Environment

Yellowstone Bison on Blacktail Deer Plateau

National parks struggling with maintenance would get boost under Biden budget request

BY: - June 4, 2021

Basic needs at the largest U.S. national parks top the Biden administration’s first proposed lists of projects to receive funding through public lands trust funds, showing how much maintenance is needed even as parks brace for record numbers of visitors this summer. The projects likely wouldn’t be visible to the usual tourist, but they are […]

COMMENTARY
University of Idaho ICCU arena

U of I’s new arena features mass timber for innovative, sustainable design

BY: - June 1, 2021

I grew up on the family farm in Kansas where, walking the property’s fence line as a boy with my dog, I began to appreciate the beauty of our natural world. It’s been a long journey from that farm in Kansas to the dean’s office of the College of Natural Resources at the University of Idaho. And […]

Bison in Yellowstone National Park

Heading for a national park? ‘Biggest season in the history of the Park Service’ predicted.

BY: - May 26, 2021

Leaders of a U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday extolled national parks for providing a respite during the COVID-19 pandemic, but cautioned that enthusiasm for outdoors recreation will create its own problems in this summer’s tourism wave. Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent and the chairman of a subcommittee that oversees the U.S. National Park Service, […]

U.S. map of drought conditions

Congress warned of a ‘real and urgent’ drought crisis throughout the West

BY: - May 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — A drought crisis unfolding across the West will require short-term relief and massive, long-term federal funding to help states weather the effects of climate change, state water managers and lawmakers said at a U.S. House hearing on Tuesday. Nearly 90 percent of the West is now experiencing drought conditions, according to the federal […]

A C-130J Hercules assigned to the 146th Airlift Wing based at Channel Islands Air National Guard Base in Port Hueneme, California, drops fire retardant chemicals onto a ridge line above Santa Barbara, Dec. 13, 2017, as part of the effort to contain the Thomas Fire. (U.S. Air Force photo by J.M. Eddins Jr.)

Biden allocates $1B to prepare for wildfire, hurricane season

BY: - May 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is doubling the amount of federal funding to help states prepare for natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires, he announced Monday. His administration is directing $1 billion to the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, which sends resources to communities, states, and tribal governments to prepare for extreme weather events. […]

Angel Cushing, a north-central Kansas resident who opposes the proposed National Heritage Area designation in Kansas and Nebraska, speaks at a May 13 meeting in Marshall County, Kansas, as Norman Kincaide, a Colorado activist who opposes National Heritage Areas, looks on. (Screen capture from Facebook live video)

How a plan to boost Kansas-Nebraska tourism got wrapped up in fears of a 30×30 ‘land-grab’

BY: - May 17, 2021

It started as a research project. University of Nebraska landscape architecture professor Kim Wilson asked her students in 2016 to brainstorm a way to increase tourism in Red Cloud, Neb., the childhood home of renowned writer Willa Cather, just north of the Kansas border. The class found that more than 255 historic sites dot the […]

A man watches a flock of migrating starlings.

Migratory bird protections to be permanently restored by Biden administration

BY: - May 7, 2021

The Interior Department plans to officially revoke a Trump-era rule that loosened enforcement of a longstanding law to protect migratory birds, the department said Thursday. The rule put in place by former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt barred government authorities from holding companies liable for environmental violations leading to the deaths of birds protected under the […]

USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) field planted for pollinators

Biden’s ‘30 by 30’ conservation plan urges collaboration with private landowners

BY: - May 6, 2021

The Biden administration plans to broadly define conservation and encourage private landowners to adopt sustainable practices to meet a goal of protecting 30% of the land and water in the U.S. by 2030, according to a multi-agency report published Thursday. The recommendations are short of the most aggressive federal directives congressional Republicans feared would be […]

The Bitterroot Mountains of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.

Republicans lay out possible objections to Biden’s 30 by 30 conservation plan

BY: - May 4, 2021

Republicans on the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday previewed their objections to the Biden administration’s still-unreleased plan to conserve 30% of U.S. land and water by 2030. President Joe Biden created what is commonly called the “30 by 30 plan” in a Jan. 27 executive order, but the administration hasn’t released details about […]

Helmville, Montana, volunteer firefighters train in the forest.

New funding to curb wildfires pushed in Congress, as another fire season looms

BY: - April 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — As wildfires across the United States grow in size, intensity and duration each summer, members of Congress from the West are pushing for massive new investments in ecosystem management and wildfire mitigation. House lawmakers called for more attention to wildfire management and support for wildland firefighters at a hearing Thursday before a House […]

Oil and gas leasing in Utah

Republicans question legality, revenue impacts of Biden’s oil and gas leasing pause

BY: - April 28, 2021

Republicans on the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee excoriated the Biden administration’s pause of new oil and gas leasing at a hearing Tuesday, illustrating the political pressure the administration faces as it reviews federal energy development policy. Under intense questioning from Republicans about the revenue impacts, legality and duration of the leasing pause, […]

Tracy Stone-Manning has been selected as the nominee to lead the BLM.

Biden taps Montana’s Tracy Stone-Manning to lead Bureau of Land Management

BY: - April 23, 2021

The White House said Thursday that President Joe Biden will nominate National Wildlife Federation executive Tracy Stone-Manning of Missoula to lead the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Stone-Manning became the senior adviser for conservation policy at the NWF after three years as associate vice president for public lands at the group. She’s also worked for […]