Monthly Archives: February 2017

Feb 26, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

Feb 26, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Yellow Pine Valley County Centennial Celebration Feb 25

Ski Race

Organized by The Corner and started at noon.

The race was fun, we had seven racers if you count Skadi (Matt pulled her in her ski stroller). My Dad did the count down to start.  David Amos won and Matt came in second, Skadi was third place behind her dad.  I think everyone took a tumble at least once. At the finish Matt and David were neck and neck then David wiped out and took Matt out with him, David was able to get up faster and sprinted to the finish.

– Heather


photo by Kathy, courtesy of Nik
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Pie Contest

Held at the Yellow Pine Tavern at 1pm. There were a total of 8 entries (and many tasters!)


1st Lynn  Lemon Meringue
2nd Deb Chocolate Cream Pie
3rd Heather Berry Pie

– Nicki

photo by Terry Hall
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Midas Gold Presentation

Kyle Fend and others from Midas Gold gave a presentation at the Yellow Pine Tavern at 2pm (and enjoyed pie from the contest as well as the bonfire.)
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Bonfire with Commissioner Bill Willey

Commissioner Bill Willey was joined by approximately 15 Yellow Pine residents and Midas Gold employees at the lighting of the centennial bonfire.  After the lighting, Commissioner Willey told some stories about himself and his cousin, Rick.  A memorable quote, “We have to be tough to live in Valley County. But you folks are REALLY tough to live here.”  With an extra splash of “fire starter”, Commissioner Willey ensured the bonfire would be burning for some hours and he left to light the bonfire at Warm Lake.

– Deb

link to photo (from YP Tavern FB)

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Local History

This week’s history post is about Albert Behne, one of the founders of Yellow Pine.

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Yellow Pine Tavern is Open

The Yellow Pine Tavern is finally open for business! Our first event [Feb 25] was the Annual pie contest with Lynn Imel at first place with her Lemon Meringue Pie, Deb Filler at second with Chocolate Creme, Heather Huber at third with Blueberry. Great attendance for the weather so cold and road so bad. I will be open for coffee and breakfast every day at 9AM. I will likely close early daily unless you notify me for a late meal since I don’t have my beer and wine license yet. Hopefully I will have it in a couple of weeks. Call or email or come knock on my door for that late meal. I do have the gas also the Corner still has a key.

– Lorinne
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4-Legged Landscaping Crew

My bushes got trimmed yesterday by the 6 cow elk that are hanging around. The collar on that one looks like it’s wearing off the hair around her neck.

– Lynn
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YP’s “Groundhogs”

The red-winged blackbirds left a day or so after they arrived. They are the Yellow Pine “ground hogs” that predict Spring.  They left = six more weeks of winter.

– Lynn


Dick Lemmon


Dick (aka Blue Leader) Lemmon passed away Feb. 25th at his home in Rancho Cordova, CA. Following a long career as a pilot in the Air Force, Yellow Pine, the Johnson Creek Airstrip and all of the people he met there, became an important part of his life for the past twenty years.  After giving up flying his own plane he became a summer resident and spent his time “giving advice even if you don’t want it”, driving his ATV to the airstrip and voicing his opinions about any activity he encountered. He’ll be remembered here for his ordering almost raw hamburgers, checking the dates on the beer bottles, and calling the cafe in the winter to order a round of coffees for the “locals”.

– LI

(And we will miss Dick sending oranges to the Yellow Pine “crew” in the winter so we didn’t get Scurvy.) – rrS

Local Observations:

Monday (Feb 20) snowed most of the night then warmed up and turned to rain this morning, approx 1.75″ new snow (rain had melted quite a bit of it) and average 17″ of snow on the ground. Jays calling and small birds twittering from the trees. Snowmobile traffic. Breezy and rain showers, sometimes mixed with sleet pounding down all afternoon. Snowmobile traffic. Breezy and cloudy at dark. Raining at 11pm and rained all night.

Tuesday (Feb 21) The lights flickered but didn’t go off around 7am. Our rain total in the last 24 hours = 0.70″ (59.6″ of water so far this month!) Raining and low clouds this morning, ground is still semi-frozen and slushy paths breaking up. Street is slush covered ice. Jays calling in the neighborhood. Rain, rain/snow mix and/or snow most of the day, windy in the afternoon, Snowmobile traffic. Snowed during the night.

Wednesday (Feb 22) 1.75″ new snow this morning, average snow on the ground 18″. Jays and small birds calling. Snowmobile traffic. Increasing clouds during the day, warm and melting this morning’s snow. Snowed a little late afternoon.

Thursday (Feb 23) 0.25″ new snow from yesterday afternoon, 17″ average snow on the ground, cloudy and breezy this morning. Jays and small birds calling, snowmobile traffic. Cloudy all day with windchill. No precipitation. A cow elk was standing in the road this afternoon.

Friday (Feb 24) hard freeze (low 14 degrees) high thin haze and fine light snow falling this morning until 10am. Filtered sun and cool day. Snowmobile traffic. A few flakes of snow fell before 6pm, cloudy and chilly breeze. More snowmobile traffic. A few stars out after midnight.

Saturday (Feb 25) hard freeze (low 7 degrees) flaking snow and barely a trace, average 17″ of snow on the ground (6.15” of water so far this month, maybe a record?) Small birds calling from the trees, fresh canine tracks on the road. Partly clear and a bit of sun mid-day. Snowmobile traffic off and on most of the day. A few flakes of snow in the afternoon, no accumulation. Mostly cloudy at dark.

Sunday (Feb 26) overcast, breezy, flaking snow (no accumulation.) Raven flying over, small birds calling (juncos?) Very light snow falling most of the day, no accumulation, chilly breeze, did not get above freezing today. Occasional flakes of snow before dark.

Idaho News:

Valley sheriff’s deputies to wear centennial badges

Cost paid by officers, not taxpayers

By Max Silverson for The Star-News Feb 23, 2017

Photo shows badges worn by Valley County sheriff’s deputies in celebration of the county’s centennial.

Deputies in the Valley County Sheriff’s Office are waring commemorative badges on duty this year to note the centennial of Valley County.

Sheriff Patti Bolen had hoped to recreate the original badges worn in 1917, but a search archives could find no image of those badges, Sheriff Patti Bolen.

“We just found something that’s appropriate,” Bolen said.

The commemorative badges are made in the style of a classic seven-pointed star.

“Mine has ‘Sheriff’ on it, and the others have their call number on there,” Bolen said.

In total there are 22 certified officers, detention deputies and command staff from the office that will wear the commemorative badges.

full story at The Star-News:
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Report: Valley County has 2nd-lowest property tax rate in Idaho

By Tom Grote for The Star-News Feb 23, 2017

Valley County has the second-lowest property tax rate among counties in Idaho, according to a report from the Idaho State Tax Commission.

The list of the 44 counties in the state showed Valley County ranked 43rd in the percentage of taxable valuation collected in property taxes.

Only Blaine County, which contains Ketchum and Sun Valley, had a lower tax rate, according to the tax commission.

“Elected officials in Valley County are working to provide needed services to our residents and visitors while maintaining a low levy rate to the property owners,” Valley County commission Chair Gordon Cruickshank said. “We are doing our part to keep costs to the taxpayer down.”

Adams County’s tax rate was the ninth highest in the state, according to the tax commission.

The ranking was only for property taxes levied to pay for county operations. Not included were property taxes levies imposed by cities, school districts, sewer districts, hospitals and other governmental agencies supported by property taxes.

full story at The Star-News:
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Spring Newsletter 2017 – UI Extension, Valley County


Spring is around the corner!

UI Extension will be sharing information about the ABC West Central Mountains (WCM) Economic Development Plan and hosting a local listening session to gather feedback on UI Extension programs in March. In April, the Victory Garden Series will be offered in New Meadows. Save the date – May 6th is the opening of the new Meadows Valley Community Garden at the New Meadows School! Hope to see you soon!

Our office specializes in community development, agriculture, horticulture, and 4H youth development programs. Please view the boxes below to learn more about upcoming programs!

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Future of Tamarack Resort still cloudy

No one bids on various parcels seized by Valley County

By Tom Grote for The Star-News Feb 23, 2017

The future of Tamarack Resort west of Donnelly remained unclear Tuesday after no one bid on 20 parcels of the resort seized by Valley County for unpaid property taxes.

Left unsold were nearly 600 acres of land approved for 1,910 homes, townhouses and condos, 14 privately owned hotel rooms in the Lodge at Osprey Meadows, the former medical clinic and the former Crane Creek Market.

Any buyer would have been required to come up with about $15 million up front to acquire the 20 parcels in order to satisfy the past-due taxes and bond payments.

With no bidders, Valley County can now sell the properties on the open market, Valley County commissioners Gordon Cruickshank told about 20 people attending the auction at the Valley County Courthouse in Cascade.

No date was set for commissions to discuss ways to sell off the parcels, Cruickshank said.

full story at The Star-News:
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Landslides impacting South Fork of the Payette River

Dean Johnson, KTVB February 23, 2017

Banks, Idaho – A fire, followed by heavy snowfall, it’s all having an impact on one of Idaho’s famous whitewater rivers. There’s been a number of landslides along the South Fork of the Payette River. It’s sent logs, boulders and debris right into the water.

“It’s almost daily. There’s always something new coming down,” Keith Hughes, an avid kayaker said.

Carnage, that’s changing both the shape and landscape of the river.

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Governor: Idaho flood problems just starting; disaster declarations issued

By Chris Oswalt  Feb 17, 2017

Rupert, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – Gov. Butch Otter has signed a state disaster order for Minidoka County, where some 70 miles of roads are currently closed because of damage caused by floodwaters.

“Several miles of roads were damaged or destroyed. Over $650,000 to the county roads,” said Minidoka County Sheriff Eric Snarr. “That does not include the state highways, the state maintained roads or any of the city roads.”

On Thursday, Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, Lt. Gov. Brad Little and members of the Idaho National Guard took an aerial tour of the damage throughout the Magic Valley.

Sheriff Snarr said Thursday that 50 to 60 percent of the county has been inundated with water, and four subdivisions had upwards of 4 feet of water in homes.

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Several properties flooded after Weiser River floods low lying areas

by KBOI News Staff Wednesday, February 22nd 2017

Weiser, Idaho (KBOI) — Several homes and properties in low lying areas in Weiser are flooded after the river almost hit 12 feet Tuesday.

One home near Couper Road, which more or less looks like a river itself, has several vehicles under water along with much of the front yard.

While the water levels are trending down, damage is still evident in many areas as the town is still under a flood watch.

Several residents have said that while this week’s latest flooding isn’t ideal, it’s no where near as damaging as the floods from earlier this month.

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Emergency road closure for Salmon River Road still in effect until March

by KBOI News Staff Tuesday, February 21st 2017

North Fork, Idaho (KBOI) — The emergency road closure for Salmon River Road is in effect until March 1, due to safety and health concerns, the Salmon-Challis National Forest reports.

Forest Service says the closure – which started Feb. 9 – was put in place because of avalanche and debris slides happening around the area.

Over the weekend, officials say a large boulder tumbled down on Salmon River Road, so the area proves to be very unstable.

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Boise man pleads guilty to starting Table Rock Fire

Table Rock Fire (Photo: Paul Boehlke/KTVB)

Katie Terhune, KTVB February 22, 2017

Boise — A 19-year-old who sparked the 2,600-acre Table Rock Fire last June pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor Wednesday morning.

Taylor Kemp admitted to the charge of unlawful use of fireworks, telling the judge he lit the device despite being Idaho’s fire season being in full swing.

“It was a Roman candle, your Honor,” Kemp said.

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A look into Life Flight: One team in the air, another on the ground ready to save lives

by Jeff Platt Friday, February 24th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Every day someone, somewhere, needs to be flown to a hospital for immediate medical care.

In some emergencies, Life Flight is called to find, treat and transport the patient to the closest – and most capable – hospital.

Life Flight crews are a unique breed. They take the training and stress that comes with working in a hospital or ambulance, stuff it into a cramped aircraft, and use it to save lives while thousands of feet above the ground.

“This is an environment that is a lot harder; it’s not easy to control,” said Sarah Barber, a Life Flight medic.


Public Lands:

Idaho officials looking to buy US Forest Service land

By Keith Ridler –  2/21/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Idaho officials are in preliminary discussions with the U.S. Forest Service on possibly buying federal public lands.

State Forester David Groeschl of the Idaho Department of Lands told Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and other members of the Idaho Land Board on Tuesday that the state is eyeing timberland that the federal agency has previously proposed for possible sale or exchange.

Groeschl said the state is also identifying potential Forest Service lands not previously considered for sale.

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Audit planned on past sales of Idaho endowment lands

2/22/17 AP

Lewiston, Idaho — The director of the Idaho Department of Lands says the agency’s records involving decades-old sales of state lands will be examined after two environmental groups say many of the sales violated Idaho’s Constitution.

“I intend to hire an independent auditor to review IDL’s records and advise the Land Board on its findings,” Tom Schultz told the Lewiston Tribune.

The Idaho Land Board includes Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and four other statewide elected officeholders.

The Wilderness Society and Idaho Conservation League using information obtained through a public records request say the state may have illegally sold about 200,000 acres of state land because the sales violated limits set in the Idaho Constitution.

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Open Houses Held Showcasing Plans for the Pioneer Wildfire Recovery and Restoration

USFS Regional Intermountain News 2/21/2017

The Boise National Forest hosted three scoping open houses last week to share the proposed actions identified as the North and South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation projects. The primary action of both proposals is public safety, which involves mitigation of hazard trees, salvaging merchantable dead or dying trees, decommissioning unauthorized routes that cause resource damage and the planting of seedlings in portions of the 2016 Pioneer Fire area. Formal scoping comment opportunities are available through Feb. 27, 2017. Visit the Pioneer Wildfire Recovery and Restoration page for further information.


Critter News:

Holidays can bring chocolate poisoning in dogs

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt and Dr. Malia Wayment Feb 17, 2017 IME

Chocolate contains caffeine and bromine, both of which are members of the methylxanthine group of compounds. The methylxanthines occur naturally in cocoa and coffee beans. Methylxanthines act as central nervous system stimulants. They are rapidly absorbed from the intestinal tract. The most common case of poisoning in small animals is eating chocolate, though toxicity has occurred following the ingestion of coffee grounds and tea bags. Cocoa powder contains the highest amount of caffeine and theobromine, followed by unsweetened baker’s chocolate, semisweet chocolate and milk chocolate.

The most common signs of chocolate ingestion are restlessness, hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea and an extremely rapid heartrate. Animals may begin pacing and panting and appear anxious. Hyperactivity may progress to tremors and seizures if large amounts are ingested.

Treatment options: In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend that you induce vomiting at home, by forcing your pet to swallow half a cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide; most times, your vet will recommend bringing your pet to the clinic to induce vomiting and to do a thorough evaluation of your pet’s health. The vet will commonly administer apomorphine to stimulate vomiting, and then administer activated charcoal to help prevent absorption of methylxanthines from the gut. Clinical signs often require intravenous fluids, as well as medications to prevent hyperactivity, seizures and a rapid heartrate.

Chocolate toxicity is especially a risk during holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s Day. In most cases, recovery occurs within 24-48 hours with appropriate treatment. So please keep your pets away from chocolate and caffeine this holiday.

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Environmental groups reach deal on Idaho wolf derby lawsuit

By Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review Feb 23, 2017

Boise, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by environmental groups involving a wolf- and coyote-shooting contest in Idaho as part of a settlement agreement that requires federal officials to notify the groups if another contest is planned.

The agreement on Wednesday follows several years of court skirmishes between the groups and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management involving Idaho for Wildlife’s Predator Hunting Contest.

“This cruel, unethical and ecologically damaging contest should not occur on any lands, but particularly not on public lands belonging to all of us,” said Andrea Santarsiere, senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity.

… Participants in the two predator contests reported killing some coyotes but no wolves. The group, citing lack of wolf-hunting success, didn’t hold the contest the last two winters. But Steve Alder, the group’s executive director, said on Thursday the group would look at possibly holding one in January 2018 following Wednesday’s court action.

full story:
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Correction: Wolf Derby-Settlement story

By Keith Ridler –  2/24/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — In a story Feb. 23 about a lawsuit involving a wolf- and coyote-shooting contest in Idaho, The Associated Press reported erroneously the disposition of the suit. The judge dismissed part of the lawsuit, not the entire lawsuit, and a decision on an action the groups have against the U.S. Forest Service involving Idaho for Wildlife’s predator contest is pending.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Last week of Feb 2017
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Midwest, Wyoming lawmakers target wolf protections again

By Steve Karnowski – 2/26/17 AP

Minneapolis — Pressure is building in Congress to take gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region and Wyoming off the endangered list, which would allow farmers to kill the animals if they threaten their livestock.

Representatives from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming have asked House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin for a fast floor vote before the season when most cows and sheep will be giving birth begins in earnest. That followed recent testimony before a Senate committee from a Wisconsin farm leader who said producers need to be able to defend their livestock and livelihoods.

Meanwhile, both sides are waiting for a federal appeals court to decide whether to uphold lower court rulings that put wolves in the four states back on the list.

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Wolf Education International

Newsletter Fourth week Feb, 2017

House Overturns Obama-Era Law to Protect Alaskan Bears and Wolves

Anger And Protest Over Wolf Culling in Norway

EarthJustice Claims: War on Wolves Act Threatens More Than Wolves
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Montana weighs asking Congress to lift grizzly protections

2/24/17 AP

Helena, Mont. — Montana lawmakers are considering a resolution to ask the state’s congressional delegation to declassify the grizzly bear as a threatened species throughout Montana.

Opponents of the measure said Friday it aims to insert politics into the science-based process of determining when grizzlies have fully recovered.

But nearly two dozen people who live near grizzly populations or represent the livestock industry threw their support behind the measure. They told the House Natural Resources Committee the population is fully recovered and conflicts with animals and humans are on the rise.

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Here’s how Idaho Fish and Game removed a bull elk from a Weiser picnic shelter

Chadd Cripe Idaho Statesman Feb 24, 2017

Weiser – When I met Idaho Fish and Game district conservation officer Mark Sands in the Bi-Mart parking lot Friday morning for a ride-along to view the elk- and deer-feeding programs in the area, he told me we had to make a detour on our way out of town.

There was an elk living in a city park — and it was time for him to go.

When we arrived at Weiser Memorial Park a few minutes later, we found the elk hanging out in a picnic shelter surrounded by picnic tables. About 30 yards away was a snow-covered baseball diamond that apparently was going to hold practices beginning this weekend. Two people were on hand taking pictures of the elk, who had been fed by locals while living in town for at least three weeks and at one point had electric wire wrapped in his antlers.

He apparently liked his spot and had little desire to return to the wild. Sands tried to “haze” the animal into leaving. Sands made some sounds, fired a starter’s pistol and eventually shot the elk with rubber buck shot. The elk barely moved.

continued w/video:
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Some Idahoans say largest wildlife feeding program in years too late for elk

John Sowell Feb 25, 2017 Idaho Statesman

About a month ago, Garden Valley resident Bob Yardley found a dead yearling elk near his mailbox. He said the animal, one of about 50 elk that hang around the Crosstimber Ranch Subdivision a couple of miles east of Banks-Lowman Road, had starved to death.

In the past two weeks, three more young elk have died. That was after Yardley and his neighbors bought 4 to 5 tons of hay and began daily feedings.

He and other area residents are upset with state wildlife officials and say they should have done more, and done it sooner, for the animals amid this unusually harsh winter.

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County, residents duel over elk feeding

Homeowner files lawsuit over citations for private operation

Madelyn Beck Feb 24, 2017 IME

Controversy over private feeding of elk has erupted at Golden Eagle subdivision, with misdemeanor citations issued against two residents there for allegedly feeding the animals and a lawsuit filed by another homeowner in response.

Initiated by the Blaine County Land Use Department, the citations were issued by the Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 17 to David Sturdevant and George Golleher. On Tuesday, Feb. 21, Robert Kantor filed a complaint in 5th District Court in Hailey seeking an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the county code provision addressing feeding in the county’s Wildlife Overlay District, on the grounds that it is unconstitutionally vague. The suit also seeks at least $10,000 in damages from the Golden Eagle Ranch Homeowners Association for malicious prosecution.

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Man with drone causes 1,500 elk to stampede half a mile in Wyoming snow

by Associated Press Friday, February 24th 2017

Jackson, Wyo. (AP) — Wildlife refuge officials say a man with a drone caused 1,500 elk to stampede half a mile.

The stampede happened Monday at the National Elk Refuge in western Wyoming. Elk and bison often congregate at the refuge to eat feed put out to help them survive the winter.

This winter has been especially harsh. More than 3 feet of snow has piled up, conditions that can be very stressful for all kinds of animals.

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Montana Senate tells Wyoming to stop feeding elk

2/24/17 AP

Helena, Mont. — The Montana Senate has voted to tell Wyoming and federal wildlife officials to stop feeding elk outside Yellowstone National Park.

The resolution passed 50-0 Friday over concerns the feeding grounds increase the transmission of diseases that can be spread north into Montana.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Wyoming wildlife officials provide hay and alfalfa during the winter at nearly two dozen feeding sites, including the National Elk Refuge.

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Fish and Game seeks poachers who killed 28 pronghorns

KTVB February 24, 2017

Idaho Falls – The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is asking for the public’s help to catch those responsible for killing at least 28 pronghorns in eastern Idaho.

Conservation officers say the dead antelope were found in the Monteview area during the last week of January and the beginning of February.

“This is the most offensive case of poaching I have seen in my entire career!” said Regional Conservation Officer Doug Petersen.

Citizens Against Poaching is offering a $2,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and prosecution.

Tipsters can remain anonymous. Call CAP anytime at 1-800-632-5999.

