Environment

Wildlife
1:29 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

10 Entities In 6 States Apply To Get Yellowstone Bison

Credit Yellowstone NPS / Flickr Creative Commons

Ten entities have submitted proposals to take bison from Yellowstone National Park that came through an experimental program to establish new herds of the animals.

Applicants include wildlife agencies in Utah and Minnesota, three American Indian tribes and private conservation groups in Montana, Nebraska, New York and Colorado.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks released details of the proposals on Monday. Spokesman Ron Aasheim said the agency hopes to relocate the roughly 135 bison by the end of November.

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Air Quality
11:01 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Report: Idaho's Air Quality Is Below Average

Ada County, home to Boise, got a D on the report.
Credit Thomas Hawk / Flickr Creative Commons

An American Lung Associate report finds Idaho still has work to do when it comes to good air quality. The “State of the Air 2014” report shows Ada County has seen an increase in year-round particle pollution compared to last year’s report.

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Wildlife
9:43 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Feds Spend $236 Million To Help Landowners Protect Sage Grouse

Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr Creative Commons

The federal government has paid $236 million to landowners in 11 states to preserve sage grouse habitat amid a debate over whether the bird should be listed as an endangered species — potentially hindering energy development and ranching.

The Casper Star-Tribune reported Wednesday the money paid for conservation efforts on nearly 6,000 square miles, mostly in the West.

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Environment
11:52 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Forest Service Closes 170 Square Mile Area Burned In Central Idaho Wildfire

The Beaver Creek Fire burned in the Wood River Valley in 2013.
Credit Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

The U.S. Forest Service says most of the area within a 170-square-mile wildfire that burned in central Idaho last summer will remain closed this year due to safety concerns.

The agency announced Monday that areas that burned in the Beaver Creek Fire near the resort area of Ketchum have been severely eroded.

The order closing the area applies to all human use, including mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, motorcycling and mushroom gathering.

The agency says the highest concerns include eroded trails and roads, and damaged bridges and culverts.

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Mining
9:28 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Why One Western Congressman Says It's Time To Update The 1872 Mining Law

An old western gold mine.
Credit Michallaurence / Flickr Creative Commons

Chris Cora stands on what used to be a mountaintop in the Umpqua Basin of southern Oregon. Now, it’s essentially a landfill. “Filled with waste rock and tailings," Cora says. "There’s actually zinc ore in here. Well, it’s concentrated zinc, which is really bad for the environment.”

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Water
6:32 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Tribes Optimistic About Returning Salmon To Upper Columbia Basin

File photo. An aerial view of Hells Canyon Dam on the Snake River, the border between Oregon and Idaho.

Hydropower dams built without fish ladders have blocked migratory fish from the upper reaches of the Columbia and Snake Rivers for decades.

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Mining
12:37 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Lawsuit Filed To Stop Idaho Gold Mine Exploration

A conservation group and the Nez Perce Tribe have filed a lawsuit against three federal agencies seeking to stop a central Idaho gold mine exploration project by a Canadian company.

The tribe and the Idaho Conservation League filed the lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Idaho against the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service.

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Wildlife
2:14 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Group Sues To Protect 42 Grizzly Bears In Remote Montana Area

This grizzly lives in captivity in West Yellowstone, Mont., near the entrance to Yellowstone National Park.
Credit Nomadic Lass / Flickr Creative Commons

A conservation group is suing the federal government for failing to reclassify a small population of grizzly bears as endangered.

The estimated 42 Cabinet-Yaak grizzly bears in northwestern Montana are considered a threatened species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last year issued a decision that said changing the bears' status from threatened to endangered was warranted but precluded by higher-priority species.

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies says in its lawsuit filed Tuesday the population needs to be at least 100 to be considered viable.

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Wildlife
2:23 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

California-Based Petition Gets 20,000 Signatures To Protect Idaho's Ravens

Thousands of ravens could be killed in order to protect Idaho's sage grouse.
Credit Doug Brown / Flickr Creative Commons

More than 20,000 people have signed an online petition aimed at Idaho Fish and Game to stop the killing of thousands of ravens. The point of the raven population control, though, is to protect another bird close to becoming endangered: the sage grouse.

Don Kemner’s job at the Idaho Fish and Game Department is to safeguard the sage grouse.

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Environment
1:27 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

A Landslide Buried Boise In Mud 55 Years Ago, Scientists Say It Could Happen Again

This was one of the structures on Cottonwood Creek in 1959.
Credit Idaho Statesman, Boise Public Library

Since the devastating landslide hit the town of Oso, Wash. last month, people who live near hill slopes or mountainsides have been asking if something similar could happen to them. Though Boise has not seen the tragic loss of life the Oso slide brought, the city is no stranger to floods and mudslides near its foothills.

