PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Trump administration has slashed millions of acres of protected habitat for the imperiled northern spotted owl in Oregon, Washington and northern California. Much of the land is in prime timber locations in Oregon’s coastal ranges. Environmentalists on Wednesday accused the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under President Donald Trump of taking a parting shot at protections designed to help restore the species in favor of the timber industry. Timber groups have applauded the decision and say more logging in forests is necessary to prevent wildfires. The spotted owl is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and has lost nearly 4% of its population each year.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon has surpassed 1,700 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic. The Oregon Health Authority reported 1,346 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 41 additional deaths Wednesday, bringing the total amount of cases to 129,109 and raising the death toll to 1,708. Nearly 15,000 new doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been added to the state’s immunization registry. To date, more than 320,000 doses of vaccine have been delivered to sites across Oregon, including at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem where the National Guard is helping administer doses. Brown, who visited the mass vaccination site Wednesday, said up to 3,000 people receive a dose of the vaccine a day at the site, calling it an “extraordinary effort.”
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A racing pigeon has survived an extraordinary 8,000-mile Pacific Ocean crossing from the United States to find a new home in Australia. Now authorities consider the bird a quarantine risk and plan to kill it. Kevin Celli-Bird says he discovered the exhausted bird that arrived in his Melbourne backyard in December had disappeared from a race in Oregon two months earlier. Experts suspect the pigeon, named Joe after the president-elect, hitched a ride on a cargo ship. Joe’s feat has attracted the attention of Australian media but also of the notoriously strict quarantine authorities. Celli-Bird says they asked him to catch the bird because they considered it a disease risk. He says the American Pigeon Union confirmed it was registered to an owner in Montgomery, Alabama.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Sixteen days before the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and nearly 2,900 miles away, an eerily similar incident occurred at the Oregon Capitol when 50 protesters breached the building — where lawmakers were working — and clashed with law enforcement. Security video shows an Oregon Republican lawmaker had physically opened the Capitol’s door — letting protesters gain access to the building. Oregon lawmakers called for the resignation of Rep. Mike Nearman of Independence ahead of the upcoming Legislative session that begins next week. The legal consequences that Nearman, one of the chamber’s most conservative Republicans, might face are still unfolding. He did not return an email seeking comment.