Monthly Archives: March 2017

Road Report March 29

Wednesday (Mar 29) the mail truck driver (Robert) reports a good trip in this morning. Light rain all the way from Cascade. South Fork road is bare pavement all the way. The worst part of the trip is where the slides came down on the EFSF road. Said the crew has leveled out the “big hump” and planning to drill and blast 2 large boulders on the side of the road. Said there are 2 more big rocks poised and ready to come down.

Mail didn’t make it in on Monday, the truck broke down a couple mile this side of Zena Creek’s mail box (fuel pump.) When the mail didn’t arrive, Dave went out with the backhoe in case there was a side, and gave Robert a ride to YP so he could call (long rough trip!) By the time Arnold’s had sent in a truck and trailer with a winch, and got back to Cascade, it was 9pm!

The road between YP and the dump is free of snow (transfer station was reported full on Tuesday.)

South Fork Salmon River Road Weight Restrictions
I wanted to make folks aware that the weight restrictions have been placed on the South Fork Salmon River Road. We anticipate this restriction remaining in effect until late May.  Be cautious when driving on the South Fork and East Fork South Fork Salmon River Roads. There have been and continue to be numerous slides and debris rolling onto the roadway. In addition there is a fill slope failure occurring near MP 12.0 that we will continue to monitor through the spring with anticipated repair work this summer.
Will Perry – Payette National Forest

Remember, road conditions can change quickly. Be prepared for trees, rocks and slides this time of year with the rain and freeze/thaw.

Snow Totals:
Yellow Pine ‘sno-brd’ 4800′ = bare
Big Creek SNOTEL 6580′ = 95″
Deadwood Summit SNOTEL = 134″


Hydrologic Outlook 3/29

Yellow Pine Forecast

March 1-29 water total 4.85″

Today Rain likely, mainly after noon. Cloudy, with a high near 47. South southwest wind 5 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Tonight Showers. Low around 35. South southwest wind 5 to 7 mph becoming calm after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
Thursday Rain showers before noon, then rain and snow showers. High near 35. Light west northwest wind becoming northwest 6 to 11 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Thursday Night Snow showers likely, mainly before midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 29. North wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Friday A 20 percent chance of snow showers before noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 48. North northeast wind around 9 mph.

Hydrologic Outlook

Hydrologic Outlook

National Weather Service Boise ID
209 PM MDT Tue Mar 28 2017 /109 PM PDT Tue Mar 28 2017/


Rain and snowmelt will cause river levels to increase late this
week. Some mainstem rivers such as the Malheur River near Vale,
Snake River near Weiser, and the lower Payette River may reach
minor flood stage by week`s end. The potential for minor flooding
along small creeks and streams will be on the rise as well.

Another storm system will spread rain across the region beginning
Wednesday, with snow levels rising to 7000 to 8000 feet. Rain
will continue across lower elevations Thursday with snow at high
elevations as colder air spreads into the area. Precipitation
totals of .50 to 1.00 inches are expected below 6000 feet
Wednesday through Thursday. Drier and warmer conditions are
anticipated Friday through the weekend.

Residents are encouraged to monitor this weather situation for
updates, watches or warnings. People who live along streams or
rivers should monitor water levels closely.

March 26, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

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

Village News:

Luck Of The Irish And The Importance Of Being Prepared

March 20 Midas Gold

No four-leaf clovers were found up at the Stibnite Gold Project site on Saint Patrick’s Day but it is clear the luck of the Irish was with our team and contractors as they traveled home that day. As three vehicles drove from Stibnite into Yellow Pine along Stibnite Road, two large boulders dislodged and came down and hit the passenger side of a Ford F250 belonging to one of our contractors. Fortunately, no one was in the passenger seat and the driver walked away with a minor scrape.

Safety is at the core of all we do. It was lucky that no one was in the passenger side of the truck on Friday, however, we have lots of measures in place and use precaution to keep everyone safe. We are constantly doing all we can to keep the roads safe for our employees and the recreationalists who also travel them.

“We do not rely on luck to keep us safe, rather we inspect, check and recheck and then have a plan in case something happens anyway,” said Kyle Fend, Environmental Superintendent, Midas Gold Idaho, Inc. “We want everyone to return home safely everyday.”

— — — —

South Fork Salmon River Road Weight Restrictions

I wanted to make folks aware that the weight restrictions have been placed on the South Fork Salmon River Road.  We anticipate this restriction remaining in effect until late May. Be cautious when driving on the South Fork and East Fork South Fork Salmon River Roads.  There have been and continue to be numerous slides and debris rolling onto the roadway.  In addition there is a fill slope failure occurring near MP 12.0  that we will continue to monitor through the spring with anticipated repair work this summer.

– Will Perry – Payette National Forest

Note: Please share your road reports – rrSue
— — — —

Coyotes Yipping

Thursday night (March 23) a little after 9pm, a pack of ‘yotes were yipping over in the direction of the Fire Hall.
— — — —

Tick Season

Reminder: Its that time of year to check for ticks on people and pets after a walk in the forest.

— — — —

Vet Day

Another Reminder: Cascade Vet Clinic has tentatively scheduled us for the morning of Wednesday June 14 for our annual Vet Day clinic. Please call (208) 382-4590 to get on the list. Note: this date may change depending on how many folks sign up.  – rrS
— — — —

Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook

Local Observations:

Monday (Mar 20) some rain during the night, stayed above freezing, average 6″ of old snow on the ground, but larger open patches. Local streets are almost clear (except in heavy shade.) Morning sprinkles, then an afternoon shower, followed by a short little sprinkle, and cloudy. Sprinkles in the afternoon and during the night.

Tuesday (Mar 21) got down to 32 degrees early this morning, but not for long, warmer and mostly cloudy, average 5″ of old snow on the ground. Jays, juncos and robins calling. Red-wing blackbird calling after lunch. A few sprinkles in the late afternoon and warm. Rain showers off and on late evening, probably didn’t rain after midnight.

Wednesday (Mar 22) light freeze early this morning, partly clear. Lots of jays calling and some robins. Warm cloudy day, a LOT more snow melted off. Warm and cloudy evening. It was still light enough to see at 8pm and robins chirping.

Thursday (Mar 23) light freeze early this morning, partly clear and warming up quickly, light breezes. Robins and juncos were calling at first light, jays making a racket after sunrise. Lots of bare ground, but still some snow in the shade. Flicker sighted flying thru the neighborhood. Pileated woodpeckers calling and drumming. Warm day, most of the rest of our snow has melted except piles in the shade. After 9pm a pack of coyotes were yipping and howling over in the direction of the Fire Hall. Below freezing before midnight.

