Craters Of The Moon

Yellowstone National Park / Flickr

Although Craters Of The Moon National Monument in the eastern part of the state wasn’t directly in the path of totality, the otherworldly landscape proved a popular destination with eclipse-watchers. The monument near Arco saw a record amount of visitors and made a big announcement.


Michelle Price / AP Images

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says Craters of the Moon National Monument should stay the same. The announcement comes after President Trump ordered a review of 27 monuments this spring, which included Craters. Zinke opened up a public comment period after the order, and said in a press release that these comments influenced his decision.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

Poll data released by Idaho Politics Weekly shows a majority of Idahoans support re-designating Craters of the Moon National Monument a national park.

The poll finds 55 percent of state residents are in favor of bumping up Craters to the more prestigious and visible national park status; 32 percent don't want to see the vast lava fields changed from their current state.

Troy Smith / Flickr Creative Commons

President Donald Trump signed an executive order that questions the validity of some national monuments in the West.  The order applies to any national monument created after 1995 that totals at least 100,000 acres.

Friday, the Interior Department released the list of monuments up for review and announced the first-ever public comment period on the topic. In a new twist, Idaho's Craters of the Moon National Monument made the list.

Timelapsed / Flickr

Visitors to National Park Service land in Idaho brought in almost $40 million to the state economy last year.

A new report from National Parks found that almost 629,000 people came to Idaho monuments and historic sites in 2016. They spent $31 million and created 525 jobs. That had a cumulative benefit of almost $40 million to Idaho’s economy.

There are seven facilities in Idaho managed by the National Park Service. That includes the Minidoka National Historical Site and Craters of the Moon National Monument.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

California has Yosemite, Montana Yellowstone and Washington Mount Ranier. Every western state has a National Park – except Idaho. But that may change. A group in the small town of Arco is looking to get a nearby National Monument re-designated as Idaho’s first National Park.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

A coalition in southern Idaho hopes to turn Craters of the Moon National Monument into Idaho's first national park.

Butte County commissioner Rose Bernal told KIVI-TV that getting the monument national park status could provide a much-needed boost to the struggling local economy and draw tourists already headed to Yellowstone. But opponents fear a switch could lead to land use limitations.

Yellowstone National Park extends slightly into Idaho and Montana, but it's mostly in Wyoming.

Craters of the Moon National Monument / Flickr Creative Commons

The National Parks Service (NPS) is offering free admission to all parks, preserves, monuments and historical sites through April 24. The annual week of freebies has added meaning this spring: the NPS is celebrating its centennial in 2016. 

Timelapsed / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho State University and NASA are collaborating on research that may help scientists find life on other planets and improve radar to land rovers more safely on Mars.

The Idaho State Journal reports two teams are researching lava flows at the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve using rocks that ISU Geosciences assistant professor Shannon Kobs-Nawotniak says are very similar to those found on Mars.

rbbaird / Flickr Creative Commons

Toxicology tests are planned on the body of a 21-year-old commercial pilot who died after his backcountry aircraft crashed within Craters of the Moon National Monument in south-central Idaho.

Blaine County Coroner Russ Mikel says Neil MacNichol of McCall died of blunt force trauma in the crash on Thursday.

Authorities say MacNichol was flying from Moab, Utah, to Stanley, Idaho, when he disappeared. The wreckage was found on Friday on a portion of the monument managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Dana Orlosky / Flickr

A decades old proposal to upgrade Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve to a national park is getting new life.

The monument's superintendent, Dan Buckley, is proposing the upgrade and says he's briefed Idaho's congressional delegation. The move would ultimately require congressional approval.

Idaho is the only state in the West without a national park entirely within its borders.

rbbaird / Flickr Creative Commons

Searchers have found the body of a Boise woman after a four-week effort at Craters of the Moon National Monument in south-central Idaho.

Park Superintendent Dan Buckley says the body of Dr. Jodean "Jo" Elliott-Blakeslee was spotted Tuesday evening by park rangers in a helicopter. Her body was about a mile from where the body of her friend Amy Linkert, was found on Sept. 26. Butte County officials said it appeared the 69-year-old Linkert died of exposure.

Courtesy of the Sun Valley Film Festival

Organizers of the Sun Valley Film Festival are calling this year’s event a success. Ticket sales nearly doubled from last year and eight awards were given to filmmakers.

Director Sean Baker received the Festival’s highest honor, the Vision Award, for his film Starlet. It’s about an unlikely friendship between a young aspiring actress and an elderly widow. 

Automatic budget cuts could affect your vacation plans. That’s because the U.S. Department of Interior says those cuts will reduce what national parks can spend if Congress doesn’t come to an agreement by Friday.

All national parks and monuments, including those in the Pacific Northwest, will have to cut 5 percent of their budgets. That might not sound like a lot, but the vast majority of their budgets cover things like salaries and utilities.

Courtesy of Mike Medberry

Twelve years ago, Boise writer Mike Medberry took off with friends to hike in Craters of the Moon National Monument in eastern Idaho. 

They camped that night, staying up to recite poetry. Medberry – a longtime advocate of conservation – tells Sadie Babits the next morning he tried to tell more poetry but couldn’t find the words.  He stumbled a bit but didn’t think anything of it as the group began their hike through the lava. Medberry says what happened that day is the basis for his new book “On the Dark Side of The Moon.”