Nov 6, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times

Nov 6, 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:

Winter Mail Delivery

Since Nov 1st, the mail is on a 3 days a week (M-W-F) schedule for the rest of the winter. The driver will come in via Johnson Creek (until it closes) then he will drive the South Fork route until spring.

Time Change 11/6

Don’t forget to set your clocks back today.

Cell Phones in YP?


Free WIFI at the Tavern just drive up your…errr…Horse and make a call.

Halloween at the YP Tavern

Halloween at the Tavern! A geat surprise at the number of Goblins that literally came out of the woods to celebrate with us on Saturday good time was had by all. Great food, drink, visiting, fun and cheering on of BSU.

photo gallery:

Local Observations:

Monday (Oct 31) we had rain most of the night, in the last 24 hours nearly 3/4″ of rain has fallen. This makes this the wettest October since we started keeping “official” records in 2009. Overcast and no frost this morning. Looks like the snow line is around 6500′ on VanMeter, however the trees up there are still bare. Fairly quiet day, a little traffic. No birds around. Sprinkles after lunch for about 2 hours. Cloudy and cool afternoon.

Tuesday (Nov 1) overcast and damp morning, a little fresh snow on VanMeter. Short sprinkle in the morning, cloudy chilly dark day. Large flock of clarks nutcrackers in the forest. Moderate rain around 3pm. Clearing towards evening

Wednesday (Nov 2) light frost, mostly clear morning. Clarks nutcracker after sun rise. Mostly clear all day. Light chilly afternoon breeze. Quiet evening.

Thursday (Nov 3) hard freeze (26F) this morning, mostly clear sky. Warmed up with the sun and by early afternoon flannel shirt weather in the sun (but light jacket in the shade.) Flock of Clarks nutcrackers in the forest. Quiet evening, temperature dropping fast after sundown.

Friday (Nov 4) hard freeze (25F) this morning, partly cloudy sky – some high thin “mare’s tails” to the east. Clouds came and went, warmer than normal for this time of year, clear by evening. Large flock of nutcrackers flying over at dusk. Increased traffic.

Saturday (Nov 5) hard freeze (26F) this morning, clear sky. Warmed up nice after lunch time, above normal for this time of year. Sunny all day. Clarks nutcrackers in the forest. A few clouds by evening.

Sunday (Nov 6) time change! Mostly cloudy sky this morning, no frost. Airplanes flying, dark clouds. Breaks in the clouds after lunch. Warmer than usual day for this time of year. No rain and dark clouds late afternoon. Internet went out around 530pm for about 15 minutes. Mostly cloudy at dusk.


Dane Keith Vaughn


b. August 5, 1974 in Emmett, Idaho

d. October 17, 2016 in Garden Valley, Idaho

Dane’s family did a potluck memorial at his cabin in Garden Valley, and spread his ashes on his favorite hill.

The memorial was Nov. 5 2016.



Letter to Share:

Commissioner Cruickshank October Newsletter

From the desk of Commissioner Cruickshank, 11/1

Monday October 3rd
Today is the Americas Best Communities project of a first annual Economic Summit for the West Central Mountains, Idaho’s Adventure Corridor, being held at the Shore Lodge. Both Governor Otter and Lt. Governor Little joined us for the majority of the day. Approximately 150 attendees came to share their ideas and to hear others concerns. The first Featured Speaker was Bob Miller CEO of Albertsons. Mr. Miller started with Albertsons at the age of 16 and worked his way up the ladder. He mentioned Joe Albertson always telling employees to have Good Service to the customer by telling them Good Morning-How are You and Have a Nice Day. This has helped Albertsons grow over the years to what it has become today.
Next was Megan Ronk, Director of Idaho Department of Commerce where she discussed being flexible and responsive when businesses come to Idaho. She talked about a variety of resources available through the Department of Commerce to assist business expansion or starting up new.
I was asked to speak on the State of the County and the importance of good Transportation infrastructure.
Next was a panel who spoke on workforce needs, workforce housing, being in good health and opportunities to live in our region to be outdoors.
In the afternoon we broke into the groups of interest and looked for common goals where folks saw the need in the future.

Tuesday October 4th
This morning I attended a Transit meeting to discuss the future of transit in our region and to see what it will require to expand the services to New Meadows and possibly Council in Adams County.
This afternoon I drove to Bend, Oregon enroute to a National Association of Counties (NACo) Western Interstate Region (WIR) Board meeting in southern Oregon.