Friday (Mar 24) hard freeze during the night, low of 26 degrees. Partly clear and light breezes this morning, lots of birds calling, jays, woodpeckers, robins and juncos. Wind gusts and clouds before 11am. Wind and rain, then steady light rain all afternoon. Heard pileated whooping and robins chirping in the rain before dark. Rain ended some time before midnight.

Saturday (Mar 25) low of 32 degrees, mostly clear this morning, clouds clinging to the sides of the mountains. Lots of bird song, watched a robin take a bath in a puddle in the road, then it was chased off by a jay, juncos twittering. Cloudy by mid-day, breezy early afternoon. Short snow storm then rain shower early evening. Clouds breaking up and partly clear before dark. It was still light enough at 815pm to see. Calm quiet evening.

Sunday (Mar 26) hard freeze early this morning, then warming up under a mostly cloudy sky, enough breaks in the clouds to let in some sun. Bird symphony, robins, juncos and jays calling. Almost all of the old snow is gone, patches in the shade (and artificial piles.) Cloudy and breezy after lunch. Sprinkles and light showers off and on late afternoon.

Mining News:

Permitting 101: What It Takes To Bring A Project To Life And How You Can Get Involved

March 14 Midas Gold

At Midas Gold, we have a vision for the future. We believe that the Stibnite Gold Project offers are rare opportunity to benefit the environment and create economic opportunity through redevelopment of this historical mining district. We can repair the damage from a century of historical mining activity and create a sustainable ecosystem by restoring stream channels, wetlands and fisheries, reforesting an area where almost no top soil remains and improve water quality in nearby streams and rivers by reclaiming historically impacted areas. All of this is possible through the permitting of the Stibnite Gold Project but, to make it happen, we will need the community’s support.

Any mining project must go through a rigorous permitting process. This process involves years of studying the area to be mined, developing a plan that minimizes impacts on the environment, provides a viable long term closure plan and by working with the community to accommodate their interests.

The most significant portion of permitting is done under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) – there are also many additional permits that are analyzed outside of NEPA. This is a process that helps federal agencies assess the impacts that projects would have on the environment and the associated economic and social effects. In the case of the Stibnite Gold Project, the U.S. Forest Service is the lead agency and will coordinate the federal and state agencies reviewing the project. The NEPA process also guarantees opportunities for the public to provide input on projects.


Idaho News:

Spring weight limits imposed on Valley County Road

The Star-News March 23, 2017

The Valley County Road Department has posted load limits of 14,000 pounds per axle on paved roads maintained by Valley County.

For the next two to three months these limits will be in effect or until the road bases dry out from the spring thaw.

“When the road base stays wet and the depth of the frost gets as deep as it did this year, the road base is not stable,” Valley County Road and Bridge Supervisor Jeff McFadden said.

“When heavy trucks travel the roads, it causes the pavement to flex and break out,” McFadden said. For questions call 382-7195.The emphasis will be on bluegrass and folk music but organizers are open to other genres. For questions, write to gceres2011 @

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

Wilks brothers pledge to be good neighbors, cite abuse of land

Texans bought 172,000 acres of forest land last year

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

Future access to 172,000 acres of private land in Valley County and adjoining counties will be by invitation only due to the abuses of the past, the land’s new owners said.

Farris and Dan Wilks of Cisco, Texas, said they plan to be good neighbors in the community, starting with responsible timber management. The brothers said they also plan to contribute to local organizations in the area.

“We enjoy a healthy relationship with the communities we share, and look to align ourselves with organizations that share our values,” according to a statement by the Wilks brothers.

The brothers made the statements in response to written questions submitted by The Star-News. The brothers declined to be interviewed directly.

Farris and Dan Wilks are the founders of Frac-Tech Services, a hydraulic fracturing and oil-field service company that sold to a Singapore company for $3.5 billion in 2011.

They have since been buying large tracts of privately held timberland around the Intermountain West, including Montana and central Idaho, according to published reports.

Last summer, the brothers purchased the 172,000 acres of timbered lands that sits between the valley floor and national forest lands from a land broker in Georgia.

The broker had purchased the land just a few months earlier from Potlatch Corp. of Spokane, Wash.

full story The Star-News:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Valley sheriff to open part of North Beach for July 4 boaters

Entire beach was off limits during 2016 holiday

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

A 150-foot section of North Beach on Payette Lake will be opened to boaters on July 4, the Valley County Sheriff’s Office said this week.

The buoy line blocking access to the beach also will be moved closer to shore, the sheriff’s office said.

The stretch of beach to be opened will start where the North Fork of the Payette River flows into the lake and extend 150 feet to the east, Lt. Jason Speer said.

In 2016, the sheriff’s office blocked all boats from North Beach on July 4 in order to prevent the congregation of boats filled with young adults.

Starting in 2007, a spontaneous party of boats plus crowds walking in to the beach resulted in large parties that resulted in cases of alcohol over-consumption and large amounts of trash left behind.

Fights among intoxicated participants are the main worry among deputies, Speer said. There has been one sex offense reported during the parties and a full can of beer was thrown at the head of a deputy during one party, he said.

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation Board banned alcohol consumption at North Beach and banned parking on Warren Wagon Road and East Side Drive. The sheriff’s office was asked to enforce the bans.

full story The Star-News:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

July Fourth festival canceled in eastern Idaho

3/26/17 AP

Idaho Falls, Idaho — Officials in eastern Idaho have canceled an annual July Fourth festival that came with a big fireworks display.

The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce called off the Liberty Festival on the Falls on Friday, the Post Register.

The event put on for more than two decades typically draws thousands and is punctuated by the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration fireworks show. But Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot in October said trees at the traditional site obscured the sky and nearby homes limited the size of fireworks.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

New Heartland Music Fest to be held July 7-9

The Star-News March 23, 2017

The new Heartland Music Fest will make its debut in New Meadows on July 7-9.

The festival is the product of the New Meadows Parks & Recreation Committee.

The committee is recruiting bands, single musicians, artisans, crafters and non-profits to participate in the festival.

The emphasis will be on bluegrass and folk music but organizers are open to other genres. For questions, write to gceres2011 @

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

Riggins man presumed drowned after vehicle goes into river

3/22/17 AP

Riggins, Idaho — A Riggins man is presumed drowned after his vehicle went into the Little Salmon River.

KTVB-TV reported Tuesday that the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office received a report early Monday that a vehicle had gone into the river a few miles south of Riggins.

