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.

Program will pay cash for information on poaching of wild animals

By: - March 31, 2022

A new fund will reward tipsters for information on poached or stolen nongame animals, such as raptors, which can’t be hunted. Up until now, callers to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Turn-In-Poachers line, or TIP line, could receive a cash award only if they called with information on a game species, such as […]

Legislative fix will give low-income students more scholarship money for community college

By: - March 31, 2022

A scholarship to help Oregon high school seniors pay for community college that had unintentionally been sending the largest grants to students with the least need will now give more money to low-income students. That change and other fixes to the program are part of an education bill passed by legislators during the February session. […]

Fire-detecting cameras to be installed across state with $4.5 million investment

By: - March 30, 2022

Oregon will soon have nearly 60 cameras across the state perched on cell phone towers, old fire towers and mountaintops, watching for potential forest fires across the state. The cameras, part of the ALERTWildfire network, help fire departments and state agencies spot wildfires early, predict their movements and slow their spread. They also allow Oregonians […]

Oregon small water districts getting $32 million from EPA

By: - March 29, 2022

The Environmental Protection Agency announced $32 million for Oregon’s drinking water and wastewater programs last week, tackling a backlog of $140 million worth of such projects. The projects will ensure that thousands of Oregonians have access to untainted drinking water. The state’s drinking water program, is overseen by the Oregon Health Authority, which estimates $70 […]

Groups say BLM ignoring environmental concerns when issuing grazing permits

By: - March 28, 2022

The Bureau of Land Management has been renewing livestock grazing permits on public lands in Oregon without a thorough environmental analysis, including on overgrazed land, according to two new reports.  The Western Watersheds Project and the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, both nonprofit environmental advocacy groups, released the reports earlier this month.  In its report, […]

Oregon wildlife experts step up efforts to prevent a deadly fungal disease that attacks bats

By: - March 24, 2022

State wildlife experts have stepped up efforts to fight a deadly fungal disease that has infected over half the nation’s bat species and, on Tuesday, put one on the endangered species list.  But, with the disease already in Washington state, they say it’s probably just a matter of time before it hits Oregon. White-nose syndrome, […]

Oregon has most miles of polluted or ‘impaired’ waterways nationwide, new analysis says

By: - March 23, 2022

Oregon has more than 120,000 miles of polluted or “impaired” rivers and streams – the most nationwide, according to a new analysis.  The report, released last week by the Environmental Integrity Project, a nonprofit headquartered in Washington D.C, said that 80% of those waterways threaten aquatic life, making Oregon the worst nationwide in that category. […]

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

State takes next steps on plan to protect threatened species in western forests

By: - March 21, 2022

A plan to protect critical animal habitat in nearly 640,000 acres of western Oregon state forests is moving towards its final stages.  An environmental impact review of the Western Forests Habitat Conservation Plan was released March 18, and Oregonians have 60 days to submit their thoughts and concerns to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration […]

Tucked into Oregon rural infrastructure package, $4 million to save a staircase

By: - March 21, 2022

In the early 1930s, when Eastern Oregon University was exclusively a teacher training college, students walked up the five-tiered Grand Staircase to campus. The steps, built in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, were unlike anything in the state and region, made mostly of Depression-era concrete and built by Oregon Architect John Bennes who designed the […]

After decades of serving as a dump, Columbia River island designated Superfund site

By: - March 17, 2022

For 40 years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers illegally dumped trash as well as electrical equipment and other debris onto Bradford Island and into the Columbia River near Bonneville Dam, causing toxic chemicals to leach into the water and into fish. Now, the federal Environmental Protection Agency will need to clean up after the […]

After setbacks, Oregon Office of Immigrant and Refugee Advancement takes shape

By: - March 17, 2022

Nearly a year after legislators created it, Oregon’s new Office of Immigrant and Refugee Advancement has a director who will hire three other staff and help Oregon’s newest foreign arrivals.  Toc Soneoulay-Gillespie was appointed to head the new office by Gov. Kate Brown on March 4. She previously served as director of community health for […]

Decision to violate state masks mandate will cost Alsea School District $43,000

By: - March 16, 2022

The decision by the Alsea School Board to make masks optional for students and staff a month before the state ended masks mandates will cost the district $43,000, according to the state Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Oregon OSHA investigated after at least eight complaints were submitted following an announcement from then-superintendent Marc Thielman that […]