Wednesday October 5th
This morning I drove from Bend to Ashland, Oregon where the WIR Board meeting is being held.
This afternoon I participated in a mobile tour of a Cannabis Garden to learn more about this industry and understand the policies in place in Oregon for growing and distribution of Cannabis.
This evening I attended the WIR Board Reception for the attendees.

Thursday October 6th
Today was our Business Meeting for the WIR Board of Directors. We heard from NACo President Brian Desloge from Leon County, Florida on his initiative of 100 Best Ideas of Local Government, heard a legislative update on issues counties need to be aware of, the NACo staff assigned to WIR provided an overview of accomplishments WIR did this past year and raising the profile of WIR to others. Next each State was provided a few minutes to discuss significant issues they saw as needed worked on. Then we reviewed our Key Issues to work on for 2017 and discussed updates to the WIR By-Laws for better clarity.
Tonight was a WIR Board Reception hosted by Jackson County, Oregon.

Friday October 7th
This morning I attended a tour of the Ashland, Oregon Community Watershed that provides 90 percent of the drinking water for this city. We viewed several areas of forest thinning, timber harvest, prescribed fire and other educational projects all to help protect this watershed from a catastrophic wildfire event that would impact the city water supply.
This afternoon and evening I spent driving towards home and spending the night in Hines, Oregon.

Saturday October 8th
I drove home from Hines, Oregon.

Monday October 10th
Today was Columbus Day. So I worked from home catching up on emails.

Tuesday October 11th
Today was a commissioner day due to Monday being a Holiday. The minutes once approved for these meetings can be read at Valley County, Idaho | Official Site and then clicking on the Commissioners link and then finding the minutes section. It may take one or two weeks for the most recent minutes to be approved by the commissioners.

Wednesday October 12th
I participated in a National Forest Counties and Schools Coalition conference call to discuss the re-authorization of the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funding, Forest Management bills and collecting signatures by congressional offices to support the funding.
This afternoon I received a request to discuss the SRS topic with a reporter with the Spokesman Review. After talking to the reporter I provided some folks whom she could gather her information from for the article she is writing.
Tonight I attended the Idaho American Planning Association event in Boise where we won the 2016 Idaho APA Outstanding Plan Award for the efforts of the Americas Best Community Contest with our Planning Strategy. I have attached a photo of the award to this email.

Thursday October 13th
Today I received multiple calls from two TV Stations and from the Idaho Statesman wanting to discuss the recent news release on the Tamarack resort where the Homeowners were purchasing some of the assets to keep the Resort active.

Friday October 14th
I traveled with 3 other Valley County Elected Officials to attend the Idaho Association of Counties District 3 meeting in Horseshoe Bend. This meeting is where the 10 southwest Idaho counties have the time to discuss issues that impact or support our region of Idaho.

Monday October 17th
Commissioner meeting again today. Minutes can be found at the Valley County website. The morning session was held at the courthouse. This afternoon we held our meeting at the American Legion facility to accommodate people attending the Tax Deed Sale where we sell property when the taxes have not been paid for 3 years or more. This afternoons auction brought in over $200,000.00 in sales and produced $166,000.00 in back taxes. The additional money collected will be returned to the original owner of record once the taxes and costs to Valley County are deducted.

Wednesday October 19th
I attended an Americas Best Community meeting in New Meadows to provide updates on projects, review budgets and discuss other events upcoming with the Project Leads.

Thursday October 20th
At noon found me in Boise attending the Western Governors Association National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative workshop. Governor Otter provided Introductory Remarks and Jim Lyons with the US Department of the Interior provided Workshop Remarks.
Roundtable I was a panel on Forest Management Challenges in Idaho
Moderated by David Groeschl with the Idaho Department of Lands where we heard from Bob Boeh w/ Idaho Forest Group, Will Whelan w/ The Nature Conservancy and Shawn Keogh w/ Associated Logging Contractors-Idaho.

Roundtable II was a panel on Rangeland Challenges in Western States-Wildfire and Habitat Conservation
Moderated by Don Kremmer with Idaho Department of Fish and Game. We heard from Jeremy Maestas w/Natural Resource Conservation Service, Mike Courtney, BLM Twin Falls District Manager, Brenda Richards, Owyhee County Rancher and Allen Rowley, USFS Rangeland Management Director.

