Dec 16, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times

Dec 16, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Note: The power was out in Yellow Pine from 1237pm Sunday until 824pm on Tuesday.

Local Observations:

Monday (Dec 7) rained all night, low foggy clouds, large puddles, rain on top of ice and very slick! Rain all day. Power off at 210pm. Idaho Power recording said crew gave up at dark. Rain all night, from misting to pounding down.

Tuesday (Dec 8) Foggy and raining. Power restored at 133pm. Idaho Power recording said “lines down”. Water on top of ice on local roads, very slick! Just after 515pm it sounded like an avalanche came down to the south, up Johnson Creek somewhere. The sound of rocks rolling and trees snapping off lasted a minute or so. Fog but no rain before dark.

Wednesday (Dec 9) around daylight wind and rain, most of the snow has been replaced by huge puddles. Rain stopped after lunch time. Clouds breaking up later in the afternoon. Really slick.

Thursday (Dec 10) Snow after 7am until 11am, over 4″ new snow. Ice under the snow and slick on the road! A little rain later in the day, then a few little snow flurries once in a while into the night.

Friday (Dec 11) 1/2″ new snow, old snow settled down to 3″. Snowed pretty much all day and quiet.

Saturday (Dec 12) light snow during the day, heavy snow during the night.

Sunday (Dec 13) Power out for about 30 seconds around 6am. Freezing rain mixed with snow, bushes bent over, branches hanging low. Power off at 1237pm. Rain/snow mix most of the afternoon changing over to heavy wet snow just before dark. Neighbor plowing local streets – many thanks. Idaho Power recording reporting multiple outages all over Valley County.


Thomas Robert Heck

October 20, 1941 – December 8, 2015

Thomas Robert Heck unexpectedly passed away from natural causes on Monday December 8, 2015 at his home. Tom was born October 20, 1941, in Caldwell, Idaho. He was the eldest son of Robert and June Heck.

On August 9, 1961 Tom married Alberta Brock and they had three children together, Burton, Darrel, and Lesa.

Tom started his career as an ironworker which he did for seven years in various states and towns across the country. In 1972, he took control of M & R Auto Salvage and shortly thereafter acquired B & T Auto, combining them into the single business known as B & T Auto Salvage.

Even during difficult economic times, Tom had the skill and business aptitude to keep his shop open and workers employed.

He loved all kinds of outdoor recreation, including hunting, fishing, and riding his ATV (Power Steering) four wheeler. Tom also loved to visit yard and estate sales looking for treasure to display in his home for all to enjoy. However, it was clear to all who knew and loved Tom that his greatest treasures were his family. He was a loving and generous father, grandfather, brother and friend.

Tom is survived by his son, Darrel Lynn Heck; daughter, Lesa Ann Heck Bowen Darling and her husband, Patrick Darling; grandchildren, Kimberly and Derrick Oxnam, Eric and Katheryn Bowen, Cason and Casey Bowen, and Lindsay Bowen; step grandchildren, Krystal and Vianna Darling; great-grandchildren, Mary Heck, Roxie Kitchen, Alexia, Hailey, Drake, and Landon Oxnam, Quentin and Canela Bowen, and Aiden Bowen; 3 brothers, Al and Jean Heck family, David and Nancy Heck family, and Dennis and Chris Heck family; and former spouses, Pat Bevan and Betti Heck family.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents Robert and June Heck, his son Burton Heck, and former spouse Alberta Brock Heck Donaldson.

He will be truly missed by all his family and close friends.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, December 15th at Dakan Funeral Chapel, Caldwell, with burial to follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens, Caldwell. Friends may call Monday evening December 14th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Dakan Chapel. Condolences may be shared at

Photo to Share:

December 13, 2015


photo by Dave Putman

Letter to Share:

Idaho Power Response

(the following is an email reply from Idaho Power shared by a local)

I appreciate your patience while our guys worked to restore service. We had a couple of set backs and then at 4:00 AM on Tuesday morning a large tree went through the transmission line serving the substation at Warm Lake.  We sent 2 additional crews, a snow cat, 2 snow mobiles, and a tracked UTV in to patrol and cut the trees out.  A 2nd crew went into Yellow Pine to fix the downed tree(s) in Johnson creek and put the wire back up.

