Monthly Archives: December 2016

Avalanche Advisory December 28, 2016

Avalanche Advisory published on December 28, 2016

Bottom line

The avalanche danger is Considerable today above 6,000 feet. Below 6,000 feet, the avalanche danger is Moderate. It is possible for skiers and riders to trigger avalanches in steep, wind loaded terrain.

Weather

Scattered snow showeers will taper off today, giving way to clear skies this evening, and sunny skies for Thursday when a mild temperature inversion sets in giving us milder temperatures in the upper elevations. The next system will move in Thursday night bringing a cold front, and not a lot of measurable precipitation.

Recent observations

Yesterday, on Sgt’s Mountain, just North of Brundage, we saw multiple naturals: 2 on East aspect skiing out in the new snow/wind blown snow. The East side of ridge had a firm layer under new wind slabs. There was widespread cracking and we had a nice remote trigger about 50 feet wide by 12-18 inches deep on East Aspect. Also saw R3, D1.5 natural on 44 Run NNW aspect with 12-18 inch crown. Had multiple CTM on East pit at 35 cm. CTE on NNW at 30 in a protected spot. Could not find SH in that protected pit. Have a good day, I’ll see you Thursday AM.

Remember, your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, please participate in the creation of our own community avalanche advisory by submitting snow and avalanche conditions. You can email the forecasters directly at forecast@payetteavalanche.org

Avalanche Problem #1: Wind Slab

Most of the wind slabs that formed during our pre-Christmas storm have settled out to a large degree and won’t be nearly as sensitive today. However, just as one batch of wind slabs are healing, another round of wind slabs formed during this last storm from winds out of the west southwest.

Also keep in mind, a fresh wind slab avalanche has the potential to ‘step down’ into older layers of snow causing for an avalanche that has the possibility of being several feet deep, and be sure if you are traveling into steep committing avalanche terrain, to find some test slopes and/or dig a few quick holes to see how the snowpack has adjusted to the new snow and wind.

Avalanche Problem #2: Loose Dry

It will be possible to trigger loose, dry avalanches as we wait for this last bit of snow to consolidate over the next few days. Keep up safe protocols in steep avalanche terrain. Loose snow can sweep you off your feet, and carry you into places you would rather not go.

Avalanche Problem #3: Storm Slab

If traveling in avalanche terrain that has not seen the affects of wind, there is a possibility of triggering a soft storm slab. These will be in very isolated areas.

Advisory discussion

We have found a weak layer near the ground throughout the advisory area over the last two weeks that is made up of weak faceted snow or a combination of facets and old crusts left over from our early season snowpack. The weak layer of facets is fairly widespread and well developed in the upper elevations especially on the shadier aspects where early snowfall accumulated. Shallow rocky areas are also harboring this layer on other aspects. George described this problem last week as a low probability/ high consequence avalanche problem…meaning you are not very likely to trigger a slide this deep but the consequences if you did would be bad. The 3-5 foot overlying slab is gaining strength which is good but is also turning into more of a hard, consolidated slab if it fails. Now is a good time to play it safe on steep shady slopes or slopes with thinner/rocky areas where you are more likely to trigger the weak layer.

This kind of problem is both difficult to trigger and more difficult to predict. Slopes with tracks on them are not a good indicator of stability as the trigger points are likely to be isolated to thin or weak spots that are hard to find or easy to miss. Remember that a lack of red flags or signs of instabilities is not a good indicator for a deep or persistent slab problem. Don’t let the lack of evidence lull you into more consequential terrain or sloppy group management. Use good travel techniques(one at a time) and watch your partners if you are riding or sliding in this type of terrain.

PAC still has room for both skiers and snowmobilers in our upcoming Intro to Avalanches class on Jan 6 and 7, registration by email is required.

Friends of the Payette Avalanche Center needs YOU! Come join us on Tuesday January 3rd at Idaho First Bank in McCall at 6 pm for an annual membership meeting. This meeting is open to the entire snow loving community, and we need to hear from you on how the Payette Avalanche Center should grow into the future.

Did you know: Only a small portion of our operating budget comes from the Forest Service, we RELY on the the Friends of Payette Avalanche Center to help finance the forecasts that you use. Please come out and have your voice be heard and show your support!

http://payetteavalanche.org/advisory

Road Reports Dec 27, 28

Tuesday (Dec 27) report it took 4.5 hours for mail truck to go from YP to Cascade, poor visibility with blowing snow.

Wednesday (Dec 28) mail truck driver (Robert) reports that Warm Lake highway has been plowed and in good shape. The South Fork and EFSF are being plowed by a p/u truck with blade on front (Co. equipment broke down.) Said he followed the plow in, but the road is very narrow (and glad he didn’t meet anyone.) The plow is headed back out and will return tomorrow to widen the road and maybe plow up Johnson Creek to Wapiti Meadow.

Yellow Pine “snow board” 4800′ = 18″
Big Creek Summit SNOTEL 6580′ = 56″
Deadwood Summit SNOTEL 6860′ = 68″

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Winter Weather Advisory in effect Dec 26, 11PM until Dec 28, 5AM

Winter Weather Advisory

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BOISE ID
251 PM MST MON DEC 26 2016

...LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOW ACCUMULATIONS ON TUESDAY...

.A FAST MOVING PACIFIC STORM WILL BRING ANOTHER ROUND OF LIGHT TO
MODERATE SNOW TO AREAS OF SOUTHEAST OREGON AND SOUTHWEST IDAHO ON
TUESDAY. SNOW WILL SPREAD FROM WEST TO EAST LATE TONIGHT. THE
BAKER VALLEY AND HIGHER ELEVATIONS IN THE WEST CENTRAL MOUNTAINS
WILL SEE GUSTY WINDS ACCOMPANY THE SNOW...AND WITH TEMPERATURES
WELL BELOW FREEZING...BLOWING SNOW WILL ADD TO THE TRAVEL HAZARDS
IN THESE AREAS. THE STORM WILL EXIT THE REGION TUESDAY NIGHT.

WEST CENTRAL MOUNTAINS-UPPER WEISER RIVER-
251 PM MST MON DEC 26 2016

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 11 PM THIS EVENING TO
5 AM MST WEDNESDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BOISE HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER
ADVISORY FOR SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 11 PM THIS EVENING TO
5 AM MST WEDNESDAY.

* SNOW AMOUNTS...3 TO 6 INCHES IN THE UPPER WEISER RIVER WITH 4
  TO 8 INCHES IN THE WEST CENTRAL MOUNTAINS.

* WINDS...SOUTHERLY WINDS AROUND 10 MPH IN THE VALLEYS. AREAS
  ABOVE 6000 FEET WILL SEE GUSTY WINDS TO 30 MPH.

* TIMING...LIGHT SNOW WILL DEVELOP EARLY TUESDAY MORNING.

* IMPACTS...SNOW COVERED ROADS. SOME BLOWING SNOW IS POSSIBLE AT
  HIGHER ELEVATIONS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW
WILL PRIMARILY CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW
COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE
DRIVING.

