Environment

screenshot / YouTube

Passions run high in a YouTube video showing an argument between a recreationist and a private land security guard in southwest Idaho.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Water managers in Idaho say the largest aquifer in the state has made significant gains this year.

The Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer provides water to the most productive agriculture fields in the state, and is essential to the economy. It also provides drinking water for about 200,000 people. But lately, its size was no match for Mother Nature as a series of droughts dwindled the water supply, along with growing demand from nearby industry.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game

So you came all the way to Idaho to watch the total solar eclipse on August 21. Now that the two-minute event is over, what do you do next?

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game suggests why not go fishing?

You've seen plenty of maps of the path the eclipse will take over Idaho. This new map from IDFG shows the best places to see the eclipse, and the 60 closest fishing spots nearby. The map covers the path of totality, the line of complete blockage of the sun by the moon.

Grizzly, wildlife, grizzlies, endangered species list
Jason Bechtel / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. government lifted protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region on Monday, though it will be up to the courts to decide whether the revered and fearsome icon of the West stays off the threatened species list.

More than a month after announcing grizzlies in and around Yellowstone National Park are no longer threatened, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially handed over management of the approximately 700 bears living across 19,000 square miles (49,210 sq. kilometers) in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming to wildlife officials in those states.

Otto Kitsinger / Associated Press

Idaho continues to try and keep invasive mussels out of its waterways with a new agreement with Utah.

Idaho has been trying to keep quagga and zebra mussels out of lakes and reservoirs since 2009. The state operates inspection stations along its borders to track down boats that may be contaminated with the invasive species and keep them out of Idaho waters.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

The Pioneer Fire started a year ago this week in the backcountry just north of Idaho City. The blaze would rage on for months, darkening the sky with smoke and eventually charring almost 300 square miles. Although the fire is now a memory, a lingering danger remains: dead trees. Millions burned in the Pioneer Fire and more could catch with a single spark in the Boise Foothills.

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.

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