Nov 29, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times

Nov 29, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Note: More of the newsletter going online this week, see links below.

Local Observations:

Sunday (Nov 22) cold morning, mostly sunny and chilly day. Smell of burning garbage hanging in the air.

Monday (Nov 23) a little warmer morning, but still cold. Vehicle exhaust polluting the air. Mosty sunny day, a little snow melted.

Tuesday (Nov 24) overcast, drizzles and misty rain off and on during the day, rained off a little snow, a lot of roofs are bare.

Wednesday (Nov 26) 2″ of new snow, mostly cloudy morning. Decreasing clouds and gusty breezes dumping snow out of the trees. Hazy nearly full moon (and breezy.)

Thursday (Nov 26) clear and cold morning, sunny cold quiet day. Bright full moon, cold night. Report that folks had a very nice pot luck dinner at the Tavern.

Friday (Nov 27) very cold morning, sunny cold day. Clear cold night.

Saturday (Nov 28) very cold morning, sunny cold day and quiet. Clear and cold night.

Sunday (Nov 29) cold morning Sunny chilly day and quiet.

Yellow Pine Weather Reports:

Now online!

Links to weather forecasts and webcams:

Road Reports:

Community Calendar and Announcements:

Real Estate:

(updated with some photos)

YPTimes Nov 29 posted here:

Idaho News:

Rules of the road for motorists include open range in much of Idaho

By BILL DENTZER – Idaho Statesman Published: 11/23/15 (hosted free by AP)

BOISE, Idaho — In March 2004, a motorcyclist riding through Lincoln County came over a slight rise in the road, hit a calf and died. In that moment, new West and old West collided, and not for the first or last time.

The rider’s family sued. The calf’s owner, the family claimed in court, had failed to maintain fencing along the road. The family lost in a case that eventually went to the Idaho Supreme Court. Fencing notwithstanding, the accident had occurred in open range territory, where longstanding tradition, eventually written into law, absolves livestock owners from liability in such cases.

It’s a standard straight out of the code of the West, reflecting the history of its settlement and establishing a pecking order among landed interests: ranchers first, farmers next. Motorists, who came much later, are on notice: Those unlucky enough to collide with livestock in the open range are financially liable not only for their injuries and damage to their vehicles, but also for the animal they strike.

In Idaho and the West, as traditional land uses cede ground to encroaching development, people and traffic, not everyone thinks that’s a fair deal.

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Small earthquake reported in northern Idaho

Small earthquake recorded in northern Idaho near Sandpoint, no damage reported

Local News 8 – Nov 23, 2015

SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) – Federal officials say a 3.4-magnitude earthquake rattled northern Idaho near Sandpoint but authorities say there are no reports of damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the temblor at about 1 p.m. Monday was about 9 miles deep and about 11 miles southeast of Sandpoint.

Officials say that’s under Lake Pend Oreille.

A Sandpoint Police Department spokeswoman says no reports of damage have been received.

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Southwest Idaho a wildfire restoration lab for land managers fighting invasive species

By ROCKY BARKER – Idaho Statesman Published: 11/27/15

MARSING, Idaho — Even before the smoke cleared last summer, scientists and resource specialists spread out across the blackened range of the Owyhee Mountains to assess the damage of the Soda Fire.

These experts from several federal and state agencies used aerial photographs and their own observations to put together a plan not just to stabilize the soils and rehabilitate the plant communities. Their job was to map out five years of projects that would restore the sagebrush steppe ecosystem and turn it into a laboratory for restoration across the West.

“We’re working for the survival of the sagebrush landscape,” said Tim Murphy, Idaho State Bureau of Land Management director. “We’ve completed Phase 1 by stabilizing the soil and preparing to reverse the cheatgrass growth.”

When the snow came earlier this month, contractors completed “drilling” seeds into the soils where the Soda Fire burned 280,000 acres after starting Aug. 10. As tractors were seeding the snow-covered Idaho and Oregon landscape, 200 scientists, land managers, county commissioners and ranchers were meeting in Boise to develop a strategy for protecting the native grasses and shrubs that provide habitat for 350 species including sage grouse by stopping and reversing the cheatgrass invasion.

continued (free view):
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NTSB preliminary report details events of small plane crash near Hope that killed 3

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/29/15

SANDPOINT, Idaho — A preliminary federal report details the events of a plane crash that killed three people near the town of Hope, Idaho, in October.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports that the National Transportation Safety Board report did not indicate why the Cessna 182 plane crashed shortly after taking off Oct. 8.

