Environment

Tim Wallace / Descartes Labs

Light pollution is usually associated with big towns and cities. But a new kind of light pollution map shows it’s also a problem in rural areas, including in the Mountain West.

 

Justin Burger / Flickr Creative Commons


Want to help save declining bees and butterflies? Or maybe you're curious about raising chickens for fresh eggs, or how to compost like a pro? 

About one-third of Americans live in areas that regularly have unhealthy levels of air pollution, according to a new analysis out this week from Environment America, an organization of state-based environmental advocacy groups throughout the country.

Cecil D. Andrus Papers / Special Collections and Archives, Boise State University

 


If you travel 30 miles south of Boise to Murphy, you'll find a unique home for the highest nesting density of birds of prey in North America. This is the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, which celebrated its 25th anniversary two years ago.  

Matthew Roth / Flickr Creative Commons

Rural economies could get a massive boost under policies meant to decrease carbon emissions, according to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank.

 

Nati Harnik / AP Images

 

Earlier this month, the Trump Administration proposed changes to fundamental environmental rules. The National Environmental Policy Act has been in place since President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1970. 

But in recent years, some people have questioned whether some elements of NEPA go too far, holding back industries like ranching and mining. 

On a frigid Tuesday evening, Brent Yatkeman is scrambling to save an avalanche victim buried in the snow somewhere on a ski hill near Park City, Utah. 

DARIN OSWALD / Idaho Statesman


Idaho’s oil and gas industry continues to spark interest, concern and controversy, especially in Payette County. Natural gas was discovered in southwest Idaho in 2010. Since then several gas wells and one oil well have been built. Now those wells are changing hands -- again. The new owner wants to put past issues of transparency and underpayments by the first owner behind him.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission is calling on the National Park Service to cancel its plans to use aerial gunning to remove invasive mountain goats from Grand Teton National Park.

On Wednesday, the commission passed a resolution condemning the plan, writing, "Having government personnel kill mountain goats from helicopters and leaving them to rot and be wasted is unacceptable."

Audrey Magoun USFWS FPWC

Several conservation groups filed notice Thursday that they intend to sue the Trump administration over protections for wolverines.

NOAA

It was a dry start to the year for some mountain ranges in the region, but recent storms brought most Mountain West snowpack levels back to normal.

 

Herds of mountain goats occupy mountain ranges all around the Mountain West. Not all are native, though, and some of those transplants are causing problems. That's the case in Wyoming's Teton Range.

STR / AP Images

 

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise has sent wildfire supression crews to help fight the Australian Bushfires. NIFC spokesperson Jessica Gardetto talks more about how countries share resources and how changing fire seasons are impacting the need for firefighters internationally. 

Milo Burcham


  Twenty-five years ago, wolves were reintroduced in Idaho. Ranchers feared for their livestock while wolf supporters celebrated their return. The controversial decision still is playing out today. We talk with Suzanne Stone of the Wood River Wolf Project and former Idaho Statesman environmental reporter Rocky Barker about this historic anniversary.

This segment originally aired on Feb. 4, 2019. 

Wanna Know Idaho asked Idahoans to submit questions they want answered about our state. In the latest edition, host Frankie Barnhill seeks to answer the question on everybody's mind - "what happens to the poop at Zoo Boise?" Barnhill joins Idaho Matters to flush out the answer.

Coalville and West Valley City are the latest Utah communities to commit to transitioning to 100% net-renewable energy use by 2030. There are now 20 local governments participating in the statewide effort.

Toby Talbot / AP Images

Right before Christmas, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission rejected a proposed settlement agreement that would have changed how folks with solar panels are paid for the excess power generated at their homes. The rejection means residents with solar panels will continue to receive the same amount for power that's put back into the grid. We talk with Idaho Power CEO Darrel Anderson and Ben Otto of the Idaho Conservation League about who wins under the current policy, and what it means for the future of solar power in Idaho. 

A nonprofit conservation group is launching what it says is one of the largest lawsuits ever brought under the Endangered Species Act. 

Rae Ellen Bichell / Mountain West New Bureau

Feral pigs cause an estimated $1.5 billion in damage each year, especially to crops. Now concern is mounting they could be at the doorstep in parts of the Mountain West.

An extraordinary discovery in the backyard of Colorado Springs has created a window into an evolutionary period we previously knew very little about.

Glenn Beltz / Flickr Creative Commons

Waste is just another part of the holidays. From Christmas trees to wrapping paper and food containers, here are some tips for reducing and correctly disposing of waste.

 


Michael Coghlan / Flickr Creative Commons

Solar panel owners may soon get credited less for the excess power they produce.

 

Oregon Couple Committed To Preserving The Golden Eagles

Dec 11, 2019
Joe Atkinson

This segment originally aired February 7, 2019.

Cordi and Joe Atkinson have been caring for birds of prey for nearly four decades. From hunting with falcons to rehabilitating injured eagles, the Atkinsons have become the faces of predatory bird preservation. The Atkinsons join Idaho Matters to discuss their work and the role the birds play in the Idaho ecosystem.

via Lonesome Larry Project

When Topher Jones was in 5th grade, his class raised sockeye salmon to learn about the endangered species. The lesson inspired the driven student to make a difference and help save the sockeye. Idaho Matters talks with the 11-year-old founder of the Lonesome Larry Project, which sells socks to support research and conservation of the fish. 

Roger Phillips

 


There’s a symbiotic relationship between hunting and conservation, and we’re not just talking about a romantic notion of our hunter-gatherer roots. But with the number of hunters on the decline nationally, stakeholders are banding together to attract a different type of hunter. We get a firsthand account from Boise State Public Radio's Heath Druzin, who recently took a trek into the wilderness for this story.

 

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