Yellow Pine Forecast

Tonight
A 40 percent chance of snow. Cloudy, with a low around 10. South southwest wind 3 to 5 mph. Total nighttime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Tuesday
Snow. High near 23. South wind around 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Tuesday Night
Snow. Low around 19. Southwest wind 5 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.
Wednesday
A 30 percent chance of snow before 11am. Cloudy, with a high near 24. West wind around 6 mph. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Wednesday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. Light south wind.
Thursday
Partly sunny, with a high near 26.

Dec 25, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times

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

Village News:

Christmas Day Potluck at The Corner 5pm.
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Mail Day

Mail will come in on Tuesday the 27th as Monday is a holiday.
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Judy Wiley Memorial Stone

Chris Niebrand, Marjie Fields, Sue Ledford, and Nora Jean have been talking about a memorial stone for Judy Wiley.  Chris Niebrand  has volunteered into looking for a stone.  If anyone would like to donate to this please send their donation to Marjie Field at 3706 N E Thompson St, Portland. Or. 97212.
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RIP:

Geraldine A. Atkins

Atkins, Geraldine A., 74, of Kuna (and Zena Creek), died Friday December 23, 2016 at her home. Services are pending Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel. 208-442-8171

Published in Idaho Statesman on Dec. 24, 2016
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Lois Fry

A celebration of the life, music, and friendships of Lois Fry will be celebrated on Saturday Jan. 14, 2017, 6-9 p.m., at Northfork Lodge located at McCall RV Resort.

All are welcome! Bring potluck dish, musical instruments, stories and dancing shoes.

Donations at the door to cover expenses. Contact person: Janet Houlian (208) 630-4304.

Published in the Star-News December 22, 2016
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Local Observations:

Monday (Dec 19) the low was close to zero last night, clouds came in and a skiff of snow by daylight, cold light breeze, 14″ total snow on the flat. Two ravens flew over the village, and a couple of elk were west of the golf course. (First critters we have seen in weeks.) A couple of snow flurries today, but no accumulation. Rather breezy, but warming up. Internet sluggish around 720pm. Temp warmed up and snowing around 5am.

Tuesday (Dec 20) warmed up during the night and snowing early morning. 2″ new snow by 930am, 16″ total snow on the flat, and still snowing. Snow fell until early afternoon, then warmed to above freezing. Rain and then sleet late afternoon. Clearing after dark and cold.

Wednesday (Dec 21) cold morning, low of -2, clear sky. Winter Solstice sunrise at 1046am (by the school.) The sun was down before 4pm (from our perspective) but still lighting up the top of Golden Gate, the last ray of sun left the top of VanMeter 456pm. Clear and temps dropping quickly.

20161221-solstice-sunrise-c
Winter Solstice Sunrise over Antimony Ridge by Terry

Thursday (Dec 22) very cold morning, low of -7, mostly clear sky, 15″ (old) snow on the flat. Clouds increased during the day then clearing in late afternoon. Quiet day. Temp dropped then clouds came in before midnight.

Friday (Dec 23) not quite as cold, low was around 5 degrees. 14 above and cloudy this morning. Raven calling after lunch time. Snow storm came in right on time at 1115am, blustery and steady snow until around 330pm, little over 1/4″ accumulated. Report of an elk up on the hill above main street eating bushes around homes. A few flakes falling after sundown, calmer and warmer than it has been for a while at 30 degrees. More snow fell during the night.

Saturday (Dec 24) it was 24 degrees this morning, low clouds, ridges socked in nearly to the valley floor. 3″ new snow overnight, 17″ total snow on the ground and still snowing. Snow stopped by lunch time. Cloudy afternoon and evening.

Sunday (Dec 25) fine light snow started before 8am, just a trace, cloudy and cold. Warmed into the mid 20’s today, flaking snow until afternoon, but no accumulation. Locals with snow plows (and backhoe) clearing roads this afternoon. Sky starting to clear before dark.
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Idaho News:

Ray and Carol Arnold supply residents of the Idaho back country with much more than mail

Carolyn White December 2, 2016 The Fence Post

Llamas don’t ride well in airplanes. Just ask Carol Arnold of Arnold’s Aviation in Cascade, Idaho.

Her partner, Ray, won’t fly them anymore.

“We put two in his Cessna one day, and they didn’t get along. It was a rodeo,” Carol said. “Their hooves are pretty sharp and they tore up the interior.”

The Arnolds started their aviation business by building a hangar on what was once an open field with a simple dirt strip. During the past 42 years, they have become an important lifeline to the people who live in the isolated Salmon River backcountry.

Ray, along with a second pilot, makes more than 20 stops every Wednesday and Thursday, carrying not only animals but guests, groceries, hay, fuel, tractor tires, seeds, canvas tents, non-electric tools, propane-powered appliances and of course, bags of mail.

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Valley County stops plowing  snow for part-time residents

Fear of budget cuts forces paring back of plow routes

By Tom Grote for The Star-News December 22, 2016

Valley County is no longer plowing snow on county roads where there are no year-round residents, Road and Bridge Superintendent Jeff McFadden said.

The new policy, started this winter, is intended to save money in case Congress does not reauthorize federal funds that make up nearly half of the road department’s budget, McFadden said.

Plowing has been stopped to any road where it has been determined someone lives less than 20 days per month, he said. …

2014 Survey

Valley County commission Chair Gordon Cruickshank said the cutbacks are in line with a survey taken by the county in 2014.

Respondents to the online survey came down strongly in opposition to new fees or taxes to maintain the county’s roads

Respondents resoundingly opposed creating a highway district separate from the county or increasing property taxes.

The survey on the county web site attracted 358 responses. About 88 percent came from full-time residents and the rest were part-time residents.

“The road department and the commissioners are doing what the people asked of us,” Cruickshank said.

full story The Star-News
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Valley County to acquire Clear Creek parking lot from Wilks brothers

State grant, donations will pay for 4.7-acre parcel

By Max Silverson for The Star-News December 22, 2016

Valley County has struck a deal to purchase a parcel of land for a multi-use recreational parking lot at the end of Clear Creek Road south of Cascade.

A deal with the billionaire Wilks Brothers of Cisco, Texas, will see the county buy the 4.7-acre parcel for $42,300, Valley County Recreation Director Larry Laxson said.

The land serves as a staging area for snowmobilers in the winter as well as mountain bikers and off-road motorists in the summer, Laxson said. The purchase is expected to be completed by Jan. 20.

The parking lot is located on private land, and until this year the owners allowed the county to use the parking lot without a formal agreement.

Earlier this year, however, the Wilks brothers acquired the parking lot as part of their purchase of 172,000 acres of timber land in central Idaho formerly owned by Potlatch Corp. of Idaho.

full story The Star-News
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McCall fire chief suggest giving smoke alarm as gifts

The Star-News December 22, 2016

McCall Fire & EMS Chief Mark Billmire has a last-minute Christmas gift idea – smoke alarms.

Smoke alarms are free at the McCall Fire Station at 201 Deinhard Lane, and firefighters will help install them and replace batteries, Billmire said.

“The simple gift of a smoke alarm is an outward expression of how much you care,” he said.

Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries, Billmire said.

Smoke alarms are recommend in every bedroom on each level of a house and in the main living space.

