Wildfires burning in Idaho continue to be the country’s top firefighting priority. There are two massive blazes in that state that continue to threaten communities. Hundreds of people remain evacuated.

Idaho Fire Nation’s Top Priority

Aug 13, 2013

A massive wildfire burning in Idaho has become the nation’s top firefighting priority. The 125 square mile blaze is threatening hundreds of homes and hundreds of people have been asked to leave.

Steve Jurvetson

The presence of wolves may mean hunters can't count on finding elk in favorite hunting spots … but that doesn’t necessarily mean there are fewer elk. That was the message from wildlife managers in three Northwest states Thursday in an online public meeting.

Idaho's 'Museum Of Clean' Built As Monument To Way Of Life

Jul 10, 2013
Jessica Robinson

There's a museum tucked away in a corner of the Northwest dedicated solely to the idea of “clean.” In fact, it's called the Museum of Clean, housed in an old brick warehouse in Pocatello, Idaho. Our correspondent Jessica Robinson discovered it's a monument to one man's lifelong campaign to improve the world – one scrub brush at a time.

Photo by Jessica Robinson

Four years. That's how long Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been a prisoner of the Taliban. The soldier from Hailey, Idaho remains the lone American POW from the Afghan conflict. Now, Bergdahl's parents are calling on the U.S. to reach an agreement that will bring their son home. But as correspondent Jessica Robinson reports, any deal hangs precariously on peace talks involving the Taliban, and the weekend saw yet another setback.

The parents of America's only prisoner of war in the current conflict in Afghanistan are urging the U.S. to reach a peace agreement with the Taliban and bring their son home. The end of June marks the fourth year Idaho soldier Bowe Bergdahl has been in captivity.

On Saturday his parents spoke out at a rally Bowe's hometown held in his honor.

Jani and Bob Bergdahl talk of a son who sought adventure in travels around the world. At 20, they say, he took apart and rebuilt his 1978 KZ-1000 motorcycle.

Where you are in Idaho will determine your wildfire risk this summer. Fire officials gave their predictions Tuesday on what fire seasons will be like around the state. If you’re in southern Idaho you shouldn’t see the type of catastrophic wildfires we had last year.

Bowe Bergdahl's Parents Confirm New Correspondence

Jun 7, 2013

Parents of captured Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl recently had some good news. The family says they received a handwritten letter from their son, who's been held as a prisoner of war by the Taliban for almost four years.

Idaho Couple Takes Glass Recycling Into Their Own Hands

May 13, 2013

In Coeur d’Alene, residents can recycle paper, plastic, and aluminum. A new non-profit is chipping away at what they see as a problem: the city doesn’t recycle glass. Spokane Public Radio’s Paige Browning reports.

Idaho Silver Feels The Slip In Metals Prices

Apr 29, 2013

The decreasing price of gold has gotten a lot of attention among investors in recent weeks. The price of silver has received fewer headlines, but it's also dropped. That price has real economic impact in north Idaho, which has one of the richest silver deposits in the country.

There's not much wiggle room when silver drops down to $22 an ounce. That's only a little more than it costs the Galena Mine near Kellogg, Idaho, to get the silver out of the ground. Owner U.S. Silver has placed a hiring freeze on the mine and plans to cut costs by $1 million this year.

Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

If you use solar panels or wind turbines to generate your own power, you can sell the electricity you don’t use back to your utility. But one Northwest power company wants to stop sending checks to customers who are big energy producers. EarthFix reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

Pocatello Rejects Gay Rights Ordinance In Close Vote

Apr 19, 2013
Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

An ordinance to ban discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people failed in the city council of Pocatello, Idaho Thursday. The close vote was a setback for gay rights advocates, as Jessica Robinson reports.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

This Thursday, the city council in Pocatello, Idaho, is expected to vote on whether to make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s one of several cities in Idaho that have taken up the cause of gay rights – an issue the Idaho legislature has so far resisted. But as Jessica Robinson reports, even some gay rights supporters wonder if the local ordinance will change anything.

Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

For some of us public land in the west is a place to camp and recreate. For all of us, these lands are a source of water and the air we breath. That’s especially true in Idaho - where more than half of the land is federally owned and managed.

