Central Washington

News on topics that affect central Washington.

"That's the old industry," Tom Auvil tells me, nodding toward an apple orchard that we're driving past. We're near Wenatchee, Wash., which calls itself the Apple Capital of the World. Auvil grew up in the apple business, and until recently, he was a horticulturist for the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission.

A north central Washington hospital has discharged a Bellingham girl who emerged from the woods alive two days after a plane crash.

A sixteen-year-old girl from Bellingham, Washington, walked out of the woods Monday afternoon -- two days after surviving a small plane crash in the North Cascades.

Fire crews said Monday afternoon that the Douglas County Complex fire burning near Wenatchee, Washington, is at least 55 percent contained.

A wildfire outside Wenatchee has destroyed at least 24 homes and burned 3000 acres. The worst-affected areas are still off-limits. But many of those who evacuated Sunday night are starting to return home and assess the damage.

Sheriffs officers are combing through a neighborhood in the central Washington city of Wenatchee Monday morning. They're trying to figure out exactly how many homes were destroyed in the so-called Sleepy Hollow Fire.

People were evacuated from several dozen houses nestled in canyons above Wenatchee. 

A sure-fire way to spark lively opinions in Washington State is to ask about wolves, or right now, grizzly bears. The National Park Service and the US Fish and Wildlife did just that to find out about public perceptions of a bear restoration proposal.

A Methow Valley public utility district has won its long-running legal battle against a state agency over the route of new electric power lines. It's been nearly two decades since the Public Utility District Number 1 of Okanogan County decided to build a new high capacity power line from Pateros to Twisp to eliminate frequent power losses and outages.

But from the beginning, the utility district ran into environmental and legal hurdles, not the least of which was the Department of Natural Resources objection to running a new line over state school trust lands.

Washington's first - and so far, only - experiment in community forest management marks its first year of development this month. The Teanaway Community Forest north of Cle Elum on the east slopes of the Cascades is a 50,000-plus acre tract in the headwaters of the Yakima River basin.

Flickr - Dana Styber: https://flic.kr/p/pu65Td

A combination of state and federal money will fund salmon recovery projects in 29 Washington counties. Most of the $18 million scraped together by the Washington salmon recovery funding board will go to removing barriers which block salmon from migrating, to dump logs and tree root balls into rivers and streams to give the fish hiding, feeding and spawning pools and to planting bank-side shade plants to cool the water.