“Sleeping with the bedroom door closed slows the smoke from entering and provides a little extra time if you need to escape out a window,” Billmire said. For questions, call 634-7070.

source The Star-News
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Former Tamarack golf course to be sold at auction Dec. 29

Course has been closed for two years over legal disputes

By Tom Grote for The Star-News December 22, 2016

The former Osprey Meadows Golf Course at Tamarack Resort can be purchased for as little at $1.2 million when the land goes up for auction next week.

The auction is the latest move that homeowners at Tamarack hope will lead to consolidated ownership of the various parts of the resort southwest of Donnelly.

The 200 acres of overgrown land will be sold to the highest bidder at an auction set to begin at 10 a.m. next Thursday, Dec. 29, at the Valley County Courthouse in Cascade.

full story The Star-News
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Adams historical society gets $13,000 grant

The Star-News December 22, 2016

The Adams County Historical Society has received a $13,000 grant from Idaho Heritage Trust for the continuing restoration of the historic Pacific & Idaho Northern Railway Depot in New Meadows.

The funds will be used to complete restoration of the corbels, fascia, and soffits. Matching money will come from “The Fosdick” benefit event awarded this past fall and proceeds from the March Family Endowment.

The first phase was completed in the spring of 2016 an involved taking down of all items involved in preparation for restoration.

This restoration project is the final phase of the exterior restoration of the P&IN depot

source The Star-News
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Winter Newsletter, 2017 – UI Extension, Valley County

Wishing you a Wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

We hope to see you this winter at some of the programs planned in 2017. Our office specializes in community development, agriculture, horticulture, and 4H youth development programs. Please view the boxes below to learn more about upcoming programs!

link:
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ISP urging caution around emergency vehicles this winter

KTVB December 24, 2016

Idaho State Police urge all drivers to slow down and increase following distance in winter driving conditions, and be cautious around emergency vehicles.

ISP says that in the last two weeks, five ISP patrol cars have been hit while troopers were performing investigations on the interstate. The Canyon County Sheriff’s Office has had three patrol cars hit in the same period.

ISP alone has responded to more than 230 crashes so far during the month of December — that’s not counting crashes handled by local agencies.

Copyright 2016 KTVB
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State officials deliver $37 million to Idaho public schools

By Keith Ridler –  12/20/16 AP

Boise, Idaho — State officials have presented Idaho’s public schools with a ceremonial check for about $37 million.

The presentation on Tuesday on the second floor of the Capitol Rotunda followed a performance by the Capital High School choir and came before the Idaho Land Board’s regular monthly meeting.

“That check we gave to public schools this morning was huge,” said Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, one of five statewide elected officials on the board.

The check ranks among the largest of disbursements ever to Idaho’s public schools.

continued:
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Snowmobilers rescued after getting stuck overnight

12/23/16 AP

Idaho Falls, Idaho — A group of snowmobilers has been rescued after becoming stranded and running low on fuel in Fremont County’s backcountry.

KIFI-TV reports that Fremont County Search and Rescue was called into the area around 2 a.m. Thursday.

The six people in the group told the first two responders who reached them that they had a fire burning and were OK to spend the night.

A team started out at daybreak and reached the group before noon.

Everyone was tired but OK when they returned to base camp that afternoon.

source:
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Mining News:

Idaho suction dredge gold miner fined by federal authorities

12/20/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho suction dredge gold miner has agreed to pay a $3,600 fine for violating the Clean Water Act on the South Fork Clearwater River in north-central Idaho.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the agreement Tuesday with Robert Paul Rice Jr. of Idaho Falls.

The EPA says Rice broke the law with unauthorized discharge of pollutants into the river on July 22, 2015.

Federal officials say Rice ran a suction dredge on the river at a time when that activity was prohibited to protect critical habitat for steelhead and bull trout under the Endangered Species Act.

source:
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Public Lands:

Bogus Basin Forest Health Project Update

USDA Forest Service 12/19/2016

The Decision Memo for the Bogus Basin Forest Health Project on the Mountain Home Ranger District is available for viewing. The Decision Memo documents Forest Supervisor Seesholtz’s decision to implement the Bogus Basin Forest Health Project. The Decision Memo is available on the Project web page:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=47956

Supervisor Seesholtz has determined that this action falls within the categorical exclusion found in Section 603 of Healthy Forests Restoration Act (16 U.S.C.6591b). The Bogus Basin Forest Health Project was reviewed in accordance with the categorical exclusion guidelines at FSH 1909.15(30), as updated on May 28, 2014. Following review of the resource conditions identified at 36 CFR 220 .6(b), Supervisor Seesholtz determined that no extraordinary circumstances exist. In addition, the interdisciplinary team’s analysis did not identify any other unusual circumstances or uncertainties about environmental effects associated with the action that would preclude use of a categorical exclusion.

On January 17, 2014, the President signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (Pub. L. No.  113-76). Section 431 of that Act directs that the 1992 and 2012 legislation establishing the 36 CFR 215 (post-decisional appeals) and 36 CFR 218 (pre-decisional objections) processes “shall not apply to any project or activity implementing a land and resource management plan … that is categorically excluded ….under the National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA].”  On February 7, 2014, the President signed into law the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) (Pub. L. No. 113-79).  Section 8006 of the 2014 Farm Bill repealed the Appeals Reform Act (ARA) (Pub. L. No. 102-381).  The ARA’s implementing regulation was 36 CFR 215.  The 2014 Farm Bill also directs that the pre-decisional objection process established in the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2012 shall not be applicable to categorically excluded projects or activities.  As a result of these two statutes, the Forest Service no longer offers  notice, comment and  appeal opportunities pursuant to 36 CFR 215 for categorically excluded projects.

Implementation of this decision is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2017.

Please contact Stephaney Kerley, District Ranger, Mountain Home Ranger District, if you have questions regarding this project at 208-587-7961.

Sincerely,
Aaron Stockton
South Zone NEPA Planner, Boise National Forest
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North Zone Districts of the Boise National Forest intend to submit grant proposals to Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation

Boise, Idaho, December 19, 2016 — The Lowman, Cascade and Emmett Ranger Districts of the Boise National Forest are applying for grant funding from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation to help trail and developed campsite improvements and maintenance.

Applications will request funding through the Departments Off-Road Motor Vehicle (ORMV), Recreation Trails Program (RTP), Recreational Vehicle (RV) programs, Mountain Bike Plate Funds, and (MBR) Motorbike Recreation Account.

* RV funds would be concentrated on improving Rattlesnake Campground and funding campground furniture and tent pads replacement as well as improve the spur sites.

* ORMV funds for Avalanche and snowmobile safety public education, assess trail conditions, trail maintenance (clearing downed trees and debris) as necessary, assist the groomers especially when working in Avalanche areas and complete compliance checks.

* Posting Kiosk information, placing snow poles, route assurance markers so that recreationalist can clearly identify a trail and are able to return safely.

* Fund more frequent patrols, debris removal and clearing trails over the next several years due to 188,000 acre Pioneer Fire. Over the next several years more than average blow downs, falling snags, landslides and other issues are expected due to the decreased soil stability and fire damage.

* ORMV funds would provide additional funding to assist with the necessary equipment and crew time to support heavy trail maintenance and signing of approximately 250 miles of the 687 miles of motorized trails within the three northern districts (Lowman, Cascade and Emmett Ranger Districts) ) of the Boise National Forest.

