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.

State seeks $27.6 million from southern Oregon dam operators over massive fish kill

By: - October 6, 2023

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking near record damages from the operators of a southern Oregon dam and its contractors over repairs that led to the deaths of more than half a million juvenile Pacific lamprey. On Friday, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife filed a complaint against the Winchester Water […]

Nearly a half a million dollars of the grant will go to the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians.

Oregon will get part of $50 million multistate settlement over 2020 data breach

By: - October 5, 2023

A software company targeted  in a 2020 ransomware attack that exposed the personal information of hundreds of Oregonians will pay the state’s Department of Justice nearly $656,000. It’s part of a $50 million settlement between South Carolina-based Blackbaud involving every state in the U.S. and Washington D.C. The data breach affected 13,000 of its customers, […]

A natural gas pipeline

Environmental groups ask Oregon and Washington utilities to leave powerful gas lobby

By: - October 5, 2023

A coalition of 17 environmental groups are asking two of the largest electric and natural gas utilities in Oregon and Washington to end their membership in a powerful gas trade group that’s fighting climate change policies.  Environmental organizations — including the Sierra Club, Eugene-based Breach Collective and Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility — said in […]

Gov.-elect Tina Kotek, center, participates in a conversation about early childhood education needs at the Head Start of Yamhill County.

Governor’s education advisor will lead state teacher standards and licensing agency

By: - October 3, 2023

Gov. Tina Kotek’s education advisor will soon lead the state agency in charge of licensing teachers and enforcing standards.  The 17-member Teacher Standards and Practices Commission voted unanimously in a special meeting Tuesday to appoint Melissa Goff executive director for the agency. She’ll start Thursday. Goff replaces Anthony Rosilez, who was appointed by the commission […]

Gov. Tina Kotek at the home of Ana Maria Rodriguez, a Boardman resident and Oregon Rural Action organizer, whose well water has nearly four times the safe drinking water limit for nitrate. (Alex Baumhardt/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Most well-water users in northeast Oregon counties still in the dark about toxic contamination

By: - October 3, 2023

UPDATED at 9:38 a.m. with a comment from the governor.  The Oregon Health Authority has failed to meet Gov. Tina Kotek’s expectation on well water testing for harmful contamination in northeast Oregon, rural advocates said. Local organizers with the nonprofit environmental and social justice group Oregon Rural Action said the state’s testing campaign failed to […]

Oregon officials consider adding southern resident orcas to state endangered species list

By: - September 28, 2023

The number of southern resident orcas that forage along the Oregon Coast has been on the decline for decades as they struggle to find food and confront boats and pollution.  Just 73 are left, down from a peak of nearly 100 in the late 1990s. Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries division […]

State considers penalties, fines after Umpqua River dam repair kills thousands of fish

By: - September 27, 2023

The operators and renovators of a controversial dam on the Umpqua River in southern Oregon could face state fines and civil penalties following repairs that killed hundreds of thousands of fish and resulted in environmental violations.  The privately owned Winchester Dam north of Roseburg underwent repairs in August for the third time in a decade. […]

Dozens of climate groups prepare to protest international timber conference in Portland

By: - September 26, 2023

An annual conference of international timber industry leaders will focus this week in Portland on the ownership and development of Northwest forests while protestors gather and hold their own conference on preserving them.  The industry conference, on Wednesday and Thursday, will feature panels on investments in private forests, with participants discussing everything from investments by […]

Green renewable hydrogen needed urgently, leaders say, but industry faces challenges

By: - September 25, 2023

To meet emissions reduction targets and tackle climate change, Oregon will need to build a clean and renewable hydrogen industry as fast as possible, according to state leaders. But they face challenges that could take years to overcome. That was one of the takeaways from an industry conference last week in Portland that was sponsored […]

Assessment tests show little student improvement over last four years

By: - September 21, 2023

Most Oregon students have not regained ground in key subjects following the COVID pandemic, but steep declines in English language arts, math and science proficiency that occurred during the pandemic are beginning to level off, according to the latest results from statewide assessment tests.  Gov. Tina Kotek said in a news release that the latest […]

The Tillamook State Forest as seen from the summit of King's Mountain. Bare patches mark spots that have been clearcut. (Oregon Department of Forestry/Flickr)

NASA imagery shows scale, impact of logging in drinking watersheds on Oregon Coast

By: - September 19, 2023

Oregon’s coastal communities that rely on drinking water from forested rivers and creeks have lost substantial tree cover during the last 20 years, a recent NASA analysis found. That’s bad news for residents and the environment, the report indicates. Forests not only improve the quality of surface waters, but also the quantity. They prevent erosion, […]

Conservation groups call for an end to aging Umpqua River dam after emergency fish salvage

By: - September 18, 2023

For two days in early August, a dozen staff from the natural resources department of the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians walked along the banks of the north Umpqua River, grabbing small, eel-like fish that were squirming in the mud.  They were trying to save the young Pacific lamprey left exposed by […]