(© 2017 KTVB)
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Horses rescued in Owyhee animal neglect case

KTVB February 21, 2017

A horse rescue group says they’ve saved 17 horses from a dire situation in Owyhee County.

Video provided by Idaho Horse Rescue shows some of the horses at their pasture in Eagle.

The group says they were contacted by the Owyhee County Sheriff’s Office about 38 starving horses that were seized in an animal neglect case.

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Officials plan capture of wild horses in central Idaho

2/22/17 AP

Challis, Idaho — Federal officials say they plan to capture 150 wild horses starting later this month in central Idaho near Challis and remove about 50 for adoption.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management in a news release Tuesday says the capture will likely go through mid-April using a large-scale bait trap operation.

Officials say the Challis Wild Horse Herd Management Area is under a court decree to maintain wild horse numbers within appropriate management levels.

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Owner of Snuggie-wearing goats located

KTVB February 23, 2017

Nampa police put out a call Thursday to find the owners of two lost, Snuggie-wearing goats. (Photo: Nampa police)

Nampa – The owner of two Snuggie-wearing goats in Nampa has been located, Nampa police said Thursday night.

The goats were found Thursday by police at Lake Lowell Avenue and South Midland Boulevard.

Police put the word out their owners that the goats were safe and at at the West Valley Humane Society shelter in Caldwell.

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Up to 600 waterfowl die in western Idaho from avian cholera

2/22/17 AP

Parma, Idaho — An estimated 500 to 600 ducks and geese have died due to avian cholera in western Idaho.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game in a news release on Tuesday says the birds were found dead on private land near Parma on Feb. 9.

Officials say tests on two Canada geese, six mallards and a red-tailed hawk identified avian cholera as the cause of the deaths.

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Dozens of crows found dead in Nampa

KTVB February 24, 2017

Nampa — A murder of crows?

Police say about 50 of the birds were found dead in Nampa last month.

The dead crows were discovered in the 400 block of 3rd Street South Jan. 19.

Several of the birds’ carcasses were turned over to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game for testing, and tested positive for a common ingredient in rat poison. The substance is an anticoagulant and causes massive internal bleeding and death for animals that ingest it.

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Bill introduced to raise invasive species sticker fee for out-of-state boaters

By Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review Feb 23, 2017

A fee increase for out-of-state boaters on invasive species stickers was introduced in the House Resources Committee this afternoon, on the recommendation of an interim panel of legislators who studied invasive species issues. The required stickers for out-of-state motorboats would rise from the current $22 to $30 on Jan. 1, 2018.

Rep. Mat Erpelding, D-Boise, presented the bill to the committee this afternoon. House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, asked him, “Why didn’t we go backwards and put an emergency clause on it,” to make it effective this past Jan. 1, or make it effective July 1? Erpelding said the interim committee wanted to start the increase July 1, but the state Parks Department advised that it couldn’t make the change until the next calendar year. “That’s the calendar year that they use for the tags,” Erpelding said.

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Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
February 24, 2017
Issue No. 821

Table of Contents

* First 2017 Spring Chinook Sport Fishery: Smaller Run But Larger Share Of Catch Than Previous Years

* Oregon FW Commission Hears White Sturgeon Update; No Harvest In Lower River Continues

* Corps Discussing Cost-Sharing For Watercraft Inspection Stations To Fight Invasive Mussels While Waiting For HQ Final Decision

* Forum Looks At Management Implications Of Ocean, Estuary Research; Juvenile Salmon Stop, Feed, Grow In Estuary

* Snorkeling Study Nails Down Fish Feeding Times For Juvenile Salmon In Estuaries: Early And Often

* Study Suggests Low Northwest Snowpacks Of 2014, 2015 May Became Increasingly Common

* Groups’ Suit Against EPA Seeks Temperature Pollution Budget For Columbia/Snake Rivers

* WDFW Opens One-Day Smelt Fishery On Cowlitz River, Modest Return Expected

* NW Power/Conservation Council Hears Update On Regional Efforts To Bring Back Pacific Lamprey

* Outflows Increase At Dworshak To Meet Flood Control Target, Will Raise Dissolved Gas In River

* Large-scale, Long-Term Experiment On Olympic Peninsula To Test Innovations In Forest Management; 16 Watersheds

* Tribal Sturgeon Gillnetting Success Slow In John Day, The Dalles Pools, Extended To March

* Avian Cholera Kills Over 500 Ducks, Geese Near Parma, Idaho

Fun Critter Stuff:

Meridian man’s pet squirrel goes nuts on burglar

Lacey Darrow Feb 13, 2017

Adam Pearl walked into his Meridian home Tuesday and realized something didn’t seem right.

“I came in the front door and I saw snow prints out in the front driveway going to the back of the house, so I thought something was awry because no one usually goes through the yard,” said Pearl.

Pearl was immediately greeted by his pet squirrel Joey when he got home, but the he started noticing a few doors that would normally be closed were open.

continued (don’t miss the video):
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Allen, Allen

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Raccoon hitches a ride on the back of a trash truck in Virginia

by Michelle Manzione/ ABC7 Friday, February 17th 2017

WASHINGTON (ABC7) — En route to work Friday morning, Politico reporter Helena Evich spotted an unusual sight… a raccoon hitching a ride on the back of a trash truck.


Fish & Game News:

F&G News Releases


Mardi Gras Tuesday, February 28

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”—the final feasting before the Christian season of Lent, which begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday.

Fat Tuesday is also called Shrove Tuesday, a name that comes from the practice of shriving—purifying oneself through confession—prior to Lent.

Traditionally, before fasting, Christians use up all the butter, sugar, and fat in the house, cooking up rich treats and fried foods.

Among the Pennsylvania Dutch, the Tuesday is called Fastnacht (fast night), and everyone enjoys the traditional fastnachtkuchen, a rectangular doughnut with a slit in the middle.

In Louisiana, the favorite treat is the beignet, a pillowly fried dough concoction.


In Polish communities, the Tuesday is called “Paczki Day,” after the puffy jelly-filled doughnuts traditionally enjoyed.

In England and many other countries, it’s called Pancake Day! Serve up some Shrove Tuesday Pancakes.

In countries with large Roman Catholic populations, Mardi Gras is also a day of revelry with festivals, parades, masked balls, and lavish dinners. In North America, New Orleans is the most known for its Mardi Gras celebrations with marching bands, decorated floats, colorful costumes and masks, lots of beads, and King Cakes.


Seasonal Humor:

Memories in late winter

I can recall warm summer days
of great beauty seen but rarely;
I can recall warm summer days,
but at this point only barely.

– The Bard of Sherman Avenue
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —



Idaho History February 26, 2017

Albert C. Behne

Founder of Yellow Pine

1902 – Albert Behne arrived in Yellow Pine basin with his belongings in a one-wheeled cart. (Withers in Sumner, p 13) He built a cabin, papered it with the Sunday, New York Times (Fuller)
— —

Albert C. Behne (1854-1945) homesteaded in the Yellow Pine Basin in 1902.

The 1910 census, (called the Roosevelt precinct) location “Yellow Pine Trail”, lists Albert C. Behne, age 52, prospector

source: Valley County GenWeb
— — — — — — — — — —

Albert Behne and sluicebox

source: Yellow Pine Museum
— — — — — — — — — —

Yellow Pine

Yellow Pine began as a settlement on the Johnson Creek flat, about 1/4 mile upstream from the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River. In 1906, Albert Behne established the first Yellow Pine post office and mail service. Behne had a dream. A grower of roses who loved classical music and opera, he envisioned a thriving city complete with street cars. In 1924, he received the patent on the 47 1/2 acres where the village presently exists, joining the Absteins and the Calls as property owners. In 1930, at the age of 76, he platted the present day Yellow Pine town site.

source: “Yellow Pine Cooks!” Community cook book organized by Y.E.S. (Yellow Pine Enhancement Society)
— — — — — — — — — —

Yellow Pine in 1931

photo credit Jim McCoy
— — — — — — — — — —

Yellow Pine Maps

1930 Yellow Pine Plat Map
(click on map for larger size)

source: Back County History Project, complied by Sharon McConnel
— — — —

1940 Metsker Atlas
(click on map for larger size)

source: Back County History Project, complied by Sharon McConnel
— — — — — — — — — —

Yellow Pine Post Office

“Mr. Behne and Mrs. Abstein were instrumental in getting a post office by writing letters — to prove the need for a post office. Mr. Behne established the post office in 1905.”

source: “Idaho Mountains Our Home” by Lafe and Emma Cox – Copyright 1977 by V.O. Ranch Books
— — — —

Morrison Post Office

established Oct. 5, 1906, Albert C. Behne.

The first post office is possibly the one known briefly as Morrison.


Post Office established April 5, 1904, Albert C. Behne
discontinued September 29, 1906, mail to Knox.

source: Valley County GenWeb

[h/t SMc]
— — — —

Mr. Merritt says that A. C. Behne, the deputy recorder at Morrison is putting up a good sized building to be used as a recorders office, postoffice and store. Mr. Behne aims to carry a good stock of goods which will be a great accommodation to that part of the country.

The Prospector and Thunder Mountain News May 13, 1905
— — — —

First Post Office (Known as Morrison)

(click image for larger size)

Yellow Pine, Idaho. First post office; burned 1905 or 1909.
Photo dated 1904
Earl Willson Collection. Copyright Idaho state Historical Society
photo source: Idaho State Historical Society
— — — —

Second Post Office

(click image for larger size)

Yellow Pine 2nd post office 1912 with Ray Call, (?) Smith, Theodore VanMeter and Albert C. Behne, postmaster and founder.
Photo dated 1912
Earl Willson Collection. Copyright Idaho state Historical Society

source: Idaho State Historical Society
— — — —

Albert Behne First Postmaster

… photo of Yellow Pine’s first postmaster, Albert Behne, at the facility he built. To the right of him is his sometime mining partner Ray Call.

source: Yellow Pine Museum
— — — — — — — — — —

Early Yellow Pine

by Earl Wilson

When this correspondent first entered Yellow Pine in 1907, accompanied by his father, the late “Profile Sam,” there were only three cabins – the first to be built in the area was unoccupied, and the other two were inhabited by the late Theodore Van-Meter and the late Albert C. Behne who finally became the postmaster, mining recorder, justice of the peace and the founder of Yellow Pine.

