Environment

Cathleen Allison / AP Photo

Congressional Republicans are moving forward with legislation to roll back the Endangered Species Act, amid complaints that the landmark 44-year-old law hinders drilling, logging and other activities.

At simultaneous hearings Wednesday, House and Senate committees considered bills to revise the law and limit lengthy and costly litigation associated with it.

Gary Kramer / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Gray wolves killed a record number of livestock in Wyoming last year, and wildlife managers responded by killing a record number of wolves that were responsible, according to a new federal report.

The report released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that wolves killed 243 livestock, including 154 cattle, 88 sheep and one horse, in 2016. In 2015, 134 livestock deaths attributed to wolves were recorded.

Last year's livestock losses in Wyoming exceeded the previous record of 222 in 2009.

coa, Idaho Power
Nigel Duara / AP Images

It’s been more than a month since President Trump announced a withdrawal from the Paris Climate agreement. Part of that agreement included a goal of replacing coal-fired plants with natural gas and renewable energy. But in Idaho, there’s a move away from coal energy – largely driven by the economy.

Bruce Fingerhood / Flickr Creative Commons

Farmers in the U.S. West face a creepy scourge every eight years or so: Swarms of ravenous insects that can decimate crops and cause slippery, bug-slick car crashes as they march across highways and roads.

Experts say this year could be a banner one for Mormon crickets — 3-inch-long bugs named after the Mormon pioneers who moved West and learned firsthand the insect's devastating effect on forage and grain fields.

inciweb.gov

Three big fires raged across the Bureau of Land Management’s Twin Falls District this week.

Jackie Johnston / AP Images

A debate about four Washington state dams has put the spotlight back on a longstanding story about salmon. The Idaho Statesman has begun a series about the endangered species, which asks whether destroying the dams will be enough to save the fish. Frankie Barnhill sat down with Statesman reporter Rocky Barker to learn more about what’s at stake.
 

Toby Talbot / AP Photo

A teen staffer at a Colorado camp fought off a bear after waking up Sunday to find the animal biting his head and trying to drag him away.

The 19-year-old woke up at around 4 a.m. to a "crunching sound" with his head inside the mouth of the bear, which was trying to pull him out of his sleeping bag as he slept outside at Glacier View Ranch 48 miles northwest of Denver, Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said. The teen punched and hit it and other staffers who were sleeping nearby yelled and swatted at the bear, which eventually left, she said.

Ken Cole / Western Watersheds Project

An environmental group and the U.S. Forest Service have agreed to a deal to help fish in the Salmon River.

Screengrab / Idaho Department of Lands

The Idaho Department of Lands has released a map detailing recreation accessibility on the state's public endowment lands despite earlier political resistance from Idaho lawmakers.

According to the agency, Director Tom Schultz requested the mapping of the state-owned land after the Idaho Legislature spiked a resolution urging the department to highlight which areas are accessible for recreation.

Jim Urquhart / AP Photo

Native American tribes, clans and leaders from seven states and Canada say the U.S. government's recent decision to lift protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area violates their religious freedom.

They are suing to block the government from removing Yellowstone grizzlies from the endangered and threatened species list, which would allow Montana, Wyoming and Idaho to hold grizzly bear hunts.

Pockafwye / Flickr

Things are heating up around the Treasure Valley and across much of southern Idaho. Little relief appears to be in sight for the heatwave that could break records.

In eastern Idaho, people are in the midst of a heatwave that, if it keeps up, could be the longest in the region’s history. It’s not so much the temperatures that are setting records, though a few have fallen in the past few days, but it’s the sustained high temperatures says Dawn Harmon.

gray wolf, wolves
U.S. Fish & Wildlife

Idaho Fish and Game is thinking about changing the rules for some kinds of hunting in the Gem State.

In what's known as a "negotiated rule making process," Fish and Game is giving the public a chance to weigh in on the six proposed changes.

One change would allow hunters to use bait when hunting wolves. If the rule is implemented, specific times and uses of bait would be outlined.

Cliff Hall / Flickr Creative Commons

After a 60-year-old woman and her dogs were attacked by a black bear in North Idaho Tuesday, wildlife officials are reminding people of how to stay safe in the outdoors.

The woman was hiking on a trail near a visitors’ center at the Idaho Panhandle National Forests when a black bear charged her, biting her head, stomach and side. The woman’s dogs were also injured. All are expected to recover.

Phil Cooper with Idaho Fish and Game says the attack was likely the result of the woman and her dogs surprising the bear and her cub.

Wild Lens

Local filmmakers, who are making a movie about the plight of a critically endangered sea mammal, say there are now likely less than 25 of the animals left in the Gulf of California.

Boise filmmaker Matthew Podolsky started documenting the story of the small, dolphin-like vaquita over two years ago. Since he learned the animals were dying in gill nets he’s been telling their story in short films. He’s watched the number of remaining vaquita continue to drop each year.

Boise Parks and Recreation Department

It’s been a year since last June’s Table Rock Fire in the Boise Foothills destroyed 2,500 acres of wildlife habitat. Sparked by illegal fireworks, the blaze burned and blackened the sagebrush-covered landscape. Over the last 12 months, a group of people and agencies have worked to restore the area.

Martha Brabec says she’s seeing progress when she travels through the burn area. As Boise Parks and Recreation’s Foothills Restoration Specialist, she’s on the front lines of the fire recovery effort.

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