fs.usda.gov

National Team Is In Boise To Push Fire Prevention Message

When local wildfire agencies are concerned that fire danger in their area is getting extreme, they can ask for a visit from a national team of experts. One of those teams has been in Boise this week. National Wildfire Prevention and Education Teams conduct short, intense messaging campaigns. The National Interagency Fire Center describes the program this way. “As extreme conditions approach or worsen, wildland fire prevention/education is often overlooked as a possible source of help. Because...
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Idaho law enforcement say they’ve been finding more marijuana in vehicles coming from states with looser pot laws.

Wildlife officials are investigating after residents reported a large number of dead songbirds in Kuna, a city about 18 miles southwest of Boise.

The Idaho Statesman reports that the dead birds show no signs of physical injury and were not sickened by plague.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game regional conservation educator Evin Oneale says the cause of death appears to be a specific type of pathogen that has yet to be determined.

Photo Fhiend / Flickr Creative Commons

With last week’s Supreme Court decision, same-sex couples around Idaho were able to breathe a sigh of relief. But state Republican leaders say they're not done opposing same sex marriage.

Idaho GOP Executive Director David Johnston says the Supreme Court’s decision leaves a lot unanswered for people who say their religious freedoms are being infringed upon. He says the justices' ruling was an example of judicial activism and overreach.

biologycorner / Flickr

Idaho students scored higher taking new standardized tests compared to the national benchmarks used to measure English language arts and math proficiency.

The Idaho State Department of Education released the preliminary scores on Wednesday.

Scores were supposed to be released June 5, but a delay with the vendor pushed the release date several weeks.

This is the first year the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium examination's scores have been released. Last year, the state rolled out a practice version to work out the kinks of the new system.

Washington Fish and Game

Federal wildlife officials have rejected a petition from advocates who sought to reclassify gray wolves as a threatened species in most of the U.S.

Gray wolves across most of the Lower 48 are classified as endangered, which is more protective than a threatened designation. Advocates hoped a change to threatened would pre-empt intervention from members of Congress who want to lift federal protections altogether.

Terry R. Thomas / naturetrack.com

When more than 2,000 migrating snow geese were found dead at eastern Idaho’s Mud Lake in March, headlines all over the country said the birds had fallen dead from the sky. Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game says that did not actually happen, but the agency has revised its explanation of what did occur.

When the birds were found, fish and game biologists saw clear signs of avian cholera. And the department initially ascribed the whole die-off to cholera.

Kellie Parker / Flickr Creative Commons

Earlier this week, Latah County officials voted to update their employee handbook to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The rule only applies to LGBT people who work for the county, and not the entire population.

“At this point it’s not on our agenda to take that up, although it could be," says Latah County Commissioner Tom Lamar. "It could be talked about more.”

Public health officials say the rise in cases of the STD gonorrhea has continued unabated this year in much of the Northwest.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

Conservative activists are calling for the College of Southern Idaho to remove its refugee program following concerns over the influx of Syrian refugees expected to arrive in south-central Idaho later this fall.

The Times-News reports that the group formed after college officials announced in April that 300 refugees were expected to resettle in Idaho at the start of the new federal fiscal year. Many of the refugees will possibly come from Syria, leading some community members to speculate they could be radical Muslims.

John Penny / Flickr Creative Commons

If you’re in Boise, take a look around. There’s a very good chance some of the people you see are out-of-towners. June and July are Boise’s busiest months for tourism.

The Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau keeps track of how many hotel rooms get rented and when. Visitors bureau director Carrie Westergaurd says both in June and July the city could have as many visitors as residents.

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