Responders searched the river throughout the night but could not find the vehicle. It was found upside down in the river about a mile down the next morning.

The vehicle was unoccupied when it was found.

The sheriff’s office believes the car’s driver, 35-year-old Derek Olson, was swept out of the vehicle and into the river.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Man rescued after falling 50 feet over cliff near Shoshone Falls

KTVB March 26, 2017

Twin Falls – A man was airlifted to a Boise hospital Sunday afternoon after he fell more than 50 feet over a cliff, officials said.

Mitchell Brooks, a battalion chief for Twin Falls Fire Department, tells KTVB that the man fell from an overlook area near the upper part of the cliff. Firefighters and paramedics were able to hike down to man and stabilize him while an air ambulance landed nearby.

The man’s injuries were serious, Brooks said. At this point, there is no word on what caused the man to fall.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Man dies after fall in Owyhee County recreation area

KTVB March 26, 2017

Marsing – A 20-year-old man died at a local hospital after falling near Jump Creek Falls, the Owyhee County Sheriff’s Office confirmed.

The man was reportedly hiking in the area when he fell just before 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Few details on the incident were available Sunday. A dispatcher told KTVB the death is still under investigation.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Idaho woman blames hungry Bigfoot for crashing vehicle

by KBOI News Staff Friday, March 24th 2017

Potlach, Idaho (KBOI) — A 50-year-old Idaho woman claims Bigfoot caused her to crash her vehicle on Highway 95 earlier this week.

No really.

According to a report from, a Tensed woman told the Latah County Sheriff’s Office that she was driving on Highway 95 Wednesday night when she saw Bigfoot chasing deer along the highway.

When she looked in her mirror, the article states, she ended up crashing into one of the deer.

She says Sasquath was about seven to eight feet tall.

A deputy with the Latah County Sheriff’s office responded to the scene, but didn’t find any evidence of a giant hairy beast.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Mores Creek floods over highway

KTVB 11:20 AM. MDT March 21, 2017

Boise County — Mores Creek in Boise County is running at a record high level, with the water expected to rise with rain forecasted Tuesday.

By Tuesday morning, the creek was recorded at 3,460 cubic feet per second, almost seven times higher than the average for this time of year. The swift-moving water smashes the previous record for March 21: 1,830 cubic feet per second, set in 1972.

Officials warned motorists Monday to be careful if they are driving on Highway 21 near Idaho City.Runoff and flooding in the area has left water on the road in several places south of Idaho City.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Barnyard floods in Boise County, animals moved to higher ground

Dean Johnson, KTVB March 21, 2017

Livestock had to be moved to higher ground away from the flood waters.

Crouch, Idaho – Boise County is the latest area to deal with flooding we’ve seen across Idaho this year.

Photos taken by the Boise County Emergency Management shows flooding near the Davey’s Bridge on the Banks-Lowman Road.

County officials say flooding along the Middle Fork of the Payette River is impacting homes, and though there are no evacuation notices in place, people in the area are still dealing with a variety of issues related to the water.

The Middle Fork of the Payette River has receded a little bit since Monday, but there’s been some flooding in low-lying areas, which caused residents to bring their animals up to higher ground.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Two more Idaho counties declared states of emergency after historic winter

by KBOI News Staff Wednesday, March 22nd 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Two more Idaho counties have been added to the long list of counties in the Gem State that have declared either a county or state emergency declaration.

“We have had an abnormal winter exceeding 25 year, 50 year and perhaps 100-year event projections,” said Lt. Gov. Brad Little, who’s also currently acting as governor while Gov. Otter is in Washington, D.C. “Our citizens and municipalities are burdened by Mother Nature, our infrastructure is being tested.”

Little said Idaho and Lewis counties have now been declared a state of emergency.

Twenty eight of Idaho’s 44 counties have either a county or state emergency declaration.


Public Lands:

South Fork Salmon River Road Weight Restrictions


I wanted to make folks aware that the weight restrictions have been placed on the South Fork Salmon River Road.  We anticipate this restriction remaining in effect until late May.

Be cautious when driving on the South Fork and East Fork South Fork Salmon River Roads.  There have been and continue to be numerous slides and debris rolling onto the roadway.  In addition there is a fill slope failure occurring near MP 12.0  that we will continue to monitor through the spring with anticipated repair work this summer.

Feel free to email me or call with any questions.

Will Perry, PE
Supervisory Civil Engineer
Payette National Forest, Supervisor’s Office

Map 0402-04-54 MAP.pdf

Order 0402-04-54 SFK Salmon Rd Restrictions.pdf
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Meadows Valley Schools and Payette National Forest Conservation Education Partnership – Receive Grant to Help Fund the Program

Payette National Forest, March 20, 2017

New Meadows, ID – The Meadows Valley School and the Payette National Forest are excited to announce that they have formed a partnership to involve students a hands-on conservation education program titled “Student to Forests”, and that the partnership was recently awarded a U.S. Forest Service Intermountain Region Interpretation and Conservation Education Grant.

“We have developed a great partnership between the Meadows Valley School and New Meadows Ranger District and Payette National Forest employees,” said District Ranger Kim Pierson.  “This grant will be instrumental in helping us launch this exciting “Student to Forest” program.”

The “Student to Forest” program involves getting students in field-based, hands-on learning experiences with expertise provided by Forest Service employees to provide learning opportunities focused on themes such as watersheds, fire on the landscape, human and animal interaction, plant biomes, and fisheries.   Incorporation of the school’s newly-acquired greenhouse will be used to enhance the program.

Students in the program will be tasked with projects relevant to land stewardship work currently being conducted by the Forest such as landscape restoration, and tasks related to educational themes identified by the school’s teachers.  Forest employees will train teachers in monitoring techniques; teachers can then train students and provide needed background knowledge. Forest employees and teachers will then work on launching project ideas to students.  All grade levels will work together to successfully address a local problem, for example: erosion control following a wildfire (i.e. lower grades can help grow native plants in the greenhouse, middle grades can conduct field monitoring, upper grades will focus on engineering designs for ideal mitigation).

“I am excited at the opportunity that our students will have to interact with the Forest Service and learn more about the forests through field experiences,” said Pat Berg, Meadows Valley School Principal.  “This grant allows us to get our kids out into the community and really see firsthand how their education relates to everything around them.  We are thrilled to build on this partnership.”

Grant funds will be used to purchase monitoring equipment, and to pay for bussing fees (gas for school owned bus) to transport students to study areas multiple times throughout the year. Funds will also be used to purchase tablets for field data recording.

