Monthly Archives: March 2016

Road Report March 30

Wednesday (March 30) about half a dozen trees blew down on Johnson Creek road between the airport and the village last night (this end of the road is bare.) All were cut out – probably by the Fish People. Mail truck driver (Robert) said he had a good trip in. Saw that trees had gone done on the road, but someone else had cut them out. Said the road was in good shape.

Mar 27, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times

Mar 27, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Local Observations:

Monday (March 21) rain during the night, probably didn’t freeze, hard to measure snow as there are so many bare patches and various depths of snow (depending on what side of the house) anywhere from 0-8″ of old snow. Streets mostly bare except in the shady spots, then slush on ice. Pine squirrels calling, fresh elk droppings crossing main street below the hill. A few elk out on the golf course early. A report of wolves howling across the river last night. Partly sunny day, cloudy, breezy and sprinkles late afternoon. Small band of elk along Westside Ave and golf course late afternoon, 2 wearing collars. Evening rain turned to snow by 2am and snowed all night.

Tuesday (March 22) received 1.5″ of new snow, old snow averages about 4″ deep. Pine squirrels chasing each other and sounding off and juncos twittering about. Flakes of snow off and on in the afternoon, old snow melting. More snow during the night. A report that the fish trap was put in the South Fork of the Salmon River, about milepost 29.

Wednesday (March 23) received 3.3″ of new snow, total snow on the ground averages about 6″ deep. Lots of birds: flickers, juncos, jays, robins and woodpeckers. Mostly cloudy morning with trees dumping snow-loads. A little sun before lunch, melting snow like crazy. Cloudy afternoon, light breezes, all the new snow melted plus some old snow went away too. Above freezing at midnight and cloudy.

Thursday (March 24) received a trace of new snow early this morning, not much old snow left except in shady places. Birds singing: robins, juncos, chickadees, jays and spotted a clarks nutcracker. Started sleeting before 10am. Bouts of snow or rain/snow mix off and on most of the day and into the night.

Friday (March 25) received a quarter inch of snow by morning. Birds sounds all over the neighborhood. Cool day with snow flakes every so often, a trace by nightfall. More snow melted than accumulated. (Spring is winning!)

Saturday (March 26) hard freeze by morning, clear and frosty. Juncos, jays and robins. There is still some snow in the shade, but mostly bare ground. Filtered sun, and a bit warmer than previous days, chilly breeze.

Sunday (March 27) just a few piles of snow left on the golf course. Fresh elk tracks on lower Yellow Pine Ave. Juncos, jays and robins calling. Gray blustery day. Afternoon and evening snow flurries, a trace before dark.

Local News:

Easter in Yellow Pine…


at the Yellow Pine Tavern

more photos:


’Twas Easter-Sunday.
The full-blossomed trees
Filled all the air with fragrance and with joy.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–82)


Happy Easter:


from Base Camp



[hat tip to SMc]

Letter to Share:

Trash on FS Roads

March 27, 2016

My wife and I live in Yellow Pine full time and we routinely stop to pick up the visible trash from Yellow Pine to Warm Lake Road ether on Johnson Creek Road or East Fork to South Fork or Lick Creek to McCall when traveling to and from our home.  On March 21st we picked up visual trash along South Fork to East Fork to Yellow Pine filling the bed of our truck along the way. Every time we travel on these roads we pick up trash adding additional time to our travels. Attached you will find a photo of the back of our pick-up on just one of these trips.

On March 21st we spent over 1.5 hours extra to drive home to YP picking up this particular trash (see photo) on South Fork and East Fork Roads.

Nobody likes to see trash on roadways especially on our Forest Service roads. Unfortunately, we cannot stop inconsiderate people from routinely throwing trash from their vehicles.  However, if we all work together and take the time to stop and pick up visible garbage along our public roads, it will only take a few more minutes added on to our drives instead of 1.5+ hours.

We are aware that your crews drive these roads on a routine basis. We appreciate your visibility and dedication to the State of Idaho and our area specifically.  Many of our residents have followed Forest Service vehicles and witnessed their vehicles drive on by the visible garbage, while we stop and pick them up both on our bicycles and in our personal vehicles.

It’s disconcerting to see so much trash on our Forest Service roads but it’s equally disconcerting to see a plethora of Forest Service vehicles, Valley County Vehicles, etc drive right by obvious trash that has not only a visible impact to our environment, but also a contamination to the environment as well.

We are hoping we will be able to work together to keep our Forest Service roads and environment free of trash or at least minimize the impact to our forests, rivers, and wilderness areas.

We appreciate your time and consideration in this matter by passing along this message to those who travel our roads.


Jeff and Ann
Yellow Pine, Id

Photo to Share:



photo by Dave Putman

Taken at Birds of Prey last Saturday.

Idaho News:

Star-gazers want Cascade to restrict outdoor lighting at night

‘Dark sky’ laws already in effect in McCall, Valley County

BY DAN GALLAGHER for The Star-News March 24, 2016

Members of newly formed Valley County Astronomical Society on Monday asked the Cascade Planning and Zoning Commission to create a “dark sky” ordinance so they and others can see the stars at night.

Chuck Smith of Smiths Ferry and Shauna Arnold of Cascade asked commissioners to draft a dark-sky ordinance for Cascade based on those already in place for McCall and areas outside city limits.

Valley County adopted a dark-sky ordinance in 2004 and the city of McCall passed standards in 2006.

The board promised a work session in April, although a specific date has not been set.

Lighting for security, safety and parking is increasing to the point people in many areas have never glimpsed the Milky Way, said Smith, a teacher’s aide at the Cascade schools.

“We can make Cascade a destination because dark skies are becoming a big thing,” he said.

With certain restrictions, a community may become certified through the International Dark-Sky Association, Arnold said. Astronomy buffs can then check with that group for dark destinations and plan their vacations around them, she said.

“What we’re proposing may not be enough to get us fully certified but we’d like to get it on the books to get started,” Smith said.

Lights that emit low-glare colors were suggested as well as hoods on outdoor lights to direct light toward the ground.

The society also prefers motion sensors on security lights rather than lights that are always on, Arnold said.

The society plans an educational effort to let residents know how they can tone down their lighting, which also can save them money, she said.

“Star parties” are planned for July 30 after the Four Summit Challenge bicycle ride in Cascade and on Sept. 30. The local association would ask Kelly’s Whitewater Park and the new Cascade Aquatic and Fitness Center to turn off their lights for those events, Arnold said.

The new group also may ask Valley County and McCall officials to strengthen their existing laws governing outdoor night lighting.

source: The Star-News 
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Boulder blasted so crews can clear Idaho landslide near Elk City


GRANGEVILLE, Idaho (AP) Workers have blown up a gigantic boulder that had been preventing the opening of a state highway that is the main route to Elk City in northern Idaho.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that it took two blasts over the weekend to remove the two-story-tall boulder perched above State Highway 14.

The Idaho Transportation Department says portions of the boulder that broke apart will be used to build a temporary, single-lane road that could open by the end of the week.

The highway has been closed since Feb. 18 when tons of rock and dirt slid over some 500 feet of the road and into the South Fork of the Clearwater River.


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Otter signs permitless concealed-carry law, despite concerns; also signs bill restricting HOAs

By Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review March 25, 2016

Gov. Butch Otter signed two controversial bills into law today: The permitless concealed-carry bill, and the bill banning homeowner’s associations from restricting short-term rentals. He expressed concerns about the gun bill, but signed it nonetheless.

The gun bill, SB 1389, allows Idahoans age 21 or older to carry concealed guns without a permit inside city limits. Otter proclaimed himself “a gun owner, a hunter and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association,” but said nevertheless, he has concerns about the bill. “I am concerned about its lack of any provision for education and training of individuals who choose to exercise the right to concealed carry,” the governor wrote in a transmittal letter to Lt. Gov. Brad Little, president of the Senate. “Such a safeguard would seem to be part of the Second Amendment’s ‘well regulated’ standard. What’s more, the addition of a simple training requirement in this bill could have addressed the concerns of our valued law enforcement leaders and others who cherish both the shooting culture and the safety of shooters and non-shooters alike.”

“In the absence of such a provision,” Otter wrote, “I encourage anyone considering concealed carry to take advantage of gun safety training opportunities available from many reputable sources throughout Idaho. I also encourage the Legislature to monitor the exercise of this new law and respond appropriately when and if the lack of a statutory education and training requirement undermines public safety.” The bill passed the Senate 27-8 and the House 54-15.

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8-year-old finds cannonball, thought it was a dinosaur egg

Mar 24, 2016 (AP)

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – An 8-year-old boy has found what appears to be a cannonball in northern Idaho.

The Coeur d’Alene Press reports ( ) that though the boy says he had thought it was a dragon egg, Museum of North Idaho historian Robert Singletary says it appears to be a cannonball fired from Fort Sherman.

Fort Sherman was built in Coeur d’Alene shortly after the Civil War to keep Native Americans from interfering with construction of the Continental Railroad.

Singletary says the cannonball was found 1.8 miles from the edge of the fort — farther than a cannonball could fly — but that troops would leave the fort to practice and perhaps the cannonball was from one of those exercise.

The Museum of North Idaho is keeping the cannonball and will find experts in late-1800s artillery.

source w/photo:
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Ancient Yellowstone eruptions were fewer, yet much bigger


Yellowstone has been host to some epic eruptions in its past, but researchers believe that those don’t hold a candle to prehistoric “super-eruptions” they discovered in a new study.

These eruptions took place in Idaho about 8 to 12 million years ago, and they happen to be much more fantastic than what was once theorized, even more so than already-documented major eruptions in Yellowstone’s history.

Researchers used several methods to track the “fingerprints” of individual eruption deposits and compare them against each other. Based on the researchers’ correlations, they were able to reduce the number of eruptions thought to have taken place by the central Snake River Plain in Idaho quite drastically, slicing the count by more than half. This led to the conclusion that some of the eruptions in Yellowstone were much more destructive than scientists had previously believed they were.

As an example of an ancient catastrophic event, the researchers singled out the Castleford Crossing eruption, which took place about 8.1 million years ago. This eruption’s volume may have exceeded 1,900 kilometers, while its volcanic sheet measures over 14,000 square km in southern Idaho, with a thickness of over 1.3 km in the super-volcano’s caldera.  This is one of about 12 super-eruptions reported by the researchers in their study.


Forest News:

Boise National Forest to set controlled burns on 900 acres

The Star-News March 24, 2016

The Boise National Forest plans controlled burning of more than 900 acres on the Cascade Ranger District this spring.

The burns reduce unwanted vegetation that can fuel wildfires, improve wildlife habitat and reduce threats to communities, a news release said. Most burns are scheduled to start this month and continue into June, depending on the weather and ground conditions.

Here are the scheduled burns on the district:

• Horsethief: 360 acres about three miles northeast of Horsethief Reservoir.

• Crawford Aspen: Seven acres four miles northeast of Cascade.

• Golden Antimony: Blocks of 300, 147 and 102 acres one mile south of Yellow Pine.