* RTP funds would help maintain approximately 80 miles of the 230 miles of non-motorized trails located within the three northern districts (Lowman, Cascade and Emmett Ranger Districts) of the Boise National Forest.

All grant proposals will improve the visitor experience, and remove some public health and safety hazards caused by the Pioneer Fire. If received, implementation of the trails and ORMV grants would begin in late summer and the RV grant would be implemented in the fall.

Comments or requests for more information should be submitted to Mathue Fasching, Lowman Ranger District, 7359 Highway 2, Lowman, ID 83637 or by calling (208) 259-3361 ext. 7553, and/or  Everardo Santillan, Emmett Ranger District 1805 Highway 16, #5, Emmett, ID 83617, (208) 365-7000 ext. 7611.

Linda Steinhaus
Public Affairs
Boise National Forest
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McCall Ranger District Seeking Grants for Recreation Improvements

December 20, 2016, Payette National Forest

McCall, ID – The McCall Ranger District on the Payette National Forest will be applying for state recreation grants for trail, recreation, and avalanche programs.

The district will be applying for two grants to support the Payette Avalanche Center.  The first proposal will be submitted in order to support continued daily avalanche advisory work, as well as provide assistance in repairing or replacing technical equipment for weather stations and avalanche beacons. The second proposal is a request to cover 50% of the cost of a new snowmobile for the program.

Plans also call for rerouting sections of the Jackson Creek Trail off of the Warren Wagon Road near McCall.  The proposal calls for rerouting the trail out of wet areas and enhance the trail.

The final proposals to be submitted will be to make facility improvements to the Lake Fork Campground.  The current restroom facilities are in need of full replacement.  Funds will also be requested to improve signage in the campground and enhance other amenities such as picnic tables and fire rings.

Comments or requests for information should go to Susan Jenkins at 208-634-0400 or sjenkins02@fs.fed.us

Brian D. Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Payette National Forest
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Payette River Annual River passes now available for 2017 season

12-23-2016 News Release

Boise, Idaho, Dec. 23, 2016 — Annual River Passes for the Payette River Recreation Area in the Banks and Garden Valley area are now on sale for the entire 2017 season for $20 per pass at the following locations:

Alpenglow Mountain Sports Boise/Bogus Basin Rd 208-331-2628
Cascade Outfitters Garden City 208-322-4411
Idaho River Sports Boise/Hyde Park 208-336-4844
Ray’s Corner Market Horseshoe Bend 208-793-2391
Valley View Chevron Horseshoe Bend 208-793-4321
Garden Valley Chevron Garden Valley 208-462-3869
USFS Garden Valley Work Center Garden Valley 208-462-3241
Emmett Ranger District Emmett 208-365-7000

The season pass waives the daily $3 fee charged at each Payette River Recreation site and can also be used in fee areas along the South Fork of the Snake River. Fees will start May 1 in the Payette River complex. River recreation fee sites include: Beehive Bend, Chief Parrish, Banks Beach, Banks River Access, Deer Creek, Confluence and Danskin. During the boating season, there are self-service daily fee stations for non-annual pass holders.

For visitors with an America the Beautiful Interagency Senior or Access Pass, Payette River Recreation Area use is free. The Idaho State Parks Passport is not valid at federal recreation sites.

Funds received are directly used for operation, improvement and site maintenance to enhance recreation opportunities and public use along the Payette River corridor. The fee program is within the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.

The program is managed jointly by the Bureau of Land Management and the Boise National Forest. The Forest Service manages the daily operations and maintenance, and administers commercial outfitter and guide permits, while the BLM performs most of the construction activities and administers special recreation event permits.

Comments are welcome and are evaluated annually. Further information is available by calling the Emmett Ranger District at 208-365-7000.

Linda Steinhaus
Public Affairs
Boise National Forest
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Critter News:

The Standoff, in McCall, Idaho

Dec 19, 2016 KTVB


by Daniel

Photo Gallery:
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Winter Wildlife Sport Elegant Dress

Dec 16, 2016 – IME


Photo by Roland Lane

A weasel dressed for a white Christmas is almost perfectly camouflaged against a backdrop of fresh snow earlier this week along Warm Springs Creek west of Ketchum. Three species of weasels swap their summer brown coats for snowy whites: the least weasel, the long-tailed weasel and the short-tailed weasel, or ermine. Weasels feed on rodents, including mice, voles and young cottontails.

source:
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Groups to sue over coyote poisons

Potential plaintiffs claim two substances endanger other wildlife

IM Express Dec 23, 2016

Four conservation and animal-welfare groups have filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to protect imperiled mammals and birds from two deadly pesticides used to kill coyotes and other predators. The suit seeks mitigation measures to prevent exposure of the poisons to nontarget predatory and scavenging animals, including grizzly bears, Canada lynx, wolves and California condors.

The EPA has registered the pesticides at issue—sodium cyanide and Compound 1080—for use by Wildlife Services, the predator-control arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as by state predator-control agencies in Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, New Mexico and Texas.

M-44 devices propel lethal doses of sodium cyanide into the mouths of animals lured by bait, while Compound 1080 is used in “livestock protection collars” strapped onto the necks of sheep and goats that often graze on public lands. The collars contain bladders filled with liquid poison intended to kill coyotes.

The lawsuit is being pursued by the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians, The Humane Society of the United States and the Fund for Animals.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third week of December 2016
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Conservation area to help wildlife migration in 3 states

By Keith Ridler –  12/22/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — A federal agency has established a 7,000-square-mile watershed conservation area in three Western states that includes major migration corridors for birds and mammals, officials said Thursday.

The Bear River Watershed Conservation Area in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming is part of a plan to protect wildlife habitat by buying perpetual conservation easements from willing private landowners, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said.

The agency said it has identified some 1,400 square miles of potential easements that connects the northern and southern Rocky Mountains.

The conservation area includes national wildlife refuges in each state and the 500-mile Bear River. The river starts in the Uinta Mountains in Utah and flows north into Wyoming before making a U-turn in Idaho and flowing south back into Utah where it becomes the largest surface water source for the Great Salt Lake ecosystem.

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Hailey elk video garners over 1 million views on Facebook

Dec 23, 2016 IME

Footage taken of elk crossing state Highway 75 north of Hailey had been viewed 1.4 million times on Facebook as of press deadline Thursday.

The footage, shot by Hailey resident Toni Marcroft, shows several trophy bull elk crossing the highway and jumping a white fence on its west side while northbound drivers wait patiently.

The video was posted to Facebook on Monday by the Chamber of Hailey and the Wood River Valley’s social media manager, Julie Gates. She said Wednesday that she has watched the video gain thousands of views each day.

“I kept checking the video periodically and was just amazed at the amount of views,” she said. “It’s such a boon for the chamber and the community to bring so much attention to our little valley.”

To view the video, visit http://www.facebook.com/haileyidaho1/

continued:
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Mountain goat image tops Scotchman Peaks photo contest winners

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review 12-21-2016


(Leslie Keibert)

Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness 2016 photo contest winner Leslie Keibert kept her proper distance when she caught these two mountain goats with her telephoto lens on Scotchman Peak.

more info:
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Researchers target disease-carrying bighorn sheep

By ERIC BARKER –  12/24/16 AP

LEWISTON, Idaho — Faint beeps picked up by a transceiver alert Frances Cassirer to the nearby presence of bighorn sheep, but the animals are momentarily invisible.

