Dec 27, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times

Dec 27, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Note: We have had 5 power outages in the month of December, the shortest was 2 hours and the longest was about 3 days. So far this month we have received precipitation (either rain or snow) every day except the last two. The snow is quite heavy right now, it’s roof shoveling season in Yellow Pine. – rrS

Local Observations:

Monday (Dec 21) 605am power went out (it was sort of half power off and on before it went off.) 1.5″ new snow, 14″ total on the ground. Snow and blowing snow, gusty winds, clouds socked in to valley floor. Mail truck driver made it in, reported power line laying along side the road on Big Creek Summit. Reports of power outages all over Valley Co. Neighbor plowed local streets. Gusty winds and blowing snow into the night.

Tuesday (Dec 22) power still out, 3.5″ new snow, 16″ total on the ground, snow showers off and on. Idaho Power helicopter flew over at 1237pm. Snow off and on during the afternoon. Report that the dump had not been plowed, but people had broke thru the berm and got in. Power back on at 722pm!! Partial clearing and temp dropping, then snowed after midnight for most of the night.

Wednesday (Dec 23) 2″ new snow, 17″ total on the ground, a few flakes of snow falling all morning. Heavy snow on roofs that didn’t slide, layers of crusts. Flaking snow off and on or snowing lightly all day and into the night.

Thursday (Dec 24) 3/4″ new snow, 17″ total snow, high broken clouds. Very light to moderate snow all day. Neighbor plowing local streets. Power out at 310pm until 459pm (Ola, Sweet, Warm Lake and YP.) Another batch of snow around 10pm. Temps dropping.

Friday (Dec 25) 1″ new snow, 17″ total snow, mostly cloudy and colder. A couple elk tracks and fox tracks in the new snow on the road. Broken clouds, bits of sun once in a while. Quiet day. Full moon rose behind clouds. Cold night.

Saturday (Dec 26) no new snow, very cold morning (Zero!) Lots of fox tracks. There is a tree arching over Westside Ave near the school, and some bent over trees on the golf course. Sunny day and warmed up a bit. Cooling off fast after sundown, single digits by late afternoon.

Sunday (Dec 27) no new snow, 16″ total snow on the ground. Cloudy cold day.
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Idaho News:

Region hit by power outages as winter storms blow through

BY TOM GROTE for The Star-News December 23, 2015

For the second week, raging winter storms caused major power outages from Riggins to Cascade when main electrical lines serving the area were knocked out of service.

Between 10,000 and 12,000 customers of Idaho Power Co. were left without power during back-to-back outages on Sunday and Monday.

Sunday’s outage started about 11 a.m. and Monday’s outage started about 2 p.m. Power was restored at various times depending on the location as Idaho Power turned electricity back on gradually in order not to overload its systems.

The outages were due to falling trees and ice build-up on power lines on the two transmissions lines serving Valley County, Idaho Power spokesperson Brad Bowlin said. When one line would go down, the other line would continue service, Bowlin said. The outages on Sunday and Monday occurred when both lines went down, he said.

One of the main lines originates from New Meadows while the other line originates from Tamarack Resort.

Ice Buildup

Ice would cause outages when heavy buildup on a wire near the top of the pole would cause the wire to sag onto the wires below and short them out, Bowlin said.

Idaho Power sent four snow cats and a number of snowmobiles to scan the routes along the main lines to look for the source of the trouble, he said. Those searchers were hampered by fog and the fact the routes cross areas with no roads.

Trees falling on minor power lines caused 32 additional outages affecting 644 customers between 5:30 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. Monday, Bowlin said.

“The number and location of outages shifted almost continuously,” he said. “We’d get power back on to one area, and then a tree or branch would fall elsewhere and knock out power to the same area, or another one.”

Some parts of McCall including parts of downtown were spared Sunday’s outage because they were served by a smaller power line that runs from Emmett to McCall, Bowlin said.

The power outages had residents and visitors scrambling for emergency supplies, according to local business managers.

May Hardware in McCall sold out of batteries, flashlights, candles, oil lamps parts and fuel, some shovels and extension cords, as well as other supplies, Scott Fereday of the store said.

