EarthFix http://boisestatepublicradio.org en How Fish Screens Help Farmers And Save Fish http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/how-fish-screens-help-farmers-and-save-fish <p>If proper equipment isn’t installed on irrigation pipes and pumps, fish can get sucked into farmers’ fields and drainage ditches. That clogs pipes and kills fish. A new fish screen was just installed on a Central Washington River to prevent this from happening. It's the first of its kind in the state.</p><p>When migrating fish and debris get sucked into farmers’ pipes and ditches, it’s bad news for farmers and for fish.</p><p>“If a fish goes into a ditch, it’s unlikely it will turn around and get out. It typically will die there.”</p> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 14:20:47 +0000 Courtney Flatt 26668 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org How Fish Screens Help Farmers And Save Fish Portable Wind Turbines Bring Renewable Energy To Cities http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/portable-wind-turbines-bring-renewable-energy-cities <p>Tall, noisy wind turbines may not go over well in some urban areas. A northwest company has developed residential-sized turbines to push renewable energy to cities. The portable turbines could also generate power during disasters.</p><p>During southern California’s hot summers, people ramp up air conditioners and use more power than normal. That forces utilities to conserve energy and shut off power at specific times and places.</p> Thu, 16 May 2013 14:24:06 +0000 Courtney Flatt 25701 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Portable Wind Turbines Bring Renewable Energy To Cities Study: Grazing Helps Invasive Cheatgrass To Flourish http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/study-grazing-helps-invasive-cheatgrass-flourish <p>A new study out of <a href="http://oregonstate.edu/" title="Oregon State University">Oregon State University</a> suggests that overgrazing could be helping an invasive grass to flourish. That differs from previous studies that have found grazing can better manage that plant — <a href="http://www.icbemp.gov/science/pellant.pdf" title="cheatgrass">cheatgrass</a> — which threatens rangeland habitat.</p><p></p> Mon, 13 May 2013 14:53:07 +0000 Courtney Flatt 25500 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Study: Grazing Helps Invasive Cheatgrass To Flourish USGS Losing Some Critical Stream Gauges http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/usgs-losing-some-critical-stream-gauges <p>A federal agency is planning to shut down down as many as 150 stream gauges nationwide. The first round of closures started this week. Those gauges provide life-saving flood warnings and even how bad a drought is.</p><p>Stream gauges are tools that help monitor how much water is in our rivers and streams. These are small outbuildings standing beside waterways. Each one shelters data-gathering equipment.</p> Fri, 03 May 2013 19:03:42 +0000 Aaron Kunz 25023 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org USGS Losing Some Critical Stream Gauges Northwest Tribes Maximize Steelhead Populations http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/northwest-tribes-maximize-steelhead-populations <p>Steelhead in the Columbia River Basin are threatened. Current populations have dwindled to a fraction of the historic numbers a century ago. That has led two Northwest Indian Tribes to try something new to help this struggling fish survive.&nbsp; Both tribes are learning from each other along the way.</p><p>The snow is almost gone in north Idaho. But it’s still cold, almost freezing on this early morning at the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery near Orofino.</p> Thu, 28 Mar 2013 14:12:41 +0000 Aaron Kunz 23153 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Northwest Tribes Maximize Steelhead Populations Idaho Nuclear Task Force Issues Final Recommendations http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-nuclear-task-force-issues-final-recommendations <p></p> Thu, 07 Feb 2013 14:49:04 +0000 Aaron Kunz 20629 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org How Long Will Nuclear Research Power Idaho's Desert Communities? http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/how-long-will-nuclear-research-power-idahos-desert-communities <p>The Idaho National Lab (INL) is the nation’s lead nuclear research laboratory. It’s also an economic engine for eastern Idaho. There are fears that with big federal spending cuts - the INL could lose it’s ‘national lab’ designation or be closed altogether.</p><p></p><p> Tue, 05 Feb 2013 14:34:41 +0000 Aaron Kunz 20465 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org How Long Will Nuclear Research Power Idaho's Desert Communities? Officials Recommend Wolverine For Protection Under Endangered Species Act http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/officials-recommend-wolverine-protection-under-endangered-species-act <p>The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says wolverines need to be protected under the Endangered Species Act because warming temperatures are shrinking their habitat.