Outdoor enthusiasts should check on the fire’s status before heading to those areas. Information is available by going to or by calling (208) 373-4208.

source: The Star-News
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High Valley Integrated Restoration Project Environmental Assessment is Now Available

USDA Forest Service
March 25, 2016

The Forest Service has completed the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the High Valley Integrated Restoration Project and is seeking public comment on this EA during the 30-day notice and comment period.  The High Valley Project is located approximately four miles southwest of Smiths Ferry, Idaho, in Boise, Gem and Valley counties.  The Project Area covers approximately 7,736 acres in the Upper and Lower Little Squaw Creek sub-watersheds.  The EA and cover letter are available on the High Valley Integrated Restoration Project website.  If you would prefer a hard copy of the EA, please contact John Riling, Team Leader, at or by phone at 208-365-7000.

Project Description

The High Valley Integrated Restoration Project has been designed to contribute to the accomplishment of management goals and objectives found in the Boise National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (i.e., Forest Plan, as amended in 2010).  In the EA, the Forest Service has assessed a range of treatments designed to:  manage the forest to accelerate development of large ponderosa pine to support wildlife habitat, increase resilience to uncharacteristic disturbance, reduce hazardous fuels, improve watershed function, and provide wood products to support local economies.

Activities being considered within the project area include removal of commercial sawlogs and other miscellaneous wood products, non-commercial tree thinning, fuel reduction by both mechanical removal and prescribed fire, limited road construction (both temporary and permanent), road reconstruction, road maintenance and road decommissioning, and riparian restoration treatments.

As discussed in the original scoping documents sent out in March 2015, the project proposed action was developed from management recommendations provided to the Agency by the Boise Forest Coalition. Information regarding this organization, their mission, and their collaborative role on this project is available in Enclosure B of the cover letter posted on the project website.

How to Comment

The Forest Service is contacting interested persons, groups, and agencies to make them aware of the project and to gather pertinent feedback.  To be most useful, please make your comments as specific as possible.  Your comments will help us identify and address issues.

Electronic, written, hand-delivered, and facsimile comments concerning this project will be accepted.  Comments may be submitted through the High Valley Integrated Restoration Project website.  To submit comments using the web form select “Comment on Project” under “Get Connected” on the right panel of the project’s webpage.

Email comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Adobe (.pdf) and Word (.doc) to:

Please put “High Valley Project” in the subject line of e-mail comments.  Comments must have an identifiable name attached or verification of identity will be required.  A scanned signature may serve as verification on electronic comments.

Written comments must be submitted to:  Boise National Forest, Emmett Ranger District, Attention: John Riling, 1805 Highway 16, Room 5, Emmett, ID 83617 or by fax at 208-365-7037.  The office hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.  All comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection in the “Public Comment Reading Room” on the project webpage and will be released in their entirety, if requested, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

When to Comment and Eligibility to Object under 36 CFR 218

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 legal notice in the Idaho Statesman, the newspaper of record.  The publication date of the legal notice in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period.  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.

For more information on how the objection process works for projects and activities implementing land and resource management plans, please read the regulations under 36 CFR 218 Subparts A and B on the National Forest Service web site at:

Click to access CFR-2013-title36-vol2-part218.pdf

For further information on the project, please contact John Riling, Team Leader, at or by phone at 208-365-7000.

Melissa Yenko
Forest Environmental Coordinator
Boise National Forest
1249 South Vinnell Way, Suite 200
Boise, ID 83709
Phone: 208-373-4245

High Valley Integrated Restoration Project Quick Links

Project webpage:

Comment Web Form:

Public Comment Reading Room:
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Mountain Home Ranger District Temporary Road Closures

Boise National Forest
March 21, 2016
Lee Ann Loupe p: 208-373-4105

Boise, Idaho – The Boise National Forest announced the temporary closure of certain roads in the Mountain Home Ranger District. National Forest System Roads: 101; 101F-101H; 130; 130A1-130A7; 130D; 131D1; 136 and 139 are closed along their entire length. The Forest Service is plowing these roads to provide access to perform Elk Fire reforestation work. The closure was enacted to provide for public safety, prevent road damage, and to protect wintering wildlife.

The temporary closure is in effect as of March 18, and will remain in effect through April 30. The Forest Service is asking for public cooperation to uphold these restrictions until conditions allow for safe passage without causing road and resource damage.

Exemptions to this restriction are provided for: persons with specific Forest Service authorization exempting them from this Order; Law enforcement and/or rescue and firefighting authorities in the performance of their official duty; Federal or State administrative personnel in the performance of an official duty; and planting contractors (and their employees and agents) while planting in the Elk Reforestation area.

Critter News:

Wolves kill 19 elk on Bondurant feeding ground

Wildlife managers and sportsmen frustrated at lack of options

Mar 25, 2016 (KIFI/KIDK)

PINEDALE, Wyo. – Wyoming Game and Fish confirms an unusual wolf kill on a herd of elk near Bondurant.

It happened on the McNeil Feedground on the Bridger Teton National Forest overnight Wednesday.

Regional Wildlife Supervisor John Lund said wolves killed 19 elk overnight Wednesday, including 17 calves and two cows. Lund said that while large wolf kills like this are not common, wildlife managers haven’t seen anything of this level on a feeding ground.

The area has been subject to fairly constant wolf depredation throughout the winter.

continued (WARNING sad photo):
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see also:

The Cover-Up of Wolves and What They DO!

Editorial by James Beers March 26 at WEI

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Below is a comment from Will Graves, author of Wolves in Russia: Anxiety Through the Ages and The Real Wolf.

“In 1951 I started researching the habits, characteristics, and nature of wolves in Czarist Russia and in the USSR.  One of the first things I learned was that wolves are, by habit and nature, surplus and wanton killers.  I had always read and been told that wolves kill only the animals or birds they need to eat – my research showed that this was not true. Wolves are powerful predators, and surplus killing is a characteristic and habit of them.   Wolves also cause prey animals to suffer terribly.  Wolves will often eat only the soft parts of a prey animal while it is still alive.  Then leave it to die a slow and painful death.  An example of the surplus killing of wolves has recently been documented. … Anyone who says wolves are not surplus killers is blind to the facts and evidence.”

– Will
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Helicopter infrared video documents bull elk doomed by wolves

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review March 21, 2016

A pilot in a rescue helicopter rigged with state-of-the-art equipment to save lives turned the technology briefly toward the ground last month to document the circle of life.

Wolves of the Camas Creek Pack near Glacier National Park apparently had done lethal damage to a still-standing bull elk when Jim Bob Pierce of Two Bear Air rescue helicopters came by and powered on the chopper’s video camera.

With stomped-out and blood-stained snow marking where an attack had occurred, the elk seems to be awaiting fate, knowing the damage has been done and that it couldn’t go far regardless.

The video gets even more chilling when Pierce switches on heat-sensing infrared imagery used to spot lost victims in search and rescue operations. The video clearly reveals the wolves scattered in the timber and sitting waiting patiently like dogs at a dinner table for their chance to get to their main course.

continued (WARNING bloody sad images):
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State hires conflict specialist to deal with wolf issues


SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – Washington state has hired a wildlife-conflict specialist to help reduce tensions caused by the state’s growing population of wolves.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife hired Francine Madden, who is executive director of the Human Wildlife Conflict Collaboration in Houston. The nonprofit works to resolve conflicts that arise when protecting animals leads to problems in local communities.

Madden was introduced Thursday to members of the agency’s Wolf Advisory Group at a meeting in Spokane.

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Madden Report

Link to PDF file:
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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Fourth Week of March 2016
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Ranchers, hunters praise gray wolf decision

March 21, 2016 BY WEI STAFF

Hunters and ranchers are applauding Gov. Kate Brown this week for upholding the decision to delist gray wolves from the state’s endangered species list.

On Tuesday, Brown signed a bill ratifying the delisting into state law. In a statement, the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association said ranchers had made numerous trips and driven thousands of miles across the state to support it.

“(Oregon Cattlemen’s Association) thanks Governor Kate Brown for signing this bill,” Jerome Rosa, the group’s director, wrote in the statement.

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Groups sue to halt hunting on Grand Teton inholdings

By MEAD GRUVER – AP Published: 3/23/16

CHEYENNE, Wyoming — Environmental groups filed a pair of federal lawsuits on Wednesday to stop hunting that is now allowed on hundreds of acres within Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and has claimed three bison.

The National Parks Conservation Association and Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife and Wyoming Wildlife Advocates claimed in the lawsuits other species could be hunted.

Hunting generally isn’t allowed in national parks, though Grand Teton for decades has hosted an annual elk hunt in coordination with state wildlife officials.

The hunt — formally known as an elk reduction program — was part of a state-federal compromise that enabled the park to be established in its current boundaries in 1950.

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Central Idaho braces for spike in vole population

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 3/27/16

KETCHUM, Idaho — Officials in central Idaho say the vole population appears likely to reach a peak this year due to a mange epidemic that wiped out foxes.

“We might be on the higher end of the spike,” Lauren Golden of the University of Idaho Extension told the Idaho Mountain Express ( “Everywhere you look, in people’s yards, in pastures or in farmers’ fields, there’s definitely severe vole damage.”

Officials with the office say vole populations surge about every 10 to 12 years. The rodents can damage pastures, lawns and gardens. They can also kill trees by girdling the trunk.

“We definitely see their effects from the winter,” said Jim Baldwin, a ranch manager. “I don’t ever remember seeing this kind of damage in the Wood River Valley. It seems like an infestation to me.”

Kristin Fletcher of the Sawtooth Botanical Garden said she has heard that ground squirrels and rabbits are also wreaking havoc.

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Idaho powerline plan tries to avoid private property

By KEITH RIDLER – AP Published: 3/27/16

BOISE, Idaho — A proposal for two high-voltage transmission lines crossing southwestern Idaho that faced opposition from private property owners has been altered to instead cross more of the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area.

The 1,700-page draft document released by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management earlier this month maps out potential options for two segments of the Gateway West project that each span more than 125 miles.

The segments are part of a larger, 1,000-mile transmission line project to deliver 1,500 megawatts from southern Wyoming through southern Idaho to points west, potentially tapping into Wyoming’s wind energy.

Idaho Power, which serves Idaho and Oregon, and Rocky Mountain Power, which serves Idaho, Utah and Wyoming, proposed Gateway West and received approval on eight of the 10 segments.

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Restoration project under way on Upper Snake River watershed

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 3/26/16

JACKSON, Wyoming — A restoration project that hopes to improve spawning habitat to help native cutthroat trout is underway for the Upper Snake River watershed to protect the prime fishing area by removing fish barriers and restoring the flow of streams.

The project is being paid for by money raised by Jackson Hole Trout Unlimited and funds from the nationwide organization.

The project, called the Snake River Headwaters Home Rivers Initiative, will have a full-time staffer. “We’ll be working with water users and land managers to develop projects that may include fish screens, irrigation infrastructure and river restoration,” said Cory Toye, the organization’s Wyoming water project director.


