Monthly Archives: January 2017

Jan 29, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

Jan 29, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Valley County Centennial

Yellow Pine has been contacted to participate in the Valley County Centennial.

We will have a bonfire on Saturday, February 25th, at the Community Hall.  The bonfire will be lit by Commissioner Bill Willey at 3:00 p.m.

Commissioner Willey will have a brief meet-and-greet before heading off to light the fire at Warm Lake.

We are looking for ideas to expand this celebration.

Already suggested:  Marshmallow roast; hold the cross country ski race that morning

If you have other ideas or want to help out, please contact Deb Filler at 633-6945 or fillerd2 @ live.com
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2017 Festival T-shirt Contest

The festival T-shirt logo contest is now open! Designs should represent the festival (i.e. music, instruments, harmonicas, etc.) All entries must include “28th Annual” and the festival name “Yellow Pine Music and Harmonica Festival” in the design. Entries must be received by Monday, May 15, 2017. The prize for the winning design is $100! Send your entries to Yellow Pine Festival, PO Box 20, Yellow Pine, ID 83677 or yellowpinefestival @ gmail.com

Just a hint: the design will be screen printed on the shirts so artwork that has less detail in the background often presents itself better.
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Idaho Power Notification of Winter Estimates

During the winter months, Idaho Power is frequently unable to read the meters in Yellow Pine due to weather conditions in the area. As a result, your monthly bill for service will be estimate based on historical energy usage for those months we are unable to read the meter.

When we are able to access the meters for an actual read, the amount of the estimated bills will be adjusted as necessary.
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Snow Loads

January 29, 2017

Since the first of December Yellow Pine has received 54.7″ of snow plus over 1.5″ of rain. The snow soaked up the rain and has compressed down to 22″ deep on the ground. Some roofs are still holding the full snow loads. I do not have an estimate of pounds per square foot.

Snow is layered and crusty, medium and low slope roofs have not slid.

p1000229-20170129snowroof

Snow depth on south facing roof.

p1000229-20170129snowstick

– rrSue
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Local Observations:

Monday (Jan 23) yesterday’s snowfall measured 2″ and there is 23″ on the ground, some clearing during the night dropped the temp to 7F. Fresh fox tracks all over the yard, Quiet cloudy day. A few flakes fell at 130am, but no accumulation.

Tuesday (Jan 24) steady temp of 20F most of the night, partly clear this morning, occasional flake of snow. Raven calling to the east, jay visiting our feeder. Filtered sun during the morning. Clearing in afternoon, strong sun and hit 32 degrees. Temperature dropping fast before dark. Several shots fired around 650pm, maybe a .22? A few stars out after dark and single digits by 9pm.

Wednesday (Jan 25) low of -4 degrees, then clouds and temp up to 6 degrees by 930am, overcast and a few flakes of snow falling. Occasional flakes once in a while until around noon, then just cloudy. Jay calling to the east. Cold quiet day. Cloudy afternoon and night.

Thursday (Jan 26) snowed a skiff early this morning, overcast and 17 degrees, 22″ total snow on the ground (settled, no melting.) Gray and cloudy all day, occasional flakes of snow in the afternoon for about an hour. Clouds breaking up late afternoon and cold breezes. Clear and single digits by midnight.

Friday (Jan 27) clear and cold, low of -5 degrees. Jay calling from a tree, woodpecker tapping over by the school. The sun came up 20 minutes earlier than it did in late December. Strong sun and dripping icicles (still below freezing) at noon. An airplane circled over the village at 132pm. Sunny all day, temperature dropping to the teens before dark and a little haze to the southwest. Clear cold night.

Saturday (Jan 28) clear and cold, 3 degrees this morning. Jay calling to the north. Sunny until about noon, then increasing high thin clouds and temperature went above freezing. Jays visiting bird feeders on the porch. Quiet day, not much traffic (one noisy snowmobile.) Not much melting except icicles. Inversion getting noticeable, smoke hanging low before dark.

Sunday (Jan 29) mostly clear and 9 degrees this morning, and still 22” of snow on the ground. Definite inversion, it was warmer at Big Creek Summit than in YP overnight. High thin clouds by lunch time and above freezing. Jays visiting the feeders, pecking at sunflower seeds, then grabbing a chunk of old dog food and flying off. Interesting cloud patterns this afternoon, wisps and “bubble wrap”, moving fast and changing. High flying raven calling as it went over the village.
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Idaho News:

Grants offered for Wildfire Community Preparedness Day

The Star-News January 26, 2017

Local subdivisions, homeowners associations, neighborhoods, and community groups are encouraged to apply for $500 grants for National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day this year on Saturday, May 6.

Last year six Valley County applicants submitted successful applications. Those interested should go to http://wildfireprepday.org for more information on recommended activities and how to apply for a grant. Applications are due by March 3.

State Farm Insurance and the National Fire Protection Association sponsor the day and the grants to help communities prepare for and work together to reduce their risk of wildfire damage.

McCall Fire & EMS and the McCall Firewise Committee will sponsor an open house at the fire station on May 6 with help from local, state, and federal agencies

Contact Fire Chief Mark Billmire at 634-7070 or mark@mccallfire.com for information or questions.

source The Star-News:
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McCall Winter Carnival kicks off

Gretchen Parsons, KTVB January 26, 2017

McCall – Residents in McCall are gearing up for a busy next 10 days as this Friday will kick off the 52nd annual Winter Carnival.

If you drive into McCall one thing you can’t miss is the giant snow sculptures lining the streets, that’s just one of more than 100 events that are scheduled for this year’s celebration.

Starting Friday and continuing through February 5th, an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 people are expected to make their way into town and attend the huge winter celebration.

“It’s a really big significant impact for all of our businesses to maintain throughout the winter,” said carnival director McKenzie Kramer.

The carnival brings in an estimated $20 million to the Valley County economy over its 10-day run.

continued w/video and photos:

Event Guide: 2017 McCall Winter Carnival
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Sky7 makes live debut in beautiful McCall

KTVB January 27, 2017


Sky7 makes it’s debut at the McCall Winter Carnival (Photo: Sky7 / KTVB)

Sky7 made its debut live flight Friday evening, kicking off KTVB’s coverage of the McCall Winter Carnival. Saturday, KTVB will be bringing you pictures of a spectacular event, the Mardi Gras Parade, as never seen on broadcast television before.

Sky7 is a high definition drone that is equipped to transmit a live video signal that we can broadcast immediately over the airwaves.

continued w/video:
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Mccall Winter Carnival 2017 Sculpture Gallery

“100 Years of Forest Management” – Payette National Forest

source (not direct link):
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KTVB Watch: McCall Winter Carnival Mardi Gras Parade
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Idaho 55 reopens after Banks crash

KTVB 4:22 PM. MST January 27, 2017


(Photo: Xanti Alcelay/KTVB)

Banks — Idaho 55 was reopened Friday after a semi crash blocked traffic for hours.

The crash happened at about 7 a.m. just south of Banks. At about 10:45 a.m., emergency crews opened one lane, with both lanes reopened by noon.

Idaho State Police say the semi was the only vehicle involved in the crash, and no one was injured.

The highway was blocked to allow crews to safely remove the wrecked vehicle, according to ISP.

(© 2017 KTVB)
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From ITD

(via The Star-News)

Current highway conditions, as well as highway closures and blockages, can always be accessed by dialing 5-1-1 on your telephone, or visiting 511.idaho.gov
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Power bills spike amid severe winter weather

Alex Livingston, KTVB January 27, 2017

Boise – With record-breaking snowfall and sub-zero temperatures, many are still feeling the effects of an abnormal start to winter.

“We’ve had snow on the ground since mid-December,” said Lynette Standley with Idaho Power. “It’s the worst winter we’ve seen in 30 years, so that’s going to catch up with all of us.”

To stay warm, residents have been cranking up the temperatures in their homes.

“Whether you’re using gas or electric heat in your home, everybody is seeing a spike right now because of these temperatures,” Standley said.

continued:
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How much snow can your home, business handle?

Natalie Shaver, KTVB January 23, 2017

Boise – There’s no doubt we’ve seen a lot of snow this winter, and truth is a lot of communities aren’t built for this weather.

It varies from one county to another, but most of the Treasure Valley to the Idaho-Oregon border can only handle 25 to 30 pounds of snow per square foot. Jeremy Parrish, a project manager at Structural Edge Engineering, said that’s about 18 inches of snow. He said places like McCall can hold between 120 and 150 pounds of snow per square foot, which is around three or four feet of snow.

“They’re used to having this kind of snow,” Parrish said. “Their building codes are set to handle that kind of snow and that’s what we design for.”

Those areas are also more prepared to remove the snow because they’re used to getting so much, he said.

continued w/video:
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Snow-covered buildings collapsing in rare US West weather

By Keith Ridler – 1/24/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — For buildings in parts of the snow-covered U.S. West, it has become a winter where the weak do not survive.

The accumulated weight of snow has crushed an old lumber mill in Oregon, the main grocery store in a small Idaho town, a sports complex in Alaska and a conference center in Colorado, among others.

They have led to some injuries and at least one death, when the roof of a woman’s snow-laden porch in northern Idaho fell while she was underneath it, officials say. Authorities fear more collapses will come.

… While lower elevations are getting record snow, mountains in the West are only somewhat above average, forecasters say.

But “that snow hasn’t been melting,” said Troy Lindquist of the National Weather Service. “We’re ending up with snow loads on roofs that we typically don’t see around here.”

Another possible reason behind the collapses is that settling snow does not look as substantial because it’s not as deep, fooling building owners about the weight that’s pressing on shingles and tiles.

But experts say the water density in the snow is increasing, meaning a roof that that does not appear to be holding much powder can be straining under thousands of pounds.

“They may look at the roof and say, ‘There’s not as much snow there because it settled,’” said Ron Abramovich, a water supply specialist with the Natural Resource Conservation Service who analyzes the snowpack in mountains. “But it really comes down to the amount of water in the snowpack.”

full story:
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Injuries in ice, snow keeping local hospitals busy

by Kelsey McFarland Wednesday, January 25th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Snow and ice have been a constant for the Treasure Valley this winter and that has local hospitals busy.

Shoveling, scraping and slipping; all inevitable when ice and snow blanket roads and sidewalks.

“Wrist fractures, ankle sprains, sometimes concussions. Our hospital and others around the area have been quite backed up because of these kinds of injuries,” said Christie Flynn, a physician assistant at St. Alphonsus Urgent Care.

continued:
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Scam Alert:

Get a wrong number asking ‘can you hear me?’ Police say you better hang up

by WHP Friday, January 27th 2017

If you receive a phone call from someone you don’t know asking “can you hear me,” it would be in your best interest to probably hang up.

A new scam could make you a potential victim if you answer yes because that response is recorded by fraudsters and is used to make unauthorized charges on a phone or utility bill.

According to KTLA, victims are charged because the person already knows your phone number and phone providers pass through the third-party charges.

It is advised that you check your credit card and cable statements for unknown charges if you believe you may have been a victim.

Disputes for credit card charges can be discussed with the Federal Trade Commission and phone bill disputes can be talked about with the Federal Communications Commission.

source:
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Public Lands:

Ice Hole Campground Project

Boise National Forest Jan 27, 2017

Repair existing campground road and campsites to improve watershed and fisheries resources.

Location Summary

The project area is located in the South Fork Salmon River subbasin adjacent to FR 413, roughly 37 miles northeast of Cascade and 6 miles north of the community of Yellow Pine.

District: Cascade Ranger District

https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=49637

Ice Hole Campground Decision Memo signed Jan 25, 2017

DecisionMemo-IceHoleCampground_012517r.pdf
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Cascade RD Ice Hole Campground Decision

The decision for the Ice Hole Campground Project has been signed. This decision authorizes improvements to the existing campground road, construction of a worm rail fence between the campground and Johnson Creek, and upgrades to the campsite pads. A copy of the decision is enclosed.

During the public scoping period, you expressed concerns about the material source to be used for the project and access to the swimming hole.

The plan would be to use the waste rock source on the East Fork Road on the Payette National Forest. We may purchase some basalt aggregate that is stockpiled at the Valdez Pit. This, however, would not affect the pit itself.

Within the project design, there are provision for access through the fence to the swimming hole at the north end of the campground.

The 2014 Farm Bill (Agricultural Act of 2014, Pub. L. No. 113-79) directed 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 the Forest Service no longer offers notice, comment and appeal opportunities pursuant to 36 CFR 215 for categorically excluded projects.

Implementation of this project is scheduled for this summer.

Thank you for your participation in the planning effort for this project. If you have questions regarding this project, please contact Gary Harris, District Hydrologist, by phone at (208) 382-7455 or by email at gdharris@fs.fed.us.

Email sent on behalf of Jake Strohmeyer, Cascade District Ranger
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Payette National Forest notes free winter travel maps

The Star-News January 26, 2017

Free maps for skiers, snowmobilers and other winter users of the Payette National Forest are available at the Payette’s ranger district offices and at the supervisor’s office at 500 N. Mission St. in McCall.

The maps show where snowmobiles and other winter vehicles are allowed as well as not allowed to protect habitat and water quality and to avoid conflicts among users, a news release said.

“The Payette is a renowned destination for snowmobiling, and the forest offers miles and miles of groomed trails,” said Jane Cropp, the Payette’s recreation program manager.

Quick-response codes are printed on the back of the winter travel map. The map is also geo-referenced and available for download through the Avenza Map Store at no charge.

Azenza enables the visitor to download the map onto their smart phone or tablet and then use GPS to track their location and navigate.

The level of grooming depends on the weather and groomed routes through state and private land can change, the news release said.

The latest information on backcountry avalanche and weather conditions can be found on the Payette Avalanche Center’s 24-hour report at 634-0419 or http://avalanche.org

source The Star-News:
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January 2017 Pioneer Fire Recovery and Restoration Update

Boise National Forest 1/27/2017

The January 2017 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 e-mail. 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 subscribe at any time by clicking the “Subscriber Preference Page” link [below] and following the instructions on GovDelivery.com.
https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAFS/subscriber/new

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 @ fs.fed.us.

