Monthly Archives: September 2016

Fire Update Sept 30

Pioneer Fire

Boise National Forest

Date of Origin Monday July 18th, 2016
Location 8 miles north of Idaho City
Total Personnel 242
Size 188,404 Acres
Containment 71%

Pioneer Fire Maps

Final Perimeter Map 71% Contained 09/29/16

Boise National Forest opens some area within the Pioneer Fire


BOISE, Idaho, September 30, 2016 – The Boise National Forest has reduced the Pioneer Fire Closure Area and instead, specific roads, trails and areas will remain closed for public safety and protection from hazards associated with wildfire.

Please refer to the attached closure order and map for details about specific locations roads or trails. The area closure order and map can be viewed online at

The new closures are effective immediately and visitors to the forest are reminded when entering burned areas be aware of snags and other safety hazards. Crews continue to monitor and patrol the fire for initial attack for any new wildfire starts.


Fire Update Sept 29

Pioneer Fire

Boise National Forest

Date of Origin Monday July 18th, 2016
Location 8 miles north of Idaho City
Total Personnel 242
Size 188,404 Acres
Containment 71%

Pioneer Fire Maps

Final Pioneer Fire Update – Sept. 29

LOWMAN, Idaho – Possible thunderstorms this afternoon are keeping firefighters on the Pioneer Fire aware of a potential increase in fire behavior today as outflow winds may reach 25-30 miles an hour. These winds may hinder aircraft that have flown over the fire the past two days.

While the Fire is now 71 percent contained, firefighters are still actively engaged in keeping the fire in check. Crooked River, Scott Creek, and areas west of Bear Creek are actively burning single and group trees. This increase in activity is due to several warm and dry days that have dried vegetation. Firefighters are holding containment lines and using helicopters to cool inaccessible areas that are beginning to torch.

The weather will begin to change this afternoon and into the weekend, bringing cooler, moist conditions. This will keep fire behavior to a minimum until snow blankets the fire area. By Monday, snow is expected in elevations above 7,000 feet.

A transfer of command from Great Basin Team 5 to the Boise National Forest will occur tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. The Forest will maintain fire suppression efforts taking place above the 579 Road. Less than a mile of dozer repair work remains on the 579 Road. One excavator will complete this work by Saturday.

There are many hazards that exist after a wildfire passes. If recreating in the fire area, be extremely cautious. Rootless trees still standing can easily blow down; rocks can roll out bringing additional woody debris onto roads, and after rain events, mud slides can occur. While many of these hazards have been removed on major roads, many areas are not safe for public use. If in areas where trees have burnt, do not assume they are stable as slight winds can easily blow them down. When hiking in steep canyons, be mindful of footing and loose debris that may roll out above and below you.

Due to these unsafe conditions, the Forest will maintain security at area closure points to help guide the public to safer areas to recreate. Patrols will also be ongoing to assist travelers.

The Forest Area Closure currently in effect for the Pioneer Fire will be reduced in the near future, possibly as soon as Saturday. Please contact the Lowman or Idaho City District Offices for questions.

Idaho City Ranger District: 208.392.6681
Lowman Ranger District: 208.259.3361

This will be the final update on the Pioneer Fire unless significant activity occurs. Please check the Forest web page for updates on area closures and other fire information. will no longer be monitored. Please direct questions to the District Offices, listed above.

Acres: 188,404 Containment: 71 percent Personnel: 242
Cost: $95.7M Resources assigned: 2 crews, 2 helicopters, 7 engines, 1 water tender

Final Perimeter Map 71% Contained 09/29/16


Fire Update Sept 28

Pioneer Fire

Boise National Forest

Date of Origin Monday July 18th, 2016
Location 8 miles north of Idaho City
Total Personnel 275
Size 188,404 Acres
Containment 65%

Pioneer Fire Maps

Sept. 28 Pioneer Fire Update

LOWMAN, Idaho – Fire activity on the Pioneer Fire is increasing due to continued warming and drying. For the second day in a row, a helicopter delivered water to cool torching trees along the ridge above Scott’s Creek. In Joyce Creek, the fire is creeping downhill, moving about 70 feet per day. It is still well within the Fire’s perimeter.

In many areas on the western flank, the terrain is unsafe for firefighters to take direct action. In these places, the fire is consuming needles, pine cones and other debris on the forest floor that will recycle nutrients and provide forage for deer and elk in the spring. Fire scars are still holding the fire in check and air resources are assisting firefighters with locating trouble spots that may need attention.

A spot fire half the size of a football field was detected off of the 510 Road Tuesday. A handcrew constructed containment line around it to keep it in place. An engine crew will monitor it today.

There is one and a half miles of dozer line left to repair north of the 579 Road. Three excavators are working on it. Operators expect to complete this work Friday or Saturday.

Over the course of two weeks, firefighters have found more than 130 pumps, several miles of miscellaneous hoses, repaired several miles of containment lines, and removed flagging, signs and other markings of firefighter’s presence. As firefighters leave the area, they are also closing identified gates.

The persistent warming and drying trend is pushing temperatures in Lowman to nearly 90 degrees. This is 15 degrees above normal. This high pressure system will begin to break down Thursday, bringing a slight of thunderstorms Thursday afternoon. Beginning early next week, a hint of snow showers above 7,000 feet is possible. This will dampen much of the remaining hot spots as fall-like weather returns.

A transfer of command from Great Basin Team 5 back to the Boise National Forest will occur Friday, September 30th. Tomorrow will be the final update on the Pioneer Fire unless significant activity occurs.

For more information about remaining forest closures, visit the Boise National Forest website at: .

EVACUATION NOTICES: A Level 1 Evacuation Notice is in effect for The Summer Homes in Long Creek area.

Acres: 188,404 Containment: 65 percent Personnel: 275
Cost: $95.1M Resources assigned: 4 crews, 4 helicopters, 11 engines, 1 water tender

Fire Update Sept 27

Pioneer Fire bill rises as fire-cost reform stalls in Congress

By Rocky Barker September 25, 2016 Idaho Statesman

Rain has cooled the flames of Idaho’s Pioneer Fire , which at more than 188,000 acres is the largest fire in the nation.

The fire started west of Idaho City in the backcountry July 18, around the same time the Mile Marker 14 Fire was threatening homes in the Boise Foothills. The Pioneer Fire grew and threatened Lowman and rural homes along the South Fork of the Payette River as well as hamlets like Pioneerville for weeks.

Most of the local criticism of the firefighting effort was the traditional view that firefighters should have been able to corral it before it got big. But while firefighters put out 98 percent of wildfires, the 2 percent that escape account for 30 percent of the costs in forests thick with fuel after a century of fire suppression and because of climate change.

No homes were burned and no lives lost. Thousands of acres of timber burned, smoke filled communities including Boise and Stanley, and roads and forest lands popular for recreation were closed for weeks.

At Pioneer’s peak, 1,800 firefighters fought the fire, along with dozens of engines, airplanes, helicopters and seven different fire management teams.

The cost of the fire exceeded $93 million by Thursday, and with 430 firefighters still on the ground rehabilitating fire lines and completing containment, the cost is certain to exceed $100 million before it is done.

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Pioneer Fire

Boise National Forest

Date of Origin Monday July 18th, 2016
Location 8 miles north of Idaho City
Total Personnel 336
Size 188,404 Acres
Containment 65%

Pioneer Fire Maps

Sept 27th Pioneer Fire Update

LOWMAN, Idaho – Temperatures in the Lowman area soared to the mid 80’s yesterday, marking a 12 degree jump from normal. Consequently, areas above Scott’s Creek and Nellie Creek that are exposed to sun and wind began torching. For the first time in a week, firefighters called on the assistance of a helicopter to deliver water.

