Three young environmental activists are visiting Sandpoint, this Saturday, to talk about a pair of lawsuits challenging government to do more to combat climate change.

The trio is involved in two lawsuits filed by young people, ranging from age 9 to 21, that say the government has failed in a duty to protect young people from the ravages of climate change.

One suit is making its way through federal court in Oregon, another has been filed here in Washington State.

A federal civil trial in Seattle against Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway is on hold pending a tentative settlement in a case brought by seven environmental groups that has been in litigation since 2013.

Plaintiffs argued coal dust and pieces of coal the company ships from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin across the Northwest have been polluting Washington’s waterways for years in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.

Nature will begin to restore fire-blackened acreage next spring, but it will likely use a nasty vegetative troll to do it - cheatgrass.

This has been a bad week for the US Environmental Protection Agency. On the same day the agency had to admit that it fouled a Colorado river with millions of gallons of toxic mine waste, federal judges in Seattle told the EPA to quit stalling and dithering about a controversial pesticide.

It may sound odd to think of restoring a vital wetlands on Lake Pend Oreille by throwing old logs, tree limbs and dirt into it. But that's what government agencies and volunteers are doing in the rapidly disappearing Clark Fork River delta.

Environmentalist Julian Powers died on Tuesday in Spokane. Verne paid tribute to him this morning on the Morning Classical program. Read more about Julian Powers here.  

An unusual experiment begins this summer on Idaho's Hayden Lake - testing of man-made floating wetlands that may save the lake from slowly choking to death. The Hayden Area Regional Sewer Board and the Kootenai Environmental Alliance have teamed up to make the artificial wetlands.

They call it "biomimickry technology."

The idea is launch the floating pads, made from recycled plastic and planted with native wetland vegetation, and let them eat up nutrients - primarily phosphorus - which are slowly strangling Hayden Lake.

A couple of popular public campgrounds - one in Idaho and one in Washington - are out of commission for the entire year for an unusual reason --- sick trees above both campsites.

Several environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Transportation over new rules for oil train traffic that they say do not go far enough to protect against catastrophic accidents.

Laurie Jackson

Rural residents of Washington are preparing for a dry, hot summer, and bracing for what could be a bad fire year. Steve Jackson reports on efforts to safeguard property. Last weekend, the Department of Natural Resources teamed up with local fire districts and homeowners to kick off  “Wildfire Awareness Week.