Sincerely,

Melissa Yenko
Boise National Forest
Forest Environmental Coordinator
1249 S. Vinnell Way, Suite 200
Boise, ID 83709
Phone: 208-373-4245
Email: myenko @ fs.fed.us

Pioneer+Fire+Recovery+and+Restoration+Update+v.3+1-27-2017.pdf
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North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project Scoping Documents are now Available

USDA Forest Service 1/26/2017

Dear Interested Party,

The Lowman Ranger District of the Boise National Forest would like to know your concerns, questions, and suggestions regarding a proposal to mitigate threats from hazard trees, salvage merchantable dead or dying trees, decommission unauthorized routes causing resource damage, and plant tree seedlings in portions of the 2016 Pioneer Fire area. The proposal has been identified as the North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project. The responsible official for this project and the decision is Cecilia R. Seesholtz, Forest Supervisor, for the Boise National Forest.

The project area is located on National Forest System lands on the Boise National Forest, immediately north and south of Lowman, Idaho, and about 74 miles northeast of Boise, Idaho, in Boise County. Attachment 1: North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Proposed Action includes a description of the proposed action and maps with specific locations identified. The scoping letter, attachments, and additional project information are available on the project web page:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50789

The purpose of this email is to share with you the attached information regarding the proposed North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation project and invite you to open-house meetings scheduled the week of February 6 to discuss any questions concerning the attached proposal (see dates and meeting locations below).

As identified in Attachment 1 of the scoping letter on the project web page, immediate implementation is essential to successfully accomplish the project purpose and need (e.g., address hazard trees posing risks to public health and safety prior to the next recreation season). Therefore, the Boise National Forest intends to request an emergency situation determination (ESD) to facilitate immediate implementation of the proposed activities during the 2017 field season. Only the Chief and Associate Chief of the Forest Service may grant an ESD (36 CFR 218.21(a)).

An emergency situation at 36 CFR 218.21(b) is defined as follows:

A situation on National Forest System (NFS) lands for which immediate implementation of a decision is necessary to achieve one or more of the following:

* Relief from hazards threatening human health and safety

* Mitigation of threats to natural resources on NFS or adjacent lands

* Avoiding a loss of commodity value sufficient to jeopardize the agency’s ability to accomplish project objectives directly related to resource protection or restoration.

If the Chief decides this project qualifies for an ESD, the project will be exempt from the objections process. This exemption allows us to implement the project as soon as the environmental analysis is completed and the decision is signed. Providing for immediate implementation following completion of the environment review allows the Boise National Forest to remove hazards safely, complete associated resource protection/restoration projects, and capture enough commodity value to market some of the trees. Often if material proposed for removal cannot be sold, many of the project’s objectives cannot be met. Even if an ESD is granted, many opportunities for the public to be involved in planning this project will still exist, including responding to this proposed action, attending open houses, and commenting on the environmental analysis. Refer to Attachment 2 on the project web page for more information concerning an ESD.

How to Provide Comments

The Forest Service is contacting interested persons, groups, and agencies to gather pertinent feedback concerning the attached proposal. To be most useful, please make your comments as specific as possible. Your comments will help us further identify and address any specific benefits, issues, or concerns about this proposal.

Electronic, written, hand-delivered, and facsimile comments concerning this project will be accepted for 30 calendar days following publication of a legal notice in The Idaho Statesman (newspaper of record). The legal notice is scheduled to be published on January 28, 2017. The publication date in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period for this proposal. Those wishing to comment should not rely upon date or timeframe information provided by any other source. Regulations prohibit extending the length of the comment period.

Comments may be submitted through the North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project webpage: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50789

To submit comments using the web form, select “Comment on Project” under “Get Connected” on the right panel of the project’s webpage.

Email comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Adobe (.pdf), or Word (.doc) to comments-intermtn-boise-lowman@fs.fed.us. Please put “Pioneer North” in the subject line of e-mail comments. Comments must have an identifiable name attached or verification of identity will be required. A scanned signature may serve as verification on electronic comments.

Written comments must be mailed to: Boise National Forest, Lowman Ranger District, Attention: John Kidd, District Ranger, 7359 Highway 21, Lowman, ID 83637 or faxed to 208–259–3366. The office hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection in the “Public Comment Reading Room” on the project webpage and will be released in their entirety, if requested, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

Individuals and entities who have submitted specific written comments at this stage (i.e., scoping) will be eligible to object if the ESD is not approved. Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted written comments specific to the proposed project or activity unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the opportunities for comment.

Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record for this project, available for public inspection, and released if requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

Open House Meetings

We recognize the importance of the public involvement process for this project and are aware that, should it be approved, the expedited emergency procedure impacts the structure of that process. Thus, we will be employing a variety of communication options to share and receive information from interested parties, including hosting three open house meetings during the week of February 6:

* February 8: Boise, Best Western at the Airport, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.

* February 9: Idaho City, High School Cafeteria, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.

* February 10: Garden Valley, High School Multi-purpose room, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.

Project team members will be in attendance to answer questions and share maps and other materials. These maps and materials will also be available on the project website:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50789

Future Communications

To better serve the public, we are utilizing a new electronic messaging program that will allow us to communicate with interested members of public like you. This new program will allow you to manage subscriptions to Forest Service project electronic mailing list(s) and access immediate electronic information to project documents.

To take advantage this electronic information system, you must access the North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation project web page, select the “Subscribe to Email Updates” link from the “Get Connected” menu, and provide your email address. After providing your address, you can also self-subscribe to additional Forest Service project electronic mailing lists and provide additional contact information, if desired, through the “Subscriber Preferences” link.

You may go online now to switch to electronic communication. If you wish to remain a hard-copy postal subscriber, please respond to this request for scoping comments with your desire to stay on the mailing list, even if you don’t have specific comments on the proposed action.

If you have any questions concerning this proposal, please contact John Kidd, Lowman District Ranger, at (208) 392-7300 or jkidd @ fs.fed.us, or Clint VanZile, Pioneer North Team Leader, at (208) 365 7018 or cvanzile @ fs.fed.us. Thank you for your continued interest and participation in this process.

Sincerely,

Melissa Yenko
Boise National Forest
Acting Forest Planner
1249 S. Vinnell Way, Suite 200
Boise, ID 83709
Phone: 208-373-4245
Email: myenko @ fs.fed.us

Additional information about the Pioneer Fire Recovery and Restoration Effort is available on the following web pages:

Pioneer Fire Recovery and Restoration Web Page:

Pioneer Fire BAER Information:
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South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project Scoping Documents are Now Available

USDA Forest Service 1/26/2017

Dear Interested Party,

The Idaho City Ranger District of the Boise National Forest would like to know your concerns, questions, and suggestions regarding a proposal to mitigate threats from hazard trees, salvage merchantable dead or dying trees, decommission unauthorized routes causing resource damage and plant tree seedlings in portions of the 2016 Pioneer Fire area. The proposal has been identified as the South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project. The responsible official for this project and the decision is Cecilia R. Seesholtz, Forest Supervisor for the Boise National Forest.

The project area is located approximately 18 miles northeast of Idaho City, Idaho, and about 48 miles northeast of Boise, Idaho, in Boise County. Attachment 1: South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Proposed Action includes a description of the proposed action and maps with specific locations identified. The scoping letter, attachments, and additional information about this project and other Pioneer Fire post-fire activities are available at:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50694

The purpose of this email is to share with you the attached information regarding the proposed South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project and invite you to open-house meetings scheduled the week of February 6 to discuss any questions concerning the attached proposal (see dates and meeting locations below).

As identified in Attachment 1 on the project web page, immediate implementation is essential to successfully accomplish project purpose and need (e.g., address hazard trees that pose risks to public health and safety prior to next recreation season). Therefore, the Boise National Forest intends to request an emergency situation determination (ESD) to facilitate immediate implementation of the proposed activities during the 2017 field season. Only the Chief and Associate Chief of the Forest Service may grant an ESD (36 CFR 218.21(a)).

An emergency situation at 36 CFR 218.21(b) is defined as follows.

A situation on National Forest System (NFS) lands for which immediate implementation of a decision is necessary to achieve one or more of the following:

* Relief from hazards threatening human health and safety

* Mitigation of threats to natural resources on NFS or adjacent lands

* Avoiding a loss of commodity value sufficient to jeopardize the agency’s ability to accomplish project objectives directly related to resource protection or restoration.

If the Chief decides this project qualifies for an ESD, the project will be exempt from the objections process. This exemption allows us to implement the project as soon as the environmental analysis is completed and the decision is signed. Providing for immediate implementation following completion of the environment review allows the Boise National Forest to remove hazards safely, complete associated resource protection/restoration projects, and capture enough commodity value to market some of the trees. Often, if material proposed for removal cannot be sold, many of the project’s objectives cannot be met. Even if an ESD is granted, many opportunities for the public to be involved in the planning for this project will still exist, including responding to this proposed action, attending open houses, and commenting on the environmental analysis. Refer to Attachment 2 on the project web page for more information concerning an ESD.

How to Provide Comments

The Forest Service is contacting interested persons, groups, and agencies to gather pertinent feedback concerning the attached proposal. To be most useful, please make your comments as specific as possible. Your comments will help us further identify and address any specific benefits, issues or concerns about this proposal.

Electronic, written, hand-delivered, and facsimile comments concerning this project will be accepted for 30 calendar days following publication of a legal notice in The Idaho Statesman (newspaper of record). The legal notice is scheduled to be published on January 28, 2017. The publication date in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period for this proposal. Those wishing to comment should not rely upon date or timeframe information provided by any other source. Regulations prohibit extending the length of the comment period.

Comments may be submitted through the South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project webpage: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50694

To submit comments using the web form, select “Comment on Project” under “Get Connected” on the right panel of the project’s webpage.

Email comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Adobe (.pdf), or Word (.doc) to: comments-intermtn-boise-idaho-city@fs.fed.us . Please put “Pioneer South” in the subject line of e-mail comments. Comments must have an identifiable name attached or verification of identity will be required. A scanned signature may serve as verification on electronic comments.

Written comments must be mailed to: Boise National Forest, Idaho City Ranger District, Attention: Brant Petersen, District Ranger, P.O. Box 129, Idaho City, ID 83631 or faxed to (208) 392-6684. The office hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are 8 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection in the “Public Comment Reading Room” on the project webpage and will be released in their entirety, if requested, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

Individuals and entities who have submitted specific written comments at this stage (i.e., scoping) will be eligible to object if the ESD is not approved. Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted written comments specific to the proposed project or activity unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the opportunities for comment.

Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record for this project, available for public inspection, and released if requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

Open House Meetings

We recognize the importance of the public involvement process for this project and are aware that, should it be approved, the expedited emergency procedure impacts the structure of that process. Thus, we will be employing a variety of communication options to share and receive information from interested parties including hosting three open house meetings during the week of February 6:

* February 8: Boise, Best Western at the Airport, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

* February 9: Idaho City, High School Cafeteria, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

* February 10: Garden Valley, High School Multi-purpose room, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Project team members will be in attendance to answer questions and share maps and other materials. These maps and materials will also be available on the project website:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50694

Future Communications

To better serve the public, we are utilizing a new electronic messaging program that will allow us to communicate with interested members of public like you. This new program will allow you to manage subscriptions to Forest Service project electronic mailing list(s) and access immediate electronic information to project documents.

To take advantage, you must access the South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project web page, select the “Subscribe to Email Updates” link from the “Get Connected” menu, and provide your email address. After providing your address, you can also self-subscribe to additional Forest Service project electronic mailing lists and provide additional contact information, if desired, through the “Subscriber Preferences” link.

You may go online now to switch to electronic communication. If you wish to remain a hard-copy postal subscriber, please respond to this request for scoping comments with your desire to stay on the mailing list, even if you don’t have specific comments on the proposed action.

If you have any questions concerning this proposal, please contact Brant Petersen, Idaho City District Ranger, at (208) 392-6681 or bpetersen02 @ fs.fed.us, or John Riling, Pioneer South Team Leader, at (208) 373-4100 or jriling @ fs.fed.us. Thank you for your continued interest and participation in this process.

Sincerely,

Melissa Yenko
Acting Forest Planner
Boise National Forest
1249 S. Vinnell Way, Suite 200
Boise, ID 83709
Phone: 208-373-4245
Email: myenko @ fs.fed.us

Additional information about the Pioneer Fire Recovery and Restoration Effort is available on the following web pages:

Pioneer Fire Recovery and Restoration Web Page:

Pioneer Fire BAER Information:
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‘Megaload’ settlement bans new big truck loads on Idaho road

By Rebecca Boone – 1/27/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Environmental groups, the Nez Perce Tribe and the U.S. Forest Service said Friday that they have reached a settlement in a lawsuit over huge “megaload” shipments on a scenic northwestern Idaho highway by tractor trailers.

The shipments had been on hold since 2013 along a 100-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 12 between Lewiston, Idaho and the Montana border.

The settlement means oversized loads, such as logs and farm equipment, that have traditionally traveled Highway 12 can continue but that future megaloads of other products including some oil refinery equipment will be banned.

continued:
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Letters to Share:

Mystic Farm Update

1/27/2017

Hello Mystic Farm Supporters!

All reports are that the turnout and the fun at the “GROW MORE SPOTS” fundraiser met all expectations.  Thank you to all who donated, attended, volunteered, and kept it running smoothly. Remember, your input and opinions are welcome!

*My decrepit old body is moving right along – going anywhere my walker will take me – well, as long as it’s inside the house! My crutches are primed and ready to go to the next step in the “new back” process.

Thank you to all who made this possible!

Sincerely,

Dory, the board, and all the volunteers

Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc.
710 Sanctuary Hills
Sagle, ID  83860
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Idaho Gamebird Foundation

1/28/2017

Hi all, we can now get to the small bags of grain for bird feed.  Lane Hanson came down and shovrled out a path to get to it.  When the small bags are gone we will have to fill bags from the big totes.  We have bags but sugest that you save all your empty bags as we have to buy new bags.  I found a new bunch of pheasants on Chaney Toad.  I will take feed to them today.  Give me a call if you cant find me.

