Monthly Archives: October 2016

Oct 30, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times

Oct 30, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

YPWUA News: 

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

Village News:

Halloween Party

There was a Halloween Party at the YP Tavern on Saturday October 29th.

2017 YP Calendars

Time to start thinking about the 2017 calendars. I will send out a separate email that you can order from. (Please do not reply to the newsletter – I need to keep things organized.) A great way to show your support for the Yellow Pine Times – or at least they make great Xmas gifts. I will take orders from Nov. 1st thru Thanksgiving. We will only get enough calendars to fill orders, there will be NO extras! Shipping out in early December. – rrS

Local Observations:

Monday (Oct 24) no frost, overcast, looks like it might rain. Quiet, no people or critters around. Afternoon rain. Cloudy and quiet evening. Rain most of the night (after midnight.)

Tuesday (Oct 25) no frost, overcast and sprinkling. Light showers until about noon, then cloudy the rest of the day. A few drops of rain in the evening, breezy and quiet.

Wednesday (Oct 26) no frost, dark overcast sky all morning. No rain during the day. Mild temperatures and not much of a breeze. Pine squirrel gathering cones, no birds around. Quiet cloudy evening.

Thursday (Oct 27) no frost, dark overcast sky, heavy dew. Rained for over an hour in the afternoon. Couple of rifle shots close to the village around 230pm. Dark clouds and blustery late afternoon and evening. Might have been a loose horse on main street, heard galloping at dark and mules were braying. Rained most of the night.

Friday (Oct 28) no frost, low overcast, foggy flanks on the mountains, Johnson Crk ridge socked in solid. Pine squirrel gathering pine cones, a stellar jay showed up after lunch. Cloudy quiet day, no rain. A few cracks in the clouds before dark. Smell of burning garbage in the air.

Saturday (Oct 29) slight frost (low 32.5F), very light ground fog rising up before sunrise (10am) with mostly clear sky above. Cloudy by lunch time. Extra traffic all day and into the evening. Pine squirrel gathering cones. Cloudy evening, smell of diesel fumes in the air. Short hard rain shower after 8pm and another around 120am.

Sunday (Oct 30) no frost, damp, high clouds, light fog along the rivers. Clarks nutcracker calling from the forest, pine squirrel calling from the neighborhood. Thicker darker clouds after lunch time. Sprinkles and showers all afternoon, low dark clouds, mist streaming up the flanks of the mountains from the rivers. Fairly quiet day, just a little extra traffic. Still raining at dark (7pm.)


Dane Vaughn

Dane K. Vaughn, 42, of Garden Valley [and Big Creek], died October 17, 2016 at home.

Arrangements are pending with Potter Funeral Chapel, Emmett.

Idaho News:

Concrete Truck Overturns

The Star-News Oct 27, 2016


Photo by Fred Erland, Meadows Valley Fire Dept.

Doug Buys of the Meadows Valley Ambulance Service does some cleanup while waiting for a tow truck to move a concrete truck that overturned on Idaho 55 east of New Meadows on Saturday. The truck, owned by Clearwater Concrete of McCall, crashed about 7:45 a.m. Saturday and blocked one lane of traffic for more than three hours. The driver, whose name was not available, was not injured.

source: The Star-News 
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McCall to celebrate U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Nov. 5

Tree will be cut on Payette National Forest Wednesday

BY TOM GROTE for The Star-News Oct 27, 2016

The U.S. Capital Christmas Tree will be celebrated in McCall with festivities on Saturday, Nov. 5, the Payette National Forest has announced.

The tree, also known as the “People’s Tree” will make a cross-country journey from Idaho to Washington D.C. after it is cut from the Payette forest on Wednesday.

Before that journey begins, however, the people of McCall will give the tree a proper send-off on Nov. 5.

The celebration will officially kick off at 5 p.m. Nov. 5 with a parade through downtown McCall.

full story: The Star-News
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Police warn of property crimes on Halloween

Morgan Boydston, KTVB October 28, 2016

BOISE — Halloween is just a few days away: a time for kids to dress up in make-believe and to decorate our houses in ghoulish gear and hand out candy.

National data shows, it’s also a time for a rise in property crime.

USA Today partner NerdWallet says crime-related insurance claims rise by more than 24 percent on Fright Night. Police are warning about crimes of opportunity such as theft and vandalism – especially in areas where a lot of people are out and about.

“You’re naturally going to see a little bit of a rise in property crime or malicious injury to property just because of the sheer fact that there are a lot of people out,” Deputy Chief of Meridian Police, Tracy Basterrechea, said.

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Idaho Power aims to improve Snake River water quality

Gretchen Parsons, KTVB October 24, 2016

BOISE – A utility company is manually transforming the Snake River to make water cooler.

In order to keep up with regulation standards, Idaho Power is lowering the temperature in areas of the Snake River that are wide and shallow.

Channels that are broad with little depth, have warmer water leading to more algae and less oxygen for aquatic species.

“Certainly in extreme cases it can lead to fish killed,” says Senior Biologist Stacey Baczkowski.

To cool river temperature, Idaho Power began work in July to narrow and deepen a channel by widening two islands just downstream of Walters Ferry.

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Lost hunters found safe in Shoshone County

KTVB October 25, 2016

SHOSHONE COUNTY, Idaho — Two missing hunters have been found safe in Shoshone County.

The two were reported missing after not returning from a hunting trip on Sunday.

Marty Coleman and Shane Spearing, left their vehicle Sunday afternoon and did not return.

They were last seen in the area between the Montana state line and the southern tip of Lake Pend Oreille, according to the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials said it is extremely rugged and there are not many roads in the area.

(© 2016 KREM)
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Is taking a selfie with your ballot illegal in Idaho?

The secretary of state says it is perfectly legal to do so.

Joe Parris, KTVB 8:51 PM. MDT October 28, 2016

BOISE – In some places taking a selfie with your ballot can get you in real trouble, but what about here in Idaho? KTVB went the state Capitol Friday to find out the rules on ballot selfies from Secretary of State Lawerence Denney

“It’s perfectly legal, it’s not illegal in Idaho,” said Denney.

There you have it, there are no rules against taking a picture with your ballot, but Denney says he still wouldn’t encourage voters to do it.

“We discourage it because it does take time. When there are lines at the polling place we’d rather not have people holding things up,” said Denney.

In Ada County, Chief Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane says voters have the green light to snap away.


Forest / BLM News:

Big Creek Restoration and Access Management Project Update

USDA Forest Service 10/27/2016

In anticipation of issuing a decision on the Big Creek Restoration and Access Management Plan in the next few months and recognition of the public interest in the proposed changes to travel management, we have established an implementation page that is now accessible from the project website at To access the implementation page, navigate to “Implementation Info” link in the upper right corner of the project website.

We have prepared a draft implementation strategy regarding route treatments for the selected alternative, including sequencing of routes added to the Motor Vehicle Use Map as well as decommissioning of unauthorized routes. This strategy is based on general information used in the analysis. Prior to implementation, the Forest Service will need to take a more detailed look at each route to determine exact restoration and storm damage risk reduction treatments. As a result this draft implementation strategy will likely be refined prior to implementation and exact treatments may change when a more detailed survey is done. Specific route treatment plans will be developed or approved by the Forest Service based on field verified conditions at the time of implementation. The draft implementation strategy, including a map, is available on the implementation page.

I appreciate the interest you have in the Big Creek area and I hope you find the new implementation page a convenient way to access timely information as the project moves forward. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via email at or by phone at 208-634-0601.

Anthony B. Botello
Krassel District Ranger
Payette National Forest
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BLM Conducting Timber Pile Burning Near Silver City, Idaho

Boise BLM October 24, 2016
CONTACT: Jared Jablonski, (208) 384-3210

Boise, ID – This fall the Boise District BLM will be prescribed burning timber piles from a 2015 hazardous fuels reduction project in the Owyhee Field Office near Silver City, Idaho. The treatment area consisted of 190 acres and the timber piles from that treatment to be burned are located along the War Eagle and Silver City Roads. The purpose of the completed hazardous fuels reduction was to thin juniper and fir trees concentrated along major road corridors to reduce the threat of wildfire impacting the historic mining town of Silver City.

Personnel and equipment will be in the project area for the duration of the burning operations. The smoke from this burn has potential to be visible from large distances due to location, fuel type and burning conditions.

The Silver City prescribed burn is expected to start on or around Oct. 25th and may last until Nov. 30th depending on weather conditions.
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Utility eyes burning thinning debris to protect water supply


PHOENIX — An Arizona water and power utility is conducting an experiment to add forest-thinning debris to coal burned by an electricity-generating plant, hoping to make thinning more economical to help avoid devastating wildfires producing runoff that would contaminate reservoirs.

A test conducted Wednesday at the Salt River Project’s Coronado Generating Station near St. Johns in eastern Arizona showed that the plant’s machinery can handle mixing woody biomass material with coal, SRP officials said.

That sets the stage for stage for two 10-day periods of burning biomass in November, said SRP water strategy analyst Ron Klawitter.

Klawitter said SRP then will study costs and other data collected during the planned biomass burns before deciding whether to using forest debris to augment coal as a fuel source on a regular basis.

“This test is all about a market-driven solution to forest restoration in northern Arizona,” Klawitter said.


Letter to Share:

“Grow More Spots” Raffle Tickets!


Please help support Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc. by purchasing raffle tickets – and purchase as many as you like! These will make great stocking stuffers – the drawing is not until January 21st at the “GROW MORE SPOTS” fundraising event – and you need not be present to win! We will accept cash, money order, or PayPal at
mysticfarmrescue @ (remove spaces)

If you are local, just stop in to Bradley Insurance in Ponderay or give Dory a call: 208 241-7081.

Thanks for supporting the rescue…and the fawns thank you!

*A reminder: If you have committed to a donation item or sponsorship for the event, please contact Dory or anyone on the board re. getting that to us. We are trying to get everything inventoried, set up, and ready to go ASAP! Really hoping to not have to be scrambling over the holidays to pull the event together – less stress and more enjoyment.

Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc.
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Mystic Farm Candles and Melts


Who makes the best burning and best scent throw candles out there? Where does every penny of the proceeds go from those candles? Who needs your help to keep the fawn rescue up and running?


Get your candles and melts beginning Monday at: Bradley Insurance in Ponderay, Sandpoint Furniture, or direct orders from Dory! Minimum donation of $12 per candle and $4 for melts + Shipping if you aren’t local. Thanks for your continued support!


Dory McIsaac mysticfarmrescue @ (remove spaces)

Critter News:

Boise couple makes big dog food donation

Natalie Shaver, KTVB October 28, 2016

Dogs at the Meridian Valley Humane Society won’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from for a while.

