Environment

Timelapsed / Flickr

Tuesday we told you how much money national parks bring into the Mountain West. Now, we talk about Idaho.

CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK, UTAH — The dark blue, predawn sky was just beginning to brighten over Mesa Arch — a once-hidden gem in southern Utah — as Jonathan Zhang frantically set up his camera and tripod.

Global methane in the atmosphere is on the rise again after a period of leveling off, but scientists tracking this phenomenon at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, in Boulder haven’t quite figured out why. 

The grizzly bear is an iconic species to many Native American tribes, and now a bill introduced in Congress would require tribes be included in their management. The legislation, called the Tribal Heritage and Grizzly Bear Protection Act, was introduced by Raul Grijalva, the chair of the Natural Resources subcommittee. 

John W / Flickr

Idaho Fish and Game is working with lumber companies to make sure the public has access to private timber land. It’s all part of the department’s new “Large Tracts” land lease program that targets parcels 50,000 acres or larger.

Caxton Press

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.

Frank Sorger of Nampa / Bureau of Land Management

The last wild horses rescued from the 2015 Soda Fire are going home this month.

credits: invasivespecies.idaho.gov

Summer is approaching and owners of boats of all types are preparing to go on the water. This is perfect for zebra and quagga mussels, bivalves that travel between bodies of water by adhering to boat hulls. Idaho Matters talks with Nick Zurfluh, Invasive Species Section Manager with the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, about why these invasive species are detrimental to the balance of Idaho's water habitats.

Inciweb

The Bureau of Land Management has banned fireworks and exploding targets this summer in Idaho.

A new report shows that nearly all national parks in the U.S. have poor air quality.

The report from the National Parks Conservation Association says that 96% of our national parks have significant air pollution problems. In fact, it says, 33 of America’s most-visited national parks are as bad as our 20 largest cities.

Toby Talbot / AP Photos

Boise will be without Doppler weather radar coverage for three weeks starting at the end of May.

Utah and Colorado are above the national average in preparing for disasters, according to a new state-by-state analysis released Wednesday.

Monica Gokey

If you’ve seen naked-looking trees up and down the Highway 55 corridor, they’re not necessarily dead. 

 

An outbreak of Douglas-fir tussock moth is in its final year, but affected trees in the Boise and Payette National Forests aren't out of the proverbial woods just yet.

 

 


Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

The Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve protects one of the darkest places in the United States and provides stargazers a pristine view of the heavens. Communities in and around the reserve recently signed on to a management plan for the sprawling reserve.

Salmon-Challis National Forest app

The Salmon-Challis National Forest joins just 34 forests nationwide that have its own smartphone app.

 

 

The law that governs today’s hardrock mines on public lands in the West is nearly 150 years old. New legislation this week from House Democrats would enact significant reforms. 

Idaho Fish and Game video screen grab

Idaho Fish and Game biologists are catching and tagging female sage grouse to see how they are doing after the 2018 Grassy Ridge Fire that occured 15 miles northwest of St. Anthony.

snake river alliance/facebook

The partial meltdown of Three Mile Island's Reactor #2 in 1979 rocked a nation that became lulled by the quiet safety of nuclear energy. The incident caused Idahoans to question the safety of operations at Idaho National Laboratory and as a result, the Snake River Alliance was developed. For 40 years, the organization has served as Idaho's nuclear watchdog and clean energy advocates.

Hecla Mining

Idaho’s Surface Mining Act was amended by a bill passed during this year’s legislative session. The Idaho Department of Lands, or IDL, will hold public meetings this summer where the public can provide their comment on the details of how those rules will be implemented.

 

 

In a mostly symbolic move, the U.S. House voted Thursday to stop the Trump administration from exiting the Paris Climate Agreement. Meanwhile, many cities and states in the Mountain West are continuing to warm faster than the national average.

Serengeti Preservation Foundation / Facebook

Between 2006 and 2014, illegal poaching in Tanzania had reduced elephant populations from 137,000 to 44,000. It took the efforts of conservation organizations to bring global attention to the outrage - organizations like the Serengeti Conservation Foundation. Meyasi Meshilieck is the executive director of the Foundation and he will be in Boise discussing efforts to preserve the flora and fauna of the Serengeti and Tanzania in the face of human development and global climate change. He joins Idaho Matters to discuss conservation; the event is sponsored by the Earth Island Institute's Serengeti Watch, it will take place at the Capital Center Event Center this evening.

Kajsa Van de Riet / IDEQ

Tundra swans are dying along the Coeur d’Alene River floodplain. But this isn't a new problem.

Brian Pearson / Idaho Fish and Game

Equipped with kneepads and trowels, three dozen volunteers helped replant native seedlings near Lucky Peak in March. Turns out Idaho Fish and Game relies on hundreds of volunteers for their habitat restoration program.

Wildfire season is around the corner in the Mountain West. Prescribed burns are just one way to reduce wildfire risk. That's because, in the right setting, they reduce built-up dry fuel in a controlled environment.

Plenty of studies have shown how bark beetle infestations have decimated evergreen trees throughout the Rocky Mountain region, but research scientists wanted to figure out how this tree die-off was affecting actual forest animals. Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Service found that some species suffered, while others benefited.

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