The warming and drying trend will build through tomorrow. Trees in the interior may begin torching while pockets of heat that are still smoldering may begin to creep as a result. Firefighters are in key locations to take action if necessary to prevent further growth.

An infrared flight took place last night to detect areas of heat that remain of concern to firefighters. A spot below the Deadwood Lookout and a spot behind the Summer Homes in Long Creek will be assessed today. If firefighters can access the areas, they will mop-up the heat. Isolated pockets of heat will require firefighter’s attention until sustained rain or snow extinguishes the Fire.

Crews are repairing suppression impacts in areas where the Fire is cold. This includes collecting unnecessary hoses, pumps, equipment, flagging and other signage that has accumulated over time.

In the northern parts of the fire, crews are removing snags along the 555 and associated spur roads. Two pieces of dozer line are being repaired by three excavators. These are located above the Middle Fork of Warm Springs Creek and north of the 579 Road west of Deer Flat. Firefighters will finish most of the repair work by the weekend.

Firefighters are also repairing steep handlines that once tied into Scott Creek. This involves placing water bars and covering the four foot wide containment line with cut vegetation. This activity reduces erosion and stream sedimentation, which is important to protect fish habitat. This also reduces scarring and will prevent future use of the area.

In the southern part of the fire, a machine is chipping woody debris along the 316 Road.

There will be very little change in the unseasonably warm temperatures and drying conditions. Skies will be mostly sunny through the day and into Wednesday. Fire behavior may increase as these conditions persist.

For more information about remaining forest closures, visit the Boise National Forest website at: .

EVACUATION NOTICES: The Summer Homes in Long Creek area are at a Level 1 Notices.


Acres: 188,404 Containment: 65 percent Personnel: 336
Cost: $95.0M Resources assigned: 4 crews, 5 helicopters, 14 engines, 1 water tender

Fire Update Sept 26

Pioneer Fire

Boise National Forest

Date of Origin Monday July 18th, 2016
Location 8 miles north of Idaho City
Total Personnel 334
Size 188,404 Acres
Containment 65%

Pioneer Fire Maps

September 26 Pioneer Fire Update

Lowman, Idaho – Firefighters on the Pioneer Fire are working hard to complete repair work by the end of this week. While a few hot spots of the fire are being watched to ensure it does not creep outside containment lines, three excavators, four handcrews and 14 engines are working to finish up handline and dozer repair.

Unseasonably warm and dry weather is settling over the area. Isolated trees are torching near Scott and Nellies Creeks. Areas off the 510 Road are also exhibiting increased fire behavior. Trees burning in the Crooked Creek drainage are producing smoke visible from the Jackson Peak Lookout. Firefighters monitoring this area do not expect to take action due to the extremely rugged terrain.

The Fire continues to show pockets of heat where it crossed the 555 Road near Scott Creek and at the northwest tip between Deer Creek and Bearskin Creek. Firefighters are extinguishing these areas, and repairing the last of the control lines near the 555 and 591 Roads. Felling crews are cutting hazardous trees along roads and trails near Rock Creek and Deadwood.

The feller-buncher with a processor head will finish work on the 316 Road. A chipper is starting work to chip the debris left behind. This work should take two or three days.

An excavator will complete repair work on the dozer line near Warm Springs Creek today or tomorrow. Two other excavators are repairing dozer line in the vicinity of Deer Flat, north of the 579 Road. They expect to finish repairing the dozer line by the end of the week.

As firefighters complete work assignments, they are being released home. The spike camp located at Deadwood Reservoir has just over 200 firefighters in camp. The area is closed to the public to allow firefighters faster and safer access to work areas. There is a lot of heavy equipment traveling the 579 Road, so please be careful if hunting or gathering wood along the road.

Pre-identified crews, engines, and other equipment are available for initial attack on new fires in the vicinity as needed. Over the last few days, helicopters assigned to the Pioneer Fire have been instrumental in helping the Boise National Forest control several new fire starts, including one near Pilot Peak.

A Fire Area Closure remains in effect. A map and detailed information are located at:

EVACUATION NOTICES: The Summer Homes in the Long Creek area is at a Level 1 Notice.


Acres: 188,404 Containment: 65% Personnel: 334
Cost: $94.7M Resources assigned: 4 crews, 4 helicopters, 14 engines, 4 water tenders

Sept 25, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times

Sept 25, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho


Reminder – if possible please pay your 2017 water bill early, it will help with funding the completion of our water project.

Please hold off on watering lawns so there is culinary water available for all.

VYPA News:

(No minutes from September meeting yet.)

If you would like to receive minutes from the Village meetings, please contact Lorinne to get on the mailing list.

Village News:

Kennedy Fuel & Feed Gas and Diesel Delivery

Kennedy Fuel & Feed Supply will be delivering gasoline and diesel week of Sept. 26-29th.

In order to ensure our customers get what they need for the long winter; please call 208-382-4430 with the following…

1. How much fuel is currently in your tank?
2. Is your tank, fuel shed or gate locked?

* Our gasoline is NON-Ethanol 87 & 92 Octanes.
* Diesel & Furnace Fuel 60/40 CUT
* #1 Stove Oil

We recommend a site tank gauge or tank stick for monitoring fuel levels, and can bring them on the truck for installation or replacements.

Thank you for your order-We appreciate your business!

Tracey Kennedy
Kennedy Fuel & Feed Supply
829 South Main St.
Cascade, ID    83611
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Ed Staub Propane will be in on Oct. 3rd, Please call 208-405-6244 if you would like to be topped off before winter. [h/t GB]

Amerigas McCall (208) 634-8181
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Yellow Pine Transfer Station


Wednesday (Sept 21) a report that the transfer station was about half full.
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Tree Trimmers for Idaho Power


Saturday (Sept 24) Trees Inc. came to Yellow Pine to trim trees close to the power lines. One of the crew said, “We are keeping your power on.” They had a boom truck with a chipper on a trailer. Doing a great job and cleaning up. Crew working again on Sunday.

Local Observations:

Monday (Sept 19) stayed above freezing, clear morning and heavy dew. Loud airplanes turning over the village just after 930am. Mostly sunny warm day, breezy at times in the afternoon with passing clouds. Pileated woodpecker calling in the neighborhood. Bat fluttering around after bugs at dusk.

Tuesday (Sept 20) fairly warm cloudy morning. Mostly cloudy quiet day. No critters or birds around and very little traffic. By late afternoon it felt more humid and darker clouds, but no rain. The aspens are turning gold, more fall color up in the hills. Cloud to cloud lighting before midnight, close thunderclap just after midnight. Little rain showers during the night.

Wednesday (Sept 21) cloudy warm morning, overcast. Cloudy all day and quiet. Rain started at 7pm and still raining at 130am.

Thursday (Sept 22) low misty clouds, ridges socked in, pot holes in the streets full of water from last night’s rain. Cloudy all day and cooler. Large flock of robins flying south before dusk.

Friday (Sept 23) light rain shower early morning, partly clear and 2 drops of rain on my hat at 930am. Heard a few birds chirp as they flew by. Sun coming out before 10am. Cloudy and breezy after lunch, then calmer and partly clear late afternoon. Two loud gun shots at 614pm, then two more at 615pm. Closer gun shot at 616pm. Gunfire continued for a few more minutes. Partly cloudy evening.

Saturday (Sept 24) partly clear morning and 2 robins in they yard. Tree crew in the neighborhood trimming trees that are close to power lines. Mostly sunny day and warmer. Clear sky by evening.

Sunday (Sept 25) thick frost melting off roofs, partly sunny sky. Tree crew for ID Power still working in the village. Loud airplanes turning over the village at 955am. Sunny and warm afternoon, some passing clouds. Long-legged wasps congregating on the warm side of buildings. Pileated woodpecker on the ant pile this evening.

Fall Colors Sept 24th



Delbert Ellis Gossi


Delbert Ellis Gossi, 90, of Cascade, Idaho, passed away at home on September 11, 2016.

Delbert was born in Clayton, Idaho, on the East Fork of the Salmon River on February 17, 1926, to Louie L. and Ada (Papworth) Gossi. Delbert was the second oldest son, having lost a brother (Harold Lewis Gossi) at birth. His family lived in a house his father built in Clayton, and Delbert attended school through the 8th grade, which was as far as you could attend there. He was always proud of the fact that his mother was on the school board, and his aunt Eva was a school teacher. In May of this year, Delbert received an honorary high school diploma from Cascade High School.

Delbert’s younger years in Idaho were spent salmon fishing, floating down the Salmon River, and horseback riding up along the mountain ridges with his siblings, Lola, Tom, Babe (Phillip), and his cousins. Delbert always had a rifle with him, but didn’t really like killing deer. He worked as a ranch hand and also salvaged ice from the Salmon River to sell to tourists during the summers in Stanley, Idaho.

In May of 1941, his father signed a two-year contract with Morrison-Knudsen to build underground fuel storage in Honolulu, Hawaii. Louie sent money for the whole family to join him in Hawaii. They drove to Mackay, Idaho, caught a train to San Francisco and boarded the luxury liner S. S. Lurline for the seven-day cruise. Delbert talked about the great time they all had on the cruise ship. They arrived in Honolulu on Thanksgiving Day, 1941. One of the most memorable events of Delbert’s life occurred shortly thereafter on December 7th when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Vivid details of the attack and aftermath were etched in his mind forever. Delbert received his social security card there at age 16 and was hired to help clean up Hickam Air Force Base. The family was soon evacuated back to the mainland. They lived for a while in Richmond, California, all of them working in the shipyards before eventually returning to Idaho.

Since Delbert liked the ocean and was not 18 yet, his parents signed him up for the U. S. Merchant Marines/Coast Guard. He set sail back to Hawaii and the Marianna Islands and was on a ship for nine months sailing from Brisbane, Australia, to Manila, Philippines, moving military supplies. When his ship returned to San Francisco, Delbert returned to Idaho. It was then he received a draft notice to report to the U.S. Army. He spent two years in South Korea as a sergeant in charge of the motor pool and was honorably discharged in 1947, receiving the World War II Victory Medal. He served in the reserves until he was inducted again in January 1951. Again he served our country during the Korean Era and received his honorable discharge in January 1953. He also served in the Army Reserves and was honorably discharged in 1956. Delbert received his pilot’s license after he was out of the service. He was very proud to have served his country, and his family has been grateful and honored to remember him as a veteran each year.

Delbert met his future wife, Peggy Jean Fouts, at Bing’s Dance Hall on Highway 55 in Boise. He described driving his new blue 1949 Ford sedan back and forth in front of the Pinney Theater in Boise where Peggy worked, just to catch a glimpse of her. They were married on March 19, 1951, in Tacoma, Washington, anticipating Delbert’s orders to go to Germany. His orders were changed, and they transferred to Camp Stoneman in Pittsburg, California. They liked to dance, have dinner with friends, go to the beach, tour shipyards and visit relatives in California and Idaho.

Delbert loved the outdoors and started logging with his father. He soon began his own logging business and purchased his first Kenworth truck in 1966. He hauled timber into Producer’s Lumber Company in Boise in the early years and also worked out of Burley, Horseshoe Bend, Stibnite, Yellow Pine and Cascade. Cascade became home, and Delbert and Peggy loved the community and the life they had there. They were elected Grand Marshals of the Fourth of July parade in Cascade one year. When his logging days slowed down, Delbert enjoyed hauling scrap and spending time at his scrapyard on the river. It was a great hobby for him, and he loved the views of the river, its wildlife and the mountains surrounding it.

Delbert’s interests included collecting silver dollars and old coins, marbles, and military memorabilia. He loved taking trips to Nevada, playing poker with local friends and watching old western movies and the history channel. He loved to dance and up until just recently, a Johnny Cash song would always get him out on the dance floor. His daughters and granddaughters loved dancing with him. In his younger years, he liked ice fishing and snowmobiling. Delbert’s absolute main love was for his wife and family. He reminisced often about his parents and the good old times. He had a close relationship with extended family and often mentioned that his aunts, uncles and cousins always felt more like brothers and sisters to him while growing up. He loved being with family and looked forward to family gatherings in Clayton and Challis, especially Memorial Day weekends.

Delbert was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Tom Gossi. He lost Peggy, his beloved wife of 65 years, on July 13, 2016. Broken Heart Syndrome is a very real disease. Delbert’s surviving children are Susan and Jerry Folger, their children and grandchildren, Derek and Jen Folger and daughter Florence; Lindsey and Brian Etchison and daughter Jane; Kara and Darrin Carlson and daughter Allie; Doug and Deedee Gossi, their children C.W. and Marina White, Corbin White and Deven Gossi, and grandchildren, Jordyn White, Casen White and Bryson Benton; Sally Gossi and her daughter Molly Bradford; Jill and Cody Huddleston and their daughters Erin, Kylie Jo and Jacie. Delbert is also survived by his sister Lola Coates from Mackay and his brother Babe Gossi from Hagerman, along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Gee Whiz, Grandad, we’re going to miss you.

A military funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on October 8, 2016, at the American Legion Hall Post #60, 105 E. Mill Street, Cascade, Idaho. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Tom Gossi Community Center, P. O. Box 33, Clayton, Idaho 83227.

Published in Idaho Statesman on Sept. 18, 2016

Idaho News:

Valley County Search and Rescue launches website

The Star-News September 22, 2016

The public can learn more about the volunteers who look for the lost at Valley County Search and Rescue’s first Internet site,

The site shows the people who make up the organization, its activities and searches over the years. There is information on planning outdoor activities, skills to survive in the back country and information on how to join.

The group is looking for new members, including hikers and those who own snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles or horses.

Volunteers 18 years and older can apply at the Web site or by obtaining an application in the Driver’s License section at the county sheriff’s office in Cascade.

source: The Star-News
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Information meeting Monday on Donnelly water bond

The Star-News September 22, 2016

The Donnelly City Council will host an informational meeting on Monday about the upcoming election to finance water system improvements in the city.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Monday at the Donnelly Community Center.

Voters will be asked on Nov. 8 to approve a $1.2 million bond to fund improvements to the city’s water system.

Improvements proposed with the money include adding a new well, adding back-up power, building a new well house, well communication and control equipment, and replacement of older water lines throughout the city,

source: The Star-News
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McCall Fire seeks buildings to use for training

The Star-News September 22, 2016

McCall Fire & EMS is seeking buildings slated for demolition for use for training by firefighters.

… Anyone with a building that might be used as a training facility should contact McCall Fire and EMS at 634-7070 or freddie @

full story: The Star-News
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Millions in rural Idaho school funding in jeopardy

Karen Zatkulak, KTVB September 22, 2016

BOISE — Students in Idaho’s rural school districts are at risk of losing valuable resources. Twenty-three million federal dollars known as the Secure Rural Schools fund has run out. It leaves state lawmakers and local schools pushing to get the money back.

