Environment

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.

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. 

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