Brian D. Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Payette National Forest
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Seedlings available for reforestation and habitat improvement

Boise National Forest March 24, 2017

Boise, Idaho, March 24, 2017 — Landowners who want trees to create windbreaks, improve wildlife habitat, and enhance forests on their property are encouraged to come to the Boise National Forest Lucky Peak Nursery’s annual surplus seedling sale.

This year limited quantities of ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir seedlings six to 10 inches tall will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The minimum quantity for purchase is 50 seedlings for $30.00. A bundle of 50 seedlings will easily fit into a standard grocery bag.

The Lucky Peak Nursery’s annual surplus seedling sale will begin this year Saturday, April 1, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Seedlings will not be available Sunday, April 2. After the first Saturday, the seedling sale will continue through the end of April, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., while supplies last.

Each year, the Lucky Peak Nursery produces over 3 million trees and shrubs. These seedlings are used in reforestation activities on public lands in the intermountain west disturbed by wildfire, timber harvests, etc. When the Nursery has produced more seedlings than needed the surplus becomes available to rural landowners for conservation plantings.

The seedlings are best suited for landowners with property in rural areas. They are not intended for homeowners in urban areas to plant in their backyards. Landowners who purchase the seedlings can expect the majority of them to grow and thrive if planted correctly. Written planting instructions and technical assistance will be available at the Lucky Peak Nursery. The Lucky Peak Nursery is located 16 miles northeast of Boise on State Highway 21. For more information about the annual seedling sale, call (208) 343-1977.

Linda Steinhaus
Public Affairs
Boise National Forest
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Spring runoff prompts closure of Grayback Gulch Road

Boise National Forest March 24, 2017

Boise, Idaho, March 24, 2017– The Boise National Forest is temporarily closing National Forest System Road 347 (Grayback Gulch Road) and Mores Creek Bridge for public health and safety. Pursuant to 36 CFR 261.54 (e), this order will remain in effect until 12/31/17, or until rescinded, whichever comes first.

Warmer weather and precipitation have increased seasonal flows of local tributaries. In Mores Creek, a large diameter tree has fell into the creek, diverting flows and causing erosion and bridge failure near the entrance of Grayback Gulch Campground.

Forest Service engineers and technicians are removing portions of the bridge to prevent debris from traveling downstream that could result in additional resource and structure damage.

The Boise National Forest and Idaho Department of Lands co-manage NFS road 347, both agencies are working together on future access to the campground, which typically opens mid-May.

The Forest Service encourages visitors to be cautious around all streams and water sources. Visitors should look for posted warning signs and be aware of their surroundings.

With the Boise Basin having more than 135 percent of snow pack (SNOTEL data), spring runoff is extremely high, cold, and swift and are expected to continue.

A detailed description of the closure is attached. For this and all Boise National Forest area closures visit:

3-24-2017 Signed Grayback Gulch road closure order and map.pdf

Linda Steinhaus
Public Affairs
Boise National Forest

Letters to Share:

Lots of Deer (Weiser, Idaho)

March 20, 2017

I have sent you a picture of some of the deer that I was feeding this past winter.


At the peak of the feeding there were over 70 head here just laying around.  The first load of hay was 2 ton and the second was almost the same.  I had one fine man who wanted to sponsor my feed bill and he donated all the hay I needed just because he cared for those poor hungry animals. It was amazing how tame they get tame when they are starving.

We had way too much snow for the yearlings to survive the long trip from the high hills down to here, it was up to their bellies and they just couldn’t get their little legs up high enough to clear the deep snow and their mothers just kept on going which was just too much. we lost over 30 head in just the quarter mile above my place.

My neighbor had 5 die in his front yard, I lost 13 just laying by the hay stack, skin and bones  After the snow melted there are dead dear all over the side of the hill next to me.  By the time the game debt started to feed them it was too late.  Every house along this stretch of the road had lots of deer in their yards too.

The only way to get any moisture was to eat snow so when I put out tubs of water that just made more deer come here.

In the month of December there were over 200 hundred head in one field. Never before have we had this problem.   Just too much snow.

We lost our bowling alley,  grocery store,  auto parts store,  two big onion packing sheds,  one large  harvest equipment storage facility, our lumber yard building. and half a billion car ports.

Well this warm weather is sure welcome but not until we had a record setting Ice Jam.

What fun.

– Lane
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Free Just for Kids

Little Canyon Shooting’s annual kid’s day is Sunday,  April,9th, 2017, along with the Gamebird Foundation and other sponsors at the Peck, Idaho ranch. Little Canyon Shooting members and numerous sponsors  are set for a great day of shooting and hunting with the youth of our area.

Check in from 8 a.m.- 12 noon and we will be hunting and shooting all day. Just for Kids is a totally free day that we set aside for kids that may not have ready access to upland game bird hunting. So if you know a child between ages 10-17 that would enjoy a day of pheasant hunting, sporting clay shooting, practice on the 22 rifle range, and life size targets on the archery range; then bring them out to Little Canyon Shooting for a great day of shooting sports.  We will also be doing hatchery tours.

There will  be a complimentary lunch and ammunition will be provided by Vista Outdoors in Lewiston. We have shot guns available for the younger participants or you may bring your own. Members and local sportsmen will work dogs for the hunters and each youth will also be assigned a safety advisor.

Required: Idaho residents

Hunter safety certificate and ID. hunting license

For non-residents:

Hunter safety certificate and 502 class non-resident shooting preserve license for non-residents:

Help us find kids who are our future hunters and leaders and will preserve our great American outdoor tradition.  Please call and let us know if you plan to attend.  Call for more info and directions.

Little Canyon 1-208-486-6235 or the Gamebird Foundation 1-208-883-3423, 1-206-714-8568, email jhag1 @

We need some more sponsor help.  If you can or know of any business that can donate, please contact us.

Critter News:

Pet talk – Kidney Disease In Cats, Part 1

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt and Dr. Malia Wayment March 24, 2017 – IME

Like us, cats have two kidneys. These are located in the mid back, on either side of the spine. They receive a rich blood supply almost directly from the heart. The kidneys consist of millions of “nephrons,” each a microscopic leaky pipe that filters the blood and forms urine. Functions of the kidneys include:

* Filtration -removing harmful substances produced by the body.
* Hormone production – to control blood pressure, red blood cell production and calcium levels within the body.
* Blood pressure maintenance.
* Maintaining blood concentration.