Again, thank you for your support, our employees truly care about serving you.

Merry Christmas,
Brent Lulloff
Regional Manager – Western Idaho

Idaho News:

Snowstorm knocks out power to more than 18,000

KTVB December 14, 2015

More than 17 inches of snow fell in the West-Central Mountains this past weekend and ski resorts weren’t the only ones busy. The garages at Idaho Power are empty as they respond to hundreds of power outages.

“From Garden Valley, McCall, Council area, we’ve experienced 123 outages in the last 36 hours affecting approximately 18,000 customers,” Brent Lulloff with Idaho Power said.

That, on top of another 103 outages near Idaho City.

“We’re running seven by 24 right now,” Lulloff said.

Crews have been able to get the power back on to more than 17,000 of those customers. Lulloff says the main obstacle crews have been dealing with are downed trees.

“The heavy snow accumulates on the trees, and as those trees gain weight they will fall over and they fall into our power lines,” Lulloff said.

continued w/video:
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Sheriff Patti Bolen

On Tuesday 12/08/15, at the Grove Hotel, Sheriff Patti Bolen was sworn in as the President of the Idaho Sheriff’s Association. This is a very prestigious honor and all of us at the Valley County Sheriff’s Office are very proud of her accomplishments. Sheriff Bolen was the first female elected Sheriff, sworn into office in the State of Idaho and she is now the very first female Sheriff to hold the title of President of the Idaho Sheriff’s Association. There have been two past Sheriff’s that have served in this role for Valley County. Congratulations Sheriff Bolen on a very well deserved title.

If you would like to know more about what the Idaho Sheriff’s Association does and their role in Law Enforcement, please follow this link:

source: Valley Co. Sheriff’s FB page

[hat tip to SMc]
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Missing Nampa skier sheltered in snow cave

KTVB December 15, 2015

VALLEY COUNTY — A Nampa man who skied out of bounds and got lost at Tamarack Sunday was found safe Monday morning.

According to the Valley County Sheriff’s Office, 32-year-old Sean E. Stevenson was reported missing just after 11:30 p.m. after he failed to return home from skiing. Stevenson’s vehicle was still in the parking lot, and his lift ticket had last been scanned at 10:35 a.m., officials say.

The Tamarack Ski Patrol and Valley County Search and Rescue were called in to look for the missing man. Stevenson was found near the Lone Tree Trail off Forest Service Road 218 at 9:42 a.m. Monday.

The skier said he had become disoriented and had skied out of bounds on the back side of Tamarack. He said he dug a snow cave and spent the night sheltering in it.

Stevenson was treated for dehydration and minor exposure at a McCall hospital, and released.

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Avalanche injures skier near central Idaho resort town

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 12/15/15

KETCHUM, Idaho — Officials say a skier was badly injured when he was caught in an avalanche in central Idaho on Monday afternoon.

Sawtooth Avalanche Center Director Scott Savage says the man was skiing on U.S. Forest Service land when he was caught by the slide and carried about 450 feet. Savage says the man struck a tree and sustained serious chest and internal injuries, and was almost completely buried in the snow. A companion spotted his hand and part of his leg and quickly dug the man out, The Times-News newspaper in Twin Falls reported (

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Another earthquake swarm shakes east-central Idaho

Keith Ridler, Associated Press December 11, 2015

More than 40 small earthquakes have been recorded in east-central Idaho this week in what experts say is another earthquake swarm in the region.

Officials in the Challis area on Friday reported no damage from the micro-quakes that started Tuesday and have mostly gone unnoticed or unreported in an area experienced with more vigorous shaking.

But the temblors ranging up to 2.9 magnitude have perked up scientists trying to understand the fault system in the area where a 5.0 magnitude quake struck in January.

Idaho’s largest recorded earthquake rocked the same area in 1983 when a 6.9-magnitude quake occurred near 12,667-foot Borah Peak, Idaho’s tallest peak.

University of Idaho research geologist William Phillips says scientists aren’t sure if the current earthquake swarm could lead to something bigger.


Mining News:

Gold mining company says Idaho project is feasible despite federal report on pollution

By KEITH RIDLER – AP Published: 12/8/15

BOISE, Idaho — A Canadian company proposing a gold mine in central Idaho says it’s undeterred by a U.S. Geological Survey study that found more extensive pollution than previously thought from historic mining in the area.

Midas Gold Corp. President and CEO Stephen Quin says the 4.6 million ounces of gold the company expects to recover near the town of Yellow Pine means cleaning up a century worth of past mining activities as part of the project is feasible.

The Geological Survey report released Tuesday on the Stibnite Mining Area following a three-year study shows new areas of arsenic and mercury pollution.

Hydrologist Alexandra Etheridge says a sample taken in one area found mercury to be “off the charts.”

Quin says reclamation of the area by Midas would save taxpayers millions of dollars.

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Rocky Barker’s report at the IS
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Mine proposal clears key hurdle with completion of environmental study, but lawsuit looms

By MATTHEW BROWN – AP Published: 12/15/15

BILLINGS, Montana — A proposed silver and copper mine beneath northwestern Montana’s Cabinet Mountains Wilderness cleared a significant hurdle Tuesday with the completion of an environmental study in the works for the past decade.

A final decision on the Montanore mine near the Idaho border could come by late January, said Craig Jones with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

Mines Management Inc. of Spokane, Washington, is proposing to remove up to 120 million tons of ore from the underground mine, which would disturb more than 1,500 acres of land just outside the wilderness area. Included is a 14-mile transmission line to carry power to the site near Libby, Montana.


Forest / BLM News:

Andrus Center receives $500,000 grant to develop rangeland wildfire strategies

By KEITH RIDLER – AP Published: 12/10/15

BOISE, Idaho — The Andrus Center for Public Policy has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to bring together federal, state, tribal and other entities to find ways to reduce the severity of rangeland wildfires.

The center will receive $100,000 a year over five years to host a series of small workshops and conferences that will also look at ways to restore fire-damaged landscapes.

Andrus Center Chairman and former Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus in a statement released Tuesday says it’s imperative that effective strategies are developed to protect Western ecosystems.

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Enjoy Recent Snow In The Mountains With Caution

News Release Dec 15, 2015

BOISE, Idaho – Recent snowfall in the Boise National Forest is good news for winter sports enthusiasts and water supplies.  Mountain areas have received as much as 50 inches of snow since mid-November and have kicked off an early start to skiing and snowmobiling season. Bogus Basin ski area opened for downhill and Nordic skiing on November 27.  Brian Anderson, Hydrologist for the Idaho City Ranger District says “Nearly 75% of Idaho’s water supplies come from mountain snowpack and the early start has put the local snowpack above average.”

With the change of the season, it is important to think about winter safety.  With the exception of major highways and access routes that receive year-round maintenance, travel throughout the Forest will now be limited to over-snow vehicles, skis, and/or snowshoes.

Winter travel conditions can change rapidly even on maintained routes.  It’s important to plan ahead, check with the local Forest Service Ranger Station or the Idaho Department of Transportation about conditions, bring extra clothes, food, and water, and most importantly; tell someone where you are headed and when you plan to return.  For winter adventurers headed into the backcountry on skis or snowmobiles, be aware of avalanche conditions and know your ability.

Useful links:

National Weather Service – Boise Forecast Office

Information about snowfall amounts for SNOTEL stations (some stations are currently offline)

Payette Avalanche Center

Sawtooth Avalanche Center

Jennifer Stephenson
Acting Public Affairs Officer
Forest Service
Boise National Forest
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Recreation Improvement Grants Sought for the McCall and Krassel Ranger Districts

Date:  December 11, 2015
Contact: Brian Harris (208) 634-0784 cell: (208) 634-6945

McCall, Idaho – The McCall and Krassel Ranger Districts are each applying for State of Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) grants for 2016.  All improvements are located within National Forest System lands.

The McCall Ranger District is applying for four grants through the Off-Road Motor Vehicle Fund, Recreational Vehicle Fund, and the Recreational Trails Program.

Two grants will be applied for under the Off-Road Motor Vehicle Fund.  The first will be to support the District’s Winter Trail Ranger Program.  If funded, winter trail rangers would assist with maintaining trailheads, recreation sites, and parking lots.  Winter trail rangers would also be responsible for providing education and information to Forest visitors regarding the 291 miles of groomed snowmobile trails that are located across three counties (Adams, Idaho and Valley). Work would be completed during the 2016-2017 winter recreation season.

The second request under the Off-Highway Vehicle Fund is to support the Payette Avalanche Center’s educational and technical work.  This includes providing avalanche awareness education classes, collecting and disseminating avalanche information for a seven day a week avalanche forecast, and maintaining two weather stations.  If funded, the work would be completed during the 2016-2017 winter recreation season.

Under the Recreational Trails Program, the District is applying for funds to support the re-routing of eight sections of the Jackson Creek Trail (#116).  The trail is located in Valley and Idaho Counties and is accessed from McCall off of the Warren Wagon Road.  The improved layout and design will reduce resource damage by routing the existing trail away from wet areas and on to the adjacent toe slope.  The improvements would result in less soil loss and a higher quality user experience by recreationists.  If funded, work will begin late in 2016 and be continued in 2017.

Under the Recreational Vehicle Fund, the McCall-New Meadows Recreation Zone is applying for funds to support the replacement of the Clayburn Saddle outhouse. The structure, which has been in disrepair for several years, sustained additional damage during the Teepee Springs fire this year. If funded, a new facility will be installed in 2017.

Comments or requests for additional information regarding the above projects may be directed to Susan Jenkins, Recreation Specialist, McCall Ranger District, 102 West Lake Street, McCall, ID 83638, phone: 208-634-0440 or email:

The Krassel Ranger District is applying for funds to support projects under the Off-road Motor Vehicle Fund, Motorbike Fund and the Recreational Trails Fund (RTP).

Requests from the Off-road Motor Vehicle fund would be used to conduct heavy trail maintenance, brushing and log-out of approximately 40 miles of the motorized branch of the Idaho Centennial Trail on the Krassel RD.

Requests from the Motor-bike Fund would be used to install additional drainage, mitigate trenching and install route identification along the Zena Creek Trail #294, Tailholt Trail #079 all the way to Bear Lake to where the trail ties into the Grimmet Creek Trail #129 on the McCall RD.

The grant request under the Recreation Trails Program Funds would assist in conducting a variety of maintenance activities on approximately 40 miles of trail within the Main Buckhorn, West Buckhorn and South Buckhorn drainages. Trails affected under the project would be the main Buckhorn Trail #096, W. Fork Buckhorn Trail #094, the Buckhorn cut-off trail #095, and the South Fork of Buckhorn Trail #097.

If awarded by IDPR the requested funds will be used to pay for materials, equipment rental and labor (contracts, Forest Service and Idaho Conservation Corps crew time).  Work would begin, as soon as, possible after grant awards are made (July of 2016) and could continue into calendar year 2017.

Please forward any comments regarding any of these projects to the Krassel Ranger District, 500 N Mission St, McCall, ID 83638 by January 15, 2015. You may also contact Joshua Simpson at (208) 634-0616 or e-mail at

Additional information regarding these proposals, as well as information about the Payette National Forest may also be found at:  Information regarding the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation Grant program can be found at:

Brian D. Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Forest Service
Payette National Forest
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North Zone Districts of the Boise National Forest Intend to Submit Grant Proposals to Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation

News Release Dec 15, 2015

Boise, ID – The Lowman, Cascade and Emmett Ranger Districts of the Boise National Forest are applying for grant funding from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation to help with trail and developed campsite improvements and maintenance.

The different applications will request funding through the Departments Off-Road Motor Vehicle (ORMV), Recreation Trails Program (RTP), Recreational Vehicle (RV) programs, and Mountain Bike Plate Funds.

* ORMV funds would:

– improve maintenance of 300 miles across a large cross section of the 687 miles of motorized trails within the three northern districts.

– support providing the necessary equipment and crew time to assist in the heavy trail maintenance and signing of approximately 250 miles of motorized trail.

– support 2 OHV Trail Rangers and enhance OHV trailheads with regulatory and informational signage, conduct trail clearing, install three new OHV map kiosks, and barricade illegal user created trails.

