Environment

Pikas are fluffy mammals that live at high altitudes across the West. They squeak when danger nears. The squeaky fluff-balls are considered indicators of climate change because they’re so sensitive to heat. Scientists say they have found some of animals in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are behaving strangely.

Jessica Castillo Vardaro, a wildlife biologist with the University of California, Berkeley, studies pika genetics, a field that can involve some unusual data collection methods.

Earlier this year, Federal Officials in Utah posted the confidential location and description of about 900 artifacts - by mistake. Reveal News reported the Bureau of Land Management’s error this week. Now archaeologists are worried that these artifacts are now vulnerable to looters.  

NASA via AP

The Martin Fire has scorched almost 700 square miles north of Winnemucca. Much of that land is owned by the Bureau of Land Management.

According to the Western Governors Association, species like the Canada thistle and common carp aren’t just nuisances -- they’re a matter of western biosecurity.

Hundreds of veterans are calling on Congress to scrap a seemingly unrelated attachment to this year’s defense spending bill.

Jeremy Nicholson / Idaho Fish and Game

This bear is taking a nap, courtesy of Idaho Fish and Game. The young male grizzly was trapped near the Mill Creek Campground in Island Park Wednesday.

Amelia Templeton / OPB

This week President Trump pardoned two Oregon ranchers serving five-year prison terms for arson on federal lands. The two men had become a cause celebre in the ongoing fight between ranchers and the federal government over water and grazing rights.

 


Record-breaking temperatures are scorching the United States with parts of our region seeing all-time highs. A number of heat-related deaths are already being reported in the U.S.

Cows
Mouldfish / Flickr Creative Commons

A house subcommittee is focusing on grazing on public lands on Thursday. Republican leaders want to discuss what they call the regulatory burdens on the industry.


Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park | Flickr Creative Commons

Bipartisan legislation before the Senate would finally designate congressional funds to take care of about $12 billion of deferred maintenance for national parks. 

 

Utah is the only state in the Mountain West region that offers a bounty for coyotes — a major predator of young mule deer. Now the program is being updated because some people are cheating.

Travis S. / Flickr

The U.S. Forest Service has settled a lawsuit from environmental groups to prevent domestic sheep from grazing in areas inhabited by native Bighorns.

Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

When we started looking into our series “Our Changing Idaho,” we asked listeners to call or write in with comments about growth. We heard one consistent theme over and over: Families kept saying that they want to buy a home, but can’t afford it in the current housing market.

Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park | Flickr Creative Commons

A year and a half into the Trump presidency and several federal land agencies do not have directors—
including the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Former land managers say the lack of leadership has grave consequences for the future of public lands.

 

NPR/Ted S. Warren/AP

We look at efforts by the Idaho chapter of the Nature Conservancy to preserve the natural landscape of Yellowstone Park.

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