Jessica Robinson

Inland Northwest Correspondent

Inland Northwest Correspondent Jessica Robinson reports from the Northwest News Network's bureau in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. From the politics of wolves to racial tolerance in small towns, Jessica covers the economic, demographic and environmental trends that are shaping communities east of the Cascades.

Prior to joining the Northwest News Network team, Jessica was the news director of Jefferson Public Radio in Ashland, Oregon, where she produced a newsmagazine on Northern California and Southern Oregon. In 2010, she took a year to study Spanish in central Mexico and reported for an English–language newspaper in San Miguel de Allende. Jessica's stories for radio and print have earned awards from the Associated Press, the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, and Public Radio News Directors Inc.

A Northwest native, Jessica grew up in an off–the–grid log cabin in the Columbia River Gorge. These days, when she's not agonizing over the perfect piece of tape, Jessica enjoys camping and hiking, amateur photography, and learning the etymology of words.

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Hunting Derby
6:14 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Report Finds Idaho Hunting Derby Has Minimal Environmental Impacts

Managers found any impacts from an Idaho hunting derby would be either non-existent or short-lived
Credit Flickr

Federal land managers in Idaho project minimal environmental damage from allowing a predator hunting derby to take place in the north-eastern part of the state. That’s the finding of an environmental assessment released Wednesday. It’s part of a controversy that started last winter when hunters competed to kill wolves and coyotes during a two-day event.

The first predator derby attracted international attention, as well as online petitions, and even an undercover report in Vice magazine. Hunters competed for $1,000 prizes for the biggest wolf or most coyotes.

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Northwest PEN Winner
6:59 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Spokane’s Shawn Vestal Wins PEN Prize For Debut Fiction

Shawn Vestal at the 2014 PEN American Center Literary Awards
Credit Beowulf Sheehan / PEN American Center

“Faith became a larger and larger part of the book as I began to shape it and write the later stories. And for me, that’s just Mormonism. That’s what faith is. That's my background, and so that's the prism through which I can look at the subject."

A Northwest writer is this year’s winner of a prestigious PEN award. Shawn Vestal of Spokane won the prize for debut fiction Monday night in New York.

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Health Education
5:32 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Idaho College Gets $6.4 Million To Train Health Care Workers Where They're Needed

An overview of the North Idaho College campus, where the grant will help train healthcare technicians and assistants
Credit North Idaho College / http://www.nic.edu/about/

A community college in Idaho today received a major grant to train people in rural areas for hard-to-fill jobs in the health care industry. The $6.4 million dollar grant is the largest in the school’s history. It’s part of a job training program set up in the 2009 stimulus package.

Lita Burns is the vice president of instruction at North Idaho College (NIC) in Coeur d’Alene, the school that got the grant. She says hospitals have told them it’s hard to get people trained as technicians and assistants to relocate from another state. This includes EMTs and dental assistants.

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Idaho Public Lands
7:12 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Idaho’s Attorney General Says Transferring Public Land Faces Many Hurdles

The south fork of the Snake River, on Idaho public lands.
Credit Bureau of Land Management

Sixty percent of the land in Idaho is controlled by the federal government. And some people would like those national forests and rangelands transferred to state control. But the Idaho attorney general told a crowd of tea party conservatives in north Idaho on Saturday there’s a good chance the state would lose that effort in court.

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Wilderness Film Law
6:57 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Forest Service Chief Says No, You Won't Be Charged To Take Photos

A view of the Middle Fork Salmon River in the Frank Church, River of No Return Wilderness, Idaho.
Credit Rex Parker / Flickr

A federal agency under fire from free speech advocates and nature enthusiasts says it has absolutely no intention of charging people to take pictures on public land. The head of the U.S. Forest Service Thursday clarified a rule that’s been generating charges of government overreach.

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Media on Public Land
5:57 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Media Vow To Fight Rule Requiring Permit To Film On Public Land

A view of the Middle Fork Salmon River in the Frank Church, River of No Return Wilderness, Idaho.
Credit Rex Parker / Flickr

The U.S. Forest Service is developing a rule that would let it decide whether the media could film in wilderness areas, or take photos there. Broadcasters say the rule gives the government too much control over the content of news stories.

The Forest Service would issue permits based on the potential impact to wilderness areas as well as the story topic.

A fee of up to $1,500 could also be required to receive a permit.

Ron Pisaneschi is the general manager of Idaho Public Television. He says he and other broadcasters are prepared to fight the rule.

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Oil Spill Concern
7:13 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Is The Inland Northwest Prepared For An Oil Spill?

Credit Northwest News Network

The coast has generally been considered the area of the Northwest most at risk for a catastrophic oil spill. But the rise in oil moving through the region by rail has raised the stakes for some inland areas. As Jessica Robinson reports, three counties in the northern tip of Idaho are now creating their own strategy for containing an oil spill.


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Northwest News
8:23 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Long-Running Battle Between Ranchers And Feds Over Fires Reaches Truce

A water tender for fighting wildfires is parked next to rancher Charlie Lyon’s barn near Mountain Home, Idaho
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

For years there's been a battle raging between Idaho ranchers and the federal government over whether ranchers should be able to fight wildfires. Get out there, with their trucks and tanks of water and try to put the fires out themselves. Ranchers say they've always done it. The Feds have said, leave it to the pros and don't make yourself a liability. At times it's almost come close to blows. But now a truce has been struck. And as correspondent Jessica Robinson reports, it could change the way fires are fought every summer.

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Idaho Same-Sex Marriage
6:36 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Lawyers In Idaho Gay Marriage Case Expect To Meet Again At High Court

Credit Sebastian Bergmann / Flickr

The fate of Idaho's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage is in the hands of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. However, lawyers on both sides predict the case will end up at the U.S. Supreme Court. The opposing attorneys argued elements of the case at a discussion Wednesday organized by the University of Idaho law school.

Audio Pending...

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Wolf Kill Ban
6:57 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Ketchum City Council Passes Resolution to Use Non-Lethal Tactics to Control Wolf Population

Ketchum, Idaho is asking the state to collaborate on a project that helps ranchers use alternative measures against wolves.
Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife

The resort town of Ketchum, Idaho is asking the state to back off on killing wolves. They say it’s bad for business. Last night, the Ketchum City Council passed a resolution urging wildlife managers to use non-lethal tactics to control the wolf population.


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