You are probably aware that we can survive with only one kidney; in fact, we only need around 30 percent of our nephrons to work. That means that by the time a cat shows the effects of reduced kidney function, much damage has already been done. Indeed a cat diagnosed with kidney disease usually has quite advanced damage.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Two mountain lion kittens found in barn near McCall

by KBOI News Staff Wednesday, March 22nd 2017

New Meadows, Idaho (KBOI) — Two orphaned mountain lions discovered behind some hay bales in a barn near McCall will be taken to a zoo in Pennsylvania.

“Too small to make it on their own, and after several weeks of becoming habituated to and fed by humans, Fish and Game decided that a captive facility would be the best option for these naïve youngsters,” Idaho Fish and Game said.

Fish and Game put in traps overnight inside the barn and were able to trap the kittens by the second night.

The kittens were transferred to the Wildlife Health Lab in Nampa for a checkup and are now on their way to the Elmwood Park Zoo in Pennsylvania.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Fourth week of March 2017
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Wolves kill chickens and a goose in E. Oregon

3/26/17 AP

Flora, Ore. — Wildlife officials say a wolf pack killed at least eight chickens and a goose in eastern Oregon.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife tells the Capital Press that a GPS tracking collar on a wolf shows its location about 300 yards from the attack site at about 6 a.m. on Thursday.

The state agency says wolf tracks filled the site near Flora on the northern edge of Wallowa County.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Nevada officials confirm first wolf in state since 1922

3/24/17 AP

Reno, Nev. — The Nevada Department of Wildlife has confirmed the first sighting of a wolf in the state in nearly 100 years.

Chief State Game Warden Brian Wakeling said Friday the wolf was spotted in northwest Nevada in early November near Fox Mountain just west of the Black Rock Desert and about 20 miles from the California line.

Wakeling says wildlife officials recovered scat from the animal. A conservation lab at the University of Idaho confirmed the droppings were from a male offspring of a seven-member pack of wolves known as the “Shasta Pack” in Northern California.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Wolf Education International

Newsletter Fourth Week of March 2017

Senate Passes CRA to Restore Wildlife Management Authority to State of Alaska
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

17 elk die in Elkhorn

15 calves, 2 adults die and are removed

Madelyn Beck – IME March 24, 2017

Seventeen elk died in Elkhorn in recent weeks, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the department removed them on March 13.

Department spokesman Kelton Hatch said two adult elk were “dispatched” because they could no longer move. Hatch said the bone marrow of the two young adult elk still had some fat in it, indicating that something other than starvation immobilized them.

“We still don’t really know what caused that,” he said.

However, 15 of the elk were calves that died from starvation. Hatch said calves die every year, but this year’s difficult winter likely caused more animal deaths than usual. He said one possible factor in the deaths was human activity in Independence Gulch. Signs warning against human activity didn’t appear to work, he said, and people recreating in the area have been essentially chasing the elk up a hillside, forcing them to expend extra energy.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

More than 1,200 Yellowstone bison killed this winter

by Associated Press Thursday, March 23rd 2017

Bozeman, Mont. (AP) — Operations to kill bison in Yellowstone National Park for slaughter have come to an end, with more than 1,200 bison culled this winter.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the park released figures Wednesday showing 748 bison were consigned to slaughter this year. Another 453 were killed by hunters from Native American tribes and the state of Montana.

The total winter death toll marks the highest number of bison killed in the Yellowstone area since 2008. It also falls just short of the removal goal bison managers set in the fall.

Bison are taken from the area each year because of a management plan established in 2000 that calls for a population of 3,000 bison in the region. Park biologists estimate there are 5,500 bison there now.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Electrical problem kills 600,000 salmon in N. Idaho hatchery

by Associated Press Wednesday, March 22nd 2017

Lewiston, Idaho (AP) – About 600,000 young spring chinook salmon have died at a northern Idaho fish hatchery after an electrical problem stopped water from circulating.

The Nez Perce Tribe tells the Lewiston Tribune that the fish died at the Kooskia National Fish Hatchery on Friday when an electrical circuit breaker tripped and a warning system to alert hatchery workers failed.

The salmon were a few weeks old and scheduled to be released next spring and return as adults in 2020.

The hatchery on the Clearwater River is owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service but operated by the Nez Perce Tribe.

The tribe says it’s working with other nearby hatcheries to replace the lost fish.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

The Fix: Helping Save the Yankee Fork River

USFS Regional Intermountain News 3/22/2017

In Idaho’s Upper Salmon River Basin, the Yankee Fork River has had difficulty recovering from the dredge mining and timber harvests that occurred during the gold rush era. This has impacted the salmon, steelhead, and native fish populations survival.

Check out the video of how a large collaborative group, including one of the Forest Service partners, Trout Unlimited, has been working since 2009 to restore the habitat of the Yankee Fork River in the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

The Fix

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
March 24, 2017
Issue No. 825

Table of Contents

* Study: Basin Efforts To Detect Non-Native Mussels Must Increase, Improve To Prevent Destructive, Costly Invasion

* Study Details Adult Spring Chinook Mortality From Willamette Falls To Tributaries; Sea Lion Injuries Have Impact

* It’s Complicated: Dworshak Management Balances Downstream Flooding, Making Room For Future Runoff, Juvenile Fish Releases

* Oregon FW Commission Moves Closer To Washington State With Harvest, Gillnet Rules

* Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission Names Pinkham New Executive Director

* ESA-Listed Steelhead Move Into New Habitat Created By Removal Of Obsolete Dam On Idaho’s Potlatch River

* Washington’s Annual Wolf Report Shows Population Up 28 Percent, Two New Packs

* Council Developing Online Tools To Better Track Fish/Wildlife Recovery Goals

* Idaho Approves Spring Chinook Seasons For Snake, Clearwater, Salmon, Little Salmon Rivers

* Meetings Set Next Week In Washington On Salmon Fisheries For Mid-And Upper Columbia, Lower Snake

* Alaska Releases 2017 Salmon Forecast For Sockeye, Pink Salmon

* Water Markets On The Rise In The Columbia Basin To Provide Flows For More Than A Single User, Including Fish

* Oil Sheen In Columbia River At Wenatchee Is Biodiesel; Source Still Unknown

* Study Says Fish Evolve To Avoid Fishing Nets, More Marine Reserves Needed So Can Escape Capture

Fun Critter Stuff:

[h/t MMc]
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Do Big Cats Like Water?

from Big Cat Rescue July 17, 2014

(there is a short ad first)

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Wild Cats VS Toilet Paper

from Big Cat Rescue Apr 5, 2014

Do wild species of cats (servals/bobcats/lynx/ocelots) like to destroy toilet paper like their domestic cousins?

