Environment

CREDIT MELINDA LOWE / MONARCH BUTTERFLIES OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FACEBOOK PAGE.

Researchers have been concerned about dwindling bee populations for decades, now scientists are worried about massive reductions in monarch butterfly populations. We find out why Idaho's official state insect is in trouble and how scientists are working to preserve the butterfly.

Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

A public meeting on the CuMo Mine, a potential mining project near the Boise River headwaters, was supposed to happen in January. But because of the federal government shutdown, the Forest Service cancelled it.

 


Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

Imagine a swarm of big, black birds flying overhead at dusk. No, it’s not a scene from a Hitchcock film. This is Nampa, Idaho — a small community that’s become the winter home for tens of thousands of crows. They are noisy and messy, and Nampa residents are pushing back.

 

Jim Urquhart / AP Photo

Groups including the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club say the 65 grizzlies that died in 2018 didn’t need to. They sent a letter to state officials urging them to act. 

 


A collection of outdoor trade groups announced they’re forming a collaboration to step up action on climate change.

Chris Steinkamp is the director of one of the trade groups, Snowsports Industries America, which represents snow sports suppliers. He says until recently, brands were hesitant to get involved on such a politically polarized issue -- until, that is, climate change started visibly edging into the reality of their businesses.

Zoo Boise / via Facebook

When you search "zoo poo" on the internet, one of the first things that comes up is a link to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. You quickly learn that the facility sells composted animal waste to people in the Pacific Northwest, and at least one person says it makes amazing garden fertilzer.

A group of Western lawmakers have reintroduced legislation that would give states control of oil and gas projects on federal lands.

The surface temperature at a major reservoir in Colorado has risen 5 degrees over a 35 year period. That's according to a new study from researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Mountain Humane Animal Shelter / via Facebook

The Mountain Humane Animal Shelter was the first no-kill shelter in the state. They can add another superlative to their credentials: Their new facility will be run mostly with solar energy.

Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

The Environmental Protection Agency is responding to criticism that the agency is lax in enforcing regulations like the  Clean Water Act.

 


Photo by Alejandro Robles

The vaquita is a small species of porpoise that lives exclusively in the Gulf of California. The mammal is on the brink of extinction due to irresponsible fishing methods. Boise filmmaker Matthew Podolsky has partnered with Leonardo DiCaprio to produce a documentary chronicling the plight of the vaquita.

madidifilm.com

The Bolivian government is planning massive hydro-electric dam projects on rivers that provide life for thousands of indigenous people in the Amazon Basin. Area filmmaker Hayley Stuart traveled the rivers in a kayak to document the lives that would be affected. Stuart joins Idaho Matters to discuss making "Still River, Silent Jungle."

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The Idaho Environmental Forum is a nonprofit, non-partisan educational organization that encourages productive discourse on environmental issues facing the Gem State. Next week, the IEF will meet to outline their legislative goals for 2019. Idaho Matters discusses the issues that will surface in the upcoming legislative session and how they may impact Idaho's landscape and resources.

As the partial government shutdown stretches toward a third week, both the public and public employees alike are feeling the pain. But there’s another casualty: public information.

Thomas VanSelus / Flickr

Winter is when the federal government starts spending dollars to prepare for the wildfire season, but the ongoing shutdown has put some of this preparation in limbo.

Talayeh Saghatchian / Flickr

The Treasure Valley community of Nampa is again under siege by the birds. Thousands have descended on the town for the third year in a row.

A new study shows US greenhouse gas emissions are going up. The natural gas boom is partially to blame. It’s a big industry in our region.

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.

David Moskowitz Documents The Last Of The Selkirk Caribou

Jan 2, 2019
amazon

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.

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