Idaho City Principal and Superintendent John McFarlane says it’s money that’s needed for their 330 students. He says 86 percent of Boise County is federal land, meaning there’s not a lot of money coming in from taxes to support their schools.

The money stems from what used to be called forest funds. It was a percentage of the timber industry that went back into rural school districts like Idaho City.

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Resort tax necessary to pay back sewer bond

By Laurie Chapman ICFP Tuesday, September 20, 2016

RIGGINS — Riggins voters must choose whether or not to renew the resort tax for another 10 years on Nov. 8. The city finalized the ballot question wording on Aug. 23. But what is the resort tax history?

Ten years ago, according to city council member Jonny Wilson, the city’s sewer system required major upgrades. The system was in violation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rules and regulations.

In order to pay for renovations, the city received a bond from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At the time, the bond – which is similar to a loan – was $1.3 million.

Because of increased tourism traffic, the city wanted to pass on some of the expense to visitors. The city proposed a local-option resort tax to voters in 2006, set to take effect April 1, 2007. The measure passed 139 to 30, only 103 votes – 60 percent approval – was required.

The tax currently levies a two-percent fee on all short-term lodging, prepared meals and alcohol-by-the-drink sales within city limits.

“When the resort tax was originally implemented, the city wasn’t sure how much would be coming in,” Wilson said. “While the resort tax this past 10 years was a great benefit, it didn’t fulfill the complete obligation of the bond’s basic annual payment. We only receive about $55,000 of resort tax toward that payment.

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Elk City slide cleanup set for end-of-month

By David Rauzi ICFP Tuesday, September 20, 2016

ELK CITY — “It’s getting close.”

Under the best-case scenario, by the end of the month, State Highway 14 will return to normal through the Elk City slide site, with cleanup, repair and stabilization work essentially completed by that time, according to Reed Hollinshead, spokesman for the Idaho Transportation Department.

“We still have to replace the guardrail between the road and the river,” he said, as well as restriping the road – set for this or next week, weather-depending — and also reseeding the hillside to re-establish vegetation to hold rocks back, which is the “best prevention against future slides.” Some temporary lane closures may be conducted for erosion control, which will include rock bolting, that will be conducted during the day.

“We’re in the hands of Mother Nature,” Hollinshead said. “Weather becomes more of a wild card for us as we move into fall,” and if conditions become too cold too fast, crews will return in spring to conduct erosion prevention measures.

Last Wednesday, Sept. 14, asphalt was laid down through the slide area, an approximate 500-foot-long stretch of highway about 10 miles west of Elk City where on Feb. 18 a landslide dropped hundreds of tons of rock, soil and debris. Travel in and out of Elk City was diverted along Forest Road 1199 for several months until a single piloted lane was punched through the slide area. Piloted traffic through the area was discontinued Aug. 24.

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Nampa mulls giving fire department to protection district

By Lis Stewart Sept 20, 2016

NAMPA — The city of Nampa is considering turning over control of its fire department to the Nampa Fire Protection District.

The Nampa Fire Protection District covers unincorporated land outside Nampa city limits. People living in the district pay a special levy that, in turn, pays the Nampa Fire Department for services. The district is governed by a board of three elected commissioners and is not controlled by the city.

Nampa City Council members on Monday unanimously approved a resolution to form a committee with the Nampa Fire Protection District that will look into what having the district annex the fire department would entail. The protection district’s board of commissioners recently passed a similar resolution.

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Fire restrictions lifted in Elmore County, S. Idaho

Friday, September 23, 2016 Mtn Home News

With the fire danger continuing to decrease across southern Idaho, city and county officials lifted burn bans in Mountain Home and across Elmore County last Friday.

Rain showers, cooler weather and lower wildfire dangers also prompted state and federal wildfire officials to lift Stage 1 fire restrictions across west central Idaho mountains that afternoon.


Mining News:

Midas Gold Complements its Leadership Team with New Appointments

Mr. M. Bogert appointed to Midas Gold Corp. Board of Directors
Ms. L. Sayer appointed President of Midas Gold Idaho & steps down from Midas Gold Corp. Board

September 20, 2016

Vancouver, British Columbia – Midas Gold Corp. (MAX:TSX / MDRPF:OTCQX) (“Midas Gold” or the “Company”) today announced the appointment of Laurel Sayer as President and Chief Executive Officer of Midas Gold Idaho, Inc., (“MGII” or “Midas Gold Idaho, Inc.”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Midas Gold Corp. and the operating company for the Stibnite Gold Project in central Idaho. In addition, Midas Gold announced the appointment of Michael Bogert to the board of directors of Midas Gold Corp., replacing Ms. Sayer as she steps down to take on her new role. These appointments reflect Midas Gold’s objective of increasing local accountability and local representation in all its activities.

“In order to best reflect the needs and values of Idaho, Midas Gold has Idahoans at all levels of our decision-making process,” said Stephen Quin, President & CEO of Midas Gold Corp. “Laurel Sayer’s move from the board of Midas Gold Corp. to leadership of the operating company, Midas Gold Idaho, complements the strong technical team led by Bob Barnes, who will continue as Chief Operating Officer. We are excited that Laurel will take a hands-on approach to help guide us in shaping the future of the Stibnite Gold Project, particularly given her commitment to conservation and protection of the environment.” Ms. Sayer will also be appointed to the board of directors of Midas Gold Idaho, joining four fellow Idahoans and two other US citizens, ensuring a dominant presence of Idaho interests at the operating level of the organization.

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Midas Gold Files Plan of Restoration & Operations for Stibnite Gold Project

Integrated Plan for the Restoration of Legacy Impacts & for Development of a Modern Operation

September 22, 2016

Vancouver, British Columbia — Midas Gold Corp. (MAX:TSX / MDRPF:OTCQX) (“Midas Gold” or the “Company”) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Midas Gold Idaho, Inc., which operates the Stibnite Gold Project (“Project”) in central Idaho, filed a Plan of Restoration and Operations (the “PRO”) with the U.S. Forest Service and Idaho Department of Lands on September 21, 2016 in order to initiate the environmental assessment and permitting process for the Project. Midas Gold anticipates that the U.S. Forest Service and Idaho Department of Lands will conduct internal reviews to determine the PRO’s adequacy and completeness and will then commence the public review process in accordance with the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act and other requirements.

“The proposal laid out in the Plan of Restoration and Operations represents a rare opportunity to use private investment for natural resource restoration in conjunction with the redevelopment of the site as a modern mining operation that provides economic benefits to the region,” said Stephen Quin, President & CEO of Midas Gold Corp. “The redevelopment of the Stibnite Gold Project site will see the restoration of salmon migration into the headwaters of a branch of the Salmon River for the first time since the 1930s, clean up a large abandoned mine site that has compromised the local ecosystem, and benefit the local economy and local communities through the creation of a long life, modern operation that prioritizes protection of the environment.”


Fun Science:

Galactic ‘Gold Mine’ Explains the Origin of Nature’s Heaviest Elements

A unique galaxy loaded with hard-to-produce, heavy elements sheds light on stellar histories and galactic evolution.

The Kavli Foundation Adam Hadhazy, Spring 2016

Researchers have solved a 60-year-old mystery regarding the origin of the heaviest elements in nature, conveyed in the faint starlight from a distant dwarf galaxy.

Most of the chemical elements, composing everything from planets to paramecia, are forged by the nuclear furnaces in stars like the Sun. But the cosmic wellspring for a certain set of heavy, often valuable elements like gold, silver, lead and uranium, has long evaded scientists.