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

[h/t CP]
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

“Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat” by T.S. Eliot

[h/t MMc]

Fish & Game News:

F&G to host hunter education field day on April 1 in McCall

The Star-News March 23, 2017

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will host a Hunter Education Field Day on Saturday, April 1, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Super 8 Lodge in McCall.

Hunters must complete the online hunters education class before they can sign up for the field day class.

The field day is an overview of the online class with another test that will need to be passed before the hunter can get their certification and hunting license.

Cost is $9.75 online and $8 if registering at the McCall F&G office at 555 Deinhard Ln.

To sign up online go Select the “Education” tab, then “Hunter Education Field Day” courses, then “View and sign up for Courses here”

For questions, call the McCall office at 634-8137.

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

Spring chinook fishing to start April 22 on Little Salmon

The Star-News March 23, 2017

Idaho Fish and Game commissioners last week approved the spring chinook seasons and rules the Little Salmon River.

Fishing will open April 22, with daily fishing on the Little Salmon, an F&G news release said.

Once open, the seasons will continue as set until further notice. The season typically ends when the sport anglers’ share of the run is caught, which varies by river, the release said.

Chinook have started entering the Columbia River and less than 15 have crossed Bonneville Dam, which is the first of eight dams the fish cross in the Columbia/Snake river systems, the F&G release said.

The forecast for this year is adult 49,400 hatchery fish to cross Lower Granite Dam about 25 miles downstream from Lewiston, which is the last dam the fish cross before reaching Idaho. Last year, an estimated adult 58,200 hatchery chinook crossed Lower Granite.

Anglers should consult the 2017 spring chinook salmon seasons and rules brochure for other rules and special restrictions regarding fishing from shore and watercraft.

The Little Salmon River will be open for chinook fishing from the mouth upstream to the U.S. 95 bridge near Smokey Boulder Road.

Bag limits for the Little Salmon River are four chinook, only two may be adults and 12 in possession, only six may be adults.

Season limit is 20 adult chinook salmon statewide during 2017 for salmon seasons occurring prior to Sept. 1.

Only hatchery chinook with a clipped adipose fin may be kept by anglers, and all others must be released unharmed. Chinook anglers are also restricted to barbless hooks.

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

F&G News Releases

Seasonal Humor:

Spring has begun.
Daylight hours linger.
Pushing winter out,
And giving it the finger.

– Remember The Bard
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —



Idaho History March 26, 2017

The Carlin Party

Clearwater National Forest Map


Chapter 7 page 40

In the middle of September, 1893, three young men who had been planning a hunting trip for at least two years assembled in Spokane. They were William P. Carlin, the 27 year-old son of Brig. Gen. Carlin of Vancouver; A.L.A. Himmelwright, 28, an engineer; and John Harvey Pierce, 30, Carlin’s brother-in-law from White Plains, New York. Carlin was considered the head of the party and had made some advance inquiries about hunting places and conditions.

They decided that it was too late to hunt for mountain sheep, but Carlin had talked to a guide, Martin C. Spencer, about a hunting trip into the back country of the Clearwater. Carlin had also made arrangements for George Colegate, 52, from Post Falls, Idaho, to go along as cook. Spencer at first objected to a man as old as Colegate going, but since he had cooked for Carlin before and Carlin insisted, Spencer finally consented. Of course, it should have been up to the guide, who knew the hazards of the journey, to make all decisions concerning the safety of the party.

In Spokane they assembled an outfit of ten horses, guns, cameras, three dogs, and what appeared to be ample food supplies. This they shipped by railroad to Kendrick, Idaho, which was the nearest railroad depot to the Clearwater country in 1893.

They left Kendrick on September 18. At Weippe they purchased a sack of potatoes from Patrick Gaffney, who was concerned about their safety and warned them they should get out of the hills at the first signs of winter.

The party went through Weippe on September 20 and camped that night at Browns Creek where due to rain they camped in a cabin. The next day it was raining hard so they remained at Brown Creek. There they caught a string of 53 trout and killed four ruffed grouse. In the afternoon they were visited by a rancher. In a story of the trip Himmelwright published in 1895, he pokes fun at this rancher, but apparently he was a real mountaineer. He told them “I reckon you’ll have a hard time in the snow, so late in the fall.” He also said to them “It’s a pretty tough trip for tenderfeet. Do you fellers all think you can stand the trip?” Likely he had his eyes on Colegate’s gray hair and was, in his way, hinting that he should not go. The party resented his remarks and disregarded the warning, but gave him a mess of trout.

On September 22 they started over the Lolo Trail. They camped at Snowy Summit in about eight inches of snow. This should have been a warning to them that winter was close at hand.

On September 26 they descended to the Lochsa River by the old trail, which has been partially replaced by the road to Jerry Johnson Lookout. When they reached the Lochsa, Colegate was exhausted and his feet and legs were swollen, but he insisted he would be all right with a day or two of rest.

The party was surprised to find four men camped on the river. Jerry Johnson, a prospector, and his partner Ben Keebey were building a cabin and planning to stay all winter. The other two were hunters who had killed one elk and were preparing to leave for Missoula, which they did the next day. Jerry Johnson advised the party to make their stay short because of possible snow, but they thought Johnson wanted the hunting for himself.

The party considered Jerry Johnson something of a grouch. I talked with people who knew Jerry, after he was too old to prospect, and they say he was actually a rather jovial man. Apparently he was a little roiled at the Carlin party for not taking his advice. He could foresee the danger ahead and certainly wasn’t going to do anything that would prolong their stay.

The hunt, if it could be called that, started the next day. It consisted of sneaking up to the licks at what are now called Jerry Johnson and Colgate Warm Springs and shooting at game there. They did not go out into the woods to hunt. They shot two elk, but their shooting was poor. It required five or six gut shots before they could bring an animal down. They wounded a grizzly but, luckily, it did not charge. The weather was miserable; it rained every day.

As it continued to rain, Spencer warned them they might get snowed in, but no one took his warning seriously. The cook, Colegate, continued to get worse. On questioning him, they learned that he had extreme difficulty in urinating. He had used a catheter for some time but neglected to bring it along. He was relieved of his work but there was no feeling that it was urgent to get him to a doctor. The Carlin Party should have left before this, but they could be forgiven for staying a few days. But when the guide said they were in danger they should have heeded his warning. Then it is almost unbelievable that any group of men could be so indifferent to the suffering of one of their party. Surely these men must have known that Colegate was in serious condition and should have been rushed to a hospital.

