Milking Washington’s small dairy farms…to death

Milking Washington’s small dairy farms…to death

Two feet doesn’t seem that far. Yet, industry members warn it’s a distance enough to threaten the survival of many Western Washington dairy farms...
Supreme Court sides with tribes in culvert ruling

Supreme Court sides with tribes in culvert ruling

In a split decision, the United States Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling ordering Washington state to remove fish barriers that local...
Crate of apples

Trade war bites Washington apple industry

Washington state may be losing its largest market for apples given Mexico’s new retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports. Agricultural stakeholders say they are disappointed...
21 Acres Market

Giving local farms a boost

One of the hardest challenges for a small, local farm is spreading awareness of its products and pushing its goods into market. In Woodinville,...
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Lens Video: Challenges for Washington’s small, local farmers

Lens traveled to Kent-based Windy Acre Farm to ask owner Chris Sechrist about any obstacles to his farm's success while operating within King County...
video

Lens Video: Washington prepares for wildfire season

Lens was on site at a controlled burn May 16 outside of Yakima as part of the state Department of Natural Resources' interagency wildfire...
Trial by fire: State prepares for wildfire season

Trial by fire: State prepares for wildfire season

In recent years, prescribed burning has regained popularity as a one way for state and federal agencies to restore the millions of acres of...
Congress may decide fate of the lower Snake River dams

Congress may decide fate of the lower Snake River dams

A U.S. House resolution backed by three Washington Republican lawmakers protecting the lower Snake River dams from breaching to improve endangered salmon species populations...
First GMA appeal under new Hirst law

First GMA appeal under new Hirst law

Earlier this year state lawmakers and Governor Jay Inslee approved a law addressing rural growth restrictions imposed by the State Supreme Court’s 2016 Hirst...
Wheat farmer standing in field

U.S. wheat industry: No Chinese tariffs

While China still negotiates potential tariffs on American imports, the U.S. wheat industry hopes the country will abandon the plan. If the tariffs are...
High stakes in fish barrier ruling

High stakes in fish barrier ruling

Under consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court is a case between Washington state and Native American tribes concerning treaty fishing rights and the removal...
Carbon tax initiative raises numerous questions

Carbon tax initiative raises numerous questions

Although efforts in the state legislature earlier this year to enact a carbon tax were unsuccessful despite Democrat control of both chambers, proponents could...
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Lens Video: Washington’s trade future

Lens sat down with Lori Otto Punke, President of the Washington Council on International Trade, to discuss what Washington state industries reliant on global...
End of “fire-borrowing” era

End of “fire-borrowing” era

In recent years, the rising cost of fighting wildfires in National Forests has forced the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to pay for fire suppression...
Milk being poured

Organic milk farmers surviving, not thriving

Although market indicators in the 1990s pointed to organic dairy as the next fad, those farmers today are determining how to stay afloat in...
Pacific Salmon population explosion

Pacific Salmon population explosion

As Washington stakeholders and policymakers explore ways to increase the state’s population of certain salmon protected as endangered species under federal law, the Pacific...
Apple harvesting

Washington agriculture and the Chinese trade war

Washington agricultural businesses and producers need to find a new trade partner, and quick. That is what industry stakeholders are saying in response to...
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Lens Video: Promoting free trade for agriculture

Darigold President and CEO Stan Ryan discusses the importance of free trade for the agricultural industry during the 2018 Washington Council on International Trade...
Treading lightly on “no man’s land”

Treading lightly on “no man’s land”

The state Wildland Fire Advisory Committee isn’t wasting any time thinking of ways to combat wildfires in areas outside of any jurisdiction, also known...
Wildfires in “no man’s land”

Wildfires in “no man’s land”

Outside the jurisdiction of Washington’s 417 fire departments and fire stations are regions of the state known as “no man’s land”; territory where no...
Seasonal worker housing divides small town community

Seasonal worker housing divides small town community

A controversy within a tiny Central Washington community over a proposed housing unit on private land along its Main Street for foreign seasonal workers...
Central Washington Sceneryvideo

Lens Video: Revitalizing Washington’s tourism program

Lens sat down with State Rep. Cary Condotta (R-12) to discuss the future of tourism in Washington state. Lawmakers are pushing to reopen a...
Ships docked

Modernizing the state’s fishing fleet

Lawmakers and stakeholders are praising a proposal which would help encourage competitiveness of the state’s fishing and seafood processing sectors by establishing a preferential...
The dark side of carbon tax’s demise

The dark side of carbon tax’s demise

After the election of Sen. Manka Dhingra in the 45th legislative district gave Democrats control of both legislative chambers and the governorship, some wondered...
Empire Unmanned's Brock LIpple launching an eBee UAV/drone

Drones on the rise in agriculture

Agriculture’s most helpful tool may be flying over farmers’ heads. The use of drone technology is on the rise in agriculture, which assists the...
Keeping WA energy affordable

Keeping WA energy affordable

A consortium of legislation introduced this session aims to reduce the state’s carbon emissions, which are already among the lowest in the nation. On...
Lake Chelan