A Boise couple bought more than $500 of food from Zamzows and asked the store to donate it to the shelter.

The store decided to match the donation.

The shelter got the delivery this morning, which filled the entire back of a truck.

Leaders at the shelter say this comes at the perfect time because they’ve been worried about food supplies.

The shelter runs on donations and adoption fees.

They say this food will feed their dogs for the next couple of months.

Copyright 2016 KTVB
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Emails indicate Idaho wildlife management influenced by wealthy, politics

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Oct 27, 2016

Idaho sportsman are becoming wary of wealthy individuals who appear to be working to monopolize hunting access and wildlife management.

The billionaire Wilks brothers of Texas have caught attention for purchasing and closing public access to 172,000 acres of Potatch timberland.

And scrutiny is increasing on efforts to pump up the big-game auction tag program to boost the opportunities for hunters to whom money is not an issue.

Sportsmen have sought access to email accounts for Idaho lawmakers to track the influence in the auction tag issue.  The results are interesting, as you’ll see in the roundup below by Lewiston Tribune outdoor writer Eric Barker:

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Pheasants released on new Idaho youth hunting area

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Oct 26, 2016

About 925 acres has been acquired near Potlatch, Idaho, for youth hunters to pursue pen-raised pheasants released by a sportsmen’s group.

Idaho Fish and Game secured access to the property through it’s Access Yes program with the help of The Game Bird Foundation, said the group’s spokesman Jim Hagedorn in Viola.

The area is open to licensed hunters age 17 and under accompanied by an adult who also must have a valid Idaho hunting license, Hagedorn said.  “Both the mentor and the youth can hunt,” he said.

“It is required that the hunters sign in at the kiosk on South River Road before hunting.


The Game Bird Foundation
Jim Hagedorn Viola, Idaho (208) 883-3423
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Washington wolf shot in Montana after roaming 700 miles

Rich Landers Oct 24, 2016 The Spokesman-Review

Photo caption: A young male wolf captured and GPS collared by state wildlife biologists in northeastern Washington left the Huckleberry Pack in June 2016 and roamed about 700 miles in three months before being shot by Wildlife Services as it attacked sheep in Central Montana. (Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)

A young gray wolf that left its pack in northeastern Washington this summer traveled about 700 miles before being shot in central Montana last month while attacking sheep.

The 2-year-old male wolf was captured in February by Washington Fish and Wildlife Department biologists and fitted with a GPS satellite tracking collar. It began wandering northeast into the Idaho Panhandle in June, headed into the Moyie area of British Columbia before crossing Lake Koocanusa and trekking southeast into Montana near Eureka on July 4.

“We have no clue how the wolf crossed the reservoir,” said Scott Becker, Washington Fish and Wildlife wolf capture and monitoring leader who was involved with collaring the footloose wolf. “It could have swam or used a bridge; it probably didn’t hitchhike.”

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third week of October 2016
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WEI Newsletter

Norway Plans To Kill Almost 70 Percent Of Its Wolf Population

Washington wolf killed in Montana had wandered 700 miles
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Feds reconsider wolverine listing

Agency sets 30-day public comment period

Oct 26, 2016 by Greg Moore IME

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on whether wolverines in the lower 48 states should be placed on the federal endangered species list.

About 300 wolverines remain in the West, with the most in Montana. They are occasionally sighted in the mountains surrounding the Wood River Valley.

In 2013, the agency issued a draft decision granting wolverines protection, but reversed course a year later, citing scientific disagreement about climate change and the extent of the threat it posed to the species. A coalition of conservation organizations, including the Center for Biological Diversity and the Idaho Conservation League, challenged the final decision in federal district court in Montana in October 2014. Last April, a U.S. District Court judge sided with the groups, calling the agency’s withdrawal of the listing proposal “arbitrary and capricious.”

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Sheriff’s team uses granola bar to nab scofflaw goat

KTVB October 27, 2016

BOISE — A fugitive goat is off the streets, thanks to the Ada County Sheriff’s Office ACTION team.

Deputies spent part of Tuesday afternoon chasing Sophie the goat, who had escaped from her pen nearby.

According to the sheriff’s office, Sophie approached the ACTION team as they met in a parking lot to discuss a case. After she “messed with our guys for a few minutes,” sheriff’s officials wrote in a Facebook post, the 20-pound, three-foot-tall goat chased several skateboarders out of the lot.

Next, she tried to walk into traffic on Maple Grove Road.

“Lots of fugitives talk trash, jump around, and run away when ACTION shows up,” the sheriff’s office wrote. “It’s just that most of the time they are not as short and elusive as Sophie.”

continued w/photo:
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More Pacific Coast hatchery salmon could receive protections

By KEITH RIDLER – 10/26/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — Federal authorities want to add more hatchery-raised fish to the 28 Pacific Coast salmon and steelhead stocks listed under the Endangered Species Act.

The National Marine Fisheries Service in a document made public Friday said 23 hatchery programs could produce fish genetically similar to their wild but struggling cousins and should have the option of receiving federal protections.

The agency recently completed a five-year review required for listed species and plans no changes to the threatened or endangered status for the salmon and steelhead populations found in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

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The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
October 28, 2016
Issue No. 808

Table Of Contents

* NOAA Fisheries Releases Proposed Recovery Plan For Snake River Spring/Summer Chinook, Steelhead; $347 Million Over 25 Years

* Research: Warming, Rising Ocean Could Inundate Columbia Estuary With Salt Water, Big Changes For Salmon Habitat

* Expectations Of Wetter Conditions, More Mountain Snow Suggesting Basin Water Supply April-August Above Normal

* River Managers To Begin Flow Operations To Protect Spawning (ESA-Listed) Chum Salmon Below Bonneville Dam

* PNNL Develops Self-Charging Tag That Tracks Fish As Long As They Live; Could Track Sturgeon For Decades

* Study: ‘Network Theory’ Can Help Quantify Salmon, Lamprey Migration Routes At Columbia/Snake River Dams

* NMFS Seeks Comments On Proposal To Extend ESA Protections To Hatchery Fish Already Used To Support Protected Salmon, Steelhead

* Comments Sought On Proposed Eulachon (Smelt) Recovery Plan: Could Take 25-100 Years, $14 Million First Five Years

* NOAA 2015 Report: Salmon Fourth Highest Value Commercial Species ($460.2 Million), Dutch Harbor Most Seafood Landed

* NOAA Awards Research Funding To Address Rising Sea Level, Hypoxia, Harmful Algal Blooms

* Montana Scoping Meetings Slated For Columbia River System Operations EIS

* NOAA Fisheries Releases Final Recovery Plan For California Coastal Salmon, Steelhead

Fish & Game News:

News Releases

Fun Critter Stuff:

The Headless Horseman Rides Again

Express photo by Willy Cook

October 26, 2016 IME

A facsimile Headless Horseman greets approximately 600 visiting guests to Swiftsure Ranch south of Bellevue Saturday afternoon during the Blazing Pumpkins fundraising event. The affair functioned to create awareness and raise money for the ranch’s therapeutic equestrian center. None of the riders that benefit from equine-assisted activities or therapies that use the facility are charged fees, so money must be raised to put riders on horses. The festival Saturday offered fun activities for everyone. Catapult “pumpkin chuckin,” apple shooting, mechanical bull riding and a bonfire complete with s’mores kept kids smiling. The adults enjoyed food, drinks and checking out the horses and facility.

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This Dog’s Reaction To Her Gumby Toy Coming To Life Is All You’ve Ever Wanted

You may think you love Gumby, but we’re positive Jolene loves Gumby more.

Emily Crisp recorded her golden retriever, Jolene, playing with a stuffed Gumby toy in a viral video posted on Thursday.

The video turns from adorable to downright you’ll-want-to-cry-it’s-so-cute when Crisp’s boyfriend, Ben Mesches, shows up in a Gumby costume.

Jolene’s reaction to the real-life Gumby is, well, perfect. You can see what appears to be pure shock and joy as she sees the living, breathing, giant version of her favorite toy.

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Where Did Halloween Come From?

The origin of Halloween can be traced to Samhain (pronounced sow-in, which rhymes with cow-in), which was an ancient Celtic festival that was celebrated to mark the end of harvest-time and the beginning of the new year. The ancient Celts believed that the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its thinnest during Samhain, thereby making it a good time to communicate with the deceased and to divine the future. Samhain is Gaelic for “summer’s end,” a day to bid good-bye to warmth and light as day length shortens.

Brief History Of Halloween

Following the Roman Empire’s rule over Celt-occupied lands in the 1st century A.D., the Romans incorporated many of the Celtic traditions, including Samhain, with their own. Eight hundred years later, the Roman Catholic Church further modified Samhain, designating November 1 as All Saints’ Day, in honor of all Catholic saints. This day was formerly known as Allhallowmas, hallow meaning to sanctify, or make holy. All Saints’ Day is known in England as All Hallows’ Day. The evening before, October 31, is known as All Hallows’ Eve, the origin of the American word Halloween!

If All Saints brings out winter,
St. Martin brings out Indian summer.

– Folklore

In later years, the Irish used hollowed-out, candlelit turnips carved with a demon’s face to frighten away spirits. When Irish immigrants in the 1840s found few turnips in the United States, they used the more plentiful pumpkins instead. See more about the ancient traditions of Halloween.

from the Old Farmer’s Almanac
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Orson Welles’ radio performance of “War of the Worlds” causes mass hysteria

Orson Welles was an actor, producer and writer, best remembered for directing and staring in the classic film Citizen Kane. But Welles was also known during his time for his radio broadcasts.

On October 30th 1938, Orson Welles’ radio performance of “War of the Worlds” caused mass hysteria. This performance was aired through the American radio drama station and it would have been expected to be taken as just another drama on the station. The only difference was that it started off as if it was a News Bulletin and therefore people began to believe it.

The “announcement” was that there was an alien invasion occurring and people panicked at the thought of that. It was cleared up, but nonetheless it was a shocking moment for many households.


Tips & Advice:

Pumpkin Carving Tips And Tricks

from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

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Cornhusk Doll

Native Americans used cornhusks to make spiritual messenger dolls. Early settlers in the Colonies painted faces on cornhusk dolls and made them into toys.

Here’s how:

Save some fine-grained inner cornhusks and store them in a dry place.

Soak dried husks in warm water to make them easier to handle.

If you want, dye them with regular fabric dyes (they pick up the color, but slowly).

For the head, make a ball out of a cornhusk, fold two husks over the ball, and tie off for the neck with cotton string or heavy thread.

Make arms by rolling husks into a tight tube or braiding three husks together, then put the piece through the middle of the doll.

Make a dress by folding husks over each shoulder and crossing them at waist level.

Tie the waist with string and cover with a narrow cornhusk.

Trim the skirt so she can stand up.

