Amanda Peacher

Amanda Peacher is an Arthur F. Burns fellow reporting and producing in Berlin in 2013. Amanda is from Portland, Oregon, where she works as the public insight journalist for Oregon Public Broadcasting. She produces radio and online stories, data visualizations, multimedia projects, and facilitates community engagement opportunities for OPB's newsroom.

You can follow Amanda on twitter or on facebook.

When is the last time you’ve had a clear view of the Milky Way? Chances are you’re among the 99 percent of Americans who can’t see all that much of the night sky from where you live.

As part of our series touring some of our favourite public lands, Amanda Peacher takes us to the first U.S. International Dark Sky Reserve in Central Idaho. 

In another shuffle of department leadership, the Bureau of Land Management has a new Deputy Director of Operations. The agency, along with the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, still await Senate-confirmed directors. 

Public lands facilities around the nation are cutting budgets and staff. But in the Mountain West region, cutbacks at Montana's National Bison Refuge are prompting accusations of a political vendetta by regional U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service managers. 

President Trump has overturned a rule requiring outfitters to pay river and backcountry guides on public lands a minimum wage.


When you hear about companies like REI or Patagonia, you might think about tents, rain jackets or hikers in puffy coats on a mountaintop. But how about politics? These outdoorsy companies are part of a new wave of business advocates fighting for public lands.


Currently the sage grouse is not listed under the Endangered Species Act. And a bill before Congress  would prevent that from happening anytime in the next decade.

Each summer, thousands of firefighters devote long hours to putting out wildfires. At the end of each day, they retreat to camp a safe distance away where they can relax and recharge to be ready for their next shift. And also get fed. For the Mountain West News Bureau’s Faces Behind the Fire series, we talk to the man in charge of the kitchen.

 


President Trump just dismantled policies requiring federal agencies reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions and meet other environmental targets.


Former State Representative Paulette Jordan has won the Democratic primary in Idaho’s gubernatorial race. If Jordan wins in November, she’d become the first woman governor of Idaho and the first Native American governor in the country.


The Society for American Archeology canceled a panel this spring because the Bureau of Land Management wouldn’t pay for its staffers to attend and lead a symposium on Land Management issues.

If you’re looking for a new primary care doctor in states like Idaho or Wyoming, good luck. Our region has some of the worst doctor shortages of all U.S. states.


The Bureau of Land Management has presented Congress with a controversial new plan to manage wild horses.

Environmental groups want to stop sheep grazing on public lands in the region. The issue is playing out in the courts in Idaho and Montana.  

A new Bloomberg analysis looks at the widening gap between the rich and the poor in cities across the nation. 


The dry and arid climate of the Western U.S. is marching eastward, thanks to climate change.

That’s the conclusion of a set of studies from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Institute. 


Animal rights advocates are asking the federal government to protect certain wild horses as an endangered species. It’s not their first attempt, but this time it’s a specific herd.

The Trump administration is proposing a major rule that could potentially weaken Endangered Species Act protections.


The Environmental Protection Agency just announced its plan to roll back vehicle emissions standards. That could be cause for concern in Mountain West communities with poor air quality.

Retired electrical engineer Lisa Hecht loves nerding out about solar energy.

The Boise resident has a solar light for emergencies, a solar battery pack she uses to charge her cell phone and a solar oven she swears makes top-notch steel cut oats.

Western governors want to see more federal action to combat tiny but destructive creatures: invasive mussels.

A quagga mussel is only about the size of your thumbnail. But when the little mollusk reproduces en masse, it can wreak havoc on agriculture and lake tourism.

Idaho and Colorado saw some of the nation's leading growth in wages this past year. But other western states, including Montana and Wyoming, lagged behind according to the latest report from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Following Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke's repeated calls for more management of public lands, this spring the Bureau of Land Management is giving certain ranchers more say and options in grazing their cattle on public lands.


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Forest managers are turning to video technology to help them spot wildfires before they get out of control. That means that they're turning away from fire lookouts who sit atop towers. Oregon Public Broadcasting's Amanda Peacher reports.