(Photo: Small woodland owner Ken Falk hopes to sell carbon offsets tied to these trees in Monroe, Oregon.)
MONROE, OR - Some airlines are starting to do it. Some Northwest ski resorts, too. They’re inviting people like you to pay a little bit extra to offset the global warming pollution resulting from an activity such as a trip. A carbon offset is a bit like an indulgence... a polluter pays someone else to remove an equivalent amount of global warming gases from the atmosphere. In our region, private timberland owners, farmers, and some tribal governments are dreaming dollar signs.
MOSCOW, ID - The University of Idaho says early November is the deadline to have a funding plan in place for its agriculture and extension services. The problem facing the UI and the agriculture industry in the state is the $4.7 million cut in the university’s agricultural research and extension budget, stemming from two state budget cuts. The proposed closure of research centers in the state, including one at Parma, raised alarms earlier this year.
(Photo: Forester David Cobb checks the status of a tiny white pine seedling that the Forest Service planted last June on a hillside above Priest Lake in north Idaho.)
COEUR D'ALENE, ID - A lot of small towns in Idaho date back to the 1800s, when loggers were drawn to the area by huge white pines. It’s a tree that towered over all the others and was so common that it became Idaho’s state tree. But 100 years ago, the Great Fire of 1910 burned three million acres of timber and marked the decline of the white pine. Now the US Forest Service is trying to help the tree regain its former prominence.
(photo: Boise County chief deputy sheriff Dale Rogers with a haul of marijuana. Courtesy of Boise County Sheriff’s Office.)
BOISE, ID - The Northwest’s vast acreage of public land is proving attractive to marijuana growers. We’re not talking a dozen plants here and there but thousands of plants per grow site, tended by armed drug gangs. Federal and local drug agents are on pace to match or break the region’s previous record for seizures from outdoor pot gardens. That was set just last year. But it’s unclear if the vigorous eradication campaign is having an effect on the weed’s price or availability on the street.