Environment

An article published in the journal, Nature, this month explains how a 130 million year old fossilized skull is shaking up scientists’ understanding of how and when the earth’s continents broke apart.

The skull was from a small fur-covered, egg-laying mammal that co-existed with the dinosaurs called the Cifelliodon wakarmoosuch.

Springtime in the Mountain West means newborn animals. And with that comes opportunities for some very adorable wildlife viewing and photography. But officials want to remind visitors and locals alike to hold back from interacting with young wildlife.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Winds from the Pacific coast bring much-needed rains to dry Southern Idaho this time of year. For wheat farmers, they may also carry a tiny threat: fungal spores, which cause stripe rust.

Courtesy U.S. Forest Service

President Trump has overturned a rule requiring outfitters to pay river and backcountry guides on public lands a minimum wage.

The Interior Department wants to open up a quarter-million acres at national wildlife refuges for hunting and fishing.

The move would impact 21 states. In our region, it would expand hunting at a refuge in Utah  and another in Montana. It would also open Montana’s Swan River refuge to big game hunting for the first time.

Until fairly recently, it was illegal to harvest rainwater in Colorado. Now, as in a number of other Western states, it’s seen as alternative water source in an increasingly dry landscape. But is rainwater safe?

Sybil Sharvelle, an environmental engineer at Colorado State University, is one researcher trying to answer that question.

Amanda Peacher / Mountain West New Bureau

When you hear about companies like REI or Patagonia, you might think about tents, rain jackets or hikers in puffy coats on a mountaintop. But how about politics? These outdoorsy companies are part of a new wave of business advocates fighting for public lands.

Rowdy Muir started fighting fires on the front lines when he was 27.

sage grouse, wildlife
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr Creative Commons

Currently the sage grouse is not listed under the Endangered Species Act. And a bill before Congress  would prevent that from happening anytime in the next decade.

Conservationists from around the country are opposing congressional legislation to allow a four-lane highway through a desert tortoise preserve in fast-growing southwestern Utah.

Wildfire season is ramping up across our region. There are all sorts of people involved in waiting, watching and fighting them -- people you might not expect. We’re profiling some of them in a series, Faces Behind The Fires.


Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Boise's new orange bag recycling program asks customers who live in residential buildings with fewer than eight units to sort their recyclables, after 10 years of a simpler mixed recycling service.

Twenty-eight great plains tribes are demanding two different sites in Yellowstone National Park be renamed. The request says Hayden Valley and Mount Doane are offensive because they memorialize a racist and a murderer. But with local government officials opposing the change, it seems unlikely to happen.

Black bear attacks are extremely rare, but that could be changing. Wildlife officials say with more people coming into contact with wildlife, the chances for conflict will also increase. 

Every summer, it takes a village to fight wildfires. For this upcoming season, we spoke with all kinds of people that lend a hand, from those on the frontlines, to others working a bit further back from the flames. For the Faces Behind the Fire series, Maggie Mullen talked to an archeologist with the U.S. Forest Service who helps decide what needs be preserved and what can be left to burn.


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