Fun Critter Stuff:

Elephant Herd Helps Rescue a Calf That’s Stuck in a Waterhole

Published on Mar 22, 2016

An elephant calf gets stuck in a waterhole. What happens next is so touching! Elephants are just amazing creatures.

Taken in the Kruger National Park in South Africa.

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Moose Team

This moose team belonged to W.R. (Billy/Buffalo Bill) Day. They were found by a Metis near Baptiste Lake in 1910 and were reared by bottle and broken to drive by Mr. Day at Athabasca Landing [Alberta, Canada] during the winter of 1910. Mr. Day and the moose team hauled mail and supplies to Wabasca, Edmonton, Pelican Mountains, Calling Lake, Athabasca, Colinton, Rochester, Tawatinaw, Clyde, Legal, Carbondale and St. Albert. Buffalo Bill and his wife also ran a store at Calling Lake.


Photograph J.H. Gano; Mrs. L. Lyons fonds.

W.R. (Billy) Day driving two moose (Pete and Nellie) at Edmonton Exhibition, 1911. A.11262


[hat tip to Ski]

Fish & Game News:

First Thursday in Weiser

Our next “First Thursday with Fish and Game” will be at the Weiser Public Library on April 7, from 5-7 pm.  We’ll have staff from both the McCall and Nampa offices on hand to discuss any wildlife or hunting related topic you might be interested in.  There will be a brief presentation on the recent drawing odds survey at 5:30, followed by lots of time to chat one-on-one with Fish and Game staff. We’ll provide some beverages.  We hope to see you there!

Regan Berkley
Regional Wildlife Manager
McCall Regional Office
(208) 634-8137
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News Releases for Idaho Fish and Game

* Fish and Game hopes to rebuild bighorns with better data ( Boise, ID – 3/21/16 )
* More wild turkeys introduced in Salmon region ( Boise, ID – 3/21/16 )
* Looking for an adventure – visit one of Idaho’s nature areas ( Boise, ID – 3/21/16 )
* Enter Super Hunt for hunt of a lifetime  ( Boise, ID – 3/21/16 )


Tips & Advice:

Make Perfect Poached Eggs

Add two teaspoons of white vinegar to the simmering water before adding the eggs. This helps keep the whites together but does not affect the flavor.

The Farmers’ Almanac

Idaho History March 27, 2016

Old Photos Valley and Idaho Counties

1928 Photos Warm Lake to Yellow Pine to Big Creek to Cougar Dave Lewis Ranch

Link to Harry Shellworth Album Idaho State Historical Society, photographer Ansgar Johnson Sr.
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Old photos around Yellow Pine and Johnson Creek

link to: Idaho Transportation Department Collection
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What was life like in the early days in Valley County?

A Photo Essay

Link: Hoff Phenomenology Research – ED 574 – Pioneer Life Photo Essay

[hat tip to SMc]
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Stonebraker Photograph Collection

link to: University of Idaho Library Digital Initiatives
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Salmon River Area Photos

This page will include photos from Whitebird, Slate Creek, Warrens, Riggins, Burgdorf and any other areas along the Salmon in Idaho County.

Link: © PBC Idaho County GenWeb

[hat tip to SMc]

page updated September 5, 2022

Weather Reports March 20-26

March 20 Weather:

At 930am it was 27 degrees and mostly clear (a little high thin haze to the east.) At 140pm it was 62 degrees, partly cloudy (filtered sun.) More clouds later in the afternoon and getting breezy before 5pm. At 6pm it was 59 degrees. Raining before 11pm. At 1am it was 38 degrees and not raining. Raining pretty good around 230am.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time March 21, 2016 at 09:30AM
Mostly cloudy, drips and drops
Max temperature 65 degrees F
Min temperature 27 degrees F
At observation 37 degrees F
Precipitation 0.12 inch
Snowfall 0.0 inch
Snow depth 3 inch
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March 21 Weather:

At 930am it was 37 degrees, mostly cloudy and occasional drops of rain. Partly sunny late morning, a few drops around lunch time. Filtered sun and patches of blue sky early afternoon and breezy. Cloudy late afternoon, sprinkles started around 5pm. Showers at 630pm. At 650pm it was 38 degrees and mostly cloudy, very light rain. At 8pm it was 37 degrees and mostly cloudy (not raining.) At 1030pm it was 36 degrees and steady rain. At 1230am it was 33 degrees and misting. Snowing at 2am. Probably snowed all night. Snowing at 8am.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time March 22, 2016 at 09:30AM
Cloudy, very light snow
Max temperature 53 degrees F
Min temperature 31 degrees F
At observation 32 degrees F
Precipitation 0.36 inch
Snowfall 1.5 inch
Snow depth 4 inch
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March 22 Weather:

At 930am it was 32 degrees, cloudy and a few flakes of snow falling. Not snowing at 1030am and trees dumping. Light snow falling at noon for about 30 minutes. A few flakes of snow falling at 130pm. Intermittent flakes of snow during the afternoon. Snowing pretty good at 430pm for about 20 minutes then back to flaking. Flurry of snowballs just before 510pm for almost 5 minutes, then back to flaking on and off. Steady snow again around 545pm. At 7pm it was 35 degrees and snowing lightly. Break in the snow from about 8pm to 945pm, then sleeting. Still snowing at 1050pm, a trace accumulation so far. At 1am it was 31 degrees and still snowing, looks like over an inch accumulation. Still snowing at 2am.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time March 23, 2016 at 09:30AM
Mostly cloudy
Max temperature 44 degrees F
Min temperature 29 degrees F
At observation 32 degrees F
Precipitation 0.20 inch
Snowfall 3.3 inch
Snow depth 6 inch
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March 23 Weather:

At 930am it was 32 degrees and mostly cloudy. Bigger breaks in the clouds and some sun by 11am. Increasing clouds after lunch. New snow melted during the day (plus some old snow.) At 7pm it was 41 degrees, overcast and light breezes. At midnight it was 34 degrees and cloudy, and 34 degrees at 1am. Trace of snow fell before 9am.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time March 24, 2016 at 09:30AM
Max temperature 48 degrees F
Min temperature 32 degrees F
At observation 33 degrees F
Precipitation Trace
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth 2 inch (approx)
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March 24 Weather:

At 930am it was 33 degrees and cloudy. Hard to measure old snow as yard is more than 50% bare. 4-6″ of snow remains on the shady side. Sleet (little balls of snow and rain drops) a little before 10am. Snowing pretty good just before 1130am for about 15 minutes, then at 1150am rain/snow mix for about 15 minutes. Snow/rain mix again at 1220pm for a while, then off and on before 2pm, no accumulation. After 3pm cloudy and breezy. At 7pm it was 37 degrees, partly clear, breezy and 2 flakes of snow. Very light snow falling at 945pm. At 11pm it was 31 degrees and cloudy (not snowing and no accumulation.) Still snowing a little at 1am, scant accumulation. Not snowing at 2am. A little more snow before 9am.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time March 25, 2016 at 09:30AM
Partly clear
Max temperature 44 degrees F
Min temperature 26 degrees F
At observation 30 degrees F
Precipitation 0.11 inch
Snowfall 1/4 inch
Snow depth 2 inch
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March 25 Weather:

At 930am it was 30 degrees, partly clear and a flake or two of snow falling. A short snow flurry just before noon, then breaks in the clouds. Snowing lightly at 1pm for about an hour, no accumulation. Lots of old snow melted today. Light snow falling at 620pm for about 30 minutes, trace accumulation. At 7pm it was 31 degrees and mostly clear. At midnight it was 24 degrees and cloudy.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time March 26, 2016 at 09:30AM
Clear and frosty
Max temperature 39 degrees F
Min temperature 14 degrees F
At observation 17 degrees F
Precipitation Trace
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth 2 inch
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March 26 Weather:

At 930am it was 17 degrees, clear and frosty. High thin clouds moving in, haze with filtered sun before noon. At 245pm it was 47 degrees and breezy, high haze. At 7pm it was 42 degrees, breezy, less haze and a few real clouds.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time March 27, 2016 at 09:30AM
Overcast (low from yesterday morning)
Max temperature 49 degrees F
Min temperature 16 degrees F
At observation 32 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch
Snowfall 0.0 inch
Snow depth 1 inch

PAC Advisory for 3/26/16

Avalanche Advisory published on March 26, 2016

bottom line

The Avalanche Danger is Moderate on upper elevation windloaded or crossloaded slopes. Human triggered wind slabs are likely however in steep, northerly and east facing terrain where new wind slabs formed Thursday and Friday. Expect to find new wind slabs that will be reactive to the weight of a skier or snowmobile ranging in depth from a few inches to a foot or more. Slopes that were protected from the winds will have better stability and Low danger.


Expect sunny skies today with the possibility of a few high clouds later in the day, upper elevation highs will be in the mid 30’s. Light S/SW winds and a low tonight around 24. A cold front will move into the area early Sunday bringing a dusting of new snow to the valley floor in McCall and 2-4 inches to the mountains.

recent observations

Friday we toured around on the West edge of Squaw Point and found good skiing in protected terrain, moderate to strong winds , huge wind drifts and tree wells as well as rapidly forming wind slabs. The winds also did a great job of crossloading sub ridges and gullies on the W, NW terrain we were skiing, quickly forming shallow and reactive wind slabs.

Everywhere we looked we were amazed at the size and amount of cornices overhanging ridges and bowls, and even mid elevation sub-ridges and smaller terrain features. It has truly been a windy winter. Pay attention to these beasts when it warms up again as they begin to fail. The upper 18 inches of the snowpack above last weekend’s melt freeze crust looked very good and has begun to consolidate from the crust up providing pretty good stability in the new snow we got this week. Below the crust there are still some weak layers preserved that may linger through the end of the season. These deeper layers will likely continue to be hard to trigger until we see another major warm up.

Photos are: the amount of snow drifted over our sleds in the 4 hours that we were away from them and a W/NW ridgeline with a 20 +foot cornice at 7500 feet and the effects of the wind where you can see some ripples and drifts forming across the small slope.

Avalanche Problem #1: Wind Slab

Wind slabs continue to be our biggest concern today. We observed widespread wind transport of the new snow on Friday as winds ramped up in the afternoon and swirled from the SW to the W through the day. Expect to find new and sensitive windslabs on upper elevation, SE, E, NE, N and NW slopes today. Given the velocity of the winds and the light snow that was available for transport, you can expect to find wind deposited and crossloaded snow much further below the ridges than we have seen over the last few days of relatively light winds. Expect to see pillows, spindrift cones and other tell tale signs of wind blown snow below steep or rocky headwalls and lower down in northerly terrain than normal.

By Friday afternoon, we were able to ski cut the freshly formed slabs on steep leeward terrain to a depth of about 6 inches. Some of these slabs formed not only on the unconsolidated snow in the northern aspects but also on a variety of other snow surfaces including crusts and grauple deposits. Some of these layers will increase the speed of and the ability of the overlying wind slab to propagate. Take the time to check out the upper 2-3 feet of the snowpack before you commit to any steep terrain.

