Environment

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

The Pacific Northwest, including most of Idaho, should have a decent whitewater season this year.   Ample snowpacks in the mountains mean good river flows through the summer.  Kayakers and rafters in Idaho north of the Snake River should benefit.

Zoo Boise

What’s thought to be a wolf puppy, picked up by campers in Ketchum, is resting in Zoo Boise’s animal hospital.  The campers who found the pup took it to a local vet who contacted Idaho Fish and Game. 

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

An endangered sloth bear at Zoo Boise is getting a new home.  Last fall, the Zoo started to renovate Paji's exhibit.  Friday it opens back up to the public where they'll likely find Paji siting in the grass, relaxing in the sunshine.  

A California American Indian tribe Tuesday asked federal regulators to order the removal of four dams on the Klamath River. The tribe says a restoration plan for the river is stalled.

The Klamath River runs through the Hoopa Valley Tribe’s reservation. The tribe says the four dams upriver contribute to toxic algae blooms and salmon diseases. Power company PacifiCorp owns the dams and has signed a deal that would remove them by 2020.

The Peregrine Fund

The kestrels have hatched!  In a story we told you last month, the Peregrine Fund is asking citizen scientists to put up nest boxes and monitor American Kestrel populations across the U.S.  The American Kestrel Partnership has a box with a webcam posted at the

In Ashland, A Crime Lab For 34,000 Species

May 29, 2012
Amelia Templeton / Earthfix

The illegal trade of wildlife is big business- worth an estimated 5 billion dollars a year, and growing. But who do you call to investigate a crime when the victim is an elephant, or a butterfly?

Turns out, there’s only one forensics team in the world that can handle crimes involving thousands of rare and endangered species. The team works at the U.S Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab in Ashland, Oregon. The lab isn’t open to the public. But reporter Amelia Templeton got a glimpse inside.

WSU Researchers Patent Longer Battery Life Technology

May 28, 2012
WSU

Researchers at Washington State University say they've found a way to keep lithium batteries charged three times longer. These are the batteries used in laptops, cell phones and electric vehicles.

The key ingredient in the new battery design is tin, as a replacement for carbon, which is more common.

Study: Summer Thunderclouds Warm the Atmosphere

May 28, 2012
cbamber85 / Flickr

Researchers in the Northwest have found some pollution is making thunderstorms stronger and the atmosphere warmer.

Those giant, anvil-shaped thunderclouds you see looming in the distance may actually be getting bigger and stronger this summer, all because of aerosol pollutants.

Bruce Bjornstad

A new book details how a dramatic series of Ice Age Floods transformed the landscape of the inland Northwest.

The new book called, “On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods: The Northern Reaches,” details what happened when floods whooshed into the Northwest and created the channeled scablands.

Bruce Bjornstad spent five years researching and writing his geologic guidebook. One fact in the book: It might have been as many as 1,000 floods that shaped the region, not just two or three big events.

Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

An alleged “secret scheme” to allow more nuclear waste into Idaho is at the center of a squabble between current and past governors. 

Former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus (D) wrote in an op-ed Sunday he believes state and Idaho National Laboratory officials want to “revise” a 1995 agreement.  That agreement requires the federal government to remove all nuclear waste from INL by 2035.  Andrus said revisions would extend the deadline by fifteen years, and open Idaho’s borders to 3,000 metric tons of commercial spent nuclear fuel. 

Killer Of Grizzly Mother And Cub Sought

May 24, 2012
Kim Keating / U.S. Geological Survey

Idaho state and federal officials are searching for whoever killed a female Grizzly bear and her cub. Grizzly bears are a federally protected Endangered Species. The incident occurred north of the town of Bonners Ferry on Hall Mountain. The animals were discovered on Friday by a hiker.

Idaho Oil And Gas Rights Up For Auction

May 23, 2012
Aaron Kunz

The natural gas industry is interested in mineral rights in a Idaho wildlife area. This month, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission authorized the state to auction off the mineral rights for nearly 400 acres in the Payette River Wildlife Management Area. The auction could take place in late July.

Suzanne Budge is with the Idaho Petroleum Council. She explains why the company, Snake River Oil and Gas, is interested in the mineral rights.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Early Tuesday morning a Boise police officer shot and killed a mountain lion on the Boise State campus. Idaho Fish and Game Senior Conservation Officer Matt O’Connell says it’s likely the same cat that was first spotted in an east Boise foothills neighborhood Friday...and seen several times Monday morning near downtown. O’Connell says police responded to calls from Boise State staffers who saw the lion eating from a dumpster near the student union building. He says that’s unusual behavior for this species.

California Department of Fish and Game

Boise Police and Idaho Fish and Game are on the lookout for a mountain lion spotted in several downtown locations this morning. Boise State University issued an automated phone alert after the animal was sighted on campus, near the Friendship Bridge at 5:57 AM.

Northwest Residents Observe 'Ring of Fire'

May 21, 2012
Amelia Templeton

Something called a Ring of Fire eclipse happened last night, but only a limited part of Earth’s population was in a position to see it. Millions of people in Asia enjoyed the rare light show in which the moon blocked all of the sun’s light except a flaming ring. Then the phenomenon moved on to the western U.S., where a handful of cities were directly below the moon’s shadow. Earthfix caught up with the eclipse near the border of Oregon and California. 

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