of Oregon social and racial justice nonprofits.  “We wondered, are we vulnerable as well?” she said. The mass shooting last month at Tops market serving a predominantly Black neighborhood in […]

Surprise insurance requirement threatens to block some summer learning programs from state money

By: - June 7, 2022

A requirement that community organizations receiving state summer learning grants have insurance coverage for sexual abuse and molestation claims could keep some from accessing $50 million in aid.  In February, the state Legislature passed another year of record funding for such summer programs, which includes $100 million for school districts and $50 million for programs […]

Research from Oregon State finds ways to slow wildfires in critical sagebrush rangelands

By: - June 6, 2022

Nearly 45% of historic sagebrush ecosystems in the Great Basin – 200,000 square miles of California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming – have been lost to invasive plants, grasses and wildfires, according to the federal Bureau of Land Management. To slow the frequency and severity of such fires, scientists at Oregon State University undertook […]


National wildfire agency forecasts higher fire risk in central and southern Oregon this summer

By: - June 2, 2022

The National Interagency Fire Center forecasts higher than normal risk for wildfires in central Oregon beginning in June and in southern Oregon by July, according to a report published Tuesday. Southeast Washington will also be at elevated risk and northern California is considered at severe risk. The fire center based in Boise, Idaho, is the […]

Clackamas fuel company hit with state and federal fines for 2020 oil spill into North Santiam River

By: - June 1, 2022

The company whose fuel truck overturned on Highway 22 two years ago, spilling gasoline and diesel into the North Santiam River, has been penalized by state and federal regulators, the federal Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday.  Space Age Fuel Inc. of Clackamas, agreed to pay the EPA $135,000 for violating the federal Clean Water Act […]

Oregon Chinook salmon

New limits coming for Chinook fishing over historically low numbers

By: - May 31, 2022

Due to years of drought and poor ocean conditions, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will restrict fishing for wild Chinook salmon in parts of the state from late summer through the end of the year. Numbers of wild Chinook in several coastal tributaries are forecast to be at historic lows this fall, and […]