On October 2 Colegate was in bad condition and Spencer, their guide, urged that the party get out immediately. Pierce agreed with Spencer, but the others had not had enough hunting, and they hoped for better weather.

It continued to rain and by October 6, Colegate’s legs had swollen to nearly twice their normal size and he was barely able to move about without assistance. Spencer continued to urge the party to move out, but they would not go.

On October 10 six inches of snow fell in their camp and more in the mountains. They then decided to move, but ran into three feet of snow on the ridge above camp. They were trapped! The trail had been silently, softly and firmly closed by coming winter!

The party now took stock of its situation. They had food supplies for eight days. Colegate was unable to walk, there was no possibility of getting over the Lolo Trail with horses, and to travel it afoot pulling Colegate on a sled was equally useless to try. The only way out was down river and that was not going to be easy, for Spencer informed them that the river ran through a very steep canyon.

They finally purchased Keeley’s share of the food supplies and hired him to build rafts to take them down river. However, while Keeley and Spencer finished the cabin, which took four days, the other members of the party continued to hunt. They killed two cow elk and a bull with the usual number of gut shots. They had plenty of meat, but all they took of the bull was the hide and horns.

When the cabin was completed, Spencer and Keeley started on the rafts and had them ready to go by October 30, but they did not get underway until November 3. They then started but made only one mile when the larger raft tipped over in a rapid. They saved their food but all, including Colegate, were thoroughly soaked in water.

They took some of the stuff, including the precious antlers, back to Jerry Johnson the next day. It rained hard and Colegate was much worse.

On November 5 they started on and passed Indian Post Office Creek about noon after considerable difficulty and camped on the first flat below Weir Creek, near the mouth of Ginger Creek. Here they noticed that the dogs kept sniffing the air as if game were near. Had they but known it, there were elk at the spring.

On November 6 the battle with the river continued. They made little progress and camped on an island near the mouth of Ashpile Creek. They stayed there the next day to dry out and explore the country ahead.

On November 7 Mr. Wright of Missoula sounded the alarm. He was an experienced guide, a friend of Spencer, and knew what was happening in the mountains. This prompted Brig. General Carlin to organize relief parties. One party was to go in from Missoula and another from the west. The rescue parties moved quickly, considering the transportation of the time. A rescue party under guidance of Wright left Missoula on November 10 and another reached Weippe on November 13.

In the days that followed, Wright penetrated from the east as far as where the old trail climbed the ridge toward Rocky Point. Here he ran into four feet of snow and was forced to turn back. At the same time Lieutenants Elliott and Overton went to Weippe, where they consulted the Gaffney family. Pat Gaffney had been in the Pierce and Weippe localities since the gold rush to Pierce in the sixties. John Gaffney, one of his sons, was born near Pierce in 1868 and was raised in that locality. They were real woodsmen and mountaineers.

The Gaffneys told them that to cross the Lolo Trail was next to impossible, but although it would be rough going, it might be possible to go up the Lochsa River. Furthermore, they reasoned that if the Carlin party was on its way out, it would of necessity, come down the Lochsa River. To follow his advice the party split. One party, with John Gaffney as guide, was to take the Lolo Trail, while Elliott and his crew, with Winn as guide, was to go to Kamiah and up river. The next day, November 14, Elliott set out for Kamiah and Overton took the Lolo Trail.

Overtons’ party reached Snowy Summit, where they found snow so deep that they could make only about one half mile a day. They made little progress and were still fighting snow when they received word that the Carlin party was found. Now let us return to the Carlin party itself.

On November 9 Carlin and his crew camped on the south side of the River near Holly Creek. During the next three days they scouted the river below and found it impassible. They then decided that it would be necessary to walk out. Since they could not take Colegate, they would abandon him.

November 13. It took them until 1 P.M. to cross the river, which they accomplished by falling a large pine tree. In the afternoon they crossed Bald Mountain Creek and camped a half mile below. According to Himmulwright, Colegate was so far gone that he apparently did not realize what was happening, but he was alive and they left him without food or a gun.

November 14. They made about five miles and camped near Nooseeum Creek.

November 15. This day they passed Boulder Creek about noon and camped at the present Lochsa Work Center. Boulder Creek was named before 1893.

November 16. It was necessary to fall a tree across Fish Creek for a footlog. They called it Wild Creek. They camped at the upper end of the dreaded Black Canyon. In his diary Carlin stated “The view did not impress me so much with its grandeur as with the undefinable dread weiriness. It immediately associated itself in my mind with death.” They tried fishing but the fish were so large they broke their hooks. They did succeed in landing three fish.

November 17. A determined assault was made on the canyon but they made only two and a half miles. At their campsite they found a copy of last summer’s Spokane Review, which gave them courage.

November 18. They climbed up and down cliffs all day. They made one and a half miles and camped a few yards east of Tumble Creek, about 1500 feeet above the river. They killed one grouse and had a difficult night. They left a gun here. So far as I know it has never been found.

November 19. The end of the Black Canyon was reached about 4 P.M. and they camped near the mouth of Tick Creek.

November 20. The last of their food was eaten for breakfast and they set out. They were growing weak and stumbled and fell a great deal but made progress and camped at Apgar Creek. They caught a one pound fish for supper.

1909 photo of George Colegate’s grave. The grave is located a few feet below the present route of U.S. Highway 12 just east of Colegate Warm Springs.

November 21. They went fishing and caught three fish for breakfast. Started on at 11 A.M. and made one mile, when they came to a fishing hole at the mouth of Canyon Creek. They camped here and caught six large trout which gave them a good supper.

November 22. Fishing failed to produce any food and they started out without any breakfast. They met Elliott’s rescue party, who were starting to portage the Hellgate Rapids, a particularly bad rapid at the mouth of Hellgate Creek.

Elliott wanted to go after Colegate, but after learning how far it was, Colegate’s condition, and the impassible state of the river above them, decided his efforts would be in vain. He dispatched a messenger to inform the other rescue parties and the outside world that the Carlin party was found. He then took the party by raft to Ahsahka and by horse to Kendrick, where they ate Thanksgiving Day dinner on November 30.

When the Carlin party reached safety, the news first caused a wave of rejoicing. But when it became known that they had abandoned Colegate without food or a gun, the public turned on them in blazing anger. Every paper in the West criticized the party for violating the woodsman’s creed that all must stick together regardless of circumstances. Charges and denials flew between Spencer, Keeley, and the Carlins. The truth could not be determined.

The Carlins paid Mrs. Colegate $25. The people of Post Falls held a meeting and collected money for the support of Colegate’s widow and seven children. Since Colegate was a Mason, that organization came to their assistance.

