Environment

Predictive Services, NIFC

Although Idaho has yet to see any big fires this year, the risk of fire increases in August and wildland fire potential is above average. 


Congressman Mike Simpson's Office / via Idaho Statesman

 

Stanley, Idaho Mayor Steve Botti has his hands full. Besides coronavirus, wildfires, earthquake aftershocks and routine city business, Botti has been dealing with a controversial trail plan and the retaliation that has come from moving forward with constructing that trail. Mayor Botti joins Idaho Matters live to talk about what's been going on in his small town. 

Boise Bicycle Project / via Facebook

 

Each year, Boise Goathead Fest celebrates celebrates the capital city's bicycling culture with a big gathering of cyclists in a downtown park. The goathead is the common name for the puncture vine, a pesky invasive weed that embeds in bike tires and causes many flats throughout the year. They're found in the Boise foothills, but goatheads can also wreak havoc on the Greenbelt and roads around the Treasure Valley. 

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to uphold a federal judge’s 2018 decision to keep Yellowstone grizzly bears under Endangered Species Act protections. 

Dan Joling / AP File Photo

 

When stay-at-home-orders went into effect in states across the U.S. to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, ecologists realized they had a perfect research opportunity to study the connection between traffic patterns and animals killed in collisions. Fraser Shilling, with the Road Ecology Lab at UC Davis, was one of those scientists. 

Idaho Geological Survey

It’s been three months since a 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck northwest of Stanley on March 31. Since then, Stanley residents have felt many more rumbles and geologists have deployed to central Idaho, investigating what happened and what it can tell us about Idaho’s seismic nature.

 


Unsplash

Two-thirds of Americans think the federal government should be doing more to reduce the impacts of climate change, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.


USEPA / Flickr Creative Commons

The Great American Outdoors Act has passed the Senate with solid bipartisan support – but bipartisan doesn’t mean unanimous. A group of 73 voted yes while 25 voted no, including all of the senators from public land-heavy Idaho, Wyoming and Utah.


For over a decade, thousands have flocked to the Rocky Mountains in search of a supposed treasure worth at least $2 million. But that treasure hunt is over now.

Camel's Back Park North End Trail Hill Hiker
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

 


As the state opens back up, health care and government experts are saying that being outdoors is relatively safe, since physical distancing is easier outside. But that doesn’t mean you’re totally safe when you leave your house. 

A bill to permanently fund conservation efforts and reduce maintenance backlogs across public lands will soon be up for a vote in the U.S. Senate.

The inaugural #BlackBirdersWeek kicked off on Sunday. The virtual event came about in response to the racist incident in Central Park last week when a white woman called the police after a Black birder asked her to put her dog on a leash.

Otto Kitsinger / Idaho Statesman

 

Across the country, cities are closing streets to cars to encourage socially-distanced exercise, or to allow restaurants to seat patrons away from one another. Now, the trend has hit Idaho. 

Cathleen Allison / AP Photo

 

If you want to protect a species, understanding and protecting their habitat is essential. In Idaho, one of the creatures at risk of extinction is the sage grouse, named after the landscape they rely on for food and shelter. The science that’s conducted in the sage brush sea can inform the policy decisions by land managers at the Interior Department, and can protect hundreds of other species at the same time. 

Idaho Power / via Facebook

 

In the 1950s and 60s, towns across the American west were razed and relocated to make way for major hydroelectric projects. These towns were essentially drowned by the reservoirs and rivers that replaced them. 

Birds of Prey National Conservation Area Partnership / Facebook


Have you ever wanted to take a tour of the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area? How about a guided walk along the petroglyphs in Celebration Park near Melba? Would you like to tips to better spot raptors? Draw a kestrel? Let your kids make a short-eared owl mask?

Madelyn Beck / Mountain West News Bureau

When I was little, my dad and I would walk behind our house in west-central Montana and stare at the ground. And then walk. Stare. Walk. Stare. We'd do this for hours, searching for that tasty, edible and highly prized morel mushroom.


AP Images

 

On Sunday, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens in Washington erupted. The volcanic blast and its after effects killed 57 people and caused millions of dollars of damage, sending ash and sulphuric acid into Idaho, Oregon and across Washington. 

Zoo Boise


There are many places in our communities that we cannot visit right now. One of them in the Treasure Valley is Zoo Boise. How are the animals doing? What about the staff that takes care of the creatures? And when might we get to visit the giraffes, tigers and African dogs that live there?

James Mann / Flickr Creative Commons

 

The coronavirus pandemic is exposing a lot of issues in our society. One of those? Food insecurity. But at the same time that our world seems to be facing the worst of problems, communities are coming together to tackle these together. 

In much of the West, snowpack levels have historically been one of the more reliable ways to determine whether a drought was coming. But a new study says climate change could soon make snowpack data much less reliable.

Payette Land Trust

 

A 100-acre ranch along the South Fork of the Salmon River is now under a conservation easement with the Payette Land Trust, ensuring the land won’t be used for future mining development. 

Neal Herbert / NPS

A National Wildlife Federation report published this week says new oil and gas leases on public lands could harm existing hunting economies in the West.


Molly Wampler / Boise State Public Radio


The Boise Bicycle Project has a new friend in the Treasure Valley. The Nampa Bicycle Project is up and running and is now fully established as a 501(c)3 non-profit. 

Greg Gibson / AP Images

 


Fifty years ago today as air pollution choked America’s skies, and oily, oozing rivers – like one in Cleveland – caught fire and burned, a senator and 20 college students decided to make a change. 

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