Glue on corn silk for hair, and make a bonnet out of a husk.

from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Halloween Humor:



Weekly Quote:

“Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.”

– Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1939


Road Reports Oct 30

Summary of this week’s road reports:

Johnson Creek route – as of Wednesday the 26th, there was no snow on either Big Creek summit or Landmark. Johnson Creek road was in pretty good shape. Some trees had come down but all had been cut out.

Reminder: Mail service switches to 3-days per week starting Nov. 1st. 

South Fork route – as of Thursday the 27th, there was no snow, road in good shape. (Less hunters to watch out for.) No rocks or trees down.

Lick Creek route – no reports for a few weeks. Might have been some snow last week, it may have melted off this week. Guessing the road is still open?

YP to Big Creek/Edwardsburg – still open. Last week there was up to 10″ of snow at Profile Gap, but may be much less this weekend with warmer weather and rain. The road between YP and Profile creek was getting pretty rough. The lower part of Profile Creek road was in good shape.

YP to Stibnite – except for the lower part of the road being rough, the rest of the route remains in good shape all the way to the mine. No reports from Monumental summit.

Idaho History October 30, 2016

Campbells Ferry

Campbell’s Ferry

Campbell’s Ferry was a ferry crossing on the Salmon River, located at Mile 148 of the river in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. The ferry was part of the Three Blaze Trail, which connected Grangeville to the Monumental Creek Trail at Thunder Mountain. William Campbell established the trail and ferry in 1898, as well the Campbell’s Ferry Ranch on the south bank of the river; Campbell was also the ferry’s first operator. Campbell disappeared and was presumed dead in the winter of 1902-03, and the ranch and ferry passed through a succession of owners until Joe and Emma Zaunmiller acquired the property. Emma died in 1938 in a horseback riding accident, and Joe eventually married ranch hand Lydia Frances Coyle. Frances successfully promoted the construction of a bridge to replace the ferry crossing, which was completed in 1956; the couple ceremonially let the ferryboat float away downriver.

Campbell’s Ferry was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 8, 2007.

source: Wikipedia
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Campbell’s Ferry

Published on Jan 24, 2015

Located on the Main Fork of the Salmon River, Campbell’s Ferry was first settled by a Scottish immigrant by the name of William Campbell in 1897. When gold was discovered by the Caswell brothers at Thunder Mountain, about 50 miles to the South of Campbell’s Ferry, William Campbell built a ferry to cross the river.

This video tells the story of the people who came to live at Campbell’s Ferry and of the evolution of this area of Idaho to what it is today.

Presented by the Idaho Heritage Trust.


page updated Nov 15, 2018

Weather Reports Oct 23-29

Oct 23 Weather:

At 10am it was 34 degrees, mostly clear (some high haze) and heavy dew. More haze and filtered sun mid-day. Thicker haze by late afternoon. At 630pm it was 52 degrees and mostly cloudy.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time October 24, 2016 at 10:00AM
Max temperature 66 degrees F
Min temperature 34 degrees F
At observation 41 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch
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Oct 24 Weather:

At 10am it was 41 degrees and overcast. Rain after 230pm for about 2 hours. At 645pm it was 45 degrees and mostly cloudy.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time October 25, 2016 at 10:00AM
Overcast, light rain
Max temperature 49 degrees F
Min temperature 38 degrees F
At observation 41 degrees F
Precipitation 0.24 inch
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Oct 25 Weather:

At 10am it was 41 degrees, overcast and light rain falling. Rain ended just before noon, light breeze. A few drops of rain off and on around 6pm. At 630pm it was 50 degrees, dark overcast and breezy.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time October 26, 2016 at 10:00AM
Max temperature 52 degrees F
Min temperature 41 degrees F
At observation 45 degrees F
Precipitation 0.01 inch
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Oct 26 Weather:

At 10am it was 45 degrees and overcast. Cloudy all day but no rain. At 645pm it was 51 degrees and cloudy.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time October 27, 2016 at 10:00AM
Overcast, heavy dew
Max temperature 62 degrees F
Min temperature 40 degrees F
At observation 45 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch
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Oct 27 Weather:

At 10am it was 45 degrees, overcast and damp with dew. Rain started about 220pm, gusty breezes at times. Not raining at 4pm. At 630pm it was 53 degrees, dark overcast and blustery. Rain started some time before 1130pm, coming down pretty good. Still raining at 330am, but probably done around 530am.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time October 28, 2016 at 10:00AM
Overcast, foggy mtns
Max temperature 62 degrees F
Min temperature 41 degrees F
At observation 42 degrees F
Precipitation 0.15 inch
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Oct 28 Weather:

At 10am it was 42 degrees, overcast, foggy clouds down low on the flanks of the mountains. Cloudy all day, fairly calm. At 630pm it was 48 degrees and cloudy – a couple cracks in the cloud cover.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time October 29, 2016 at 10:00AM
Mostly clear, light ground fog, slight frost
Max temperature 57 degrees F
Min temperature 33 degrees F
At observation 33 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch
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Oct 29 Weather:

At 10am it was 33 degrees, mostly clear, very light ground fog rising and a tiny bit of frost. Clouds came in before lunch, overcast all afternoon. At 645pm it was 51 degrees and overcast. Rain shower started just before 815pm (may not have lasted long.) Raining pretty good at 120am for a little while.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time October 30, 2016 at 10:00AM
High overcast
Max temperature 59 degrees F
Min temperature 33 degrees F
At observation 42 degrees F
Precipitation 0.04 inch

Road Report Oct 26

Wednesday (Oct 26) mail truck driver (Bruce) said the Johnson Creek route was in pretty good shape. No snow on the road. Said trees had come down but all had been cut out.

Also a report coming in from Cascade to YP via the South Fork Route. Road OK, less hunters.

Oct 23, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times

Oct 23, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

YPWUA News: 

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:

The community has ordered two new griddles for the community hall. Huge thanks to Cecil for doing the research in order to find ones that are suitable. Also thanks to Cecil for winterizing the community hall!

Also, Willie Sullivan has purchased the toilets for the community hall.

This Spring will be busy with projects to have all these items installed and in service.

– AF

Village News:


Just a reminder to folks in Yellow Pine that our local medical response is coordinated by Cascade Fire/EMS and Valley County’s 9-1-1 system. Our local medical folks check in with each other and have Valley County Radios to monitor the Valley County 9-1-1 dispatcher for calls in Yellow Pine. The ambulance stationed in Yellow Pine is only in-service when Jeff F is here per the State of Idaho, Health and Welfare. To activate an emergency response, please remember to call 9-1-1 as soon as you can. This allows the ambulance from Cascade to get rolling to YP and for the 9-1-1 dispatcher to track down our emergency responders. If you have a medical Emergency, Please Call 9-1-1.

– JF
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Ed’s Propane truck came in Oct 20th.

Amerigas Propane is due to come in Nov 1st. Call them at 208-634-8181 by Oct 26 to get on the list.

Local Observations:

Monday (Oct 17) rained most of the night, low clouds, misting a little and damp. Snow line lower on VanMeter (6500′?) and new snow on the very top of Golden Gate. Light rain most of the afternoon. Overcast evening and calm.

Tuesday (Oct 18) no frost, sprinkled off and on most of the night, low foggy clouds this morning, sprinkling and damp. Snow line lower on VanMeter (6000′?) and standing water and puddles down here. Spotted a pine squirrel in the yard. Sprinkles all morning. Rain showers off and on during the afternoon and evening. Power off and back on at 637pm. More rain after dark off and on into the night and early morning.

Wednesday (Oct 19) no frost, low clouds on the mountains but clear above and damp. Pot holes full of water. Snow line looks like its about 6000′ – fresh snow on top of Golden Gate peak. Partly sunny during the day and a little warmer, but the light afternoon breezes were chilling. Mostly clear by evening.

Thursday (Oct 20) dipped below freezing during the night, but clouds came in and temp above freezing before sunrise. Stellar jay in the yard. Cloudy all day and quiet. Breezy late afternoon.

Friday (Oct 21) no frost this morning, mostly cloudy. Increased traffic, more people around. Clouds all day, but sun broke thru every so often, a little warmer than it has been. Snow line is higher on VanMeter. Cloudy evening. Pine squirrel scolding from tree by the golf course.

Saturday (Oct 22) early morning rain, no frost, clearing above, low foggy clouds on the hills. Increased weekend traffic. As the day warmed up, the foggy clouds on the mountains dissipated, partly sunny at times mid-day. Overcast later in the afternoon and mild.

Sunday (Oct 23) no frost, heavy dew, some high haze but mostly clear this morning. Thicker haze after lunch time and filtered sun. Pine squirrel stashing pine cones this afternoon. Quiet evening and mostly cloudy.

Photo to Share:

Profile Pass on 10/20/2016


photo by Colleen Back

“Here’s a pic of Profile Pass on Oct 20th.  It was passable as you can see made easier with a lot of hunters coming in and out of Big Creek. Seems the next week will be better weather, so the pass will likely continue to be navigable for the time being.”

[Note: As of Oct 22nd, there was 10″ of snow at the pass.]

Letters to Share:

Gordon Cruickshank for Valley County Commissioner

As your Valley County Commissioner I want to highlight some of the accomplishments over the years and ongoing projects for Valley County:

• Donated land to build 72 Work Force Housing units in McCall
• Secured Grants with the Federal Highway Administration for Warm Lake Road (nearing completion) and Warren Wagon Road (scheduled for 2017)
• East Lake Fork Bridge replacement with another Grant in the coming years
• Fire Wise Grants to help reduce the risk of fire in many areas of the county
• Grants supported the purchase of the Wellington Recreation Area and new campground
• A grant to study the possibility of a Bio-Mass Campus in Valley County
• Securing easements for the Snowmobile Grooming Program
• Testified in front of a Congressional Senate Committee on the impacts of the Endangered Species Act to communities
• Testified twice to Congressional House Committees on utilizing the Idaho Department of Lands for an optional timber management program on the National Forest without Transferring Ownership of the Public Lands

Gordon Cruickshank
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Sean Gould for Valley County Commissioner

Sean Gould is committed to Valley County. Born in McCall, Sean volunteered with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation before graduating from McCall Donnelly High School, where he met his wife Morgan Zedalis, in 2001. During college summers, Sean worked in Valley County’s kitchens, construction crews, land-survey teams, for the ID Fish and Game, and Ikola logging. Sean studied moral psychology, ethics, and the importance of home. He’s on McCall Library’s Board of Trustees and McCall’s Environmental Advisory Committee. An active outdoorsman, Sean works as a raft guide and ski instructor. In his spare time he enjoys rock-climbing, trail running, and skiing with his wife and two huskies.
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The Star-News to sponsor candidate forums in McCall, Cascade next week

The Star-News October 20, 2016

Candidates on the ballot for the Nov. 8 general election have been invited to speak at candidate forums in McCall and Cascade next week sponsored by The Star-News.