Skiers in Lick Creek also reported a small skier triggered wind slab Friday afternoon on a NE slope and widespread wind slab formation that got deeper as they went up in elevation.

You can expect to find shallow and deeper(possibly close to 2 feet?) wind slabs throughout the northern aspects with crossloaded areas on small ridges and gullies or other depressions. Look for tell tale visual clues and don’t ignore cracking or hollow feeling snow beneath your skis or sled today.

Note the visual clues on the snow surface and the growing wind slab on the right edge of the photo.

advisory discussion

This week marks the end of the regular PAC advisory season. We will be doing periodic and weekend updates as conditions change. There is still plenty of winter left in the mountains, but the PAC budget melted out a little early this year. We want to extend a BIG thank you to the Friends of the Payette Avalanche Center Board of Directors for their financial support as well as to all of our volunteer travel companions that join us in ALL kinds of weather and conditions.

Pay attention to rapidly changing spring conditions while you are out in the mountains and if you see or trigger avalanche activity, please take the time to get in touch with us. Remember your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, let us know by clicking the OBSERVATION tab at the top of the page. Or by calling/emailing directly 208-634-0419 or If you are getting out and enjoying any spring skiing/riding we would like to know, any information is good information!


This avalanche advisory is provided through a partnership between the Payette National Forest and the Payette Avalanche Center. This advisory covers the West Central Mountains between Hard Butte on the north and Council Mountain on the south. This advisory applies only to backcountry areas outside established ski area boundaries. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This advisory expires at midnight on the posted day unless otherwise noted. The information in this advisory is provided by the USDA Forest Service who is solely responsible for its content.

Road Report March 22-23

Tuesday (March 22) The county plowed Big Creek Summit after last night’s storm so there is very little snow floor (just the 500’ of the summit area); the rest of Warm Lake hwy has just a bit of snow floor in the shaded areas. South Fork Rd. is almost all bare. East Fork Rd. still has spots of mushy snow from just below the ranch all the way to Yellow Pine. The bare stretches have potholes. Watch for black ice and rocks on all roads… even Hwy. 55. – LI

Wednesday (March 23) mail truck driver (Bruce) reports the county grader came in this morning, cleared the road. And a plow went up Johnson Creek a ways, got the big rock out of the way. Good trip.

PAC Advisory for 3/23/16

Avalanche Advisory published on March 23, 2016

bottom line

The Avalanche Danger is Moderate today above 6000 feet. 8-13 inches of new snow fell over the last 48 hours on a variety of old snow surfaces including crusts and faceted snow. Heavy accumulations of Grauple have accumulated with the new snow. Watch for soft wind slabs in the upper elevations and plan for small fast moving loose, dry avalanches on all slopes over 35 degrees.


The “progressive” pattern called for by last week’s weather forecasters has been very productive so far this week and temperatures have cooperated bringing another great week of spring powder for skiers and riders. Look for partial clearing today with light NW winds becoming SW later in the afternoon and a high near 7600 feet around 36 degrees. Tomorrow through Friday night will bring several small pulses of moisture which look like they will favor the Northern portion of the PAC advisory area with up to an additional 9-12 inches by Saturday morning. Daytime highs will be in the mid to upper 30 degree range with a cool down on Friday. Winds will be increasing tomorrow and vary between NW and SW throughout the day adding to the wind slab problem on the Eastern side of the compass.

recent observations

Yesterday exceeded the precipitation totals in most areas, I took advantage of the spring powder by riding the chairs at Brundage Mt. Resort for most of the day and hitting Sargeants Mt. in the afternoon. We had free refills on the snow all day with new snow filling in our tracks on the ridge each run. We also had several periods of intense Grauple that added to the loose, dry sluff potential on the steeper slopes. In most areas there was about 6-8 inches of new snow above the melt freeze crust that was bonding relatively well by late afternoon. The new snow came in relatively dry as well and never got heavy throughout the day keeping the new snow right side up so it never truly formed a storm slab yesterday. South Valley areas, got a little more clearing in the afternoon and slightly higher temperatures which likely created more of a cohesive slab in those areas. Winds also were low to moderate through the day keeping new windslab growth to a minimum. Overnight, winds picked up and may have transported some of the light snow into the NE,E, and SE aspects. The key to staying safe is going to be to keep evaluating the snowpack as you travel through it. Temperature, wind and precipitation totals vary quite a bit between different elevations and aspects with spring storms so don’t let your guard down as you travel today. Remember, Moderate Danger means heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features, constant evaluation and re-evaluation of the snowpack is essential for safe travel today.

Here are a couple of pictures of the intense grauple storms that deposited a thick layer of grauple throughout the afternoon yesterday.

Remember your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, let us know by clicking the OBSERVATION tab at the top of the page. Or by calling/emailing PAC forecasters at 208-634-0419 or

If you are getting out and enjoying any spring skiing/riding we would like to know. What did you see, how was the snow? Any information is good information!

Avalanche Problem #1: Wind Slab

The last 2 days have brought us some NW and W winds that gusted into the mid 30mph range on Monday and were in the mid to upper teens yesterday. These winds will have loaded some of the Easterly aspects more than normal with some loading possible on the SE aspects as well. Pay attention to the snow surface and where the new snow was deposited. Look for the obvious signs of wind transport and cornice growth but also for new pillowy deposits where they were not any last week. Fresh windslabs will be in the 4-16 inch range and should be pretty soft in most areas. Some of these slabs may be sitting on layers of grauple or on the melt freeze crust from last weekend’s tropical heat. Older, stiffer windslabs may still be encountered on E, NE, N or NW slopes as well.

Avalanche Problem #2: Loose Dry

Today’s loose. dry sluffs are going to be Saturday’s loose, wet slides which has been the pattern for the last few storm cycles we have seen this month. Temperatures and wind cooperated to leave us with a mostly non-cohesive layer of new snow over the crusts and remaining pockets of dry snow that made up our snow surface over the weekend. While we did not grow a cohesive storm slab over the last 2 days, we did get enough dry snow to create a new loose/dry problem. Yesterday we got a decent amount of sluffing to occur near the ridges on all slopes over 35 degrees. The grauple accumulations added to the problem by providing several fat layers of ball bearings within the new snow. If you are riding or skiing in steep terrain, plan for and anticipate shallow and fast moving sluffing. Don’t let it steer you where you don’t want to go and pay attention to terrain traps where these sluffs are going to pile up.


This avalanche advisory is provided through a partnership between the Payette National Forest and the Payette Avalanche Center. This advisory covers the West Central Mountains between Hard Butte on the north and Council Mountain on the south. This advisory applies only to backcountry areas outside established ski area boundaries. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This advisory expires at midnight on the posted day unless otherwise noted. The information in this advisory is provided by the USDA Forest Service who is solely responsible for its content.

Mar 20, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times

Mar 20, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Local Observations:

Monday (March 14) had quite a rain storm last night, then a little snow. By morning it was snowing and almost hailing, then back to snow with very dark and low clouds. Report that a slide had closed the EFSF road in the afternoon. (see report below.)

Tuesday (March 15) snowed all night, we have about 5″ of new snow (the wind was blowing and drifted a bit) and an average of 9″ of snow on the flat. The EFSF road was still closed this morning. A report there is 24″ new snow in the last 2 days on Profile and about the same up Johnson Creek. As of 4pm the EFSF road is open, many thanks to the Valley County and Midas Gold crews for clearing the rock. Snowed all day, by 630pm another 4″ of new snow. Break in the snow until midnight, then probably snowed lightly all night another inch.

Wednesday (March 16) the new snow that fell yesterday and last night settled down to 3.5″ by morning, measured between 8-12″ of total snow on the flat. Low clouds, VanMeter socked in to the base, barely see Golden Gate, light snow falling. The trees have a thick coating of snow. Warmer in the afternoon, trees dumping snow loads, roofs dripping. A few flakes of snow before dark, but no more accumulation.

Thursday (March 17) hard freeze during the night set up yesterday’s mud and snow. The snow depth is varied from bare ground under trees, to 4″ on the sunny side of the yard, 8″ on the west side and 12″ on the north side. Local streets have bare patches again, but in some spots there are a few inches of snow on top of old frozen slush. Single flakes of snow falling most of the morning. Breezy and clouds coming and going, sunshine at times. Cold breezy evening.

Friday (March 18) very hard freeze during the night, single digits this morning. Very clear and very blue sky. High thin clouds and filtered sun in the afternoon.

Saturday (March 19) hard freeze during the night, a few high wispy thin clouds, slight chilly breeze. Woodpeckers drumming, fresh elk tracks on Pioneer St. Saw cow elk on the south west side of golf course. Sunny warm day, melting snow. Report of 2 wolf kills above the village (both bulls) one near Tamarack Creek and the other below Profile creek. Another report that tick season has started. A report there is part of a tree and a big rock laying in Johnson Creek road between YP and the transfer station. A p/u can get by the narrow spots, but not a big truck. The transfer station is full.

Sunday (March 20) frosty clear morning. The sun “ate” some snow yesterday, getting back to open ground under the trees and on local streets that receive sunshine. A robin was in the yard, very large flock of juncos in the neighborhood, woodpecker drumming over by the fire hall. Report of an early swallow in the neighborhood. Bunch of elk tracks crossing the main street into neighbor’s pasture (must have been last night before the snow/mud froze early this morning.) Warm day, mostly sunny, melting snow, then cloudy later.

Yellow Pine News:

Stibnite Road Gate

Valley County along with the Forest Service and Midas Gold will be placing a temporary gate on the Stibnite Road during the spring breakup.  Travel will be authorized for snowmobile, ATV, UTV and 2-wheel motorized traffic.  Full sized vehicles are temporarily restricted unless administrative use or event of emergency.

We are hoping for the cooperation of the residents and public in this matter.

Lori Bateman
Office Manager
Valley County Road & Bridge
208.382.7195  Fax 208.382.7198
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EFSF Road closed for 24 hours by Rock Slide March 14-15

Neighbor called Monday evening to report a rock slide had completely blocked the EFSF road about 3 miles west of the village. She was coming in and parked her rig and made the hike home in about an hour arriving before dark. Thanks to her phone calls most of the village was alerted to the road closure. Had a report that some locals went out to check the slide Monday evening and sure enough the road was blocked completely by very large rocks, “SUV sized” was one of the descriptions.

A couple of  Big Crickers snowmobiled out to Yellow Pine Monday and had to spend the night. They reported 2 feet of new snow up on Profile and about that same amount had fallen up Johnson Creek. Thanks to the Valley County Groomer coming in Johnson Creek Tuesday, they were able to snowmobile out before the EFSF road was opened.

The Valley County Road crew was dispatched Tuesday morning to work on the slide from that end, while a Midas Gold crew came down from Stibnite to work the slide from this end. Using a water drill they were able to split the large boulders into pieces small enough for the equipment to move.

Thanks to the joint effort by the Valley County Road crew and Midas Gold crew the road was open to traffic by approximately 4pm Tuesday afternoon.