Their tawny bodies and white rumps are a perfect match for the conditions in the Asotin Creek canyon. The mix of patchy snow, dry grass, sage brush and basalt outcroppings make the animals melt into the landscape.

“It’s the Bev Doolittle effect,” she said, referencing the artist known for landscape paintings sprinkled with animals that are, at first glance, hidden by their markings.

continued:
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Mountain ash a festive holiday treat for birds

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review 12-21-2016


Townsend’s solitaire eating from a pyracantha bush. (Alistair Fraser)

People planning landscaping changes this spring should take a tip from the birds and consider planting a a version of mountain ash.

The clustered fruits produced by regular or dwarf varieties are a hit with birds from fall through winter. The Townsend’s solitaire in the photo above reminds us orange berries are a hit with birds, even though in this case it’s from a pyracantha, a thorny bush that provides cover and protection for birds, too  Tina Wynecoop shared this photo from her friend Alistair Fraser of Nelson, British Columbia.

Other similar photos coming in from birders around the region show a variety of species including robins and waxwings feasting on the bright orange “berries.”

Warning: Bears also bulk up on mountain ash fruits in the fall after the huckleberry crops have faded away.

source:
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Good rescue it was: Yoda the tortoise saved from school fire

12/21/16 AP

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Firefighters have rescued a Russian tortoise named Yoda at an eastern Idaho elementary school after a heating device caused his habitat to start smoldering.

The Idaho Falls Fire Department says it responded early Wednesday to a fire alarm at Fairview Elementary School in Idaho Falls and found the building filled with smoke.

Crews discovered a smoldering fire in a classroom in Yoda’s 30-gallon enclosure and saved the tortoise.

Bonneville School District Superintendent Charles Shackett says a heating pad meant to keep Yoda warm caused the problem. The hand-sized tortoise is fine and back home with his owner, a teacher.

continued:
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Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
http://www.cbbulletin.com
December 22, 2016
Issue No. 814

Table Of Contents

* Study Uses Epidemiological Model To Track How Salmon-Eating Sea Lions In Columbia River Transmit Behavior
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438124.aspx

* Corp Issues Draft Letter, EA Outlining Cost-Share With States To Battle Invasive Mussels; Comments Due Jan. 12
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438123.aspx

* Montana’s Extensive Testing Of Water Bodies In Two Weeks Found No New Detections Of Invasive Mussels
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438122.aspx

* Council Approves Master Plan For Snake River Steelhead Kelt Reconditioning Facility At Nez Perce Hatchery
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438121.aspx

* Study Identifies Steelhead Kelt ‘Consecutive’ Or ‘Skip’ Spawners; Aids Management, Could Raise Return Rates
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438120.aspx

* Year-End Assessment Matches 2016 Water Supply, Stream Flow, and Fish Conditions With Juvenile Migration
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438119.aspx

* NMFS Seeks Comments For EIS On Upper Willamette Basin Salmon/Steelhead Hatchery Programs, Genetic Management Plans
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438118.aspx

* Council FW Committee Identifies More Than $500,000 In Project Cost Savings To Free Up For Others
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438117.aspx

* DOE Awards OSU $40 Million To Build World’s ‘Premier’ Wave Energy Test Facility In Newport
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438116.aspx

* Council Ready To Roll-Out Interactive Mapping Tool For Columbia Basin Salmon/Steelhead
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438115.aspx

* Study: Best Written Scientific Papers, Narrative Style, About Climate Change More Influential
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438114.aspx
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Fun Critter Stuff:

polarbear-a
[h/t RE]
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Two bears frolic in the sea

USA TODAY Dec 9, 2016 Kamchatka, Russia

These two bears played for an hour – hugging and cuddling each other in the water.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Toronto Zoo Giant Panda vs. Snowman

Toronto Zoo Keepers made giant panda Da Mao a snowman for enrichment!

Watch as he plays with, or rather disassembles, their creation.

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Fish & Game News:

News Releases

https://idfg.idaho.gov/press
—————————————

Trivia:

The Winter Solstice

from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

In 2016, the winter solstice date is December 21. This is the astronomical start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Enjoy our solstice facts, folklore, and more!

Winter solstice is the day with the fewest hours of sunlight during the whole year. In the Northern Hemisphere, it always occurs around December 21 or 22. (In the Southern Hemisphere, it is around June 20 or 21.)

In 2016, the winter solstice occur[ed]: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 3:44 am MST

The word solstice comes from the Latin words for “sun” and “to stand still.” In the Northern Hemisphere, as summer advances to winter, the points on the horizon where the Sun rises and sets advance southward each day; the high point in the Sun’s daily path across the sky, which occurs at local noon, also moves southward each day.

At the winter solstice, the Sun’s path has reached its southernmost position. The next day, the path will advance northward. However, a few days before and after the winter solstice, the change is so slight that the Sun’s path seems to stay the same, or stand still. The Sun is directly overhead at “high-noon” on Winter Solstice at the latitude called the Tropic of Capricorn.

more info:
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The Star of Bethlehem

from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

What is the Star of Bethlehem?

Every holiday season, planetariums present their “Star of Wonder” show, which offers astronomical explanations for the most famous star of all—the Star of Bethlehem.

The show suggests that the star was either a comet, a conjunction of bright planets, or maybe a supernova.

Or perhaps it was Jupiter alone in the constellation Aries, according to a newer thesis that got New York Times headlines a few years ago.

… In the below painting, Adoration of the Magi, the Star of Bethlehem is shown as a comet. The painter, Giotto di Bondon, saw Halley’s Comet in 1301.

more info:
— —

Star of Bethlehem

from Wikipedia

The Star of Bethlehem, also called the Christmas Star,[1] revealed the birth of Jesus to the Biblical Magi, and later led them to Bethlehem, according to Christian tradition. The star appears only in the nativity story of the Gospel of Matthew, where astrologers from the east are inspired by the star to travel to Jerusalem.[2] There they meet King Herod of Judea, and ask where the king of the Jews had been born. Herod, following a verse from the Book of Micah interpreted as a prophecy, directs them to Bethlehem, to the south of Jerusalem. The star leads them to Jesus’ home in the town, where they worship him and give him gifts. The wise men are then given a divine warning not to return to Herod so they return home by a different route.[3]

continued:
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Christmas Traditions

from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

What do you know about the origin of Christmas and Christmas traditions? Find out how people started decorating Christmas trees, saying things like “Jiminy Christmas,” and giving gifts on Christmas.

The exact circumstances of the beginning of Christmas as we know it remain obscure. The oldest existing record of a feast to celebrate the birth of Christ is in the Roman almanac called the Chronographer of 354 or the Philocalian Calendar.

This Almanac noted that a festival commemorating Christ’s birth was observed by the church in Rome in the year 336. Chronographers of the third century were the ones who reckoned December 25, around the winter solstice, as the most likely day of Christ’s birth.

Many historians believe that the church stirred up interest in a festival at this time of year to counter the pagan festivals surrounding the solstice, but no historical document proves Rome’s involvement. The record shows that such a festival was adopted throughout the Christian world by the year 458. The word Christmas comes from “Christ’s Mass.”

continued:
— — — —

Why Is Christmas Celebrated on the 25th December?

From the Old Farmer’s Almanac

Merry Christmas! What is the real meaning of Christmas? Enjoy our everything-Christmas page with Christmas dates, customs, folklore, and beautiful quotes—perfect for a Christmas card!

Christmas Day is an annual Christian festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Specifically, the meaning of Christmas comes in the remembrance and celebration of God’s presence in our world through Jesus, God made flesh.

Today’s rich mosaic of Christmas customs dates back through the ages. Evergreen branches were used to symbolize life in ancient solstice festivals, as they stayed green in winter. This tradition was absorbed by Christians, who interpreted the evergreens as the Paradise tree and began decorating them with apples.

The candles and lights associated with Christmas, meant to symbolize guiding beacons for the Christ child, may have evolved from the Yule log, which was lit to entice the Sun to return as part of the jol (Yule) festival in pagan Scandinavia.

more info (and recipes):
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When Does Chanukah Start in 2016?

Saturday, December 24

from the Old Farmer’s Almanac

Chanukah is the 8-day festival of light. See when Chanukah falls—plus, history, customs, and a few traditional recipes.

Chanukah is the eight-day festival of light which starts each year on the 25th of Jewish month of Kislev. This date changes every year, because it is primarily based on the lunar cycle, not our civil calendar, and can range from early November until the 26th December.

This festival commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors defeated the occupying mighty Greek armies. This celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and of spirituality over materiality.

more info (and recipes):
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Xmas Humor:

xmasmouse-a

[h/t SMc]

dogdeletecookies-a

[h/t JMc
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Cledus T. Judd – “Tree’s on Fire”

——————————-

Pilots Christmas Poem

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and out on the ramp,
Not an airplane was stirring, not Acztec, not Champ.
The fuel trucks nestled, all snug in their spots,
While north wind was gusting to 49 knots.

The aircraft were fastened to tiedowns with care
In hopes that come morning, they’d all still be there.
And I at the fuel desk, duties caught up,
Had just settled down with coffee in cup

When over the radio, came such a clatter
I turned down the squelch to see what was the matter.
A voice clearly heard over static and snow
Asked for clearance to land at the airport below.

He made his transmissions both lively and quick
And I’m sure that the call sign he used was “Saint Nick.”
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Sure that it was only Horizon’s late Dash.

I peered at the sky seeking Nav lights on sled
I saw only one at the front it was red!
He called his position, and I heard him say,
“St. Nicholas here, inbound on my sleigh!”

He flew the approach, on glideslope he came,
As as he passed fixes, he called them by name
“Now Ringo! Now Tolga! Now FAF Bacon!
On Comet! On Cupid!” (what pills was he takin’?)

The last of those fixes were bound to confuse,
So the Tower called me to deliver their views
The message they gave was both urgent and dour
“When Santa Claus lands, HE WILL PLEASE CALL THE TOWER!”

He landed like silk, with the sled runners sparking,
With “Exit at Charlie,” and “Taxi to parking.”
He stepped from the sleigh, but before he could talk,
I had run out to give him my very last chock.

He was dressed all in fur, which was covered with frost
And his beard was all blackened from chimney exhaust.
His breath smelled like peppermint, gone slightly stale
And he smoked on a pipe (but he didn’t inhale).

He had a broad face, his armpits were smelly,
His boots were as black as a cropduster’s belly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old fool,
And, smiling, informed me he needed some “fuel”.

A wink of his eye and a turn on his toes,
He left for the washroom to powder his nose.
As he departed I wondered and saw
That my challenge was finding a fuel called . . . straw.

I thought for a while about passing this test
Then remembered a ‘plane had arrived from out West
Just full of supplies for a stable quite near
The freight warehouse must contain straw for the deer!

So I went to the warehouse and warnings unheeded
Found and brought back what the nine reindeer needed.
When I got to the sleigh Santa beamed with relief,
Then went for a phone for a flight-service brief.

And I thought, as he silently wrote in his log,
That with Rudolph, he could land in a one-eighth-mile fog.
He finished his preflight, from front to the rear,
Then on with his headset. I heard him yell “Clear!”

And laying gloved finger upon his push-talk,
He called up the tower for clearance and squawk.
“Straight out on three-zero,” the tower called forth,
“And watch for a Cessna inbound from the North.”

I heard him exclaim, as he climbed in the night,

“Happy Christmas to all! I have traffic in sight.”

[h/t BF]
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Idaho History December 25, 2016

Winter Valley County, Idaho

1940’s Plunge at Warm Lake

1940sWarmLakePlunge-a

[h/t SMc] 
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Bogus Basin ski racers from the 1948-49 season.

1948-49-ski-racers

Courtesy of Glenn Compton

The original lift at Bogus Basin was a rope tow.

bogus-file-tow

Idaho Statesman file photo
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McCall in Winter

mccalltobogganslide-a

Toboggan Slide

image source:

(from Nancy Brown Tomlin, private collection)

[h/t SMc]
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page updated Nov 15, 2018

Road Report Dec 25

Sunday (Dec 25) summary

The last we heard, the county had plowed Warm Lake Hwy and the South Fork and East Fork roads all the way to YP on Wednesday Dec 21.

Friday Dec 23 mail truck driver (Ray) had reported the upper South Fork was getting iffy and the EFSF road was in good shape. We have received more snow since then, but no reports if it has been plowed.

Local Roads – Update 130pm. The streets are being plowed today (thanks “C”.)

Current Conditions:
Yellow Pine 4800′ = 16″ at 10am
Big Creek Summit SNOTEL 6580′ = 53″ at 10am
Deadwood Summit SNOTEL 6860′ = 59″ at 10am

Roads Closed for Winter:
Lick Creek Road
Landmark/Johnson Creek Road
Profile Creek Road (to Big Creek/Edwardsburg

Groomer Report
County Groomer Report
Payette Avalanche Center

Weather Reports Dec 18-24

Note: We have had over 30″ of snow fall so far in December, as of 12/25 we have 16″ on the ground.

Dec 18 Weather:

At 930am it was -9 degrees and clear. At 1030am it was up to -7 degrees and sun coming over the hill. At 1130am it was up to 3 degrees and sunny. By noon high thin clouds moving in. At 1pm it was 12 degrees and mostly cloudy. filtered sun. At 230pm it was partly cloudy. At 5pm it was 4 degrees and clear. At 8pm it was 8 degrees. At 930pm it was 4 degrees. At midnight it was 1 degree. Hazy moon at 2am (thin clouds.) At 4am it was 8 degrees. Snowed a skiff before 9am.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time December 19, 2016 at 09:30AM
Overcast, light breeze
Max temperature 16 degrees F
Min temperature -9 degrees F <- yesterday morning
At observation 13 degrees F
Precipitation Trace
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth 14 inch
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Dec 19 Weather:

At 930am it was 13 degrees, cloudy, a trace of new snow and light chilly breeze. Flaking snow before 11am, lasted under 30 minutes, no accumulation. At 1130am it was 21 degrees, cloudy and the wind kicking up. Blustery at noon, 26 degrees and light snow. Not snowing after 215pm and breezy, trace. At 5pm it was 27 degrees, overcast and rather breezy. At 830pm it was 26 degrees, breezy and cloudy. At 11pm it was 26 degrees, calmer and cloudy. Snowing at 5am. Still snowing at 9am.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time December 20, 2016 at 09:30AM
Low overcast, snowing
Max temperature 29 degrees F <- this morning
Min temperature 13 degrees F <- yesterday morning
At observation 29 degrees F
Precipitation 0.15 inch
Snowfall 2.0 inch
Snow depth 16 inch
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Dec 20 Weather:

AT 930am it was 29 degrees, low clouds and snowing. Smaller flakes and lighter snow before 1130am. At 12pm it was 31 degrees and snowing lightly. At 120pm it was 33 degrees and stopped snowing. At 430pm it was 34 degrees and misting rain. At 5pm it was 33 degrees, sleeting for a couple minutes than back to light rain. Wind gusts at 525pm. Snowing at 535pm. Not snowing at 7pm and 31 degrees, some clearing. At 815pm some stars out and 25 degrees. At 1030pm it was 18 degrees.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time December 21, 2016 at 09:30AM
Clear and cold
Max temperature 34 degrees F
Min temperature -2 degrees F
At observation -1 degrees F
Precipitation 0.08 inch
Snowfall 0.5 inch
Snow depth 15 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Dec 21 Weather:

At 930am it was -1 and clear. At 1150am it was 13 degrees and sunny. At 420pm it was 13 degrees, dropped to 11 degrees by 445pm and clear. At 630pm it was 8 degrees. Starting to get foggy around 715pm. At 7pm it was 6 degrees, light fog. At 840pm it was 6 degrees. At 1050pm it was 4 degrees and clear.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time December 22, 2016 at 09:30AM
Mostly clear and cold
Max temperature 27 degrees F
Min temperature -7 degrees F
At observation -5 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch
Snowfall 0.0 inch
Snow depth 15 inch
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Dec 22 Weather:

At 930am it was -5 degrees and mostly clear. At 1215pm it was up to 17 degrees, weak sunshine (clouds coming in.) At 1pm it was overcast. At 2pm some breaks in the clouds. At 5pm it was 15 degrees and partly cloudy. At 645pm it was 10 degrees. At 845pm it was 5 degrees. At 11pm it was 5 degrees and cloudy. At 5am it was 5 degrees.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time December 23, 2016 at 09:30AM
Overcast
Max temperature 27 degrees F
Min temperature -5 degrees F <- yesterday morning
At observation 14 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch
Snowfall 0.0 inch
Snow depth 15 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Dec 23 Weather:

At 930am it was 14 degrees and overcast. Started snowing at 1115am, light breeze. Just after 1pm it was 28 degrees, the wind started kicking up, steady light snow. Stopped snowing around 330pm, less than 1/2″ accumulation. At 430pm a few snowflakes falling, breeze had calmed down. At 5pm it was 30 degrees and a few flakes falling. Did not appear to be snowing at 815pm. At 830pm it was 28 degrees and steady snow falling. At 11pm it was 28 degrees and not snowing, approx 1/2″ accumulation. Looks like it snowed all night, most of the snow fell early morning.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time December 24, 2016 at 09:30AM
Low overcast, steady light snow
Max temperature 34 degrees F
Min temperature 14 degrees F <- yesterday morning
At observation 24 degrees F
Precipitation 0.19 inch
Snowfall 3.0 inch
Snow depth 17 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Dec 24 Weather:

At 930am it was 24 degrees, low overcast and steady snow falling. Snow tapering off to very light snow after 11am. Getting lighter and not snowing right after 12pm, trace accumulation. Not snowing all afternoon. At 530pm it was 25 degrees, not snowing but clouds lower. Fine light snow early morning (before 8am.)

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time December 25, 2016 at 09:30AM
Overcast, fine light snow
Max temperature 29 degrees F
Min temperature 11 degrees F
At observation 13 degrees F
Precipitation Trace
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth 16 inch
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Avalanche Advisory December 25, 2016

BOTTOM LINE

Merry Christmas! The avalanche hazard is Moderate today in the upper and mid elevations and low below 6000 feet. Wind slabs near ridgetops will be the main concern today. The potential for storm slabs up to 12 inches thick exists in steep. upper elevation terrain. There is also a low probability/high consequence possibility of triggering a large avalanche in shallow/rocky areas where a layer of faceted snow at the ground has 3 to 5 feet of snow resting above it.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM 1: WIND SLAB

We have been finding small wind slabs and large wind drifts near the ridgetops on multiple aspects over the last week. In some areas, these slabs are resting on a slick wind crust. Winds have swirled around the compass from over the last few days and have been sculpting and transporting the light density snow that has accompanied the last 2 storms. Over the next 12-24 hours we will see winds continuing to gust in the upper elevations into the mid 20 mph range and then switching to the South before calming. Be aware of crossloaded areas on smaller terrain features and watch out for obvious clues like cracking or hollow sounding/feeling snow under your skis or track.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM 2: STORM SLAB

Most of our mid elevation reporting sites picked up 5-7 inches of new snow in the last 48 hours bringing snow totals for the week up to just about 12 inches. Be cautious of the interface between the older, firm snow which was downright slick on some wind scoured upper elevation slopes, and the new snow above. On wind protected slopes the new snow may be resting on a newly formed layer of Surface Hoar which is a very weak layer. Anticipate soft storm slabs of up to 12 inches thick on terrain steep enough to slide today.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM 3: PERSISTENT SLAB

We have found a weak layer near the ground throughout the advisory area over the last two weeks that is made up of weak faceted snow or a combination of facets and old crusts left over from our early season snowpack. The weak layer of facets is fairly widespread and well developed in the upper elevations especially on the shadier aspects where early snowfall accumulated. Shallow rocky areas are also harboring this layer on other aspects. George described this problem earlier this week as a low probability/ high consequence avalanche problem…meaning you are not very likely to trigger a slide this deep but the consequences if you did would be bad. The 3-5 foot overlying slab is gaining strength which is good but is also turning into more of a hard, consolidated meat grinder if it fails. The mostly slow and incremental loading of new snow on this layer has not come close to overloading the strength of the slab above it yet but with additional snow last night and today and the addition of wind loaded snow in the Northerly terrain, now is a good time to play it safe on steep shady slopes or slopes with thinner/rocky areas where you are more likely to trigger the weak layer.

This kind of problem is both difficult to trigger and more difficult to predict. Slopes with tracks on them are not a good indicator of stability as the trigger points are likely to be isolated to thin or weak spots that are hard to find or easy to miss. Remember that a lack of red flags or signs of instabilities is not a good indicator for a deep or persistent slab problem. Don’t let the lack of evidence lull you into more consequential terrain or sloppy group management. Use good travel techniques(one at a time) and watch your partners if you are riding or sliding in this type of terrain.

ADVISORY DISCUSSION

Don’t forget about our Know Before You Go class coming up this Tuesday evening at the McCall Ranger District office. KBYG is a great first step or a quick review if you are planning on heading into the backcountry and want to stay safe. Also, PAC and the Friends still have room for both skiers and snowmobilers in our upcoming Intro to Avalanches class on Jan 6 and 7, registration by email is required.