“Most people were good, but we had some complainers that were pretty mad we didn’t happen to have 20 generators in stock,” Fereday said.

Run on Water

Customers even cleaned out the store’s supply of bottled water from its mini-refrigerator, he said.

Paul’s Market and Ridley’s Family Market in McCall also reported brisk sales of water, candles, propane bottles, flashlights and batteries, store managers reported.

“We sold out of water, any kind of heating product, anything to keep you warm, candles, propane canisters,” said Beven Ercanbrack, manager of Howdy’s Gas and Grub in Cascade.

Some retailers darkened by the outages took the disruption in stride.

“I won’t complain – it’s the downside of so much snow,” said Michelle Reagan, owner of Gravity Sports in McCall. “And I’d still take the snow!”

The Ashley Inn in Cascade checked in several travelers who feared they could not find gasoline to continue their journeys, General Manager Debbie Gunderson said.

“We made some soup, an employee ran home and got some cheese and crackers, so we were fine,” Gunderson said.

The Valley County Sheriff’s Office logged 15 slide-off over the weekend and nine accident with no serious injuries, said Sgt. Kelly Copperi, who supervises the county’s dispatch center.

McCall Fire & EMS crews were kept busy responding to fallen trees and power lines, Chief Mark Billmire said.

Firefighters also were called to false alarm activations, furnaces needing to be re-lit, and transformers that caught on fire, Billmire said.

source:
The Star-News http://www.mccallstarnews.com/
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Heavy snow leaves 16,000 without power in central Idaho

By Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review Dec 21

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Power officials say nearly 16,000 customers are without power in central Idaho due to multiple downed power lines. The utility company says severe weather conditions caused the power outages in Valley County on Monday. The power went out just hours after utility crews had finished restoring outages in Valley County that had occurred over the weekend and early Monday morning. Heavy snow and broken branches broke multiple power lines in McCall, Donnelly and Cascade areas for more than 10,000 customers. Idaho Power had no immediate estimate when the power would be back on.

Meanwhile, the Idaho Transportation Department reports that U.S. Highway 95 is closed in both directions between Council and New Meadows due to “extremely hazardous driving conditions” on the roadway caused by heavy snow and falling trees. ITD advises checking 511.idaho.gov for the latest road conditions. UPDATE: Highway 95 was reopened at 11 p.m., but ITD continues to advise drivers to check conditions before going.

source:
http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/boise/2015/dec/21/heavy-snow-leaves-16000-without-power-central-idaho/
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Power restored in north-central Idaho but residents warned to be prepared for more outages

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 12/22/15

RIGGINS, Idaho — Idaho Power officials say residents in Valley County in north-central Idaho should be prepared for additional power outages as winter storms continue to move through the area.

The utility company on Tuesday says power has been restored to nearly all of the 16,000 customers who lost power Monday due to snow-laden trees falling on power lines or ice building up on power lines.

Scattered outages to about 450 customers remained Tuesday morning.

The company says both major lines serving the McCall area didn’t have power Monday afternoon. One was re-energized Monday evening and crews are working Tuesday to re-power the other.

The company says crews on snow cats and snowmobiles are patrolling other lines for damage and to make repairs.

source:
http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/02bd1fe1e85942e5933af0ba54334fe4/ID–Power-Outage
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Outages affect McCall businesses, visitors

Morgan Boydston, KTVB December 22, 2015

McCALL – Before Monday’s storm in McCall, shelves in Paul’s Market were completely stocked with gallons of water, the most popular item during the power outage. The market is getting another shipment in early Wednesday morning in preparation for yet another storm.

“We didn’t run out but we were almost out,” Paul’s Market Store Manager Joe Garnett said.

Monday night’s power outage in Valley County left shelves of the essentials – candles and water – practically bare. As one of the two main grocery stores in town, Paul’s Market knew people were going to need them, so they were prepared.

“Working in the mountains in Idaho sometimes the power goes out so we need a backup generator,” Garnett said.

continued w/video:
http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/local/2015/12/23/outages-affect-mccall-businesses-visitors/77793778/
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Helicopters to help Kootenai Electric Cooperative restore power

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 12/26/15

HAYDEN, Idaho — The Kootenai Electric Cooperative will be using helicopters to help restore power in Northern Idaho.

