Environment

Inciweb

Idaho’s wet and cool start to summer has calmed some usual fears about our dangerous, dry lands. However, it may be too soon to tell how severe this year's fires may be.

 

As we head into the dog days of summer, 2019 is projected to be among the top five hottest years on record. That's according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

National Park Service

A new analysis shows that despite record visitation, the National Park Service is hiring fewer rangers and other staff.

 

Idaho Conservation League

A lot of sewage treatment plants in Idaho got a failing grade in the latest Idaho Conservation League study. Gemma Gaudette talks to the League about why they scored so low and how the ICL wants to help change that trend.

Multiple proposals from Democratic presidential candidates are calling for a full transition from fossil fuels to renewables over the next 10 years. Independent analytics firm Wood Mackenzie was interested in the numbers behind those proposals. It found a transition would take closer to 20 to 30 years. Dan Shreve, head of global wind energy research at Wood Mackenzie, co-authored the report.

Most people in the United States can't see a full night sky that's not affected by light pollution. But, in a remote corner of Nevada, the Milky Way Galaxy shines bright enough at night to cast a shadow.

The area is known as Massacre Rim and it was recently designated as a Dark Sky Sanctuary.

Flickr Creative Commons, Matt Lavin

For the first time in decades, Idaho Fish and Game is stocking the Big Lost River in Butte and Custer Counties with thousands of rainbow trout.

 


The Mountain West is home to huge swaths of public land. A new web-based tool is now showing people exactly where that land is and which agency is managing it.

The Nature Conservancy just appointed Obama’s former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell as its new interim CEO.  The leadership change comes in the wake of an investigation into sexual harassment and misconduct at the organization. Several top executives were implicated and have stepped down, including the CEO and the President.

A neurodegenerative illness called chronic wasting disease is spreading among deer and elk in our region. Now, researchers at Colorado State University say they’ve found a new way to study the disease -- and another indication that it might eventually become capable of sickening people.

MATT GUILHEM / BOISE STATE PUBLIC RADIO

The Boise Parks and Recreation department has implemented new measures to keep the ponds in city parks clean and free of e. coli, bacteria and algae blooms. Parks & Rec director Doug Holloway and Environmental Division Senior Manager Haley Falconer join Idaho Matters to talk about keeping the city's ponds clean, safe and swimmable.

gray wolf, wolves
U.S. Fish & Wildlife

Federal officials in Idaho are taking public comment on a new plan that would let them kill wolves and other predators.

City of Boise

If you live in Boise and are running out of orange recycle bags, the city is changing the way you can get them.

 

Keith Ridler / AP

Federal officials say a move to reclassify high-level nuclear waste will not affect an agreement to remove that material from Idaho, though there are some skeptics.

According to a study out of Colorado State University, more people believe that animals should be protected and given rights on par with humans than they did 15 years ago. Fewer people believe that wildlife exists for our gain.

Mick Thompson / Flickr Creative Commons

A group of wildlife advocates is suing the federal government, saying they need to have more of a role in helping to prevent grizzly bear deaths on national forest land in Idaho and Wyoming.

This time of year in bear country you're more likely to see the animal along the sides of the roads looking for the first shoots of grass. That's a hazard for the bear and for visitors, and wildlife managers resorting to what they call hazing.

Fluor Idaho

The company managing nuclear waste cleanup at Idaho National Laboratory says it’s one step closer to tackling the site’s backlog.

Idaho Fish and Game video screen grab

You’ve heard of catch and release when it comes to fishing. Now biologists are trying “stun and release” to keep the wrong kind of fish out of the Snake River.

 

Idaho Conservation League

A March ruling by a BLM judge prohibited the mining of 35 small claims along the South Fork Payette River. This marks a growing trend favoring preservation of public lands for recreational use over mining operations. Adam Sowards is a professor of environmental sciences at the University of Idaho and he authors a column for High Country News called Reckoning With History. Sowards joins Idaho Matters to discuss addresses this shift and why it may continue into the future.

MOAB — About 40 miles north from the tourist hordes in town and set against a backdrop of tan clay and red mesas, the vista looked primed for a nature magazine cover shoot: early afternoon, the desert bloom in full force, awash with purple and yellow flowers. Quiet.

A 2017 “flash drought” on the northern Great Plains led to massive wildfires, millions of dollars in lost tourism revenue and $2.6 billion in agricultural losses, according to a new federal report released Thursday.

Boise is working to boost water quality in some local swimming ponds to help keep them open this summer.

Jennifer Peltz / AP Images

In 2017, more than 500 people came together in Boise for a summit on climate change. One thing was made clear at the end of the summit: We need more information about the specific threats posed by a warming planet in Idaho, and we need more opportunities to find regional solutions to those threats.

 

A recent study of rivers across 72 countries found that waterways are often contaminated with antibiotics, including here in the Mountain West.

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