“Whiskers”
208-883-3423
Idaho Gamebird Foundation
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Critter News:

‘Tough local men’ rescue stranded horse from Boulder Lake

Helicopter used to hoist horse to safety

By Tom Grote for The Star-News Jan 26, 2017

A group of “soft-hearted tough local men” on Tuesday organized a rescue of a horse that was stranded in six feet of snow near Boulder Lake east of McCall.

2017horse2.jpg
Courtesy Idaho Horse Rescue – the rescued horse is shown recovering on Wednesday in a barn in Boise operated by Idaho Horse Rescue.

The horse was tranquilized, fitted with a sling and lifted by helicopter to a ranch near Lake Fork.

The horse, thin and weak from lack of food, is expected to survive, said Robert Bruno, president and founder of Idaho Horse Rescue in Boise.

“I think he’ll make it,” Bruno said Tuesday while hauling the horse from McCall to a rehabilitation barn operated by the rescue group. “I think he’ll be alright.”

However, the fate of a second horse stranded with the rescued horse was uncertain. The horse could not be found on Tuesday and Bruno suspects it may have collapsed and died.

The two horses had been spotted traveling together for several months, but the need to rescue them became urgent last week when they were spotted stranded above the lake at 7,700 feet elevation.

A group of McCall residents who Bruno called “The Magnificent Seven,” volunteered to bring hay and water to the horse last week using high-powered snowmobiles designed for backcountry use.

The group, which Bruno described as “soft-hearted, tough local men,” then mounted the rescue on Tuesday by riding back to the horse with a special sling obtained by Bruno.

The volunteers were identified as Ryan Miller, Pat Morell, Randy Morell, Jason Morell, Chuck Whitesell, Scott Buss and Jeff Schneider.

The horse was injected with a tranquilizer to sedate it, after which it was wrapped in the sling, which allowed its legs to hang free. Then a call was made to Cody Carlson of Salmon River Helicopters in Riggins, who was standing by, and lifted off his helicopter for the 30-minute ride to the site.

Carlson lowered a cable, the sling was hooked up and the horse lifted into the air, according to a video of the rescue posted on various online sites.

A short time later the horse was gently lowered into a corral at a ranch owned by Pat Morell near Lake Fork. A few hours later the horse recovered from the sedation and was able to be loaded into a trailer for the ride to Boise, Bruno said.

continued at The Star-News:
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‘It was a miracle:’ Stranded horse airlifted off Valley County mountain

Tyson Miller KTVB January 24, 2017


Screen grab from video of a horse being airlifted off a remote Valley County mountain. (Photo: Ryan Miller)

Valley County – One of two horses found stranded on a remote mountain in Valley County has been rescued, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of a group of volunteers.

Rescuer Ryan Miller posted a video to his Facebook page showing Tuesday’s daring helicopter rescue. In the video, the helicopter drops a rope to rescuers on the the ground who attach it to the tranquilized horse. The helicopter then carries the horse off the mountain.

Idaho Horse Rescue is now taking care of the horse, which is expected to fully recover. But the rescue happened just in the nick of time.

continued w/video:
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Rescue group launches search for second stranded horse

KTVB January 26, 2017

Valley County — Idaho Horse Rescue  is taking to the air again to search for a second horse that had been abandoned and became trapped in deep snopw near Valley County’s Boulder Lake.

The horses – one white, one brown – had been spotted in the remote area, but would-be rescuers struggled to get close enough to save them. The rescue group caught a break Tuesday when volunteers were able to use a helicopter to airlift the brown horse out of the snow.

At the time, there was no sign of his white companion. The rescuers say the second horse, which had been injured in an attack from some sort of predator, had likely perished.

But the Idaho Horse Rescue announced a plan to fly over the area with a thermal imaging camera and a cameraman from the Boise Fire Department to scan the area where the white horse was last seen. The animal was last spotted alive by a backcountry pilot Jan. 16, but rescuers are holding out hope that the horse had managed to survive.

The brown horse, now named Ryat, is being cared for and rehabilitated at Idaho Horse Recue.

source:
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Boiler plate snow cover tough on wildlife

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Jan 24, 2017

The wind-packed or sun-crusted snow blanketing much of the region delivers one of the most difficult conditions for wintering birds and a wildlife.

Crusty snow with mild temperatures is more deadly than powdery snow and frigid cold.

It’s time to rein in loose running dogs to give wild critters a break.  It’s against Washington [and Idaho] law to let dogs chase wildlife.  If a dog is caught chasing deer, the owner is liable.  In extreme cases, officers have been authorized to shoot deer-chasing dogs.

Ground-feeding birds such as pheasants have trouble scratching through the hardpack to reach grains and other foods. Even deer find it hard in some areas to scrape the snow with their hooves to expose food.

continued:
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‘You can help deer survive the winter,’ wildlife area closes to public to help animals

by Amika Osumi Thursday, January 26th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Hikers may notice that the Boise River Wildlife Management Area is now closed to the public.

Idaho Fish and Game closed the area last Friday.

They say closing the area off to people will help eliminate stress for big game animals as they deal with this record breaking winter.

Mule deer and elk use the area to weather through winter storms.

IDFG says if the wildlife isn’t disturbed by people, they can conserve energy and find food more easily.

That gives them a better chance of surviving until spring.

continued:
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Brutal western US winter has been terrible for animals

By Andrew Selsky – 1/27/17 AP

Antelope injured while falling on ice. Horses stranded in snowy mountains. Cougars descending from their wilderness lairs to forage in a town.

It’s been a beastly winter in the American West, not just for people but for animals too. One storm after another has buried much of the region in snow, and temperatures have often stayed below freezing, endangering a rich diversity of wild animals.

continued:
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Cougar and her 3 kittens captured and relocated in Idaho

1/24/17 AP

Pocatello, Idaho — State officials have captured a female mountain lion and her three kittens in a residential area near the eastern Idaho city of Pocatello and relocated them to a more remote spot.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game said Monday that workers with a dog treed the mountain lion kittens weighing from 35 to 50 pounds on Thursday and used catch poles to extricate them from the branches.

Officials say workers treed the adult cougar Friday and used a tranquilizer dart.

continued:
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Oregon community sees fifth cougar killed in 1 week

1/27/17 AP

Bend, Ore. — Wildlife officials have caught and killed a cougar in the central Oregon town of La Pine for the fifth time in one week.

The Bend Bulletin reports that the state Department of Fish and Wildlife killed the cougar on Thursday following reports that it was seen near a corner store earlier this week.

continued:
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Fish and Game captures, tranquilizes coyote that’s been roaming Boise Bench

by KBOI News Staff Wednesday, January 25th 2017

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) — Fish and Game says it’s caught and tranquilized a coyote on the Boise Bench.

There have been numerous sightings of the animal in recent weeks. Some neighbors told KBOI 2News that the coyote in question ate several chickens and ducks around Christmas. Fish and Game nabbed the coyote near Cassia Park.

One woman told KBOI 2News earlier this month that was shaken after catching the wild animal playing with her dog in her backyard. She took a video behind the safety of a glass door, but worries one of her animals will eventually get hurt.

Fish and Game says it plans to release the animal back into the wild.

continued:
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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Fourth week of January 2017
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Pinedale Wolf News:

1/6/17: Wolf News Roundup
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) A Swedish court has allowed the hunting of 24 wolves to begin in early 2017, despite appeals from environmental groups. A red wolf has been illegally shot and killed inside a national wildlife refuge in North Carolina, and federal wildlife officials are offering a $2,500 reward for information about the incident, while pledges from environmental groups have upped the reward to $16,500. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation making wolves in the state a game animal, making an end-run around ballot initiatives that would keep the animals from being hunted. …. (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/11/17: Cheney pushes wolf delisting
(By U.S. Representative Liz Cheney press release) U.S. Representative Liz Cheney introduced a bipartisan bill on Tuesday with fellow co-sponsors Congressman Collin C. Peterson (MN-07) and Congressman Sean Duffy (WI-07), to remove the gray wolf from the list of threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. The bill will also prohibit judicial review of this delisting determination. … (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/18/17: Wolf News Roundup 1/18/2017
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) U.S. Congressional members from the Great Lakes states and Wyoming have teamed up in a bipartisan effort to remove wolves from federal protection in those states, and to prohibit legal challenges to this action. In New Mexico, the federal Interior Department is asking the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a federal judge’s decision barring the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service from releasing captive-bred Mexican wolves into New Mexico without approval from the state wildlife agency … (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/21/17: Judge orders information destroyed
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Winmill of Idaho has ordered the destruction of information gained as the result of placing radio collars on wolves and elk in an Idaho wilderness area. The destruction of data was requested by Wilderness Watch, Friends of the Clearwater, and Western Watersheds Project. “the injury to the plaintiffs’ interest in the wilderness character of the Wilderness Area is real and cannot be compensated for by a monetary award.” “The only remedy that will directly address the ongoing harm is an order requiring destruction of the data – no monetary award or other such sanction will alleviate the ongoing harm. Thus, the Court will issue a mandatory injunction ordering the Director to destroy the data received on the elk and wolves collared in this project.” … (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/23/17: Celebrity wolves
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Emma Marris’s essay “Why OR7 is a celebrity” in the current edition of High Country News uses the tale of an individual wolf to explain the novelty factor when wolves expand their range and move into a new area. Marris’s piece notes the fund-raising factor is upped when people connect emotionally to individual animals, but appeals focused on larger groups are not as effective. Marris noted that while OR7 is famous in Oregon, the novelty is wearing off as the wolf population increases…. (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/23/17: Wyoming wolf update
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) has been busy placing radio collars on wolves throughout western Wyoming. With 36 new collars in place, more than 80 wolves in the state are now wearing the collars. The collars are a tool for monitoring the wolf population, and can be key resource for quickly locating wolf packs that are involved in livestock depredations….. (Click on the link above for the complete story.)
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Wolf Education International

Newsletter Jan 23-24, 2017

Wolf in Saxony to be shot as possible threat to humans

Helminth-Cestode: Echinococcus granulosus and Echinococcus mutilocularis
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Senate backs emergency feeding for beleaguered E. Idaho elk, deer on 27-3 vote

By Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review Jan 25, 2017

Idaho Fish & Game expects to spend $400,000 more than anticipated on emergency winter feeding of elk and deer this year, due in part to a major fire in August that burned crucial winter range in eastern Idaho’s Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area. The Senate voted today to approve the expenditure, which comes from Fish & Game’s existing funds, but there were three “no” votes, from Sens. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens; Dan Foreman, R-Moscow; and Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton.

“I’m just not sure I had done enough scrutiny of what the money was being spent for,” said Vick,” and there is some controversy over the value of winter game feeding as well.”

Sen. Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, chairman of the Senate Resources Committee, told the Senate that the “harsh winter” has prompted Fish & Game to dig deeper into its dedicated fund that’s set aside for such efforts. He said 53,000 acres burned in August in the Henry’s Creek Fire, including 25,000 acres of the wildlife management area, which he said “is absolutely critical and crucial winter rangeland for 3,500 elk and some 5,000 mule deer. With that rangeland now gone, there is a necessity if we want those elk and deer to survive, we’re going to need to feed them.

continued:
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Idaho hunting guide captures incredible elk herding video

by KBOI News Staff Wednesday, January 25th 2017

Sun Valley, Idaho (KBOI) — An Idaho hunting guide captured incredible video of an elk herding operation in Blaine County over the weekend.

Dustin Hennefer told KBOI 2News that Idaho Fish and Game was trying to herd a group of elk off a rancher’s feeding ground for his cows. The elk were being moved to a designated feeding area across the road, Hennefer said.

continued w/video:
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Naturally!


by Marty Broom 01/26/17 (at KTVB)

The elk have moved into our neighborhood. This calf provided a great photo.
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Critter tracks read like story in the snow

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Jan 25, 2017


A mountain grouse track crosses a snowshoe hare track before the bird launched to fly away. (Rich Landers)

source w/more photos:
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Birders in Idaho worry harsh winter may hurt hummingbirds

1/28/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Bird lovers in Idaho are worried that an unusually cold and snowy winter may have harmed or killed some of the Anna’s hummingbirds that spend the winter in there despite the chilly climate.

Some bird lovers who feed the hummingbirds say they haven’t spotted one since mid-December and the last reported sighting of the tiny ruby-throated birds was on Jan. 2, according to The Idaho Statesman reports Saturday.

Temperatures as low as -11 have been recorded at the Boise airport.

“We don’t have evidence they died off but I do suspect some of them did die,” said Heidi Ware, education and outreach director at the Intermountain Bird Observatory, an academic research and outreach program of Boise State University.

continued:
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Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
http://www.cbbulletin.com
January 27, 2017
Issue No. 817

Table of Contents

* NOAA Kicks Off Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force: Can Regional Salmon Recovery Efforts Be Integrated?
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438254.aspx

* Upper Deschutes Salmon Reintroduction: Genetic Testing Confirms Returning Sockeye From Mid-Deschutes
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438253.aspx

* Corps Reviewing Draft Letter That Could Allow Funding For Preventing Invasive Mussels In Columbia Basin
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438252.aspx

* Oregon Harvest Reforms Differ From Washington In How Much Gillnetting Allowed; States Hope To Work Out ‘Non-Concurrence’ Issues
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438251.aspx

* BPA Discusses Cost Of NEPA For Columbia River Power System With Cost-Savings Work Group
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438250.aspx

* Columbia Riverkeeper, Bureau Of Reclamation Reach Settlement On Pollution At Grand Coulee Dam
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438249.aspx

* Survey Shows Knowledge Gaps In Impacts Of Run-OF-River Dams On Salmonids
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438248.aspx

* Third Oregon Climate Assessment Report Shows State Still Warming; Lower Snowpack, Less Water
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438247.aspx

* IDFG Sets Meetings To Develop Spring Chinook Rules For Clearwater Region
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438246.aspx

* Montana Taps A New Member For The Northwest Power And Conservation Council
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438245.aspx
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Fun Critter Stuff:

dogmarathon-a

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Dog Sledding

link to Facebook video:

(wait for it…)
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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog

[h/t SMc]
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Photos: Coyote, badger hunt together

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Jan 9, 2017


Coyote and badger at Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center in northern Colorado. (Kimberly Fraser / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

A coyote and badger hunting together on the prairie surrounding the National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center in northern Colorado, confirmed in photos, seems like a very unusual association.

But U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services biologists say coyotes and badgers are known to hunt together and can even be more successful hunting prairie dogs and ground-squirrels when they work in tandem.

Studies have shown that this unusual relationship is beneficial for both species, according to the FWS website. The coyote can chase down prey if it runs and the badger can dig after prey if it heads underground into its burrow systems.

source w/more photos:
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coyotecomeback-a

[h/t SMc]
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Fish & Game News:

Two new Fish & Game commissioners face Senate panel

By Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review Jan 25, 2017

Two newly appointed Fish and Game commissioners fielded questions from a Senate panel during an appointment hearing Wednesday, from depredation to auction tags. Idaho Falls Post Register reporter Bryan Clark reports that Gov. Butch Otter appointed the two, Jerry Meyers of North Fork and Greg Cameron of Rupert, in September after commissioners Mark Doerr of Kimberly and Will Naillon of Challis were not reappointed. Otter’s decision was widely seen as driven by Doerr’s and Naillon’s positions on the issue of auction tags.

source w/link to full story:
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Idaho hunters bag more game, but wildlife agency struggling

By Keith Ridler – 1/26/17 AP

BOISE, Idaho — Efforts by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to boost deer and elk hunting have succeeded, but the agency’s financial situation remains difficult and fee increases are needed, its director said Thursday.

Virgil Moore said Idaho hunters last season had the highest harvest levels of elk and deer in the last 25 years following efforts to boost herd numbers of the species that account for much of the agency’s revenue.

But Moore told the Idaho Fish and Game Commission while presenting the agency’s annual report that the agency faces challenges. From 2009 to 2011 the agency reduced staff, cut resident fish hatchery production 20 percent, and cut back on deferred maintenance.

continued:
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News Releases

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

The Chinese New Year

It’s the year of the rooster

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

For 2017, the Chinese New Year begins on Saturday, January 28 (according to the Gregorian calendar). With festivals, lanterns, and parties, millions of people will ring in the Year of the Rooster, which refers to one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac.

Those born in the Year of the Rooster are said to seek wisdom. They do not just rely on what others tell them, but search for the truth.

The traditional Chinese lunisolar year has 12 months of 353 to 355 days, or during a leap year, 13 months of 383 to 385 days.

Therefore, the Chinese year usually begins several weeks into the western 365-day year (usually between January 21 and February 20), not on January 1 of the Gregorian calendar.

As is ancient tradition, the Chinese zodiac attaches animal signs to each lunar year in a cycle of 12 years. The animal designation changes at the start of the New Year.

continued:
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Tips and Advice:

How Much Snow is Too Much for Your Roof?

Homeowners in the snowier states spend their winters watching the white stuff accumulating on the roof—and possibly wondering if their house can bear all the weight. Here’s what you need to know.

By Roy Berendsohn Feb 17, 2012 Popular Mechanics

Last winter we had snow on the ground that was up to our hips. The drifts on the roof were 5 feet deep. Made me wonder: How much snow is too much for a roof to handle?

I wish there were a simple answer, but none exists. You can look for signs of an overloaded roof, though. I’ll explain those in a moment.

But first, to provide perspective, I want to answer the simple question: What is a roof? It’s a complex assembly of rafters and related structural members, trusses, the roof deck, and even the roofing material. Whether a roof can sustain a load without damage or collapse depends mainly on the depth and density of the snow, as well as the depth and spacing of the rafters and trusses. Other factors include the surface slope and texture, and the shape and location of the drift.

The ideal pitched roof is smooth and steep (so the snow slides off), and framed with closely spaced rafters (for strength). It also helps if the roof is in a sheltered area; the snow settles on it evenly, rather than being blown into large drifts (which can cause a roof to fail).

So, a risky roof is flat or slightly pitched, and in a location that is exposed to the wind. Shallow roofs adjacent to or below taller, steeper ones are especially vulnerable to a load of snow sliding down from above. For example, low-sloping roofs over porches, carports, and hastily built additions (which also often have undersize rafters) can be vulnerable when the snow flies.

continued:
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Seasonal Humor:

Tired of the snow


photo by Cheryl Krajnik – 01/20/17
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Idaho History January 29, 2017

Chamberlain Ranger Station

ChamberlainRangerStationWarehouse-a(click image for source)

Chamberlain Ranger Station Warehouse Photo by Larry Kingsbury September 10, 2002

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Chamberlain Ranger Station Historic District

Historical Background

The historic significance of the Chamberlain Guard Station is related to the development of the United States Forest Service. Envisioned as early as the 1870s by various private forest conservation groups, a system of forest reserves began to be established in 1881 under the Department of the Interior. In 1905, these reserves were moved to the Department of Agriculture and reorganized as the United States Forest Service. In 1907, the reserves were designated National Forests. The Payette National Forest has undergone a series of boundary changes that both decreased and increased its acreage. For example, on July 1, 1908, the Idaho National Forest was created from the Payette National Forest, but then rejoined the Payette on April 1, 1944. In 1931, the Payette National Forest was designated an Idaho Primitive Area. The area was renamed the River of No Return Wilderness in 1980, and then legislatively changed to the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in 1984.

The early Payette National Forest encompassed vast forests and rugged mountain landscapes. These large mountain ranges created isolated settlements, and transporting supplies from the valleys to mountain mining communities was a considerable undertaking. Chamberlain Basin lies at the convergence of several pack trails that provided a network of supply lines throughout this backcountry.

At the turn of the century, miners who were traveling between the mines of north-central Idaho used the trails and passed through the Basin. One such trail, the Three Blaze Trail, was built in 1900, funded by prospectors, miners, packers, and businessmen for transportation, communication, and supply lines to the mines. It is still used and maintained today as a vital route into the backcountry.

By 1906, rangers were being assigned stations in the reserves to administer the protection of the agency’s resources: they provided trail maintenance; fire control; conducted research; and, in the early years, inspected homesteads. In the spring of 1906, Ranger David Laing built the Chamberlain Ranger Station (no longer extant) at the south end of Chamberlain Meadow, on the north side of Ranch Creek.

Various rudimentary buildings were used as the Ranger’s residences in the early years. In the spring of 1916, Al Stonebreaker, under USFS contract, built a two-room, log ranger station (no longer extant) 2,000 yards southeast of the current Chamberlain Guard Station, for $350, under direction of Ranger Frank Foster.

In 1925, the USFS cleared lands near the Ranger Station for hay and pastureland. In 1930, an officer in fire control wrote to say, “that the Forest Service was studying the possibilities of opening more airstrips in the backcountry so fire crews could be stationed in the hinterlands during fire season and transported and supplied by air.” As a result of this policy, the Chamberlain meadowlands were gradually improved so that by 1932, it also served as an emergency airstrip (prior to that time Forest personnel used an airstrip at Stonebreaker’s ranch). Additional clearing of small timber was an annual task and the Chamberlain landing field was continually improved between 1932 and 1940.

United States Department of the Interior National Park Service National Register of Historic Places
(page 9)

link to entire docuement w/photos:
[h/t SA]
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ChamberlainBasinMap

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Chamberlain Basin Airstrip

Historic Stonebreaker Ranch – Chamberlain Basin – Frank Church Wilderness

Landing and Fishing Chamberlain Guard Station

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Link to Stonebraker Family

page updated October 21, 2020

Road Report Jan 29

Sunday (Jan 29)  No new reports. Wednesday the mail truck driver said said the road had been plowed last Monday.

Local streets are snow-packed with a little loose snow on top.

Snow Depth:
Yellow Pine ‘sno-brd’ 4800′ = 22″
Big Creek SNOTEL 6580′ = 66″
Deadwood Summit SNOTEL = 81″

Avalanche Advisory Jan 29, 2017

Bottom line

The avalanche danger is MODERATE due human triggered avalanches being possible in isolated areas today. Persistent weak layers, ice crusts or crust /facet combinations can be found buried in some areas. Wind slabs of varying thickness exist near ridge lines and on exposed upper elevation terrain. Pay attention to changing snow conditions as temperatures climb throughout the day. Use good travel techniques, ski or ride one at time and keep your eyes on your partners in steep terrain today.

Weather

No new snow in the last 24 hours. Winds have been variable and light. High temp yesterday at Granite Mountain weather station was 36 degrees. Today mostly sunny, with a high near 37. West southwest wind 13 to 16 mph. Next chance of new snow will be Tuesday morning

Recent observations

Yesterday, temperatures climbed into the 30’s, the sun was out in force and the snowpack noticed. Today, you can expect to find crusts forming on the southerly aspects as well as an increase in shallow, loose avalanches occurring as the combination of daytime warming and direct sun break down the bonds in the loose surface snow. Expect to see activity follow the sun with steep, rocky slopes on the east side of the compass starting things off. As the day progresses loose activity will swing around to the south and southwest. Soft snow conditions exist on aspects protected from the sun.

Friday in the 20 Mile drainage, George got these photos of loose activity on an ESE face and of the wind effect near the ridge lines. He did not find any sheltered areas that were harboring instabilities from the buried layers that existed prior to last week’s storm.

Avalanche Problem #1: Normal Caution

With warming temperatures, minimal wind and no new precipitation, avalanche conditions are improving throughout the area. No new slides have been reported or observed. No reports of cracking, collapsing or otherwise unstable snow have been observed over the last few days… However, we are still tracking several weak layers that were scattered throughout the advisory areas snowpack before last week’s warm and windy storm.

While the likelihood of triggering an avalanche due to one of these buried weak layers is decreasing, you should still be aware that in protected, middle elevation areas there is still a layer of buried surface hoar. Instabilities also exist at the interface between the recent storm snow and the old snow surface in wind protected, treed areas in the middle elevations where fine grained faceted snow was present. We have also seen thin areas in the snowpack near ridge tops over the last week that are harboring a shallow crust with very weak faceted snow below. The possibility of triggering a wind slab will remain a concern if you are in steep, wind exposed terrain. In addition, inversion conditions mean daytime warming will play a role in snow conditions today, expect to see an increase in shallow, loose avalanches on sun affected terrain as temperatures climb.

Normal caution means safe and smart travel techniques: one at a time on steep slopes, keeping your eyes on your partners, being aware of changes in the snow pack as you travel and using extra caution on steeper terrain. While Avalanche Conditions are improving, there are still areas that you should be suspicious of.

Advisory discussion

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. It’s okay if you leave some fields blank, just fill out what you know and/or submit photos. You can also email us at forecast@payetteavalanche.org.

The Friends of the Payette Avalanche Center (FPAC) needs YOU! We are in desperate need of more user support and financial assistance. The avalanche forecast is not a guaranteed service, and is in jeopardy of dwindling down to only a couple of days a week in the near future. Please help if you can by clicking the DONATE tab above. If you value this life saving information, make a donation or help the FPAC in raising funds for the future.

Snowmobiler/Snowbiker Travel Restrictions: a quick reminder that the Granite Mountain Area Closure is now in effect. In addition there are other areas on the Payette National Forest that are CLOSED to snowmobile traffic including Jughandle Mt east of Jug Meadows, Lick Creek/Lake Fork Drainage (on the right side of the road as you are traveling up canyon), and the area north of Brundage Mt Ski area to junction “V” and along the east side of Brundage and Sergeants’ Mts. with the exception of the Lookout Rd (junction “S”). Please respect these closures and other users recreating in them. Winter Travel Map(East side). You can download the map to the AVENZA app on your phone, and know your exact location while you are out riding.

http://payetteavalanche.org/advisory

Weather Reports Jan 22-28

Jan 22 Weather:

At 930am it was 20 degrees and mostly cloudy (thin wispy.) Flaking snow at 130pm. Steady snow at 2pm. Snowing pretty good at 3pm. By 430pm we had over an inch and still snowing. At 530pm it was 30 degrees and still snowing. At 630pm it was 30 degrees and still snowing lightly. Flaking snow at 910pm and 20 degrees, maybe another inch since dark. Not snowing at 1045pm and 20 degrees. A few stars out at 130am. At 430am it was 11 degrees.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time January 23, 2017 at 09:30AM
Overcast
Max temperature 34 degrees F
Min temperature 7 degrees F
At observation 12 degrees F
Precipitation 0.15 inch
Snowfall 2.0 inch
Snow depth 23 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Jan 23 Weather:

At 930am it was 12 degrees and overcast. At 1pm it was 22 degrees and cloudy. At 6pm it was 21 degrees and cloudy. At 130am it was 20 degrees and flakes of snow. At 730am it was 20 degrees.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time January 24, 2017 at 09:30AM
Partly clear, occsaional flakes
Max temperature 26 degrees F
Min temperature 12 degrees F <- yesterday morning
At observation 21 degrees F
Precipitation Trace
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth 23 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Jan 24 Weather:

At 930am it was 21 degrees, partly clear and once in a while a flake of snow. Very light snow (individual flakes) at 1020am. Just a few flakes at 1150am. Thinner clouds and filtered sun at noon and breezy. Big patches of blue sky and breezy at 1pm. At 530pm it was 23 degrees and mostly clear. Some stars out at 830pm. At 9pm it was 9 degrees. At 1am it was 1 degree.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time January 25, 2017 at 09:30AM
Overcast, flaking a little
Max temperature 33 degrees F
Min temperature -4 degrees F
At observation 6 degrees F
Precipitation Trace
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth 23 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Jan 25 Weather:

At 930am it was 6 degrees, overcast and a couple flakes of snow falling, slight cold breeze. Occasional flakes of snow off and on until noonish. Overcast all day. At 2pm it was 17 degrees and overcast. At 430pm it was 21 degrees and cloudy. At 630pm it was 18 degrees. At 830pm it was cloudy. At 1130pm it was 15 degrees and cloudy. Snowed a skiff before morning.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time January 26, 2017 at 09:30AM
Overcast, occsasional flake
Max temperature 21 degrees F
Min temperature 6 degrees F <- yesterday morning
At observation 17 degrees F
Precipitation Trace
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth 22 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Jan 26 Weather:

At 930am it was 17 degrees, overcast and an occasional flake of snow (didn’t last long.) Cloudy and lightly flaking snow around 130pm, probably lasted a little over an hour, no accumulation. At 515pm it was 26 degrees, clouds breaking up, light cold breezes. At 730pm it was 15 degrees. Really bright stars out at 830pm. At 1230am it was 3 degrees, clear and sparkling stars.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time January 27, 2017 at 09:30AM
Clear and cold
Max temperature 29 degrees F
Min temperature -5 degrees F
At observation -4 degrees F
Precipitation Trace
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth 22 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Jan 27 Weather:

At 930am it was -4 degrees and clear. At 12pm it was 12 degrees and sunny. At 120pm it was up to 27 degrees and mostly clear. At 2pm it was 27 degrees and dropping. At 540pm it was 18 degrees and mostly clear (haze to the southwest.) Stars shining at 830pm. At 9pm it was 7 degrees. At 6am it was 3 degrees.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time January 28, 2017 at 09:30AM
Clear
Max temperature 30 degrees F
Min temperature -5 degrees F <- yesterday morning
At observation 3 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch
Snowfall 0.0 inch
Snow depth 22 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Jan 28 Weather:

At 930am it was 3 degrees and clear. At 220pm it was 34 degrees and thin clouds over most of the sky. At 530pm it was 26 degrees and mostly cloudy (thin and high.) At 1030pm it was 14 degrees. At 6am it was 7 degrees.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time January 29, 2017 at 09:30AM
Mostly clear
Max temperature 37 degrees F
Min temperature 2 degrees F <- yesterday morning
At observation 9 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch
Snowfall 0.0 inch
Snow depth 22 inch
——————————————-

Avalanche Advisory Jan 24, 2017

Bottom line

The avalanche danger is Moderate today at all elevations on slopes over 30 degrees due to human triggered avalanches being possible. Surface hoar is buried between 1-2 feet, in isolated areas that stayed sheltered from the winds. Sensitive wind slabs can be found near ridgelines.

Weather

No new snow overnight. Today it will be mostly cloudy with a 20 % chance of snow showers after 11 am, and a high near 19. Wind chill values between -2 and 8. North wind 5 to 7 mph. No new snow expected. High pressure along and another inversion will set in for this weekend.

Recent observations

Yesterday, North of Tamarack, Dave and I had shooting cracks in the upper 40 cm of the snow while starting to dig a pit at abot 5900 ft, ENE Tamarack Falls-West Mountain North of Tamarack Resort. In the pit, we found a very weak layer of surface hoar 40 cm down that failed in compression as soon as he put his shovel on it, and it failed in an ECT as soon as we cut/isolated it.We also noticed a fresh crop of surface hoar forming on the snow surface of a West aspect near ridgetop.

Avalanche Problem #1: Persistent Slab

Winds tend to vary in the mountains, and finding and triggering this weak, potentially dangerous layer (Buried Surface Hoar) may be possible in areas that were sheltered from the wind, where we are still finding a preserved, VERY WEAK layer of surface hoar and near surface facets that is supporting one to two feet of snow. This layer developed over the long high pressure (clear skies).

Yesterday, North of Tamarack, Dave and I had shooting cracks in the upper 40 cm of the snow while starting to dig a pit at abot 5900 ft, ENE Tamarack Falls-West Mountain North of Tamarack Resort. In the pit, we found a very weak layer of surface hoar 40 cm down that failed in compression as soon as he put his shovel on it, and it failed in an ECT as soon as we cut/isolated it.

Although backcountry travelers have not reported any incidents of triggering this weak layer, stability tests are alarming, and it obvious that this layer has little to no strength. You should still be very weary of the weak layers energy and ability to propagate (see Dave’s video of propagation saw test). This is another low probability/ high consequence problem that may linger? Use safe travel protocols in avalanche terrain, and expose only one at a time whenever possible.

While out in the mountains, Quickly dig down and look for this ‘grey’ looking line in the snowpack. Its obvious and shallow enough that you can did down with your hand. We are finding it on east, northeast, north, northwest, and west aspects in low and middle elevations that were protected from the winds that accompanied last weeks storm. Where are you finding it, or better yet, not finding it? We want to know, submit a quick observation on our site so that we can share with others as quick as possible!

***Surface Hoar and faceted snow layers are responsible for more avalanche accidents and fatalities than all other types of avalanches combined.

Contest: First person to send a picture/observation of surface hoar in our current snowpack gets a free FRIENDS OF PAYETTE AVALANCHE CENTER t-shirt!

Avalanche Problem #2: Wind Slab

30 MPH Northeast winds, and recent snow have created some fresh, shallow wind slabs that are sensitive to the weight of a skier, which could be bad in the right spot?

Lurking below the new wind affected snow, still lingers older stiffer (harder to trigger) wind slabs. Be conscious of the ability of these older slabs to ‘step down’ into older layers of snow, and even cause a failure of our buried persistent weak layers. If this scenario played out it could cause for a large, possibly fatal avalanche.

Evaluate terrain choices carefully today. Winds tend to vary in the mountains. Look for signs of wind effected terrain, Use safe travel protocols in avalanche terrain, and expose only one at a time whenever possible.

We have seen some recent growth of Cornices on North aspects also…stay clear from the overhanging edges which can break back further than you may think.

Advisory discussion

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. It’s okay if you leave some fields blank, just fill out what you know and/or submit photos. You can also email us at forecast@payetteavalanche.org.

The Friends of the Payette Avalanche Center (FPAC) needs YOU! We are in desperate need of more user support and financial assistance. The avalanche forecast is not a guaranteed service, and is in jeopardy of dwindling down to only a couple of days a week in the near future. Please help if you can by clicking the DONATE tab above. If you value this life saving information, make a donation or help the FPAC in raising funds for the future.

Snowmobiler/Snowbiker Travel Restrictions: a quick reminder that the Granite Mountain Area Closure is now in effect. In addition there are other areas on the Payette National Forest that are CLOSED to snowmobile traffic including Jughandle Mt east of Jug Meadows, Lick Creek/Lake Fork Drainage (on the right side of the road as you are traveling up canyon), and the area north of Brundage Mt Ski area to junction “V” and along the east side of Brundage and Sergeants’ Mts. with the exception of the Lookout Rd( junction “S”). Please respect these closures and other users recreating in them. Winter Travel Map(East side). You can download the map to the AVENZA app on your phone, and know your exact location while you are out riding.

http://payetteavalanche.org/advisory

Road Report Jan 25

Wednesday (Jan 25) the mail truck driver (Robert) reported a good trip in this morning with no problems. He said the road had been plowed Monday.

Yellow Pine ‘sno-brd’ 4800′ = 23″
Big Creek SNOTEL 6580′ = 69″
Deadwood Summit SNOTEL = 85″

——————–

Jan 22, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

Jan 22, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Quiet Week

Not much to report this week. We had below zero temperatures early in the week. It warmed up and rained mid-week adding nearly half an inch of water to almost 2 feet of snow.

The heavy snow on the main roof on the old school finally slid off this weekend (except for the front porch.)
—————————

RIP:

Dolores Brenneman

1/16/2017

Dolores passed away early in the morning on January 16, 2017 at her daughter Lynn Hanson’s home in Nampa.

Delores loved visiting Yellow Pine and especially golfing in the 4th of July Tournament.
——————————–

Local Observations:

Monday (Jan 16) clear and cold, -7F this morning. Clear and sunny all day. Heard a helicopter a couple of times, otherwise very quiet. High of 24 degrees, icicles getting longer. Some clouds after dark.

Tuesday (Jan 17) we had 4 degrees ABOVE zero this morning, high thin hazy clouds. Inversion (warmer at Big Creek Summit than in YP.) Mostly sunny today (some thin clouds) and the high was 39 degrees!! A couple stellar jays paid a visit today. Partly clear before dark. Temp was 16F at 9pm.

Wednesday (Jan 18) temps went up from teens to mid 20’s early this morning, clouds came in and started snowing around 8am. It was 30 degrees (still snowing) by 930am, just a trace so far. Light snow mixed with misty rain during the morning, then above freezing and light rain off and on in the afternoon. Steady rain and a bit breezy before dark. Smell of engine exhaust in the air. Rained into the night, steady temp at 33F.

Thursday (Jan 19) temp stayed above freezing during the night. Fresh fox tracks in the yard this morning. Started snowing before 9am but not sticking. Nearly half inch of rain from yesterday and a trace of snow this morning. A couple of jays calling and flying around the neighborhood. Rain/snow mix off and on, then all rain during the day, high of 37F. Clouds breaking up before dark, but still above freezing. Little snow shower around midnight (trace.)

Friday (Jan 20) low of 21F this morning, just a trace of snow on top of the ice, measured 20″ of snow on the flat. Filtered sunshine and clouds building up during the day. Then clearing off before dark.

Saturday (Jan 21) snow falling this morning until 11am, then warmed up above freezing. Snow off and on (sometimes a little rain) during the afternoon and evening, not much accumulation (high 36F.)

Sunday (Jan 22) a little bit of snow fell early this morning, total snow on the ground 21″. Jays and a raven calling. Clouded up and steady snow all afternoon, over an inch by dark.

p1000223-20170122snow

Sunday morning snow photo – rrS
———————————

Poem:

Friend Of Man Quits House By Roadside

Let me live in a house away from the road
Where the cars and trucks go by.
Where the noise and the din and the rattle of tin
Ring loud through the midnight sky.
Where the siren shrieks like a fire alarm,
And backfires like cannon roar.
I’ve sold that shack and I’m not going back
To live there any more.
The maple that stood where it looked so good,
With seats beneath its shade,
Was hit by a truck – it was my hard luck –
When the brakes failed down the grade.
The sparkling spring with its babbling brook
That flowed through the meadow green,
Along its brink looks a bit like ink
And it smells like gasoline.

I’d like to live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
And freely give of the life I live,
But I don’t believe I can.
I’ve lost my nerve watching Dead Man’s Curve.
Where the maimed and the dying call,
Where all through the night from a glaring light
Strange ghosts dance on my wall.
I’m moving back from that old race track,
From the din and the traffic’s roar,
To a little home where the lilacs bloom
And the birds sing round my door;
Where the trees in bloom give a sweet perfume –
A part of an infinite plan;
Where the sun shines bright and I sleep all night
And FEEL like a friend to man!

– No Author Shown

(contributed by Lynn Imel, from her mother’s 1931–1935 diary.)


—————————————

Idaho News:

Study: Small trees, slash could be made into job

Posts, mulch seen as products of logging waste

BY Max Silverson for The Star-News Jan 19, 2017

Small trees and branches leftover from logging could be converted into posts, firewood, mulch and other products and create about 21 permanent jobs in Valley County, a new study says.

Valley County commissioners were told on Friday that a plant to convert the wood waste would cost about $4.5 million to set up and would only work if a reliable supply of slash is available.

The study was presented by Wallowa Resources Community Solutions Inc. of Enterprise, Ore.,

The study cost about $32,000 and was paid primarily by a grant from the Idaho Department of Lands and the Forest Service.

The Valley County Road and Bridge Department yard on East Lake Fork Road and land occupied by the Valley County Weed Department on Gold Dust Road in Cascade were cited in the study as good locations for a conversion facility.

The chosen site would host a sorting yard for raw materials, heavy machinery for processing and a boiler to produce electricity from water heated by burning leftover debris.

In order for the facility to be successful, the county must first find an entrepreneur to finance the plant and forge agreements with local organizations and landowners, the study said.

The facility will need a steady supply of small trees and leftover debris and the study encourages private timber owners, the Forest Service and the state to fill that need.

Other potential supplies of material for the facility are private contractors clearing brush and trees for developments as well as debris collected in efforts to comply with Firewise recommendations, the study said.

continued at The Star-News
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

2017 McCall Winter Carnival

KTVB January 18, 2017

McCall – Back for its 52nd year, the McCall Winter Carnival promises plenty of fun and excitement for the entire family. The 2017 edition of McCall’s signature event runs from Friday, Jan. 27 – Sunday, Feb. 5.

With larger-than-life snow sculptures, breath-taking fireworks shows over Payette Lake and a bevy of family-friendly events around town, the always-popular Winter Carnival brings in tens of thousands of visitors each year.

The theme for this year’s carnival is “1 Valley, 100 Years.” Snow artists from across the West always strive to come up with the most creative sculptures – while sticking to the event’s theme – in an effort to take home top prize.

continued w/schedule:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

‘A Valley Home Companion’ to celebrate Valley centennial Feb. 3-5

The Star-News Jan 19, 2017

The centennial of Valley County and Cascade will be celebrated during this year’s “A Valley Home Companion” show, to be performed Friday through Sunday, Feb. 3-5, at The Roxy in Cascade

Performances will begin at 7 p.m. Feb. 3, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 4 and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 6.

Admission is $6 plus a non-perishable food item for the Cascade Food Pantry, and will benefit local charities. Tickets are now on sale at Watkins Pharmacy in Cascade or McCall Drug.

“A Valley Home Companion” is set in 1917, 100 years ago, and will feature vignettes, skits and music from the World War I era in which the city and county were founded.

“Cosmos Dream,” a duet from Tacoma, Wash., will open with pre-show entertainment, followed by two hours jammed full of rousing songs, funny stories, “radio drama,” laughs, and warm fuzzies for the entire family.

continued at The Star-News
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Valley, soil district applies for Boulder Meadows trailhead toilet

The Star-News Jan 19, 2017

Valley County, in partnership with the Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, is applying for an Idaho Parks and Recreation Recreational Trails Program grant.

