PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - August 14, 2020 


Trump rebuffs Biden's call for a national mask mandate; nurses warn of risks of in-person school.


2020Talks - August 14, 2020 


Responses to President Trump's suggestion that he opposes more Postal Service funding in part to prevent expanded mail-in voting; and Puerto Rico's second try at a primary on Sunday.

Aspen Project Brings Fire Resilience, Wildlife to East ID Forest

More aspen in Caribou-Targhee National Forest is expected to improve the habitat for ungulates, like moose. (Cathey Hardin/US Forest Service)
More aspen in Caribou-Targhee National Forest is expected to improve the habitat for ungulates, like moose. (Cathey Hardin/US Forest Service)
June 19, 2020

ASHTON, Idaho -- A project is bringing aspen trees back to eastern Idaho, making a forest more attractive to wildlife and potentially more fire resilient.

Aspen regeneration will happen on nearly 50,000 acres of the Middle Henry's Fork Watershed in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, which borders Yellowstone.

Liz Davy, a ranger in the forest, says aspen are moist and therefore more difficult to burn than fir or pine trees.

"Fire, when it comes into those aspen plant communities, drops down to the ground, or the fire intensity gets lower," she explains. "And so, firefighters can get a better handle on that fire if they're trying to suppress it."

Aspen have declined in the area because of past fire suppression and logging practices.

Davy adds that conifers outcompete aspens for space in the forest, which has also hurt their comeback efforts.

Aspen are considered keystone species and so, their removal can lead to ecosystem changes.

Davy says more aspen will improve the habitat for the region's ungulates.

"So -- like moose, elk, mule deer -- because it's important in various stages of their life cycles," she states.

Matthew Ward, watershed manager in eastern Idaho for The Nature Conservancy, says the project has another benefit. Aspen leaves put on a beautiful show, turning yellow and orange in the fall.

"There's very little diversity in the stands because of past management practices and so, the aspen create more of a visual aesthetic, as well," he states.

The project is expected to kick off in mid-July.

Disclosure: The Nature Conservancy of Idaho contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID