Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hydropower and national forests in statewide news

The U.S. Department of Energy just announced that two Oregon companies would receive over $2 million in funding to research and develop hydropower technologies. Bend-based Earth by Design will receive $1.5 million for work on a new sustainable, small-scale hydropower technology, while Natel Energy of Madras will share a $746,042 prize with its Alameda, CA location to test a hydroEngine at a Bureau of Reclamation facility in Oregon. Sixteen grants were awarded to projects throughout the country, to be disbursed over the next three years.

Sticking with the environmental theme, a report yesterday from The Oregonian gives details a new survey released by the U.S. Forest Service that shows the economic impact of Oregon's eight national forests. Park visitors spend $440 million each year in entry and other fees, supporting around 15,000 jobs. The results -- which also include demographic information and details on visitors' activities -- allow the Forest Service to determine the economic value of recreation, and inform management and budget issues. Get more details in the full story.

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