Many thanks from the Village of Yellow Pine!



photos by Steve Holloway



photos by Ann F.
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St. Paddy’s Day at the Tavern

by Lorinne M


Saint Patrick’s Day at the Tavern. The usual suspects: food, drink, good friends and toasts to Sarge – Hooah! And a couple of wandering visitors out for a drive looking for a beer and a hamburger [and] finding new friends.

Irish Blessing:

May your home be too small to hold all of your friends.

Farmers’ Almanac

Photos to Share:

by Dave Putman

South fork of the Salmon and a light snow March 14


Reed Ranch elk March 14


Reed Ranch (area) deer March 14



Idaho News:

Cascade fire district board increases charges sought from insurance

BY DAN GALLAGHER for The Star-News March 17, 2016

The Cascade Rural Fire Protection District commissioners last week approved increases in insurance reimbursement charges for the department’s ambulance runs.

The board approved raising the per-call reimbursement charge for basic support from $100 to $500.

The charge for Advanced Life Support 1 was increased from $500 to $600 and Advanced Life Support 2 went from $600 to $800.

That structure puts Cascade in the middle of rates charged by other area departments, Fire Chief Steve Hull said.

About 90 percent of patients served by the district have insurance beyond Medicare and Medicaid, he said.

Last year, the board voted to seek $600 in reimbursement for advanced life support charged to Medicare and Medicaid as the district had added paramedics who provide additional services on runs such as administering pain medicine and clearing blocked airways, said Keri Donica, Cascade Emergency Medical Services director.

Before, the crews were supplying basic and intermediate support.

But the firm doing the billing for Cascade notified the district that it has been charging even less than the lowest amount allowable for the services, Donica said. Cascade has not increased the basic charge since 2009.

The department receives some operating funds from Valley County but also depends on the insurance reimbursements, Hull said.

source: The Star-News
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Valley P&Z splits in OK of move of Huckleberry Jam campground to Tamarack

BY DAN GALLAGHER for The Star-News March 17, 2016

On a 4-1 vote, the Valley County Planning and Zoning Commission last week allowed Tamarack Resort to host a camping area for those attending the next Huckleberry Jam music concert in August.

The camping site was held at the Donnelly Airport during the first event last summer. The permit issued last Thursday allows 250 campsites for a maximum total of 500 people on Tamarack land at the south end of the resort property.

Commissioners Rob Garrison, Ed Allen, Brian Cooley and Scott Freeman voted in favor while commissioner Kathy Deinhardt Hill voted in opposition of granting the permit.

Shuttles would take campers about a mile to the concerts at the Tamarack base area on the evenings of Thursday, Aug. 11, to Saturday, Aug. 13, according to the application. The shuttles also would transport them to the Huckleberry Festival in Donnelly.

The site was changed to cut the shuttle distance, which was seven miles last year, and reduce traffic on West Roseberry Road, said Pete Mills, a representative of the concert organizer, Townsquare Media of Boise.

A half-dozen property owners in the Northlake Subdivision just to the south of the campsite sent letters of opposition and some attended the meeting.

The neighbors noted a comment from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation saying the campground was close to the Duck Creek Wildlife Management Area.

full story: The Star-News
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Big Shifts On This Year’s Ranking Of Idaho’s Healthiest Counties

By ADAM COTTERELL Boise State Public Radio March 16, 2016

The healthiest counties in Idaho are Valley, Ada and Blaine. The least healthy are Clearwater, Benewah and Owyhee. That’s according to this year’s national county health rankings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. [For interactive versions of the maps above and to see previous years, click here]

Valley County, home to McCall and Cascade, is number one for “health outcomes” like how long people live and how they feel while they’re alive. Ada is number two for outcomes but number one for “health factors,” such as access to doctors, low poverty levels and behaviors like smoking. Both Ada and Valley moved up several spots on this year’s ranking. Affluent, outdoorsy Blaine County stays put near the top of the list.

Idaho’s least healthy counties largely match the national trend; they’re rural and poor. The state has one notable exception to that. For several years east Idaho’s Madison County has been the healthiest in the state both for outcomes and factors.


[hat tip to SMc]
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Crews are working to remove a landslide cutting off the main route to Elk City

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 3/15/16

LEWISTON, Idaho — Crews are working to remove a landslide cutting off the main route to Elk City.

The Lewiston Tribune reports ( State Highway 14 has been closed since about 100,000 cubic yards of debris slid across the road Feb. 18.

Idaho Transportation Department spokesman Vince Trimboli said he expects to have a better idea on Wednesday of when a lane would open.

Drivers used Newsome Forest Road to bypass the landslide and are expected to do the same Wednesday. Conditions on the dirt road will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.

Department chief operations officer Jim Carpenter was set to meet with commissioners to discuss the landslide and complaints about the transportation agency’s response to it.

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Idaho snowpack could melt ahead of schedule

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 3/14/16

BOISE, Idaho — A warm, dry February means Idaho’s mountain snowpack might melt early, according to water experts.

The above-average temperatures have caused the snowpack to “ripen” about a month ahead of schedule, said Ron Abramovich, an Idaho water supply specialist with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. He told the Capital Press ( that the snowpack has become more compact and can melt with less energy.

Many basins in Southern and Eastern Idaho had only half their usual amount of snowfall last month, according to Abramovich, but Northern Idaho actually had more February snow than normal.

A string of small storms is in the forecast for March, and Abramovich says that that should bring cooler temperatures and more snow to higher elevations.

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Snowmobiler rescued after being stranded at Sawtell Peak

Local News 8 – Mar 19, 2016

ISLAND PARK, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – Fremont County Search & Rescue rescued a snowmobiler after getting stranded in the backcountry of Sawtell Peak.

Two men were snowmobiling Friday afternoon in the backcountry of Sawtell Peak when they fell into a canyon. Their snowmobile then got stuck in heavy snow.

One of the men rode to town and called FCSR around 10:30 p.m., at which point a Fremont County deputy and FCSR were dispatched. According to a press release, it was difficult to locate the stranded snowmobiler because serchers had to dig their sleds out multiple times.

The stranded snowmobiler was found around 2:10 a.m. Saturday and shoveled his snowmobile out.

No medical attention was needed.

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Idaho ponders using $160 million to buy timberland, farmland

Local News 8 – Mar 15, 2016

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Idaho will have $160 million to invest from the sale of commercial real estate and cottage sites over the next five years and a financial consultant says it should be used to buy timberland and farmland.

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney say they like that advice because it could mean better financial security for the institutions, mainly public schools, that benefit from the state’s endowment lands.

The consultant with Callan Associates told the five-member Idaho Land Board on Tuesday that the board will likely not have the opportunity again to have so much money available to buy land.

The Idaho Department of Lands is taking public comments on the draft reinvestment plan through April 15.

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Idaho ag leaders wary about possible state land purchases

The Idaho Land Board’s consideration of buying agricultural land with proceeds from the sales of its residential and commercial properties has some agricultural officials concerned.

John O’Connell – Capital Press March 20, 2016

BOISE — Farm organization leaders are leery of a draft document suggesting the Idaho Department of Lands should consider buying agricultural and timber property with revenue from sales of its commercial and residential holdings.

The Idaho Land Board’s consultant, Callan Associates, released a draft of its Strategic Reinvestment Plan on March 15, suggesting agricultural land would be a good investment for the department, assuming it could generate at least a 4.5 percent rate of return, and timber would also be worth considering, if the rate of return were at least 3.5 percent.

IDL Director Tom Schultz said sales of IDL cottage lots along Priest Lake and Payette Lake, which have been leased to homeowners who have built on them, and the department’s commercial properties in the Boise area should generate about $162.6 million by the end of Fiscal Year 2020 to invest in other areas. Schultz believes financial return goals on property acquisitions are attainable, and he said IDL may also opt to put revenue in its Permanent Fund, where it would be invested in stocks and bonds.

IDL, which has a mandate to maximize profits from its assets, began selling the cottage lots in 2007, investing revenue generated in commercial property. In April, Callan advised IDL that owning commercial property was a poor strategic fit. In addition to the cottage lots, IDL plans to sell about $30 million in commercial real estate, mostly office buildings in the Boise area.

Public comment on the draft plan will be accepted through April 15 at The board will vote to finalize the plan in May.


Videos to Share:

We are Midas Gold

Published on Nov 4, 2015

We are a company of scientists, engineers, environmentalists and community leaders in Idaho. We are driven by our belief that we can build a major mining project that restores the environment, creates economic opportunity and benefits the surrounding community. These values drive us in everything we do. They are what make us a modern mining company.

Idaho is our home. Take a look at what we’re doing in the community and you’ll understand our commitment to grow the state’s economy and take care of the environment runs deep.

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Series of Idaho backcountry airfield approaches on Big Creek

Thought you all might like this very nice and short series of Idaho backcountry airfield approaches on Big Creek. This brings back fond memories of flying into these Canyon Airstrips with Dad many years ago, with the exception of Mile Hi Ranch, I was into these strips numerous times with him . Mile Hi Ranch had already been purchased by Idaho Fish and Game by that time and was seldom used by the time I was riding in the copilot seat with Dad. I know Johnsons took their 1929 Travel Air 6000’s into Mile Hi, but rumor has it they also took their 1929 Ford Tri-Motor in to there as well! On Mile-Hi…….that would have really been something to have witnessed!

Bill Fogg, March 14, 2016

Forest/BLM News:

Spring Prescribed Burning Planned

Boise National Forest
March 18, 2016
Contact: Lee Ann Loupe 208-373-4105

Boise, Idaho – With spring season conditions approaching, Boise National Forest fire managers soon anticipate favorable weather conditions to allow for the ignition of low-intensity prescribed fires across the Forest. These burns are designed to reduce vegetation (fuels) and wildfire potential, improve wildlife habitat, and reduce threats to nearby communities. A total of fourteen areas totaling approximately 5,900 acres are planned for prescribed burns. Most of the burns will start around mid-March and continue into June, depending upon weather and appropriate ground and vegetation conditions.

Significant planning for these burns has occurred and one of the most important considerations is for safety of the firefighters and the public. Fire managers have developed detailed prescribed fire plans that dictate conditions, staffing and safety requirements and to address potential smoke management concerns.

Specific information is available by contacting the local ranger districts, the Boise National Forest Headquarters at 208-373-4100, on the web at, or by calling the prescribed fire hotline at 208-373-4208.

Fire officials strongly advise recreationalists and outdoor enthusiasts to determine the location and anticipated times of burns before leaving their homes. Public impacts are anticipated to be very minimal. However, information about the burns and when they occur is provided to allow those persons with sensitivity to smoke to make accommodations.

The following prescribed burns are planned:

Mountain Home Ranger District:

* Boise Ridge Tree Well Burn (450 acres): located 12 miles northeast of Boise and immediately west of Bogus Basin Ski Resort. This project involves burning areas around the base of trees that are melted yet still have snow remaining adjacent (tree-wells).

