President Obama signs Washington emergency declaration for wildfires

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal emergency aid has been made available to the State of Washington to supplement

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Record coho returns boost Columbia River restoration

Coho on redd in Methow River - Photo courtesy Tom Scribner, Yakama NationPortland, Ore. – Record returns of coho salmon to the middle and upper Columbia River this year signal the comeback of fish that 20 years ago were virtually extinct in upriver tributaries.

Reintroduction programs led by the Yakama Nation and funded in part by the Bonneville Power Administration combined with restored habitat, improved dam passage and positive ocean conditions to bring unrivaled numbers of coho back to the rivers and streams, according to recently concluded annual counts.

Ten years ago, 12 adult coho returned past Rock Island Dam near Wenatchee, Wash. This year, 19,805 passed the dam. Returns past McNary Dam near Hermiston, Ore., climbed from 4,736 coho a decade ago to 33,385 this year – by far the most since counting began at the dam in 1954.

General cougar season starts Sept. 1 – Permit-only hunt applications are due Aug. 31

OLYMPIA - Cougar hunters will begin the 2009 general season on Sept. 1 this year, while those interested in permit-only hunts held after the general season have until Aug. 31 to submit an application to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Under new rules adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, the general cougar season will begin with a statewide archery-only season Sept. 1-25, followed by a muzzleloader-only season Sept. 26-Oct. 16. Beginning Oct. 17, hunters may use any legal weapon to target cougars in most areas of the state. 

In the past, the general cougar hunting season began Aug. 1 and hunters were allowed to use any legal weapon. The changes were adopted to better match cougar hunting with the early elk and deer seasons, said Donny Martorello, carnivore specialist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). 

More Washington Counties Added to FEMA Disaster Declaration Due to Heavy Snow

OLYMPIA- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Washington Emergency Management Division (WEMD) announced today that additional counties are now eligible for disaster Public Assistance to help with recovery from the severe winter storm and record and near-record snow that occurred between Dec. 12, 2008, and Jan. 5, 2009.

Whitman and Ferry counties have been added to FEMA-1825-DR-WA for Public Assistance for emergency measures, damages, and permanent repair of disaster damaged facilities (Categories A-G). This brings the number of counties receiving this type of Public Assistance to 26: Clallam, Clark, Columbia, Cowlitz, Ferry, Garfield, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Klickitat, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Spokane, Stevens, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, Whatcom and Whitman counties.