The Coeur d’Alene Press reports (http://is.gd/zh6XFy ) the utility will use two helicopters to help clear snow off power lines. Company officials say this process, called “buzzing the lines,” involves the helicopter flying a safe distance above the lines and creating a downward wind to blow snow off them.

Crews had restored power to more than 2,700 cooperative members across the region KEC service territory by Christmas but some members didn’t have power during the holiday.

source:
http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/8d1670b2069440438336971ca488fe6e/ID–Power-Inland-Northwest
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Former McCall city manager hit by car, killed

KTVB December 24, 2015

Former McCall city manager Gene Drabinski was killed in a collision in Los Angeles over the weekend.

McCall Mayor Jackie Aymon said Drabinski was crossing a street Saturday when he was hit by a car. He died from his injuries Sunday, she said.

“We’re just crushed, we’re heartbroken,” Aymon said.

Aymon said Drabinski was in Los Angeles to visit family. A family member was walking with him when he was struck, but that person wasn’t hurt, she said.

Drabinski had been retired from his job with the city for just three months, Aymon said.

continued:
http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/local/2015/12/24/gene-drabinski-killed-crash/77888982/
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Fire destroys McCall home on Christmas

KTVB December 26, 2015

MCCALL – A family is left devastated after a fire completely destroyed their home on Christmas.

McCall Fire Chief Mark Billmire tells KTVB that a 911 call came in just after 7 p.m. at a home on Morgan Drive, which is in the River’s Crossing neighborhood.

“When [crews] arrived on scene they already had flames coming out of the roof,” said Chief Billmire. “They tried to make entry and fight the fire from the inside but when they started pulling ceiling the attic space was fully involved. So the captain at the time pulled all the crew members out and it was shortly after that a portion of the ceiling collapsed so that was a good decision.”

The State Fire Marshal has been at the house all day. There has been no word yet on what caused the fire, but the chimney is a focus of the investigation.

Chief Billmire says the family was home at the time and had friends and family over for the holiday. Everyone was able to get out safely when the fire started.

The family, who lives in McCall full-time, is now staying with friends.

source:
http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/2015/12/26/house-fire-destroys-mccall-home-christmas/77925094/
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Wildfires spark desire to help after the smoke clears

By KATHY HEDBERG – The Lewiston Tribune Published: 12/26/15

KAMIAH, Idaho — When wildfires devastated the Clearwater River area this past summer, the Rev. Luann Howard realized all the training she’d had as a pastor, counselor, mentor and chaplain aimed her straight toward some of the greatest needs.

“I think I’m not any different from most people,” the 58-year-old Presbyterian pastor said. “When you see people that you live with in a community that you know — and in a community like ours everybody knows everybody — so when your neighbor is facing such an overwhelming disaster that’s happened in their lives, how can you not try to do something to alleviate their pain?”

Shortly after the smoke cleared, Howard became part of the wildfire unmet needs committee for Clearwater, Idaho and Lewis counties. The group focuses its efforts mainly on people who lost their homes, who were under-insured or had no insurance.

Howard said there were about 73 families who completely lost their homes in the wildfires that swept through the area in mid-August. Some of those were living in campers or temporary homes, but they lost all their belongings.

The committee is in the process of assessing the needs and trying to find volunteer help, materials and funding to help replace what people lost.

continued:
http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/f2c668ff56b44ab78ab3f23df99799b3/ID–Wildfire-Recovery
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Forest News:

Mill Creek Road and Area Closure on Week Day thorughout Winter for Public Safety during Timber Sale

News Release, Payette National Forest
December 21, 2015

Council, Idaho – Beginning Monday December 21st, the Mill Creek Road (Forest Road 50165) and the Shingle Hall timber sale area will be closed Monday through Friday to all motorized and non-motorized traffic (to include snowmobiles) between the forest boundary and Shingle Flat.

The purpose of the closure is to provide for public safety on the snow covered road from the high volume of log truck traffic coming out of the Shingle-Hall timber sale.  The closure was discussed in the Mill Creek-Council Mountain Final Environmental Impact Statement, and Record of Decision as a mitigation measure to provide for public safety, while still allowing for weekend access.