Idaho City Ranger District:

* Warm Spring Ridge (200 acres):  located approximately 4 miles west of Idaho City. Prescribed burn using hand ignition to reduce surface vegetation (fuels).

* Morse South (50 acres): located about 3 miles east of Idaho City. This is a landscape burn (ground fire) using hand ignition in the Wildland Urban Interface.

* Alder Burn (100 acres): located 1 mile north of Placerville. This is a landscape burn (ground fire) using hand ignition in the Wildland Urban Interface

* Little Ophir (100 acres): located 4 miles west of Pioneerville. A landscape burn using hand ignition that will reduce fuel in the Wildland Urban Interface area.

* Warm Springs Aerial (600 acres): located 4 miles west of Idaho City will use a helicopter and hand lighting to reduce fuel in this wildland urban interface.

Cascade Ranger District

* Horsethief (360 acres): located about 3 miles northeast of Horsethief Reservoir. This burn involves helicopter and hand lighting to reduce fuels over the area.

* Crawford Aspen (7 acres): located about 4 miles northeast from Cascade. This is a hand ignition burn to improve aspen habitat and reduce wildfire risk.

* Golden Antimony Block 3, 4, and 5 (300, 147, and 102 acres respectively): This project is located approximately 1 mile south of Yellow Pine, Idaho. This burn involves helicopter and hand lighting to reduce fuels in the wildland urban interface.

Lowman Ranger District

* Sam’s Pine (500 acres): located about 10 miles northwest of Lowman. This burn will be ignited using a helicopter to reduce fuels and restore the area.

* Rock Creek (200 acres): located imme­diately south of Lowman (within 2 miles) and near Highway 21. This burn involves hand lighting to reduce fuels in the wildland urban interface.

* Bear Creek (500 acres): located about 20 air miles east of Lowman and near Grandjean. This burn will be ignited using a helicopter to reduce fuels and restore the area.

Emmett Ranger District

* Rocky Canyon (2,000 acres): This project is located approximately 12 miles north of Crouch and will use aerial ignition by helicopter to reduce fuel over the landscape.

Signs will be posted on roads near all burn areas prior to and when burning is in progress.

The burns will be ignited only if conditions are conducive to a safe, effective burn and when favorable atmospheric conditions are present to minimize impacts to local communities. Local residents may notice smoke from these prescribed burn projects for a few days following ignition, particularly in the evening hours.
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Weight Restrictions in Effect – South Fork Salmon River Road

Date:  March 15, 2016
Contact: Brian Harris (208) 634-0784 cell: (208) 634-6945

McCall, ID – Forest Service officials on the Payette and Boise National Forests implemented the annual seasonal road weight restrictions on portions of the South Fork Salmon River Road (National Forest System Road #674 and #474).

The purpose of the weight restriction is to protect public health and safety and to prevent potential resource damage to the road during spring thaw conditions. Motorized vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds on the steering axle and tire width less than 9-inches, and a weight of more than 300 pounds per inch of tire on all other axles are prohibited.

The Forest Service is asking for the public cooperation to uphold this restriction until conditions allow for safe passage without causing road and resource damage. The road lies within the Cascade Ranger District on the Boise National Forest and the Krassel Ranger District on the Payette National Forest. The restriction is in effect annually from March 15 to June 1, or as Forest Service officers determine that no further damage will occur to the roadway and remove the signing.

Exemptions to this restriction are provided for: persons with specific Forest Service authorization exempting them from this Order; Law enforcement and/or rescue and firefighting authorities in the performance of their official duty; and Federal or State administrative personnel in the performance of an official duty.

Map link:
0402-04-54 MAP.pdf
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Idaho Angler McCall (dba Fly Fish McCall) Outfitter and Guide Special Use Reauthorization Update

USDA Forest Service
March 16, 2016

Dear Interested Party,

The Forest Service is seeking scoping comments for the proposed Idaho Angler McCall (dba Fly Fish McCall) Outfitter and Guide Special Use Reauthorization on the McCall, New Meadows, and Krassel Ranger Districts of the Payette National Forest. The enclosed scoping document provides more detailed information about the project. The scoping document is also available on the project’s webpage at

The Forest Service is contacting interested individuals, groups, and agencies to make them aware of the project and to gather pertinent feedback. To be most helpful, please submit your scoping comments by April 15, 2016, and make your comments as specific as possible.

To submit comments using the web form select “Comment on Project” under “Get Connected” on the right panel of the project website.

Only those who subscribe to the GovDelivery mailing list or submit comments will receive future correspondence on this project. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, without an associated name and address, receiving further correspondences concerning these projects will not be possible.

Webform submission is preferred but written, facsimile, hand-delivered, verbal, and electronic comments concerning these projects will be accepted. Comments for the project may be submitted to McCall District Ranger, 102 West Lake Street, McCall, ID 83638 or by fax to 208-634-0433. Hand delivered comment letters may be delivered during regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding holidays. Comments may also be submitted electronically via email to or through the project web page listed above.

Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection and will be released in their entirety if requested pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. Comments received in response to this request will also be available for public inspection on the “Public Comment Reading Room” on the project webpage

For further information on this project, please contact Susan Jenkins, Recreation Specialist for McCall and New Meadows Ranger Districts, at 208-634-0415 or via email at

Lisa L. Klinger
McCall District Ranger
Payette National Forest

Scoping Document:
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Idaho budget writers approve $34.5M for wildfire suppression

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 3/16/16

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho budget writers are preparing for another hectic wildfire season by allocating $34.5 million to help cover the expected high costs of managing and suppressing flames across the state.

The Joint Finance Appropriations Committee voted 13-4 on Wednesday to funnel the money for the fiscal year 2017 wildfire season.

Republican Sen. Shawn Keough, co-chairwoman of the budget-setting committee, says the Legislature has typically paid for the state’s wildfire expenses once the season is over. However, as costs have ballooned over the years, lawmakers are finding new ways to pay for wildfire suppression.

Last year’s catastrophic wildfire season cost Idaho taxpayers $60 million.

The budget proposal still needs to pass through the House and Senate, but bills are rarely changed after leaving the committee.

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Agreements with the Bureau of Land Management after the Soda Fire have left ranchers waiting for rain

By DANIELLE WILEY – Idaho Press-Tribune Published: 3/19/16

MARSING, Idaho — Small, green blades of grass are sprouting next to bundles of buttercup flowers in some areas of Owyhee County, near Jordan Valley. A contrasting scene to what the hills looked like directly after the Soda Fire last summer, black and scorched.

Ed Wilsey, owner of Wilsey Ranch outside Marsing, said that over the past few months he’s watched the Bureau of Land Management seed the land through aerial tactics and drill seeding.

“I have to give them credit because they seeded fast,” Wilsey said. “Now we just have to hope Mother Nature brings us enough rain.”

While most of the grass seen growing near Wilsey’s ranch was established grass that survived the fire, a mix of rain and sun could help the diverse grass seed the BLM placed sprout within the next month.

The BLM created an extensive rehabilitation plan to help growth of sage brush and grass in Owyhee County, but months after the fire, ranchers are skeptical about the BLM’s chance of success.

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Seedlings Available for Reforestation and Habitat Improvement

Boise National Forest
March 18, 2016
Contact: Lee Ann Loupe 208-373-4105

Boise, ID – Landowners who need trees to create windbreaks, improve wildlife habitat, and enhance forests on their property are encouraged to come to the Boise National Forest Lucky Peak Nursery’s annual surplus seedling sale.

Each year, the Lucky Peak Nursery produces over three million one-year old trees and shrubs. These seedlings are used in reforestation activities on public lands in the intermountain west disturbed by wildfire, timber harvests, etc.  In those cases where the Nursery has produced more seedlings than its customers need, that surplus becomes available to rural landowners for conservation plantings.

This year limited quantities of ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, bitterbrush and Wyoming big sagebrush seedlings will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Lucky Peak Nursery’s annual surplus seedling sale will begin this year on Saturday, April 2, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Seedlings will not be available on Sunday.  The seedling sale will continue through the end of April, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The price is $30.00 for 50 seedlings.  The minimum quantity that can be purchased is 50 seedlings.  A bundle of 50 seedlings will easily fit into a standard grocery bag.  The seedlings are six to ten inches tall.

The seedlings are best suited for landowners with property in rural areas.  They are not intended for homeowners in urban areas to plant in their backyards.  Landowners who purchase the one year old trees can expect the majority of them to grow and thrive if planted correctly. Written planting instructions and technical assistance will be available at the Lucky Peak Nursery.  The Lucky Peak Nursery is located 16 miles northeast of Boise on Highway 21.  For more information about the annual seedling sale, call (208) 343-1977.

Critter News:

Woman’s dog caught in wolf trap in Bonner Co.

Taylor Viydo, KREM/KTVB March 18, 2016

BONNER COUNTY, Idaho – A woman in Bonner County is calling for changes after her dog was snared in a wolf trap.

Mary Franzel was cross country skiing along Lightening Creek Road near Clark Fork when her dog’s foot was caught in a trap.

“Then all of the sudden, I noticed that she was not quite at my feet. And a few seconds later she yelped,” said Franzel.

Franzel said the trap was designed to catch wolves and her dog had been lured in by the bait. Luckily, the dog is okay. She then contacted a conservation officer who told her some unsettling news about the placement of the trap.

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Releasing your Dog from a Trap

Idaho F&G Published on Feb 24, 2014

Dog owners should be aware that traps may be present on the landscape. Dogs will be attracted to foothold trap sets due to the scent and bait, and they may also encounter snares and body grip traps. This is an instructional video explaining a variety of traps and how to release your dog from traps.

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Removing Wolf Packs Reduces Depredations

by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online! March 18, 2016

In contrast to a highly publicized (and highly criticized) December 2014 paper by a group of researchers at the Washington State University asserting that lethal control of wolves results in increased depredations on livestock in a larger area the following year, a new paper by wolf managers in the Northern Rocky Mountains found that “full pack removal was the most effective management response to reduce future livestock depredations in a local area.” Researchers associated with the new paper suggested that depredation management is most appropriately studied at the wolf pack-level, or local scale.

The new paper, “Effects of Wolf Removal on Livestock Depredation Recurrence and Wolf Recovery in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming,” was published in the Journal of Wildlife Management by authors associated with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, University of Montana, and USDA Wildlife Services.

The researchers studied nearly 1,000 depredations by 156 known wolf packs in the tri-state area, comparing the management response to depredations: no removal, partial pack removal, and full pack removal. The median time between recurrent depredations was 19 days following no removal, 64 days following partial pack removal, and 730 days following full pack removal.

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Washington wolf population grows by 32 percent

KGW March 15, 2016

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – The number of wolves in Washington state grew by about 32 percent last year.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife’s annual survey found at least 90 wolves in the state by the end of 2015. That was up from at least 68 wolves counted in 2014.

The survey released Monday confirmed at least four new wolf packs in Ferry, Okanogan, Pend Oreille and Stevens counties.