Contrary to some people who connect Yellow Pine and its later business and social activities with the Thunder Mountain era, may we set the record straight by saying that it was many years later before a few scattered log cabin homes were erected, or any places of business opened up in Yellow Pine – in fact not until the Bradley mining operations at the Yellow Pine Mine seemed permanent, that the hamlet even reached the proportion of a village. Then its fatherly founder, Mr. Behne, who had applied for a post office in 1905, carried his own mail from the, Johnson Creek bridge (now known as ‘Twin Bridges’) for at least once a week until finally the Roosevelt-Thunder Mountain route was abandoned and in turn rerouted to Yellow Pine about the year 1909.

source: Valley County GenWeb
— — — — — — — — — —

Yellow Pine Pioneers

Left back: Charles Ellison, Red Metals Mine owner; Fred Holcomb, ranch owner; Henry Abstien, Mining man/horticulturist; Earl Willson, son of Profile Sam.
Left front: Albert Behne, founder of Yellow Pine; Albert Hennessy, miner; Sam (“Profile Sam”) Willson, miner; Bert McCoy, packer; Jimmie Edwards.
Photo courtesy of Long Valley Preservation Society, via Ron Smith

source: Valley County GenWeb
[h/t SMc]

Further Reading

Link to Yellow Pine History index page

page updated October 10, 2022

Road Report Feb 26

Sunday (Feb 26) the road report from Saturday was “Bad”.

On Wednesday (Feb 22) mail truck driver (Robert) reported a slow rough trip in that morning. On the South Fork from Warm Lake to Poverty flats the road was very rutted, breaking up in spots and ice under the snow. From Reed Ranch to the junction there are were many little mudslides he lost count. Was able to drive over them, but a few are rather deep. The EFSF road was still really rough, said the biggest hump has been smoothed out a little.

Note: Conditions have probably changed with cooler temps and new snow. Winter hazard conditions continue, expect increased travel times.

Snow Totals (as of 1pm Sunday)
Yellow Pine ‘sno-brd’ 4800′ = 17″(avg.)
Big Creek SNOTEL 6580′ = 95″
Deadwood Summit SNOTEL = 142″


Weather Reports Feb 19-25

Note: As of Feb 26 6.15″ of water (rain and melted snow)

Feb 19 Weather:

At 930am it was 33 degrees, patches of blue sky and melting snow dripping off roof. Very light sprinkle started at 1215pm (didn’t last long), 39 degrees and patches of blue sky (dark clouds to the south.) At 130pm it was 41 degrees, overcast and not raining. Very light snow falling at 139pm. Dark clouds and snowing hard at 150pm, big huge flakes. Slacking off to light snow at 233pm. Big flakes of heavy wet snow fell from 315pm to 345pm then tapered off. Breaks in the clouds at 4pm. Light rain/snow at 430pm for about 30 minutes. At 615pm it was 32 degrees and overcast, measured an inch new snow (may have been more that melted and settled during the day.) At 11pm it was 31 degrees and snowing fat flakes. Still snowing at 1am. Still snowing at 2am, almost another inch new. At 6am it was 32 degrees and snowing. Turned to rain around 7am and melting.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time February 20, 2017 at 09:30AM
Overcast, raining and breezy
Max temperature 42 degrees F
Min temperature 31 degrees F
At observation 34 degrees F
Precipitation 0.29 inch
Snowfall 1 3/4 inch
Snow depth 17 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Feb 20 Weather:

At 930am it was 34 degrees, overcast and raining. At 1015am it was 36 degrees and raining. Rain/snow mix at 1pm for about 15 minutes, then back to all rain, breezy. Sleet/rain mix at 143pm for a few minutes, then back to rain, breezy. Another round of sleet/rain at 158pm for about 15 minutes, then back to rain and breezy. Alternating hard showers of sleet/rain with light rain until 4pm and breezy. At 630pm it was 36 degrees, breezy and cloudy. At 845pm it was 35 degrees and not raining. At 11pm it was 33 degrees and raining. Still raining at 2am. At 6am it was 34 degrees and raining.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time February 21, 2017 at 09:30AM
Overcast, steady rain
Max temperature 42 degrees F
Min temperature 32 degrees F
At observation 35 degrees F
Precipitation 0.70 inch
Snowfall 0.0 inch
Snow depth 16 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Feb 21 Weather:

At 930am it was 35 degrees, overcast and raining. At 10am it was “bloppy” rain (semi-snow.) At 1130am rain/snow mix. At 1155am light rain with a few flakes, getting a little more light and breezy. At 1pm little snowballs coming down pretty good. Rain/snow mix at 130pm. At 2pm very light rain/snow mix, and breezy. At 245pm it was not raining (for about 30 min.), and windy. At 445pm starting to snow lightly. Light snow falling at 530pm and breezy. At 630pm it was 34 degrees, breezy and occasional flakes. Light snow at 1215am. about 1/4″ new snow. Snowed during the night. Still snowing at 7am.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time February 22, 2017 at 09:30AM
Partly cloudy, lots of blue sky
Max temperature 39 degrees F
Min temperature 27 degrees F
At observation 30 degrees F
Precipitation 0.16 inch
Snowfall 1.7 inch
Snow depth 18 inch (average)
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Feb 22 Weather:

At 930am it was 30 degrees, partly cloudy (big patches blue sky.) Sunshine came and went as clouds moved thru. Mostly cloudy by noon, warming up and melting new snow. Overcast by 2pm. Started snowing just before 5pm and breezy at times. At 615pm it was 29 degrees, low clouds and steady snow (nearly 1/4″ so far.) At 9pm not snowing. At 1am it was 26 degrees and not snowing.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time February 23, 2017 at 09:30AM
Cloudy and breezy
Max temperature 41 degrees F
Min temperature 23 degrees F
At observation 27 degrees F
Precipitation 0.03 inch
Snowfall 0.3 inch
Snow depth 17 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Feb 23 Weather:

At 930am it was 27 degrees, cloudy and breezy. Cloudy and chilly all day, no precipitation. At 630pm it was 26 degrees, overcast and chilly breeze. At 1am it was 24 degrees.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time February 24, 2017 at 09:30AM
High thin haze, fine light snow falling
Max temperature 32 degrees F
Min temperature 14 degrees F
At observation 19 degrees F
Precipitation Trace
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth 17 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Feb 24 Weather:

At 930am it was 19 degrees, very thin high hazy clouds and fine light snow falling until 10am (barely a trace.) Thicker clouds after lunch. Chilly breezes. Around 545pm a few tiny flakes of snow fell for a few minutes. At 7pm it was 25 degrees. At 8pm it was 24 degrees and cloudy. At 2am a few stars out.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time February 25, 2017 at 09:30AM
Mostly cloudy, flakes of snow falling
Max temperature 32 degrees F
Min temperature 7 degrees F
At observation 12 degrees F
Precipitation Trace
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth 17 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Feb 25 Weather:

At 930am it was 12 degrees, mostly cloudy and a few flakes of snow falling. At 1pm it was 31 degrees, and filtered sun. Increasing clouds in the afternoon. Light snow falling just after 5pm, lasted about 30 minutes. At 615pm it was 25 degrees and partial clearing. At 1am it was 22 degrees, no stars, and a bit breezy. Flaking snow before 9am.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time February 26, 2017 at 09:30AM
Overcast, breezy, flaking snow
Max temperature 33 degrees F
Min temperature 12 degrees F <- yesterday morning
At observation 25 degrees F
Precipitation Trace
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth 17 inch

Avalanche Advisory Feb 26, 2017

Avalanche Advisory Feb 26, 2017

Bottom Line

The Avalanche Danger is MODERATE above 7000 feet today on wind affected slopes. Winds gusting around the compass over the last 5 days have left multiple layers of wind slabs sensitive to the weight of a skier or snowmobiler scattered across exposed, upper elevation terrain. The Avalanche Danger below 7000 ft where soft snow exists on protected slopes is LOW. Very firm conditions will be found in the lower elevations.

Avalanche Problem #1: Wind Slab

Wind slabs have been our main avalanche concern through most of the last week. After a mostly calm day yesterday, winds shifted around to the W and WSW overnight with gusts in the 20+ range. Throughout the last week we have seen winds in excess of 30 mph from a variety of directions. Expect multiple generations and layers of wind slabs on upper elevation, wind exposed terrain today. Shallow, and sensitive wind slabs may be found below ridgetops, in gullies or other small terrain features on most upper elevation slopes. Over the last week, these wind slabs have been responsible for several human triggered avalanches as well as a substantial natural avalanche cycle. In most areas, the weak layers are in the upper 45 cm (18 in) of the snowpack. Several of the recent avalanches were triggered in these shallow layers and then “stepped” down or were able to propagate down through some dense snow to the February 9 rain crust(see photo below). In some areas this week we have also found a layer of rounding facets above this crust which is giving us hard results but very clean shear planes in our pit tests.

Also, keep in mind that cornices are very large and overhanging right now. Avoid traveling past the vegetation line on any corniced ridgelines right now, if you go past the trees, you are probably on overhanging snow. We have seen some very large cornice failures over the last few weeks.

The good news is that not only are these wind affected areas not where you want to be skiing or riding right now but they are also easy to recognize; wind sculpted, textured or scoured northerly slopes are easy to pick out visually. Also, plenty of soft, deep snow will be found out of these exposed areas and lower down in wind protected terrain. The bad news is that starting later this morning, SSW winds are going to continue to ramp up with an approaching storm system settling in for the first half of the week. 3-5 inches of snow is forecasted for today which is going to start camouflaging our current wind slab problem and add some new snow for yet another round of fresh wind slab to start forming. Expect the avalanche danger to rise through the afternoon today and tomorrow as the new snow starts to accumulate.

Advisory Discussion

Snowmobiler/Snowbiker Travel Restrictions: 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. It is your responsiblity to know where closures exist on the forest.

The Granite Mountain Area Closure is in effect Jan15-March 31, please respect Snowcats operating in this and nearby areas. In addition there are other areas on the Payette National Forest that are CLOSED to snowmobile traffic including Jughandle Mt east of Jug Meadows, North of Boulder Mtn, East of Rapid Peak, North of the 20 mile drainage, 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”).

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.We have equipment that is overdue for replacement but lack the funds to purchase new gear including weather station parts and our forecast sleds. 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.

Recent Observations

Several Northerly slopes failed earlier this week producing large avalanches down to a weak layer near the Feburary 9th rain crust. Skiers and Snowmobilers were able to trigger shallow wind slabs and storm slabs in many places as well. While these slabs have begun to stabilize over the week, avoiding steep, easy to spot wind affected terrain is going to be your most prudent choice today. Small sluffs or loose, dry avalanches are also a concern on steep slopes. Cornices have also continued to grow over the last week and we are seeing some of the bigger cornices we have seen in a few years on the ridgetops. Avoid heavily corniced areas as these monsters are really unpredictable right now.

A good practice and route finding excercise is to consider the consequences of something breaking before you get out on steeper terrain. What kind of slope is it? Where would an avalanche take you? Are there trees or rocks below? Is there an escape route available? Play it safe in wind affected terrain and enjoy all of the soft deep snow on protected aspects. Sledders and skiers will find plenty of fresh snow out there right now.


