Erika Bolstad

Erika Bolstad

Erika Bolstad is a Stateline correspondent based in Portland, Oregon, and the author of Windfall, published by Sourcebooks in 2023. Previously, she wrote for E&E News, the McClatchy Washington Bureau and the Miami Herald.

That Hoppy IPA Might Have a Terroir, Just Like Wine

By: - September 12, 2022

ST. PAUL, Oregon — The first hint of harvest time in one of the nation’s major hop-growing regions is obvious: All along the backroads of Oregon’s Willamette Valley are trucks overflowing with ropes of bouncy, freshly cut hops dropping their distinctive bright green cones on blacktop warmed by the early September sun. Then there’s the […]

Wildfire Maps Underscore Risks — and Costs — of Climate Change

By: - August 29, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. — Jennie Peters vividly remembers what it was like to evacuate with three children from a wildfire as fierce winds blew embers through the river canyon near her home two years ago. “When we left, I could see the burning embers coming over the trees, landing in the backyard,” she said. “I called […]

Scorching Summer Tests States’ Workplace Heat Rules

By: - August 16, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. — When a record-breaking heat wave settled over the Pacific Northwest in late July, it didn’t take long for high temperatures to test the effectiveness of new state safety rules aimed at addressing the effects of climate change on both indoor and outdoor workers. As temperatures exceeded 95 degrees Fahrenheit for more than […]

Factory-Built Homes Could Help Solve Housing Crisis

By: - August 2, 2022

Read more Stateline coverage of how communities across the country are trying to create more affordable housing. EUGENE, Ore. — As a boy in the late 1950s, Terry McDonald watched as workers built an 80,000 square-foot manufacturing plant in an industrial neighborhood on the west side of Eugene. Long after childhood, McDonald felt an affinity for the […]

‘Let’s Try Something New’ Meets the National Housing Squeeze

By: - July 18, 2022

Read more Stateline coverage of how communities across the country are trying to create more affordable housing. BOISE, Idaho — Riley Romazko and her fiancé Julien Rivera were among the first to buy a shipping container home at Caritas Commons, a cluster of single-family houses built for limited-income residents on a quiet street in an older Boise […]

Without Housing, Communities Struggle to Attract Summer Workers

By: - July 5, 2022

MEDORA, N.D. – Sam Walsh discovered seasonal work via an ad on TikTok, as a new high school graduate eager to experience life beyond his hometown of San Antonio. He landed his first job as a cashier at a gift shop at Zion National Park last spring, and soon got hooked on the lifestyle. This […]

Public Defenders Were Scarce Before COVID. It’s Much Worse Now.

By: - June 21, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. — On any given day in Oregon jails, 40 or so people remain in custody without a public defender to represent them in court. Some have waited weeks for a lawyer, others have waited months. Several hundred more people charged with crimes but not in jail also await their constitutional right to counsel. The […]

Less Parking Could Mean More Housing

By: - June 8, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. — Citing environmental concerns and a lack of housing, an increasing number of cities and some West Coast states are reconsidering mandates that all homes, offices and businesses offer a minimum number of parking spots for residents, workers and customers. Leading the effort is Oregon, which is poised in July to enact permanent […]

In Replacing Monuments, Communities Reconsider How the West Was Won

By: - May 23, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. — In June 2020, protesters at the University of Oregon in Eugene toppled a statue called The Pioneer, which depicted a White man with a gun slung over his shoulder and a whip in his hand, and a second sculpture titled The Pioneer Mother. Both monuments had drawn criticism from Indigenous student groups […]

Climate Change is Pushing Toxic Chemicals into Drinking Wells

By: - April 28, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. — Don Myron is probably best known as the guy who survived one of the deadliest fires in Oregon’s history by sheltering overnight in a river with a patio chair. So there was never any question that Myron would rebuild his home in Oregon’s Santiam Canyon after the house was destroyed in the […]

Western ‘Zoom Towns’ Take Aim at Short-Term Rentals

By: - December 23, 2021

Editor’s note: This story was updated Jan. 6, 2022, to clarify the number of short-term rental units in Summit County, Colorado.  DEPOE BAY, Ore. — Postcards with big promises began showing up in mailboxes in Oregon coastal communities in 2019: “Rent your home short term, use it when you want to, guaranteed $5,000 more monthly […]

The Era of Beach Driving May Be Coming to a Close

By: - July 19, 2021

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Derek Brockbank’s name. PACIFIC CITY, Ore. — To access the beach, Nicole Boulden eased her all-wheel drive Dodge Durango from the highway down a steep, rock-strewn access road toward the ocean. Behind her, Boulden’s friend Kari Layman, 47, drove a Dodge Caravan very carefully […]