There are now 18 wolf packs and at least eight breeding pairs.

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Statewide survey finds four new wolf packs, more breeding pairs

Loup Loup pack, one of newest identified, has at least 6 wolves

By Ann McCreary – Methow Valley News Mar 16, 2016

The Loup Loup gray wolf pack, confirmed last November, is one of four new packs identified in Washington last year as part of an annual survey of wolves throughout the state.

Named for its territory around the Loup Loup Pass, the pack is believed to have at least six members including a breeding male and female.

The Methow Valley’s Lookout Pack, first identified in 2008 and the state’s oldest known wolf pack, is believed to have three members but for the second consecutive year does not have a successful breeding pair of wolves.


[hat tip to TM]
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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third week of March 2016

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Oregon Wolves Delisted

by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online! March 17, 2016

Oregon has enacted a law that removes wolves from state endangered species protection and protects the decision from environmental litigation. State wildlife officials are now moving forward with a management plan for wolves in the region. Wolves occurring in the western two-thirds of the state remain under federal protection.

State officials note that the minimum Oregon wolf population is now 110 wolves, a 36 percent increase over the 2014 population. The population includes 11 breeding pairs of wolves.

Check out the links the details.
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Aerial gunning reduces Wyoming wolf pack that killed cattle

Mar 18, 2016 – AP

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) – Wildlife managers have killed five wolves from a large pack that had been killing yearling cattle in western Wyoming.

The Dell Creek Pack numbered as many as 16 animals and repeatedly killed cows grazing on private ranchland in the Hoback River Basin southeast of Jackson this winter.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports that gunning from a helicopter has in recent weeks trimmed the pack down to 11 members.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Coordinator Mike Jimenez says that Dell Creek Pack hadn’t started killing livestock until this winter.

Jimenez says large packs can be problematic because they need more food and can kill larger prey.

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Dell Creek Wolf Pack Targeted

by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online! March 18, 2016

Media outlets report that federal officials have killed five wolves from the Dell Creek pack in the Hoback, leaving the pack with 11 members.

Lethal control was ordered after the pack repeatedly preyed on livestock on private ranchlands in the basin, killing five head of beef cattle.

In addition, the wolves have killed about 50 elk on nearby elk feedgrounds managed by state wildlife officials.

Check the links for more information.
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Should wolves be released on Isle Royale?

by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online! March 18, 2016

The National Park Service is moving forward with an environmental planning process to address the wolf population in Isle Royale National Park. The island’s wolf population has dropped to just two animals.

According the the NPS, “The average wolf population on the island over the past 65 years has been about 22, but there have been as many as 50 wolves on the island and as few as three. Over the past five years the population has declined steeply, which has given rise to the need to determine whether the NPS should bring additional wolves to the island. There were three wolves documented on the island as of March 2015 and only two wolves have been confirmed as of February 2016. At this time, natural recovery of the population is unlikely.”

Thus, the NPS is considering the following alternatives:

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Wolf Problems in France

by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online! March 18, 2016

Australian famers must deal with wild dog attacks on their sheep flocks, but a farm publication in that country notes that at least it’s not as bad as French shepherds suffering wolf depredations on their flocks.

Australian farmers use guns and poison to kill depredating dogs, while French shepherds would face jail time for killing a wolf preying on their flocks.

Matthew Cawood of Farm Weekly reports that France’s 300 wolves killed or mauled 10,000 sheep last year. Read his article at the link below.

source w/link:
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Echinococcus multilocularis in North America: the great unknown


Over the last decade, studies have begun to shed light on the distribution and genetic characterization of Echinococcus multilocularis, the causative agent of alveolar echinococcosis (AE), in North America. Recent findings indicate that the parasite is likely expanding its range in the central region of the United States and Canada and that invasions of European strains might have occurred. In our review, we present the available data on E. multilocularis infections in wild and domestic animals and humans in North America and emphasize the lack of knowledge on the distribution of the parasite in wild and domestic hosts. Furthermore, we stress the need to better understand the complexity of host communities and their roles in shaping the transmission and distribution of the parasite. We hypothesize that a lack of knowledge about AE by North American physicians might result in the misdiagnosis of cases and an underestimation of disease incidence. The endemic presence of the parasite in urban areas and a recent human case in Alberta, Canada, suggest that the scientific community may need to reconsider the local public health risks, re-assess past cases that might have been overlooked and increase surveillance efforts to identify new cases of human AE.

Read Full Report:
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Orphaned mountain lion cubs moved to North Carolina zoo

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 3/13/16

POCATELLO, Idaho — Two of the three orphaned mountain lion cubs discovered in southeast Idaho in January have a new home — a zoo in North Carolina — but the third did not survive being tranquilized for the transfer.

Martha Wackenhut, a regional wildlife manager for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, writes in an article published in the Idaho State Journal ( ) that the two were transferred last week to Grandfather Mountain, a small nature preserve.

The third cub had what Wackenhut described as an unusual reaction to the tranquilizer. The state wildlife veterinarian is investigating the death.

The cubs were discovered about 25 miles north of Preston. They were skinny and less than six months old. Wackenhut says they were safely captured with the help of local hound-handlers, then kept for eight weeks to gain weight before the transfer.

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Bighorn ruling could have ramifications on Western grazing

By KEITH RIDLER – AP Published: 3/20/16

BOISE, Idaho — A ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recognizing a connection between bighorn sheep die-offs and diseases transmitted by domestic sheep could have far-reaching ramifications on federal grazing allotments in the West.

The ruling earlier this month by the three-judge panel against domestic sheep producers upheld a lower court ruling in Idaho supporting a U.S. Forest Service decision to close sheep grazing allotments to protect bighorns.

“A lot of people were looking at this waiting to see what they did,” said Laurie Rule of Advocates for the West, noting it’s the first time a U.S. circuit court has ruled on disease transmission between the species.

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Wildlife officials surprised at age of bald eagle

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 3/19/16

JACKSON, Wyoming — Wildlife officials say a bald eagle that is about 34 years old is one of the oldest they’ve seen in a long time.

The bird is healing after it apparently hit a vehicle.

The eagle was found near the National Elk Refuge. It was taken to the Teton Raptor Center for treatment.

The Jackson Hole News and Guide reports ( ) staffers determined the bald eagle’s age because it was banded for a Wyoming study as a fledgling in 1982.

Biologists say bald eagles in the wild typically live about 20 years.

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Spring Chinook salmon fishing to start April 23 on Salmon R.

The Star-News March 17, 2016

Spring Chinook salmon fishing starts April 23 on the Salmon and Little Salmon rivers under the season approved last week by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission.

Fishing will remain open until the state determines the sport anglers’ share of the run is caught. The forecast is for 66,100 fish to cross into Idaho in their migratory run from the Pacific Ocean. Last year, the count was 95,300 fish.

Fishing is allowed on the lower Salmon from Rice Creek Bridge upstream to the uppermost boat ramp at Vinegar Creek, as well as on the Little Salmon River from the mouth upstream to the U.S. 95 bridge near Smokey Boulder Road.

Bag limits are four chinook, of which only two may be adults, and 12 in possession, of which only six may be adults. The season limit is 20 adults statewide in 2016 for seasons prior to Sept. 1.

The commission will decide on seasons for the South Fork Salmon and upper Salmon in May.

source: The Star-News
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Idaho Power releases 50,000 trout at C.J. Strike Reservoir

KTVB March 17, 2016

BOISE – Anglers take note – Idaho Power is releasing about 50,000 rainbow trout in C.J. Strike Reservoir this week.

The company says they will alternate the releases between the reservoir’s Cottonwood and Jack’s Creek accesses.

To mitigate the impacts of Idaho Power’s hydroelectric operations on the Snake River, the company is required to preserve and enhance recreational opportunities, such as stocking fish in the river.

“These fish will provide a lot of opportunities for anglers this spring and summer,” Idaho Power biologist Ben Reingold said in a statement. “Our trout-stocking program is one way Idaho Power balances its operations with environmental stewardship.”

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The Columbia Basin Bulletin:

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
March 18, 2016
Issue No. 785

Table Of Contents

* Three Ocean Salmon Fishing Alternatives: Due To Poor Coho Returns One Option Considers Closing All Salmon Fisheries

* Corps Awarded $4 Million For Invasive Species Boat Inspection Stations In Columbia Basin

* Sturgeon, Smelt, Lamprey Showing Declining Numbers In Columbia/Snake River Mainstem

* Grays/Chinook Rivers: WDFW Designates Last Of Four ‘Gene Banks’ To Preserve Wild Steelhead

* Pacific Lamprey Found On White Salmon River Above Former Condit Dam Site

* Idaho Approves Spring Chinook Seasons: 66,100 Hatchery Fish Expected To Cross Lower Granite Dam

* Study Examines Salmon/Steelhead ‘Stock-Specific’ Variations In Size, Timing At Ocean Entry; Contributes To Resilience

* Cantwell Secures Commitment From Canadian Prime Minister To Move Forward With Columbia River Treaty Negotiations

* Oregon Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Plan Fails To Protect Salmon Streams, State Loses $1.2 Million In Federal Funding

* Survey Shows Washington Wolf Population Increased 32 percent In 2015, Four New Packs

* Invasive Zebra, Quagga Mussel Spread Contributes To Collapse Of Lake Huron (Non-Native) Chinook Fishery

* National Academies Report Says Science Can Estimate Influence Of Climate Change On Extreme Weather Events

* $10,000 Reward Offered For Information On Killing Of ESA-Listed Grizzly Bear In Northern Idaho

Fun Critter Stuff:

Horse dons tailored, 3-piece tweed suit

Custom garment uses 59 feet of tweed

CNN Mar 15, 2016

Check out the best-dressed horse ever

It only makes sense to dress a most majestic animal in the most majestic of garment fabric.

That’s the treatment veteran race horse Morestead received — he’s the first horse to model a Harris Tweed suit, complete with flat cap and tie.

… The occasion happens to be this year’s Cheltenham Festival, a horse racing event held in Gloucestershire, England that kicks off today.

Full story with photos and video:
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‘Wild, woolly, free, sneaky’ wonder pony turns 42

By CLARA MILLER – Juneau Empire Published: 3/19/16

JUNEAU, Alaska — On a recent sunny morning at Fairweather Equestrian Center, Sammy the Wonder Pony follows his owner, neurologist Dr. Susan Hunter-Joerns, right to the stable door. He shoves his nose between bars, searching for more treats like the several granola bars he had just guzzled from her hand. She chuckles at his antics, telling the Empire that he usually shadows her right to the door to see if he can give her the slip before she can shut him in. As she gathers his lead line from a nearby shelf, she said it’s possible that he might just open the door himself since he has lived long enough to figure out how.

Sammy turned 42 in February, which is anywhere between 120-160 years in human years, Hunter-Joerns said. She was basing the number on the guess that every pony year is equal to 3-4 human years.

The length of his life is unusual. The average lifespan of a horse is 25-30 years.

continued w/photos:
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Patagonian Penguin Finds Second Home in Brazil

A Magellanic penguin that migrates from Patagonia and a retired bricklayer in a Brazilian fishing village have struck up an unusual friendship.