Astronomers studying a galaxy called Reticulum II have just discovered that its stars contain whopping amounts of these metals. Of the 10 dwarf galaxies that have been similarly studied so far, only Reticulum II bears such strong chemical signatures. The finding suggests some unusual event took place billions of years ago that created ample amounts of heavy elements and then strew them throughout the galaxy’s reservoir of gas and dust. This material, rich in heavy metals, then went on to form Reticulum II’s standout stars.


[h/t MMc]

Forest / BLM News:

Big Creek Restoration and Access Management Project Update

USDA Forest Service September 19, 2016

The Forest Service, Payette National Forest, Krassel Ranger Districts, has revised the Environmental Assessment and prepared a draft Decision Notice for the Big Creek Restoration and Access Management Plan. We are proposing to maintain or improve watershed conditions and designate a minimum road system for administrative needs, access to outstanding rights and for general public needs in the Big Creek area in Valley and Idaho Counties, Idaho, approximately 7 miles north and east of the community of Yellow Pine, Idaho. The Responsible Official is Keith Lannom, Forest Supervisor.

The environmental assessment was originally released for public comment in May 2016. It has now been revised in response to the comments received. The revised Environmental Assessment, draft Decision Notice, and other information are available for review at the project webpage at Additional information regarding this project can be obtained from: Anthony Botello, Krassel District Ranger,, Krassel Ranger District Office 500. North Mission Street, Bldg 1, McCall, ID 83638, 208-634-0600. Persons interested in receiving updates about this project may subscribe to GovDelivery for project updates via email by clicking the link “subscribe to email updates” on the right side of the project webpage.

This proposed project is subject to the objection process pursuant to 36 CFR 218 Subpart B. This project is not related to the Hazardous Fuels Reduction Act. The Intermountain Regional Forester is the reviewing officer.

Eligibility to File Objections

Objections will be accepted only from those who have previously submitted specific written comments regarding the proposed project either during scoping or other designated opportunity for public comment in accordance with § 218.5(a). Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted timely, specific, written comments regarding the proposed project unless based on new information arising after designated opportunities.

Individual members of organizations must have submitted their own comments to meet the requirements of eligibility as an individual. Objections received on behalf of an organization are considered as those of the organization only. If an objection is submitted on behalf of a number of individuals or organizations, each individual or organization listed must meet the eligibility requirement of having previously submitted comments on the project (§ 218.7). Names and addresses of objectors will become part of the public record.

Contents of an Objection

Incorporation of documents by reference in the objection is permitted only as provided for at § 218.8(b). Minimum content requirements of an objection are identified in § 218.8(d) include:

* Objector’s name and address with a telephone number if available; with signature or other verification of authorship supplied upon request;
* Identification of the lead objector when multiple names are listed, along with verification upon request;
* Name of project, name and title of the responsible official, national forest/ranger district where project is located, and
* Sufficient narrative description of those aspects of the proposed project objected to, specific issues related to the project, how environmental law, regulation, or policy would be violated, and suggested remedies which would resolve the objection.
* Statement demonstrating the connection between prior specific written comments on this project and the content of the objection, unless the objection issue arose after the designated opportunities for comment.

Filing an Objection

Written objections may be submitted to the reviewing officer through the project webpage: Simply click on “how to comment/object” on the right side of the page and fill out the web form with your comments. Written objections, including any attachments, may also be addressed Reviewing Officer, Intermountain Region USFS, 324 25th Street, Ogden, Utah 84401; or fax to 801-625-5277; within 45 days following the publication date of this legal notice in the newspaper of record. The office business hours for those submitting hand-delivered objections are: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Electronic objections can also be submitted in a format such as an email message, pdf, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), and Word (.doc or .docx) to It is the responsibility of Objectors to ensure their objection is received in a timely manner (§ 218.9).We appreciate your interest in the Payette National Forest and this project.

The publication date in the Idaho Statesman, newspaper of record, is the exclusive means for calculating the time to file an objection to this project. Those wishing to object to this proposed project should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source. We anticipate the legal notice will be published on September 21, 2016.

Keith B. Lannom
Forest Supervisor
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Bull trout lawsuit targets Payette National Forest roads

By Associated Press Thursday, September 22nd 2016

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An environmental group has filed a lawsuit contending two federal agencies are violating the Endangered Species Act by failing to analyze how roads and motorized trails could be harming threatened bull trout in the Payette National Forest in west-central Idaho.

The federal lawsuit filed by WildEarth Guardians in Idaho on Wednesday seeks to force the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to complete an analysis that could result in restrictions on roads and motorized trails.

Specifically, the group contends the 2007 travel management plan for the Payette National Forest needs updating following Fish and Wildlife’s 2010 designation of critical bull trout habitat within the forest.

The group is asking a federal judge to order the two agencies to do necessary work to update the travel plan.

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Wildfire rehab in Idaho, Oregon includes fall herbicide

By KEITH RIDLER – 9/21/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — The federal government’s 5-year, $67 million rehabilitation effort following a 2015 rangeland wildfire in southwest Idaho and southeast Oregon is entering its second year with another round of herbicide applications combined with plantings of native species.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has started applying the herbicide Imazapic on federal lands to knock out invasive weeds in Oregon and will begin in Idaho in October, officials said this week.

The rehabilitation is part of the federal government’s plan to develop new strategies to combat increasingly destructive rangeland wildfires, mainly in Great Basin states that contain significant habitat for greater sage grouse, a bird found in 11 Western states. About 200,000 to 500,000 remain, down from a peak population of about 16 million.

About 100 square miles of aerial spraying is taking place in Idaho and Oregon and visitors are asked to stay away from posted areas.

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High Valley Integrated Restoration Project Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact is Now Available

USDA Forest Service September 22, 2016

On June 15, 2016, the Draft Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact (DN/FONSI) and Environmental Assessment (EA) for the High Valley Integrated Restoration Project were available for the pre-decisional objection process pursuant to 36 CFR 218, subparts A and B. One objection was filed during the objection filing period. The objection is available for review at The Objection Reviewing Officer (ORO) issued a response letter to the objection on September 1, 2016, which included instructions to complete an EA errata in order to incorporate text mistakenly omitted from the June 2016 EA. The ORO letter is available for review at

Pursuant to 36 CFR 218.12, Forest Supervisor Seesholtz has addressed all of the ORO’s instructions identified in the objection response and has issued the final DN/FONSI. The final DN/FONSI includes Appendix B, which includes the errata page for the EA. The Final DN/FONSI and EA are available on the High Valley Integrated Restoration Project web page:

As documented in the DN/FONSI, Forest Supervisor Seesholtz has selected Alternative B. Alternative B will conduct vegetation restoration activities by commercial thinning on about 5,729 acres, including 357 acres within RCAs. All treatments with wood product removal will be followed by sub-merchantable tree thinning and activity fuel abatement treatments. Thinning trees without wood product removal (non-commercial thinning) will be conducted on approximately 1,013 acres, including 684 acres within RCAs. Restoration prescribed fire treatment will occur on roughly 4,098 acres.

Transportation management activities under Alternative B will construct 0.4 miles of road on existing unauthorized routes; reconstruct (realign) 2.6 miles of road on new prism and 1.8 miles of road on existing prism; construct 5.6 miles of temporary roads on new prism and 3.0 miles on existing unauthorized routes; conduct aggregate surface road maintenance by replacing existing aggregate surface on 9.0 miles and place spot aggregate on 5.3 miles for targeted sediment reduction; and conduct 64.5 miles of road maintenance activities to facilitate commercial sawlog removal and to address current and future sediment production throughout the Project Area. Additionally, 8.5 miles of NFS roads and 18.8 miles of unauthorized routes will be decommissioned.

