Environment

Wildfire season is ramping up in the region. Fire teams are now working to quash one outside Durango, Colorado, and Utah recently stopped another. That state is now doing prescribed burns to reduce the chance of a bigger blaze.

Amanda Peacher / Mountain West News Bureau

Environmental Protection Agency leader Scott Pruitt made a quiet visit to Boise Tuesday, to sign a new agreement between his agency and the state of Idaho.

 

BumbleBCons / Flickr

Biologists are putting out the call to citizen scientists to help them map the bumblebee population in Idaho. 

You may not have been to Yellowstone or the Grand Teton but you’ve probably seen photos of Bear 610 and her family. Still, the grizzly hasn’t been spotted this year and some are concerned she’s met an untimely end.

sagebrush, sage grouse
Bureau of Land Management

Federal officials have approved a project that aims to help the iconic sage grouse in southwest Idaho. The threat? An encroaching evergreen that has infiltrated much of the region's sage brush steppe.

 

John Cassinelli / Idaho Fish and Game

All-you-can-eat shrimp is a slogan that should stay in restaurants, not in the Boise River. That’s the message from Idaho Fish and Game after they found non-native shrimp making a beachhead in Boise.

Climate change is expected to exacerbate wildfires, drought and flooding throughout the Mountain West. Some cities are looking at how these changes will affect their town and how they can prepare.

Sadie Babits / Boise State Public Radio

Last week, we reported on closures on the Greenbelt due to a swelling Boise River. But even the flooding is part of a controlled process involving three dams: Lucky Peak, Arrowrock and Anderson Ranch.

 

 


An article published in the journal, Nature, this month explains how a 130 million year old fossilized skull is shaking up scientists’ understanding of how and when the earth’s continents broke apart.

The skull was from a small fur-covered, egg-laying mammal that co-existed with the dinosaurs called the Cifelliodon wakarmoosuch.

Springtime in the Mountain West means newborn animals. And with that comes opportunities for some very adorable wildlife viewing and photography. But officials want to remind visitors and locals alike to hold back from interacting with young wildlife.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Winds from the Pacific coast bring much-needed rains to dry Southern Idaho this time of year. For wheat farmers, they may also carry a tiny threat: fungal spores, which cause stripe rust.

Courtesy U.S. Forest Service

President Trump has overturned a rule requiring outfitters to pay river and backcountry guides on public lands a minimum wage.

The Interior Department wants to open up a quarter-million acres at national wildlife refuges for hunting and fishing.

The move would impact 21 states. In our region, it would expand hunting at a refuge in Utah  and another in Montana. It would also open Montana’s Swan River refuge to big game hunting for the first time.

Until fairly recently, it was illegal to harvest rainwater in Colorado. Now, as in a number of other Western states, it’s seen as alternative water source in an increasingly dry landscape. But is rainwater safe?

Sybil Sharvelle, an environmental engineer at Colorado State University, is one researcher trying to answer that question.

Amanda Peacher / Mountain West New Bureau

When you hear about companies like REI or Patagonia, you might think about tents, rain jackets or hikers in puffy coats on a mountaintop. But how about politics? These outdoorsy companies are part of a new wave of business advocates fighting for public lands.

Pages