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.

U.S. Senate bill seen as big win for Oregon

By: - August 9, 2022

Clean energy developers, farmers, ranchers, forest and home owners in Oregon are slated to get hundreds of millions of dollars in grants, tax credits and incentives from legislation that passed the U.S. Senate this weekend.  The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, an umbrella name for a climate and energy package that includes provisions for health […]

Oregon schools need billions to close funding gap, education commission says

By: - August 8, 2022

To meet state education goals, Oregon schools are going to need more money from the Legislature, a new analysis finds. Every two years, the Education Quality Commission estimates the funding required to operate “a system of highly-effective schools” in the state and recommends a budget to the governor and the Legislature.  For the 2023-25 biennium, […]

State on track to meet 2035 greenhouse gas reduction targets, forecast finds

By: - August 6, 2022

At least 14 of Oregon’s climate change policies are on track to meet the state’s goals, according to a new analysis by environmental consultants. The analysis indicates the state is likely to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions to 45% below 1990 levels by 2035, a goal established by Gov. Kate Brown’s 2020 executive order on […]

State forester rescinds wildfire risk map in response to public, political outcry

By: - August 5, 2022

On Thursday afternoon, just five weeks after publishing a wildfire risk map, the state Forestry Department axed it. That move follows a chorus of complaints from Republican state lawmakers and residents in southern and eastern Oregon who said the roll out of the map was clumsily handled and led to people losing their property insurance […]

Evacuations ordered as firefighters battle spreading Miller Fire in Wasco County

By: and - August 3, 2022

UPDATED: Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022 at 9 p.m. Firefighters rushed to Wasco County on Wednesday to battle a brush fire that spread from 1,000 to more than 10,000 acres in 24 hours. The Miller Fire, 13 miles west of Maupin, is threatening buildings and people. The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office ordered the evacuation of some […]

Gun safety regulations on November ballot could cost local governments

By: - August 3, 2022

Only one of the four statewide ballot measures Oregonians will vote on in November comes at a financial cost to local governments.  That measure would ban the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines, require a firearm safety course, tighten licensing and create stricter background checks on weapons’ purchases. A committee involving the Secretary of State’s Office […]

Heatwave sparks dozens of worker complaints; 14 suspected deaths

By: and - August 2, 2022

The weeklong heatwave in Oregon ended on Monday with 14 suspected deaths and dozens of complaints about companies not following new rules to protect workers from the heat.  The state medical examiner tracked 14 deaths that may be heat-related: seven in Multnomah County, four in Marion County, two in Clackamas County and one in Umatilla […]

State holds hearing on permit for Foster Farms’ controversial slaughterhouse in Creswell

By: - August 2, 2022

Efforts to renew a wastewater permit for a shuttered chicken slaughterhouse in Creswell are raising concerns among some locals that the plant will reopen and the area will soon be home to more industrial chicken farms. The public has until Aug. 31 to submit comments to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality about a water […]

New state meat inspection program will combat supply chain delays, lower prices

By: - August 1, 2022

Oregon meat eaters are likely to have access to more local beef and other products and at cheaper prices with a new program that will localize meat inspections. The program will expand the state’s processing capacity, allowing the Oregon Department of Agriculture to inspect meat that’s produced and sold within the state. Before, only the […]

Pressured by conservationists, Bureau of Land Management backs off on livestock in Alvord Desert

By: - July 29, 2022

This spring, the federal Bureau of Land Management was ready to approve a long-term permit for livestock grazing on 200,000 acres of public land in the Alvord Desert in southeast Oregon for the first time in 57 years.  Then conservationists found out. Western Watersheds, WildLands Defense and Wild Horse Education, three nonprofit conservation groups, challenged […]

Electric utilities submit final plans to prevent wildfires, shutoffs as season ramps up

By: - July 27, 2022

Nearly all of Oregon’s 41 electric utilities have submitted their final plans to the state for preventing wildfires and managing shutoffs, according to the Public Utilities Commission.  Most were submitted this month as the beginning of Oregon’s wildfire season was declared. Just one, from the Clearwater Power Company, which serves about 177 customers in northeast […]

Bureau of Land Management seeks public comment on limiting wild horse numbers

By: - July 25, 2022

Federal officials want the public’s help in curbing Oregon’s growing wild horse population. The Bureau of Land Management has asked for comment on three birth-control methods. The agency currently administers a birth-control vaccine that lasts up to two years but is looking for contraceptives that last longer.    Oregon is currently home to about 4,500 wild […]