Case Study I was a panel on Power of Partnerships-Rangeland Fire Protection Associations (RFPA)
Moderated by Julia Sullens with Idaho Department of Lands. We heard from Steve Acarregui, BLM Fire and Aviation Directorate, Charles Lyons RFPA Member, Percy Ranch and Darcy Helmick , RFPA member.

Case Study II was a panel on Power of Partnerships-Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) Success
Moderated by David Groeschl, with the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL). We heard from Peg Plichio, IDL, GNA Contractor, Cheryl Probert, USFS Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest Supervisor and Zoanne Anderson, Maggie Creek Area Manager, IDL

Roundtable III was a panel on Lessons Learned-Assembling Successful Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) Projects
Moderator Christine Dawe, USFS Acting Director of Forest Management. We heard from Craig Foss w/ IDL, Keith Lannom, USFS Payette National Forest Supervisor and Bob Boeh, Idaho Forest Group.

Tonight was a Networking Reception for the attendees.

Friday October 21st
We started today with a Welcome Back and Recap of yesterday by Tom Shultz, Director, Idaho Department of Lands.

Roundtable IV was a panel to discuss 2014 Farm Bill Authorities’ Utilization in Idaho
Moderator Kelsey Delaney, Council of Western State Foresters. We heard from Mary Farnsworth, USFS Acting Deputy Regional Forester, David Anderson, Natural Resource Results and Mikal Moore, National Wild Turkey Federation.

Case Study III was a panel on Facilitating Forest Restoration through Collaborative Processes
Moderator Toni Hardesty, The Nature Conservancy. We heard from Liz Johnson Gebhardt, Priest Community Forest Connection, Alex Irby, Clearwater Basin Collaborative, Rick Tholen, Payette Forest Coalition, Gina Knudson, USFS Salmon/Challis National Forest and John Robison, Idaho Forest Restoration Partnership.

Roundtable V was a panel on Impacts of Forest and Rangelands on Local Governments
Moderator Dennis Becker, University of Idaho. We heard from Gordon Cruickshank, Valley County Commissioner, Joe Merrick, Owyhee County Commissioner, Don Ebert, Clearwater County, Commissioner and Terry Kramer, Twin Falls County, Commissioner.

Next steps and Final Thoughts was by Troy Timmons with the Western Governors Association.

Later in the afternoon I met with two folks looking at future uses of their property in Valley County and how it might improve the recreation opportunities in the Cascade area.

Monday October 24th
Today was a commissioner day. Please see the website for the minutes of this meeting once approved.
Tonight I attended the McCall Candidate Forum to answer questions.

Tuesday October 25th
I attended the Valley Adams Partnership Planning meeting to discuss potential transportation projects that could be eligible for grants through a collective process of all working together.

Wednesday October 26th
I met with Midas Gold to discuss potential gravel sources for the Yellow Pine and Landmark areas and discuss potential opportunities to improve road maintenance which will also improve fish habitat. We also discussed the Groomed Trail Operations in the Johnson Creek area.
This afternoon I participated in a National Forest Counties and Schools Coalition conference call to receive an update on efforts for SRS funding.

Thursday October 27th
This morning I talked to the Natural Resource staff person in Congressman Labrador’s office to discuss forest management opportunities on Tribal reservations in North Idaho.
Mid-morning I attended a sub group meeting of the Big Creek/Yellow Pine group as they were discussing the upper reaches of the Profile Creek area and portions of the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River drainage on road access and trail access for both motorized and  on-motorized use. The information from this group will be presented to the larger group at the November meeting.
Tonight I attended the Candidate Forum in Cascade so folks could ask questions of the candidates.

Friday October 28th
As a Western Interstate Region Board Member I received emails from NACo on legislative issues that will be worked on in the next short session of congress. I then sent this information out to all the Commissioners and Clerks in Idaho.

Monday October 31st
Happy Halloween Everyone. Today was a commissioner day. The minutes will be on the website once approved at one of our commissioner meetings next month.

I hope everyone had a great October as the leaves are turning, the peaks are becoming white with snow and a nip in the air each day.

Please remember to VOTE on November 8th as it is our way of voicing our concerns.

Thanks for reading. Thanksgiving will be here before you know it.


Idaho News:

Polls open Tuesday for local, state, national offices

BY TOM GROTE for The Star-News November 3, 2016

Voters in Valley and Adams counties will go to the polls on Tuesday to elect candidates for local, state and federal offices.

In McCall, voting will take place between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesday at the D.A. MacNichol Building located next to McCall-Donnelly High School.

In Cascade, voting will take place at the American Legion Hall, while voting in Donnelly will take place at the Donnelly Bible Church.

In New Meadows, voting will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the P&IN Railroad Depot.

The election for Valley County offices has only one contested race. Incumbent Valley County Commissioner Gordon Cruickshank, a Republican, is facing a contest from Democrat Sean Gould for the District 2 seat.

District 3 commissioner Bill Willey, Valley County Prosecuting Attorney Carol Brockmann and Valley County Sheriff Patti Bolen all are unopposed.

Voters in Donnelly will be asked on Tuesday to approve borrowing up to $1.2 million to help fund improvements to the city’s water system.

In Adams County, Sheriff Ryan Zollman, a Republican, is facing a challenge from independent candidate Thomas Watts.

District 2 commissioner Mike Paradis and District 3 commissioner Bill Brown are unopposed for reelection.

Sean Smith is unopposed for Adams County Prosecuting Attorney after defeating current prosecutor Matthew Faulks in the May Republican primary.

District 8 & 9

Valley County voters will elect representatives from District 8 in the Idaho Legislature, while Adams County voters will elected representatives from District 9.

In District 8, Dorothy Moon of Stanley is the Republican candidate for Seat 8B, having defeated incumbent Rep. Merrill Beyeler, R-Leadore, in the May primary.

Moon is opposed Constitution Party candidate Ammon Emanuel Prolife.

For House Seat 8A, incumbent Rep. Terry Gestrin, R-Donnelly, is opposed by Democrat Jocelyn Plass of Stanley

The District 8 seat in the Idaho Senate is a three-way race between incumbent Sen. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett, Constitution Party candidate Kirsten Faith Richardson of Letha and write-in candidate Bill Sifford of McCall.

District 8 includes Valley, Boise, Gem, Lemhi and Custer counties.

In District 9, Sen. Abby Lee, R-Fruitland, is opposed by Democrat Carol Bogue of Weiser.

For House Seat 9A, Rep. Ryan Kerby, R-New Plymouth, is opposed by Democrat Rejeana Goolsby of Weiser. For House Seat 9B, Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, is opposed by Democrat Allen Schmid of New Plymouth.

District 9 includes Adams, Washington and Payette counties and part of Canyon County.

In races for U.S. Congress, Sen. Mike Crapo, a Republican from Idaho Falls, is seeking a new term against Democrat Jerry Sturgill of Boise and Constitution Party candidate Ray Wirtz of Coeur d’Alene.

Rep. Raul Labrador, a Republican from Eagle, is opposed by Democrat James Piotrowski of Boise.

The race for president of the United States is highlighted by Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

But also appearing on Tuesday’s ballot for president are independents Jill Stein, Darrell Castle, Evan McMullen and Rocky De La Fuente, Constitution Party candidate Scott Copeland, and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.

source The Star-News:
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Local hunters help a teenager in need

Tami Tremblay, KTVB October 31, 2016

BOISE COUNTY – An amazing story of hunters coming to the rescue of a girl in need.

A 17-year-old was driving a Jeep when it went down a 200 foot ravine near Idaho City on Thursday. The girl managed to climb out, put out a fire that had started, and crawl up to Centerville Road.

Two hunters from the Treasure Valley stopped to help the girl who ended up being flown to a hospital in Boise for treatable injuries.

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Idaho’s oldest residents prepare for new area code

11/5/16 AP

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — As Idaho prepares to get its second area code, its oldest residents are recalling when the state didn’t have an area code at all.

The Post Register reports that ( ) starting Saturday, residents will have to switch to 10-digit dialing to prepare for a new ‘986’ area code coming in August.

The ‘208’ area code — Idaho’s only one until now — was introduced in 1947 and replaced a system where residents dialed a few letters and numbers to make a call.

The state is running out of numbers due to cellphone users and internet calling.

Idaho is one of a dozen states with just one area code.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission says the new area code will be assigned to new numbers and no existing numbers will change.

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US approves 2 types of genetically engineered potatoes

By KEITH RIDLER – 10/31/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved commercial planting of two types of potatoes that are genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine.

The approval announced Friday covers Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co.’s Ranger Russet and Atlantic varieties of the company’s second generation of Innate potatoes.

The company says the potatoes will also have reduced bruising and black spots, enhanced storage capacity, and a reduced amount of a chemical created when potatoes are cooked at high temperatures that’s a potential carcinogen.


Letter to Share:

Eisenhower Was Right!

Government Science is Killing Our Forests

By Bob Zybach PhD

During the past five years I have written a number of articles and editorials for this magazine that have specifically looked at federal forest management policies, laws, and regulations and the so-called “best available science” that is said to be their foundation. These writings were mostly inspired by the massive changes that have taken place on federal forestlands in Oregon during my lifetime and that have directly resulted in ruined rural economies, broken families, depleted wildlife populations, air and water pollution, degraded landscapes, and hundreds of thousands of acres of dead and dying trees. Almost all of it unnecessary and preventable.

Most of the articles focused on specific topics, such as wildfire economics, spotted owl habitat, streamside buffer regulations, cattle grazing along fish bearing streams, and catastrophic wildfire mitigation. This article is essentially a “bottom line” summary of these earlier writings, and less detailed as one result.

The title to this article/editorial is somewhat misleading in order to be concise and provocative. Eisenhower didn’t actually say that “government science” might result in the adverse descriptions given above; he said that government funded scientific research could compromise “intellectual curiosity” and potentially result in misguided policies dictated by a “scientific technological elite” (see excerpt). That is the very process that most concerns me and is typified — at least in my mind — by the catastrophic wildfires that have been ravaging our federal forestlands and rural counties the past 30 years.


Forest / BLM News:

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree harvested near McCall

KTVB November 02, 2016

(Photo: Mike di Donato / KTVB)

photo caption: Workers prepare the U.S. Capitol Tree to be cut down during a ceremony on Wednesday. The tree will be harvested from the Little Ski Hill outside of McCall.

MCCALL – Christmas is still over seven weeks away, and while it may be a little early to get your tree, the U.S. Capitol Tree is about to make its long journey to Washington, D.C.

The 80-foot Engelmann spruce was cut down Wednesday morning at the Little Ski Hill, just west of McCall on Idaho 55.

It will spend a couple weeks traveling around Idaho, before making the 3,000 mile journey to the nation’s capital, where it will sit on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building.

Payette National Forest workers used a traditional crosscut saw, as a way of honoring the traditional logging skills and tools used in this region.

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U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to Visit Boise

The “People’s Tree” will make a cross-country journey from Idaho to Washington D.C.

November 1, 2016 Payette National Forest
Contact: Brian Harris (208) 634-0784 cell: (208) 634-6945

McCall, ID – For more than 50 years, a Christmas tree has graced the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the holiday season. The Payette National Forest in partnership with nonprofit Choose Outdoors will bring “An Idaho Mountain Gem” from Idaho to Washington, D.C. for the 2016 season, involving more than 25 communities along the way.  The tree will be in Boise for two scheduled events.  Activities are open to the public and free for all to enjoy!

Festivities on November 6th will be in the Cabela’s parking lot from 4:00p.m. to 6:00p.m., 8109 West Franklin Road.  A photo booth, inflatable archery range, a hot-coco stand and Santa will be on hand.  Cabela’s will be joined by the Girls Scouts, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Idaho Parks & Recreation and others to host this event.

On November 7th, we will hold our downtown Boise lunchtime event at the Idaho Capitol and Capitol Park on West Jefferson Street.  This event begins at 11:00a.m. and ends at 1:00p.m.  Governor Otter and our state’s Congressional delegation will be on hand to send-off the tree on its tour of Idaho and on to our Nation’s Capitol.  Food trucks will be on site and members of the public are encouraged to have lunch, hear 5th grader Isabella Gerard winning poem, purchase a commemorative poster from Ward Hooper for $20, listen to the Boise High School choir sing Christmas songs, and sign the banner on the truck bearing the tree.  Smokey will also stop by to help celebrate!

“Come out and enjoy these events and celebrate Idaho and the Payette National Forest as our “Idaho Mountain Gem” starts its journey across the U.S., bound for our Nation’s Capitol,” said Keith Lannom, Payette National Forest Supervisor.  Stop by the Choose Outdoors booth where you can buy a commemorative Christmas ornament and lapel pin.

The U.S. Capital Christmas tree will be cut on November 2nd near McCall and then prepared for the nearly 4,000-mile expedition. After the Boise celebrations, the tree will be followed by a group of caretakers for the journey to the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.. Twenty-five community celebrations are being planned throughout the tour, culminating with the official tree lighting on December 6, 2016. Several more celebrations are taking place in all of Idaho including: McCall, Cascade, Horseshoe Bend, Weiser, Council, New Meadows, Grangeville, Lapwai, Moscow, Coeur d’Alene, Salmon, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls.

For related news, events and tour information, and to track the tree cross-country, visit and on Facebook @ USCapitolChristmasTree and #capitolchristmastree.
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Plan unveiled to protect vast swath of Western US sagebrush

By KEITH RIDLER – 10/31/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — Federal officials on Monday released an ambitious wildfire-fighting and restoration plan to protect a wide swath of sagebrush country in much of the West that supports cattle ranching and is home to an imperiled bird.

The 139-page plan is a how-to guide that follows Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s five-page secretarial order in early 2015 calling for a “science-based” approach to safeguard the greater sage grouse bird while contending with fires that have been especially destructive in the Great Basin.

The Interior Department plan also identifies knowledge gaps as scientists try to find the best approach to restore and protect some 500,000 square miles of sagebrush steppe.

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Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy Actionable Science Plan

Link to PDF file:
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The Boise National Forest’s Pioneer Fire is officially 100% contained

Nov 4, 2016 KIVI TV

The Pioneer Fire is officially 100% contained as of yesterday.

The massive wildfire burned nearly 300 square miles and was the largest fire of the year on United States Forest Service land.

The USFS has begun rehabilitation efforts. The agency has dispatched emergency response teams to identify potential hazards.  Teams are using helicopters for seeding and mulching portions of the burn scar, hoping to help stabilize mountain slopes.

“We have the community of Loman and even further down Garden Valley.  This stuff could carry down and affect Garden Valley and below.” Said John Kidd, USFS District Ranger.

The risk of debris flows could not only impact visitors and recreation areas, but wildlife as well.  The USFS is concerned debris from the fire could impact critical habitat for the federally threatened Bull Trout.

“The Bull Trout tend to want to go to areas that have less impacts from the fire.  So it’s very important that we replace this culverts and provide an area of refuge for those fish.”  Said Brett Barry, USFS Forest Engineer.

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‘We don’t want to shut people out of the woods’ in Pioneer Fire’s path, officials say

November 5, 2016 Idaho Statesman by Chadd Cripe

LOWMAN – The people of Boise County vacillate between feeling overwhelmed by the Treasure Valley tourists who play in their remote part of Idaho and wishing more of them would arrive to patronize the businesses.

Right now, the conflict is gone.

The tourists are needed in the aftermath of the Pioneer Fire — and U.S. Forest Service and Boise County officials said Friday they’re committed to providing access to as much of the county’s popular recreation destinations as possible.

The fire that started in July, burned a national-high 188,000 acres and wasn’t 100 percent contained until Thursday already has disrupted the busy summer recreation season and put a damper on fall hunting. The next big activity in the Lowman area is snowmobiling, and the plan is to have the Clear Creek trail (Forest Service road 582) open for winter. That trail branches toward Cascade and Stanley.

Forest Service officials led a media tour up the Clear Creek road Friday, highlighting the damage done by the fire and the rehab efforts that have begun and will continue for years to come.

“We don’t want to shut people out of the woods if we don’t have to,” said John Kidd, the Lowman District ranger for the Boise National Forest.

Read more here:

Letter to Share:

Mystic Farm Craft fair

Please come and say hello and support the rescue! We will have the AWESOME Mystic Farm candles and the raffle tickets for the the “GROW MORE SPOTS” fundraiser. Thank you!


Dory McIsaac
mysticfarmrescue @

Critter News:

Firefighters rescue dog after fall at Dedication Point

KTVB October 31, 2016

KUNA – A rescue at Dedication Point just south of Kuna took place on Sunday. The one rescued was a dog.

Kuna Fire Department Captain TJ Lawrence says the dog had been with its owners Sunday morning when it jumped over a waist-high rock wall falling dozens of feet onto a rock shelf.

Lawrence and his partner were the first to arrive at Dedication Point to help.

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Collared wolf dead, 3 others survive in Idaho wilderness

By KEITH RIDLER – 11/2/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — Three of four wolves fitted with tracking collars in a central Idaho wilderness area last year by state officials without federal approval are surviving as another winter approaches.

The surviving wolves from three different packs are still roaming the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, officials said. An adult female died in May near the middle of the wilderness because of unknown causes.

The U.S. Forest Service in January issued a notice of non-compliance to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game after the state agency violated an agreement by using a helicopter to put collars on the wolves while also collaring about 60 elk for an approved elk study.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

First week of November 2016
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Mountain Lion Encounter

Published on Oct 25, 2016

Conservation Officer Rob Howe has a close encounter with a mountain lion in eastern Idaho

Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer Rob Howe was on the phone getting directions from a colleague when he captured a rare sight.

He had lost cellphone reception while on the job patrolling and watching elk hunters in the backcountry near Victor, in Eastern Idaho, and had pulled off the road so he could hear his colleague better. That’s when he saw a predator cooly walking down the road in front of him.

“My God, it’s a mountain lion,” Howe said, according to a press release from Idaho Fish and Game.
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Federal wildlife official from Boise pleads guilty to ethics violation

By Cynthia Sewell November 3, 2016 Idaho Statesman

A former senior official of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has pleaded guilty to falsifying reports to conceal a side job he held at an organization that receives funding from the agency.

Stephen M. Barton, 67, of Boise, received $377,000 in income over several years as treasurer for Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, a Boise-based nonprofit representing more than 20 fish and wildlife agencies in the western and central U.S. and Canada, according a Department of Justice investigative report.

Barton was working for the Fish and Wildlife Service as chief of administration and information management in the wildlife and sport fish restoration program. He earned about $155,000 a year until he was terminated within the past year, according to the report.

He worked for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game from January 1975 through July 2007 as its chief financial officer and assistant director, according to Idaho State Controller’s Office. He joined the federal agency in September 2007.

Barton served as WAFWA’s treasurer from 2004 through early 2014.

As a Fish and Wildlife Service senior employee, Barton was required to report any outside income in excess of $200, according to federal investigators.

Read more here:
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The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
November 4, 2016
Issue No. 809

Table Of Contents

* Oregon FW Commission To Review Columbia River Harvest Reforms, May Consider Extending Mainstem Gillnetting In 2017

* Pikeminnow Sport Reward Program Successful This Year; 225,000 Fish Caught, Top Angler Earning $119,000

* Coho, Steelhead Fishing Reopens On Columbia Mainstem; Fall Chinook Run Ends Up Less Than 10-Year Average

* Chum Salmon Flows Begin From Bonneville Dam In Anticipation Of Fish Building Redds

* Science Review Of Salmon Survival Study: Snake River Fish Not Meeting 2-6 Percent Smolt-To-Adult Return Goal

* Portland General Pushing For Dismissal Of Deschutes Water Quality Case; Outlines FERC Process

* Work To Improve Salmon Passage On NE Oregon’s Lostine River Includes ‘Action Effectiveness Monitoring’

* West Coast Record Low Snowpack In 2015 Driven By High Temperatures, Not Low Precipitation

* Settlement Announced Over Deschutes River Basin Water Management To Protect ESA-Listed Black Spotted Frog

* Interior Releases New Science Plan For Restoring, Conserving The West’s ‘Sagebrush Sea’

* Columbia Estuary Program Tracking, Mapping Marine Debris; Nets, Boats, Tires, Drums, Plastics, Etc.

* Study Links El Nino, Climate Patterns To Prehistoric Human Migrations Across Pacific Ocean

Fun Critter Stuff:


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The Story of Cats

Episode 1 Asia to Africa

Premiere date: November 2, 2016 | 0:53:29 | Video expires December 2, 2016

In the first episode of The Story of Cats, we discover how the first cats arose in the forests of Asia, how they spread across the continent, and later came to conquer Africa.  We reveal how they evolved flexible limbs to climb, giant bodies to survive in the cold, and super senses to catch prey.  Ultimately we discover how becoming social made the lion, king of the savannah.  Also featured in this episode are other larger cats such as the clouded, snow and African leopards, the Bengal and Siberian tigers, and the cheetah.  However, the introductions of smaller and lesser-known species like the serval, the caracal, and the fishing, Pallas’s and sand cats are just as fascinating.


[h/t SMc]
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The Making of the Cat

November 2, 2016 Brian Switek Nature Now

From the tall grass savanna of Kenya to the forested slopes of the Rockies, from the steaming jungles of Indonesia and the crags of the Himalayas to your very own living room, cats prowl our planet. Some are large and imposing, celebrated for their predatory power. Others are small and elusive, their spots blending into the shadows. Not to mention our familiar moggie companions that purr and yowl for a tender back scratch. At whatever size, and whatever form, we seem to have limitless adoration and fascination for the felines that inhabit our planet. Our affection for them runs so deep that we’re even transfixed by those that slipped into extinction long ago. There is no more potent symbol of the Ice Age than Smilodon fatalis, the great saber-toothed cat preserved by the hundreds in the thick muck of the La Brea asphalt seeps. Living or dead, we love cats.

But where did cats come from? They did not spontaneously burst from the grass to ambush their prey. The world’s cats, both large and small, wild and domestic, have as deep and circuitous an evolutionary history as any other species. And while they’re all consummate predators, the cat family has taken a variety of forms. Their remarkable flexibility has allowed them to flourish, whether in the shape of lanky speed demons like cheetahs or the extinct sabercats who stalked baby mastodons, or domestic tabbies that are the scourge of backyard wildlife. Cats have always been malleable beasts, changing with the shifts in climate and habitat that the Earth has undergone since their origin over 25 million years ago. And while there are various points at which we could start the great cat tale, let’s begin with one of the worst days in the planet’s history.

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Watch How Bees Teach Each Other to Solve Problems

New research with bumblebees hints at how knowledge can quickly spread through a population.

By Brian Clark Howard National Geographic Oct 21, 2016

Bee see, bee do. At least that’s the conclusion of research published earlier this month, showing that bumblebees learn to solve problems by watching each other.

In the first study of its kind in insects, scientists constructed experiments that challenged bees to pull strings in order to access rewards of nectar. It’s a technique that has long been used to test cognition in various vertebrates, but hadn’t yet been tried with insects.

The study was published in early October in the open-access journal PLOS Biology and was led by Lars Chittka from London’s Queen Mary University.

The first step was proving that bees could learn to solve a simple problem. But what’s more interesting is that other bees that hadn’t encountered the problem before picked up the ability to solve it more quickly when they had a chance to watch a trainer bee that had already figured out the puzzle.

Further, that knowledge was shown to spread from bee to bee throughout a colony, even if the first bee that figured out the trick died.

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Fish & Game News:

News Releases


National Weather Service starts weather reports

Explorer Samuel de Champlain noted the deceitful weather of the northeast United States was much different than from his native France. “On arriving in summer everything is very pleasant on account of the woods, the beautiful landscapes,” he wrote, in a description many of the region’s residents today could recognize. The beauty, he wrote, just belies then the cold setting in: “There are six months of winter in that country. The cold was severe and more extreme than in France, and lasted much longer.” Weather forecasting was not only a matter of personal comfort; in a largely agrarian society, when cold snaps or severe storms could mean the difference between boons and famines, it was a matter of survival.

On this day, November 1, in 1870, what became the National Weather Service and was at the time a division of the military’s Signal Corps, sent in the first weather observations from 24 military outposts across the country.

Local temperature observations had already been going on for quite some time — reportedly, President Abraham Lincoln brought a thermometer with him, recording a balmy 76 degrees outside, during his Gettsyburg Address — but the telegraph enabled the study to go national. Soon the Signal Corps would be taking and transmitting temperature readings from every state in the union.




Weather Oddities:

Giant snowballs appear on Russian beach in Siberia

5 November 2016 BBC

A strange and beautiful sight greeted locals in the Gulf of Ob, in northwest Siberia, after thousands of natural snowballs formed on the beach.

An 11-mile (18km) stretch of coast was covered in the icy spheres.

The sculptural shapes range from the size of a tennis ball to almost 1m (3ft) across.

They result from a rare environmental process where small pieces of ice form, are rolled by wind and water, and end up as giant snowballs.

Locals in the village of Nyda, which lies on the Yamal Peninsula just above the Arctic Circle, say they have never seen anything to compare to them.

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[h/t SMc]