There are a number of great beginner avalanche classes coming up for both skiers and snowmobilers throughout the area. Be sure to check out ‘local classes’ or upcoming events under the Education tab at the top of the forecast page. If you already have the basics down and are ready to take your Level One, skiers and snowmobilers can find classes this winter around the state, don’t make excuses, just do it! Make staying safe while playing in avalanche terrain a New Year’s Resolution!

RECENT OBSERVATIONS

Winds were mostly light yesterday with some gusts reaching into the 20’s and 30’s yesterday afternoon and overnight. The snow that we received came in with slightly warmer temperatures but did little to form a cohesive slab. The formation of isolated wind slabs on multiple aspects near the ridgetops, on exposed upper elevation slopes and on smaller terrain features such as gullies and sub ridges will be your main concern today.

Santa was observed making his way through the pow yesterday at local resorts. No observations were made or reported from the local snowmobile lots…

WEATHER

Expect scattered snow flurries throughout the day today with clearing and cold temps for Monday. Another significant storm will enter the area on Monday night and produce significant snow throughout the West Central by mid-week.

http://payetteavalanche.org/advisory

Avalanche Advisory December 24, 2016

Avalanche Advisory published on December 24, 2016

The avalanche danger is Considerable above 7000 feet today. Gusting and variable winds have created sensitive wind slabs near ridgetops and on the leeward side of smaller terrain features. There is also a low probability/high consequence possibility of triggering a large avalanche in shallow/rocky areas where a layer of faceted snow at the ground has 3 to 5 feet of snow resting above it. The potential for new storm slabs up 10 inches thick exists in steep upper elevations terrain.

Weather

Most of our local Snotel sites and the ski areas are reporting 5-7 inches of new snow overnight at the 6500 ft level. Winds were easily moving snow yesterday and will be gusting into the mid 20’s today. Snow will continue through the day today and then taper off tonight with cloudy skies and a chance of snow before noon on Christmas Day. The upper elevations could pick up an additional 3-6 inches before that happens.

Recent observations

We toured out of bounds at Tamarack Resort yesterday and found moguls on a lot of steep north facing terrain…the same terrain that is harboring the weakest spots in the snowpack. We found a strengthening slab overlying the facets near the ground on multiple aspects as well as some upper snowpack instabilities including the grauple layer from the warm storm 2 weeks ago. Overall strength was improving but there still exists a possibility of triggering a potentially fatal slide on shallow or rocky terrain. Our pit tests showed failures that were hard to initiate but provided very quick and clean shears in the faceted snow near the ground. Moderate verging on strong winds were easily moving the 2-3 inches of new snow and loading Northerly aspects throughout the day.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM 1: WIND SLAB

We have been finding small wind slabs and large wind drifts near the ridgetops on multiple aspects over the last week. Winds have swirled around the compass from S/SW to N/NW and have been sculpting and transporting the light density snow that has accompanied the last 2 storms. Yesterday we observed active loading on the backcountry terrain north of Tamarack Resort. Over the next 12-24 hours we will see winds continuing to gust in the upper elevations into the mid 20 mph range creating another round of wind slabs at or near the ridgelines. Be aware of crossloaded areas on smaller terrain features and watch out for obvious clues like cracking or hollow sounding/feeling snow under your skis or track.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM 2: STORM SLAB

Most of our mid elevation reporting sites picked up 5-7 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours. Expect to see 10 plus in the upper elevations, with over a foot by Christmas afternoon. Be cautious of the interface between the older, firm snow which was downright slick on some wind scoured upper elevation slopes, and the new snow above. On wind protected slopes the new snow may be resting on a newly formed layer of Surface Hoar which is a very weak layer. Anticipate soft storm slabs of up to 10 inches on terrain steep enough to slide today.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM 3: PERSISTENT SLAB

We have found a weak layer near the ground in multiple location over the last two weeks that is made up of weak faceted snow or a combination of facets and old crusts left over from our early season snowpack. The weak layer of facets is fairly widespread and well developed in the upper elevations especially on the shadier aspects where early snowfall accumulated. Shallow rocky areas are also harboring this layer on other aspects. George described this problem earlier this week as a low probability/ high consequence avalanche problem…meaning you are not very likely to trigger a slide this deep but the consequences if you did would be bad. The 3-5 foot overlying slab is gaining strength which is good but is also turning into more of a hard, consolidated meat grinder if it fails. The mostly slow and incremental loading of new snow on this layer has not come close to overloading the strength of the slab above it yet but with additional snow last night and today and the addition of wind loaded snow in the Northerly terrain, now is a good time to play it safe on steep shady slopes or slopes with thinner/rocky areas where you are more likely to trigger the weak layer. Use good travel techniques(one at a time) and watch your partners if you are riding or sliding in this type of terrain.

ADVISORY DISCUSSION

There are a number of great beginner avalanche classes coming up for both skiers and snowmobilers. Be sure to check out ‘local classes’ or upcoming events under the Education tab at the top of the forecast page. If you already have the basics down and are ready to take your Level One, skiers and snowmobilers can find classes this winter around the state, don’t make excuses, just do it! Make staying safe while playing in avalanche terrain a New Year’s Resolution!

http://payetteavalanche.org/advisory

 

 

Winter Weather Advisory in effect from Dec 24, 11AM until Dec 24, 5PM

Note: as of 10am this morning in Yellow Pine we have 3″ new snow and 17″ total snow on the ground and still snowing.

Big Creek summit SNOTEL 6580′ = 55″ snow
Deadwood summit SNOTEL 6860′ = 62″ snow

Winter Weather Advisory

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BOISE ID
1110 AM MST SAT DEC 24 2016

...PACIFIC STORM WILL CONTINUE TO BRING WIDESPREAD SNOW TO
MUCH OF IDAHO...

.A STRONG PACIFIC WEATHER SYSTEM WILL CONTINUE TO BRING
WIDESPREAD SNOW MAINLY TO THE MOUNTAINS OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST
IDAHO THIS AFTERNOON. ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATIONS ARE ALSO LIKELY IN
THE SNAKE RIVER VALLEY SOUTHEAST OF BOISE BEFORE SNOW TAPERS OFF
DURING THE AFTERNOON.


WEST CENTRAL MOUNTAINS-BOISE MOUNTAINS-UPPER TREASURE VALLEY-
WESTERN MAGIC VALLEY-
1110 AM MST SAT DEC 24 2016

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 PM MST THIS
AFTERNOON...

* SNOW AMOUNTS...ADDITIONAL 1 TO 3 INCHES IN THE VALLEYS AND 3
  TO 5 INCHES IN THE MOUNTAINS.

* IMPACTS...SNOW-COVERED ROADS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW
WILL PRIMARILY CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW
COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE
DRIVING.

Yellow Pine Forecast

Today
Snow likely. Cloudy, with a temperature falling to around 24 by 5pm. Northwest wind 3 to 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
Tonight
Snow likely, mainly before 11pm. Cloudy, with a low around 16. North northwest wind 3 to 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Christmas Day
A 30 percent chance of snow. Cloudy, with a temperature rising to near 24 by 10am, then falling to around 13 during the remainder of the day. Light northwest wind. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Sunday Night
A 20 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 1. Calm wind.
Monday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 18. Light southwest wind.