An estimated 31.7 MMBF of wood products would be provided to local/regional processing facilities.

To allow time for distribution of the decision, implementation of the Becker Integrated Resource Project may begin five days following the signature date of the DN/FONSI.

For additional information regarding this project, please contact Richard Newton, Emmett District Ranger, by phone at 208-365-7000.

Melissa Yenko
Forest Environmental Coordinator
Boise National Forest
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9-23-2016 News Release: Boise National Forest fall camping reminders

BOISE, Idaho. September 23, 2016 — Forest Officials want to remind hunters and campers of the 14 day stay limit in campgrounds and dispersed recreation areas, as well as seasonal campground closures within the Boise National Forest.

“Everyone has their favorite camping or hunting spot and fall is a popular time to enjoy the forest. Besides hunting many visitors enjoy camping in cooler temperatures amid the vibrant fall colors,” said Ronda Bishop, Forest Recreation Officer. “We just ask visitors to adhere to the 14 day limit giving others the opportunity to enjoy that special spot.” Visitors should be prepared for changing and extreme weather conditions.

As public use drops and as the weather gets colder the forest will start to close some recreation sites. Campgrounds that remain open with full service will continue to charge fees. Other campgrounds will remain open without services and fees will not be charged at those sites. Services discontinued include water, restroom maintenance and garbage service. Please pack it in, pack it out.

For a full list of closed campgrounds due to the Pioneer Fire visit: Then scroll down to bottom of the page.

Go to the same site for scheduled recreation site seasonal closings and choose the Areas and Activities header on the right side of the page. There you can select the ranger district for campground details.

Linda Steinhaus
Public Affairs
Forest Service
Boise National Forest

Critter News:

Please Be Aware of Your Surroundings During This Hunting Season

September 21, 2016 Idaho Fish & Game

click to access brochure:
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MCPAWS to present Oktoberfest at Alpine Village Oct. 1

The Star-News September 22, 2016

Alpine Village and MCPAWS present Oktoberfest at Alpine Village in McCall on Saturday, Oct. 1.

Festivities kick off at noon and will continue until 6 p.m. There will be live music by Bottom Line Band and Treasure Valley Musik Maisters, a costume contest, a raffle drawing, kids activities, craft vendors, as well as yummy food and local brews.

Entry fee is $10 and includes a free beer and event koozie. Youths under 21 are admitted free. All proceeds from the entry fee benefit the cats and dogs at MCPAWS.

… Those attending should dress in their best German attire for a chance to win the costume contest that starts at 2 p.m.

full story: The Star-News
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Take your favorite wagger to Tails on Trails at Brundage Oct. 2

The Star-News September 22, 2016

Tails on Trails, an event for runners and their four-legged friends, will be held at Brundage Mountain resort on Sunday, Oct. 2.

The second annual dog-friendly trail running event is hosted by and will benefit MCPAWS Regional Animal Shelter.

The event offers two routes that will provide runners and their dogs with challenging elevation gains, stunning vistas, and delightful single-track descents on the mountain bike trails of Brundage Mountain.

Brundage will host an outdoor barbecue and beer garden at the main lodge after the race.

full story: The Star-News
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Bull moose relocated from Hailey

Animal taken to forest near Fairfield

photo by Jake Powell – A two-and-half-year-old bull moose examines his captors for a few seconds before trotting off into the woods north of Fairfield.

Sep 21, 2016 by Greg Moore – IME

Idaho Fish and Game employees last week relocated a bull moose from a residential section of Hailey to a more out-of-the-way place where it’s less likely to get into trouble.

Magic Valley Regional Wildlife Manager Daryl Meints said the department had received several calls from residents a few blocks east of downtown near Curtis Park about a moose that had knocked over a table and gotten its antlers tangled in a hammock and a kids zip line. Meints said he and four other employees from the regional office in Jerome went to check on the moose on the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 14.

“It had all kinds of stuff hanging off of it and was just being a general nuisance,” he said.

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Meet Tuck, the Painting Horse of the West

Brian Holmes, KTVB September 21, 2016

BOISE – For the past two years a Boise artist has been helping a local veterans group by selling paintings and sharing the proceeds.

That’s not unusual. What is unusual is that this artist paints with his mouth, is covered completely in hair, and works for apples.

Every afternoon in the backyard of this south Boise home you can find Nancy Powers in the paddock putting a brush to her best friend.

“He’s 25,’ said Powers. “And I’ve had him since he was 3.”

continued w/video:
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Bobcat spotted on Boise Greenbelt

By KBOI News Staff Thursday, September 22, 2016

Courtesy Sean Briggs

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) — Here, kitty, kitty.

A reclusive bobcat has been photographed along the Boise Greenbelt this week thanks to a smart phone and a quick-thinking local resident. The bobcat, which are not uncommon in our area but are incredibly shy and rare to see, was spotted near Parkcenter Boulevard and River Run.

The cat was by the Boise River where the Greenbelt leads into the Bethine Church River Trail (a walkers only trail in east Boise).

Bobcats seem to like southeast Boise. Last year, a Boise man shared his trail cam with KBOI 2News, which also captured images of a bobcat hanging out in the area.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third week of September 2016
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Conservation Groups Sue Over Oregon’s Wolf Delisting

by AP Sept. 23, 2016

Conservation groups argue in a new lawsuit that Oregon violated its own Endangered Species Act by removing the endangered status of gray wolves.

The Bulletin reports that the lawsuit was filed Tuesday, coinciding with preparations to update the state’s wolf management plan. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission removed the wolf from the endangered species list last year, saying the species had rebounded within significant portions of its range.

But the Center for Biological Diversity’s West Coast wolf organizer Amaroq Weiss says wolves are still in danger of extinction in Oregon and should not have been delisted. The group argues in its brief that wolves occupy only 8 percent of their natural range in Oregon.

Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy had no comment on the conservation groups’ filing.

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Wyoming heads to court seeking to regain control of wolves

By BEN NEARY – 9/20/16 AP

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The future of Wyoming wolf management rides on a federal court hearing set for Friday in Washington, D.C.

The hearing before a three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals comes two years after U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of Washington, D.C., sided with national environmental groups and rejected Wyoming’s wolf management plan.

Lawyers from the state and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are seeking to override Jackson’s 2014 decision while environmental groups are urging the appeals court to retain the federal protections for wolves in the state. The appeals court likely will issue a written decision several months after Friday’s hearing.

