Environment

Kim Smolt / U.S. Forest Service

Wildfires are raging across the American West, prompting national fire managers to put the country on the highest alert possible.

 


Foothills Quinn's Pond Apartments
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

E. coli contamination continues plaguing Boise’s Esther Simplot Pond and preventing swimmers from beating the heat by taking a dip. After a summer of searching for the cause of the bacteria, officials may have finally found the source.


EarthFix

An agriculture group says the cost of saving salmon in the Northwest’s largest river system is unsustainable. Now, the Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association is turning to the Trump administration to try and sidestep endangered species laws.


via Twitter / BLM Idaho

At this time last year, a gigantic wildfire in the Boise National Forest held the record as the largest wildfire in the country.


KeyWestDavid / Flickr

With wildfires burning throughout southern Idaho and smoke from fires in neighboring states polluting the air, fire restrictions are beginning across much of the state this week.


sage grouse, wildlife
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr Creative Commons

The Trump Administration plans to change how an iconic western species is managed. The new approach comes after Republican governors lobbied for a review of a plan to protect the greater sage grouse.


Sara Simmonds / Idaho Fish and Game

The first two sockeye salmon to make it home from the Pacific Ocean in 2017 have arrived in the Stanley Basin. It’s a rough year for the fish.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

A murky, smoky haze hung over the Treasure Valley throughout the weekend limiting visibility and wrecking air quality. The dense cloud hid the foothills and added a yellowish cast to the hot summer sun. Smoke from fires in neighboring states is parking itself over Idaho and cooking into noxious fog.

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.

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