</p><p></p><p> Mon, 04 Feb 2013 21:03:58 +0000 Ashley Ahearn 20471 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Officials Recommend Wolverine For Protection Under Endangered Species Act Environmental Groups Seek Ban of Common Pesticide Chlorpyrifos http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/environmental-groups-seek-ban-common-pesticide-chlorpyrifos <p></p><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; font: normal normal normal 14px/normal Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); line-height: 1.5em; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; ">Three environmental groups will make the case in court Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency has failed to act on their petition to the agency to ban a common pesticide,&nbsp;<a href="http://npic.orst.edu/ingred/chlorpyrifos.html" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: initial; outline-style: none; outline-color: initial; font-size: 14px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 122, 171); font: normal normal normal 14px/normal Georgia, serif; text-decoration: none; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; " title="">chlorpyrifos</a>. &nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 04 Feb 2013 14:17:55 +0000 Amelia Templeton 20438 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Environmental Groups Seek Ban of Common Pesticide Chlorpyrifos At Public Meeting Seattle Shows Strong Opposition To Gateway Pacific Terminal http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/public-meeting-seattle-shows-strong-opposition-gateway-pacific-terminal <p>More than 2,000 people showed up Thursday to tell regulators what they think should be considered in the environmental review of a proposed coal export terminal near Bellingham, Wash. If built, it could be the largest such facility on the West Coast.</p> Fri, 14 Dec 2012 14:57:37 +0000 Ashley Ahearn 18061 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org At Public Meeting Seattle Shows Strong Opposition To Gateway Pacific Terminal Audit Pushed To Rekindle Mining Act Reforms http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/audit-pushed-rekindle-mining-act-reforms <p>A <a href="http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-45R">report</a> released Wednesday indicates the United States government has no idea exactly how much gold, silver and copper is being dug up from public lands. Lawmakers say it’s one more reason to overhaul a mining law from the 1800s.</p><p>When companies drill for oil, natural gas or coal, they must report how much they obtain. And they pay royalties for the minerals they extract. That puts $10 billion into the U.S. Treasury every year, according to the Government Accountability Office.</p> Thu, 13 Dec 2012 16:47:19 +0000 Aaron Kunz 17997 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Audit Pushed To Rekindle Mining Act Reforms Idaho Task Force Considers Nuclear Waste http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-task-force-considers-nuclear-waste <p>A task force in Idaho issued a first draft Monday of recommendations that could include the shipment of spent nuclear waste into the state.</p><p>Idaho’s Leadership in Nuclear Energy Commission offered 60 preliminary recommendations. The goal is to strengthen the role of nuclear energy in Idaho and establish a future for one of the state’s largest employers, the Idaho National Lab.</p> Tue, 04 Dec 2012 00:00:21 +0000 Aaron Kunz 17531 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Task Force Considers Nuclear Waste How Creating a Market For Juniper Could Help Oregon’s High Desert http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/how-creating-market-juniper-could-help-oregon-s-high-desert <p>You can stroll into any&nbsp;lumber yard&nbsp;in the Northwest and walk out with a load of pine, fir, cedar, or maple wood.&nbsp; Ask for juniper, though, and you’ll probably get a blank look. But that may change. Juniper trees have overpopulated eastern Oregon, and scientists say they're sucking the high desert dry.</p><p>A group of environmental entrepreneurs thinks the best way to restore the desert is by creating a commercial market for juniper.</p> Wed, 21 Nov 2012 16:43:46 +0000 Amelia Templeton 17017 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org How Creating a Market For Juniper Could Help Oregon’s High Desert Idaho LINE Commission Delays Recommendation http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-line-commission-delays-recommendation <p>An Idaho task force will delay its release of a draft proposal on ways to strengthen the state’s nuclear energy industry.