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Fish
3:08 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Federal Officials Eye Improving Fall Chinook Runs

Credit Ingrid Taylar / Flickr

Officials at the fisheries division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are working on a long-range plan that could lead to delisting fall chinook in the Snake River.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that officials for the first time are setting down precise standards that must be met for the fish to be taken off the endangered species list.

But officials say it's a long process with many hurdles.

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Hunting
11:16 am
Fri April 18, 2014

North Idaho Poachers Taking Heavy Toll On Game

Credit GoCyclones / Flickr Creative Commons

State wildlife officials in northern Idaho say poachers are killing far more game animals than wolves.

Officials tell the Lewiston Tribune that last year in northern Idaho they confirmed poaching of 30 elk, four moose, 13 mule deer and 57 whitetail deer.

Officials say a realistic detection rate is 5 percent, meaning poachers are likely killing about 600 elk, 80 moose, 260 mule deer and 1,000 whitetail.

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Boise History
6:30 am
Fri April 18, 2014

How Boise's 1959 Mudslide Led To Lasting Protections For City's Foothills

The Idaho Daily Statesman, August 21, 1959.
Credit The Idaho Statesman / The Idaho Statesman/Boise Public Library

It was August, 1959. Boise was having one of its typical hot, dry summers. A fire had just burned 9,000 acres in the nearby foothills. Then on August 20, a huge storm system dumped heavy rain on the Treasure Valley. One inch of rain fell in an hour on the burn scar. 

The water overwhelmed the hills and washed away tons of topsoil. A Forest Service video made several years after the event, tells the story.

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Water
4:05 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Endangered Salmon Migrate Via Trucks Around Cracked Dam

At Priest Rapids Dam workers practice transporting salmon in trucks. They'll have to transport hundreds of fish a day so the salmon can get past the lowered water and several dams.
Anna King Northwest News Network

The Columbia River will remain drawn down at least until June because of the cracked Wanapum Dam in southeast Washington.

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Earthquake
4:09 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Earthquake Swarm Continues To Shake Central Idaho

This intensity map from USGS shows where Monday afternoon's earthquake was felt.
Credit U.S. Geological Survey

The U.S. Geological Survey reports a 4.6-magnitude earthquake occurred Monday afternoon 14.2 miles north of Challis. Early Monday morning, a magnitude 3.0 earthquake was measured 11 miles north northwest of the town.

Mike Stickney is the director of the Earthquake Studies Office at the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology. He says this swarm of earthquakes in central Idaho started on March 24. He says at least 12 have been greater than magnitude 3, and many smaller tremors have also been measured.

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Earthquake
9:15 am
Mon April 14, 2014

4.9-Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Central Idaho

A 4.9-magnitude earthquake shook central Idaho, flinging items off walls and scaring residents but otherwise producing no reported damage or injuries in the sparsely populated mountain area.

USGS geophysicist Dale Grant says the earthquake was "kind of an unusual occurrence" being the first one of its strength in the area since 2005. But he said even minor damage is unlikely because of the remote location. It struck 8 miles northwest of Challis, a town of around 1,000 less than 200 miles northeast of Boise.

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Fish and Game
5:00 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Idaho Fish And Game Celebrates 75 Years Of Modern Management

Credit Idaho Fish and Game / Screengrab

If you've watched much cable TV recently, you may have seen this spot promoting Idaho Fish and Game's 75th anniversary.

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Water
3:58 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Water Supply Rebounds Across Most of Northwest After March Storms

On this map of current snow conditions, blues and greens are good. Red, orange and yellow represent below average snowpack.
Northwest River Forecast Center

Irrigators, hydropower dam operators and tugboat captains are sitting pretty across most of the Northwest according to the latest regional water supply forecast.

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Earthquake
8:33 am
Thu April 10, 2014

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Challis, Idaho

The earthquake was recorded just outside Challis, Idaho on April 10, 2014.
Credit Google Maps

The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 4.1 earthquake has been recorded three miles underground near Challis, Idaho.

USGS monitors recorded the quake at 6:21 a.m. Thursday. It occurred nine miles north-northwest of the town.

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Water
2:09 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Two Idaho Rivers Make Most Endangered In America List

The Lochsa River flows through Idaho's Clearwater National Forest along scenic Highway 12.
Credit Keith Ewing | Idaho Fish and Game / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho's Clearwater and Lochsa rivers have made it on a list of top 10 most endangered rivers in America. The list is put out every year by American Rivers, an advocacy group that works to protect and restore rivers in the U.S.

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