Environment

Brent Moore / Flickr Creative Commons

After years of courtroom battles, it’s official: farmers and ranchers won’t have to report emissions of animal waste.

ALEXI HUBBELL PHOTOGRAPHY / Wyoming Public Media

Everybody loves a late-summer outdoor wedding, and what is a better setting than the natural splendor of the Gem State? The smoky haze from the region's wildfires are filling up the skies, though, and couples are worrying about the health of their wedding guests. Might there be a grey haze in all the wedding photos?

Wildfire smoke reached dangerous levels across the Mountain West Monday. Eastern Washington had the worst air in the country and all 56 counties in Montana were under an air quality alert – possibly the first time that’s happened in the state’s history.

Over the last 30 years, the West has seen an uptick in the size and frequency of forest fires. Scientists have typically attributed the change to low snowpack and high summer temperatures. But researchers writing in the journal PNAS say the trend could have more to do with rain.

Researchers pulled up maps of forest wildfires from 1979 to 2016 and compared those maps against data on snow, rain, temperature and humidity.

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality

Fires across Idaho are burning and creating smoky conditions in some regions. But the smoke from Gem State fires is just one reason for the haze blanketing much of the state.


drought, field, agriculture
Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

More and more of Idaho is beginning to dry up. Nearly a third of the state is now officially under drought conditions.

You may not have noticed, but a few months ago the Trump Administration stopped using a century-old law to fine industries when birds are accidentally killed by oil spills, power lines or wind farms.

John Lillis / Flickr Creative Commons

If you’re preparing to go on a float trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, beware: The river’s namesake will be spawning below the surface for the next four weeks.

If there's a fee for either a camping site or a day use area on Forest Service land, there's probably some kind of toilet there. But solving the problem of human waste in vaulted or backcountry toilets is not as easy as flushing it out of the system.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Interior Department is once again facing change in agency leadership. The acting head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has stepped down. 

James Dawson/BSPR

The Peregrine Fund will be holding an auction of raptor art.  We talk to the World Center for Birds of Prey about the event.

Natalie McNear / Flickr Creative Commons

Moths are causing problems in camping areas around Smiths Ferry. Turns out the fuzzy-looking creatures can sting anyone who cross paths with them. 

As record wildfires rage across the West, funding for fire prevention science is in jeopardy. Under President Donald Trump's 2019 budget proposal, cuts to various programs will be significant.

Rich Pedroncelli

An air tanker that’s meant to put out wildfires actually started several blazes Monday in North Idaho. All of the fires were quickly put out by firefighters.

michaelarcand / Flickr Creative Commons

The federal government has taken over regulating underground injection wells in Idaho in a move that could boost the state's oil and natural gas production by making it cheaper to dispose of wastewater.

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