Killed were the pilot Pamela Bird, widow of renowned inventor Forrest Bird, as well as Donald and Tookie Hensley, of Mohave Valley, Arizona.


Idaho History:

Forest News:

Debate continues over Lochsa land swap proposal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/23/15

LEWISTON, Idaho — Officials are considering a controversial proposal to swap federal land for private timberland in the upper Lochsa River basin.

The Lewiston Tribune reports ( ) Republican Sen. Jim Risch is holding a meeting in Grangeville Tuesday to discuss the proposal.

Under the proposed legislation, Western Pacific Timber Co. would offer 39,000 acres of land in the upper Lochsa River basin in exchange for U.S. Forest Service land of similar value.

Most of the federal land would come from Idaho County, near Grangeville. The land is a popular area for hunting and other outdoor activities.

Federal officials say acquiring the private land would allow for protection of important fish and wildlife habitat. But opponents of the trade, which has been debated for eight years, don’t want to lose access to public land.

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Forest Service plans $1 million restoration effort on scorched northern Idaho forests

By KEITH RIDLER – AP Published: 11/23/15

BOISE, Idaho — The U.S. Forest Service is spending just over $1 million in northern Idaho to shore up areas scorched by massive wildfires last summer.

The agency on Monday announced the plan for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests aimed at stabilizing roads and trails, preventing erosion, keeping out invasive species and removing hazard trees.

About 288 square miles of the forests burned due to nine wildfires.

The agency says that’s the largest number of wildfires in any national forest this fire season.

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BLM: Wildland firefighter died from heart attack after completing training exercise in June

By KIMBERLEE KRUESI – AP Published: 11/25/15

BOISE, Idaho — Federal officials say a heart attack is to blame for the death of a wildland firefighter who passed away this summer after completing a physical training exercise.

Officials with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management say 33-year-old Terry Sonner from Hammett collapsed after completing a 2-mile training run in June.


Mining News:

Feds extend comment period on proposed plan to close key sage grouse habitat to mining

By KEITH RIDLER – AP Published: 11/27/15

BOISE, Idaho — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has extended the public comment period on the agency’s plan to withdraw 10 million acres of public lands in six western states from potential mineral extraction to protect habitat for the greater sage grouse.

The comment period will last about three additional weeks to Jan. 15, with public meetings scheduled in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming in December.

The BLM is seeking comments ahead of creating an Environmental Impact Statement before making a final decision on whether to withdraw the public lands for 20 years.

Some aspects federal authorities want to analyze include the economic effects of withdrawing the lands, wilderness characteristics, American Indian resources, mineral resources and recreation.

“We really want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to comment on the proposed withdrawal,” said BLM spokesman Mark Mackiewicz.


Letter to Share:

Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc. Update

Nov 23, 2015

Look how little Autie is losing her spots! She continues to grow and thrive and melt my heart


Hired the two most awesome guys today to help me get some work done on Mystic Farm before the big move in the spring. Kyle and Logan – you were lifesavers. We now have the fridges, more storage, stove and misc. other items out at the new barn. Set up for the new batch of fawns in the spring no longer looks so “un-doable”… We got this!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for.

Dory and all…

Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc.
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Happy Thanksgiving

Nov 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc.!

This Thanksgiving Day – and everyday – the fawns are thankful for all of you amazing supporters. Oh, and bottles…don’t forget bottles!


Happy Thanksgiving from Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc.

Dory, Hubcap, and all the critters
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Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc. Candle Tins

Nov 24, 2015


… wonderful handmade Mystic Farm natural candles. Great Christmas Gifts! Remember, all proceeds go to feed and care for the orphans at Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc. Thank You!

Dory and all at Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc.