Revitalizing statewide tourism efforts

Two state lawmakers from central Washington are expressing the need for statewide tourism marketing, as they say Washington is overshadowed by other states’ efforts....
Windmill in plains

Utility regulatory change could add flexibility

Utility stakeholders and lawmakers are throwing their support behind a proposal which would allow additional regulatory options for electrical and natural gas companies. Proponents...
Snoqualmie Falls shot

Tourism bill garners strong support

House lawmakers on Feb. 20 heard public comment on a bill which would establish a statewide tourism agency that proponents say would fill the...
Carbon emission proposal “chasing a phantom”

Carbon emission proposal “chasing a phantom”

House lawmakers narrowly approved legislation Feb. 14 imposing more stringent carbon emission reduction goals for Washington state. ESHB 1144 would revise benchmarks created in a...
Low carbon fuel standard proposal advances

Low carbon fuel standard proposal advances

A bill calling for a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) program in Washington has cleared the House Transportation Committee and is on its way...
Critics call carbon tax “Do Not Enter” sign

Critics call carbon tax “Do Not Enter” sign

The Senate Energy, Environment & Technology has voted to advance a modified version of Governor Jay Inslee’s carbon tax proposal, giving SB 6203 a...
prescribed-burn-resources

“Burn bosses” would turn up the heat

It’s an idea befitting a scene in a sequel to Planes: Fire & Rescue – a program to train prescribed burn project managers, a.k.a:...
People preparing to hike up Mount Rainier

Stakeholders say tourism bill needs another lead authority

Tourism agency representatives are finding fault with the lead agency listed in a House bill that would establish a statewide agency for managing tourism...
Tax credit proposed to aid rural broadband

Tax credit proposed to aid rural broadband

One Washington telecom provider wants all state residents to have high-speed internet access by 2028. It’s a goal driven primarily by uneven broadband access,...
Low carbon fuel standard proposal advances

Low carbon fuel standard proposal advances

With a number of climate change proposals introduced this legislative session, Democrats may have to alter or yield on one to gain necessary Republican...
Industry: Carbon free by 2045 costly, unattainable

Industry: Carbon free by 2045 costly, unattainable

In a session dominated by climate change-related proposals, a Senate bill has been introduced calling for Washington state energy production to be carbon-free by...
Well in a garden

Hirst fix update: Water bill becomes law

After 18 months of stakeholder meetings and debate, the Washington State Legislature passed and Governor Jay Inslee signed into law a bill to address...
Top of Granite Mountain

Tourism bill draws strong support

Washington is the only state in the country without a dedicated statewide tourism agency – and this has been the case since 2011. To address...
Washington River

House Hirst bill may provide needed clarification

State lawmakers are hearing from building industry representatives and other stakeholders on a bill which aims to address the ongoing implications of the 2016...
House bill would speed cleanup on state lands

House bill would speed cleanup on state lands

Record-setting wildfire seasons in recent years have prompted consensus among state lawmakers to reform public land management practices. A new bipartisan House bill would...
State of the State: A house divided

State of the State: A house divided

Governor Jay Inslee’s January 9 State of the State speech mixed celebratory rhetoric for recent bipartisan achievements with renewed calls for climate-change-related proposals that...
Fuel standard proposal may be untenable, stakeholders warn

Stakeholders: Fuel standard proposal may be untenable

Washington state carbon emission reduction is the driving force behind an assortment of proposed legislation this session, with Governor Jay Inslee setting the mood...
old water well

Hirst bill kicks off session water use talks

As legislators embark on the 2018 session, one of the first committee meetings saw introduction of a proposal to address negative effects stemming from...
raiding-money

Raiding Washington’s toxic cleanup fund

A state Department of Ecology account intended to fund the cleanup of orphan hazardous sites in Washington is projected to have a $69 million...
Nearly half a billion spent fighting Washington wildfires since 2010

Nearly half a billion spent fighting Washington wildfires since 2010

Between 2010-2016, the State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Office of the State Fire Marshall spent nearly half a billion responding to...
Apples in barrels at an orchard

Washington apple growers may regain Indonesia trade access

U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer this month reaffirmed that Indonesian import licensing regulations for horticultural and animal products violated World Trade Organization (WTO)...
Lighthouse at the San Juan Islands

Washington tourism agencies prepare for the winter decline

As the winter months approach, Washington tourism agencies are implementing different campaigns and marketing strategies to keep travelers coming to visit state attractions. Strategies...
Camas mill closure the “canary in the coal mine”?

Camas mill closure the “canary in the coal mine”?

An Atlanta-based pulp and paper company announced this week its plans to close a Southwest Washington pulp mill that has operated since before Washington’s...
Combine Harvesting Wheat

Washington wheat growers weigh in on NAFTA, South Korean trade agreement

As North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations continue, the Washington wheat industry is sharing its concerns and hopes for a revamped contract. The...
DNR releases 20-year forest health plan

DNR releases 20-year forest health plan

If Washingtonians think wildfires are bad now, things could get even worse for future generations. According to predictions, the Pacific Northwest could lose four...
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