Environment http://boisestatepublicradio.org en Winter Or Wildfires? See When Treasure Valley Air Is Most Polluted http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/winter-or-wildfires-see-when-treasure-valley-air-most-polluted <p></p><p>The Treasure Valley has seen a handful of wildfire-induced <a href="http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/boise-surrounded-wildfires-smoke-could-be-here-weeks" target="_blank">hazy days this summer</a>, but it's been nothing like 2012 or 2013 when big wildfires around the region brought smoke into Boise and surrounding communities, settling in the valleys and making it hard to breathe.</p> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 22:19:52 +0000 Adam Cotterell & Emilie Ritter Saunders 51160 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Winter Or Wildfires? See When Treasure Valley Air Is Most Polluted Idaho Lawmakers To Examine Endowment Land Investments http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-lawmakers-examine-endowment-land-investments <p></p><p>An interim committee of Idaho lawmakers tasked with determining if Idaho endowment lands are being managed properly to generate revenue is scheduled to meet for the first time Thursday.</p><p>Republican Rep. John Vander Woude of Nampa is co-chairman of the committee.</p><p><a href="http://bit.ly/1pVK53I" target="_blank">He tells the Lewiston Tribune</a> that the entire endowment of land and investments is worth more than $3 billion but only generates about $50 million in annual payouts to public schools, universities and other trust beneficiaries.</p> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:52:01 +0000 Associated Press 51137 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Bigger, Faster Air Tankers Help Forest Service Tackle Wildfires http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/bigger-faster-air-tankers-help-forest-service-tackle-wildfires In the battle against wildfires, the Forest Service often draws on a fleet of air tankers — planes that drop fire retardant from the sky.<p>But the fleet shrank dramatically in the early 2000s, and by 2012, the Forest Service was woefully low on planes. Tue, 19 Aug 2014 19:50:00 +0000 Scott Graf 50746 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Bigger, Faster Air Tankers Help Forest Service Tackle Wildfires Dredging On Docket For Managing Lower Snake River Sediment http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/dredging-docket-managing-lower-snake-river-sediment <p></p><p>The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released its final plan and environmental impact statement for managing sediment accumulation in the lower Snake and Clearwater rivers in northern Idaho.</p><p>The plan calls for dredging the navigation channel of the lower Snake River at the confluence of the Clearwater River as early as between Dec. 15 and Feb. 28 this winter.</p><p><a href="http://bit.ly/1vSxGlA" target="_blank">The Lewiston Tribune reports</a> that the agency has been working on the plan since 2005. The final plan is more than 3,900 pages and cost $16 million to prepare.</p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:58:03 +0000 Associated Press 50770 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Dredging On Docket For Managing Lower Snake River Sediment Report: Yellowstone Region Earthquake Hazard Higher Than Once Thought http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/report-yellowstone-region-earthquake-hazard-higher-once-thought <p></p><p>A new U.S. Geological Survey report indicates a slightly greater earthquake hazard in the Greater Yellowstone region of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho than previously thought.</p><p>And the USGS map of seismic hazards shows that the region is as seismically hazardous as anywhere in the United States.&nbsp;</p><p>University of Utah geophysicist Bob Smith <a href="http://bit.ly/1m2XQZ7" target="_blank">tells the Jackson Hole News &amp; Guide</a> that the nationwide USGS earthquake hazard maps and adjoining documents were last updated in 2006.</p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:49:54 +0000 Associated Press 50769 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Report: Yellowstone Region Earthquake Hazard Higher Than Once Thought Fire Managers: Keep Drones Away From Wildfires http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/fire-managers-keep-drones-away-wildfires <p>Those who oversee the government’s aerial firefighting operations are asking the public to keep drones away from wildfires. Officials at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise say there have been three instances this year in which drones interfered with aerial firefighting.</p> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 22:09:06 +0000 Scott Graf 50663 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Fire Managers: Keep Drones Away From Wildfires Idaho Wolf Derby Group Asks For 5 Year Permit http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-wolf-derby-group-asks-5-year-permit <p></p><p>Organizers of a disputed predator derby aimed at killing wolves in central Idaho are asking for a five-year permit to hold the contest.</p><p><a href="http://bit.ly/1nW7xbv" target="_blank">The Idaho Mountain Express reports</a> in a story on Thursday that the group called Idaho for Wildlife applied with the Bureau of Land Management for a special recreation permit.</p><p>The hunt went ahead last year after a U.S. District Court ruled against an environmental group that filed a lawsuit to stop the event.