Green Initiatives & Environmental History for: Idaho
The region was explored in 1805-1806. It was then a part of the Oregon country, held jointly by the United States and Great Britain. Boundary disputes with Great Britain were settled by the Oregon Treaty in 1846, and the first permanent US settlement in Idaho was established in 1860.
After gold was discovered at Orofino Creek in 1860, prospectors swarmed into the territory, but they left little more than a number of ghost towns.
In the 1870s, growing white occupation of Indian lands led to a series of battles between US forces and the Native Americans. However, they were eventually defeated by the US troops.
With 10 life zones, Idaho has some 3000 native plants. Characteristic evergreens are Douglas fir and western white pine; oak/mountain mahogany, juniper and spruce constitute the other main forest types. Syringa is the state flower. Water howellia, Spalding’s catchfly, and Ute-ladies-tresses are the state’s threatened plant species.
Elk, moose, white-tailed and mule deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, mountain lion, black bear are numerous. Rare animal species include the kit fox and pika.
The grizzly bear and bald eagle are listed as threatened, while the gray wolf, American falcon, and whooping crane are endangered. A total of 20 animal species are listed as threatened or endangered.
The U.S. Green Building Council is sponsoring a Green Schools Initiative intending to highlight the value of greening schools to reduce operating costs, improve student performance and protect the environment. A school building or facility that creates a healthy environment that is conducive to learning while saving energy, resources and money is a Green School.
Allied Waste Services of Idaho in partnership with Clean Cities Coalition, is doing everything possible to minimize the environmental impact. They have launched a fleet of natural gas-powered trucks and built compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations. The change from biodiesel to natural gas improves air quality, reduce greenhouse emissions and increase energy independence. Compressed natural gas is a domestic resource and a cleaner-burning fuel than gas or diesel. The project is a perfect example in lowering carbon footprint and improving the quality of air.