This closure is in effect until the roadway is cleared of snow in the spring; there will be a news release informing the public when the road and area is open on the weekdays again.  During the closure the road will be opened for public use from 10pm Friday night, through midnight Sunday.  For weekend use, an alternative snowmobile parking area has been established at the Shingle Flat gravel pit which is signed for parking of vehicles.  The lower snowmobile parking area at the base of the mill creek road is closed for the season.

The area closure covers the timber harvest area (Shingle Hall Timber Sale; Specifically, from the point of the National Forest System (NFS) Road #50165 at the forest boundary located at Township 17N, Range 1E, Section 31, to the intersection of NFS Road #50150 (e.g., cutoff saddle) and from the intersection of NFS Road #50183 to the intersection of NFS Road #50172 Township 17N Range 1E and Section 20, Boise Meridian, Adams County, Idaho, and within the Council Ranger District, Payette National Forest.

The order will be terminated in the spring when the road is basically free of snow.  The public will be informed through a news release.  For additional information, please call the Council Ranger District office at 208-253-0100.
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South Zone Districts of the Boise National Forest Intend to Submit Grant Proposals to Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation

News Release Boise National Forest
December 24, 2015

Idaho City, Idaho – The Idaho City and Mountain Home Ranger Districts of the Boise National Forest are applying for grant funding from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) to help with trail improvements and maintenance, as well as improve recreation sites used by recreational vehicle users.

The different applications will request funding through the IDPR, specifically the Off-Road Motor Vehicle Fund (ORMV) and the Motorbike Recreational Account (MBR).

* MBR / ORMV funds would be used to maintain trails in the Idaho City Area.  National Forest System (NFS) trails include:  # 049, 050, 061, and 166.  This grant proposes to address signage, brushing, and tread maintenance needs.

* MBR / ORMV Funds would improve storm and fire damaged trails in the Prairie area of the Mountain Home Ranger District.   This grant also proposes to address those trails with extensive brushing and maintenance needs outside of fire and storm damage.   NFS trails include:  # 122, 123, 125, 126, 127, 128, and 129.  Due to recent storms and fires some of these trails will continue to have tread impacts.

All grant proposals will improve the visitor experience and mitigate public health and safety hazards.  This will also help sustain the capital investment of the trail tread.  If received, implementation of the grants would begin in late summer.

Comments or requests for more information should be submitted to Megan Impson, Idaho City Ranger District, PO Box 129, Idaho City, ID  83631, at – (208) 392-3733 or Wintauna Belt, Mountain Home Ranger District, 3080 Industrial Way, Mountain Home, ID  83647 at (208) 587-7961.
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Wind-storm damaged forests in north Idaho, Spokane area more susceptible to bark beetles

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 12/26/15

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — Idaho forestry officials are warning landowners with trees damaged by recent wind storms are going to be more susceptible to infestations of some bark beetles next spring.

The Coeur D’Alene Press reports (http://is.gd/X18yy8 ) trees uprooted or broken in the storms in north Idaho and the Spokane area can become infested by bark beetles once the weather warms up again and then they will likely spread to healthier trees.

Forest health officials at the Idaho Department of Lands recommend removing damaged trees and burning, chipping or removing branches from the property.

Landowners should be careful to dry logs and green wood from the damaged trees as quickly as possible, to prevent the beetles from settling in. And they do not recommend stacking green firewood next to live standing trees.

source:
http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/26c110ee4d7944afa5f397f9175681fd/ID–Bark-Beetles
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Letter to Share:

Mystic Farm “Autie the Fawn” Update

Dec 21, 2015

Greetings and Merry Christmas from Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue!

“Autie” is the little fawn that was born nearly four months later than the others at Mystic Farm. The following is an update of her progress.