Critter News:

Money to deter wolf attacks goes unclaimed

Federal grants help pay ranchers for preventive measures

Nov 25, 2015 by Greg Moore – IME

Due to lack of interest from [Idaho] ranchers, little has been spent from a $108,000 fund administered by the state of Idaho to prevent wolf depredation on livestock.

Judging by public comments made during the Idaho Fish and Game Commission’s quarterly meeting at the Community Campus in Hailey last week, the issue is important to Wood River Valley residents. Fifteen people urged the commission to ask the state to pursue less aggressive methods of reducing depredation, while only two people emphasized the importance of lethal control. Many commenters suggested transferring part of the $620,000 in state money available this year for lethal control of wolves to preventive measures.

Last year, the Legislature created a Wolf Depredation Control Board, and has allocated $400,000 in general fund money in each of the past two years to kill wolves. The new law also provides $110,000 annually from assessments made on livestock producers and another $110,000 from the Department of Fish and Game.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third week of November 2015
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New Washington wolf pack news sparks rare poetic debate

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 24, 2015

… OMAK – A new wolf pack has been confirmed in Okanogan County, bringing to 17 the number of packs in Washington state.

The new pack, which may have two to six members, is being called the Loup Loup Pack, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials who announced the new pack on Tuesday. It has been sighted in the Twisp and Omak areas. Loup Loup Pass was is a prominent place within the wolves’ range in the Methow Valley.

This is the fourth confirmed wolf pack in North Central Washington, including the Wenatchee Pack, which was discovered south of Wenatchee in March 2013. That pack had only two known adults found in a survey last December. Scott Becker, wolf specialist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said now that there’s snow on the ground, they’re beginning to look in the pack’s territory to see if there’s continuing wolf activity in the area.

continued (scroll down):
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Utah authorities say animal found dead in trap near Wyoming line appears to be gray wolf

By LINDSAY WHITEHURST – AP Published: 11/27/15

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah authorities say an animal that appears to be a gray wolf was found dead in a snare set for a coyote earlier this month near the Wyoming state line.

The 89-pound female was found Nov. 7 in an area where the animals are not listed as an endangered species, Kim Hersey with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said Friday.

Biologists believe the animal is a wolf but are conducting genetic tests to make sure that it wasn’t a dog hybrid, she said. Those tests could take months to complete.

The approximately 2 1/2 -year-old creature was found west of Randolph by a trapper who alerted state wildlife authorities.

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Colorado wildlife officials revisit concerns about wolf reintroduction

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/23/15

GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado — Colorado wildlife officials might soon reiterate their opposition to wolves being reintroduced to the state.

The state Parks and Wildlife Commission on Friday considered a draft resolution that would reaffirm positions the commission took in the 1980s, reported the Grand Junction Sentinel (

The resolution expresses concern about the impact wolves and grizzly bears would have Colorado’s livestock, wildlife and human welfare. Wildlife officials decided to revisit the issue after the governors of Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico sent a letter to federal officials opposing recovery plans for the Mexican wolf.

The commission hasn’t taken any action yet because members want to make sure the resolution is consistent with changes made in 2005, when then commission adopted recommendations from the state Wolf Working Group.

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Reward offered in fatal shooting of gray wolf on Upper Peninsula snowmobile trail last weekend

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/23/15

HOUGHTON, Michigan — State officials are offering a reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the shooting of a gray wolf in the Upper Peninsula’s Houghton County.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the wolf was killed Saturday on a snowmobile trail near state highway 26, a half-mile south of Twin Lakes.

Sgt. Grant Emery says the shooter fired from a vehicle.

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New Mexico Game Commission delays decision on appeal to keep wolves at Turner ranch

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/20/15

ROSWELL, New Mexico — The State Game Commission has decided to delay a decision on an appeal that would allow endangered Mexican gray wolves to be kept at Ted Turner’s ranch in southern New Mexico.

A bid by the Ladder Ranch to renew its permit for holding wolves in captivity was denied earlier this year, partly over concerns that federal officials have yet to update the recovery plan for the species.

The Turner Endangered Species Fund appealed. Executive director Mike Phillips told commissioners during a meeting Thursday in Roswell that the decision singled out the ranch for unequal treatment.