Paul Kiernan/The Wall Street Journal


Fish & Game News:

* Rainbow Trout Stocking Schedule For Southwest Idaho ( Nampa, ID – 3/18/16 )
* Visit a Wildlife Management Area ( Coeur d’Alene, ID – 3/15/16 )
* Idaho’s 2015 whitetail harvest sets all-time record ( Boise, ID – 3/14/16 )
* Chinook salmon fishing to open April 23 ( Boise, ID – 3/14/16 )
* Shed hunt responsibly to protect big game ( Boise, ID – 3/14/16 )

Idaho History March 20, 2016


(part 1)

North Idaho’s pioneer hotels had colorful names and owners

By Arthur Hart Special to the Statesman March 20, 2016


In the summer of 1862, before there was a town called Boise City or a territory called Idaho, Lewiston, which was then in Washington Territory, was a boom town in the midst of a gold rush.

Appropriately, its newspaper was named the Golden Age, and the ads in it tell us that for such a small place, Lewiston had many hotels with interesting names: Marshall’s What Cheer House offered board and lodging by the day or week, and accommodations for families. Its proprietor J.R. Marshall identified himself as “late of Lee & Marshall’s Circus.” We have been unable to find any information about such a circus, but it must have been a very small traveling show.

Lewiston’s What Cheer House takes its name from two California hostelries, one in San Francisco in 1858 owned by R.B. Woodward, and another in Sacramento still standing, listed as a California Historical Landmark.

The Luna House, owned and operated by Hill Beachey, was one of Lewiston’s most famous landmarks. It was built in 1862 and served as Nez Perce County courthouse from 1882 until 1889, after which it was torn down.

The owner was remembered as one of Idaho’s early-day heroes for his epic trip to San Francisco on the trail of three men suspected of the brutal murder of Beachey’s close friend Lloyd Magruder and four of his men as they slept in their camp in the mountains of Central Idaho, all for $10,000 worth of gold they were carrying. Beachey secured a warrant for their arrest, found them in San Francisco, brought them back to Lewiston and saw them tried, convicted and hanged.
When Beachey died in San Francisco in 1875 at 53 years of age, he was eulogized by papers all over the West as a notable pioneer who had led an adventurous life as river boat pilot, miner, hotel keeper and stage line operator. He had owned an earlier Luna House hotel in Red Bluff, Calif., in the 1850s before coming to Idaho.

In 1863, R.C. Mayhew, proprietor of the Alta House “on the bank of Snake River,” advertised board for $9 per week, “positively in advance.” Mayhew would serve as Idaho Territory’s clerk of court in Caleb Lyon’s administration in 1865. The name of Mayhew’s hotel, Alta, Spanish for “high” or “upper,” was familiar to all old Californians, since it was applied to a number of things, including upland California itself. In 1863, Lewiston’s Alta House also contained the offices of the county auditor, the district clerk and the U.S. assessor.

For German speakers there was A. Bittner’s Globe Hotel, listed in its ad as “Deutsches Gasthaus” (German Inn), and for French speakers there was Madame Bonhore’s Hotel de France. She had been proprietress of the United States Hotel in Grass Valley, Calif., on Sept. 13, 1855, when it and 300 other buildings burned to the ground.

In 1863, Lewiston’s What Cheer House got a new name and new management. It was now called the Oriental Hotel with Miss Fanny Porter as owner. Her ad in the Golden Age read, “The above house has been thoroughly renovated and refitted in a style not to be surpassed, and the Proprietress flatters herself that guests will meet with better accommodations at the ORIENTAL than elsewhere. The BAR will be furnished with the choicest brands of wines and liquors. TERMS: Board per week — $9. Single meals — 75 cents. Lodging — 50 cents.

Hotels on roads outside Lewiston also advertised in the Golden Age. Canyon House, on the road from Lewiston to Orofino and Elk City offered meals for $1 and “Animals to hay per night $1. Oats and barley always on hand at 20 cents per pound — F. Rosenstock.” The Half-Way House on the road to Florence, owned by Durkee & Crampton, offered similar accommodations and noted that “The Culinary Department will be under the control of Mrs. Durkee.”

link to: IdahoHistoryNorthIdaho.doc
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Southern Idaho gold rush created a need for hotels in 1860s

By Arthur Hart Special to the Statesman March 26, 2016

The mad rush to Boise Basin in 1863 following the discovery of gold there on Aug. 2, 1862, created an immediate need for hotels, restaurants, retail stores of every description and, of course, lots of saloons and a brothel or two.

The earliest hotels in Idaho City were the Poujade House and the Occidental Hotel, both of which advertised in the Idaho Tri-weekly Statesman on Aug. 6, 1864. The Poujade House was owned and operated by Theodore Clement Poujade, son of Dr. Jean Pierre Poujade, who was born in France in 1790. He became a surgeon in the army of Napoleon in 1812 before coming to America where his oldest son, Theodore, was born in Perry County, Ohio, in 1830. The Poujade family crossed the plains to Oregon in 1847 and settled in the Willamette Valley. The doctor died in Gervais, Oreg., in July 1875, by which time his son T.C. had been in Idaho by more than a decade.

W.A. Goulder, in his reminiscences, describes meeting Poujade in North Idaho in 1861: “Three days of battling with the fallen timbers on the trail and with alternating hills and deep ravines, and we are safely landed among our old Webfoot friends on the golden sands of Rhodes Creek in the heart of the placer-mining district of Oro Fino. Our first care was to provide a home for our ponies, that were given in charge of another dear old Willamette friend named Theodore Poujade, who had established what he called a horse ranch away out on the Weipee plains some 15 miles from our present camp.”

Three years later the Poujade House was the largest hotel in Idaho City, with competition from these others: Montana House, Occidental House, Irving House, Pine Grove House, International Hotel and City Hotel. The directory of that year tells us that the Poujade House had on its payroll George Phifer, First Cook, and Edward Walters, Second Cook. Most of the larger hotels of the day could provide board as well as rooms. Placerville had its own International Hotel and an Empire Hotel. Buena Vista Bar had a Buena Vista House.

“The culinary department is under the personal supervision of Mrs. Col. White, which is a sufficient guarantee of its excellence. No pains will be spared to render guests comfortable, and give the most perfect satisfaction.” Rhoads continued.

Boise City in 1864 had a Stage House hotel, A.M. Addington, proprietor. His ad in the Statesman noted, “The Table is supplied with the best the market affords. The Idaho City and Owyhee stages arrive at, and depart from this house daily.”

Taking its name from a nationally famous hotel in St. Louis, Boise’s Planter’s House on Main Street advertised accommodations for animals as well as people: “An abundance of excellent hay and grain always at hand for stock. Give us a call, and be convinced that this is the largest, most convenient, comfortable, and best hotel in Boise City.” In March 1867, David Miller, a wealthy New Yorker, advertised in the Statesman his purchase of the Idaho Hotel in Ruby City, calling it “the best hotel in Owyhee,” and his renaming it Miller’s Exchange.

James W. Griffin and C.H. Huggins ran a different Idaho Hotel in Boise in1864, and by 1870 Griffin would own the Overland Hotel at Eighth and Main. This native of the state of Maine was 50 in 1870 and a prosperous man. The census lists the names of 30 people living in the Overland.

link to: IdahoHistory hotels in 1860s.doc
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Before sewer systems were built, the best of Idaho hotels were primitive

By Arthur Hart Special to the Statesman April 2, 2016

Photo caption: Idaho’s big new Territorial capitol building of the 1880s had no indoor plumbing. Provided by Arthur Hart

One thing early Idaho hotel owners never bragged about in their ads was the kind of sewage disposal facilities they had. Before 1892, neither Boise nor any other Idaho town had a sewer system. Disposal of human waste was primitive and inefficient.

This item from the Idaho Tri-weekly Statesman of June 8, 1875, describes sanitary conditions along Main Street, where nearly all of Boise’s hotels were located: “Miasmic Holes — The 72 stenches which Coleridge found in the town of Cologne are excelled by the wonderful effluvia which this hole combines in one general stink which defies analysis.”

The paper continued to bring up the subject of sewage and garbage disposal regularly, as in this from April 1876: “FILTH — The offal of houses, dead cats, chickens and other filth have been thrown into the alleys and promiscuously around the premises of residences for a long time. In some places there is stagnant water as green as the grass and thick enough to cut with a knife.”

The paper urged city Marshall A.O. Nicholson to give property owners a final warning to clean up their property at once, and to arrest them if they didn’t.

Those were the conditions outside Boise hotel rooms. Inside, there was no running water or flush toilets, in lieu of which rooms were equipped with a chamber pot and a ceramic bowl and pitcher for washing. Chamber maids had the unpleasant daily chore of emptying and cleaning the pots, making the beds and filling the pitchers with hot water on demand.

In a few cases, Chinese help performed these chores, as they did in the homes of some of Boise’s wealthy families, many of which, however, still had an outdoor privy. In 1886 Idaho’s big new Territorial Capitol building was praised for its elegance, but legislators and all the men and women who worked there had to go outside to a separate outhouse.

When Boise did begin to construct a sewer system in 1892 and required all Downtown buildings to connect to it, James H. Bush, owner of the Central Hotel, “from the rear of which emanates some very obnoxious odors,” noted the Statesman, ignored the order and was served notice by Marshal Nicholson to comply at once or be arrested. John Lemp, former mayor and city councilman, and owner of the Capitol Hotel, was arrested for violation of the city ordinances respecting the disposition of swills and slops. He was fined $1, and $3 in costs!

In 1886 George Pettengill, of Boise, and William H. Davison, of Placerville, formed a partnership and briefly rented James Bush’s Central Hotel. Both men were respected pioneers with interesting histories. George Pettengill was born in Salisbury, N.H., on May 18, 1832. He crossed the plains to California in 1852 with a team of oxen, driving 300 head of cattle. He mined in California until 1862, when he followed the rush to the North Idaho mines, where he became a successful raiser of livestock near Lewiston before moving south to Boise Basin. He was elected to represent Boise County in the Territorial Council in 1879, and after moving to Boise in 1883 was elected a representative for Ada County.

Although George Pettengill had no experience in hotel-keeping, William H. Davison had a lifetime of it. Davison was born in Calaveras County, Calif., on Oct. 11, 1856, the son of James W. Davison, an Englishman who brought his family to Placerville, where he ran a hotel for 20 years. Young William Davison moved to Lewiston in 1897, where he took over management of the Hotel de France; in 1901 he was owner of that city’s Raymond House.

The Bancroft House, which opened on Oct. 15, 1893, at the corner of 9th and Idaho streets in Boise, was unique among hotels of its day. J.W. Bancroft’s tiny ad in the Statesman of Oct. 6, 1897, proclaimed in large black letters, “NO BAR” and noted further, “Lady cooks and waiters. Rates $1 to $1.25 per day. Brick building.”

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page updated Nov 10, 2018