The grant would install a vault toilet at the Boulder Meadows trailhead, which is located on state land just below Boulder Meadows Reservoir. The primitive trailhead receives high recreational use and a vault toilet will help prevent improper waste disposal in the area.

For information, contact Durena Farr at the Valley Soil and Water Conservation District at 382-3317.

source The Star-News
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Parking cover collapses onto several cars in Nampa

KTVB January 21, 2017


(Photo: Nampa Fire Dept.)

Nampa – The collapse of an apartment parking cover damaged several cars Saturday morning in Nampa.

The Nampa Fire Department says seven vehicles were “a total loss,” but nobody was injured.

continued:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Snow forces roof collapses at Treasure Valley onion plants

1/16/17 AP

Payette, Idaho — Severe weather and snow buildup has caused the roofs of about 18 onion storage and packing facilities to collapse in southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon.

Roof collapses in the Treasure Valley have wiped out 25 percent of the region’s total onion processing capacity, leading to soaring onion prices, The Capital Press reported. A 50-pound bag of yellow jumbo onions cost $3.50 before the damage and now costs about $6.50.

There are about 300 onion farmers and 30 onion shippers in the region, which produces about 25 percent of the nation’s storage onions.

Heavy snowstorms starting in December followed by near-freezing rain and then more snow have caused many structures in the area to collapse. At least four onion packing facilities have had their roofs collapse beneath the weight of snow and ice and at least 14 storage facilities have collapsed as well.

continued:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Roof collapses at Ridley’s grocery store in Weiser

by KBOI News Staff Thursday, January 19th 2017

Weiser, Idaho (KBOI) — The rooftop at Ridley’s Family Market in Weiser has collapsed according to numerous social media posts and the city of Weiser.

Photos show the roof collapsed in several areas of the store.

A city worker told KBOI 2News that workers were on the rooftop of the Ridley’s grocery store attempting to clear the snow when they heard cracking. The workers quickly got off the roof and it collapsed soon after at about 11 a.m.

No injuries were reported. The worker said there’s been roof collapses “all over Weiser.”

continued w/more photos:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

More Washington Co. roof collapses prompt verbal emergency declaration

Alex Livingston, KTVB January 21, 2017


Two snow graders escaped destruction after a roof collapsed at the Washington County Road and Bridge Midvale storage building.

Washington County – It’s been a tough few weeks for business and homeowners in Washington County as they’re dealing with several feet of snow and collapsing roofs.

Help will be on its way, however, after a verbal declaration of emergency from the Office of Emergency Management and the Governor’s Office.

“Most of our structures are not constructed to bear so much weight,” said State Senator Abby Lee.

That extra assistance couldn’t have come at a better time. On Saturday morning, the roof of the Washington County Road and Bridge storage building in Midvale collapsed.

continued w/video report:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Antiques cars in path of collapsing roof

by Jeff Platt Thursday, January 19th 2017

New Plymouth, Idaho (KBOI) — This 80-year-old Bob Baker has been restoring old cars for half a century, but lately he’s more concerned about restoring the carport where he keeps his old cars.

Parts of New Plymouth got more than a foot of snow Wednesday during the biggest storm of the winter thus far.

The weight of all that snow sent Baker’s carport roof falling towards the roofs of his 1947 and 1948 Plymouth Super Deluxes.

continued w/video:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Snow loads on roofs could cause collapse

Older buildings could be at risk already

Tony Evans IME Jan 13, 2017


(Blaine County)

More than 4 feet of snow has piled up on rooftops in the Wood River Valley, raising concerns that its weight could lead to structural failures. Older buildings at some locations could already be at risk of collapsing.

Officials are advising homeowners to know how much snow their buildings can support or consult a structural engineer to find out. They are also advised to take action to mitigate the risk of roof collapse by shoveling snow off roofs.

A sign that a home could be reaching structural capacity is when doors and windows begin to stick when opening or closing.

… The formula used for assessing snow weight is based on snow-water equivalencies. One inch of snowfall (slightly packed at the collection site) is multiplied by 5.2 to equal the amount of snow load per square foot of roof surface.

full story:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

What does a disaster declaration mean?

Dean Johnson, KTVB January 18, 2017

Boise – Eight counties in Idaho have already declared a disaster due to severe weather and flooding issues, and more snow is on the way. But what exactly does a disaster declaration mean?

Ada County Emergency Management Director Doug Hardman says when a county or city declares a disaster it doesn’t mean they have to be in an actual disaster, but what it does do is open up avenues that counties and cities can take to get the help they need.

“By Idaho Code the mayor of each city or the chairman of the county commissioners can declare a state of emergency,” Hardman said.

continued:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Weather continues causing trouble across the Valley

Morgan Boydston, KTVB January 19, 2017

Treasure Valley – From the Idaho-Oregon border to Twin Falls, this heavy snow and ice has been causing major problems.

Buildings are collapsing from the weight of the snow and ice, pockets of flooding are popping up all over the area and school was canceled in several districts around the region.

continued w/video report:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Mumps Outbreak Threatens N. Idaho

January 18, 2017 By Bethany Blitz CdA Press

There is a mumps outbreak in Spokane, and local health officials say it could be headed our way.

Spokane had 56 cases of mumps as of Tuesday evening and the number is expected to rise.

Melanie Collett, spokeswoman for the Panhandle Health District, said there are no confirmed cases of mumps in North Idaho, but that will likely change, given the region’s proximity to Spokane.

“This is a very fluid situation and we’re working with local physicians to make sure any suspect cases are being reported and tested,” Collett said.

continued:
———————————

Mining News:

Idaho company sees record silver production at Alaska mine

1/18/17 AP

Anchorage, Alaska — A metal mine in southeast Alaska has reached its highest level of silver production since an Idaho-based company took full ownership of the property in 2008.

Hecla Mining Co. released its 2016 results last week for the Greens Creek mine west of Juneau, The Alaska Journal of Commerce reported.

The mine produced 9.3 million ounces of silver last year, an increase of about 10 percent from 2015.

The Idaho-based company operates other mines in Idaho, Canada and Mexico.

continued:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

2 federal agencies approve new phosphate mine in Idaho

By Keith Ridler – 1/18/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Two federal agencies have approved a 2.4-mile-long open pit phosphate mine proposed by a Canadian company in southeastern Idaho.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service late last week issued separate decisions approving the plan by Calgary-based Agrium Inc.

The BLM manages the area where the mining will occur, while the Forest Service manages land that will receive waste materials.

Agrium turns phosphate ore into fertilizer needed by farmers to grow food. Phosphate mining is a major business in southeastern Idaho, and BLM officials said the new mine will preserve 1,700 jobs and generate about $85 million per year for the local economy in Caribou County.

continued:
———————————-

Letter to Share:

ORWW.org is 20 Years Old Today!

Jan 15, 2016

To ORWW Board Members, Sponsors, and Supporters:

Today marks an important date and a remarkable achievement in the history of Oregon Websites and Watersheds Project, Inc. (ORWW): on January 15, 1997 ORWW launched the PEAS Project (an acronym for Philomath, Eddyville, Alsea, and Siletz Schools) and has been continuously online ever since. Today is the 20th Anniversary of that launching, making ORWW one of the very earliest (and oldest) educational websites in history. Beginning with PEAS, ORWW has since launched an additional 35 educational websites, a YouTube Channel, and two Facebook pages in the intervening years — all based in rural Oregon and/or inner-city schools and communities, and all focused on our original Mission Statement:

Oregon Websites and Watersheds Project, Inc. shows students how to use Internet communications and scientific methodology to help manage Oregon’s natural and cultural resources. Students are encouraged to use computer technology, historical documentation, scientific reasoning, community outreach, environmental enhancement projects, and effective long-term monitoring strategies to help make decisions which affect Oregon’s quality of life.

This email is in recognition of the many people, families, businesses, organizations, schools, and Tribes who made this achievement possible. The history of ORWW’s 20 years of accomplishments — including 35 successful Internet-based projects directly involving hundreds of Oregon students and teachers; more than 3 million unique visitors to its website by 2008; more than 100 thousand views on its YouTube Channel; and two educational Facebook pages — is summarized and linked on our About page, also launched on January 15, 1997: http://www.orww.org/About.html

Background

The initial ORWW concept and plan was developed by Wayne Giesy and myself in November and December, 2016. Mack Barrington was quickly added to the team for technical and website design expertise. The Board of Western Oregon Timber Supporters (W.O.T.S.) — including several members of the current ORWW Board — formally adopted and funded this strategy and helped craft the original Mission statement, which has never changed. Likewise, Mack’s basic website design format has remained virtually unchanged, functional, and easily navigable to the present time, despite major changes in Internet speed, hardware and software capabilities over the past 20 years.

Financial backing for this enterprise was originally provided by several rural Benton County businesses and organizations backed by local families, including the Hull, Starker, Clemens, Lowther, Giesy, Brandis, VanLeeuwen, and Venell families: Hull-Oakes Lumber Co., Starker Forests, Clemens Foundation, Associated Oregon Loggers, NW Maps Co., Consumers Power, Venell Farms, Miller Timber Services, and several others provided direct support. Peak Internet Services, Kattare Internet, Apple Computer, and Pioneer Telephone made Internet connectivity among the PEAS Schools possible: http://www.orww.org/PEAS/20th_Anniversary/

As a result of ORWW projects in following years, several rural and inner-city Oregon students have been among the first: to regularly use Internet communications during the course of their studies; to develop an inter-school Internet network and live broadcast an event; to transmit and upload digital photographs and videos to the Internet; and to research and document the history and resources of their own communities on the worldwide web. In addition to the five PEAS Schools, Grant and Jefferson High Schools in N/NE Portland, Corvallis and Crescent Valley High Schools in Corvallis, and Burns and Crane Union High Schools in Harney County have been directly involved in ORWW projects. Confederated Tribes of Siletz, Grand Ronde, Coquille, Cow Creek, and Umatilla Indians have also sponsored and/or participated in several of these research and education efforts.

Current Projects

The principal ORWW Project for 2016, a comprehensive wildfire history website of the Douglas Fir Region of western Washington, western Oregon, and northern California, remains to be completed. More than 160 major wildfires in this region have been documented for this project, spanning the years from 1700 through 2016, but a significant amount of formatting and linking between event statistics, maps, and photographs — particularly those for northern California — has been on hold for several months and is a high priority to complete in the near future. This project has been primarily funded by Starker Forests, Anne and Rich Hurley Foundation, Hull-Oakes Lumber Co., Giesy Farms, NW Maps Co., and the Clemens Foundation, and is intended to become a principal research and education site for the study of large-scale and catastrophic wildfires in the western US.

A current proposal, based on a long-term practical demonstration of the Giesy Plan for the Elliott State Forests, is progressing through political channels at this juncture. If this proposal is accepted it will provide an excellent opportunity for ORWW to demonstrate the capabilities of modern technology, Internet communications, transparent monitoring, and research design to an entire generation of Oregon students and teachers. The next meeting of the Oregon Lands Board, which is responsible for the management of the Elliott, is on February 14, 2017: http://www.orww.org/Awards/2013/SAF/Wayne_Giesy/Oregon_Plan/

2017 Plans

In addition to completing the 2016 Wildfire History website and pursuing the Elliott State Forest proposal, the primary focus of the coming year will be to conduct fundraising for purposes of updating the past 20 years of ORWW websites and the hundreds of thousands of links that tie them all together. Many of these websites contain broken links, original student errors, outdated software, and photographs and videos that were technically unable to be digitized or put online at the time they were created.

Once all of the 35 ORWW project websites have been updated and completed, a digital archive of the entire whole will be produced with the assistance of OSU Archives. This will result in a permanent and significant contribution to the history of Internet communications and education, as well as a solid foundation from which ORWW can build for the next 20 years.

If anyone receiving this email would like to help with our fundraising efforts this year by becoming a Sponsor or by providing useful technical assistance, equipment, or software, your assistance would be greatly appreciated and put to good use by furthering ORWW’s Mission. In this regard we are in the process of redesigning our Sponsors page in order to list everyone in one place that has contributed to the success of ORWW over the past 20 years, as well as create a prominent new “Pioneer Sponsors” section to more specifically honor the families, businesses, and organizations that helped form ORWW in the first place, and that have continued to support our efforts through the years (this page also originally launched January 15, 1997):  http://www.orww.org/Sponsors.html

Thank you, everyone, for your help along the way toward making this achievement possible.

Bob Zybach, PhD
Program Manager, http://www.ORWW.org
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Public Lands:

Avalanche safety: Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue trains volunteers

by Devan Kaney Sunday, January 15th 2017 KBOI

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Avalanche danger is at an all time high with the immense snowfall the Treasure Valley has seen. One reason Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue remains ready for any risks this winter may bring.

KBOI 2News joined Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue (IMSAR) in the Boise National Forest to learn about avalanche safety and rescue.

“It’s always rewarding when you can actually help somebody and you know you saved that person’s life,” said Mike Johnson, President of Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue.

continued:
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Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel Habitat Improvement Project

USDA Forest Service 1/19/2017

The Forest Service is seeking scoping comments on the environmental analysis for the proposed Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel Habitat Restoration Project on the New Meadows and Council Ranger Districts, Payette National Forest (PNF).

NIDGS Habitat Restoration Project

Purpose and Need for Action

This project is part of a cooperative research program for the recovery of the northern Idaho ground squirrel. The project includes participation and/or funding by the USDA Forest Service, Payette National Forest, USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the University of Idaho, Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit.

