Environment

McCall Says 'No' To Stibnite Mine Agreement

Jan 9, 2019
Midas Gold

On Monday, the McCall City Council decided not to sign a community agreement with the mining company Midas Gold.

 

Nicholas D. / Flickr

Conservation is always a big issue in Idaho and 2018 was no exception. We look back and forward to 2019 when it comes to wildlife conservation, access to public lands and preserving our forests. Brad Brooks, the Public Lands Director for the Wilderness Society and Brian Brooks, the Executive Director of the Idaho Wildlife Federation talk to host Gemma Gaudette.

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David Moskowitz is a biologist, photographer and certified wildlife tracker. His work focuses on the fauna of the interior of the Pacific Northwest and his latest book, Caribou Rainforest, follows the migration of a shrinking herd through the Selkirk Range. Moskowitz joins Idaho Matters to describe the shrinking herds of mountain caribou.

The Trump Administration has declined to extend federal protections for two plants native to the Mountain West.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service posted a list of 13 species from around the country it recently considered - but decided to not include - on its endangered and threatened species lists. The list includes the Utah's Frisco Buckwheat and Wyoming's Fremont County Rockcress.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The holidays are a time of delicious treats and gifts. But it’s also a time for plastic waste, whether it’s the wrapper on a Christmas cookie or the packaging on a tree ornament.

 

CHARLES (CHUCK) PETERSON / FLICKR

In 1954, Bing Crosby set expectations for Christmas weather that are becoming difficult to meet 65 years later. We talk to a meteorologist about the possibility of a white Christmas and how climate trends are changing our holiday nostalgia.

The second round of payments to farmers affected by President Trump’s trade war with China will soon get sent out. The application deadline for growers is Jan. 15.

But the bulk of that money is largely skipping our region.

The Federal Duck Stamp Program is for the birds, at least when it comes to birdwatchers.

selwaybitterroot.org

The State of Idaho is offering special Selway-Bitterroot and Frank Church Foundation license plates to benefit conservation in the River of No Return Wilderness areas. Idaho Matters looks at that region of the state and the artist behind the license plates.

Since 1964 the Land and Water Conservation Fund has used royalties from oil and gas leasing to protect natural areas, water resources and cultural heritage, as well as to provide recreation opportunities. The Fund expired at the end of September, but both the House and Senate have proposed bills to permanently reauthorize it so its future doesn't remain in jeopardy.

Gary O. Grimm / Flickr

The Albertson family and the City of Boise are getting together to give Kathryn Albertson Park a facelift.

Hells Canyon Dam, Idaho Power, dam
ArtBrom via Flickr

Idaho, Oregon and Idaho Power have reached an agreement on operating a set of three dams in Hells Canyon that’s been years in the making. But some environmentalists aren’t happy.

ISTOCK.COM / TUPUNGATO

Parts of the Mountain West have been tangled up in long-term drought and it doesn’t look like it’s lifting anytime soon.

Western states are likely to be affected most by the Trump administration's proposal to roll back parts of the Clean Water Act. The Environmental Protection Agency would no longer give special protections to thousands of miles of seasonal streams and millions of acres of wetlands that often go dry by late summer in the arid West. That would leave states to decide whether to protect such waters themselves. 

OPEC and other foreign oil producers said Friday they’re scaling back production by about 1.2 million barrels a day. That could be good news for oil producers in the Mountain West but perhaps not so good for consumers.

Wyoming plans to appeal a U.S. District Court Judge's decision from September to put the Yellowstone grizzly bear back on endangered species act protections.

A new study says when the Trump administration shrank Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah late last year, it may have endangered scores of native bee species.

The EPA is expected to announce a rollback of regulations on coal-fired power plants. Meanwhile, two new reports could cast some doubt on that decision.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP

After more than a century at the forefront on public lands protections, a new report finds the U.S. is being edged out by its neighbors to the north and the south.

Roughly a third of Americans said climate change played into their voting decisions in the last four years. Other than Colorado, voters in the Mountain West are even less interested in the issue. Bernie Sanders is trying to change that. He hosted an online town hall on the topic Monday night.

City of Boise / via Facebook

In 2006, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter signed the Mayor’s Agreement on Climate Change. Since then, the city has taken steps to improve efficiency and sustainability, including a compost and revamped recycling program.

 

Andrew Bonamici / Flickr

Idaho Rivers United, a member of the consortium of organizations threatening to sue the state over steelhead season, is backing away from the possible litigation.

Our region is known for its abundant public land and the backcountry enthusiasts that prize it. But a lot of that land is out of reach to the public.

According to a new report, 9.5 million acres of public land in the West is inaccessible because it is surrounded by private land. The largest swaths of landlocked public acres are in Wyoming, Montana, and Nevada.

Bannock County Sheriff's Office via AP

Cyanide bombs largely targeting nuisance predators like coyotes can stay on public lands – for now.

You may have missed it, but on Black Friday the federal government released a second climate-related report. The United States Geologic Survey (USGS) found nearly one-quarter of carbon dioxide emissions come from fossil fuels extracted on public lands - that's the average from 2005 to 2014. Not to mention over 7 percent of methane and 1.5 percent of nitrous oxide, on average during that same time period.

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