Idaho High School Cycling League

Student athletes in some parts of Idaho have another option for a team sport this fall: mountain biking. Almost 250 students make up the first group of athletes in the Idaho High School Cycling League. There are 17 teams all together, including three at high schools in Boise. The rest are spread across the southern half of Idaho up to McCall. 

Alan Krakauer / Flickr

Idaho Fish and Game says it will allow hunters to shoot sage grouse next month, despite a multi-state effort to boost the bird’s numbers.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

When a person loses their sight, everyday tasks become a challenge. Walking across the street, reading a book - even hobbies can seem nearly impossible.  But one Idaho man is working to introduce visually impaired individuals to a whole new world of sound. He’s teaching the blind how to identify birds, using only their calls.

Steve Bouffard has his eyes closed and he’s listening intently on the edge of Veterans Memorial Park. He quickly identifies a song sparrow, using only the sound of its call.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Seven years ago, a beloved lodge in Idaho’s backcountry burned to the ground. The Big Creek Lodge was built in the 1930s in a remote spot in the Payette National Forest. For decades it welcomed people as they headed into the Frank Church Wilderness. A grass airstrip next to the lodge meant many of the guests at Big Creek were pilots.

Now, a group of pilots is rebuilding the lodge.

snake river, canyon
ChadH / Flickr Creative Commons

The Bureau of Land Management is considering what to do about reports of overcrowding on the South Fork of the Snake River.

The Post Register reports the Upper Snake Field Office of the BLM will be holding a series of focus group and gathering input in other ways during a 30-day public comment period.

Proposed solutions include limiting the number of people who float the river, limiting boat access, limiting outfitter use and requiring campsite reservations.

Boise National Forest

The Boise National Forest is reporting an increase of trash and human waste being left behind at campsites.

All ranger districts are reporting more trash, but the Lowman Ranger District has been hit especially hard along Highway 21 and in the Deadwood Reservoir areas.

Fire pits have been loaded with trash. Fecal material has been found near the camps. Toilet paper has been left behind. That’s according to John Kidd, Lowman District Ranger.

USEPA / Flickr Creative Commons

If you’re thinking about making a trek to the country’s first national park this summer, you are far from alone. About 1.3 million people have visited Yellowstone National Park so far this year, which represents a nearly 20 percent increase over last year.

Yellowstone officials say almost 800,000 visitors came through in June, which broke that month’s previous record by 12 percent.

A group of teens from around Idaho will cast their lines in C.J. Strike Reservoir this Sunday, in the hopes of catching the biggest fish. The fifth annual fishing competition is part of The Bass Federation’s youth programming.

Arte_ON / Flickr

A new look at bicycle crash data shows 1,195 people have been involved in crashes in Ada County since 2007. Most were in Boise. Eleven of those crashes resulted in the death of the cyclist.

Twin Falls has become a Mecca for BASE jumpers -  people who parachute off bridges, buildings and cliffs. The city's Perrine Bridge is one of few places where people can jump any time without paying or getting a permit. 

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

BASE jumpers just want to be free. This extreme form of skydiving stands for what people leap from: Buildings and antenna, spans such as bridges, and Earth, which usually means stunningly high cliffs.

In the United States, not very many places allow it. One go-to hub is Twin Falls, Idaho, where a bridge over the Snake River offers unfettered, year-round access. But the sport is under scrutiny after 73-year-old James E. Hickey died. He set his parachute on fire in a stunt this month, and his other chute didn't deploy.

A souped-up paddle board, custom rowing craft and high performance, carbon fiber sailboats are just some of the eye-catching entries in the inaugural Race to Alaska.

Susan Drury / Flickr Creative Commons

According to data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, women are the fastest growing group of hunters in the country. While the number of young men picking up the sport has taken a nose dive in the last 30 years, participation by young women has increased.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

In the Olympics, it’s called beach volleyball.  In college athletics, it’s sand volleyball.  No matter its name, the sport has seen unprecedented growth in the last decade. So much so,  it's now spread to places not known for their beaches. Places like Boise.

Sand volleyball's popularity has spiked ever since August 2004. The Olympics were in Athens and a young, athletic duo from California dominated their beach-volleyball competition.

From Wenatchee, Washington, to Bend, Oregon, whitewater rafting guides are preparing for a flood of business as school lets out. But this year’s low snowpack could mean less whitewater and more demand for trips.

Hut-to-hut or village-to-village trekking is a popular vacation pursuit in regions as diverse as Europe, New Zealand, the Himalayas and Vietnam.

Two experienced hikers arrived safe and sound at the Mexican border Sunday, four-and-a-half months after beginning their trek in the North Cascades.

Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park | Flickr Creative Commons

Yellowstone National Park will require an overnight backcountry permit fee starting May 1.

The National Park Service says the money raised from the new fee will help pay the costs of running the park's backcountry program.

Under the new fee, anyone obtaining a permit to stay overnight in the backcountry between Memorial Day and Sept. 10 will have to pay a per-person, per night permit fee for all individuals 9 years of age or older.

Mike Paananen / Ada County Parks and Waterways

It was a photo contest by the people and for the people of Ada County. The goal was to highlight the parks and waterways managed by Ada County, and to encourage people to get out and enjoy that landscape.

"We were blown away" by what people sent in, says Scott Koberg, Director of Ada County Parks and Waterways.

Aspen Skiing Company, artist rendering

Aspen Skiing Co. plans to build a hotel in Ketchum, Idaho, modeled on its Limelight Hotel in Aspen.

The company said Tuesday the hotel will be near Sun Valley's River Run base at Bald Mountain. It will also be called the Limelight.

Aspen Skiing bought the property from Bald Mountain LLC. No cost figures were released.

The company says the site has approval for 119 rooms and suites and 11 residential units. The company says it will ask Ketchum city officials for minor modifications in the plans, including a reconfiguration of the main floor.