Proposed Action

The PNF is proposing to conduct northern Idaho ground squirrel (NIDGS) habitat restoration at seven NIDGS colony study sites on the Council and New Meadows Ranger Districts as part of a research study conducted by the University of Idaho Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit (CWRU). As part of the current Research Agreement between the Forest Service and the US Geological Survey (USGS; the University of Idaho CWRU is part of the USGS), the assigned research team is tasked to determine if the Thin & Burn NIDGS Habitat Restoration Model (as described by Conway and Goldberg 2015), currently used by the Forest, leads to NIDGS colonization of treated sites. Each treatment site is 4 ha (approximately 10 ac) and is coupled with a control site of no treatment, also 4 ha in area. This Categorical Exclusion (CE) analysis covers three sites for the tree marking and thin and burn treatment activities and four sites for burn only treatment activities, for a total of seven of the 13 NIDGS habitat treatment study sites identified on the Council and New Meadows ranger districts.Each thin and burn treatment site is a forested stand, located directly adjacent to an occupied NIDGS colony. The three thin and burn treatment sites covered under this analysis are named for the adjacent occupied NIDGS colonies: Cold Springs West, Fawn Creek, and Huckleberry. Prior to thinning, the stand boundaries and individual trees in the stand will be marked by Forest personnel for retention, as determined by the Forest Timber program.

Each treatment stand would be thinned and burned, using forest practice techniques identical to those the Forest currently uses, when attempting to improve habitat conditions for NIDGS. Trees in these stands would be thinned to an open distribution (equivalent to 10-20 % canopy cover and approximately 30-50-foot stem spacing), with clumps of trees and snags retained, as per an established silvicultural prescription that is designed to return the stand to historical vegetative conditions. Retention trees will be left in clumps of 5-9 trees, using naturally occurring grouping of trees where possible. These clumps may consist of a mix of species, age class, and size class. Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) will be the preferred tree species retained, but Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) may be retained as well. Any legacy ponderosa pine will be retained. Large diameter (>/= 20-inch dbh) Douglas fir or grand fir (Abies grandis) will be retained wherever possible. This retention approach should produce a mix of tree clumps and individual trees widely space across the treatment site. Timber harvest on all of these sites would occur only in the fall / winter, after NIDGS have entered winter hibernacula. This requirement is necessary to prevent direct negative effects to NIDGS and to mimic wildfire conditions that would occur from the local fire regime. Spring harvest will not be allowed, because spring harvest activities could cause direct effects to NIDGS through harassment, collapse of non-hibernacula burrows, and alteration of spring and summer habitats.

Once the logs and slash have been removed, by prescription, the area would be broadcast burned, following appropriate drying of ground fuels onsite. Burning will be conducted in fall, depending on fuel conditions and crew availability, to mimic normal fire regimes for the West Zone of the Forest. In 2015, the NIDGS Technical Working Group decided that fall burns, instead of spring burns, should be used on NIDGS projects, to ensure the availability of NIDGS food plants that occur in the natural vegetation composition during spring and summer.

Equipment used in the harvest treatments may include, but is not limited to, chain saws, feller-bunchers, skidders, loaders, pickups, heavy trucks with low-boy trailers, bulldozers, graders, and log trucks. No permanent road construction would occur in the treated sites; however, temporary roads may be needed to skid trees to landings and for loading and hauling trees from the sites to main arterial roads nearby. Treatment of slash piles may vary by site, depending up on harvest prescription. All temporary roads, landings, and skid trails would be rehabilitated, or obliterated, after the treatments are completed, following soils and hydrology standards from the Forest Plan (USDA Forest Service 2003). If the appropriate conditions for thinning are not present in the fall, the sites may be thinned in winter, following West Zone requirements for minimum snow depth and depth of frozen soils. If winter conditions allow for skidding logs through an occupied NIDGS colony, the Forest will follow all mitigation commonly used for NIDGS projects on the West Zone of the Forest. Haul routes will be on open Forest roads.

The four burn only treatment sites are also named for NIDGS colonies: Cap Gun, Cold Springs East, Lost Valley Reservoir, and Summit Gulch. No thinning of trees would occur on these sites. The Forest Silviculturist, Timber Contracting Officer, and Forest Wildlife Biologist will work together to prepare timber harvest prescriptions appropriate for each thin and burn treatment site. Burn plans appropriate for each thin and burn only treatment site will be prepared by the West Zone Fuels Specialists, in cooperation with wildlife staff and the research team.

Following protocols developed by the research team, vegetative conditions will be sampled before and after treatments. A sample of NIDGS in each of the adjacent colonies will be radio-collared and monitored, to determine if they move into the treated stand adjacent to their original colony. Each of the treated stands has an adjacent non-treated stand, located within an occupied colony; these stands will be sampled as controls in the experiment. A final report of study results will be prepared by CWRU and distributed to the funding agencies. The results of the study will likely be included in the graduate student’s PhD dissertation and in peer-reviewed, professional journal articles for wildlife ecology and management.

Location of the Project

The seven study sites are located on the Council and New Meadows Ranger Districts, Adams County, Idaho, approximately 30-40 miles west-northwest of Council, Idaho. The study area can be accessed by Forest Service System roads that branch off of the Council-Cuprum Road (FSS Road #002), which runs west and northwest out of Council.

Each study site is identified by an orthographic photo map showing the 10-acre treatment stand and the adjacent 10-acre control site within the occupied NIDGS colony. Each treatment site is several miles away from other treatment sites. The total area treated with the thin and burn prescription, including the three sites, is 30 acres. The four burn only treatment sites total 40 acres.

Timing of the Project

Treatment sites were marked and evaluated in fall 2016. Due to sale and contract costs and restrictions, weather conditions, and field crew availability, project implementation is expected to occur in 2017 – 2018.  Depending on burning requirements, remaining burn only sites would be treated during appropriate time periods in 2017 and 2018.

Scoping Process

A copy of this letter describing the proposed action can be found on the project web page at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50840 . The Payette National Forest is contacting interested persons, groups, and agencies to make them aware of the project and to gather pertinent feedback. A news release is also being distributed to local news sources. To be most helpful please submit your scoping comments by February 17, 2017, and make your comments as specific as possible. Comments may pertain to the nature and scope of the environmental, social, and economic issues, and possible alternatives to the proposed action. Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection on the “Public Comment/Objection Reading Room” on the project web site: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50840 . A copy of this letter and the news release will be posted to the project web page.

How to comment

Written, facsimile, hand-delivered, and electronic comments concerning this project will be accepted. Send written comments to Keith Lannom, Payette National Forest Supervisor, 500 N. Mission Street, Building 2, McCall, Idaho 83638. Comments may also be sent via e-mail to comments-intermtn-payette@fs.fed.us, or via facsimile to 208-634-0744. Email comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) and Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx). Please put “NIDGS Habitat Restoration Project” in the subject line of the email comments. Comments must have an identifiable name attached or verification of identity will be required. A scanned signature may serve as verification on electronic comments. The office hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Oral comments may also be provided at the Payette National Forest Supervisor’s Office during normal business hours via telephone 208-634-0700 or in person.

Comments may also be submitted through the NIDGS Habitat Restoration Project web page at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50840. To submit comments using the web form select “Comment on Project” under “Get Connected” on the right panel of the project’s web page.

NIDGS+Habitat+Improvement+Project-signed.pdf
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Middle Fork Weiser Landscape Restoration Project – Pre-publication documents available

USDA Forest Service 1/20/2017

The Middle Fork Weiser River Landscape Restoration Project Draft Record of Decision is available for review at link:

A Summary of the Middle Fork Weiser River Landscape Restoration Project Final Environmental Impact Statement is available for review at link:

These documents are in early versions and may be substantially changed in the near future. This is not an opportunity to submit formal comments on the project, but rather a chance for early review of the final documents. Issuance of the Final EIS and draft decision and legal notification of the opportunity to object is expected to occur in early March 2017.
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Rule easing public lands transfer concerns hunters, others

by Associated Press Monday, January 16th 2017

Boise, Idaho (AP) — A change in U.S. House rules making it easier to transfer millions of acres of federal public lands to states is worrying hunters and outdoor enthusiasts across the West who fear losing access.

Lawmakers earlier this month passed a rule eliminating a significant budget hurdle and written so broadly that it includes national parks.

President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Interior Secretary, Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke, voted for the rule change as did many other Republicans.

Attempts by some Western state lawmakers in recent years to wrest control of federal public lands have failed. But U.S. lawmakers have the authority regarding such transfers.

Outdoor recreationists fear states would sell the land to private entities that would end public access.

source:
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Wyoming Senate leader kills federal lands transfer bill

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Jan 21, 2017

Wyoming Senate President Eli Bebout said Friday that he is killing a public lands transfer constitutional amendment bill that rattled sportsmen who warned the resolution would have led to eventual privatization and blocked access to the terrain, according to the Casper Star-Tribune.

continued:
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Critter News:

Abandoned horses trapped in deep snow in remote Valley County

Katie Terhune, KTVB January 19, 2017


Horses stranded (Photo: Valley County Sheriff’s Office)

Valley County — The Valley County Sheriff’s Office is working with a local horse rescue to try to come up with a way to save a pair of horses stranded in a remote area near Boulder Lake.

Lt. Jason Speer said the horses are trapped in a bowl area about as large as a football field at an elevation of between 7,000-8,000 feet. The animals have trampled the snow down about “belly-deep,” he said, but are surrounded by snowdrifts piled as high as six feet tall.

The sheriff’s office learned of the horses’ plight about two weeks ago after several local pilots spotted them from the air.

The sheriff’s office turned to the Idaho Horse Rescue for help, but rescue attempts have so far been unsuccessful.

There are no wild horse herds in Valley County, leading authorities to believe the pair was abandoned by their owners. The horses are extremely skittish and wary, according to the sheriff’s office, and no one has been able to get close enough to see whether they have brands.

Speer said one of the horses has a wound on its hindquarter that “looks like some type of predator has taken a chunk out of it.”

continued:
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Rescue pondered for stranded horses near Boulder Lake

Two horses appear stuck in deep snow

By Tom Grote for The Star-News January 19, 2017

Officials were pondering this week how to rescue two horses reported stranded in deep snow near Boulder Lake east of McCall.

The two horses were spotted “far above” Boulder Lake on Saturday by Valley County Sheriff’s Office deputies on snowmobile and two local pilots, sheriff’s spokesperson Lt.. Jason Speer said.

… The immediate need is to get hay to the horses, said Robert Bruno, president and founder of Idaho Horse Rescue. “They will survive if they have food,” Bruno told The Star-News on Tuesday.

… The horses were seen at a lower elevation last week but Bruno suspects snowmobilers may have frightened them up to Boulder Lake, which is at about 7,000 feet elevation.

… On Saturday, Bruno was given temporary custody of a third abandoned horse that had been reported on the east side of Payette Lake.

On Friday night, Local residents lured the horse with hay and managed to get him into a trailer near East Side Drive, Speer said. Bruno backed up his trailer to the other trailer to make the transfer.

The horse, which has no brands or other markings, was being kept this week at the Idaho Horse Rescue facility in Boise, he said.

full story at The Star-News:
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Pack horse left for dead survives 6 wintry weeks in Wyoming forest

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Jan 19, 2017


A 6-year-old pack horse named Valentine is led out of the Bridger-Teton National Forest on Dec. 20. by Swift Creek Outfitters owner and operator BJ Hill. Valentine survived in the wintery backcountry alone for six weeks. (U.S. Forest Service)

If you think you’ve had a tough winter, consider the plight of a Wyoming pack horse that was left for dead and survived on its own in the wolf-infested national forest for six weeks.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide this week is reporting the remarkable survival story of Valentine, a 6-year-old pack horse that had fallen ill during the November hunting season and was basically left for dead in the the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

When she was detected by a snowmobile trail groomer in midi-December, the outfitter was dumbstruck.

continued:
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Coyote sightings continue on Boise Bench

by Kelsey McFarland KBOI January 15, 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — The Boise bench has a resident coyote and some neighbors are concerned that it’s getting a little too comfortable.

People who live in the area say this coyote has been around for about a month. Cassia park and the surrounding homes is it’s regular spot.

“He actually came into my backyard and just would come through the gate and come back down the canal road. It was like he wanted my dog to play with him,” said Lori Carriveau, who sees the coyote around her home often.

Residents think this is the same coyote that ate several neighborhood chickens and ducks around Christmas time.

continued:
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Judge orders Idaho to destroy elk and wolf wilderness data

By Keith Ridler –  1/19/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Idaho must destroy all information collected from tracking collars placed on elk and wolves obtained illegally by landing a helicopter in a central Idaho wilderness area, a federal judge ordered Thursday.

U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill in the 24-page ruling said it’s such an extreme case that “the only remedy that will directly address the ongoing harm is an order requiring destruction of the data.”

Winmill said the U.S. Forest Service in January 2016 broke environmental laws when it authorized Idaho Fish and Game to put collars on elk by making helicopter landings in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, where engines are prohibited.

The state agency placed the collars on about 60 elk to gather information it said was needed to better understand what was causing reductions in the elk population in the wilderness.

continued:
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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Second week of January 2017
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Wolf Education International

Newsletter Jan 18-19, 2017

Wolves Invade Paris

A More Ethical Method of Large Predator Reintroduction

Wolves targeted as Congress moves to de-fang Endangered Species Act
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Fences keep elk at bay

Land, Water and Wildlife Program contributed funding

Madelyn Beck IME Jan 13, 2017

Stackyard fences in the south valley, built with the help of funding from Blaine County and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, are doing their job and keeping elk out of crops. If all goes as planned, the animals will migrate into the desert, leaving Carey and Picabo farms—and their hay—alone.

Last winter, farmers reported a serious elk problem, which included larger and more stubborn herds than they had seen before. Meanwhile, depredation hunts were increased, elk were killed by collapsing haystacks and many animals were struck on main roads. The Department of Fish and Game helped farmers protect their hay with the usual black mesh covering, but the covering didn’t cut it as bull elk tore it off with their antlers. Chasing the animals away also wasn’t working.

“You push them off and a few hours later they were back in there,” farmer Dan Ratliff said. “It was kind of a pointless effort, but you did what you could.”

continued:
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Feeding big game can cause problems for people, animals

Natalie Shaver, KTVB January 18, 2017


A herd of deer near Weiser. (Photo: Paul Boehlke/KTVB)

Weiser – Harsh winter weather is pushing wildlife into new areas looking for food and shelter.

In Weiser, dozens of deer have begun showing up at a family’s home eating their hay.

