Environment

American Kestrel Partnership / The Peregrine Fund

It’s nesting time for many birds in Idaho, including the American Kestrel.  In fact, you can watch a pair of kestrels sitting on their eggs right now, through a live webcam.  It’s part of a new project by the Peregrine Fund that launches today to get people involved in helping gather information n kestrels.  The goal is to help scientists understand why the American Kestrel is in steady decline across North America.

Updated Monday, April 23, 2012:  Idaho National Laboratory suspended some work last week at a complex where nuclear fuel and other research takes place.  This comes after a small roof fire and a crane accident at its Materials and Fuels Complex.  Over the past few months,  a number of safety incidents have occurred there.

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

Sheep grazing along trails is a rite of spring in the Boise foothills, so are the White Great Pyrenees dogs that protect them. 

Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission spokesman Steve Stuebner says it's important to keep pets leashed up to avoid a confrontation with the guard dogs.   "And then if you’re on a mountain bike and you come up to the sheep, it’s a good idea to dismount from your bike and get off your bike and walk through the sheep."

Two-Headed Trout Leads to Scrutiny of Mine Pollution

Apr 19, 2012
J.R. Simplot/Idaho DEQ

Here’s an image you usually don’t see without the help of Photoshop: two-headed fish.  Pictures of deformed baby trout with two heads show up in a study of creeks in a remote part of southeast Idaho.  The study examined the effects of a contaminant called selenium.  It comes from a nearby mine owned by the Boise-based agribusiness giant, J.R. Simplot.  Critics say the two-headed trout have implications beyond a couple of Idaho creeks. 

A couple from Twisp, Wash., has accepted a plea deal in a wolf poaching case. Under the agreement with federal prosecutors, Tom White and his wife will not face jail time.

White, his father, and his wife Erin were indicted last year in a conspiracy to kill some of the handful of grey wolves that live in eastern Washington. Police discovered the poaching scheme in late 2008 when the family tried to send a wolf pelt to a tanner in Canada. A business owner in Omak, Wash., reported the FedEx package was bleeding.

Idaho National Laboratory

A small fire at the Idaho National Laboratory flared up Monday afternoon on the roof of a building at the lab’s Materials and Fuels Complex.  The fire was put out with no injuries.  INL spokesman Ethan Huffman believes welding work sparked the blaze. "The particular building that had the fire involved in it did not house radioactive materials.  It housed standard offices, conference rooms, the cafeteria."  Huffman says there is no danger or risk to the public.  He characterizes it as a minor fire. 

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio

More Electric Cars Could Mean More Power Demand

Apr 13, 2012
Rain Rabbit / Flickr

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council says more electric cars on the roads will use more power in the future.   The agency is increasing its previous estimates of how much power plug-in cars will need by 2030. The Council says high gas prices and better technology could drive up electric car sales. That means drivers will need more power to plug in their vehicles.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game disclosed details Thursday on its investigation of wolf trapper  Josh Branford.  He posed in front of a live, trapped wolf and posted the photo on the Internet

Branford did nothing illegal according to Mike Keckler, chief of communications for Idaho Fish and Game.  “He had all the necessary licenses and tags to trap the wolf.  But, in our view, he should have used better judgment before photographing himself and placing it out there.” 

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

Three conservation groups want to stop domestic sheep from grazing on certain areas within the Payette National Forest.  They fear Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep will catch diseases transmitted by their domestic cousins.  These groups filed a motion in federal court this week to force the U.S Forest Service to further restrict sheep grazing.

Grisly Photo Adds Fuel to Wolf Hunt Debate

Apr 4, 2012
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

A photo of a trapped wolf in Idaho has splashed new fuel on the flames of the debate over wolves. Environmental groups say the image demonstrates what they see as the cruelty of wolf trapping in Idaho. But state and federal authorities say there was nothing illegal about the picture.

An anti-trapping group in Montana found the photo on a forum called Trapperman.com. In the background, you can see a wolf with one of its hind feet caught in a trap. The snow around the wolf has turned pink from blood. In the foreground a trapper smiles at the camera.

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