SHORT TERM…Today through Monday…Cold upper trough will carve out a position over the Pac NW through Monday. Energy dropping into the trough along with afternoon instability will keep a chance of showers over much the area, though the focus of more continuous snowfall will be across the east-central Oregon and central Idaho mountains. Highest accumulations still look to concentrate over the west-central Idaho mountains with slightly lesser amounts in Baker county, the Weiser basin and Boise mountains. Further to the south, to include the Snake Plain and southeast Oregon, precipitation amounts will be light, totaling a tenth of an inch or less through Monday. Snow accumulation will generally be limited to sites above 4k feet during the daylight hours, though temperatures Sunday night will be cold enough to support accumulations at all elevations. Any snowfall Sunday night in the lower basins and valleys will be sporadic and light, with less than an inch for sites that see snow. The advisory for the west-central Idaho mountains remains in place, while rest of area stays below criteria. Winds pick up today ahead of the trough, adding a windchill to the well below normal temperatures. Winds are lighter tonight and Monday, but temperatures will remain around 10 degrees below normal.

LONG TERM…Monday night through Saturday…Models still have the cold upper level trough exiting east of our area on Tuesday, followed by cool northwest flow aloft through Thursday. There will be enough moisture embedded in this flow for snow showers over the mountains of Baker County Oregon and central Idaho, but the remainder of our area is expected to be dry. Friday through Saturday a Pacific weather system will spread precipitation across our area. There will be a gradual warming trend through the period, and temperatures will be close to normal Friday and Saturday, with snow levels rising to around 5000 feet.

Winter Weather Advisory Feb 26, 11am to Feb 27, 11am

Yellow Pine Forecast

Winter Weather Advisory

National Weather Service Boise ID
357 AM MST Sun Feb 26 2017

...Snow to Impact the Western and Central Mountains of Idaho
through Monday...

.A low pressure system dropping into the Pacific Northwest will
bring accumulating snow to the central Idaho mountains through
Monday. Snow will begin this morning and continue through Monday
morning as the low moves through the area. Snowfall is anticipated
to weaken Monday afternoon and evening.

West Central Mountains-
357 AM MST Sun Feb 26 2017


* SNOW AMOUNTS...3 to 5 inches mountain valleys with 5 to 10
  inches above 6000 feet.

* WINDS...Southerly winds of 10 to 20 mph Sunday will create areas
  of blowing snow. Winds will dissipate to less than 10 mph Sunday
  night and Monday.

* TIMING...The snow will begin Sunday morning, and continue though
  Monday morning, with the heaviest snowfall expected to occur
  Sunday afternoon and evening.

* IMPACTS...Snow will create hazardous travel conditions due to
  snow packed roads and reduced visibility.


A Winter Weather Advisory for snow means that periods of snow
will primarily cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow
covered roads and limited visibilities...and use caution while

Avalanche Advisory Feb 22, 2017

Avalanche Advisory Feb 22, 2017

Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE above 7,000 feet. Snow and strong winds have created slabs in exposed and sheltered terrain on multiple aspects. Multiple generations of wind slabs may be sensitive to the weight of skiers and riders, may be up to 3’ thick, and have formed on top of a variety of surfaces. Below 7,000 feet the avalanche danger is MODERATE.

Avalanche Problem #1: Wind Slab

Winds out of the West-Southwest, along with warmer snow did a good job yesterday of producing a heavier, slabby layer on the surface of the snow on multiple aspects where the snow was not protected, giving us an upside down layer that is now buried by 4-6 inches of light density snow as the storm cooled down. The winds were very strong yesterday, knocking mature trees over, and producing natural slab avalanches up to 3 feet deep, as seen in the photo [below] of an avalanche yesterday on Granite Mountain’s Baby Face (NNE 7200ft).

Avalanche Problem #2: Storm Slab

In middle and upper elevations, where the wind did not got a chance to affect the new snow or the snow was too dense (wet), storm slabs will be likely. Be heads up when traveling in/on/above or below steep terrain today. Even a small convex on a slope could cause a storm slab to be triggered.

Advisory Discussion

Snowmobiler/Snowbiker Travel Restrictions: 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. It is your responsibility to know where closures exist on the forest.

The Granite Mountain Area Closure is in effect Jan15-March 15, please respect Snowcats operating in this and nearby areas. In addition there are other areas on the Payette National Forest that are CLOSED to snowmobile traffic including Jughandle Mt east of Jug Meadows,North of Boulder Mtn, East of Rapid Peak, 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”).

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.

We rely on our snowmobiles to bring you quality forecasts. Currently two of our sleds have nearly 8,000 miles on them. We need your help raising funds for replacements! Please contact us if you can help in any way or click DONATE tab.

Recent Observations

Yesterday, Brundage Catski reported a natural slab avalanche up to 3 feet deep Granite Mountain’s Baby Face (NNE 7200ft).

Check out the observation in our observations section, where othe skiers have reported triggering similar slides.

Monday we got a report of a natural wind slab avalanche on the Brundage ridge line just out of bounds from the ski area on a west aspect at 7,200 feet. We don’t know much, however, we do know that it was approx. 200 feet wide with a crown depth of approx. 20 inches.

Sunday we had a report from local guides of natural storm slab avalanches on northwest aspects at around 7,000 feet on ‘Double North’. These avalanches were failing on 38 degree slopes and ran 150 feet with a crown of approx. 1 foot. On Slab Butte the guides were able to get slabs to release 10-12 inches deep on steep roll overs with ski cuts on west aspects.

Natural avalanches are the #1 RED FLAG for dangerous avalanche conditions.


TODAY Snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 23. West southwest wind 6 to 9 mph becoming north in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

LONG TERM…Thursday night through Tuesday… Weak ridging over the region Thursday night through Saturday as a weak upper level low pressure system moves south along the Pacific Northwest coast. This will bring west-southwesterly flow over the region and limit cold air advection. Limited moisture remains over the area but there could be enough for showers across the higher elevations Friday and Saturday afternoons. Models continue to differ on their handling of another stronger upper level low pressure system forecast to move south along the coast Friday night through Saturday. Confidence remains low as each new model run continues to shift this low pressure system farther south along the California coast before it weakens as it shifts inland Sunday/Monday. At the moment, the best chance for precipitation looks to be Monday with a warm frontal passage. Precipitation type will be tricky, but it would appear the valleys would see a mix of wet snow and rain below 4000 feet with the mountains seeing all snow. Above-freezing ground temperatures will likely limit snowfall as well. A warming trend follows with an upper level ridge building over the west coast through the middle of next week. Moist northwesterly flow could bring showers to the higher terrain Tuesday and Wednesday. Below normal temperatures Friday will slowly increase, reaching near normal by Wednesday.

Road Report Feb 22

Wednesday (Feb 22) mail truck driver (Robert) reports a slow rough trip in this morning. On the South Fork from Warm Lake to Poverty flats the road is very rutted, breaking up in spots and ice under the snow. From Reed Ranch to the junction there are so many little mudslides he lost count. Was able to drive over them, but a few are rather deep. The EFSF road is still really rough, said the biggest hump has been smoothed out a little. Plow truck came in ahead of the mail truck and skimmed off the new snow that fell during the weekend and pushed boulders off the South Fork road. (Plow truck headed up Johnson Creek.)

Local streets are packed ice with a small layer of slush and snow on top.

We have received 6.12″ of water (rain and melted snow) so far in Feb

Snow Totals:
Yellow Pine ‘sno-brd’ 4800′ = 18″
Big Creek SNOTEL 6580′ = 94″ (?)
Deadwood Summit SNOTEL = 142″

Stream gauge on the So Fork by Krassel


Feb 19, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

Feb 19, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Avalanches and Mudslides

The East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River Road was closed on Thursday due to an avalanche, then closed again on Friday due to numerous mudslides. Dave headed out with the backhoe and worked Friday, Saturday and most of Sunday by himself. A Midas Gold track-hoe was walked down from the mine and headed out to help Sunday afternoon. By Monday afternoon they had cleared a “jeep trail” and we got a report that the road was “sort of open” – 4×4 and caution required.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Many thanks to Dave McClintock and Chuck Eilers from Midas Gold for getting a path carved thru 22 mud slides on the EFSF road.

There were no slides between YP and Stibnite.
— — — —

Wolves Still Around

Heard more than one wolf howling off in the distance Tuesday afternoon. Watch your pets.
— — — —


Ed Staub and Sons Propane will be coming in on Wednesday the 22nd of February. If anyone wants topped off, give them a call 634-3833.
— — — —

Valley County Centennial

Yellow Pine will participate in the Valley County Centennial on Saturday, February 25th. There will be a pie contest at 1pm at the Yellow Pine Tavern, a Midas Gold presentation at 2pm also at the Tavern, and a bonfire at the Community Hall at 3pm lit by Commissioner Bill Willey. Commissioner Willey will have a brief meet-and-greet before heading off to light the fire at Warm Lake.

If you want to help out, bring a few sticks of firewood for the bonfre. Please contact Deb Filler at 633-6945 or fillerd2 @ for more info.
— — — —

Winter Snow in Yellow Pine

A reader asked, “Are you having more snow than normal this winter in Yellow Pine?”

As of the morning of Feb 19, our total snow fall this winter = 62.5″. We received 4″ of snow and 4.97″ of water thus far in Feb, lots of rain (not counting what fell today.)

Compared to the previous 7 winters, it appears we have already received nearly as much as we would for the whole winter. We will have to see what March and April bring.

Winter 2010/2011 Snow Fall = 94.7″
Winter 2011/2012 Snow Fall = 53.5″
Winter 2012/2013 Snow Fall = 75.1″
Winter 2013/2014 Snow Fall = 57.2″
Winter 2014/2015 Snow Fall = 34.7″
Winter 2015/2016 Snow Fall = 86.9″
[463.55″ / 7 winters = 66.22″]

I suspect we are way ahead of average on our “water year” (rain plus melted snow.)

Local Observations:

Monday (Feb 13) cold (11 degrees) and almost clear this morning, an average of 18″ of snow on the ground. Fresh canine tracks in the road. The EFSF road is probably still closed this morning, but a report that Midas will be helping Dave work on the slides today. Talked to MTE and found out our spotty internet was due to a “DNS Server” being down. They are working on it. Small airplane flew over the village shortly before 1230pm. Jays visiting the feeders, warming sunshine after lunch. A few high hazy clouds early afternoon. High of 43 degrees! Got a report they had cleared a single lane “jeep trail” thru the slide. Clear evening, beautiful Venus in the west as evening star at dusk.

Tuesday (Feb 14) clear and cold this morning (13 degrees). Small birds calling from the forest, jays shrieking in the neighborhood. Above freezing by lunch time, loud snowmobile traffic. Mail truck made it in. Sunny all day and warm (high of 48F!) but not much melting except where the sun can reflect heat off buildings and trees. Jay visiting the feeder. A couple of wolves were howling in the distance late this afternoon. Clear and twinkly stars before midnight.

Wednesday (Feb 15) clouds and rising temps this morning. Average 18″ snow on the ground. Saw a couple of p/u trucks coming into the village via the EFSF road, so apparently folks are still getting thru the slide area. Filtered sun and warm today (high 53 degrees), snow melting somewhat and ponding up a little. Streets are slick where the sun hits. Still above freezing at dusk, feels humid. Started raining around 4am.