Autie Update (Sorry, no current pic):

Yesterday, after giving little Autie her morning bottle, I left her shelter door open so she could run around in the barn and out to her enclosed run as I usually do. Only this morning, the barn door to outside was open and she decide to check out the big world. Well, she checked it out all day long! I admit I was a tad worried, but it actually was pretty exciting to see her heading up the trails and into the woods. After not seeing her for quite a few hours, I went out just before dark with her evening bottle. She was no where to be seen. I started calling for her. Nothing. After a few minutes I see a small herd of about eight whitetail coming down the mountain towards the barn…with Autie right in the middle of them! She came right to me (it helped to have that bottle in my hand!). After her bottle, she was safely locked up in her enclosure/shelter. Today will be another day of learning and growing. I feel like a mama sending my little one off to her first day of school. And so the process begins of turning Autie into a “wild deer”…

Merry Christmas!
Dory and Hubcap
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Mystic Farm Limited Edition Candles

Dec 21, 2015

I’m so excited to bring this to all Mystic Farm supporters! Mystic Farm and Caribou Corner are teaming up to make a limited edition candle to raise money for the rescue babies at Mystic Farm. Individually hand painted by Caribou Corner, numbered, and hand poured as a candle by myself at Mystic Farm. The scent is the amazing Idaho Woodland – and you will love the collectors fawn/foot print jar! The pic really does not do it justice! We will be making 50 of these limited edition candles. Get one (or more!) before they are gone! Minimum donation of $20.00. All proceeds go to feed and care for the fawns at Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue. Thank you…and the fawns thank you! FCFS   Shipping costs apply.

2016MysticCandle-a

Dory
mysticfarmrescue@gmail.com
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Critter News:

KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third week of December 2015

http://kwvrradio.net/main/kwvr-morning-show/
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As wolves reappear in California, killing of calf highlights tension

December 21, 2015 By WEI Staff

A calf was likely killed and eaten by wolves in Siskiyou County last month, state wildlife officials said — the first reported case of the endangered predators dining on ranchers’ livestock and an incident that may raise tensions over wolves’ reappearance in California.

The killing of the calf prompted the first “livestock depredation investigation” since a wolf crossed into California from Oregon in 2011, marking the first evidence of a wild wolf in the state since 1924.

http://wolfeducationinternational.com/as-wolves-reappear-in-california-killing-of-calf-highlights-tension/
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Watch out for wolves, Yukon government warns

Woman and dog stalked by three wolves in Porter Creek area

CBC News Posted: Dec 24, 2015

Conservation officers killed a wolf Wednesday morning near the Whitehorse dump, after a woman was stalked by three of the animals Monday night.

Ken Knutson of Environment Yukon said one wolf was shot this morning, and another was seen at the dump.

“What we do now is once we killed one animal we just wait and see if there are other incidents reported,” he said.

“This may have created enough fear, kind of an aversive conditioning effect, if you will, on the other animals that it will be cautious around people. That would be the hope.”

continued:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/watch-for-wolves-yukon-govt-warns-1.3378624
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Petting Zoo Accused Of Slaughtering Endangered Gray Wolves For Fur

An animal advocacy group says it will sue Fur-Ever Wild if it doesn’t stop killing the wolves.

HuffPo Dec 10, 2015

An animal advocacy group is threatening to sue a Minnesota wildlife farm and petting zoo that it claims is slaughtering gray wolves for their fur.

Fur-Ever Wild, in the city of Lakeville, allows visitors to pet gray wolf pups. But the Animal Legal Defense Fund alleges that the farm kills and skins the wolves to sell their pelts. Gray wolves are protected under the Endangered Species Act, which means it is illegal to kill them.

… In a civil court deposition in 2012, Fur-Ever Wild owner Terri Petter said that most of her animals are raised for fur. When asked whether she killed animals for the fur or waited for them to die naturally, she responded, “It depends on the fur market.”

continued:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/petting-zoo-fur-ever-wild-wolves-fur_56687c8ce4b0f290e52199a2
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Lisenbee: Bringing wolves back to ADK is a bad idea

December 22, 2015 By WEI Staff

The obvious question is why? Why would N.Y. even consider such an effort? The expense for both the research and reintroduction efforts would be huge. Who will pay for it? And what would the benefits be? More on that thought shortly.

http://wolfeducationinternational.com/lisenbee-bringing-wolves-back-to-adk-is-a-bad-idea/
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Avila Cattle Farmers Worried By Wolf Attacks