The McCall forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the downstairs community room at Idaho First Bank.

The Cascade forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. next Thursday, Oct. 27, in the Cascade American Legion hall.

Invited are candidates for Valley County offices, District 8 of the Idaho Legislature, the Idaho Supreme Court and the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

Candidates will give opening remarks, after which written questions from the audience will be read. There will be time before and after the forums to meet informally with the candidates.

source: The Star-News:

Midas Gold News:

Midas Gold files operating plan with Payette National Forest

Process begins to secure myriad of state, federal permits

BY TOM GROTE for The Star-News October 20, 2016

Midas Gold as filed its plan with the Payette National Forest to extract gold from the Stibnite area of Valley County.

The three-inch thick plan details how Midas Gold plans to remove gold and antimony from the ground at the historic site near Yellow Pine.

The plan also outlines how Midas Gold plans to restore the damage it does while mining as well as the previous damage done by nearly 100 years of mining in the area east of McCall.

The submission begins what likely will be years of study and public involvement by the Payette under the National Environmental Policy Act, the nation’s master environmental protection law.

Midas Gold hope that the Payette will approve its plans to remove what the company thinks is four to five million ounces of gold and 100 million to 200 million pounds of anitmony, a fire-retardant material, at the site over 12 years.

The company predicts that up to 1,000 employees will work to build the mine over three years, after which an average of 600 people would work to remove the precious metals.

The company is selling hard its plans to completely restore past mining scars at the site. That effort is reflected in the name of the application, a Plan of Restoration and Operation. Normally, mining plans submitted to federal agencies are called Plan Of Operations.

“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,” said Laurel Sayer, president & CEO of Midas Gold Idaho, Inc., the subsidiary of Midas Gold Corp., of Vancouver, B.C., that will manage the project.

Dozens of Permits

Before restoration or mining can happen, the company must obtain dozens of permits from the Payette as well as other federal agencies and state and local governments, said Anthony Botello, ranger of the Payette’s Krassel District, on which the project is located.

Among the permits needed will be for dredging and filling, to ensure the quality of the air and water in the area is protected and to alter the steams in the area.

Several agencies and groups will be invited to weigh in on the proposal in addition to the public. Those groups include the Idaho State Historic Preservation office, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and Native American tribes.

The goal of the agencies is to ensure restoration work is done as the mine is operating and not wait until Midas Gold has completed removing minerals, Botello said.

State and federal agencies will work to ensure there is enough money set aside by Midas Gold to complete the restoration and monitor water quality if the mine were to suddenly shut down, he said.

The Payette will hire a consulting firm to do most of the environmental analysis, and Midas Gold has agreed to pay for that part of the project, Botello said.

continued The Star-News:
— — —

Midas Gold names point person to guide permitting process

Payette forest also to hire project coordinator

BY TOM GROTE for The Star-News October 20, 2016

A political veteran has been hired by Midas Gold to shepherd the company’s plan to mine gold in the Stibnite area near Yellow Pine.

Laurel Sayer has been named as president and chief executive officer of Midas Gold Idaho, Inc.

Midas Gold Idaho is a subsidiary of Midas Gold Corp., of Vancouver, B.C., and the operating company for the company’s Stibnite Gold Project.

Sayer, who previous was a board member of Midas Gold Corp., spent more than two decades working on policy matters with Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, with an emphasis on natural resources.

She has served as executive director of the Idaho Coalition of Land Trusts since 2013 and will step down from the position to assume her new role.

“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,” said Stephen Quin, President & CEO of Midas Gold Corp.

continued The Star-News:
— — —

Midas Gold has invested $137 million looking for gold at Stibnite

BY TOM GROTE for The Star-News October 20, 2016

Since it first started work in 2009, Midas Gold has invested $137 million into the Stibnite Gold Project, $100 million of which has been spent in Idaho, according to figures from the company.

The Vancouver, B.C., company has 29 employees in Idaho, of which 23 are permanent full-time. Six employees work at the company’s office north of Donnelly.

Peak employment for the company was in 2012 when 130 people, including contractors, worked during the height of the exploration phase that consisted of core drilling.

The company has predicted that obtaining environmental approvals could take up to five years. If permits are received, then construction of the mine would take up to three years.

During construction, the company expects to hire about 1,000 people, either directly on contract with other companies.

If gold mining begins in earnest, the extraction phase is expected to last 12 years. There would be an average of 600 people working on the site, according to Midas Gold estimates.

Total payroll would be an estimated $48 million per year during construction and $56 million per year during mining and processing.

continued The Star-News:

Idaho News:

Tamarack Resort owners buy back land, buildings

New company formed to operate ski area this winter

BY TOM GROTE for The Star-News October 20, 2016

Homeowners at Tamarack Resort have moved to put the resort under local ownership – for now.

Last week, the Tamarack Homeowners Association announced a newly formed company had bought the land and buildings previously owned by New TR Acquisition Co., also known as NewTrac.

On Monday, representatives of the homeowners bought key pieces of the Lodge at Osprey Meadows that had been put up for auction by Valley County for non-payment of property taxes.

The new company is called Tamarack Homeowners Acquisition Company. Meanwhile, a subsidiary of the homeowners association will operate the ski area at the resort southwest of Donnelly this winter.

… Replay Resorts had operated the ski area the last two winters after the homeowners association had operated the ski area for the four previous seasons.

… The properties bought by the homeowners include two timber stands, 37 lots in the Blue Mountain Subdivision, 14 condos in the Lodge at Osprey Meadows, The Canoe Grill, Seven Devils Pub, Sports Dome, Wildhorse Youth Activity Center and the unfinished expansion of the lodge.

However, millions of dollars in past-due property taxes have not been paid on the acquired parcels, Valley County Treasurer Glenna Young said. Valley County is moving forward with a Dec. 5 hearing to seize those properties.

… The homeowners will decide which of the properties are important for the operation of the resort and will pay those back taxes, said Larsen, who previously worked for Replay Resort and is now working for the homeowners.

“Some properties might be allowed to go back to the county to facilitate them being acquired by people with a vision for their future development,” he said.

The homeowners group also paid about $287,000 in back taxes due on facilities on land leased from the Idaho Department of Lands, including the two main ski lifts, the unfinished mid-mountain lodge and the zip line.

full story The Star-News:
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Homeowners move seen as good news for Tamarack golf course

Unfinished Village Plaza not involved in buyout

BY TOM GROTE for The Star-News October 20, 2016

The move by the homeowners of Tamarack Resort to buy out the previous resort owners is good news for the future of the Osprey Meadows Golf Course, a spokesperson for the golf course said.

The purchase of land and buildings formerly owned by New TR Acquisition Co. and West Mountain Golf by homeowners gives those who control the course hope it can be sold, Boise attorney T.J. Angstman said.

“This is what we’ve been waiting for – for five years,” Angstman said.

Angstman represents Jeanne Bryant of Receivership Management Inc., of Brentwood, Tenn.

Bryant in turn represents Retirement Security Plan & Trust of Wichita Falls, Texas, the company from which former golf course owner Matthew Hutcheson illegally transferred $3.3 million.

Hutcheson was convicted in 2013 on 17 counts of wire fraud and is serving a 17-year prison term.

Angstman hopes that any buyer of the resort properties from the homeowners also will buy the golf course to help repay RSPT for the funds lost to Hutcheson.

… The Tamarack Municipal Association operated the course for three years, from 20012 through 2014, after the owner could no longer afford to operate or irrigate the course.

In 2014, Bryant sued the homeowners association in federal court for past-due property taxes as well as $718,000 per year in rent.

As a result of the lawsuit, the association walked away from the course in 2015, calling Bryant’s claims unreasonable. The lawsuit was later dismissed.

full story The Star-News:
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Idaho 55 bridge over Gold Fork River expected to open

The Star-News October 20, 2016

The new Idaho 55 Gold Fork River Bridge on Idaho 55 south of Donnelly was scheduled to open no later than today, the Idaho Transportation Department said.

Once traffic is switched to the new bridge, construction crews will remove the temporary bridge used during construction, and ITD news release said. Motorists should expect to see construction on the west side of Idaho 55 through late October.

The project includes a single span 151-foot-long bridge which replaced the two-span 137-foot-long bridge built in 1947

The new road has 12-foot travel lanes with 10-foot shoulders and bridge abutments and roadway slopes to withstand high flows from the Gold Fork River

There is a modern guardrail in both directions and new roadway approaches on each side of the bridge, the ITD said.

source: The Star-News:
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Valley centennial committee seeks info on old buildings

The Star-News October 20, 2016

The Valley County Centennial Committee will celebrate the 100th birthdays of the county and Cascade next year and is interested in buildings which have reached the century mark.

The buildings will receive either a sign or banner to showcase their significance in local history.

Those who would like their building recognized should contact Shauna Arnold at skhines @ for details.

source: The Star-News:
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Workshop on Doing Business with the Government in McCall

(via email 10/18)

We are scheduled to present a “Doing Business with the Government” training in McCall on Oct 26th.  As of today we only have two people registered for the training.  Without a minimum of 5 registrants the training will be cancelled.  Please pass the information below along to other business acquaintances in your area.

This workshop will give you the opportunity to review requirements for doing government contracting, assistance available from PTAC, SBAs role in government contracting, contracting with ITD and the DBE program, and finally you will hear from a federal contracting officer who will enumerate details for contracting with their agency.

Dates, times and registration details are below.  Training starts at 8:30 AM and run approximately to 12:30 PM.  For additional information on this training please contact Lee Velten at (208) 426-1742.

26 Oct 2016 – McCall at the Idaho First Bank, 475 Deinhard Lane in McCall, ID

Registration Link:

Lee H Velten, Idaho PTAC Analyst
Boise State University SBDC
2360 W University Dr, Ste 2132
Boise, ID 83725-1655
(208) 426-1742

[h/t to GC]
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Western governors, feds attempt uneasy collaboration

By KEITH RIDLER – 10/21/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — The relationship between federal land management agencies and Western states to find collaborative ways to manage large swaths of forests and rangelands is improving but could be better, Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said.

“I’m seeing it improve,” said Otter. “It’s long overdue. I would also tell you that it’s not unique to Idaho.”

Otter and U.S. Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary Jim Lyons addressed a two-day workshop of the Western Governors’ Association’s National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative that ended Friday in Boise.

The plan is to bring local, state, federal and private entities together to find collaborative ways to attain the dual goals of creating jobs while also reducing the threat of forest fires and improving rangelands.

