Environment

Idaho Department of Lands

More than 1,000 acres of trees are being cut down at Bogus Basin. The timber sales are the result of an infection of the Douglas-fir dwarf mistletoe and beetles that take advantage of the sick trees. Almost 80% of tree stands in the Bogus Basin Project area are infected with mistletoe. Sick and dead trees can be dangerous to skiers. That’s why the Idaho Department of Lands and the Boise National Forest are working together to get logging started this week near the Superior chairlift.

Federal officials have announced changes to the Endangered Species Act, which could have big impacts on wildlife and habitat throughout our region.

Don't Dump That Old Couch In A Canal

Aug 14, 2019
Pioneer Irrigation District

TVs, tires, mattresses, even a recliner — all these items, and lots and lots of trash, are dumped into canals and ditches around the Treasure Valley. Sometimes it’s grass clippings or tree limbs that are dumped, which can clog the water flow. The Treasure Valley Water Users Association says it’s a growing problem.

Roger Phillips / Idaho Department of Fish and Game

It’s been awhile since Lonesome Larry made the long journey home to Redfish Lake and found no girl sockeye salmon to mate with. That was 1992. Since then the numbers have gone up and downAs of last week, Idaho Fish and Game reported that sockeye salmon returns are lower than they’ve been in 10 years. The Boise Weekly has published a series on salmon and dam removal and Idaho Matters jumps in for a closer look.

Idaho Department of Agriculture

Zebra and quagga mussels can devastate an ecosystem and Yellowstone National Park is doing everything it can to keep them out. As the Mountain West News Bureau’s Maggie Mullen reports, that includes harnessing the power of a dog’s snout.

Zebra and quagga mussels can devastate an ecosystem, and Yellowstone National Park is doing everything it can to keep them out. Most recently, that includes harnessing the power of a dog's snout.

Elk
GoCyclones / Flickr Creative Commons

“Share the Road” is a common motto seen across Idaho, advocating for cars to share their roads with bicyclists. Eastern Idaho is dealing with a different road-sharing issue. Instead of single-speeds, these drivers are trying to avoid bigger beasts — elk, pronghorn and bison.

 

Boise Is Getting Hotter, Literally

Aug 12, 2019
zizzybaloobah / Flickr

We all know Boise is a hot topic right now, as more people find the city and move here. But did you know Boise is hotter than it used to be temperature-wise? According to a new study by Climate Central, Boise is the 13th fastest-warming city in the U.S. Boise is 3.84 degrees hotter than it was in 1970.

Wildfires are a common part of life in our region. According to new research, they can also give scientists valuable information about the climate effects of another potential disaster: nuclear war.

Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC

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.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game

You’ve heard us report before on places about to be stocked with fish by Idaho Fish and Game. A few hundred trout in a river ... a few kokanee salmon in a lake ... maybe a few dozen channel catfish in a pond ... what does that add up to? Try 30 million fish a year. That’s right. Thirty million fish every single year in Idaho.

Idaho Power

Ten-year-old Lily Colson likes penguins and polar bears and she wanted to protect them from the effects of climate change. This Boise 4th grader somehow went from protecting penguins to coming up with a new way to use solar power ... without having to build more infrastructure. She calls the idea “Solar Lines.”

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Time for the Boise River Boogie. No, it’s not a dance, it’s a duathlon. And it’s a fundraiser to help keep the river in good shape. Not that long ago, slaughterhouses in Garden City made the river run red. Raw sewage was dumped directly in the river. And the habitat suffered. Over time, valley residents began to clean up the river. Over the last eight years, the Boise River Enhancement Network has been working to keep the waterway healthy.

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.

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