“The first time that they came we saw probably three of them and they were just kind of wandering around where the truck had been and the hay had fallen out of the truck,” Angela Girvin said. “Now we’re up to about 30.”

continued w/video and more photos:
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Animals struggle with heavy snow, winter weather in Idaho

1/20/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — While Idaho residents are lamenting heavy snowpack and icy roads, wildlife in the state have been struggling in the backcountry.

Idaho Fish and Game officials told the Post Register (http://bit.ly/2iSK53W ) that the tough winter will likely mean higher mortality rates for elk and deer that are coping with heavily crusted snowpack.

The deep snow makes it harder for game to move around, with each step requiring more energy and sapping more of the animals’ fat supplies. The crusted snow also makes it hard for deer and elk to uncover winter forage, further depleting their fat stores.

continued:
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Fish and Game closes huge chunk of eastern Boise Foothills to protect big game

By Chadd Cripe Idaho Statesman January 19, 2017

Idaho Fish and Game will shut down public access to the eastern Boise Foothills on Friday to protect wintering big-game animals. The closure will remain in place indefinitely.

The closure affects the Boise Front segment of the Boise River Wildlife Management Area (see map in the photo viewer above, or try this one).

It includes the Homestead, Cobb, Highland Valley and Lucky Peak trails.

The closure “eliminates a source of stress for big-game animals already dealing with abundant snow and low temperatures on the BRWMA,” according to the Fish and Game press release.

Read more here:
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30 pronghorn die trying to cross frozen S. Idaho reservoir

Associated Press, KTVB January 17, 2017

Acequia, Idaho — Ten pronghorn antelope died attempting to cross a frozen south-central Idaho reservoir and 20 more had to be euthanized due to injuries.

Idaho Fish and Game officials in a news release Tuesday say workers saved six pronghorn on Monday after a herd of 500 attempted to cross the Snake River at Lake Walcott on Sunday.

continued:
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Antelope deaths in Payette blamed on toxic shrub

KTVB January 18, 2017

Payette — The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is blaming the deaths of a herd of 50 pronghorn antelope found dead in Payette on a toxic shrub.

The bodies of dozens of antelope were found along the Payette greenbelt Tuesday. Payette Police say most of the bodies were found lying close together.

Fish and Game officers and biologists were called in to determine how the animals died. Four carcasses were taken to the Fish and Game Health Laboratory for evaluation.

Fish and Game wildlife veterinarian Dr. Mark Drew confirmed the cause of death on Wednesday.

“All four animals were in good body condition, but with congested lungs and kidneys,” Drew noted. “All had Japanese Yew twigs and needles in their esophagus and rumen; cause of death was yew toxicity.”

The deaths come one day after about 30 antelope perished trying to cross the frozen Snake River Monday.

continued:
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Wildlife officials investigate after 28 crows found dead

1/22/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — More than two dozen crows were found dead this week near Nampa City Hall, and now wildlife officials are trying to figure out what happened.

A flock of crows is often called a “murder of crows,” but it’s not yet clear what killed 28 of the birds earlier this week.

Nampa city spokeswoman Vickie Holbrook said the crows weren’t shot. Animal control officials delivered the corpses to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to see if an avian autopsy of sorts could yield any clues.

Regional conservationist Charlie Justus said there’s no report yet, but the deaths could be the result of the hard winter or something else. He noted that crows typically spend their days foraging in fields for waste grain, then return to Nampa to roost in trees. These days, no grain is accessible.

source:
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Feds reject Idaho utility’s bid to negate Oregon fish law

By Keith Ridler –  1/19/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Federal authorities on Thursday rejected a request by an Idaho utility to 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.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dismissed the petition by Boise-based Idaho Power asking to exempt the three-dam Hells Canyon Complex from the Oregon statute.

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

continued:
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Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
http://www.cbbulletin.com
January 20, 2017
Issue No. 816

Table of Contents

* Conservation Groups, Oregon, Nez Perce File To Stop Capital Projects At Lower Snake River Dams
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438211.aspx

* NOAA Completes BiOp For Mitchell Act Hatcheries, Proposes Reduction In Fall Chinook Releases, Coho Increase
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438210.aspx

* Washington Votes To Move Forward With Columbia River Harvest Changes, Oregon To Consider Similar Plan
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438209.aspx

* Washington ‘State of Salmon’ Report: Seven ESA-Listed Populations Showing No Recovery Progress Or Declining
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438208.aspx

* Water Supply Forecast For Dalles Dam Now 101 Percent Of Normal, All Columbia Sub-Basins Above Normal
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438207.aspx

* Council, BPA Release ‘Request For Information’ On ‘Ready To Implement’ Sturgeon Projects Above Bonneville Dam
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438206.aspx

* Study Shows Successful Reintroduction Of Oregon Chub (First De-Listed Fish Species) Also A Genetic Success
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438205.aspx

* Commerce Secretary Declares Fisheries Failures For Nine West Coast Salmon, Crab Fisheries
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438204.aspx

* NW Power/Conservation Council Seeks Comments On Draft Research Plan To Guide FW Program
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438203.aspx

* Federal Judge Rules Leavenworth Hatchery Unlawfully Discharging Pollutants Into Creek, Needs CWA Permit
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438202.aspx

* UW Study Says Diversification (Catching A Variety Of Species) Key To Resilient Fishing Communities
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438201.aspx

* Research: El Nino, Pacific Decadal Oscillation Correlates With Domoic Acid Shellfish Toxicity
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438200.aspx
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Fun Critter Stuff:

William Finley and the great elk transplant of 1912

December 21, 2016 Oregon State by Laura Cray

With Oregon draped in a heavy blanket of snow last week and the holiday season in full swing, I cannot help but call to mind the sound of hoof prints in the snow and William Finley’s great elk transplant of 1912 for this month’s installment of the Reuniting Finley and Bohlman series.

While Finely is better known for his wildlife photography and role in the conservation movement, he also played a key role in Oregon’s early wildlife management. In 1911, Governor Oswald West hired Finely to help form Oregon’s first Fish and Game Commission. West formally appointed Finley as the state’s game warden to oversee the Commission later that year.

As head of the Commission, Finley hired a team of forty game wardens to work under him across the state. He established and, for the early years wrote most of the content for, Oregon Sportsman. He also pushed for stricter limits and regulations on hunting and fishing in the state to protect and restore rapidly depleting wild populations.

One of Finley’s first and most prominent projects as game warden was to address the state’s declining elk population. Overhunting and diminishing habitat reduced the once plentiful elk herds to a few scattered bands in remote mountainous sections of the state. The Biological Survey of the Department of Agriculture donated a herd of 15 wild elk from the Jackson Hole region in Wyoming to be sent to Oregon.


An elk waiting in a corral in Saint Anthony, Idaho, 1912. OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 369, Finley B0415.


Three men standing at the door of a boxcar used to transport elk from Saint Anthony, Idaho to Joseph, Oregon, 1912. OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 369, Finley B0408.

continued with lots of great photos:

[h/t SMc]
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She’s Hungry

Marty Broom  01/18/17 at KTVB

Just North of Horseshoe Bend. Elk are moving in to our yards in search of food.

source:
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White Elk Spotted in Logan Canyon, Utah

May 29, 2009

source w/more photos:
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Fish & Game News:

Winter feeding starts in parts of the state and others may be added

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Specialist Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017

Extreme weather conditions have prompted emergency feeding

Frigid temperatures and heavy snowfall across much of Idaho this winter have driven big game animals to low elevations and prompted Idaho Fish and Game to begin emergency feeding in several areas across southern Idaho.

Fish and Game has commenced winter feeding in the Magic Valley, the Southeast and the Upper Snake regions.  Emergency winter feeding in the Southwest region will likely begin shortly.

The agency has winter feeding advisory committees in most regions of the state, and those committees are meeting frequently to observe snowfall, temperatures, herd health and other factors to decide if feeding is warranted.

continued:
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Additional Winter Feeding Sites Authorized in Southeast Idaho

By Jennifer Jackson, Regional Conservation Educator Saturday, Jan 21, 2017

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game with input from the Southeast Idaho Winter Feeding Advisory Committee (WFAC) has selected additional sites for baiting/feeding efforts in Caribou, Bear Lake, Franklin, Bannock, and Bingham Counties.

During the week of January 9, baiting of elk began in the Banks Valley area and behind the Ranch Hand Trail Stop in Bear Lake County after hazing efforts were not successful in reducing elk depredations on haystacks or movement of animals across highways.  In addition, Fish and Game delivered approximately 10,000 feet of panels and Tensar® fencing materials to landowners to protect haystacks from elk and deer, and even assisted with the installation of these barriers.

Since those initial actions began, elk problems have persisted and additional areas of concern have been identified across the southeast region.

continued:
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News Releases

https://idfg.idaho.gov/press
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Tips & Advice:

How to Care for and Sharpen Gardening Tools

from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Where would we be without our trusty gardening tools? Treat them to a little bit of TLC and they should last for many years.

Cultivation tools as well as pruners will benefit from a good sharpen as well as a clean, and this is the ideal time to look over your hard-working tools to make sure they’re in tip-top condition.

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Trivia:

Happy Birthday, Benjamin Franklin!

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Benjamin Franklin, born on Sunday, January 17, in 1706. To celebrate his birthday, here are some facts and quotes about the great man. Happy Birthday, Ben!

Franklin was not only was a world-renowned statesman, inventor, and scientist, but also was fascinated by agriculture and father of the modern almanac.

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts, which was then a British colony. His father came from England to the Colonies in 1682. He was a candle and soap maker in Boston.

Before he became involved in politics, Franklin learned the trade of printing in Boston and eventually set up his own printing shop in Philadelphia. Later, he served as postmaster of Philadelphia and became the first postmaster general of the United States in 1775.

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Ben Franklin Quotes:

“Remember… to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”

“None but the well-bred man knows how to confess a fault, or acknowledge himself in an error.”

“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.”
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Seasonal Humor:

snowlostcar-a

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Idaho History January 22, 2017

Mail Route Elk City to Dixie

1919mailelkcitydixie-aDelivering mail with a horse team and sleigh around 1919. This photograph was taken somewhere between Elk City and Dixie. (USFS Collection Nez Perce FS)

[h/t SMc]
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Winter Pack String Dixie, Idaho

source: © PBC Compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
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Winter in Dixie, Idaho

source: © PBC Compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
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1912 Idaho Snow

An unidentified man sitting buried up to his neck in a field of heavy snow. Idaho, 1912.

1912SnowIdaho-a
OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 369, Finley B0521.

source: Library Oregon State
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page updated Nov 16, 2018

Avalanche Advisory Jan 22, 2017

Bottom line

The avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE above 7000 feet dut to human triggered avalanches likely. Our most recent storm cycle put down 18-21 inches of new snow that fell on a variety of old snow surfaces including well developed Surface Hoar, Near Surface facets and firm crusts. In addition, a fresh crop of wind slabs will be found near the ridge tops on leeward and/or crossloaded slopes.

Weather

1 to 2 inches of new snow fell overnight with light and variable winds. Today forecasts are calling for up to another 4 inches with winds out of the south southeast blowing in the 20’s and gusting into the 30’s.

Avalanche Problem #1: Persistent Slab

A relatively widespread layer of Surface Hoar and Near Surface Facets is now lying below the new snow. We found this layer on Thursday 15-18 inches down in the middle elevations and in higher areas that were protected from the winds that accompanied this last storm cycle. Surface Hoar and faceted snow layers are responsible for more avalanche accidents and fatalities than all other types of avalanches combined. This layer failed in many steep areas naturally as the new snow came in but is waiting for a trigger in many more. This is a very tricky layer to predict or forecast for due to the variability and the uncertainty of where you will find it in the snowpack and throughout the mountains right now. The only way you will know for sure is to dig in to the snow and look for the obvious grey line in the snow. Whumphing or collapsing of the snowpack will let you know that you are in an area with buried surface hoar or faceted snow. With this kind of variability, you will need to dig in lots of places as you travel. Hand pits in lots of locations or 5 minutes with your shovel could save your life today.

The picture below shows a close up of the surface hoar layer at the height of the saw. This type of problem tends to linger for awhile.

Avalanche Problem #2: Wind Slab

With today’s forecasted south winds expect to see any snow available for transport loading onto slopes on the north half of the compass making a thin new batch of wind slabs. Also, wind slabs were created in the upper elevations with the last storm cycle and winds in the upper 20 mph range common throughout most of the area. Over the past week winds have swirled across the bottom of the compass from east to southwest creating the possibility of 1-3 foot deep wind slabs on the northern portion of the compass as well as east and west aspects. These slabs may be resting on old wind slabs, a layer of surface hoar, or other faceted (loose grained) snow or on firm crusts. Pay attention to the obvious signs of wind affected snow, rounded, sculpted, drifted or pillowy looking snow will let you know right where the wind deposited snow piled up. Hollow sounding or feeling snow should tell you to find a different slope as well.

Advisory discussion

Snowmobiler/Snowbiker Travel Restrictions: a quick reminder that the Granite Mountain Area Closure is now in effect. In addition there are other areas on the Payette National Forest that are CLOSED to snowmobile traffic including Jughandle Mt east of Jug Meadows, Lick Creek/Lake Fork Drainage (on the right side of the road as you are traveling up canyon), and the area north of Brundage Mt Ski area to junction “V” and along the east side of Brundage snd Sargeant’s Mts. with the exception of the Lookout Rd( junction “S”). Please respect these closures and other users recreating in them. Winter Travel Map(East side)

Click to access fseprd528566.pdf

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. It’s okay if you leave some fields blank, just fill out what you know and/or submit photos. You can also email us at forecast@payetteavalanche.org.

The Friends of the Payette Avalanche Center (FPAC) needs YOU! We are in desperate need of more user support and financial assistance. The avalanche forecast is not a guaranteed service, and is in jeopardy of dwindling down to only a couple of days a week in the near future. Please help if you can by clicking the DONATE tab above. If you value this life saving information, make a donation or help the FPAC in raising funds for the future.

http://payetteavalanche.org/advisory