Environment

Mike Duniway / USGS

A new study in the journal Science says that human-driven climate change is pushing the American West into a megadrought, and into its driest period in more than 400 years.

 

Courtesy Idaho Power

 


As a response to the coronavirus pandemic and widespread layoffs, Idaho Power has declared it will not be disconnecting power for those who fail to pay their bill. That’s one of several changes Idaho Power has made to the way it runs the state’s power grid. 

 

Elaine Thompson / AP Images

 


The coronavirus has stopped many things that happen each year: birthdays, weddings and holidays just to name a few. But one thing that doesn’t stop because of a virus is wildfires.

Overall, Idaho has had a pretty good winter when it comes to snowfall. What does that mean for the state’s precipitation picture? Frankie Barnhill explains.

Mark Plummer / Flickr Creative Commons

 

  

Since 1932, the Natural Resources Conservation Service has collected and published updates about snowpack, precipitation, reservoirs and streamflow in Idaho. This data in part helps the agriculture industry prepare for the coming months. 

Bureau of Land Management

 


COVID-19 is taking most of our attention now, but in the midst of it all, another crisis is on the horizon: it’s almost wildfire season in Idaho. 

Brian Albers / KUER

Some of the nation's top polluters are now running on the honor system after the Environmental Protection Agency last week announced relaxed enforcement of environmental regulations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

UCAR / Flickr Creative Commons

A proposed wind farm in southern Idaho could become one of the largest in the nation.

 

hefty, orange bag, energybag, energy bag, recycling
City of Boise

 


Boise city officials told residents they could recycle certain plastics for repurposing as diesel fuel as part of the EnergyBag program. 

Idaho Statesman

 


As spring weather in parts of Idaho begins to make an appearance, you might be daydreaming about warm gatherings with friends and family on a green patch of grass in a local park. In Boise, Parks and Recreation officials are already planning for the busy spring and summer months by taking a new strategy to maintain those green spaces.  

Mike Duniway / USGS

As water becomes more scarce in the Mountain West, a new analysis finds that a surprising amount is being used to raise cattle.

geese, birds, greenbelt
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Walking her dogs every evening in Meridian, Wanna Know Idaho listener Morgan Keating began to wonder: what’s up with all these seagulls? And suddenly, birds of all kinds were everywhere. (Cue the cliche Hitchcock montage.) 

Ted S. Warren / AP Images

Between 1938-1976, the federal government built four dams on the Snake River. The dams are authorized for hydropower, navigation, recreation, fish and wildlife, water quality and irrigation. But damming any major river has serious implications for wildlife – in this case: salmon. 

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.

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