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Wolf Education International News Releases

Sep 2016 By WEI Staff

Ontario ban cancels hunting season for wolves and coyotes

One man can fight the federal bureaucracy

Norway plans to cull more than two-thirds of its wolf population

Updates on cystic echinococcosis (CE) in Italy

Echinococcus granulosus infection in Spain

Control of cystic echinococcosis/hydatidosis: 1863-2002

Possible factors influencing distribution and prevalence of Echinococcus granulosus in Utah

Echinococcosis in the Ukrainian SSR

Human echinococcosis in Bulgaria: a comparative epidemiological analysis

Genetic variability and population structure of grey wolf (Canis lupus) in Serbia
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The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
September 23, 2016
Issue No. 804

Table Of Contents

* ODFW Survey (Snorkeling, Electrofishing) Shows Smallmouth Bass In Lower Deschutes For First Time

* Trucking Spawning Salmon Above Willamette Dam Showing Success In Offspring Survival, Adult Returns

* Council Approves More Funds For Fighting Pike Invasion: ‘Pike Pose Enormous Threat To Salmon, Steelhead Recovery’

* Columbia River Fall Chinook Return Downgraded; Wild Steelhead Past Bonneville Dam Below Average

* NOAA Releases Draft Oregon Coast Hatchery EIS; Evaluates 10 Hatcheries, 42 Genetic Management Plans

* Council Fish And Wildlife Committee Looks At Possible Cost Savings From 10 Hatchery/Wild Fish Research Projects

* Dworshak Oil Spill Into North Fork Clearwater Slows Turbine Overhaul, Cleanup Continues

* Tribes Urge Washington State To Drop Appeal Of Ninth Circuit’s Fish Culvert Ruling

* Wallowa Project: Allowing A River To Do What It Needs To Do For Salmon/Steelhead Habitat

* Senior Advisor To Energy Secretary Selected As Bonneville Power’s New Chief Operating Officer

* Clues From Prehistoric Arid Periods In California: Is State’s Extended Drought The New Normal?

* Water Resources Bill Includes Provision To Return ‘Ancient One’ (Kennewick Man) Remains To ‘Appropriate Resting Place’

Fun Critter Stuff:

Rare crow shows a talent for tool use

For decades the New Caledonian crow has taken the crown of top corvid tool-user. Now experiments on the rare Hawaiian crow, or Alala, suggest that they too could be natural tool-users.

Read the abstract of the paper here:

Fun Critter Science:

How cats conquered the world (and a few Viking ships)

First large-scale study of ancient feline DNA charts domestication in Near East and Egypt and the global spread of house cats.

Ewen Callaway 20 September 2016 Nature

Thousands of years before cats came to dominate Internet culture, they swept through ancient Eurasia and Africa carried by early farmers, ancient mariners and even Vikings, finds the first large-scale look at ancient-cat DNA.

The study, presented at a conference on 15 September, sequenced DNA from more than 200 cats that lived between about 15,000 years ago and the eighteenth century ad.

Researchers know little about cat domestication, and there is active debate over whether the house cat (Felis silvestris) is truly a domestic animal — that is, its behaviour and anatomy are clearly distinct from those of wild relatives. “We don’t know the history of ancient cats. We do not know their origin, we don’t know how their dispersal occurred,” says Eva-Maria Geigl, an evolutionary geneticist at the Institut Jacques Monod in Paris. She presented the study at the 7th International Symposium on Biomolecular Archaeology in Oxford, UK, along with colleagues Claudio Ottoni and Thierry Grange.


[h/t MMc]

Fish & Game News:

Press Releases
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Services in Place for Fish and Game License Buyers Potentially Affected by License System Breach

By Mike Demick, Conservation Information Supervisor
Monday, September 19, 2016 – 2:32 PM MDT

The Identity Theft services announced last week by Active Network for Idaho Fish and Game license buyers are now in place and operating.

The Texas-based company owns and operates Fish and Games hunting and fishing license system and is making the services available to all license buyers whose personal information may have been compromised by an attempt last month to access the online license system.

Active Network is offering two years of free identity protection and restoration services.

The company established a website where people can check to see if their information was potentially impacted, receive instructions on how to access identity protection and restoration services, and receive tips to protect against identity theft.

The website address is:

Active Network also established a toll free call center to answer questions about the incident or the identity protection services provided.  The number is 1-855-260-2772.


Tips & Advice:

DIY Skunk Deodorizer

from The Farmers’ Almanac

To remove skunk spray odor from skin, fur, or fabric, mix 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, and a few drops of grease-cutting liquid dish soap. Work into the affected area, rinse, and reapply as needed.


First Day Of Fall 2016: The Autumnal Equinox

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Fall begins this Thursday September 22 with the autumnal equinox.

To be exact, the Northern Hemisphere enters on Thursday morning, September 22, 2016, at exactly 10:21 a.m. EDT.

The September equinox happens every year on either the 22nd, 23rd, or even 24th, depending on the calendar. This is the astronomical start of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere.

The word equinox means “equal night”; night and day are about the same length of time. During the equinox, the Sun crosses what we call the “celestial equator” (just imagine the line that marks the equator on Earth extending up into the sky) from north to south.  At this point, the amount of nighttime and daytime are roughly equal to each other.

Another definition of fall is nights of below-freezing temperatures combined with days of temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

From here on out, the temperatures begin to drop and the days start to get shorter than the nights (i.e., hours of daylight decline).

more info:


“Discontent, blaming, complaining, self-pity cannot serve as a foundation for a good future, no matter how much effort you make.”

– Eckhart Tolle


Idaho History September 25, 2016

Pioneers of Idaho’s Aerial Mail Routes

Story by Laura Adams Photos courtesy Bill Fogg


In Idaho, like Alaska, backcountry aerial mail contracts replaced slower dog-sled, horse-, and foot-powered transportation in the early 1900s, based primarily on the demands of an increased population base in remote locations due to the establishment of mining towns. The first major contracted aerial mail carriers in the 1930s were Bennett Air Transport Company and Johnson Flying Service. The skill level of the backcountry pilots who pioneered these routes, and those who continue to fly them, requires extensive knowledge and experience maneuvering in high-altitude strips, tougher canyons, sinking snow, and a fair amount of cross-country traffic

In his book, “Bound for the Backcountry,” Richard Holm provides the history of the three mail routes established during the 1950s to service isolated ranches, hunting camps, and US Forest Service (USFS) stations. The bones of these original routes are still in operation today.

The first major postwar route was called the Cabin Creek Route, and it was later renamed the Salmon River Star Route (or the main Salmon). This route was managed by Johnson Flying Service, out of McCall, and included 15 private airstrips and three USFS fields. Evergreen Aviation purchased Johnson Flying Service in 1975, but they did not hold the contract for the Salmon Star Route for long. Local Cascade resident, Ray Arnold, outbid the Oregon-based company and successfully won the bid for the second Middle Fork route as well.


For the first three years, the Middle Fork of the Salmon River route was contracted to Roberts Flying Service out of Boise, and it included five private, three USFS, and two state-owned airstrips. Pilot Norman Ashe flew this route for Roberts in a Piper Tri-pacer. In 1963, Roberts sold the business to Mike Loening, a Cessna dealer. Pilot Bill Scherer flew the route every Wednesday for six years until Loening sold his business to Boise Air Service, which held the contract from 1969-1975.

The contract for the third route, from McCall to Warren, was first held by pilot Bob Fogg. The route was expanded to include the South Fork of the Salmon River. In 1974, Jim Newcomb of McCall Flying Service inherited the South Fork portion, and shortly thereafter, Fogg’s route as well. Mike Dorris of McCall acquired this contract in 1981, and he continues making aerial deliveries to Warren, as well as several South Fork airstrips. His mail contract is a highway route based from McCall, permitting him to fly into a handful of airstrips when the roads are closed.

Fogg, an Idaho native, is known as the first long-standing aerial pilot within Idaho to maintain a reliable, weekly mail delivery route. Raised by his single mother, a Cascade restaurant owner, Fogg did not believe he had the means to pursue a university education to become a doctor. Instead, he decided to pursue his second career choice — aviation.

After finishing high school, Fogg worked for a local sawmill to pay for his first flying lesson at the Cascade airport from Dick Johnson, of Johnson Flying Service. This relationship paved the way for his exciting career with a company known throughout the Northwest as one of the leading pioneers in aviation.

Following his retirement in 1974, Fogg was formally interviewed by Joe Bennett and Doug Jones. He had nothing but the highest praises for company owners Dick and Bob Johnson, describing them as cutting-edge entrepreneurs who “were unique in that if they could do something with an airplane, they didn’t just pass it off.” Even more so, Fogg was especially grateful to work for bosses who sincerely valued safety over financial gain.


In 1942, Fogg began working as a flight instructor for their Missoula (Mont.) operation and eventually helped in the development of other facets of the business, such as war-service pilot training programs, air patrol for fire scouting and firefighting, smoke jumping, aerial timber spraying, aerial agricultural spraying and mail service.

The first mail run Bob Johnson made out of Boise was in the winter of 1928 to drop mail at the mining town of Atlanta. Wooden skis with copper nailed to the bottoms were required to land there, as well as an early morning departure to ensure that the soaked grass was frozen solid for take-off. A couple years later, the Johnson’s hired pilot Gordon Moore to fly the Idaho Highline out of Cascade, which included mining stops such as Stibnite, Yellow Pine and Big Creek.

Previously, dog teams were used for deliveries into these mining towns, but Johnson felt an airplane could easily compete with the several-day journey through the mountainous terrain, and they developed ski flying with a Travel Air 6000 for most of this type of winter work. Fogg explained, “Even though there had been ski flying, and lots of it, done in Alaska, Johnson developed some of the principals that were used in making an airplane slide in the snow conditions specific to Idaho…. They finally wound up using a concoction of whale oil, bee’s wax, and rosin to apply to the bottom of the skis. You would heat it up, while simultaneously using a blowtorch to heat up the ski, and then paintbrush it on while it was real hot. It would last an average day of flying, six or eight landings.”

Fogg permanently relocated to McCall in 1943 as the manager of that base where he pioneered the regular mail service route along the Salmon River. Flying more than three million miles and 22,000 hours in the backcountry over 36 years lends itself to a few close calls, and Fogg was not bashful about sharing his harrowing stories. One of his favorites is a tale about taking six hours to fly out of a snow pile in Big Creek after making a January hay delivery. His closest, deadliest experience happened while working on a fire right at the mouth of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, dropping cargo with a Travel Air.

Reminiscing he admitted, “I had perhaps become a little negligent, in thinking back…. That is what has killed a couple of other pilots as well, a downwind turn. It’s a no-no. I always watched it after that.”

During the height of Fogg’s career in the early 1960s, Bill Scherer began flying a regular Wednesday U.S. Postal Service contract to 10 isolated stations along the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. The list included Sulphur Creek, Morgan Ranch, Pistol Creek, Indian Creek, Thomas Creek, Mahoney, Falconberry Ranch, Lower Loon Creek, Bernard, and Flying B Ranch. A 1964 issue of The Cessna Pennant documented a story about Scherer entitled “Post Office with Wings” highlighting the details of his unique job description. Scherer got to fly an array of aircraft because Loening was a Cessna dealer, but he was most often seen in the Cessna twin-engine Skymaster featured in this article. Flying out of Boise Municipal Airport, Scherer flew plenty of passengers along with bagged deer and elk from hunting expeditions.


Each of his mail runs included 330 miles and about two hours of flying time to transport fuel, grocery orders, tractor tires, and other necessities, in addition to the standard mail parcels. No day in this business is the same, and no one knows this better than the legendary Ray Arnold, who now holds the last official aerial mail route contract in the continental United States. Over the last 40 years, Ray and his staff at Arnold Aviation have taken customer service in Idaho’s backcountry to a whole new level. ”

In October, I had the pleasure of visiting Arnold Aviation and flying alongside Ray on his Wednesday route. Flying with a pilot whose plane is honestly an extension of himself, and who flies so naturally and steadily in and out of these remote airstrips, was the opportunity of a lifetime. I look forward to sharing a fascinating, in-depth and intimate account of Ray’s stories with you in the next issue.

Note: To be added to the quarterly Rudder Flutter distrivbution list, please contact Tammy Schoen at Idaho’s Division of Aeronutics, at 334-8776.

Pictured top above article title is a photo of Johnson’s Flying Service McCall Operations in the late ’50s. Picture in top right below the article title is Bob Fogg, Bill Dorris and mechanic Wilbur Burkhart in front of Johnson’s Ford 4-AT Trimotor N7861. Pictured above and to left is a map of one of the flying routes, and pictured to right is Fogg and Bob Johnson with The Ford at Red’s Ranch in the Wallowa’s.

source: Reprinted with permission from Winter 2014 issue of Rudder Flutter Published 12-26-14
Courtesy Bill Fogg

page updated June 30, 2021

Road Reports Sept 25

Summary of this week’s reports:

Johnson Creek road – graded last week, good shape.

South Fork route  – no problems reported, a few pot holes on the EFSF road (watch for rocks after recent rain and freeze/thaw.)

Lick Creek road – this side of Lick Creek summit was reported in good shape last week but the McCall side was reported to be really rough.

Profile Creek (road to Big Creek) – the lower 3 miles have been improved with gravel, the road has been graded but watch for the usual rocks that stick out. Culvert replacement project down by Jacob’s Ladder flat.

The Stibnite road to Thunder Mountain is open. (Sugar Creek road to Cinnabar has been gated.)

Fire Update Sept 25

Pioneer Fire

Boise National Forest

Date of Origin Monday July 18th, 2016
Location 8 miles north of Idaho City
Total Personnel 360
Size 188,404 Acres
Containment 65%

Pioneer Fire Maps

September 25 Pioneer Fire Update

Lowman, Idaho – As the 70th day dawns on the Pioneer Fire, a warming and drying trend is setting up. This will increase the potential for the Fire to begin creeping in areas where vegetation is exposed to wind and direct sunlight. Occasional tree torching may occur midweek as the timber and grasses dry. The Fire is not growing, which is allowing firefighters to slowly increase the Fire’s containment.

Several places that have been dormant for some time are revealing wispy smokes. This includes areas above Crooked River, Scott Creek and the higher elevations of Miller Mountain above South Fork. Several of these locations are not easily accessible to firefighters. Last night, an infrared flight took place. This will help firefighters pinpoint heat today. They will extinguish the hotspots if they are able to reach them safely.

A feller-buncher with a processor head working on the 316 Road should complete the road work today and will move to another repair project Monday. A chipper is ready to begin chipping the woody debris left by the feller-buncher. The repair work on the Road will be complete when the chipper is finished.

Firefighters will begin repairing contingency lines that were discovered Saturday between the 555 Road and the northern part of the Fire today. Excavators are beginning their second shift repairing dozer lines near Deer Flat north of the 579 Road, and west of Warm Springs Creek. This work should be complete by mid to late week.

Timber fallers are cutting hazard trees along the 582 Road and Rock Creek, making the roads safer for travel. It will also make it safer for those who have permits to collect wood.

Handcrews are picking up hose, pumps and other equipment from fire lines and returning it to the Incident Command Post. Camp crews are inventorying and packaging it in preparation for returning them to a larger cache in Boise, Idaho.

There is heavy traffic on the 579 Road, including fire personnel, hunters, woodcutters, and general recreationists. Please drive slowly and remember to share the road. Watch for fallen rocks and woody debris on Hwy 21 and 17.

A Fire Area Closure remains in effect. A map and detailed information is located at:

EVACUATION NOTICES: The Summer Homes in the Long Creek area is at a Level 1 Notice.


Acres: 188,404 Containment: 65% Personnel: 360
Cost: $94.4M Resources assigned: 5 crews, 4 helicopters, 14 engines, 4 water tenders