</p> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 16:02:45 +0000 Associated Press 50639 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Wolf Derby Group Asks For 5 Year Permit Hundreds Of Chinook Salmon Die After Central Idaho Storms http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/hundreds-chinook-salmon-die-after-central-idaho-storms <p></p><p>Hundreds of adult chinook salmon needed to create future generations have been killed after rainstorms sent sediment into a fish trap on the South Fork of the Salmon River in central Idaho.</p><p><a href="http://bit.ly/1nWicD4" target="_blank">Officials tell the Idaho Statesman</a> that the loss means significantly fewer adult chinook salmon will return to the South Fork Salmon in 2018.</p><p>The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says the rain event on Aug. 6 caused sediment to flow into holding ponds and suffocate the fish.</p> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 15:59:46 +0000 Associated Press 50638 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Hundreds Of Chinook Salmon Die After Central Idaho Storms Triple Rescue And Rehab Ends Well For Lucky Ospreys http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/triple-rescue-and-rehab-ends-well-lucky-ospreys <a href="http://cpa.ds.npr.org/northwestnews/audio/2014/08/081414TB_OspreyRescue_web.mp3" class="asset-audio"></a><p>Three young ospreys and a parent are flying free along the Columbia River today after surviving close calls with litter.<p> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 23:51:00 +0000 Tom Banse 50612 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Triple Rescue And Rehab Ends Well For Lucky Ospreys Shifting Climate Has North Dakota Farmers Swapping Wheat For Corn http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/shifting-climate-has-north-dakota-farmers-swapping-wheat-corn Overall, climate change is predicted to hurt agriculture around the world. It could even threaten corn production in the Corn Belt.<p>But in North Dakota conditions are now better for raising corn, and that's a big benefit for farmers.<p>When I was growing up in Wolford, N.D., up near the Canadian border, wheat was king. It had been the dominant crop since the prairie was first plowed in the late 1800s. Wed, 13 Aug 2014 22:32:00 +0000 John Ydstie 50546 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Shifting Climate Has North Dakota Farmers Swapping Wheat For Corn Feds Decide Wolverine Does Not Merit Threatened Species Status http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/feds-decide-wolverine-does-not-merit-threatened-species-status <a href="http://cpa.ds.npr.org/northwestnews/audio/2014/08/081214TB_Wolverine.mp3" class="asset-audio"></a><p>The wolverine is not going on the threatened species list after all. Tuesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced federal protected status for the fierce and rare carnivore <a href="http://www.fws.gov/news/ShowNews.cfm?ID=CB5069E7-CFB9-BC06-C70E63988DF271A7">is unwarranted at this time</a>.<p> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 22:00:00 +0000 Tom Banse 50489 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Feds Decide Wolverine Does Not Merit Threatened Species Status Federal Officials Withdraw Proposed Protections For Wolverines http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/federal-officials-withdraw-proposed-protections-wolverines <p></p><p>Federal wildlife officials are withdrawing proposed protections for the snow-loving wolverine — a reversal that highlights lingering uncertainties over what a warming climate means for some temperature-sensitive species.</p><p>U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe said that while climate change is a reality, predictions about its localized impacts remain "ambiguous."</p><p>Ashe says that makes it impossible to determine whether wolverines are in danger of extinction.</p><p>The Associated Press obtained the decision ahead of Tuesday's formal announcement.</p> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 19:21:31 +0000 Associated Press 50468 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Federal Officials Withdraw Proposed Protections For Wolverines Yellowstone Recommends Removing Nearly 20 Percent Of Park Bison http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/yellowstone-recommends-removing-nearly-20-percent-park-bison <p></p><p>Yellowstone National Park administrators are recommending the removal of roughly 900 bison next winter through hunting, shipments to slaughter and for research purposes.</p><p>The proposal represents about 19 percent of the park's wild bison.</p><p>Officials say removing the animals will relieve population pressures that periodically push large numbers of migrating bison into Montana during harsh winters.</p><p>Wildlife advocates say a better approach would be allowing bison into areas outside the park where they are now barred.</p> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 16:59:51 +0000 Associated Press 50397 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Yellowstone Recommends Removing Nearly 20 Percent Of Park Bison 7,000 Acre Timber Butte Fire Burning North Of Boise http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/7000-acre-timber-butte-fire-burning-north-boise <div><div><p>A 7,000 acre fire burning north of Boise near the town of Sweet, Idaho made a significant run after sparking Saturday afternoon. The <a href="http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4071/" target="_blank">Timber Butte Fire</a> is burning in Gem and Boise counties. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 16:00:22 +0000 Scott Graf 50393 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org 7,000 Acre Timber Butte Fire Burning North Of Boise Idaho's Big Cougar Fire Burns 100 Square Miles Near Lewiston http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idahos-big-cougar-fire-burns-100-square-miles-near-lewiston <p><em>This story was updated at 9:45 a.m. Aug. 11, 2014</em></p><p>The Big Cougar fire burning in northern Idaho has charred 65,000 acres and is 50 percent contained.</p><p>The Idaho Department of Lands reports nine structures have now been destroyed by the fire that is burning south of Lewiston. An additional 200 structures are still considered threatened.</p><p>Lightning sparked the fire August 2. Mandatory and voluntary evacuations are still in effect for some residents in the area. <a href="http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4052/" target="_blank">Click here</a> to find the latest.</p> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 15:35:45 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders & Associated Press 50062 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho's Big Cougar Fire Burns 100 Square Miles Near Lewiston Park Officials Can't Find A Drone That Sank In One Of Yellowstone's Icons http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/park-officials-cant-find-drone-sank-one-yellowstones-icons <p></p><p>Rangers have not been able to spot the unmanned drone that crashed and sank in a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park last weekend. <span id="_oneup" style="font-size: 13px;">A tourist flew a drone into the hot spring despite a park ban on drones.</span></p><p>Park spokesman Al Nash says rangers are considering using a helicopter to see if they can spot it from the air.</p><p>Even if they find it, Nash tells the <a href="http://bit.ly/1sF1364" target="_blank">Jackson Hole News &amp; Guide</a> that it's not known if the drone can be removed from the Grand Prismatic Spring.</p> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 16:34:26 +0000 Associated Press 50251 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Park Officials Can't Find A Drone That Sank In One Of Yellowstone's Icons Canadian Mine Dam Break Could Threaten Northwest Salmon Fisheries http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/canadian-mine-dam-break-could-threaten-northwest-salmon-fisheries <p></p><p>A dam break at a central British Columbia mine could threaten salmon fisheries in the Pacific Northwest.</p><p>Mount Polley is an open-pit copper and gold mine roughly 400 miles north of Seattle. A dam holding back water and silt leftover from the mining process broke Monday. It released enough material to fill more than 2,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.</p><p>Government regulators have not yet determined its content. But documents show it could contain sulfur, arsenic and mercury.</p> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 16:20:48 +0000 Ed Schoenfeld 50250 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Canadian Mine Dam Break Could Threaten Northwest Salmon Fisheries August Storm Dumps 3 Inches Of Rain On Twin Falls Causing Floods, Mudslides http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/august-storm-dumps-3-inches-rain-twin-falls-causing-floods-mudslides <p></p><p>A slow-moving weather system in south-central Idaho that the National Weather Service is calling a 100-year storm dumped nearly 3 inches of rain on Twin Falls and caused widespread flooding.</p><p>Twin Falls City Manager <a href="http://bit.ly/V0DUPs" target="_blank">Travis Rothweiler tells The Times-News</a> that the city's drainage system on Wednesday became overwhelmed, causing flooded streets, homes and businesses.</p><p>Rothweiler says sewage backed up into seven homes in the city, and that state and federal agencies have been notified.</p> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 16:18:54 +0000 Associated Press 50179 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org August Storm Dumps 3 Inches Of Rain On Twin Falls Causing Floods, Mudslides Flooding Closes Boise National Forest Road http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/flooding-closes-boise-national-forest-road <p>A road used by recreationists in the Boise National Forest is closed due to flooding.&nbsp; A Boise National Forest spokesman says the Middle Fork Boise River road is closed above Arrowrock Reservoir.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Thanks to early morning flash flooding, 15 miles of road from the junction of Slide Gulch and the Middle Fork Boise River Road are closed.</span></p><p>Forest officials say they’re working with the Atlanta Highway District to repair the road, but it could be closed for several days.</p> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 21:25:54 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 50143 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Flooding Closes Boise National Forest Road Ag Secretary: Wildfire Funding Almost Gone (Again) http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/ag-secretary-wildfire-funding-almost-gone-again <p>Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the U.S. Forest Service will soon have to tap into programs designed to prevent wildfires so that it can meet the expenses of fighting blazes this summer.</p><p>Vilsack says about $400 million to $500 million in forestry projects will have to be put on hold in what has become a routine exercise.</p><p>He predicted that the money set aside strictly for firefighting will run out by the end of August.</p><p>Some 30 large fires are working their way through federal and state forests in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho.</p> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 15:11:46 +0000 Associated Press 50112 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Ag Secretary: Wildfire Funding Almost Gone (Again)