Environment

Chronic wasting disease is crippling deer populations in the Mountain West, around the country and in bordering Canadian provinces. It's not a bacterium or a virus or even a fungus, but caused by something called a prion, a type of protein that all mammals have in their bodies.

Soil erosion in the West is getting worse. And that’s creating more dust – which isn’t good for ecosystems, human health or the economy.

Nomadic Lass / Flickr Creative Commons

A coalition of conservationists is petitioning Idaho and Wyoming to make hunters carry bear spray when they’re within the Yellowstone ecosystem.

 

Roger Phillips / Idaho Fish and Game

Moose are on the decline in Idaho and across the West. That means moose tags for Gem State hunters will be in short supply.

National Park Service

House Democrats railed against the Trump Administration’s proposed National Parks budget in a committee hearing this week.



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Matt Zaske / Flickr Creative Commons

Since 2005 the City of Nampa has sold trees to folks, encouraging residents to plant more in the city’s right-of-way areas. They're for sale again this spring.

 


Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association

In January, Idaho river outfitters were a bit worried about a lack of good snowpack. After February’s monster storms, they’ve gone from troubled to overjoyed.

The Climate Prediction Center forecasts a warmer spring than usual in the Mountain West.

Solomon David/twitter

Fishing Through the Apocalypse examines the future for freshwater fish in America. Climate change, pollution, hydroelectricity and interstate water policy have all had an impact on fish and fishing. We talk with the book's author, Matt Miller of The Nature Conservancy, about the future of Idaho fish.

Courtesy Rusty Kramer

If you kill a wolf in Idaho, your effort might be worth $1,000. 

A nonprofit in North Idaho covers costs for hunters and trappers who successfully harvest wolves. The group, called the Foundation for Wildlife Management pays up to $1,000 per wolf harvest.

 

Four environmental groups filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging the Trump Administration’s rollback of protections for an imperiled species.

 


Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Power announced a pledge Tuesday to provide customers 100 percent clean energy by the year 2045.

gray wolf, wolves
U.S. Fish & Wildlife

Idaho Fish and Game has killed wolves in the upper part of Idaho. The Department says the goal is to boost the number of elk in the area.

 

National Park Service officials are reconsidering a plan would require would-be visitors to make reservations to enter Arches National Park after receiving pushback from local businesses.

TexasEagle / Flickr

A new study finds habitat for waterbirds has been declining due to climate change. Warmer temperatures and less precipitation are leading to a reduction in habitat which, in turn, has resulted in fewer waterbirds in the Great Basin.

The study features work from Oregon State University, UC Merced, the US Geological Survey and the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation. Scientists pored over a century of climate data for the Great Basin and compared it to 50 years of bird surveys beggining with the year 1968.

Idaho Power

Idaho Power has a green power initiative that allows people to purchase wind and solar energy for their homes. Now, this week’s Treefort Music Fest is getting in on the program. 

 


This winter, our region has seen heavy snowfall. That can be tough on wildlife.

CREDIT MICK THOMPSON / FLICKR

Trumpeter swan cygnets are dying at a startling rate, threatening the swan populations of the West. We talk with Camas Refuge Manager Brian Wehausen and wildlife biologist Andrea Kristof about what is causing these declines.

Updated 12:24 p.m. MT 3/14/19

Chris Lehnertz has resigned from her position running Grand Canyon National Park weeks after an internal investigation cleared her of unfounded harassment complaints.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

Mountain snowfall in February means Idaho is poised to have plenty of water this spring.

Reservoirs on the Upper Snake River are at 87 percent of capacity. There’s so much water that the Bureau of Reclamation is already making releases from the Palisades Reservoir for flood control.

Farmers in the Magic Valley can expect a banner year in terms of irrigation. With lots of liquid stored in reservoirs and yet-to-melt snow, those in the agriculture sector are heading into spring with higher than normal levels of stored water.

wild horses, nevada, wildlife
James Marvin Phelps / Flickr Creative Commons

The Bureau of Land Management is offering people $1,000 if they’ll adopt a wild horse. 

Forecasters in Colorado are warning of “very destructive” avalanches as heavy snowfall and strong winds are expected Wednesday.

Avalanches have already buried cars, killed skiers and left chunks of forest scattered across highways and even dangling from power lines in what’s considered a historic avalanche season. But Colorado isn’t alone.

Bureau of Land Management

President Trump’s proposed budget includes significant cuts to the Department of Interior, including the National Park Service. 

owyheeinitiative.org

The Owyhee Initiative is a compact agreed upon by several "national, regional, and local stakeholders" that would preserve the environmental and economic future of Owyhee County. The Owyhee Initiative Implementation Act was introduced by Senator Crapo in 2009 and signed into law by President Obama. Idaho Matters looks at the impact of this act as it nears its 10th anniversary with Lou Lunte, deputy director for the Nature Conservancy in Idaho and ranchers Brenda Richards and Chris Black.

Catherine Chanel / Flickr

As temperatures begin to creep up, residents of the Wood River Valley face a particular risk of flooding. Spring runoff has inundated neighborhoods in the region the last two years.

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