Environment

selwaybitterroot.org

The State of Idaho is offering special Selway-Bitterroot and Frank Church Foundation license plates to benefit conservation in the River of No Return Wilderness areas. Idaho Matters looks at that region of the state and the artist behind the license plates.

Since 1964 the Land and Water Conservation Fund has used royalties from oil and gas leasing to protect natural areas, water resources and cultural heritage, as well as to provide recreation opportunities. The Fund expired at the end of September, but both the House and Senate have proposed bills to permanently reauthorize it so its future doesn't remain in jeopardy.

Gary O. Grimm / Flickr

The Albertson family and the City of Boise are getting together to give Kathryn Albertson Park a facelift.

Hells Canyon Dam, Idaho Power, dam
ArtBrom via Flickr

Idaho, Oregon and Idaho Power have reached an agreement on operating a set of three dams in Hells Canyon that’s been years in the making. But some environmentalists aren’t happy.

ISTOCK.COM / TUPUNGATO

Parts of the Mountain West have been tangled up in long-term drought and it doesn’t look like it’s lifting anytime soon.

Western states are likely to be affected most by the Trump administration's proposal to roll back parts of the Clean Water Act. The Environmental Protection Agency would no longer give special protections to thousands of miles of seasonal streams and millions of acres of wetlands that often go dry by late summer in the arid West. That would leave states to decide whether to protect such waters themselves. 

OPEC and other foreign oil producers said Friday they’re scaling back production by about 1.2 million barrels a day. That could be good news for oil producers in the Mountain West but perhaps not so good for consumers.

Wyoming plans to appeal a U.S. District Court Judge's decision from September to put the Yellowstone grizzly bear back on endangered species act protections.

A new study says when the Trump administration shrank Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah late last year, it may have endangered scores of native bee species.

The EPA is expected to announce a rollback of regulations on coal-fired power plants. Meanwhile, two new reports could cast some doubt on that decision.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP

After more than a century at the forefront on public lands protections, a new report finds the U.S. is being edged out by its neighbors to the north and the south.

Roughly a third of Americans said climate change played into their voting decisions in the last four years. Other than Colorado, voters in the Mountain West are even less interested in the issue. Bernie Sanders is trying to change that. He hosted an online town hall on the topic Monday night.

City of Boise / via Facebook

In 2006, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter signed the Mayor’s Agreement on Climate Change. Since then, the city has taken steps to improve efficiency and sustainability, including a compost and revamped recycling program.

 

Andrew Bonamici / Flickr

Idaho Rivers United, a member of the consortium of organizations threatening to sue the state over steelhead season, is backing away from the possible litigation.

Our region is known for its abundant public land and the backcountry enthusiasts that prize it. But a lot of that land is out of reach to the public.

According to a new report, 9.5 million acres of public land in the West is inaccessible because it is surrounded by private land. The largest swaths of landlocked public acres are in Wyoming, Montana, and Nevada.

Bannock County Sheriff's Office via AP

Cyanide bombs largely targeting nuisance predators like coyotes can stay on public lands – for now.

You may have missed it, but on Black Friday the federal government released a second climate-related report. The United States Geologic Survey (USGS) found nearly one-quarter of carbon dioxide emissions come from fossil fuels extracted on public lands - that's the average from 2005 to 2014. Not to mention over 7 percent of methane and 1.5 percent of nitrous oxide, on average during that same time period.

A pair of conservation groups recently purchased land in northwest Montana hoping to help secure a corridor for grizzly bears to travel between two isolated ecosystems: the Cabinet-Yaak in Montana and Selkirk on the border of Idaho and Washington. This comes after a couple of recent sightings of grizzly bears moving on the periphery of both areas.

Allison Corona / Boise State University

Many people say hiking in places like Boise’s Camel’s Back trails make them feel less stressed. Now there’s some proof to that theory.

Dan Dzurisin / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s not the first time the public has had a chance to share their opinions on sage grouse conservation, and it probably won’t be the last.

 

If you own mineral rights to a piece of private property and an important dinosaur fossil is discovered there, do you own the fossil? A federal district court just ruled you do. 

The return of wolves and cougars to Yellowstone National Park is helping stream systems make a comeback. The new study published in the journal Ecohydrology suggests returning carnivores to a landscape can have a cascading effect across the ecosystem.

midas gold

Boise State Public Radio's Wanna Know Idaho looks at the Midas Gold's Stibnite Mining Project and answers the question, "What impacts will this mining operation have on our greater community here?" We speak with the podcast's producer, Frankie Barnhill, about what she learned about the project.

Midas Gold

Wanna Know Idaho traveled to Idaho's West Central Mountains to answer this question from McCall resident Fred Coriell: "What impacts will an open-pit mining operation, like the one proposed by Midas Gold, have on our region?" Cascade-based reporter Monica Gokey has the story for this episode of the podcast


Roger Phillips / Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Steelhead fishing normally runs through the winter and into spring, but this year the season will end early, on December 7, and remain closed until further notice.

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