‘Outdoor Idaho’ Looks at the Changing Threat From Wildfires

Wildfires have been a way of life in Idaho for millennia. But in recent years they’ve become increasingly more severe. Fire seasons are starting sooner, fires are burning hotter and they’re lasting longer.

Idaho Public Television’s original series Outdoor Idaho explores the reasons behind the increase in wildfires and what’s being done to help Idahoans cope with the changes in Living With Wildfire. The program premieres Thursday, Oct. 24, at 8 PM. (IdahoPTV Passport members can stream the program beginning Oct. 17.)

Fire and climate experts from the University of Idaho warn that our warming climate is adding fuel to an already dangerous wildfire and smoke problem. Declining air quality in the Western U.S. has prompted NASA and NOAA to come together to study wildfire smoke and its effects on our cities and our health.

And, as people move out into the countryside and closer to wildfires, they’re having to become Firewise to protect themselves, their land and their homes. The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management are also doing what they can to keep us safe through fuels suppression efforts like prescribed burns and tree thinning.

We’ve all heard the term “a picture is worth a thousand words.” If that’s true, then wildland fire photographer Kari Greer would seem to have enough words to fill an online dictionary. Her images from the fire line are stunning, and her work is important to documenting wildfire history.

Producer/director Forrest Burger says, “When I began researching this topic my ultimate goal was to not only show fire’s fury, but to also introduce our viewers to the people who are living with the threat of wildfire every day.”

‘Out of the Shadows’ Screening Will Feature Photo Exhibit, Indigenous Food

Viewers in the Pocatello area are invited to join Idaho Public Television and the Idaho Museum of Natural History for a free screening of the Idaho Experience documentary Out of the Shadows.

The screening will be followed by a reception with a menu of indigenous food at the Idaho Museum of Natural History’s Discovery Room. The event will also feature an exhibit of photographs by Benedicte Wrensted, who is featured in the documentary, and of historical Shoshone-Bannock tribal clothing. Guests will also enjoy a conversation with the film’s producer, Marcia Franklin.

  • Screening: Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7 PM
  • Idaho State University – Frazier Hall in Pocatello
  • Reception: 8 PM
  • Idaho Museum of Natural History – Discovery Room
  • Please Register to Attend

About ‘Out of the Shadows’: Producer Marcia Franklin brings to light the stories of two female photographers at the turn of the 20th century — Jane Gay and Benedicte Wrensted — as well as the subjects of their images.

In 1889, Gay came to the Nez Perce Reservation to document the work of her friend, anthropologist Alice Fletcher. Fletcher was carrying out the mandate of the Dawes Act, which forced tribal members to give up communal land and accept 160-acre plots.

A few years later, Wrensted left her native Denmark to move to Pocatello. Members of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes would come to her studio to have their portraits taken.

Franklin talks with scholars who have studied both women, as well as Nez Perce and Shoshone-Bannock tribal members, who reflect on the photos. The program also features tribal members who are pursuing the art of photography.

Idaho Public Television Hosts Annual Volunteer Appreciation Event and Names Volunteers of the Year

On Oct. 10, Idaho Public Television held its annual volunteer appreciation event at its studios in Boise. Volunteers were treated to dinner, thanked for their service, and shown previews of upcoming local and national programs that their volunteer work makes possible.

VolApprecWP2According to Shane Chariton, IdahoPTV major giving director, 867 individual volunteers worked a combined 5,655 hours this past year. Using a $25.43 value of a volunteer hour (calculated annually by Independent Sector), that’s the equivalent of $143,807 donated as volunteer work — funds that were able to be put toward programs and activities that support IdahoPTV’s mission: to encourage lifelong learning, connect Idaho communities, and enrich the lives of all Idahoans.

VolApprecWPVOTYVirginia Bennett and friends were named Idaho Public Television’s volunteers of the year. “Virginia Bennett coordinates a group of her friends to come to the station each month (sometimes more), helping to get all of our personalized mailings out to donors in a timely manner and with great attention to detail.  They are always willing to come in and help with preparation for big events and projects, like our Education Outreach events and the HUGE Thanksgiving card mailing each year.  We couldn’t accomplish what we do in fundraising without their volunteer service each month throughout the year” said Chariton.

“They believe in Idaho Public Television’s mission and make us happier when they are here!” said Development Associate Laurie Zuckerman.

“The staff of Idaho Public Television wishes to thank all of our wonderful volunteers,” Chariton says. “We are incredibly grateful for each and every one of you and your volunteer support throughout the year!”

Early Childhood Educators Invited to Attend ‘Edcamp’

Register at idahoptv.org/teachers to attend Edcamp on Saturday, October 19, from 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Snake River Elementary: 500 Stampede Drive in Nampa.

Idaho Public Television is excited to partner with PBS Kids to host PBS Kids Edcamp — this one for early childhood educators!

PBS Kids Edcamp is NOT a traditional conference: no keynote speaker, pre-arranged content or registration fee. So what exactly is it?

A PBS Kids Edcamp is a local gathering of PreK through 3rd grade educators connecting through shared experiences and peer-led conversations with a PBS twist! An idea conceived by teachers eager to challenge the status quo and take control of their own professional learning, the Edcamp model was initially sparked by informal conversations between educators on social media.

Free lunch and snacks will be provided. And we’ll have door prizes! Edcamp even qualifies for professional development credit through Boise State University and IdahoSTARS.

PBS Kids Edcamp is free, but space is limited so PLEASE REGISTER.

  • DATE: Saturday, October 19
  • TIME: 9 AM – 3 PM
  • LOCATION: Snake River Elementary School
  • ADDRESS: 500 Stampede Drive, Nampa

‘Resilient Idaho’ Features Local Mental Health Resources

During Mental Health Awareness Week (Oct. 6-12), Idaho Public Television will present six nights of programs that celebrate resilience in the face of adversity and trauma. Local production Resilient Idaho, a panel discussion hosted by Gemma Gaudette, will feature local mental health resources presented by Idaho professionals.

Programming begins Monday, Oct. 7, with Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope (7 PM) and Resilient Idaho: Hope After Trauma (8 PM).

Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope is a highly acclaimed documentary that focuses on the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Researchers have recently discovered this dangerous biological syndrome caused by abuse and neglect during childhood. Toxic stress can trigger hormones that wreak havoc on the brains and bodies of children, putting them at a greater risk for disease, homelessness, prison time, and early death. The film, however, also chronicles the dawn of a movement that is determined to fight back. Trailblazers in pediatrics, education, and social welfare are using cutting-edge science and field-tested therapies to protect children from the insidious effects of toxic stress — and the dark legacy of a childhood that no child would choose.

Resilient Idaho: Hope After Trauma, an hourlong panel discussion hosted by Boise State Public Radio’s Gemma Gaudette, will present three groups of local experts discussing mental health challenges faced by children, teens and adults. The panels will include up to 15 guests from around the state, who are experts in their field of human services, identifying and discussing complex problems caused by trauma and stress encountered in childhood and how this impacts us as we age. Experts will look at the complexities through three age groups — birth to grade school, teens and adults — to lay out the problems encountered by each group, and to identify experts in Idaho communities who are available to assist. In addition to the broadcast, Resilient Idaho will stream on Facebook (facebook.com/idahoptv) and will remain there for viewers to access. It will also be available Oct. 8 for streaming at video.idahoptv.org and through the PBS Video app.

Panelists Scheduled to Appear on ‘Resilient Idaho’:

Birth through grade school

  • Dr. Tom Patterson – Pediatrician, Family Medical Residency of Idaho
  • Cindi Richardson – Program Manager at Panhandle Health District
  • Janelle Stauffer – Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Community Advocate
  • Cathie Johnson – Education Administrator, Community Council of Idaho, Migrant Seasonal Head Start
  • Tamra Vanegas – Counseling and Social Work Supervisor, Boise School District


  • Dr. Christopher Streeter – Board Certified General, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
  • Luis Granados – Executive Director, Breaking Chains Academy of Development
  • Scott Curtis – Licensed Master of Social Work, Idaho Youth Ranch CEO
  • John F. Varin – Retired Camas County Magistrate Judge


  • Darshan Soske – Vet Center Director, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • Will Strength – Director and Co-founder of Dad Speak
  • Penelope Hansen – Mental Health Coordinator, Boise Police Department
  • Ross Edmonds – Behavioral Health Administrator, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
  • Abhilash K. Desai MD – Medical Director, Board Certified Geriatric Psychiatrist

Additional mental health awareness programs that will air during the week include Hope Lives; the six-part series Adverse Childhood Experiences: A Public Health Issue; Arts Over ACEs; Close to Home: Depression; Healing Beyond Medicine; It’s “Just” Anxiety; Local USA: Opioids From Inside; and Kids in Crisis: You’re Not Alone.

For the full lineup of Mental Health Awareness Week programs on the Idaho and Plus Channels, visit idahoptv.org/resilientidaho.

This week of mental health awareness programs is made possible by funding from Optum Idaho.