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Western Governors’ Association

Sharing a video of my speaking to the crowd with other commissioners on impacts of Forest and Rangeland Management at the workshop this past Friday.

Gordon Cruickshank

Roundtable: Impacts of Forests and Rangelands on Local Governments

Streamed live on Oct 21, 2016

Moderator: Dennis Becker, University of Idaho. Panelists: Gordon Cruickshank, Valley County Commissioner; Joe Merrick, Owyhee County Commissioner; Don Ebert, Clearwater County Commissioner; Terry Kramer, Twin Falls County Commissioner. This roundtable is part of the National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative, the central policy initiative of Montana Gov. Steve Bullock in his capacity as Chair of the Western Governors’ Association.
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Texas billionaires will deal on Idaho trail access, Valley County official says

by Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman Oct 21, 2016

The two Texas billionaire brothers who bought 172,000 acres of forest land in Southern Idaho stopped logging in part because they were worried it was being overlogged, a Valley County official said.

And they were disgusted with the trash they found at the many dispersed campsites spread out across the lands previously owned by Boise Cascade and Potlatch Corp., said Larry Laxson, Valley County Parks and Recreation Director.

Most of all, Laxson said, he is hopeful access for snowmobiles to the county’s extensive trail system can be worked out for this winter. He has been talking to Farris and Dan Wilks and their representatives every week.

“They are very reclusive, they kind of want their privacy,” Laxson said. “They’re good people.”

Read more here:
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Idaho officials eye purchase of 1,400-acre forest parcel

By KEITH RIDLER – AP 10/18/16

BOISE, Idaho — In a push to add more forests to state endowment lands, the Idaho Land Board voted Tuesday to consider buying about 1,400 acres near St. Maries from the state Department of Fish and Game.

The unanimous vote by the five-member board is part of the board’s new strategic reinvestment plan to use about $160 million from commercial real estate and residential cottage site sales to buy timberland and agricultural land.

The land near St. Maries has an appraised value of $4.6 million.

The vote directs the Idaho Department of Lands to pursue buying the land and to hire an independent timberland adviser to analyze the possible purchase.

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Crews to move Idaho’s largest tree for construction

10/20/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — Crews are working to remove Idaho’s largest sequoia tree from where it sits next to a hospital because of construction.

On Wednesday, a crew from Environmental Design Inc., a company whose expertise is moving large trees, began work to move the 104-year-old tree from its place next to St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center to a new site at Fort Boise Park, The Idaho Statesman reported ( ). The tree won’t be physically moved until the spring, but work needs to be done to make sure the tree remains healthy.

In order to move the tree, which stands 98 feet tall and is more than 20 feet around, crews will dig a trench around the sequoia and prune its roots to a 20- to 25-foot radius. A special watering plan will help heal the roots before the tree is actually moved.


Forest / Parks News:

Western governors, feds attempt uneasy collaboration

By KEITH RIDLER – 10/21/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — The relationship between federal land management agencies and Western states to find collaborative ways to manage large swaths of forests and rangelands is improving but could be better, Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said.

“I’m seeing it improve,” said Otter. “It’s long overdue. I would also tell you that it’s not unique to Idaho.”

Otter and U.S. Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary Jim Lyons addressed a two-day workshop of the Western Governors’ Association’s National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative that ended Friday in Boise.

The plan is to bring local, state, federal and private entities together to find collaborative ways to attain the dual goals of creating jobs while also reducing the threat of forest fires and improving rangelands.

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US parks director: More worker sex harassment cases likely

By KEITH RIDLER – 10/20/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — The National Park Service must attract younger and more racially diverse visitors to the areas it manages, and it will probably uncover more cases of sexual harassment in its workforce of 22,000 employees following a scandal involving demands for sex by male workers from their female colleagues, the service’s outgoing director said in an interview Tuesday.

Jon Jarvis, who will retire from the park service in January after a 40-year career, was called before Congress in June after a report confirming sexual harassment and a hostile work environment at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and Canaveral National Seashore in Florida. Some lawmakers on a House committee called for his resignation.

Jarvis, who is 63, said he is not retiring in response to those demands but that his term as director automatically ends after a new U.S. president takes office in January.

He called the sexual harassment horrible and unacceptable. Jarvis said he was unaware it had been going on, but he expected more cases to emerge now that the park service is actively investigating.


Critter News:

E-mails Reveal Back-room Arm-twisting at Idaho Fish & Game Commission

Opponents Axed Volunteer Commissioners, Targeted Agency Heads

October 17, 2016 IWF

BOISE — Recently unveiled emails confirm what Idaho sportsmen had suspected: That Gov. Butch Otter bowed to political pressure to axe two members of Idaho’s Fish and Game Commission, who ran afoul of a Legislator’s desire to revamp the way Idaho distributes its most prized hunting licenses.

“Idahoans enjoy a world-class wildlife resource thanks to our independent Fish & Game Commission,” said Kahle Becker of the Idaho Wildlife Federation. “The strong-arm politics we have unveiled are a direct threat to Idaho sportsmen and the hunting heritage we have built over decades.”

Recently unveiled emails clearly show that Blackfoot businessman Doug Sayer and Sen. Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, used their political influence to draw cross-hairs on the Commissioners who objected to their goals. Sayer is an influential member of the Idaho Republican Party; Bair is chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee. Sayer also tried, but failed, to bring down the Director and Deputy Director at the Idaho Department of Fish & Game.

At issue is the lottery system that Idaho uses to distribute highly prized and limited hunting permits, such as moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat. Historically, these permits have been distributed in annual lotteries. But some Legislators have pushed to carve out more and more tags to be sold to the highest bidder, which has been controversial.

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Wildlife groups offer $20K for information on wolf’s death

10/18/16 AP

BEND, Ore. — Wildlife groups are offering $20,000 for information about a female wolf found dead in Oregon.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service described the wolf’s death as an illegal killing of an animal from an endangered species.

… The 3-year-old gray wolf known as OR 28 was originally from the Mount Emily pack and was part of the newly forming Silver Lake pack.

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Court mandates new recovery plan for Mexican gray wolves


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Federal wildlife officials are now under a court order to update a decades-old recovery plan for the endangered Mexican gray wolf, a predator that has struggled to regain a foothold in the American Southwest despite millions of dollars of investment in reintroduction efforts.

An Arizona judge on Tuesday dismissed the concerns of ranchers and others and signed off on a settlement between environmental groups and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Scientists say study was misinterpreted in red wolf decision

By JONATHAN DREW – 10/18/16 AP

RALEIGH, N.C. — Four scientists cited in a decision to scale back the only wild population of red wolves say the government misinterpreted their work, according to a letter released Tuesday.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced in September it intends to sharply reduce the wolves’ territory in eastern North Carolina and remove some wolves from the wild to bolster a separate captive breeding population.

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Wolf Education International

Newsletter 10/22/2016

Wolf warning in Fort Simpson after animals seen lurking in community

County, stock growers call on Congress to delist wolves

Court Mandates New Recovery Plan for Mexican Gray Wolves
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The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
October 21, 2016
Issue No. 807

Table Of Contents

* Re-introduced Sockeye Salmon Returning In Growing Numbers To Upper Yakima Basin’s Lake Cle Elum

* 2016 Snake River Sockeye: 574 Make It To Redfish Lake, Over 1,000 Fish Released Into Lakes (Anadromous Plus Captives)

* Chinook Forecast Decline, Low Steelhead, Coho Return: Recreational Fishing Shut Down On Columbia River Mainstem

* Deschutes River Water Quality: Court Filing Challenges PGE Contention Only FERC Has Jurisdiction

* Study Indicates Lake Pend Oreille Bull Trout Population Stable; If Continues Some Angling Might Be Allowed In Future

* Scientists Offer Review, Suggestions For John Day River Watershed Restoration Strategy

* NOAA’s Winter Outlook: Wetter, Cooler Conditions In Northern U.S., Drought To Persist In California

* Study Looks At How Salmon Rivers Might Fare With Climate Change, Larger Floods

* WDFW Suspends Lethal Action Against Wolf Pack In Northeast Washington, Killed 7 Wolves

* Research Shows Key To Humpback Whale Recovery Is Understanding Fidelity To Local Habitats

* Climate, Floods, Floodplain Habitat Discussed At Future Of Our Salmon Conference

Fun Critter Stuff:

The Kind Scottish Wulver

Posted on October 23, 2010 by Amanda Moffet in Scottish Myths

The Wulver

Wulvers are ofter called werewolves, but legend shows they are quite different. Said to inhabit the Shetland Islands to the north of the Scottish mainland. The ancient Celts believed that the Wulver evolved from wolves, and that the Wulver symbolizes the in-between stage of man and wolf. With the head of a wolf, the body of a man, and covered in short brown hair, the Wulver lives alone in a cave. Unlike his werewolf brethren, the Scottish Wulver is considered kindhearted, and he will often guide lost travelers to nearby towns and villages. There are also tales of Wulvers leaving fish on the windowsills of poor families.

The Wulver was frequently spotted fishing for its daily meal from a rock dubbed, ‘The Wulver’s Stane’ (Wolf Stone), and as long as he was left alone, a Wulver showed no aggression. Habitually, this peace-loving creature demonstrated a benevolent side as well, and oft-times was observed leaving extra fish on the windowsill of poor families.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much documentation on the elusive Wulver, the last reported sighting being in the early twentieth century. Considering there are few bad stories connected with the beast, many believe an encounter providential, and may lead a person to treasure buried amongst ancient ruins. Conversely, others view Wulver sightings as omens of imminent death.

Werewolf tales abound, cloaked in terror, wonder and ill will. Therefore, if ever you find yourself lost on the fog-shrouded shores of the Shetland Isles, you’d do well to pray the benign Wulver finds you first, and guides you safely home.


[h/t SMc]
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New Study Sheds Light on What Deer See

by Darren Warner July 28, 2014 Outdoor Live Blog

If you’re a deer hunter who likes to wear blue jeans to your stand, you might as well hang a cowbell around your neck to let whitetails know you’re in the woods. And if you wear camouflage with many subtle colors, it may be doing you more harm than good.

At the recent QDMA conference, researchers from the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources presented findings from a new study on whitetail vision.

Before getting into that work, to understand what deer see and how their vision is different from ours, it’s important to revisit what we learned about vision in high school science class.

… Biologist Dr. Bradley Cohen trained does to associate light wavelengths with a food reward to test how well deer can see.

full story and video:

Fish & Game News:

News Releases

Fun Stuff:

Salut Salon “Wettstreit zu viert” (“Competitive Foursome”)

[h/t PK]

Quote of the week:

“We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly – spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.”