* RV and Road/Bridge Program would be to extend the existing pavement on National Forest System Road (NFSR) 489 approximately ½ mile, past popular and/or high use recreational areas, including the North Shore Lodge/Resort and Picnic Point Campground.

* Mountain Bike Plate Fund/ORMV would assist with completion of the last section of the Wewukiye mountain bike trail and rework previously constructed portions of trail.

* RTP funds would help maintain approximately 80 miles of the 230 miles of non-motorized trails located on the North Zone of the Boise National Forest.

* RV funds would be concentrated on improving Tie Creek Campground. The grant will fund the campground repairs, replacement of campground furniture and tent pads.

All grant proposals will improve the visitor experience, and mitigate public health and safety hazards.  If received, implementation of the trails and ORMV grants would begin in late summer and the RV grant would be implemented in the fall.

Comments or requests for more information should be submitted to Ronda Bishop, Cascade Ranger District, P.O. Box 696, Cascade, ID or by calling 208-382-7460.

Jennifer Stephenson
Acting Public Affairs Officer
Forest Service
Boise National Forest
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Brundage Mountain Resort Cat-Ski Outfitter and Guide Permit Reissuance Update

USDA News Release December 15, 2015

The Forest Service, Payette National Forest, New Meadows and McCall Ranger Districts, has prepared an Environmental Assessment for Brundage Mountain Resort Cat-ski Outfitter and Guide Permit Reissuance. The purpose is to reauthorize Brundage Mountain Resort a special use permit for outfitting and guiding with permitted activities that include guided backcountry skiing via snowcat on approved routes. The project is located in Adams, Idaho, and Valley County Idaho. The Responsible Official is Lisa Klinger, McCall District Ranger.

The environmental assessment and other information are available for review at the project webpage at and at the McCall Ranger District at 102 West Lake Street McCall, ID 83638.  Additional information regarding this action can be obtained from: Susan Jenkins, Persons interested in receiving updates about this project may subscribe to GovDelivery for project updates via email by clicking the link “subscribe to email updates” on the right side of the project webpage.

Individuals and organizations wishing to be eligible to object must meet the information requirements of 36 CFR 218 Subparts A and B. It is the responsibility of persons providing comments to submit them by the close of the comment period. Only those who submit timely and specific written comments regarding the proposed project during a public comment period established by the responsible official are eligible to file an objection under 218.

Written, facsimile, hand-delivered, and electronic comments concerning this action will be accepted for 30 calendar days following the publication of the notice in the Star-News, expected on December 17, 2015. The publication date in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period for this analysis.  Those wishing to comment should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source. The regulations prohibit extending the length of the comment period.

Written comments may be submitted to: Submissions via the project webpage are preferred; when the comment period opens simply click on “how to comment” on the right side of the page and fill out the webform with your comments. Electronic comments may also be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), or Word (.doc) to email:  Hard copy comments may be submitted to District Ranger Lisa Klinger, McCall Ranger District, 102 West Lake Street, McCall, ID 83638, or Fax: 208-634-0433. The office business hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. In cases where no identifiable name is attached to a comment, a verification of identity will be required for objection eligibility. If using an electronic message, a scanned signature is one way to provide verification. For objection eligibility each individual or representative from each entity submitting timely and specific written comments regarding the proposed project must either sign the comments or verify identity upon request. All comments received will be published with authorship information in the public reading room on the project webpage.

We appreciate your interest in the Payette National Forest and this project. If you have any questions regarding this project or comment period, please contact the McCall and New Meadows District Recreation Program Manager Susan Jenkins at 208-634-0415.

/s/ Lisa J. Klinger
District Ranger
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Idaho boosts 2016 wildfire protection budget by $920,000 after large blazes in 2015

By KEITH RIDLER Associated Press 12/16/15

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho officials boosted the state’s wildfire protection budget on Tuesday by about 10 percent for the 2016 fire season following one of the state’s worst fire seasons on record in 2015.

The Idaho Land Board voted 5-0 to spend an additional $920,000 aimed at preventing small fires from getting big and keeping firefighters available during wildfire seasons that experts say are lasting longer.

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said bolstering the state’s Forest and Range Fire Protection budget will save money by reducing the number of giant fires that can cost millions of dollars to fight.

“This has a lot more to do with prevention and early initial attack,” he said after the meeting.

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Western Cohesive Fire Strategy Newsletter #38

December 14, 2015

In this issue:

* Western Regional Strategy Committee Sets Aggressive Three Year Action Plan

* Assessing Mitigation Effectiveness in the New Mexico WUI

* Prescribed Fire Reducing Risk in Nebraska

* Partnerships Leading to Great Success in North Central Idaho

* Counties a Valuable Asset in Mitigating Wildfire Risk

* Losing Homes to Wildfire is a Sociopolitical Problem

* Innovative Approach Helping Communities in New Mexico

* New Quick Guides to Help Communities

* Upcoming Learning Opportunities

Letter to Share:

Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc.

Dec 14

Get your fabulous Mystic Farm candles for Christmas gifts and support the rescue! Many scents and three sizes to choose from (tins and jars) as well as Mystic Melts.


*Mail order for actual shipping cost

Thanks for supporting the rescue!

Dory McIsaac

Critter News:

Dog treats sold at PetSmart recalled

Nutro Chewy Treats Apple 4 oz.

Local News 8 – Dec 15, 2015

PetSmart has announced a voluntary recall of dog treats.

The product is Nutro Chewy Treats Apple 4 oz.

PetSmart reports that the manufacturer, MARS Petcare, has recalled the dog treats due to potential mold.

The lots codes of the recalled products that can be found on the bottom of the bag include: ‘4 50’, ‘5 02’, ‘5 03’, or ‘5 05’

PetSmart advises customers to stop feeding your pet these treats immediately and bring the product to any PetSmart store for a full refund.

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Move to take Great Lakes, Wyoming wolves off endangered list left out of federal budget bill

By STEVE KARNOWSKI – AP Published: 12/16/15

A proposal that would have taken gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region and Wyoming off the endangered list did not make it into a massive year-end congressional tax and spending package, an omission welcomed Wednesday by groups that support maintaining federal protections for the predators.

Some lawmakers from the affected states had hoped to attach a rider to return management of wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming to the states, which could have opened the door to a resumption of wolf hunting in those places. The provision would have undone federal court decisions that restored the animals’ protected status in the four states despite repeated efforts by the federal government to remove them from the list.

But spokeswomen for U.S. Reps. Collin Peterson, D-Minnesota, and Reid Ribble, R-Wisconsin, who support returning the wolves to state management, and officials with wildlife groups that lobbied against the change, all said the proposal was left out of the final bill, which was unveiled late Tuesday.

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Washington Wolf Advisory Group to meet in Spokane

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 10, 2015

A group of stakeholders that advises the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department on gray wolf management issues is scheduled to meet Sunday and Monday in Spokane. The sessions are open to the public.

Washington’s Wolf Advisory Group will open its meeting at noon on Sunday at Oxford Suites Hotel in Spokane Valley with an update on wolf population status and issues throughout the state.

A presentation on peace building among people polarized by wolf issues is set for 1 p.m.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Second week of December 2015
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Wolves appear to be visiting, not staying in Central Oregon

By DYLAN J. DARLING – The Bulletin Published: 12/15/15

BEND, Oregon — Another lone wolf recently passed through Central Oregon, following a path similar to the one blazed by OR-7, a wolf made famous by his wandering.

But like OR-7 and three other wolves tracked by collar in the past five years, OR-28 appears to not be interested in establishing a territory in Central Oregon.

Since coming from northeast Oregon last month, she is so far sticking south of Silver Lake — the dry lake, not the town — in Lake County, said Russ Morgan, state wolf coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in La Grande.

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Wolves filling up on cattle in southwestern Alberta

10 Dec 2015 WEI

The study tracked wolf predation patterns in southwestern Alberta — from the Pincher Creek area north of Waterton Lakes National Park to the edge of Kananaskis Country — where ranches and the territory of the carnivores overlap.

“When we began our project, ranchers said they believed they were losing some stock to wolves, but through cluster methods, we were able to identify where the livestock went missing and what was taking it.”“Wolves are the real culprits and have been the biggest problem as it relates to beef producers,” said Mark Boyce, a wildlife ecologist and professor of biological sciences.
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Canines Host to Abortion-Causing Parasite

14 Dec 2015 WEI

Eventually, after submitting fetuses to the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for testing, the Koenses found the cause of their herd abortion problem to be Neospora caninum, a protozoan parasite that can affect a variety of large and small animal species, including cows, sheep, deer, goats and horses. The parasite causes a disease called neosporosis, which researchers say has become a leading cause of abortion and neonatal mortality in cattle in Wisconsin, across the U.S. and around the world. In fact, studies have shown that one or more animals in at least half of the dairy and beef herds in the United States have been exposed to this disease.

According to Koens, who has researched neosporosis since his encounter with it five years ago, the Neospora caninum parasite was first recognized as a common cause of cattle abortions in the late 1980s. It wasn’t until 1998, however, that scientists discovered the connection between Neospora caninum and canines.
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Neosporosis: Recognizing and Preventing Neospora caninum Infections

December 15, 2015 By WEI Staff

*Staff Note* – We know from several studies, that the gray wolf, and thus all wolves, as well as canines in general, are definitive hosts of Neospora Caninum. It has been noted by science members of Wolf Education International, that this particular report does not do a good enough job in pointing out that wolves, not only are definitive hosts, but in explaining the differences in the natural habits of wild wolves and other wild canines and domestic canines. Because of the vast territory wolves can cover, as opposed to domestic dogs, the threat of the spread of Neosporosis is greater in wolves than domestic dogs. This should have been included as an educational tool for understanding the prevention of the disease.

Neospora caninum is a major cause of abortions in cattle. First recognized in 1988, and linked to dogs in 1998, this parasite causes an infection called neosporosis. Studies have shown that at least half the dairy and beef herds in the United States have one or more animals that have been exposed. In an infected herd, up to 30 percent of the animals may test positive, and some cows may abort several times. With good herd management, through, you can reduce this drain on your profits. The Disease Neospora caninum is a protozoal parasite—a microscopic organism.<<>>
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Man, boy, cited for killing grizzly bear while hunting near Wallace

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 8, 2015

Charges have been filed against a man and a boy involved in killing a well-publicized research-collared grizzly bear that had wandered this summer from Montana to the Silver Valley.

The two North Idaho hunters have been cited for illegally killing a grizzly bear near Wallace.  Black bear hunting season was open on Sept. 30 when the bear was shot, but grizzly bears are a federally protected species.

Idaho Fish and Game officials feared for the bear roaming in the Silver Valley and attempted to capture and relocate it.

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Grizzlies not ready for delisting from protections, experts say

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 9, 2015

Grizzly bear issues noted by experts this week include: (1) The bear-proof food containers campers have been required to use in bear country may have been tested by underachievers — bored bears that weren’t trying to get to the contents, and (2) grizzly bears are expanding numbers and range in the region but aren’t ready for delisting from Endangered Species protections.

Those are two conclusions presented so far by experts gathered in Missoula for the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee meeting this week in Missoula.

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Fishers specially equipped for Washington reintroduction

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 9, 2015

The fisher, a mid-size member of the weasel family that’s being reintroduced to the South Cacades, has a cool reproductive capability that tunes into its habitat.

Despite their name, the mostly nocturnal fishers don’t eat fish. But if their preferred food sources — snowshoe hare, birds and rodents including porcupines — are in short supply, they can adjust their birth rates.

Tara Chestnut, ecologist for Mount Rainier National Park, was one of the wildlife specialists offering insight during last week’s release of fishers trapped in Canada and relocated to the Gifford Pinch National Forest.

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Chronic Wasting Disease vigilance justified by research

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 15, 2015

Washington and Idaho hunters can be lulled to sleep by the lack of news about a significant big-game disease that’s faded from the region’s headlines in recent years.

But not too far away…

Chronic Wasting Disease is killing about 19 percent of a Wyoming mule deer herd each year, according to a wildlife researcher.

A five-year study that examined 143 deer in Southern Converse County found that 19 percent of the herd is lost each year to CWD, according to Melia DeVivo, University of Wyoming doctoral student.

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Eagle numbers on the rise after 2 sub-par years at Lake Coeur d’Alene

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 12/14/15

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — After two years of a low eagle turnout on Lake Coeur d’Alene, officials say the birds are back in full force.

The Coeur d’Alene Press reports ( ) that the Bureau of Land Management counted 126 birds at the lake Thursday, compared to just 34 at this time last year and 86 in 2013.

BLM public affairs officer Suzanne Endsley says that’s probably because of an abundant kokanee salmon population and mild weather that has kept the lake edges from freezing.

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Fish hatchery loses 2.4 million salmon in Cascades flooding

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 16, 2015

All 2.4 million fall chinook salmon fry at the Fallert Creek Hatchery on the lower Kalama River were lost when floodwaters inundated the facility last week, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Tuesday.

This is the first report on fisheries loses from flooding caused by a warm winds and rain that melted the snow just starting to pile up in the Cascades in the first week of December.

The Kalama fish died after a wave of water, mud and trees swept down on the hatchery during a heavy rainstorm Dec. 8, overtopping rearing ponds and hatchery raceways, said Kelly Cunningham, deputy assistant director for the WDFW Fish Program.

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Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
December 11, 2015
Issue No. 774

Table of Contents:

* Strong El Nino Does Its Thing To the Northwest; Pumped Up Jet Stream Brings Convoy of Storms

* 2015 Smolt Migration Report Card: Fewer Smolts Transported, Slower In-River Trip To Ocean, Survival Off The Mark

* USGS Studies Document Changes in White Salmon River Post-Condit Dam; More Salmon, Steelhead Spawners

* Catch-And-Release: Would Regular Closures Over Course Of Season Improve Angling Quality?

* Report: Willamette River Basin Tributaries Likely Will Become Sufficiently Warm To Threaten Salmon, Steelhead

* Montana Adopts Unprecedented Mandatory Kill Rule For Walleye In Flathead Basin’s Swan Lake, Swan River

* Public Comment Sought On Washington’s New Hatchery Reform Plan For Lower Columbia River

* Water Deficits, Rising Temperatures Increasing Stress On Pacific Northwest Forests

* Groups Request Extended Public Comment Time On Proposed Kachess Lake Pumping Operation

* Fishers Reintroduced Into Washington’s South Cascades; Cat-Sized Mammals Eliminated From State In 1990s

Fun Critter Stuff:

Post office refuses to release cat’s mail because he has no ID

Ted the cat gets advent calendar from owner’s mother

Local News 8 – Dec 11, 2015

A cat in England almost didn’t get a Christmas gift because he has no ID (because cat) and the postal service wouldn’t release the package to his owner.

Brittany Maher-Kirk says her mother sent a cat advent calendar in a package addressed to Ted, the cat.

“Unfortunately, we missed the delivery and the post office won’t give it to me as the cat does not have ID,” Maher-Kirk posted on Facebook.

After calling her post office in London, Maher-Kirk was told to go to her local post office and explain the situation.

The postal workers heard Maher-Kirk’s pleas and Ted got his calendar.

“It’s specifically for cats, so, full of cat treats,” she told The HuffPo via email. “They come in little blocks with fish and other festive pictures on! He loves it — when he sees it he meows and begs for the treat!”

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[hat tip to SMc]

Fish & Game News:

IDFG begins winter trapping and animal counts using helicopters

Local News 8 – Dec 11, 2015

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has announced that they will beginning their wildlife management activities that require the use of helicopters soon.

Some of the time helicopters will carry staff to count wildlife or shoot net guns to capture animals. Other times the helicopters will be used like a cowboy and cutting horse to select animals to be driven into waiting nets. Once captured the animals will have biological information collected and radio collars attached before being released.

Because the general big game hunting seasons are over, and only trappers and hardcore small game hunters are still out in the field, this means that IDFG will be able to get out and do some of their population study work without disturbing too many sportsmen.

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Fish & Game News Releases

Fun Stuff:

Sugar Plum Fairy by Tchaikovsky – Glass Harp

[hat tip to MMc]

Thanks for sharing news and photos for the YPTimes.