Resilient Idaho is produced in partnership with St. Luke’s Community Health, ECHO Idaho and WWAMI University of Idaho, Idaho Division of Veterans Services, Children’s Home Society of Idaho, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho, The Children’s Trust Fund, Prevent Child Abuse Idaho, Idaho Department of Correction, The Speedy Foundation and the Idaho Suicide Prevention HotlineJannus Inc.

Over-the-air Signal Change Coming to Juliaetta

On Thursday, Sept. 26, the Idaho Public Television signal broadcasting to the Juliaetta area will change.

Following this re-channeling of translator K43GE-D, viewers in the Juliaetta area who receive IdahoPTV via an over-the-air antenna will lose their signal and will need to perform a “rescan” of their TV tuners to find the updated signal. After rescanning, viewers will continue to receive IdahoPTV on broadcast channel 12.

Information on performing a rescan is located here: fcc.gov/rescan.

Here is some background on why this is happening: translator K43GE-D is currently broadcasting on frequency channel 43 (received by TV tuners as channel 12). The FCC by virtue of funding raised in their Broadcast Spectrum Incentive Auction is funding the costs for this new equipment. The re-channeled transmitter will broadcast on over-the-air channel 22, which will continue to be identified by TV tuners as channel 12.

In 2017, as part of the FCC’s nationwide Broadcast Spectrum Incentive Auction, spectrum in the 600 MHz block across the continental United States was auctioned off to bolster cellular network. The Juliaetta translator sits in the middle of this auctioned spectrum and is required to change channels or terminate operations entirely. IdahoPTV was successful in applying for and receiving a new channel assignment to continue broadcasting in the area.

“While this undertaking has been a very large task, we are fortunate that the burden of cost has not been a factor in making the adjustment, since the Congress and FCC have provided the necessary funding,” says Rich Van Genderen, IdahoPTV’s director of technology. “So although this is an inconvenience, at least it isn’t an unfunded mandate for us to meet.”

Join Us for a Free Screening of ‘Made in Boise’

Register to join us for a free preview screening of the Independent Lens documentary “Made in Boise.” The film’s director, Beth Aala, will join moderator Melissa Davlin (host of Idaho Reports) for a Q&A discussion following the screening.

Idaho Public Television invites the public to attend a preview screening of the Independent Lens documentary Made in Boise on Saturday, October 5, at the Egyptian Theatre in Boise, beginning at 6 PM.

Register to Attend

Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Beth Aala, who directed “Made in Boise,” will join moderator Melissa Davlin (host of Idaho Reports) for a Q&A discussion immediately following the screening.

A surprising — and booming — industry has emerged in Boise. In this all-American city, nurses, nail technicians and stay-at-home mothers are choosing to become paid surrogates for people from around the world. “Made in Boise” goes inside the lives of four of them as they build relationships with the intended parents, prepare for the rigors of pregnancy, and navigate the mixed feelings of their own families, who struggle to understand their choice to risk the physical and emotional complications of carrying babies for someone else.

As the number of surrogate births surges across the country, an epicenter of the movement is Idaho, with its large population of healthy women of reproductive age and a significant number of Mormon and Catholic communities who value large families. In Boise, it is estimated that one in 15 mothers will carry a baby for a stranger at some point in her life. For gay couples, single men and those who struggle with infertility, this industry — outlawed in many countries around the world — is often the last resort to biological parenthood. Legal in some states and illegal in others, a number of states, including Idaho, have no laws governing surrogacy on their books.

Each of the four women in the film — Nicole, Chelsea, Cindy and Sammie — arrives at the decision to become a surrogate for her own reasons. Nicole and her husband have two children and run Idaho’s largest surrogacy agency, which works with the other surrogates in the film. Nicole “loves being pregnant” and is in the midst of her fourth surrogate pregnancy when the film opens. Stay-at-home mom Chelsea has four children of her own and sees surrogacy as a way to process the stillbirth she suffered eight years ago. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse Cindy is one of the many nurses who become surrogates at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center to help the unique families coming through the local hospital. A single mother with two biological and three adopted children, she becomes a surrogate for the first time at age 42. Sammie, a 26-year-old nail technician and single mother, looks forward to the second income she otherwise wouldn’t have. But her friends and family are apprehensive about her choice.

“Using humor and pathos, director Beth Aala shares deeply personal stories about one of the most intimate aspect of our lives — how we create family,” says Lois Vossen, executive producer of Independent Lens. “Surrogacy is complex, and ‘Made in Boise’ balances issues like ethics, health risks to the carrier, and what constitutes parenthood in this growing phenomenon. The film asks us individually to answer a fundamental question: what defines a family?”