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Wolves Return to Mount Parnitha On the Outskirts of Athens

November 23, 2015 By WEI Staff

Environmentalists confirmed the presence of wolves on Mount Parnitha on the outskirts of Athens using automatic infrared photography.

Using cameras that remained active for six months, following a request for technical support by Parnitha Forestry, the Kallisto Environmental Organization for Wild Life and Nature recorded a pack of 7-8 wolves.
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Wolves “attack” southern Donetsk region

November 23, 2015 By WEI Staff

Nine cases of wolf attacks on domestic animals kept by farmers were recorded in the villages of Pershotravneve district in the Donetsk region in the past few days.

“In one case, wolves torn apart a calf, while in others – they attacked the goats, sheep and other large and small cattle. And that’s not counting how many predators tore apart poultry – ducks, chickens, geese,” said the head of hunting, fishing farm “Udacha” in Pershotravneve district Oleksandr Krasozov.
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Wolves return to Warsaw area after decades


The country’s communist regime organised a vast wolf cull in the 1960s in response to the perceived danger they posed, paying residents for every animal shot dead.

Locals killed off the park‘s last wolf pack in 1964.

Officials added the wolf to the country’s list of endangered species in the 1990s following protests from ecologists and animal rights activists, including former French movie star Brigitte Bardot.

The move helped reinstate their population in certain areas, including the mountainous region of Bieszczady in the south-east.
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Officials seek information after eastern Idaho cow elk poached near White Owl Butte

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/27/15

REXBURG, Idaho — State officials say they’re trying to find out who illegally shot and killed a cow elk in eastern Idaho.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game in a statement Friday says the elk was killed on Thanksgiving Day near White Owl Butte and left to rot.

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Ex-elk ranch employee charged with stealing elk semen

Local News 8 – Nov 25, 2015

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) – A former employee of a Twin Falls elk ranch has been accused of stealing elk semen and artificially inseminating elk at another ranch.

The Times-News reports that 30-year-old Brandon Eldredge was arraigned Friday on one count of grand theft.

Police say Eldredge stole the semen in 2011 and it was discovered the following year when owners of Early Morning Elk Ranch took inventory.

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Idaho officials OK implementation of sage grouse plan for endowment lands

By KEITH RIDLER – AP Published: 11/24/15

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho officials on Tuesday approved implementing the state’s plan to protect habitat for greater sage grouse on endowment lands, despite frustration with federal land managers.

The Idaho Land Board voted 5-0 to have the Idaho Department of Lands move forward with actions set out in the 82-page Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Plan the board approved in April.

Implementation of the plan for endowment lands was made contingent in April on federal agencies incorporating a much larger Idaho plan called the Governor’s Sage-Grouse Alternative concerning federal lands in Idaho.

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Oregon firefighters rescue owl tangled in fishing line; bird resting at rehabilitation center

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/27/15

GRANTS PASS, Oregon — Wildlife rehabilitation workers say a great horned owl that was tangled in fishing line is resting after being rescued by Oregon firefighters.

The Grants Pass Daily Courier reports ( ) that a resident in Shady Cove saw the adult male owl flapping its wings erratically while high up a tree on Sunday.

Jackson County Fire District No. 4 Captain Rick Mendenhall says the owl was “stuck big time.”

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Idaho Power first to count fish with only drones

Brian Holmes, KTVB November 25, 2015

RIGGINS, Idaho — Sixty years ago Idaho Power put dams on the Snake River. Since the 60’s fish hatcheries have helped reduce the impact of those dams on the native populations of Chinook Salmon and steelhead. But it’s only been for the past 25 years that the utility company has kept track of the spawning native population.

… Since 1991 the utility company that pulls power from the Snake River has made it a priority to keep track of the fish population that comes home to spawn in these waters.

Over those years this has been Phil Groves’ job.

“I would sit in a helicopter with the door off, and we’d fly about 250-300 feet over water and we’d fly about 35 miles an hour, and I would just count redds as we fly up and down the river,” said Groves, an Idaho Power fish biologist.

A redd is a nest made by an aging female salmon. And it’s actually not red. “In this river it’s a light-colored patch on a dark-colored river background,” said Groves.

For the first time in 25 years Phil finds himself at the controls of a drone instead of hanging out the side of a helicopter in Hells Canyon, where the winds can whip up at a moment’s notice.

full story:
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Strong salmon returns up the Columbia River; efforts to improve fish passage credited

By GEORGE PLAVEN – East Oregonian Published: 11/29/15

PENDLETON, Oregon — The Columbia Basin’s 2015 salmon season is the second-strongest year since the federal dams were built nearly 80 years ago.

A record number of fall chinook salmon returned up the Columbia River past McNary Dam in 2015, continuing on to spawning grounds at Hanford Reach, the Snake River and Yakima Basin.

More than 456,000 of the fish were counted at McNary Dam, breaking the facility’s previous record of 454,991 set in 2013. An estimated 200,000 fall chinook made it back to Hanford Reach, the most since hydroelectric dams were first built on the Columbia nearly 80 years ago.


Fun Critter Stuff:


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Wild Turkey Waltz


Fish & Game News:

Fish and game officials approve new fishing rules for coming years

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/28/15

POCATELLO, Idaho — The Idaho Fish and Game Commission have approved that state’s fishing rules for the next three seasons.

The Idaho State Journal reports ( ) that the new rules go into effect on Jan. 1.

Included in the rules is a new statewide possession limit. It will be three times the daily bag limit after the second day of the season. Currently, the possession limit is equal to the bag limit.

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Figh and Game News Releases


Now online!

Tips and Advice:

Thanksgiving food to keep away from pets

Some tranditional Thanksgiving fare dangerous for pets

Local News 8 –  Nov 25, 2015

While you’re passing around the turkey and mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving, make sure to keep an eye on Fido and his friends. Dr. Ernie Ward, a veterinarian in Calabash, North Carolina, tells the Wall Street Journal people don’t realize some human foods, even in small amounts, are risky for pets.

… According to WGN, Evans say pet owners should keep the following foods away from their furry friends:

Ham: Pork products can result in vomiting, diarrhea and even pancreatitis, which causes other digestive problems.

Stuffing: Onions and garlic are extremely toxic to dogs and cats, according to Evans. Since these items are included in most stuffing recipes, you should avoid giving any amount to pets.

Mashed potatoes: If it’s made with onion powder or garlic, don’t give it to you pet. Many animals are also lactose intolerance so the milk and butter in mashed potatoes can cause diarrhea.

Turkey bones: Aside from a choking risk, turkey bones can splinter and cause damage to the stomach and intestines. Evans also said bones can give our furry friends severe indigestion.

Salads with grapes or raisins: Grapes are potentially deadly, so keep waldorf salad and ambrosia away from dogs and cats.

Anything chocolate: This may seem like a no-brainer for experienced pet owners. But you may want to remind guests not to give animals a taste of chocolate desserts.

full story:


Roosevelt establishes Thanksgiving date

October 31st marks two occasions now: Halloween, most obviously, and also the date after which Christmas sales can begin. Christmas has creeped up to almost four weeks before Thanksgiving, but during President Franklin Roosevelt’s time retailers still considered it bad form to mention Christmas, traditionally the biggest shopping holiday of the year, before Thanksgiving. During the depression, this was a problem: Thanksgiving, falling on the last Thursday of the year, gave shoppers only 20 days to finish their gift buying. FDR though – naively – that he could move the holiday a week up, and nobody would mind. They did.

On this day, November 26, in 1941, after FDR’s announcement of Thanksgiving’s move to the third Thursday of the month met with outcry in the streets and in public, Roosevelt relented, moving the holiday back and officially enshrining in law its celebration on the last Thursday of the month.

Thanksgiving arose from a tradition of harvest-season lectures started by American settlers – the most famous of which took place in Plymouth, as governor William Bradford invited local Indians to share in the feast. President Washington declared every November 26 to be Thanksgiving, and President Abraham Lincoln dedicated the holiday fall on the last Thursday of every [year] – a tradition adhered to, save for one blip during Roosevelt’s third term – thereafter.
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The Pilgrims – American Experience




[hat tip to SMc]

Thanks for sharing news and photos for the YPTimes.