Thursday (Feb 16) low clouds, ridges socked in, steady rain, above freezing, breezy at times. Streets are solid ice with water on top, very slick! Steady rain all day, harder rain from 2pm to 430pm, then back to steady rain. Snow melting, puddles getting bigger, paths and street are even slicker than this morning. Quiet day, low foggy clouds. Internet slow, spotty, out at times after 6pm for over an hour. Probably quit raining around midnight. Power out from 125am to 141am. Skiff of snow fell around 7am.

Friday (Feb 17) high thin clouds and 32 degrees this morning. Heard a raven calling. Warmed up and melted some snow today. no precipitation. Noisy snowmobile traffic off and on. High thin clouds at dark. A couple gun shots at 717pm and 719pm. Cloudy and above freezing before midnight.

Saturday (Feb 18) snowmobiles traffic early. Above freezing, low overcast and light rain falling by 930am. Local streets very icy. Rain showers all day. Snowmobile traffic off and on. Rain, low clouds and some fog at dark. Rained until around midnight. Snow fell before 7am.

Sunday (Feb 19) patches of blue sky this morning and above freezing, quarter inch of new snow melting (average of 16″ of snow still on the ground.) Woodpecker drumming, jays calling and small birds twittering from the trees. After lunch it snowed, then it really snowed (big fat wet flakes) for a while. Later in the afternoon more wet heavy snow fell for about 30 minutes. Some snowmobile traffic during the day. Probably over an inch of snow fell today, but settled and melted some by the time I measured a full inch at dusk.

Idaho News:

Valley County to seek funds after slides on East Fork Road

Access to Yellow Pine blocked for four days

By Max Silverson for The Star-News Feb 16, 2017

Valley County Commissioners on Monday declared a state of emergency after mudslides blocked the East Fork South Fork Road in 22 places.

Photo by Cecil Dallman – Photo shows a pickup making its way through path cleared through one of 22 slides that fell across the East Fork of the South Fork Road near Yellow Pine last week.

The slides happened on Friday following last week’s heavy rains and blocked the main access to the remote town of Yellow Pine for four days.

Pathways through the slides were cleared by crews and equipment from Midas Gold Corp., which is developing a gold mine at Stibnite, and Yellow Pine resident Dave McClintock, county road and bridge supervisor Jeff McFadden said.

County road crews cannot go to the site due to the risk of snow storms, McFadden said.

“If I take my equipment in there to work on these slides and it starts snowing out here in the valley, I will not be able to remove snow from the routes,” he said.

The state of emergency will allow the county to request funding from the state to help with the cost of the clean-up. The county’s budget has no money for such work.

Meanwhile, the county has hired a private contractor to begin clearing the slides, he said.

The local emergency declaration says Valley County is “fiscally challenged to undertake and sustain” efforts to repair damaged roadways to allow access for emergency services and public safety.

Valley County Emergency Services Manager Juan Bonilla said a local emergency declaration streamlines clean-up efforts.

“We can contract other agencies, individuals or contractors to mobilize without having to go through the normal bidding process,” said Bonilla, who is also the Donnelly fire chief.

The declaration allows for county funds outside of the normal road department budget to be made available, he said.

“It is too early to tell if this emergency will escalate,” Bonilla said. “Beyond a certain point we will require state assistance, but I can’t speculate at this point.”

Declaring a local state of emergency is the first step in seeking state disaster funding. On Monday, the commissioners will review a resolution to make the declaration more official.

“When we have these events, generally we try and receive additional funding from outside sources,” commission Chair Gordon Cruickshank said.

“If nothing comes through, then what we do is cut back on summer projects,” Cruickshank said.

The county could impose an emergency property-tax levy, but Cruickshank said that option was unlikely.

source The Star-News:
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Large boulder blocks lane on Banks-Lowman Road

KTVB 8:52 PM. MST February 19, 2017

A large boulder blocks a lane of Idaho 55 near Lowman Sunday afternoon. ITD is warning of rock slides along the popular highway. (Photo: Sherice White-lyda)

Banks, ID – The Idaho Transportation Department is warning drivers to watch out of falling rocks along Idaho 55 Sunday evening. Wet weather this weekend has increased the potential for slides along the popular central Idaho corridor.

At least one large rock did slide onto a nearby highway Sunday afternoon.

A KTVB viewer sent in a photo showing a boulder resting on the Banks-Lowman Road (Highway 17) near the town of Lowman. The boulder, which appears to have slid down the hillside with other rocks and debris, is blocking one lane of the road. ITD has not said when the boulder will be removed.

In addition to slides, ITD also warned of snow on the roadway further north in the Donnelly/Cascade area, and said drivers should watch out for large animals on the road.

For the latest on Idaho travel conditions, visit ITD’s online road report, or call 1-888-432-7623.

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Bonfires, celebration to note Valley County centennial Feb. 25-26

The Star-News Feb 16, 2017

Bonfires will be lit throughout Valley County on Saturday, Feb. 25, to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the county.

The weekend centennial celebration will continue on Sunday, Feb. 26, with events in Cascade.

Bonfires will be lit in various parts of the county before torchbearers converge on Cascade on Feb. 25.

Valley County commissioner Bill Willey will start the celebration when he lights a bonfire in Yellow Pine at 3 p.m. and then travels to do the same at the North Shore Lodge at Warm Lake at 5 p.m..

At 6 p.m., a bonfire will be lit at Centennial Plaza in McCall by McCall City Council member Nic Swanson and Keith Hobbs and Tammy Kolsky from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. The trio will then head to Donnelly to light a bonfire at Hunters Meadows at 7 p.m. County commissioner Elt Hasbrouck will light the bonfire at Smiths Ferry.

All the torch bearers will gather at the American Legion Hall in Cascade, where the final bonfire will be lit at 8 p.m.

full story at The Star-News:
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Valley County adopts changes to ordinance on outdoor lighting

By Max Silverson for The Star-News Feb 16, 2017

Valley County commissioners on Monday voted to adopt changes to the county lighting ordinance intended to cut down on light pollution.

The amendment consists of what were called minor changes in the “dark-sky” rules put in place in 2004.

The only change that will affect most citizens says that outdoor LED lighting color shall not exceed 3,000 Kelvin, which is equivalent to slightly more than a 100-watt incandescent bulb, commissioner Bill Willey said.

The changes also limit the upward lighting of flagpoles, but also encourages that flags be taken down at night.

The rules apply to areas in the county that are outside the cities of McCall, Donnelly and Cascade.

The amendment also includes illustrations that more clearly show examples of the shielded lights that the 2004 rules made mandatory.

Planning and zoning administrator Cynda Herrick said the new ordinance isn’t changing anything in terms of shielding, but more clearly conveys the rule.

full story at The Star-News:
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H&W releases new radon survey results for Valley, Adams

The Star-News Feb 16, 2017

High levels of radon gas have been found in up to 38 percent of homes tested in the local area, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Division of Public Health.

Results of voluntary home testing done through July 2016 found 38 percent of 37 homes tested in New Meadows were found to have levels of radon gas that is higher than the recommended safe level, the H&W said.

In McCall, 32 percent of 242 homes tested were above the safe standard, while 14 percent of the 28 homes in Donnelly tested higher than the standard.

In Cascade, a total of 17 percent of the 72 homes tested were found to have higher than the safety standards, H&W found.

The new results are not significantly different than previous testing, said Racheal Castaneda, health education specialists with H&W.

However, the new results reinforce the need for all homeowners to have their homes tested for radon, Castaneda said.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas found in nearly all soils. Human exposure to the gas is second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, according to the H&W.

Test kits are available at and cost $9.95 for kits that take tests over three to seven days and $21.95 for kits that take tests for between three months and a year.

The website also has a listing of professionals that can install radon resistant measures, including gravel layers, plastic sheeting, sealing and caulking, and vent pipes. For more information, go to or call (800) 445-8647.

source The Star-News:
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Two Bear Air rescues man buried in Idaho avalanche

KREM February 12, 2017

Two Bear Air Rescue saves man buried in avalanche (Photo: Black, Tony)

McCall, Idaho – Two Bear Air Rescue helped save a man who found himself buried under an avalanche in McCall.

According to officials, the man had parked on the top of a ridge with some other snowmobilers he was with when the cornice – or a mass of hardened snow at the edge of a mountain — broke away taking the man down the slope.

Officials with Two Bear said the man was buried but managed to clear the snow around his body. A Life Flight helicopter out of Boise searched the area and found a hole where the man was. The terrain made it impossible to land so they called in help from Two Bear Air.

continued w/video:
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Cascade pool gets cover, open year-round

Dean Johnson, KTVB February 17, 2017

The Cascade pool is now covered by a plastic dome so the facility can be used year-round. (Photo: KTVB)

Cascade, Idaho – It’s been a long time coming, but for the first time ever the city of Cascade has a year-round pool.

The city’s recreational pool opened back in September, but didn’t have any type of cover — until now.

People called it amazing, magnificent, and beautiful when they stepped out of their vehicles and got a firsthand look at the newly-covered geothermal pool.

It’s a dome cover that’s blown up by fans, it is 88 degrees inside and now provides this city with year-round activities.

continued w/video report:
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Flu deaths on the rise in Idaho; officials urge vaccination

2/18/17 12:07 PM

Boise, Idaho — Flu deaths are on the rise in Idaho, and state health officials are warning residents to get vaccinated and take other precautions against influenza.

Idaho’s state flu surveillance coordinator, Dr. Leslie Tengelsen, says so far this season 47 flu-related deaths have been reported. That makes this year the most severe flu season since 2000.

Tengelsen says the flu season is far from over, and it’s not too late to get vaccinated, which provides the best protection form the illness.

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Two Idaho highways remain closed due to avalanches

KTVB February 14, 2017

BOISE – Crews are working to clear two stretches of Idaho highway that were shut down because of large amounts of snow and debris on the road.

Highway 75 remains closed due to continued avalanche activity in the area between Stanley and Clayton.

continued w/helicopter video:
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Hwy 75


Idaho 75 north of Stanley still closed due to avalanche danger but a single lane open to residents only

New aerial footage of snow and debris on SH-21 between Lowman and Stanley. Video taken 2/11/2017.

Check TWitter for updates:
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Hwy 21


Crews continue to clear debris and snow from SH-21 between Lowman and Stanley. Snow is as deep as 60′ in some locations on the highway.

Check Twitter for updates:
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Unless they have insurance, Weiser residents won’t really get help from declaration funds

by Amika Osumi & KBOI News Staff Monday, February 13th 2017

Weiser, Idaho (KBOI) — The devastation in Weiser continues, and will be an ongoing problem for residents without insurance.

After the flooding resided over the weekend, some homeowners still couldn’t get to their houses because of massive piles of ice from the river.

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Winter damage insurance claims piling up

by Scott Logan Friday, February 17th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Property damage claims from the heavy snowfall this winter are starting to pile up at insurance companies across the area.

KBOI 2 News talked to some insurance agents locally and around the region who say they’ve never seen so many snow and ice-related property damage claims before.

Many of the claims are related to those ice dams that formed on roofs this winter, forcing water to seep into walls and causing a lot of damage.

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Weiser braces for more flooding

by Devan Kaney Saturday, February 18th 2017

Weiser, Idaho (KBOI) — Just eight days after Weiser was hit by a flood that damaged several homes and acres of farmland, the community could be facing more weather troubles ahead.

KBOI 2’s Devan Kaney spoke with residents who are still cleaning up from last weeks flood damage, and now have to prepare for more potential river flooding.

“Everything up high is going to come down,” Weiser residents, James Harvey, said.

Mother nature has not been kind to Weiser this Winter.

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Minidoka County continues relief efforts amid flooding

By Kaitlin Loukides Updated: Feb 14, 2017

Minidoka County, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – Folks across Minidoka County came out en masse this past week to help with flood relief efforts, and again on Monday, more than 8,000 more sandbags were filled by volunteers at the Minidoka County Fairgrounds.

The sheriff’s office said they believe mroe than 30,000 sandbags were filled this past week, and they have been much-needed.

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Large piece of canyon collapses during flood


Jerome ID — Gary Jordan stepped out of his shop south of Jerome Thursday just as the ground shook.

“I could feel the percussion,” Jordan said. “It sounded like a propane tank blew up.”

… “We were fighting the flood a mile north (of the canyon),” said Callen. “The canyon was roaring like a jet engine. We knew something had happened.”

Reality hit when Callen returned to Triple C Farms where he and his two brother farm on the canyon rim. A 50-foot by 100-yard section on the rim had collapsed under the floodwaters.

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Flooding ongoing in east Idaho, Snake River Canyon affected

by Associated Press Tuesday, February 14th 2017

Pocatello, Idaho (AP) – Flooding is continuing to affect communities in southern and eastern Idaho as warm weather melts significant snowpack in lower elevations.

More than a third of Idaho’s 44 counties have declared disaster areas, including Bingham and Caribou. Temperatures cooled on Friday and through the weekend, offering some respite from the runoff, but many communities are already dealing with significant flooding and ice jams.

Bear Lake County officials have also considered signing a disaster declaration due to some flooded basements and fields.

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Roof collapses at The Hub in Atlanta

KTVB February 18, 2017

(Photo: Shelley Chalk)

Atlanta, Idaho – For at least the second time in two weeks, heavy snow has led to a roof collapse at a business in Atlanta – a mountain town in northern Elmore County.

The roof collapsed Friday at The Hub, a restaurant and bar.

The sheriff’s office says that no injuries were reported.

KTVB has not been able to reach the owners.


Public Lands:

Fundraiser helping yurt and trail restoration

KTVB February 17, 2017

Boise – A local brewer and its customers are helping restore trails and yurts that were damaged or destroyed in last year’s Pioneer Fire.

The fire destroyed one yurt and damaged the other five in the Idaho City yurt and trail system.

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation says only two were publicly accessible for the current winter season.

Friday, the department accepted a check for $12,225 raised by the recent “Kegs 4 Kause” fundraiser held at Payette Brewing Company in Boise.

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Boise National Forest hires new deputy supervisor

Associated Press, KTVB February 19, 2017

Boise – The Boise National Forest has a new deputy supervisor.

Tawnya Brummett will take over as deputy forest supervisor starting Monday. Previously, she worked as the deputy forest supervisor for the Tongass National Forest in Alaska since 2015.

She has a degree in wildlife biology from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.

Boise National Forest Supervisor Cecilia Seesholtz says she’s looking forward to Brummett joining her team.


Letter to Share:

Mystic Farm Calendars

Feb 13, 2017

Hello Everyone!

It’s only February, so there is still plenty of time left in 2017 to use and enjoy this year’s Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue calendar! We have only six (6) available, so we are offering them for a minimum donation of only $10.00 each. Every month contains a beautiful photo of the fawns at Mystic Farm. If they have to be mailed, a couple of bucks for postage would be appreciated.

Just send me an email with your order.

Thanks for your continued support!
Dory McIsaac mysticfarmrescue @
Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc.

Critter News:

Environmental groups seek to stop wolf killings in Idaho

by Associated Press Tuesday, February 14th 2017

Lewiston, Idaho (AP) — Environmental groups are asking a judge to stop the federal Wildlife Service agency from killing wolves in Idaho.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that the groups have filed a motion for summary judgment in their case, which argues the Wildlife Services has failed to follow the National Environmental Policy Act when killing dozens of wolves in Idaho’s Lolo zone over the last six years.

Federal law requires the government to study and publish the environmental consequences of its proposed actions and to consider alternatives. However, the lawsuit claims the agency is basing wolf control actions on an outdated environmental assessment from 2011.

The lawsuit asks a federal judge to require the Wildlife Service to set aside the 2011 assessment and require the agency to expand its study or update it.

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Educating public to resolve wildlife conflict

Government trapper Cody Wilson

By Shelley Neal, Idaho County Free Press Tuesday, February 14, 2017

“I enjoy working with people and helping reduce any losses and conflicts they may be having,” said Cody Wilson, wildlife specialist, U.S.D.A. Wildlife Services.

Old school, this position was called government trapper, nowadays, wildlife specialist.

Since 1886, government trappers have provided assistance to people struggling with wildlife damage issues. Their efforts traditionally involved the protection of crops and livestock from beavers, birds and predators, such as coyotes, wolves, bears, bobcats and mountain lions.

Government trappers, as experts in their field, knew the lay of the land and the intricate lives of the wildlife that lived there. Many of these hardy men grew up hunting and trapping with their families and respected the connections among people, wildlife, and the environment. They also built strong ties to the ranchers and farmers who depended on them to protect their livelihoods.

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Wolf control board reports its cost per wolf killed is dropping, population ‘stabilizing’

By Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review Feb 15, 2017

At the budget hearing this morning on Idaho’s Wolf Depredation Control Board, to which lawmakers have been allocating $400,000 a year in state funds for the past three years to contract to have problem wolves killed, the board reported that its cost per wolf killed has been dropping. “In fiscal year ’16, the cost per wolf removal was $9,005 dollars per wolf,” board member Carl Rey told the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. “In ’17, it was $8,003 dollars per wolf so far.”

Rey said those figures do include some other costs besides direct wolf-killing, including collaring of wolves – which can cost $2,000 per collared wolf – to monitor the population. Plus, he said, “Our contract with Wildlife Services requires that they perform investigations and determinations. So they respond to all complaints from livestock producers. In so doing, approximately 15 percent of those investigations result in a finding that it was not a wolf that in fact was the problem. And another 15 percent result in the fact that it was a probable or only a maybe that it was a wolf that was the causal factor in the problem. So when you look at those statistics, it’s important that you realize that that conflict management at the producer level between Wildlife Services, our board, and the producer has a huge value on it.”

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third week of Feb 2017
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Bill advances that would exempt some info about wolf attacks

By Phuong Le –  2/18/17 AP

Seattle — A bill that would exempt from public disclosure personal information about people who report or respond to wolf attacks in Washington state has cleared a House committee.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and other supporters cite death threats received by state employees, ranchers and others and say the measure is needed to protect those who deal with wolves.

Opponents say the bill would make it impossible for the public to know who, including state employees and contractors, is involved in the state’s wolf management programs.

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WDFW, UW To Study How Growing Wolf Population Affecting Other Wildlife Species

CBB 2/17/2017

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the University of Washington have launched a collaborative study to determine how eight years of growth in the state’s wolf population is affecting other wildlife species.

The study, scheduled to last at least five years, will assess the health of deer and elk herds in northeast Washington, where they support hunting and other recreational opportunities while providing prey for wolves and other predators.

“The experience in other western states shows that wolves and other predators may affect the size and behavior of deer and elk herds,” said Eric Gardner, head of the WDFW Wildlife Program. “We want to take a closer look at the situation here in Washington state as our own wolf population continues to grow.”

Researchers will also examine the response to wolves by other predators, especially cougars, said Gardner, noting that the study will dovetail with an ongoing research project on moose in northeast Washington.

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Yellowstone study tracks cougars post wolf reintroduction

2/18/17 AP

Billings, Mont. — Researchers in Yellowstone National Park are getting a better understanding of secretive cougars through DNA analysis of scat and hair, along with photographs and specially equipped GPS collars.

Dan Stahler, manager of the Cougar Project, tells The Billings Gazette the work builds on a study by biologist Toni Ruth between 1998 and 2005 that documented changes in cougar populations following the reintroduction of wolves.

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Feds: More wolves surviving in the Southwest

2/17/17 AP

Albuquerque, N.M. — The Latest on the endangered Mexican gray wolf.

There are now more Mexican gray wolves roaming the American Southwest than at any time since the federal government began trying to reintroduce the predators nearly two decades ago.

The annual survey released Friday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows at least 113 wolves are spread between southwestern New Mexico and southeast Arizona. This is an improvement over the 97 wolves that were documented the previous year.

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Wolf Education International

Newsletter Third week of Feb 2017

Wolf depredation on livestock creates cascade of costs, reactions

Protestors Demand End to Gov. Martinez’s Blockade on Wolf Releases

Some Washington wolves could be delisted

Congress Says You Should Be Able To Kill Bears And Wolves From Airplanes In Alaska

Study of wolves’ effects on other wildlife gets underway in eastern Washington
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‘Lucky’ the horse rescued from freezing pool in Eagle

by KBOI News Staff Sunday, February 12th 2017

Eagle, Idaho (KBOI) — A horse was rescued from a freezing pool Saturday evening, according to Eagle Fire.

The department tweeted from its account that firefighters and deputies from the Ada County Sheriff’s Office worked together to save Lucky, who was found in a pool of water and ice.

Eagle Fire Battalion Chief Rob Shoplock says there were about five horses total in a nearby pen that had gotten out. That’s when Lucky found the pool and fell through the ice.

continued w/more photos:
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South-county wildlife feeding is going well

Under sun, south slopes begin to melt

Greg Moore – IME Feb 15, 2017


Emergency winter feeding of deer and elk at 17 sites in southern Blaine County is going well, and with recent rains and some sun, south-facing slopes are starting to melt, providing some natural forage for the animals, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game reports.

Wildlife managers estimate the department is feeding about 10,000 mule deer, nearly 10,000 elk and about 100 pronghorn at various feeding sites throughout the state. In Blaine County, the department is feeding hay to about 1,700 elk and special pellets to about 900 deer at a total of 24 sites.

“Things are going pretty well,” department spokesman Kelton Hatch said.

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Wyoming wildlife struggling amid harsh winter conditions

AP Feb 15, 2017

Casper, Wyo. (AP) – Wyoming’s wild animals are facing more struggles than normal this winter due to heavy snowfall, strong winds and harsh temperatures, particularly in the west region of the state.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that Brian Nesvik with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department says fawn survival in the Jackson area will be lower than in recent years. The region had between 150 and 200 percent of normal snowpack before the most recent snowstorm.

Nesvik says elk, deer and pronghorn in the Pinedale area are also having difficulty, as strong winds and deep snow have pushed them outside their traditional winter ranges.

Wildlife managers say it’s still too early to determine any impacts on hunting seasons.

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Bison swarm Grand Teton roads

KIFI/KIDK Feb 13, 2017

Moose, Wyo. (KIFI/KIDK) – Grand Teton National Park is warning motorists to slow down and keep an eye out for bison on the road.

Because of snow and rough winter conditions, bison are moving within the park to find food.  Lately, they say the animals have been using U.S. Highway 89 as their travel pathway.

Grand Teton Superintendent David Vela said park rangers, wildlife biologists, and road crews have been helping the bison navigate safely.  They have also provided plowed areas for them to the move about.

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Dozens of dead owls showing up along I-84: ‘It’s like they fell from the sky’

by KBOI News Staff Monday, February 13th 2017

JEROME, Idaho (KBOI) — Dozens of dead owls have been reported by drivers along Interstate-84 in southern Idaho making for an eerie stretch of road.

Over the weekend, Nichole Miller and Christina White of Boise were driving home to Boise from Twin Falls when they spotted some road kill along the interstate.

“I saw a bird on the side of the road — I thought it was a chicken,” Miller said. “But then we saw more (road kill) and I saw the stripes on the feathers and it was not a chicken.”

It was definitely, an owl, she said. And it wasn’t the only one. Miller said she and Christina lost count after spotting more than 50 dead owls during a 20-mile stretch near Jerome.

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Thousands of fish lost when hatchery floods

Natalie Shaver, KTVB February 14, 2017

Hagerman, Idaho – Last week flood waters washed out a bridge that went over Deep Creek along Highway 30 in Hagerman. Just up the road, the flood waters also damaged a fish hatchery.

Fish Breeders of Idaho lost thousands of fish as the flood waters flowed into their containers.

“You’re never ready for it but it’s part of business,” said owner Leo Ray.

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Idaho family reels in monster rainbow trout in viral video

by KBOI News Staff Wednesday, February 15th 2017

Twin Falls, Idaho (KBOI) — An Idaho family’s fishing video is going all kinds of viral after they helped catch a MONSTER rainbow trout.

Heather Lusk and her family decided to go ice fishing last week at Cedar Creek Reservoir (also known as Roseworth) in Twin Falls County after she and her husband both received a day off from work due to flooding.

The family dropped a line in one of the previously used holes and soon after the pole was going nuts.

continued w/video:
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Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
February 17, 2017
Issue No. 820

Table of Contents

* ODFW Responds To Governor’s Letter; Reopens Harvest Rules Focused On Phasing Out Mainstem Gillnets Below Bonneville Dam

* NW Power/Conservation Council Seeks Science Review Of Upper Columbia Spring Chinook Recovery; High Risk Of Extinction

* Report Shows Good Fall Chinook Redd Count In Snake River Basin, Third Highest Since 1988

* Study Looks At Genetics, Migration, Behavior Of Pacific Lamprey In Willamette River

* WDFW, UW To Study How Growing Wolf Population Affecting Other Wildlife Species

* NOAA Fisheries Reconvening Pinniped-Fishery Interaction Task Force In March

* New Research Details Forage Fish Stocks Boom-Bust Cycles For Centuries

* WDFW Sets Public Meeting To Preview 2017 Salmon Returns, Fishing Seasons

* 2015-16 El Nino Causes West Coast ‘Shoreline Retreat’ 76 Percent Above Normal, Toughest On California Beaches

* Through Other Funding, Council Able To Reduce O&M Commitment To Northwest Hatcheries

* Montana Hiring Seasonal Inspection, Laboratory Techs To Help Battle Risk Of Invasive Mussels

Fun Critter Stuff:

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Photos: Otters play with Valentine’s heart at UK wildlife park

KBOI 2/14/2017

photo gallery:
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Animals Get Valentine Treats – Cincinnati Zoo 2017

— —

Animals Get Valentine’s Day Treats – Cincinnati Zoo 2016

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Spy in the Wild – PBS series

Episode 1 expires March 1

Episode 2 expires March 8

Episode 3 expires March 17

Fish & Game News:

Fish and Game seeks comments on big-game seasons

The Star-News Feb 16, 2017

The 2017 big game hunting season in Idaho’s southwest region is the focus of an open house on Wednesday in McCall.

The open house will run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game office at 555 Deinhard Lane in McCall.

One 2017 Southwest Region big game season proposal involves increasing cow elk harvest in the Weiser Zone, where the elk population exceeds management objectives.

“Weiser Zone elk numbers continue to climb,” Fish and Game wildlife manager Regan Berkley noted. “Additional cow harvest will help bring this population closer to objective.”

source The Star-News:
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Fish & Game warns drivers: Watch out for big game

Sunday, February 12, 2017

With winter continuing to blanket the state and big game on the move, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game recently issued an advisory warning motorists to remain alert as they travel in the nearby mountains.

The number of auto collisions involving big game animals typically rises during winter, and motorists should slow down and be extra cautious when traveling, Fish and Game officials said.

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Fish & Game News Releases


Presidents’ Day 2017

from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Here’s a short summary of Presidents’ Day history and why we celebrate.

Image: George Washington, copy of painting by Gilbert Stuart, 1931 – 1932, RG 148, Records of Commissions of the Legislative Branch, George Washington Bicentennial Commission.

Many calendars list the third Monday of February as Presidents’ Day. Many U.S. states list the holiday as Presidents’ Day. Of course, all of the 3-day retail store sales are called “Presidents’ Day” sales and this vernacular has also been influential in how we reference the holiday.

Contrary to belief, the observed federal holiday is actually called “Washington’s Birthday.” Neither Congress nor the President has ever stipulated that the name of the holiday observed as Washington’s Birthday be changed to Presidents’ Day. But also Congress has never declared a national holiday binding in all states and each state decides its own legal holidays. This is why there are some calendar discrepancies.

Historically, Americans began celebrating George Washington’s Birthday just months after his death, long before Congress declared it a federal holiday. It was not until 1879, under President Rutherford B. Hayes, that Washington’s Birthday became a legal holiday, to be observed on his birthday, February 22.

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Quotes by George Washington (1732–99)

“My movements to the chair of government will be accompanied by feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution.”

“Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.”

“It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company.”

Seasonal Humor:

The Linguistics of Snow

by The Bard of Sherman Ave

Although it’s reported the Eskimo
has two hundred words he can use to say snow
she has just one, with no ifs, ands or buts:
when she sees it falling she simply says “nuts.”
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[h/t SMc]
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Horse Power

Steger Wilderness Center February 7, 2015

Now that’s true Horse Power! Watch as the horses pull their own stuck trailer and truck up the snowy lane.

video at FB:



Idaho History February 19, 2017

Valley County History

Valley County Centennial Magazine

Published on Dec 22, 2016

Celebrating 100 years of Valley County, Idaho and Cascade, Idaho.

link: Free online book

Note: Yellow Pine is featured on page 29.
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What was life like in the early days in Valley County

A Photo Essay compiled by by Rosemary Hoff, Photo Slide Credits Photographs used by permission from the following Valley County pioneer women: Marilyn Kerby Callendar Whitson, Frances Kerby Coski, Eileen Scott Evans, Eleanor Morgan Manning, Donna Morgan Peterson

Just a little Snow in Cascade, Idaho 1936

(click image for source)

Hoff Phenomenology Research – ED 574 – Pioneer Life Photo Essay

Start Slide Show:
[h/t SMc]
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Long Valley Finnish Church

Photo courtesy of Long Valley Finnish Church

photo caption: Long Valley residents gather to celebrate the completion of the Finn church in 1917.

In the summer of 1917, Ed Poro gathered with others to take in the sight of the newly built Finnish Lutheran Church of Long Valley. Then Poro, the chairman of the church board, made a suggestion.

“He said they needed to build a two-hole outhouse in the back,” said Bill Leaf of Lake Fork, the current president of the church board.

Before 1917, Finnish Lutherans met in various homes for worship services, according to a history compiled by Leaf.

The Rev. William Eloheimo became the pastor in 1904 and encouraged the building of a church. Soon after, the Finnish Ladies Aid Society, also known as the Finnish Sewing Circle, was formed to raise money for the project.

In 1913, a 1-1/2 acre parcel was donated in 1913 by Uriel Kantola at the corner of what is now Farm to Market Road and Finn Church Lane.

“John Heikila, Nick Ranta, and John Ruska were contracted as carpenters, along with John Lapinoja as the principal builder,” according to Leaf’s history. “Construction costs were just over $1,800.”

The church’s constitution specified that it was not to be used for “any marriage ceremony, reception or any other activity that would be inconsistent with our beliefs based on Holy Scripture.”

The minutes of the first meeting of the church board in January 1918 specified that, “We are to look after the Church Building and keep it in good condition and inflammable as well as issue contracts for repairs.”

But the church has been used sparingly as a regular place of worship for reasons lost to history, said Leaf, whose grandfather, Andrew Lehti, was an original Long Valley homesteader. The Lehti family changed its name to Leaf so that it could be more easily pronounced, he said.

The affiliation with the Lutheran Church also waned, and in 1967 the church board officially changed the name to the Long Valley Finnish Church. The church, and the outhouse, were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Since he became president of the church board four years ago, Leaf has dedicated himself to gathering as many historical documents on the church as possible.

One important source are the minutes of the church board meetings, which Leaf found were kept in the homes of various board secretaries over the decades. But he was unable to find minutes from the earliest meetings.

“Then I remembered that someone told me the altar was hollow, so I pushed it away from the wall and there was a box,” he said.

Like a scene from a movie, Leaf had discovered the board minutes from 1918 to 1925, all written in Finnish.

Some of the early traditions of the church remain, including allowing only men to serve on the church board. However, members of the Ladies’ Aid Society attend board meetings, and fundraising for church maintenance remains their central mission, said Sherie Mohr of McCall, the current treasurer of the society.

source: Tom Grote The Star-News May 14, 2015
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Long Valley Finnish Church

(click image for source)

Taken on September 14, 2012

source: Fairey Tales
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Site Report: North Fork Payette – Long Valley

Idaho Historical Society December 1981

The North Fork Payette-Long Valley study unit has a number of significant architectural sites related to the Finnish settlement of Long Valley in the period 1890 through 1930. Finnish homesteads survive that represent Finnish farmyard layout and the immigrants’ use of horizontal timber construction. That construction, characteristic of Northern Europe, includes hewn logs shaped with the long groove and complicated corner timbering. The study unit also has examples of false-fronted frame commercial buildings and examples of log and frame resort houses from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many of them clustered around Payette Lake. In Banks is a cluster of buildings related to the development of the Idaho Northern Railroad.

Thirty-five architectural sites have been recorded in the study area, one in Banks, three in Cascade, one in Donnelly, four in McCall, one in Roseberry, and the remainder in the rural areas of Long Valley along Idaho Highway 55 and Farm-to-Market Road.

from: Idaho Historical Society reference series

Further Reading

Link to Idaho History Index (scroll down for Valley County History)

page updated December 20, 2022