By Jessica Robinson

A city in the heart of Idaho's Mormon country held a four-hour public hearing last night on whether to ban discrimination against gays and lesbians. A growing number of cities in Idaho are adopting local rules that protect sexual orientation and gender identity.

EPA Requiring Dredge Mining Permits in Idaho

Apr 5, 2013

Anyone who wants to mine gold in Idaho streams with a suction dredge will need to get a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Turns 27 In Enemy Hands

Mar 28, 2013
Latah County Historical Society

You’re probably aware of TV evangelists. They speak to you through the television, some claiming to heal you through the screen. Before television, there were radio evangelists, and mail-order evangelists. One of which offered a money-back guaranteed religion, and was headquartered in the Northwest. Sueann Ramella has the story of the Mail-Order prophet of Moscow, Idaho.  

Idaho Adopts New State Water Plan

Mar 8, 2013
Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Idaho has a new water plan -- the first update since 1996 to the state’s principles for how water in streams, lakes and aquifers should be divided among users and how it should be conserved for fish and wildlife. The new plan goes into effect Friday. But not everyone is happy about it. EarthFix reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

Judge: Idaho’s ‘Fetal Pain Law’ Unconstitutional

Mar 7, 2013

A federal judge has declared Idaho’s so-called “Fetal Pain Law” unconstitutional. Idaho is one of eight states with a law banning abortions after 20 weeks. As Jessica Robinson reports, the case stems from a woman’s arrest under a separate statute for having an abortion.  

Judge B. Lynn Winmill says the 20-week limit on abortions is unconstitutional because it doesn’t seek to inform the pregnant woman, nor improve her health, as the Supreme Court has allowed. Rather, he writes, it’s solely intended to put an insurmountable obstacle in the path of women seeking abortions. 

Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

An Idaho legislative committee Tuesday approved a bill to encourage teams of ranchers who would volunteer to fight rangeland fires. EarthFix reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Mining pumps on average nearly a billion dollars into Idaho’s economy every year. Idaho, along with Nevada and Utah are considered mining friendly states. But the industry is frustrated that it can take years before permits are issued and work can get underway. That’s why mining officials appealed to state lawmakers this week to help speed up the regulatory process. As Earthfix reporter Aaron Kunz explains it’s a proposition that has environmentalists worried.

Photo courtesy Idaho Potato Commission

You've heard of fake designer handbags and imitation Apple stores. Well, the state of Idaho is worried about knock-off potatoes. Idaho is trying to block a trademark on the word “IDAHO” in Turkey. The state sees it as a potentially costly threat. But as Jessica Robinson reports, controlling the global brand is no easy task.

Idaho Nuclear Task Force Issues Final Report

Feb 7, 2013
Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

The Idaho nuclear task force presented its final report to lawmakers Wednesday afternoon. It’s raising concerns from environmentalists who say it leaves the door open to transporting radioactive material into the state.

Earthfix reporter Aaron Kunz has more.

How Much Fish You Eat Determines Water Quality In Idaho

Jan 31, 2013

How much fish do you eat every week? That’s a question Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality wants to answer. As Samantha Wright reports, the agency has asked state lawmakers for funding to study that question.

Western States' Public Lands Fight Comes To Idaho

Jan 23, 2013
Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

A fight between western states and the federal government over control of public lands has surfaced in the Northwest. Last year Utah and Arizona lawmakers passed bills requiring the feds to sign public land over to them. Now Idaho lawmakers are discussing whether a similar bill is right for their state.

EarthFix Reporter Aaron Kunz has more.

Teacher morale is low throughout Idaho. And school administrators have serious concerns about recruiting and retaining teachers. As Adam Cotterell reports, those are some of the findings from a new study presented to lawmakers Tuesday.

Photo by Aaron Kunz / Northwest News Network

Eliminate a tax on business, build a new mental health facility for prisoners, start a state run health insurance exchange: all things Governor Butch Otter said he wanted to do in his annual State of the State address Monday. But as Adam Cotterell reports, Otter says one thing trumps them all.

Photo courtesy U.S. Congress

Idaho Governor Butch Otter underscored his commitment Monday to keeping more spent nuclear waste from entering Idaho. EarthFix Reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

Aaron Kunz

Idaho leaders are hailing Monday's decision by a federal appeals court to uphold the state's strategy for managing millions of acres of roadless wilderness.