– Susan L. Taylor


Road Reports Oct 23

Summary of reports this last week:

Johnson Creek route: Mail truck driver reported a little snow on Big Creek summit, more snow at Landmark (6″) and the upper parts of Johnson Creek road last Wednesday.  Johnson Creek road well traveled and not too bad. Warm Lake highway was slick in the early morning near the snow line.

South Fork route:  Road was good on Thursday, no rocks or trees down. Lots of hunters!

Big Creek: Reports that the road between YP and the Profile creek turn off was getting beat up. Have received reports of up to 10″ of snow on Profile Gap as of yesterday, but still passable (with 4×4 or chains.) See photo.

No reports for Lick Creek route (probably some snow on the summit.)

With reports of snow in the high country, there is probably snow on Monumental summit – but no reports have come in.

Idaho History October 23, 2016

Frank Church Wilderness

A Campfire Vision: Establishing the Idaho Primitive Area

Dennis and Lynn Baird – Journal of the West (July 1987)

Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River knows few bad seasons, but to a hunter and outdoorsman, autumn is the best time of all. His love for hunting and for the wild heartland of Idaho brought Harry Shellworth to the shores of Big Creek, the Middle Fork’s major tributary, in October 1927. Shellworth, an executive in the Boise Payette Lumber Company and long time representative of what came to be known as the Weyerhaeuser “interests” in Idaho, was completing his twentieth trip into the Middle Fork country, stopping as usual at the cabin and homestead of “cougar” Dave Lewis on Big Creek. He had always brought friends along on these trips, many of them prominent Eastern businessmen. But this trip was a very special one, for joining Shellworth on the hunt were Idaho’s Governor H. Clarence Baldridge, Kellogg mining executive Stanley Easton, Boise photographer Ansgar Johnson (his photos of this trip appeared as far afield as the New York Times), District Forester Richard H. Rutledge of Ogden, and others. All were close friends of long duration and most were prominent Republicans as well. Writing three years later, Shellworth remembered night during the trip:

Many times during this trip the topic of our evening’s talk around the campfire was the question of whether or not this middle Fork Salmon River country, or at least that portion which is the natural winter range of game, should or should not become either a game preserve or a primitive area.

There is no record that the men reached any conclusions on this trip, nor is there specific information on the role played in the talks by District Forester Rutledge. It is clear, however, that a spark was lit, for both Rutledge and Governor Baldridge took action over the next two years to further the dream voiced at Dave Lewis’ camp. What motivated these men to act as they did? Was their plan for a vast Idaho Primitive Area merely an act in the larger drama of presentation battles in the 1920s? How could it be that men closely linked to industries needing free and open access to the public lands would become leaders in the cause of wilderness preservation? The answers for these questions must be sought in the unique circumstances of Idaho and its leading political figures as well as in an examination of the larger battles over wilderness preservation during the 1920s.

The late 1920s saw the laying of groundwork for the major conservation achievements of the Roosevelt years. This was especially true in the area of wilderness preservation. By 1931, thanks to the work of Bob Marshall, Aldo Leopold, Arthur Carhart, and others, the idea of forest primitive areas was well established and had a firm place in Forest Service rhetoric. The change in both agency and popular thought about wild places during the decade of the twenties from a utilitarian to a preservation perspective was immense and has naturally drawn the interest of historians of conservation. Several theories have been advanced by historians seeking some explanation for this change of thinking about wilderness. Some have argued that the Forest Service began to find wilderness and outdoor recreation more attractive during this period simply to counter the growing influence of the Park Service. Others, especially Forest Service officials, have argued that the agency was more altruistic in its motivation. A third theory looks more closely at the role played by the more powerful conservation actors of the 1920s, notably Leopold and Marshal, but also by Park Service and Forest Service officials such as Henry Graves, Arthur Carhart, and Steven Mather. Several men of more local influence, especially Western district foresters (renamed regional foresters in 1931), can be considered key players when individual areas are examined. In this third approach to conservation history, personality assumes a larger role than mere defense of agency turf.

As a consequence of this change of values, by July 1929, a legal vehicle existed through which the Forest Service could preserve wild lands. These were the L-20 regulations concerning primitive areas put into effect that year by the agency. Inventories taken as early as 1926 had identified many such places, mostly in the West, including three in Idaho. In their recreational planning process, district foresters had begun serious consideration of inventoried areas well in advance of completion of the L-20 regulations. In Idaho, interest both inside and outside the Forest Service quickly came to focus on the vast, undeveloped acreage along the Salmon River and south along its Middle Fork drainage.

This planning and study work by the district foresters also received impetus in 1927 and 1928 from the work of the influential National Conference on Out-door Recreation. With the Secretary of War as chairman, this large conference was called by President Coolidge and met in Washington in 1924 and 1926. Its final work called for the publication not only of its own proceedings but also for later publication of a series of studies to be done on various outdoor recreation topics. One such study was authored by a joint committee of the American Forestry Association and the National Park Association. This committee published its report in 1928, entitled “Recreation Resources of Federal Lands.”

This study found over 12 million acres (21 sites in all) suitable for some form of wilderness preservation. In Idaho, these were the Selway (1 million acres), the Middle Fork (1.25 million acres), and the Owyhee (1 million acres). The report spoke warmly of places “free of the ubiquitous motor . . . where it is still possible to enjoy outdoor life under the primitive conditions of the wilderness,” and added that “land planning for this unique phase of outdoor recreation is of vital importance but is in danger of irreparable neglect.” The joint committee report concluded by asking for “formal delimitation by proclamation of the Secretary of Agriculture of wilderness areas within the national forests and suppression of the exploitation of social uses or speculative economic uses inimical to the enjoyment of simple wilderness sports.”

Because the National Conference on Outdoor Recreation had been attended by virtually every leading recreation professional and many of the prominent citizens concerned with the outdoors, these recommendations, along with the many others made, were clearly of serious import to agency officials in the field. District foresters like R. H. Rutledge were well aware of the pressures generated by these interests. The response of these high-level Forest Service administrators varied greatly around the country, but Rutledge, district forester in Boise, was clearly sympathetic to the call to preserve these wild places.

He may have had his interest in the Middle Fork piqued by the work of a little-known figure in Idaho history, Frederick G. Ransom of Clarkston, Washington. From 1910 to 1930, Ransom, a chemistry graduate of Stanford University, had operated a large orchard in Clarkston and spent many summer hours along the Middle Fork. He also had spent much of that time corresponding with the Forest Service and political figures around the country, agitating for the preservation of what he hoped would be called Tukuarika Primitive Area, named for the Shoshonean Indians (also called Sheepeaters during the brief war of the same name) who once inhabited much of the Middle Fork drainage. Ransom’s correspondence with Rut-ledge in 1931 makes it clear that he had been working to influence the Forest Service for some time to establish the Tukuarika Primitive Area. Ransom encountered Robert Bailey for the first time in the Salmon River canyon in 1904 and made a considerable impression on that chronicler of the Salmon River. In fact, in his book River of No Return (1947), Bailey gives probably accurate credit to Ransom for originating the idea of preservation for the Middle Fork. Ransom lost his orchard at the start of the Depression, moved briefly to Vancouver, Washington, sought employment with the Forest Service in helping manage the new primitive area, and eventually moved East, vanishing from the arena of Idaho conservation battles. In a letter now lost, he wrote Bailey summarizing his work:

I would say that I, some years ago, conceived the idea of saving a part of this central Idaho for the propagation of its many fine species of wild life, and wrote widely presenting my idea to the various governmental departments which I thought might be interested. Practically all of the replies were discouraging, but seemingly my seed did not fall entirely on infertile ground.

Ransom also credited Gen. W. C. Brown of Colorado, a veteran of the Sheepeater War, and Senator William Borah, with later having advanced the cause of the Middle Fork, but they apparently had only very minor roles in the matter.

Instead, one must look more closely at the work and background of Intermountain District Forester Richard H. Rutledge and his long association with Idaho and its politicians. Rutledge, an Idaho native, had served the Forest Service for years in various capacities, including work as supervisor of two national forests in the state. As is the case today, this work brought him into close contact with the state’s more influential figures, including Governor Baldridge and lumber executive Harry Shellworth. Rutledge’s personal expertise was grazing management, and he enjoyed an exceptionally long tenure as district and then, regional, forester serving in Ogden from 1920 to 1938. He also was well known outside of Idaho and forestry circles and was picked in 1939 to head the Grazing Service, one of the predecessor agencies of the Bureau of Land Management. In that role he figured prominently in Interior Secretary Harold Ickes’ battles to move the Forest Service into the Interior Department. Rutledge was a man of considerable influence who knew well and clearly loved the Middle Fork country. His support for the primitive area, gained after the 1927 trip, was to prove essential. In addition to his respect for the natural values of the Middle Fork, Rutledge also may have had a hidden agenda: the removal of private lands from within the area and some limitation on homesteading rights in the proposed primitive area. If so, he failed to resolve either question. Concerns continue today over the impact of management of private lands within what is now the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, distinctly coloring the official management plan for the 2.3 million-acre wilderness.

Harry Shellworth, with whom Rutledge enjoyed the Middle Fork country on many occasions, was born in Texas in 1877 and, as a child, moved to Idaho where his father became a prominent merchant. As a young man, he fought in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War and traveled for several years in the Orient. After his marriage in 1905, he settled in Idaho again and his first job was cruising timber for what his family always called the “Weyerhaeuser interests.” His initial work took him into almost all of the forested regions of southern Idaho and was on behalf of the Barber Lumber Company which became the Boise-Payette Company, a direct predecessor of the current Boise Cascade Corporation. He served the Weyerhaeuser “interests” in many ways: preparing for the inevitable movement of the timber industry from the upper Midwest to the Northwest, as a land agent, and, very quickly, as an influential, behind-the-scenes man in Idaho Republican party politics. In addition, he acted as a guide, arranger, and general stage manager for trips into the Middle Fork and Big Creek which were arranged for Weyerhaeuser “interests” and for many prominent Eastern businessmen. He also served as a friend and business agent on the “outside” for back country characters like “Cougar” Dave Lewis. Shellworth played a direct role in the work of John and Phil Weyerhaeuser as they sought timberland and mill sites along north Idaho’s Clearwater River in 1926:

Harry Shellworth, still in the employ of the Boise Payette Company, has been assisting at John’s request in the effort to get the Idaho legislature to approve construction of a darn at Lewiston for power and log storage Shellworth inquired about the possibility of employment in the Clearwater organization.

His son, Eugene Shellworth, clearly remembers his first boyhood trip down Big Creek in 1924 and recalls that even then, his father talked of protecting the natural values of the area. His acquaintances on these early trips were his father’s good friends, Bob Lambert and Otto Jones. Lambert later became a defender of what is now the Craters of the Moon National Monument, and Jones was the first director of what Idaho voters in the mid-I930s established by initiative as the Idaho Fish and Game Department. Eugene learned much from these three, and remembers that:

It was the idea generated by these three people, entirely new concept, even to the name that they gave their dream of “Primitive Area.” It was their baby they brought to full life on Idaho’s streets in the late twenties. . .”