&nbsp;</p><p>The Idaho Leadership in Nuclear Energy Commission was expected to release its draft recommendations on Monday so the public could weigh in. From there, it planned to deliver a final version on January First to Governor Otter.</p> Sat, 17 Nov 2012 00:57:46 +0000 Aaron Kunz 16803 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org NW Power Utilities Turn Focus to Energy Efficiency http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/nw-power-utilities-turn-focus-energy-efficiency <p>Northwest power utilities have been pushing for energy conservation. It’s a way they can keep up with their customers' future demand for electricity. There are plenty of incentives if you buy an energy efficient appliance. But these days, utilities are finding more inventive ways to promote awareness.</p> Thu, 15 Nov 2012 16:17:12 +0000 Aaron Kunz 16679 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org NW Power Utilities Turn Focus to Energy Efficiency Voters Sign Off On Amendment To Protect Right To Hunt, Fish And Trap http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/voters-sign-amendment-protect-right-hunt-fish-and-trap <div><div><p>A constitutional amendment to protect the right to hunt, fish and trap has been approved by a wide margin by Idaho voters.</p><p>With nearly 50 percent of precincts reporting, HJR2 earned support from 74.4 percent of voters early Wednesday morning.</p><p>Idaho now joins 13 other states that have added similar language into their state constitutions.</p> Wed, 07 Nov 2012 07:28:35 +0000 Todd Dvorak 16255 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Voters Sign Off On Amendment To Protect Right To Hunt, Fish And Trap Idaho Miner Says He's Not Interested in Salmon River http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-miner-says-hes-not-interested-salmon-river <p>A gold miner who got the go-ahead to dredge a half mile section of the Salmon River in Idaho may be calling it quits.<br><br>Mike Conklin of Grangeville, Idaho told the Idaho Department of Lands he won’t be signing the lease he worked for this past summer. The lease approved by the State Land Board would have given him the exclusive right to mine on a half mile of the Salmon River three hours north of Boise.<br> Thu, 18 Oct 2012 22:54:44 +0000 Aaron Kunz 15305 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Miner Says He's Not Interested in Salmon River Northwest Utilities Target Football Fans With New Efficiency Campaign http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/northwest-utilities-target-football-fans-new-efficiency-campaign <p>An alliance of Northwest power utilities <a href="http://earthfix.opb.org/energy/article/energy-efficiency-campaign-draws-attention-to-tvs/">kicked off a campaign</a> this month to curb energy use by college football fans.</p><p>The energy efficiency campaign is called “Are You Fan Enough.” It gives people the chance to win a furnished tailgate party and a new energy efficient TV.</p><p>Ty Stober is the initiative lead for the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. He explains that nearly half of the TV’s in the U.S. are older tube based models.</p> Mon, 15 Oct 2012 17:17:05 +0000 Aaron Kunz 15094 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Northwest Utilities Target Football Fans With New Efficiency Campaign Northwest Cities And Towns Still Struggle To Control Sewage Plant Pollution http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/northwest-cities-and-towns-still-struggle-control-sewage-plant-pollution <p>A major goal of the 1972 Clean Water Act was to stop cities and towns from discharging raw sewage. The federal government gave communities billion of dollars to build wastewater treatment plants. But those early grants are gone and those plants have aged.</p> Tue, 02 Oct 2012 15:57:24 +0000 Bonnie Stewart & Courtney Flatt 14425 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Northwest Cities And Towns Still Struggle To Control Sewage Plant Pollution Federal Energy Commission Makes Statement on Wind Energy http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/federal-energy-commission-makes-statement-wind-energy <p>The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Idaho Power must honor its obligation to purchase energy from wind farms. But it stopped short of taking enforceable action while the Idaho Public Utilities Commission decides how to rule on the case.</p><p>Gene Fadness is a spokesman with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. “This order comes even before we’ve made a decision," explains Fadness. "The wind developers wanted something before a commission order hoping that that would perhaps sway the commission in their deliberations.”</p> Fri, 21 Sep 2012 22:04:08 +0000 Aaron Kunz 13924 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Federal Energy Commission Makes Statement on Wind Energy