Emily Schwing | KNKX

Emily Schwing

Boise State Public Radio

Towns in central and northeast Washington are under flood watches as rivers swell from rapid snowmelt in the mountains.

In the small Washington border town of Oroville, the Okanogan River is above flood stage and the river is expected to begin flooding south as the week progresses.

Demonstrators took to land and sea in British Columbia Wednesday as energy giant Kinder Morgan hosted shareholders at an annual meeting in Texas. In Houston, tribal leaders voiced their opposition to the company’s proposed expansion of the Trans-Mountain Pipeline—a project that could increase the amount of crude oil shipped to Washington state.

Washington Supreme Court justices will be in northeastern Washington Tuesday to hear three cases in Nespelem, where the Confederated Tribes of the Colville are headquartered.

As tick season reaches its peak in the Northwest, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control says diseases spread by tiny creatures like mosquitoes and ticks have tripled in the U.S. over the last 14 years.

A disease that affects wild elk populations has been spreading in Western Washington for a decade. Now, wildlife managers say they have found evidence of elk hoof disease east of the Cascades.

The last caribou herd in the Lower 48 is dwindling. According to aerial survey data collected earlier this spring, it’s down from 11 animals last year to just three.

Federal officials were in Spokane Wednesday night to talk about the future of the Columbia River Treaty, an agreement between the U.S. and Canada that dates back to 1964. It governs hydropower and flood control measures along the upper reaches of the 1,200 mile Columbia River.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee was on the shore of Lake Union in Seattle Wednesday to launch a cross-border flight service between the Emerald City and Vancouver, British Columbia.

A report out last month says visitors spent nearly $740 million in communities near U.S. Forest Service lands in Washington and Oregon. The number of visitors and dollars coming into the region hasn’t changed much in nearly two decades.

Forests and grasslands in Eastern Washington state are at high risk for large, intense wildfire. This spring Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to using controlled burning on more than 1,000 acres in Okanogan, Ferry and Pend Oreille counties.

The “Mobile Mouth”, a 42-foot long mobile dentist’s office, will stop in Portland and Spokane this week as part of a nationwide tour to provide free dental care to veterans. 

Nearly half of the members of the Colville Reservation in northeastern Washington state have ties to a tribe that Canada says no longer exists. In 1956, the last member of the Sinixt in Canada passed away.

A Native American man has been sentenced to four months in jail and he’ll have to pay more than $1,000 in fines for illegally catching and selling chinook salmon and sturgeon in Washington state.

The new person in charge of regional firefighters at the U.S. Forest Service has called for an increase in prescribed fire and a change in attitude about wildfires.

The long-range forecast for the upcoming wildfire season in the Northwest is out. And even though Oregon and Washington are in the same region, forecasts for the individual states are pretty different.

It may still be wet and muddy out there, and snow may even be on the ground in some places, but it’s also the time of year when wildland firefighters start to gear up for hot, dry weather and wildfires.

If all goes according to plan, there could soon be salmon above the Grand Coulee Dam again. That’s according to Cody Desautel, director of Natural Resources for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville. 

The FBI is recognizing Coeur D’Alene tribal member Bernie LaSarte for her efforts to combat domestic violence in the Idaho Panhandle.



What’s the best way to learn a language? Salish teachers are using music and song to introduce their Native American language to new speakers. It’s a language spoken by many tribes across the Northwest.

Every year, a conference that celebrates Salish culminates in an annual karaoke contest in Spokane. Contestants have to translate a song and perform it in front of judges.

Native speakers from across the Northwest and Canada are in Spokane this week to speak Salish and learn from those who teach it.

In the opening scenes of the documentary film United by Water, writer Sherman Alexie reads his poem ‘Powwow At The End Of The World.’

     I am told by many of you that I must forgive and so I shall

     after an Indian woman puts her shoulder to the Grand Coulee Dam

     and topples it. I am told by many of you that I must forgive

     and so I shall …

Every year, wildlife officials keep track of how many salmon return to their spawning grounds. This year, they expect low returns of salmon in Washington state—and that could change the fishing outlook.



A bill that’s making its way through the Washington state House of Representatives would make campaign contributions more transparent. It passed the state Senate last month.

Last month, a Washington state resident was fined more than $8,000 for poaching three wolves in 2016. DNA evidence linked him to three separate kills, but other poaching cases remain unsolved. 

Museum curators in the Northwest are now working to update exhibits that focus on the region’s indigenous people. They are trying to do that in a way that both modernizes stories of indigenous people and tells them more truthfully. 

Right next door to the current Burke Museum at the University of Washington in Seattle is a much larger building under construction. When it’s complete, it will serve as the new state Museum of Natural History and Culture.

There’s all kinds of stuff found in beers these days: cucumbers, pumpkins—-and plums A small brewery in Spokane will start selling beer they’ve made from local plums.

The fruit was repurposed with help from a non-profit that aims to cut down on food waste.



British Columbia is taking the next step in a decade-long battle over native tribal rights. The province has filed paperwork to appeal a decision that granted Washington state tribal members rights to their ancestral lands in Canada.

The Washington state House Environment Committee hosted public hearings Tuesday on two bills that would restrict a class of chemicals found in everything from firefighting retardant to food wrappers.

Perflourinated (PFAS) chemicals have been linked to numerous health problems, from endocrine disruption to cancer.

The last herd of caribou found anywhere in the lower 48 states is in the Pacific Northwest. To be clear, this caribou herd is tiny.

“Today, these are the last 11 that occupy habitat in the Lower 48.”

Pages