Three amazing bits of coincidence in the 1927-1928 period saw the transformation of this “dream” into the first phase of reality: the trip down Big Creek by influential Idahoans and Forest Service officials, the publication of the joint committee report on national forest recreation resources, and, finally, the internal clarification of Forest Service policy about wilderness. The final impetus came in a letter to Idaho Senator William Borah in late 1929, sent by Augustine Davis, a wealthy southern businessman just returned from a fall hunting trip into the Middle Fork. Davis asked the Senator what was being done to protect the country, and Borah passed the letter along to R. E. Shepherd, then president of the Idaho Chamber of Commerce. In April 1930, Shepherd wrote his friend Harry Shellworth, asking for advice on how to answer Davis.

Shellworth’s reply, four pages long, is a masterpiece of ambiguity in which he ruminated on the need to build roads into the area for fire protection, on the possible mineral values of the Middle Fork country, and on his own desire to “preserve this wonderful game land.” He summarized his feelings:

I have, in the past, been a very rabid proponent of the wilderness area idea for this particular area —now I am not so sure that it was not a glorified selfishness — a wish to keep this game land for the few who by reason of either wealth or, as in my case, fortunate opportunity, could enjoy it. I hope it may be protected and that many more people, many many more citizens of Idaho and our friends may enjoy it. With intelligent administration and proper laws I believe this can be accomplished.

Shellworth also sent along a memo that he had just received from his friend Rutledge in Ogden, which included the information that a study of a possible primitive area was in fact already underway and specu-

lated on how such a place should be managed. Shellworth concluded by suggesting to the Chamber of Commerce head that a committee of foresters, scientists, sportsmen, and politicians should be assembled to consider the primitive area and its boundaries. Copies of Shellworth’s correspondence with Shepherd also were sent to several state senators, Forest Service officials, and to state Game Warden R. E. Thomas. The replies to this effort by Shellworth were almost uniformly in support of the primitive area idea and of the plan to have a governor’s conference on the topic.

There was considerable talk around Idaho that summer about the primitive area. Rutledge collected reports on the area from his several forest supervisors, and on 17 November 1930, the regional forester took them to Boise to show the reports to Governor Baldridge. The governor apparently was enthusiastic, because he asked for a summary report on the area and promised to call a conference on its fate.

Rutledge kept himself busy in the interim. On 20 November he wrote his forest supervisors in the Idaho, Challis, Salmon, and Payette National Forests asking that they drum up local support for the primitive area, suggesting that each supervisor “secure from the game associations in his territory, an endorsement of the primitive area idea without going into any details as to boundaries. This it was hoped, would pave the way for the support of their representatives. . . .”

In a remarkable tribute to both Forest Service and Post Office efficiency, these solicited testimonials, in two cases typed on Forest Service watermarked paper, quickly (by 22 November, for one of them) poured into Rutledge’s office, with copies going to Governor Baldridge as well. Prominent Loon Creek (a Middle Fork tributary northwest of Stanley) outfitter and rancher J. P. Boyle also wrote in support of the idea. The available records, in fact, reveal no opposition at all during this stage of the discussions about the primitive area, but it is also very clear that regional forester Rutledge was both shrewd and careful in whom he picked to lobby on the subject, a skill that served him well in his later career in the Interior Department.

By late November 1930, the Forest Service was able to supply Govenor Baldridge with a draft proposal and map for the primitive area, which would cover about one million acres, including highly mineralized Thunder Mountain on the west side. The proposal went out of its way to ensure that language protecting miners and grazers was included. The issue of buying out agricultural private landholders was again raised. On 1 December, Governor Baldridge officially named Shellworth head of the committee and set a meeting date for 20 December. Eleven men were named to the committee, which was to meet in the caucus room of the Idaho House of Representatives.

Of the ten others named to the committee, almost all were Republicans (as was the Governor) and several had personal knowledge of the proposed primitive area. Two were state representatives: Cowles Andrus, a Challis rancher, and Robert Coulter, a farmer from Cascade. There were state senators: E. G. Van Hoesen, a prominent horticulturalist from Mesa; W. B. Mitchell, the president of Parma’s cooperative creamery; and Roscoe Rich, of Burley. Rich was an influential wool grower (he later served as president of the National Woolgrowers’ Association) and bank officer and had long been active in Republican politics. His family is still in the livestock business in eastern Idaho. The committee included other friends of Shellworth: Stanley Easton, the Bunker Hill executive from Kellogg; R. E. Thomas, state Game Warden; and R. E. Shepherd, of Jerome, then president of the Idaho Chamber of Commerce. C. M. Hatch, a Victor store owner, and S. C. Scribner, then supervisor of the Payette National Forest, completed the committee. Several of these names had come from Rutledge, but the genesis of the others on the list is unknown.

In addition to their Republican inclination, many had been Big Creek hunting trip participants. It is also clear that, collectively, this group had the political influence to put into effect any idea that they were able to approve. Governor Baldridge obviously knew what he was doing in selecting these particular men.

The governor himself opened the meeting, reminding members at some length about his own trip into the Middle Fork in 1927. According to the minutes of the committee, the governor hoped that no roads would be built into the area and that private lands within the area could be purchased. He did not foresee the primitive area as existing for all time and, like others, asked that nothing be done to preclude mining in the area. After the governor left, the committee took up the draft report, written for Regional Forester Rutledge. During the discussions, Coulter and Andrus raised concerns over dam construction and mining access. Hatch and Van Hoesen, both from towns far from the Middle Fork, thought the idea of a primitive area a good one. Some of the strongest support for the idea came from dairyman Mitchell, who spoke on the value of the primitive area in maintaining high-quality water for irrigation.

After all this discussion, Regional Forester Rutledge was asked to offer his opinion. He gave what was, for the time, an amazing talk on the economic value of wild lands and again raised his hopes of acquiring the patented private lands within the area. That done, a resolutions committee was named and returned its report by late afternoon. By unanimous vote, the governor’s committee recommended approval of the primitive area concept and asked Rutledge to submit his report on the area to his supervisor, Chief Forester R. Y. Stuart in Washington. On that note, the committee adjourned, never to meet again. Rutledge immediately went to work, joining his Idaho National Forest Supervisor Scribner in writing a final report for the chief forester.

A week later, the story of the committee’s work broke in the Boise press, in a full-page story complete with a rough map. Public reaction, at least as seen in the newspapers, was mixed, with land owners inside the primitive area boundary and miners being the most concerned. Idaho Inspector of Mines Stuart Campbell voiced his concerns over possible harm to miners from the proposal, not from the lack of access but from the lack of federally funded access. As he said, the “proposal forces any miner or prospector to build roads in this region without state or federal aid.” Others called the primitive area “a playground for the few,” an “intruding ghoul” halting just and necessary development, and a block in the development of Idaho for “the poor man.” The most substantive criticism came from Merle Wallace, a resident of the small mountain town of Warren, who was a cattle rancher along Big Creek and a former employee of the Idaho National Forest. Wallace claimed that the area was heavily inhabited and quite profitable for ranching, and warned that the primitive area designation was the first step “looking to the total abolishment of grazing rights of owners of patented lands.” Idaho National Forest Supervisor Scribner answered Wallace in the same paper a few days later, indicating that Wallace had simply misunderstood the rule governing the management of the area.

Most of these newspaper stories were forwarded to Forester Stuart by Rutledge along with two more letters from sportsmen’s clubs endorsing the idea. The Idaho State Chamber of Commerce sent Senator Borah a letter on 21 January 1931, cautiously endorsing the primitive area but asking for a federal survey of the mineral resources of the area, a plea which was quickly rejected and was not actually completed until the late 1970s.

By 23 January 1931, Regional Forester Rutledge had completed transmission of all the primitive area documents to Chief Forester Stuart in Washington. On 2 February, Stuart wrote Rutledge, tentatively approving the new primitive area, which would be the largest by far in the new system established under the L-20 regulations. Stuart complimented the Intermountain Region on the high quality of its primitive area study report. Stuart. however, wondered aloud about the permanent appearance of the proposal and repeated some Pinchot talk about the “largest beneficial return to the largest number of people.” He noted that in the future, the “Forest Service will feel free to modify the plan of management and use” should demands and circumstances change. In an amazing bit of foresight, Stuart also asked Rutledge if the region’s plan to promote the area might “nullify the purpose of the present designation” by attracting too many people, some of whom might demand roads and resorts in the primitive area.

Rutledge responded with a long defense of his promotion plans but suggested weakening the language dealing with the length and tenure of the primitive area designation. With these modifications, Stuart signed the final Idaho Primitive Area Report on 17 March 1931. The report is both detailed and extraordinarily well written. Its basic conclusion is that the facts of the report make it “clearly evident that the recreational value of the area is at present, and will continue to be, dominant.” The goal in establishing the area was clearly identified:

To make it possible for people to detach themselves, at least temporarily, from the strains and turmoil of modern existence, and to revert to simple types of existence in conditions of relatively unmodified nature [and] to afford unique opportunities for physical, mental, and spiritual recreation and regeneration.

The existing resources of the primitive area are described in detail in the report, which also offers a good history of the area. The report also included some suggestions on management of the area, although much of that detail came ultimately from the L-20 regulations. In a hint at battles to come, the report cautioned about the danger of extensive airplane landings in the primitive area, concluding that “if auto travel is not to be condoned, surely entrance by air should also be discouraged.” Finally, the report again asked that funds be provided for the purchase, on a willing-seller basis, of private lands from within the area. The total acreage was 1,087,744 acres, a number that was augmented in June 1937 by the addition of 145,000 acres in the Indian Creek and Pistol Creek drainages, an enlargement made mostly for hunting and wildlife purposes. Though the Forest Service ultimately established both the Selway-Bitterroot and the Sawtooth Primitive Areas in Idaho. this one, centered on the Middle Fork, perhaps by virtue of its size and precedence quickly came known as “the Primitive Area,” a name by which it is called by some even today, years after its transformation into the much larger Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness.

The citizens and officials involved in establishing the primitive area never argued much over the boundaries of the area, had few disagreements over their goals for the designation, and didn’t even battle much over the likely management of the area. The hidden agenda of the Forest Service, if indeed there was one, fairly quickly gave away to the obvious love for the primitive area. The threatening head of the National Park Service was nowhere in evidence during these discussions and, except for the Craters of the Moon National Monument, this sister agency was not to be seen much in Idaho until the first days of battle over the Sawtooths in the early 1970s. Citizens and Forest Service officials involved in the designation of the Idaho Primitive Area were clearly cognizant of the battles over wilderness going on elsewhere in the country during the same time period, but these national concerns seem to have been more of a fortuitous coincidence rather than a major stimulus to the work of wilderness preservation in Idaho. In that light, the L-20 regulations were not a beacon for these men in Idaho but simply a vehicle for work already underway.

