Environment

Critics of wolf reintroduction in the Mountain West say the canine is the biggest threat to elk, but a new study says that’s not necessarily true.

Electric, dockless scooters are showing up across the region, especially in bigger cities like Denver and Salt Lake City. But a new study suggests they may not be as environmentally friendly as you think.

M. W. Miller, Colorado Division of Wildlife / AP Photos

Five cases of chronic wasting disease were confirmed this spring in Montana, close to the Idaho panhandle. While not affecting humans, the disease means a horrible death for deer and elk. It’s similar to mad cow disease and there is no cure. What is it and how is Idaho Fish and Game trying to keep it out of the Gem State?

It’s no secret that wildfires are getting worse in the West. They’re threatening lives, homes and ecosystems. And they are also threatening our already-precarious watersheds. It’s all becoming a vicious cycle  — especially for the drier parts of our region. 

Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

The Treasure Valley woke up to the familiar smell of wildfire smoke Thursday morning, bringing residents back from their hopes of a smoke-free summer.

 


D. Pineo / The Peregrine Fund

From the 1950s to the mid-1990s, no wild Aplomado Falcons were born in the U.S. Last month, with a lot of help from the Boise-based Peregrine Fund, the 500th Aplomado Falcon nestling was banded in southern Texas. How did baby falcons born in Boise in the 1980s and 1990s help bring the population back from the brink?

Grizzly, wildlife, grizzlies, endangered species list
Jason Bechtel / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service has reinstated Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears living near Yellowstone National Park.

 

Roger Phillips / Idaho Fish and Game

Every year at this time, biologists at Idaho Fish and Game watch closely for Snake River sockeye salmon to return to Idaho. This year, Fish and Game expects fewer fish to return to Redfish Lake. That’s due in part to the tough year the young fish had in 2017, trying to get out of Idaho to the Pacific Ocean. Now two years later, they still have to swim back over several dams to get to Idaho.

Idaho Department of Lands/screenshot

The Idaho Department of Lands is dealing with a big problem caused by a small creature. The tussock moth has infested Douglas-fir in the Packer John State Forest. The outbreak means the trees are more susceptible to wildfires. Now, IDL is planning to cut down some of the infested trees in an effort to contain the problem.

Pei-Lin Yu / Boise State University

Boise State University anthropology professor Pei-Lin Yu is studying something you don't always hear about in discussions about climate change: the impact on cultural sites and artifacts in National Parks. She talks with guest host George Prentice about working with park rangers to identify vulnerable places in America's treasured parks. 

Ted S. Warren / AP Images

In Idaho, we all experience wildfire smoke during the summer. But what is the cumulative effect of this smoke on our health, and how do we know when to take action? Is it getting worse in an era of climate change? We talk with Austin Walkins from the Idaho Conservation League. The advocacy organization has a new checklist for folks to understand their risks and make a plan.

Lenny Ignelzi / AP

Cutthroat trout face a lot of threats in Idaho, chief among them invasive fish and habitat loss. Wildlife officials say white pelicans are also putting a dent in some trout populations.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

 


This month the City of Boise asked the community to take action and join the plastics challenge: to give up one disposable plastics item. That could be straws, plastic bags, or — the big one — non-reusable water bottles. Though July is coming to an end, the discussion over single-use plastics is just getting started, and the Zero Waste Boise Institute is planning to continue the conversation.

 

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Fish and Game wants to ban the import of most deer, elk and moose to keep at bay a disease that has been devastating deer herds in other parts of the country.

Courtesy BLM

The Trump Administration has selected a champion of private property rights and oil, gas and coal energy development to fill a top position at the Bureau of Land Management.

AP Images

A recent analysis by the news outlet Arizona Republic shows a number of communities across our region are at risk for deadly wildfires.

 

Bonnie Moreland/ Flickr Creative Commons

This week, Pacific Rivers and Idaho Rivers United filed a petition challenging the way power is harnessed at the Hells Canyon complex. The groups claim the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, or DEQ, did not meet requirements when they gave certification to Idaho Power.

 

The Bureau of Land Management is proposing 11,000 miles of fuel breaks throughout our region to help combat the spread of wildfires.

drought, field, agriculture
Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

Much of Idaho has been untouched by drought so far this year, but dry conditions are beginning to creep in.

Several utility companies in the West have announced they will institute power blackouts in areas with high fire risk when conditions are particularly bad. 

Flickr Creative Commons, US Department of Agriculture

When wildfires rage, it’s pretty routine to share fire suppression crews across state lines. It turns out that sharing firefighters across national borders is not uncommon either.

 

Courtesy Headwaters Institute

Across the Mountain West, the majority of our land mass is publicly owned. A new mapping project by Headwaters Economics provides county-level data that can help you understand what that means.

 

Courtesy Grand Junction Bureau of Land Management

Colorado Senator says the Bureau of Land Management is moving its headquarters to his state. Supporters say that will help decision makers be closer to the land they manage. Some conservationists oppose the idea. Idaho Matters takes a closer look.

Scott Butner / Flickr Creative Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency is expanding the use of an insecticide that is toxic to bees. The move affects more than 17 million acres of farmland in our region.

 

NASA

As temperatures heat up, a familiar and potentially dangerous sight of summer is returning to Brownlee Reservoir.

Pages