December 22, 2015 By WEI Staff

Two calves killed by wolves in San Juan de la Nava The photographic evidence which suggests that a small community of wild wolves appears to be prospering in the Natural Park of the Sierra de Guadarrama in the region of Madrid has been greeted recently with delight by conservationists, but not everywhere in Spain is there such enthusiasm for the species. Despite their fearsome reputations wolves are not generally a threat to human beings, but livestock farmers are concerned to say the least

http://wolfeducationinternational.com/avila-cattle-farmers-worried-by-wolf-attacks/
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Bear takes 65-mile ride in garbage truck

Bear not hurt in incident

Loal News 8 – Dec 24, 2015

A California black bear’s probable fantasy scenario came true this week: Officers say it got to rifle through garbage all while taking a ride in a trash truck.

The bear took about a 65-mile trip after apparently climbing into the truck unbeknownst to the driver, reported The Associated Press.

When the truck arrived at its destination, the bear briefly ran free before being tranquilized and brought back to the likely area it hitched a ride, the AP story said.

The bear wasn’t hurt in the incident, the story said.

source w/video:
http://www.localnews8.com/news/bear-takes-65mile-ride-in-garbage-truck/37116780
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Twin Falls man to serve at least 90 days in jail for poaching well-known mule deer

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 12/22/15

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — A hunter who pleaded guilty to poaching a well-known and well-liked buck in Twin Falls last winter has been sentenced to jail.

Jacob Frederick Pool, 34, was sentenced Monday to 90 days in county jail and a therapeutic and educational program directed by the Idaho Department of Corrections, according to the Times-News (http://bit.ly/1InUQrf ). His sentence included a lifetime ban of his hunting license and an order to pay $3,189.73 in penalties and restitution.

Pool received a retained jurisdiction sentence of 90 to 120 days, more than the probation sentence recommended by the prosecuting attorney’s office.

continued:
http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/a8e1b33be52b4b7ea12621ed2f30bfde/ID–Celebrity-Deer-Killed
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Northern Idaho town mulls using deer birth control to curb growing population

By KIMBERLEE KRUESI – AP Published: 12/23/15

For years, Councilman Steve Roberge has watched white-tailed deer push his tiny north Idaho town to the limit.

Herds with as many as 40 deer casually walk through front lawns on a daily basis. Complaints of deer-related fence damage are common. Meanwhile, speed limits remain strictly low to reduce the risk of collision.

Now after seeing no change in the population one year after enforcing a feeding ban along with relocation efforts, city council members in Dalton Gardens are considering using birth control vaccines to curb the population.

“We should have around 25 to 30 deer per square mile. In Dalton we estimate there are about 150 to 250 per square mile,” Roberge said, who will be the town’s mayor come January. “And Dalton is only two square miles.”

continued:
http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/1ecefaf7138449458ef8d258040bfbe9/ID–Deer-Birth-Control
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Rudolph the blue-eyed reindeer?

How color-changing tissue in reindeer eyes explains red nose

By HOLLY RAMER – AP Published: 12/22/15

Everyone knows Rudolph has a red nose but what about his eyes?

Prompted by questions from his 4-year-old daughter, Dartmouth College anthropology professor Nathaniel Dominy recently wrote a scholarly paper on how the unique properties of reindeer eyes might explain the advantage of having a very shiny nose, particularly if it produces red light.

Dominy, who specializes in primate vision, was already familiar with recent research on reindeer eyes when his daughter asked him about Rudolph’s nose. Scientists in Great Britain have discovered that unlike most mammals, reindeer can see ultraviolet light, meaning white polar bears or wolves that absorb UV light would stand out more against a snowy background. Reindeer eyes also include reflective tissue that appears to glow when light hits it — familiar to anyone who’s seen a pet or wild animal illuminated by car headlights. But in reindeer, the tissue changes from a golden color during the summer to a deep blue in winter.