Their work, and ultimately their success, in establishing the Idaho Primitive Area is all the more remarkable in the light of economic conditions of Idaho in 1930. At that time there were but 440,000 people in the state with a per capita income $200 below the national average of $705, and nearly half of the state’s total employment was tied in some way to the land. Under those conditions, the preservation of the forest wild lands must have been a low priority indeed.

Once the Forest Service was established, the rest of the decade of the 1930s saw serious efforts by the Service to clarify its management of the Idaho and other primitive areas. Chief Forester Stuart sought to clarify in his own mind what was intended and the Forest Service, in its 1933 National Plan for American Forestry, tried to specify terms for wild places (“superlative areas,” “primeval areas,” and “wilderness areas”) and to determine exactly what each meant on the ground. Just before his death in 1939, Bob Marshall was able to draft what became the U Regulations for managing wilderness areas. These were approved by Chief Forester Silcox and were to guide the management of the wilderness and primitive areas (the exact designation was changed several times) until debate began on the Wilderness Bill in the 1950s and 1960s.

Harry Shellworth seems to have played no part in the small enlargement of the Idaho Primitive Area in 1937, but continued his trips into the area up to the start of the Second World War. He also continued his work in Idaho on behalf of the Weyerhaeuser “interests” and kept his close ties with Rutledge during their mutual CCC work. Rutledge did play a big role in the enlargement of the Idaho Primitive Area in 1937, shortly before leaving the Forest Service for the Interior Department. In Washington, he quickly became an active participant in the long and on-going battles between the Interior and Agriculture Departments over the control of the resource management agencies.

The decade of the 1930s also saw the start of trips into the new primitive area by the man who might well be considered the successor of Harry Shellworth – Ted Trueblood, an outdoorsman and writer who ultimately settled in Nampa, Idaho. Writing for Outdoor Life. Trueblood quickly involved himself in most Idaho conservation battles. It was his vision of a greatly enlarged Idaho Primitive Area, to be named the River of No Return Wilderness after the work on the upper Salmon River of Lewis and Clark, that prepared the way for the second great struggle over the fate of central Idaho. His is a story yet to be told.

source (IDPTV link broken):
Note: paper at University of Idaho
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Shellworth October 1928 Trip

Harry Shellworth might seem an unlikely advocate for the cause of wilderness preservation. But the long effort to conserve Idaho’s wildlands crosses political party and ideological lines. An official with the Boise-Payette Lumber Company (a predecessor of Boise Cascade), Shellworth oversaw Weyerhaeuser logging interests in Idaho. But he also loved to hunt and camp, and he keenly appreciated the need to preserve some of Idaho’s pristine landscape for future generations. In 1928 he invited some important friends on a camping trip into central Idaho—including Governor Clarence Baldridge, Boise attorney Jess Hawley, and Kellogg mining executive Stanley Easton. Shellworth’s mission: To convince these powerful Idahoans that the land around the Middle Fork of the Salmon should be preserved.

In 1930, Baldridge—converted to the cause—appointed Shellworth to head a Governor’s Committee to explore Primitive Area designation for that breathtaking landscape. In 1931, the U.S. Forest Service established the Idaho Primitive Area. At 1.1 million acres, it was one of the earliest and largest Primitive Areas in the nation.

Idaho photographer Ansgar Johnson Sr. accompanied the party as the official photographer of the trip.

Breakfast in Camp


Shellworth and Baldridge beat Hawley to breakfast – once.

October 1928
photographer Ansgar Johnson Sr
Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, Valley County, Idaho
Copyright Idaho State Historical Society
source: Idaho State Archives
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Hawley, Shellworth, & Balddridge always first to “come and get it” call.

October 1928
photographer Ansgar Johnson Sr
Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, Valley County, Idaho
Copyright Idaho State Historical Society
source: Idaho State Archives

more photos: Harry Shellworth Album Idaho State Historical Society
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Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness History

In 1931, 1,090,000 acres in Central Idaho were declared by the U.S. Forest Service as The Idaho Primitive Area. In 1963, the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness was split into three parts: The Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, the Salmon River Breaks Primitive area, and the Magruder Corridor-the land between the two areas.

Frank Church was the Senate floor sponsor for the Wilderness Act of 1964, which protected 9 million acres of United States land as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. In 1968, he introduced the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which included the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, so that rivers “shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.”

Church’s environmental legislation culminated in 1980 with the passage of the Central Idaho Wilderness Act. The act created the River of No Return Wilderness by combining the Idaho Primitive Area, the Salmon River Breaks Primitive Area, and a portion of the Magruder Corridor. The Act also added 125 miles of the Salmon River to the Wild and Scenic Rivers System. President Carter had taken his family on a three-day float trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in August 1978, accompanied by Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus, the former (and future) Idaho governor. The administration forwarded a central Idaho wilderness proposal to Congress later that year[6] and Carter signed the final act on July 23, 1980.

… In January 1984, Congress honored Senator Church, who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, by renaming the area The Frank Church—River of No Return Wilderness. Idaho Senator Jim McClure introduced the measure in the Senate in late February, and President Reagan signed the act on March 14, less than four weeks before Church’s death on April 7 at age 59.

source: Wikipedia
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Tales from the Last of the Big Creek Rangers

Payette National Forest, Idaho

by Earl Dodds (August 2013)


Earl Dodds was one of the last of the “on the ground” district rangers in the U.S. Forest Service. He spent more than twenty-five years as the ranger on the Big Creek District of the Payette National Forest, located in what is now the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in central Idaho. Twenty-five years on one district is unthinkable in today’s Service, and further setting him apart is the fact that he was the one and only ranger to preside over the expanded Big Creek District.

… When I was promoted to the position of ranger on the old Chamberlain District in June of 1957, most of the backcountry on the eastern part of the Payette National Forest was classified as the Idaho Primitive Area. Forest Service management direction for the Primitive Area centered upon keeping the area wild, and free of road building and logging, but with a heavy emphasis on fire control. At that time, fire control played the major role in the management of all the national forests in the West. This emphasis had its origin in the big fires of the 1910 season that burned three million acres of prime timberlands in northern Idaho and western Montana and killed 87 people. The Forest Service was going all out to prevent anything like that from ever happening again.

Consequently, the backcountry districts on the Payette National Forest were primarily firefighting outfits. The Forest Service had small initial attack fire crews based at Chamberlain, Cold Meadows and Big Creek, a system of fire lookouts, and miles and miles of trails and telephone lines to tie everything together for communication and access purposes. There were also three airfields on the Payette National Forest, within the Idaho Primitive Area, that were originally constructed and maintained for fire control purposes.

continued (free e-book)
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Telephone “Booth” in the Frank Church Wilderness

U.S. Forest Service – Payette National Forest

Telephones in the wilderness – what? Learn about the Coyette Creek phone booth.

link to video on PNF Facebook:

[h/t SMc]
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Big Creek Ranger Station Switchboard

[h/t CG]

page updated September 30, 2020

Weather Reports Oct 16-22

Oct 16 Weather:

At 9am it was 41 degrees and mostly cloudy. Brief shower around 1030am. Mostly cloudy, chilly and light breeze all day. Decreasing clouds late afternoon. At 7pm it was 43 degrees and partly cloudy. Probably started raining after midnight. Still raining at 2am.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time October 17, 2016 at 10:00AM
Overcast, misting
Max temperature 51 degrees F
Min temperature 37 degrees F
At observation 38 degrees F
Precipitation 0.15 inch
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Oct 17 Weather:’

At 10am it was 38 degrees, overcast and just starting to sprinkle (lasted maybe 30 minutes.) Breezy by 1130am. Sprinkling after 1230pm. A bit of sun trying to break thru the clouds at 220pm, still drizzling. Still drizzling at 310pm. Break in rain around 545pm. At 7pm it was 39 degrees and dark overcast. Looks like it rained off and on after midnight to early morning.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time October 18, 2016 at 10:00AM
Low clouds, starting to sprinkle
Max temperature 43 degrees F
Min temperature 34 degrees F
At observation 37 degrees F
Precipitation 0.13 inch
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Oct 18 Weather:

At 10am it was 37 degrees, overcast and low clouds, just starting to sprinkle. Snow line down to about 6000′ on VanMeter. At noon the clouds had lowered and ridges socked in, still sprinkling lightly. Not raining at 130pm. At 215pm thinner spots in the cloud cover let in a little bit of filtered sun. Rained between 3pm and 4pm. Rain started at 6pm. At 630pm it was 39 degrees, very low clouds and still raining. Not raining at 640pm. Raining pretty good at 820pm (not sure when it started or how long it lasted), not raining at 915pm. Raining at 1150pm (not sure when it started or stopped.) Probably rained a couple more times during the night.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time October 19, 2016 at 10:00AM
Partly clear
Max temperature 44 degrees F
Min temperature 35 degrees F
At observation 36 degrees F
Precipitation 0.24 inch
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Oct 19 Weather:

At 10am it was 36 degrees, low foggy clouds on mountains, but blue sky above. Sunshine breaking thru before 11am. Decreasing clouds, but it took a long time for the mist to burn off the ridges. Slight but cold breeze by afternoon. At 7pm it was 39 degrees and mostly clear.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time October 20, 2016 at 10:00AM
Max temperature 50 degrees F
Min temperature 29 degrees F
At observation 36 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch
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Oct 20 Weather:

At 10am it was 36 degrees, high overcast. Cloudy all day, chilly afternoon breeze. At 630pm it was 47 degrees and overcast, light breeze.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time October 21, 2016 at 10:00AM
Mostly cloudy
Max temperature 54 degrees F
Min temperature 36 degrees F
At observation 41 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch
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Oct 21 Weather:

At 10am it was 41 degrees and mostly cloudy. Mostly cloudy with bits of sun off and on all day. At 645pm it was 51 degrees and mostly cloudy. Light rain before daylight (probably between 5am and 8am.)

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time October 22, 2016 at 10:00AM
Partly clear
Max temperature 61 degrees F
Min temperature 39 degrees F
At observation 43 degrees F
Precipitation 0.06 inch
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Oct 22 Weather:

At 10am it was 43 degrees, partly clear above, low foggy clouds on the hills. Partly sunny most of the day, more clouds in late afternoon. At 7pm it was 46 degrees.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time October 23, 2016 at 10:00AM
Mostly clear
Max temperature 58 degrees F
Min temperature 33 degrees F
At observation 34 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch