Dec 11, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times

Dec 11, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Local Roads

A big THANK YOU to the “person” in the white club-cab for plowing our local streets today (Sunday.)
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Xmas Pot-luck

December 25 – Christmas Day Potluck at The Corner 5pm.
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Water Bills are coming out this month, due in January 2017.

Local Observations:

Monday (Dec 5) clear sky and cold (1F) this morning. 6″ of snow on the flat. Sunny morning, cloudy afternoon. Cold day (high of 26F.) Jupiter is up in the sky to the south west right after sundown.

Tuesday (Dec 6) overcast and not quite as cold (15F), fine light snow falling by daylight, a scant 1/4″ new snow and total snow measures 5.5″ on the board this morning. Squirrel tracks in the fresh snow, no birds around. Snow quit falling after sunrise. Cloudy chilly day, snow flurry in the afternoon, then clouds breaking up and clearing before dark, light cold breeze. Quiet day, very little traffic. Another snow flurry after dark brought a trace. Temperature dropping.

Wednesday (Dec 7) clearing early morning, cold (4F), light dusting of snow from last evening, 5.5″ of snow on the flat. Sunny all morning, but didn’t warm up to freezing. Clouds in the early afternoon. Clearing off before dark and temps dropping to single digits by early evening. Clear and below zero before midnight.

Thursday (Dec 8) low of -7 during the night, some high thin clouds came in and only -1 before sunrise. This morning 5″ snow measured on the flat (pre-storm). Slow to warm up, increasing clouds. Barely made it to 20 degrees before temps dropping. Snow started before 4pm. Low flying helicopter at 440pm. Snow most of the evening and off and on during the night. Temperature rising.

Friday (Dec 9) warmed up during the night to 24 by morning, 1.5″ new snow, 6″ total snow on the flat. Small flock of birds calling in the forest. Steady snow all day. (High 25F) By 5pm there was 2.25″ new snow (since morning) and 8.25″ total snow on the flat. Internet out for a short time around 1035pm. Snow stacking up and getting rather deep by midnight.

Saturday (Dec 10) power dimmed a couple times around 6am, temps rising during the night. New snow 7.5″, total snow on the flat 13″ and cloudy this morning (trying to rain.) A couple of sprinkles of rain/snow mix during the day, clouds breaking up and above freezing. Snow sliding off roofs and bombing out of trees. Temps dropping after dark, clouds breaking up, bright moon.

Sunday (Dec 11) cold night (low of 14F) but rising to 18F by morning, light snow falling, a trace this morning and 11″ total snow on the board (settled from yesterday’s warmth.) Light snow falling all morning, a trace new so far. White truck w/snowplow clearing locals streets. Snowed all afternoon, by 5pm 3/4″ accumulated. Cold light breeze blowing.


Rick Boyd

8-15-1954 to 12-1-2016


Rockslide, age 62, of Marsing, Idaho (formerly of Yellow Pine) passed away in the early morning hours of December 1, 2016 after a month long battle with cancer. Survived by his loving wife Tracy Jo.

He requested no services.
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Buddy Bowman


We say Goodbye to my Friend and Partner Buddy Bowman. Thank you Buddy for the Great Start to Another Chapter of our Backcountry Bar “The Yellow Pine Tavern”. May we do you Proud with our Ongoing Efforts. We plan to keep on Going. Thank you Marine for Showing us the Way!


Valley County Info:

Valley County Road Department Snow Removal Policy

Snowplows operate on a schedule designed to keep the roads open for the majority of its users. Plowing starts at approximately 2 a.m., with a special emphasis on having the School Bus Routes open by 6:30 a.m. Other principal routes are the next priority. Plows will not be sent out after normal work hours until there is a 4” accumulation of dry fluffy snow or 2” of heavy wet snow. Unless Emergency plowing is required, the county crews will plow no more than a 12 hour shift due to safety policies. During large, continuous storms, the county crews will resume plowing the next morning following a minimum 8 hour rest period. Afternoon plowing will only take place when it is necessary to clear school bus routes, this will only consist of the school bus routes. Roads are to be closed for public travel when, in the judgment of the Road Superintendent, it is unsafe for the public to travel on the roads. When conditions are such that schools should be closed, the schools and bus service will be notified prior to 6:00 a.m.

Depending on the severity or timing of snow storms, we cannot guarantee when snow removal may occur in your area.

Loose snow will be removed from the road surface to road right of ways. In residential areas, some driveways will receive snow. County crew will not clear driveways or other private roads. Residents should keep vehicles, garbage cans and other items out of the road and out of the road right of way to facilitate snow plowing and storage. County will not be liable for vehicle damage, mailboxes, broken fences, trees and other items located in the road right of way. In between storms, clean up is completed by widening the roadways, winging the banks back and cutting the snow floor.

Please do not push snow from your drive way into the roadway or across the roadway as this causes traffic hazards. Pushing snow across the road, leaving or blowing snow on the road and similar activities is a violation of Idaho State Code Section 18-3907 which reads in part “Obstruction of Highways – Any person who obstructs, injures or damages any public road, street, or highway, either by placing obstruction therein or by digging in, or in any other manner injures or obstructs any public road, street of highway, is guilty of a misdemeanor”.

Thank you for your cooperation and working with Valley County Road & Bridge to keep our roadways open and safe this winter.

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Valley County Idaho ~ Code Of The New West

Old West values like integrity, self-reliance and accountability guided their decisions, actions and interactions. Their survival depended upon their ability to cooperate with their neighbors — an attitude of collective responsibility to society and finding non-partisan solutions to environmental problems and other important issues. In keeping with that spirit, we offer this information to help the citizens of Valley County who wish to follow in the footsteps of those rugged individuals by living in the rural areas of Valley County.

Introduction: It is important to become aware of the realities of living in rural Idaho. It is also important for you to know that life in the country is different from life in the city. You need to be prepared.

As you look for a place to make your home, look at the community and its people. County and small town governments are not able to provide the same level of service that city governments provide. However, the County does have a complete set of ordinances, such as: building codes, land use codes, lighting standards, and even rules on how to place your culverts. You should think about transportation, communication, education, health care, employment and public services that are so essential to our modern way of life. To that end, we are providing you with the following information to help you make an educated informed decision before you purchase property or build a home in our county.

Click here to read Document:

Idaho News:

Dec. 20 deadline noted for Valley, Adams property taxes

The Star-News Dec 8, 2016

The deadline for the first half of the year’s property taxes for Valley and Adams counties will be Tuesday, Dec. 20.

Payments will be accepted through 5 p.m. Dec. 20 at the county courthouses in Cascade and Council. The treasurer offices in both counties are staffed Mondays through Friday, including the lunch hour.

Late charge begin on Wednesday, Dec. 21, and interest begins on Jan. 1, so mailed payments must be postmarked by Dec. 20.

Valley County property owners can also pay their taxes through the Access Idaho program which accepts credit cards or electronic checks. For more information, contact the treasurer’s office at 382-7110 or

Credit card payments are available in Adams County and will be accepted until midnight on Dec. 20. Contact the staff at (208) 253-4263 extension 6 or

Payments also can be left in the payment drop box just outside the main courthouse entrance in Council.

source The Star-News:
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Valley County ponders hauling trash to Adams County

Proposed landfill would save money over trucking to Mountain Home

BY MAX SILVERSON for The Star-News Dec 8, 2016

Valley County is considering hauling its trash to a landfill near Council to save money.

The proposal would create a new landfill on 200 acres near the current Goodrich landfill in Adams County.

The new site would have enough capacity to receive trash for at least the next 50 years, Valley County Commissioner Elt Hasbrouck said.

The county now spends about $430,000 per year to haul trash from the county’s transfer station on Spink Lane near Donnelly to a landfill near Mountain Home, Hasbrouck said.

“If we take it to Adams County it’s almost half the distance,” he said. “Our charge per load should go from that $1,100, somewhere down to $500 or 600 per load.”

Initial construction costs for the new landfill are estimated at about $1 million and would be financed by a combination of counties interested in hauling trash to the site.

Monitoring wells, construction of five-acre cells to store the trash as well as access roads must be completed before hauling can begin.

Valley and Adams counties would contribute $250,000 each, with Idaho County contributing $500,000 to the construction of the new site, under the proposal.

It is unclear where Valley County’s $250,000 contribution would come.

Hasbrouck suggested using an $80,000 surplus in the county’s Solid Waste Fund. The rest would come from a fund of federal money paid to the county to compensate for lack of property taxes from federal land in the county.

There is more than $430,000 in that fund, Hasbrouck said.

The cost of building the Goodrich landfill will quickly be recovered in savings from hauling, he said.

“If we can spend $250,000 to save $200,000 the following year, the choice is pretty easy,” Hasbrouck said.

full story The Star-News:
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Tamarack Resort homeowners pay taxes on ski area facilities

Nonessential parcels will be auctioned by Valley County

BY MAX SILVERSON for The Star-News Dec 8, 2016

Homeowners at Tamarack Resort have paid $650,000 in past-due property taxes for parts of the resort important for operation of the ski area.

The Tamarack Municipal Association made the payment on Nov. 30, Valley County Treasurer Glenna Young said.

However, the homeowners did not pay past-due taxes for parcels that are not considered vital for operation of the resort. Those parcels were seized by Valley County on Monday and will be sold at auction in February.

The 15 parcels retained by the homeowners include the Canoe Grill, Seven Devils Pub, Sports Dome, Wildhorse Youth Activity Center, offices and base facilities as well as undeveloped lots near the base area, Tamarack Resort General Manager Brad Larsen said.

Those properties will be needed as the homeowners return to operating the ski area for the first time in three years, Larsen said. The ski area is scheduled to open on Friday.

The taxes paid by the homeowners were for 2011 and 2012. Paying those back taxes avoided seizure by the county, but $690,000 in taxes are still due for years after 2012, Young said

The remaining 18 parcels of land belonging to TMA were seized on Monday during a hearing by Valley County commissioners.

These parcels include the Blue Mountain Subdivision, 14 hotel units in the Lodge at Osprey Meadows, the former medical clinic, the former Crane Creek Market as well as the water and sewer infrastructure.

All seized parcels will be sold at auction on Feb. 13. Delinquent taxes for those 18 parcels total over $13 million, Young said.

full story The Star-News:
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Tamarack Resort opening today [Friday]

KTVB December 09, 2016

With more than a foot of fresh snow expected in the mountains, skiers and snowboarders can start getting excited.

Tamarack Resort will open the mountain top-to-bottom today.

The resort says they have knee-deep powder at the summit, and these photos prove it.

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Brundage Mountain to open Easy Street Saturday, more trails later

The Star-News Dec 8, 2016

Skiers and riders can hit the slopes at Brundage Mountain this weekend thanks to a combination of natural snow and snowmaking equipment.

A foot of fresh snow has fallen in the Brundage base area over the past seven days and low temperatures have been friendly to the resort’s enhanced snowmaking efforts, a news release said.

The Easy Street lift is set to run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. starting Saturday. Brundage will open additional lifts and runs as soon as conditions permit.

“Our snowmaking efforts have been the key to getting Easy Street ready,” resort spokesperson April Whitney said.

“We’ve also laid down a great base at the bottom terminals of the Bear and Centennial chairs,” Whitney said.

Easy Street lift tickets are free for all ages again this season. Smoky’s Bar & Grill will open Saturday along with regular rental, retail and ski school operations.

source The Star-News:
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Idaho projected to see $139M surplus


BOISE, Idaho — Idaho could be on track to finish the fiscal year with $139 million in surplus tax revenue if a new forecast released Thursday holds true.

The state’s legislative budget office released the projection for the year ending next June 30, estimating that Idaho should take in nearly $3.44 billion in state taxes and fees.

The amount is $92 million more than what lawmakers initially estimated and would make for a surplus of $139 million.

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New director wants upgrades at Idaho ag research stations

12/5/16 AP

MOSCOW, Idaho — Upgrading aging infrastructure at nine research and extension centers around the state is a main goal, the new director of the University of Idaho’s Agricultural Experiment Station said.

Mark McGuire told the Capital Press ( that some of that infrastructure dates back to the 1960s and 1970s and needs upgrading so researchers have modern facilities and equipment.

“We’re trying to revitalize all of the college’s infrastructure,” he said, noting the college will try to get state, federal and private money to pay for the upgrades.

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NASA highlights Idaho lake in out-of-this-world image

This bright blue lake, with its tight swirl of a light-toned sediment, caught the eye of an astronaut on the International Space Station. Situated on the Idaho-Utah border, Bear Lake is one of the bigger lakes in the Rocky Mountains.

The two swirls near the center of the 30 kilometer (19 mile) long lake are rotating in the deepest water—perhaps from outflow from Swan Creek or Fish Haven Creek. North Eden Creek has laid down a little delta at its mouth. Two center-pivot irrigation fields sit on the delta, one of the few flat places in this mountainous landscape.

The more diffuse swirls at the north end of the lake (lower right) likely formed from sediment entering from North Eden Creek. This sediment is carried north along the shoreline by lake currents, joining with sediment eroded from the white beaches.


Public Lands News:

Pioneer Fire Recovery and Restoration Update


The December 2016 Pioneer Fire Recovery and Restoration Update is attached for your review.

To assist the Forest Service in meeting its goals of reducing our carbon footprint and to achieve a sustainable operation, we are transitioning to a web-based electronic system that allows interested parties to receive project materials and Forest information by email. This system gives you direct control over which mailing lists you are subscribed to. It’s easy, it’s good for the environment, and it gives “on-demand” access to Forest information and projects. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the “Subscriber Preference Page” link at the bottom of this message and following the instructions on

For additional information regarding the attached Pioneer Fire Recovery and Restoration Update, please contact Venetia Gempler, Public Affairs Officer, by phone phone at 208-373-4105 or by email vgempler @

Melissa Yenko
Boise National Forest
Forest Environmental Coordinator

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Fuel breaks to limit rangeland fires proposed in 3 states

By KEITH RIDLER –  12/7/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — A proposed fuel break system in southwest Idaho, southeast Oregon and northern Nevada will limit the size of destructive rangeland wildfires and protect habitat for sage grouse, say officials with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The agency on Tuesday released a plan called the Tri-State Fuel Break Project, which would create gaps in combustible vegetation along existing roads on public lands in the three states by reducing fuel next to the roads, using either machines or chemical treatments, and maintained with a long-term schedule.

Fuel breaks would be developed on about 5,600 square miles in Idaho and Oregon that could be tied in with fuel breaks in Nevada. The agency said it has identified about 1,600 miles of roads that could be part of the fuel break system.

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Neighbors oppose Idaho plan to log 40-acre cedar grove

12/6/16 AP

SPOKANE, Wash. — A 40-acre grove of cedar trees could be logged next summer to generate extra revenue, Idaho officials say, but they’re facing opposition from nearby residents.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game thinks it could raise several hundred thousand dollars by selling timber from the trees near Lake Pend Oreille in northern Idaho, The Spokesman-Review reported (

That money would stay in the region and could be tapped for other projects, the agency’s Coeur d’Alene manager, Chip Corsi, said.

But about 50 people who live near the grove have signed a petition asking Fish and Game to reconsider cutting down the cedars, which range from 80 to 120 years old.

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US Sen. Jim Risch proposes new wilderness area in Idaho

12/9/16 AP

SPOKANE, Wash. — U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican, has introduced a bill that would protect the state’s portion of the craggy, scenic Scotchman Peaks.

The Spokesman-Review reports that Risch has proposed legislation that would designate about 14,000 acres of Idaho’s land as a federal wilderness area, which would limit development to preserve the land’s natural character and ecological function.

The proposed wilderness area includes the 7,009-foot Scotchman Peak, which has a popular hiking trail and a summit overlooking the Clark Fork River delta. The entire Scotchman Peaks region is about 88,000 acres and includes federal land in Montana that would require separate legislation.

The nonprofit Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, Bonner County leadership and the local Chamber of Commerce support the legislation.

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Family following GPS directions stuck overnight in mountains

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review December 9, 2016

A Portland family spent Thursday night in their snowbound car in southern Oregon after following their GPS’s directions.

The Daily Courier reports that a husband, wife, 9-year-old child and their dog became snowbound after driving on Happy Camp Road up near Page Mountain Sno-Park, 20 miles southeast of Cave Junction.

The route through Happy Camp is the most direct way to get to Willow Creek, where the family said they were headed, said Lt. Travis Snyder of the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office.

But the route is not advised in the winter because it isn’t plowed past the Sno-Park, he said.

Motorists are advised to be careful with GPS navigation in remote areas. Snyder says drivers should also consult standard maps and avoid lightly traveled roads.


Letter to Share:

Wintering Hummingbirds in Boise

Dec 5, 2016

There have been reports of Anna’s Hummingbirds seen in Boise recently.

BSU is doing a study and wants your sightings.

“We’re studying overwintering Anna’s Hummingbirds in Idaho. Help us by sharing any hummingbird sightings from October-mid March!”

Contact us at IBO @ or 208-426-2223

link to lots of great info:
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Who Was Anna?

The Anna’s Hummingbird is the only hummingbird that stays through the winter in the West and Northwest.

This tiny hummingbird sports a bronzy-green back and pale gray belly, all washed in green. When direct sunlight catches the throat and head feathers of the male, an iridescent flash of brilliant rosy-red gleams from the bird.

Evidently, the “Anna” after whom this hummingbird was named was as lovely as the bird. The French Princess Anna de Belle Massena was married to Prince Victor Massena, an amateur ornithologist who had an impressive collection of bird specimens. Perhaps it was this collection that first attracted John James Audubon to the prince and princess. But it was Anna herself who charmed Audubon when he visited them in Paris. He described her as a “beautiful young woman, not more than twenty, extremely graceful and polite.” She was also admired by naturalist René-Primevère Lesson, and he’s the man who honored Anna by naming the hummingbird after her.

Hummingbirds are found only in the Americas, so it’s unlikely that Princess Anna ever saw one on the wing. Nevertheless, her beauty remains immortalized in the name of this little green gem, the Anna’s Hummingbird.

Michael Stein – BirdNote

Critter News:

Idaho sanctuary prepares orphaned bear cubs for the wild

By CHADD CRIPE – 12/10/16 AP

MCCALL, Idaho — Janell Carr first met Mr. Cinnamon when the black bear cub was eating out of her bird feeder in Cascade. She and her husband eventually startled the bear, who climbed 80 feet up a tree in their yard and took a nap.

Later that weekend, neighbors found Mr. Cinnamon in their kitchen sink. They left an upstairs window open — and the cub climbed the deck to get there.

Carr saw the bear again, walking through her yard while she was sitting on the deck.

“I didn’t know if I should feed him or pet him or be afraid,” she said. “He was a little guy. Everybody had seen and heard of him.”

So the neighbors called Idaho Fish and Game, which trapped the bear and sent him to rehab — at the Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary outside McCall. Snowdon rehabs all kinds of animals and releases them back into the wild but has become known for its bear cubs.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

First week of December 2016
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California extends protections for rebounding gray wolf

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review December 8, 2016

The California gray wolves will keep their endangered species protections even once the rebounding animal hits a population of at least 50, state wildlife officials said Wednesday.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife published its plan for managing wolves late Tuesday, setting its policy for the species that is making a comeback to the state after it was killed off in the 1920s.

“Wolves returning to the state was inevitable,” said Charlton Bonham, director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in a statement. “It’s an exciting ecological story, and this plan represents the path forward to manage wolves.”

The plan marks a shift in course, dropping language from an earlier draft that directed officials to remove wolves from the list of animals protected once they reached the critical mass.

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Wolf Education International

Newsletter December 6, 2016

Wisconsin Wolf Detection Maps
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Volunteers sought for McCall Christmas Bird Count Dec 18

The Star-News Dec 8, 2016

Volunteers are needed to help with the McCall Christmas Bird Count on Sunday, Dec. 18.

Those interested in taking part should gather at 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 18 at the McCall Resource Management Complex at 555 Deinhard Lane.

New participants will be paired with those who have previously taken part to areas around McCall and New Meadows to count as many different species of birds as possible.

“The idea is to get a pretty good snapshot of the number bird species and individuals that are in the McCall area on that day,” said Matt Dresser of McCall, who will compile the results for the sponsoring National Audubon Society.

Participants should bring binoculars and may attend for a full day or partial day. Some areas may be covered on skis or snowshoes, while other counters can watch feeders, count from cars or on foot, Dresser said.

The Christmas Bird Count dates to 1900, when many observers and scientists were becoming worried about declining bird populations, according an Audubon Society history.

Ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, an early officer in the then-nascent Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition, a “Christmas Bird Census,” that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them.

The data collected by observers over the past century allow Audubon researchers, conservation biologists, wildlife agencies and others study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America, the history said.

For questions, contact Dresser at mattdresser @ or (208) 718-1434.

source The Star-News:
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The South Hills Crossbill Is Evolving in a Seriously Bizarre Way

Matt Simon Science 09.29.16

A closeup of a male’s beak photo by Craig Benkman

IN THE PINE forests of Idaho, a bird called the South Hills crossbill is waging one seriously bizarre evolutionary war.

Over the last 5,000 years or so, the crossbill—so named because the two halves of its bill cross over each other instead of aligning—has menaced the lodgepole pine, developing an ever-bigger beak to break into the tree’s cones and steal its seeds. In response, the tree has evolved ever-thicker cone scales. And the South Hills crossbill evolves a bigger bill. And the tree responds. And on and on through the millennia.

That’s not the weird bit. Species evolving together like this is known as coevolution. Happens all the time. The weird bit is that the South Hills crossbill may have speciated without geographic isolation—which is sort of problematic for traditional evolutionary theory. Because while the South Hills crossbill was diverging from other crossbills, it did so while those other crossbills were freely flying through its territory, according to a study published today in Molecular Ecology. That adds to a growing body of evidence that in certain fascinating cases, you may not need geographic isolation to get a new species, challenging what was long gospel among many evolutionary biologists. Gasp—I know.

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Utah sheriff lost part of hand in Idaho hunting accident

12/8/16 AP

SALT LAKE CITY — Police documents say a northern Utah sheriff lost part of his left hand, including at least three fingers, in an Idaho hunting accident.

The Logan Herald-Journal reports ( the documents shed light on the October accident that happened when Cache County Sheriff Chad Jensen’s shotgun accidently discharged during a goose hunting trip near Soda Springs, Idaho.

The report from the Caribou County Sheriff’s Office says Jensen was in a camouflaged hunting pit with his daughter when the gun went off.

Jensen told an investigator he wasn’t sure what happened, but the weapon may have gotten caught on an ammunition canister when Jensen reached up to close the lid of the pit.

He was flown to Salt Lake City for surgery in stable condition.

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Hunters: Don’t eat geese tainted by toxic Butte pit mine

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review December 9, 2016

Freeze them, don’t eat them, Montana wildlife officials are telling hunters who have killed snow geese in the Butte and Dillon areas recently.

The meat of snow geese and possibly of other waterfowl that may have landed in the contaminated water of the old open Berkeley Pit mine may be contaminated with heavy metals.

Hundreds and maybe thousands of birds died shortly after landing in the toxic stew of the “lake” within the pit.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials are asking hunters to freeze the geese until investigators can determine how the water affected the birds.

Tens of thousands of snow geese landed in the 700-acre Berkeley Pit in Butte during a snowstorm on Nov. 28. Mine officials have worked to haze the birds off the water and prevent others from landing at the Superfund site.

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Idaho utility seeks to negate Oregon fish passage law

By KEITH RIDLER –  12/11/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — Federal authorities should negate an Oregon law requiring fish passage as part of relicensing for a hydroelectric project on the Snake River where it forms the border between Idaho and Oregon, a utility company says.

Boise-based Idaho Power in a notice made public last week asks the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to exempt the three-dam Hells Canyon Complex from the Oregon statute.

The company in the 28-page filing said the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution that has to do with federal authority over states pre-empts the Oregon law.

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Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
December 9, 2016
Issue No. 812

Table Of Contents

* River Operations In Review: NOAA Report Shows McNary Dam To Bonneville Dam A Tough Stretch For Juvenile Migrants

* River Operations In Review: Will Early Runoff In Columbia River Basin Be The New Normal?

* War On Invasive Mussels: Montana Governor Declares Statewide Natural Resources Emergency

* Washington, Oregon Fish And Wildlife Commissions On Parallel Course With Columbia River Harvest Reform

* Nez Perce Helping To Purchase Easement To Provide Habitat For Spawning Salmon At Important Cultural Site

* Research: Even Sockeye Evolved In Pacific’s Northern Edge Have Ability To Manage Heat Stress

* Average U.S. Temperature In Autumn Warmest On Record, Precipitation Above Average In Much Of PNW

* USFWS Announces $900,000 For NW States In Wolf Livestock Demonstration Project Grants

* Study Treats Migrating Salmon With Anxiety Medication, Says Limits Fear Of The Unknown Downstream

* New Technique Can Help Researchers Forecast Appearance Of Harmful Algal Blooms

* California Fish And Game Releases Final Wolf Management Plan

Fun Critter Stuff:


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Kittens Discovering Mirrors for the First Time

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I used to live in a room full of mirrors;
all I could see was me.
I take my spirit and I crash my mirrors,
now the whole world is here for me to see.

– Jimi Hendrix


Fish & Game News:

News Releases
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Idaho Fish and Game to try for fee hike once again

DEC. 7, 2016  By Kimberlee Kruesi Associated Press

BOISE – Officials with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are once again preparing to push a plan to raise hunting and fishing fees despite facing years of resistance from state lawmakers.

Director Virgil Moore announced earlier this week that his department has had to cut services because of a lack of funding over the past 12 years. The agency relies on revenue from licenses, tags and permits to cover operational costs.

Moore says his plan involves raising resident fees in 2018. However, a person can lock in the currently lower prices by buying a license in 2017 and each subsequent year.

Previous versions have stalled in the Statehouse after key lawmakers disagreed over the best method for the department to increase revenue.



Remembering Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941

Tips & Advice:

Boot Cleats Review

Ice season is coming and I thought I would “review” the various types of cleats we have tried in Yellow Pine over the years. – rrS


The first kind we tried were rubber slip-ons with metal buttons on the bottom (sort of like in the image above.) I think they were meant for icy flat sidewalks, not for our rough country. Did not work well and wore out quickly.

Rating: 5 bums down


Shoe/boot chains are pretty good on rough ice, but not on inclines or smooth ice. The rubber that holds them will degrade with time. Also the chains sometimes come apart with rough use. Better than nothing.

Rating 3 bums down

Coiled Wire

The wires do a little better than the chains on smooth ice and inclines, but again the rubber degrades and the wires go sproing. Also they tend to make your feet hurt on long walks. Worth a try for the price if you don’t walk long distances, easy to put on and take off.

Rating 2 bums down

Hexhead Cleats

We have been using “Stabilicers” for the last 3 winters. They are rugged and grip rough and smooth ice, great on inclines and the solid sole doesn’t hurt our feet on long walks. The only drawback I have found is that the ankle straps on the smaller size are almost too short to wrap around a thick boot (and the hook side of the Velcro will leave scratches on my boots.) They are expensive, but so is a trip out with a broken leg or arm. Recommended.

Rating 0 bums down


Some folks have used actual crampons and apparently they work well too (but they are hard on indoor floors!) We have not tried them yet.

Rating 0 bums down


St. Nicholas Day

from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

When does St. Nicholas come? Many countries in Europe celebrate the Feast of Sinterklaas, or St. Nicholas, on the eve of December 6. After dinner, families hunt for their presents, following clues in funny, anonymous poems. In Belgium and the Netherlands, a fellow dressed as St. Nicholas would arrive by ship on December 6 and ride a white horse (or a donkey) through the towns, handing out gifts.They also eat candies and cookies, especially spicy crispy ginger-cookie figures formed in a traditional wooden mold.

Other traditions equate St. Nicholas with Santa Claus, which means that St. Nicholas comes on the night of December 24, leaving presents for children to open on December 25.

continued w/more info and recipe:
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Saint Nicholas
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St. Nicholas Arrives In Holland (1963)

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The Darkest Time Of The Year

The Old Farmer’s Almanac ~ By  Bob Berman

These are our darkest afternoons. But, surprise! For most of us, Thursday, December 8, will bring the turnaround. It’s a major winter milestone: the day of our earliest sunset.

This puzzles people, but in fact it’s a reliable yearly sequence. First comes earliest sunset, this week. Then there’s the solstice half a month later, the day with the fewest minutes of daylight. Finally, another two weeks later, in early January, we get our murkiest morning—the latest sunrise.

So we’re now slam bang at the low point of afternoon sunshine. And since far more people are awake and aware of things at 4:30 PM than they are at 6 in the morning, in a very real sense you can forget about the solstice and the “official” shortest day of the year. So far as what most folks actually experience, NOW is the darkest time of the year.

Of course, the degree of darkness varies, depending on how far north you live. As for the time the clock reads at sunset—this also depends on how far east or west your home sits, relative to your standard time zone.

For example, here in the mountains of upstate New York, my time zone is Eastern, which is set for longitude 75 degrees, a line that passes through the dairy farm regions of Oneonta and Herkimer, New York.

Those living east of that line experience progressively earlier sunsets.

Drive just an hour east from where you are right now, and the Sun sets ten minutes earlier. That’s because going east around the Earth’s curve makes your western horizon rise up to block the Sun sooner.

Go a mere 35 miles east, and the sun sets five minutes earlier.

In my region, which is the rural Northeastern US, the very earliest sunsets happen for those who indeed live both north AND east—namely, along the upper coast of Maine.

It all reflects the reality that tropical sunsets hardly vary throughout the year, while polar sunsets change wildly through the seasons. If you lived right smack on the equator, like in Quito, Ecuador, your minutes of daylight would never budge throughout the year, not even by one second. By contrast, our northern friends in Minnesota and especially Alaska experience the most radically short days in December.

But wherever you live, after December 8, before winter even starts, afternoons will start getting brighter!