“What happens is that at night, the animals are trying to dilate their pupils to allow as much light into the eye as possible, and because those muscles are so active, it actually blocks little valves in the eye,” Dominy explained. “The pressure in the eye builds up and compresses that tissue in the back of the eye, which causes the refractive properties to change.”

continued:
http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/4f3a155b5c724782805e2f5458523ac5/US–Rudolph-the-Blue-Eyed-Reindeer
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Fun Critter Stuff:

Crows’ tool time captured on camera

By Jonathan Webb, BBC News Dec 23, 2015

Ecologists have used a tail-mounted “crow cam” to catch wild New Caledonian crows in the act of making and using hook-shaped tools.

This species is well-known for its clever tool tricks, but studying its behaviour in the wild is difficult.

These tiny cameras peer forwards beneath the birds’ bellies and record precious, uninhibited footage.

As well as glimpsing two crows making special foraging hooks, the team was able to track their activity over time.

This “activity budget” offers a rare insight into the natural lives of New Caledonian crows – but it has not yet solved the mystery of precisely what drives these birds to use tools.

continued w/video and photos:
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35159872
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New Caledonian crows using tools


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Owl attacks Louisiana officer, causes crash

Officer driving with window’s down felt bird hit the side of his face

By Jareen Imam CNN Dec 26, 2015

One unsuspecting police officer was in for a hoot on Christmas Eve.

Covington Police officer Lance Benjamin was riding alone Thursday with his windows down, patrolling the quiet streets of a Louisiana subdivision, when he felt something hard hit the side of his face.

At first Benjamin thought he was struck by a football, he told CNN affiliate WVUE.

“And then I felt some scratching on the back of my head and some pecking,” he said.

An owl had flown into the driver’s side window and started attacking the officer with its wings, talons and beak.

continued:
http://www.localnews8.com/news/owl-attacks-louisiana-officer-causes-crash/37137832
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Fish & Game News:

Winter edition of Windows to Wildlife

The latest edition of Windows to Wildlife is here!

Read about:

* Dark Skies: A Vanishing Natural Resource
* Bald eagle viewing in Coeur d’Alene
* Tracking migration
* Winter wildlife events

Click to access 2016winter.pdf

Thanks for your continued support,
Deniz
McCall Fish & Game
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F&G News Releases

https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/media/?getPage=179
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Tips & Advice:

Tips To Help You Prepare For A Power Outage

Idaho Power

Storm-related or accident-caused power outages normally don’t last too long. The average Idaho Power customer is without power less than two hours during an entire year. But sometimes outages can extend to hours or even days.

In an emergency you need to know how to protect your health and home if electricity is suddenly unavailable. Common sense planning and careful preparation will help you avoid problems and inconveniences.

Here are several things you can do to stay safe and comfortable in the event of an outage:

It’s important to have an outage kit available if the power goes out. Your kit should include the following:

Matches
Candles
A flashlight
Extra blankets
A battery-powered radio
Batteries
Bottled water
Canned and dried foods
A manual can opener
A wind-up clock or battery-powered clock
A telephone that does not depend on electricity

continued:
https://www.idahopower.com/Outages/bePrepared.cfm
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Keeping Pets Safe

* If possible, keep pets indoors.

* Routinely check outdoor water dishes to make sure they don’t freeze.

* Keep food dishes well stocked; it takes lots of energy to stay warm.

* Keep antifreeze where pets cannot access it.

* Protect paws from salt and other anti-icing chemicals, or wipe paws with damp towel to remove these irritating compounds.
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Keep your pipes from freezing this winter

BY JAKE LEBER SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29TH 2015 KBOI

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) – As temperatures in the Treasure Valley drop, the risk of frozen pipes in on the rise.

“Depending on the winter, you could take anywhere from 50 to 300 calls,” said Craig Tonks, a plumber for A1 Plumbing and Perfect Air.

Tonks has 15 years’ experience fixing frozen pipes, and he says there are a few things people can keep in mind to save themselves from an expensive fix.

First, it’s common knowledge that opening your faucets can help prevent freezes, but Tonks says it should be more than just a drip.

“If you turn on the water, and you leave the water running about the size of a pencil, then your pipes actually won’t freeze,” Tonks said.

continued:
http://kboi2.com/news/watching-out-for-you/keep-your-pipes-from-freezing-this-winter
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Thanks for sharing news and photos for the YPTimes.