Environment

DAVID MCNEW / GETTY IMAGES

Emissions from Boise metro area traffic have gone up almost 146% over the last two decades, according to a New York Times analysis published Wednesday from Boston University’s data. Pollution from transportation grew faster than the area's population, resulting in a 12% pollution increase per capita from 1990-2017.

Travis S. / Flickr

More than two hundred species in Idaho are threatened and edging closer to the endangered species list. One bill on Capitol Hill is aiming to change that.


Larry Lamsa via Flickr

A new report from the National Audubon Society paints a grim picture for the future of North America’s birds. The group says nearly two-thirds of bird species could go extinct due to climate change.


David Zalubowski / AP Images


In September, a new study in the Journal Science documented a 29% decrease of bird populations since 1970. The number was shocking, but not surprising for people who follow these trends. Wildlife advocates say one of the best ways to stop this movement is with an act of Congress.

 

FLICK/NPS CLIMATE CHANGE RESPONSE

Idaho’s fairly quiet fire year is reflected in its bank account, with this year’s wildfire bill coming in far less than average.


Lily Colson / IDAHO POWER

This segment originally aired August 7, 2019.

Ten-year-old Lily Colson likes penguins and polar bears and she wanted to protect them from the effects of climate change. This Boise 4th grader somehow went from protecting penguins to coming up with a new way to use solar power ... without having to build more infrastructure. She calls the idea “Solar Lines.”

Wildland firefighters use fire retardant — the red stuff that air tankers drop — to suppress existing blazes. But Stanford researchers have developed a gel-like fluid they say makes fire retardant last longer and could prevent wildfires from igniting in the first place if applied to ignition-prone areas.

Montana Fish Wildlife And Parks / AP Images

The caribou are now officially an endangered species and they have all been removed from the continental U.S. The last caribou was recently airlifted from the Selkirk Mountain Range to British Columbia where a restoration project is underway.  Idaho Matters explains the restoration project and the likelihood of seeing the animals in the country again.

A radical environmental movement that originated in the UK is now going international, with several chapters in the Mountain West. 

CAXTON PRESS

This segment originally aired May 21, 2019.

Working the Wilderness: Early Leaders for Wild Land relates the stories of five U.S. Forest Service workers who literally wrote the book on working and living in the wilderness. Idaho Matters talks with author John McCarthy about these early pioneers of wilderness protection.

Rolf Peterson / Michigan Technological University

What do elk populations, wolf teeth and saber tooth tigers have in common? They may provide clues to help today’s struggling large predators.


Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks via AP

U.S. officials on Wednesday announced protections for woodland caribou and their habitat in parts of Idaho and Washington.

Idaho Statesman File

A northern Idaho steelhead fishing competition has been cancelled indefinitely because of dwindling attendance and low fish stocks.

Flickr Creative Commons, Jo Zimny Photos

The near-freezing night temperatures of the last week in Boise make it hard to remember that just a month ago, the city was close to triple digits. Is winter early this year, or is this quick transition actually pretty normal?

 

Molly Wampler/ Boise State Public Radio

75 acres of land were donated to the City of Boise in hopes of preserving wildlife habitats. A Boise couple donated the land near Polecat Gulch Reserve, making it the largest land donation to the city since 2003.

Tom Mangelsen / AP Images

For women who like to recreate in Mountain West states like Idaho, it's long been said that you should avoid camping while on your period. The idea was that this would attract wild amimals. But is there truth to this idea? Or is it more myth than fact? In this story, we learn this notion originated from an incident at Glacier National Park over 50 years ago. Maggie Mulles of the Mountain West News Bureau explains how this myth took on a life of its own. 

Reservoirs can get messy after a big wildfire. The issue isn’t the fire itself, it’s what happens after. 

So far this year, the Wyoming Department of Health has issued algae bloom advisories for 16 lakes and reservoirs across the state, a spike that mirrors the record number potentially toxic blooms across the country in 2019, as counted by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group.

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio

In late 2018, researchers in Yellowstone National Park made a grim discovery: The first golden eagle in the park ever fitted with a tracking transmitter was dead.

Our region is leading the way on training helicopter pilots to fight fires at night.  There are costs and hazards involved but the move could also help firefighters get the most threatening blazes under control more quickly.

Science

A study published this week in the journal Science found that the bird population in the U.S. and Canada has fallen by nearly 30%, or 3 billion birds, over the past 48 years.

 

Roger Phillips / Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Idaho Fish and Game is shutting down steelhead fishing early this fall on the Clearwater and Snake rivers at the end of this month, which outfitters say will hurt.

For the second time this year, kids around the world are striking from school to demand action around climate change. And it’s happening just before world leaders gather at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City. There were only a handful of strikes in our region last time but this time there are several dozen.

Much of the Mountain West saw record breaking snowfall last year which was great news for the mountain resort industry. This year's snowfall may be less intense. 

Mia Goodwin

The University of Idaho now ranks 6th in the country for its clean energy use. 

 


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