Environment

Erin Murray
Idaho Water Science Center

Hydrologists with the U.S. Geological Survey are working with the Idaho Department of Water Resources to track the amount of water under the Wood River Valley.

 


Utah Gov. Gary Herbert declared a state-wide drought emergency this week. It’s one of two states in our region that were especially hard-hit this year.

 

Calling it a matter of national security, the Trump administration wants to export coal to Asia through military bases along the West Coast. Companies are currently blocked from using ports in California and Washington State.

 


An Idaho wildlife commissioner resigned and apologized Monday for emailing controversial photos from his recent African safari trip.

Eleven grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem have been euthanized since the beginning of September in a "particularly bad month" for grizzly conflicts, the Powell Tribune in Wyoming reports.

That rate may be normal for the fall.

Matt Hintsa / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Air Force is giving Idahoans more time to comment on up to 160 proposed war game flights over nine cities, including Boise.

Vicki Christiansen was sworn in this morning as Chief of the U.S. Forest Service. She’s only the second female to serve in this role in its 113-year history.

John Sellers / Loveland Ski Area

Areas all across the Mountain West, from Colorado's Front Range to Eastern Idaho, have seen their first real snowfall of the 2018-2019 season in the last week.

Joy Pruitt / The Center for Public Integrity

Tuesday, the Northwest Climate Conference will be held in Boise. Kate Gordon is an analyst at the Paulson Institute and will speak about how climate change affects economic growth, including its impacts in Idaho.

Munir Virani / The Peregrine Fund

A study by the Boise-based Peregrine Fund shows that many of the world's raptor species are in trouble. The research shows that more than half of the world's birds of prey species have declining populations.

The U.S. Forest Service advanced changes to sage grouse protections in five Western states that environmental groups say are part of the Trump administration's efforts favoring industry but that push the imperiled bird closer to extinction.

Flickr user Loco Steve

Congress failed to renew the Land Water Conservation Fund and the federal program that has provided funds to aid land and water conservation since 1965 has expired. Idaho Matters looks at the impact on Idaho's landscape.

INCIWEB

 The Northwest Climate Conference and Idaho Public Television are presenting founding director of the Risky Business Project, Kate Gordon, to discuss the impact of climate change in Idaho and the economic benefits of combating global warming.

Department of Interior

The nation’s first commercial oil-shale mine could be built here in our region. The Bureau of Land Management issued a decision that allows a mine in Utah’s Uinta Valley to move forward.

USFWS

The Department of Interior just released a new science policy that it says will increase transparency. But conservationists are concerned. 

In recent years, President Trump has dismissed climate change as a hoax.

“I think it’s a big scam for a lot of people to make a lot of money,” he said on Fox News in 2015.

But a recent report by the U.S. Department of Transportation predicts global temperature will rise seven degrees by 2100. That’s catastrophic.

Ranch Seeker / Flickr

A new study says wildlife-related activities on Bureau of Land Management land brings in millions of dollars to western states. 

The study found things like hunting, fishing and wildlife watching on BLM land brings in more than $3 billion in total economic output to 12 western states including Idaho.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A new $20 million grant will help three of the state’s top universities study how trout and sagebrush are adapting to changing environmental conditions. 


Bureau of Land Management

An important but little-known public lands fund expired this weekend. 

A paper published this week reports that a recent fossil discovery in Central Utah is changing what researchers know about the emergence of large flowering trees both here in the Mountain West, and around the world.

Greg Harness / Flickr Creative Commons

Prescribed burning is an important tool in a wildland firefighter’s toolbox. Crews will go out and light fires in areas that maybe haven’t burned naturally in decades.

 

Wildfires in the West can destroy homes and create a lot of really nasty smoke. But a new study from the University of Montana says it also helps grow some really great food for elk.

Some Idaho potato farmers are worried heavy wildfire smoke may have damaged their crops.

 

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks via AP

A young grizzly bear found eating human food and hanging around people was trapped by Idaho Fish and Game and taken to a Texas wildlife sanctuary. The yearling was spending time in the Flat Rock and Coffee Pots campgrounds and near Mack's Inn in Eastern Idaho.

Courtesy Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

Public lands are a big deal in the mountain west. Conservationists across our region are celebrating these lands all this month.

 

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