In February 1894, Colegate’s son, Charles, and three other men went up river in an attempt to find Colegate. They claimed to have gone up river 65 miles, which would have put them to about Indian Grave Creek and well above where Colegate and the raft were abandoned. They found no trace of Colegate nor did they find the raft. A tree, which they had set afire, at one of their camps, fell and broke on man’s collar bone. The others helped him down stream to Pete King’s place.

The next spring Carlin hired Spencer and two other men to search for Colegate. They brought out the hunting trophies but did not find Colegate. At the camp where he was abandoned they found evidence that Colegate had not left camp and that the site had been flooded by high water in the spring runoff.

In midsummer, Lieutenant Elliott and party went into the Lochsa and travelled downstream to where Colegate was abandoned. They carefully searched below this point and eight miles further down found some of the bones, clothes and small possessions of Colegate. Elliott packed the remains up to Colgate Warm Springs and buried them. He placed some stones on the grave and set a post on which was burned “George Colegate”. The grave is now marked by a Forest Service marker and is now a few feet below Highway 12 and just east of Colgate Warm Springs.

source: “A History of the Clearwater National Forest” pub 1981, By Ralph S. Space, Clearwater National Forest Supervisor, 1954-1963
The Clearwater Historical Society, Orofino, Idaho
— — — — — — — — — —

* source for much of the above story:

“In the Heart of the Bitterroot Mountains, the Story of the Carlin Hunting Party, September-December, 1893

by Abraham L. Himmelwright


Book Review

Late September 1893, three adventurous easterners, a guide, and their camp cook followed Idaho’s Lolo Trail into the Bitterroot Mountains in pursuit of big game. Leaving the high country, the men made camp on the banks of the Lochsa River and began hunting in heavy rain. Two months later, exhausted and nearing starvation, most, but not all, of the party emerged from the rugged river canyon and were rescued by a military search party near what is now Lowell, Idaho. This book is the true story of the travails of the Carlin Hunting Party of 1893 and includes extensive excerpts from Will Carlin’s diary, historical newspaper accounts of the day, and appendices providing additional background information. The book tells an extraordinary wilderness adventure-turned-tragedy which has become one of the most controversial and frequently retold true tales of desperation to ever resound from within the heart of the Bitterroot Mountains.

source: goodreads

— — —


by Ladd Hamilton

In 1893, three New Yorkers, their guide, and a camp cook were caught by an early winter in the Bitterroot Mountains, and forced by their own ill luck and bad judgment to a decision that shocked the nation. Snowbound is the scandalous, true tale of the Carlin party, whose adventure of a lifetime became an unthinkable tragedy.

[Note: Unfortunately the books are out of print, used copies can be found searching the internet.]
— — — — — — — — — —

In Honor of George Colgate, the Man They Left Behind


I don’t usually get attached to people I’ve never met, especially not when they’ve been dead for more than 100 years. But when I was traveling along U.S. 12, famous for paralleling the route that Lewis and Clark took in 1805 and 1806, I came across a small, grassy site called Colgate Licks, with a simple placard describing the ill-fated tale of George Colgate, and for whatever reason, I couldn’t leave his story alone.

You see, George was the cook in a hunting party that traveled deep into a dense and remote forest along the Lochsa River in Idaho in the fall of 1893. According to the placard, George became ill and unable to walk, so the hunting party left him behind. His remains were found later and were buried at the site.

While reading the sign, not even knowing who these men were or all the details of their story, I actually became upset. It just seemed so unfair.

… I speculated. I wondered. And then I Googled.

Surprisingly, I came across quite a few details about George Colgate.

1893NYT-aThe most fascinating thing I found was a scanned copy of a New York Times article from Dec. 30, 1893 claiming that George Colgate was still alive because a letter with his signature on it had been found in a bottle in the Snake River. The letter said it was from George Colgate, that he was still alive, and it asked for a search party to come rescue him. Here’s the letter directly quoted from the NYT article:

Bitter Root Mountains, Nov. 27
I am alive and well. Tell them to come and get me as soon as any one finds this. I am fifty miles from civilization, as near as I can tell. I am George Colgate, one of the lost Carlin party. My legs are better. I can walk some. Come soon. Take this to Kendrick, Idaho, and you will be liberally rewarded. My name is George Colgate, from Post Falls. This bottle came by me one day and I caught it, and write these words to take me out. Direct to the St. Elmo Hotel, Kendrick, Idaho.
George Colgate
Goodbye, wife and children.

The article says the signature had been verified as being George’s, and despite the hunting party’s insistence that the letter could not be true, a search party was organized to look for him.

When the article was published, the search party had just been sent out, so it has no information about whether they ever found anything.

However, I came across this article on [see below] that says George’s son and some others went to look for him but never found him or his remains. Then in the summer of 1894, a survey crew, by accident, came across a human skeleton, along with clothing and other objects that verified–without a doubt–that the body was George’s. What’s peculiar is the body was found five or six miles from where the hunting party left George…

1894NYT-a… To be fair, the NYT article also reports the hunting party said George’s legs were so badly swollen, he could barely move. Furthermore, a doctor who had treated George before confirmed that there was no way George could have made it back alive. And the men that left him behind did pay a price for it. They seem to have been deeply scorned by society for leaving George. Post Falls, George’s hometown, even held an “indignation” meeting to publicly denounce the hunters. One member of the hunting party later issued a statement in the New York Times, justifying what he and his friends did.

excerpted from: Wherever Writer
— — — — — — — — — —

George Colgate

ColgateGrave-aAdded by Tom Todd

Birth: 1879
Birthplace: Washington Territory
Death: Oct 1893 Idaho County, Idaho
Burial: Colgate Gravesite, Idaho County, Idaho
Father’s name: Geo. T. Colgate
Mother’s name: Fanny Colgate

In the fall of 1893 William E. Carlin, son of General Carlin, Commander of US Troops at Vancouver, Washington; John Harvey Pierce, young Carlin’s brother-in-law; A. A. Hemmelwright from New York; and Martin Spenser decided to go on a hunting trip deep in the remote section of Idaho along the Lochsa River. Deer, elk, and grizzly bear were plentiful at the time. The party was to meet at Kendrick, Idaho about 100 miles from the planned hunting area. At Kendrick they purchased horses, pack animals, supplies and what they thought to be enough food and they hired George Colgate as their cook. They promised to return with enough meat for everyone and no one was worried about their safety.

It was not until 5 weeks had passed that friends became alarmed, A group of cavalrymen rode into Kendrick from Walla Walla and reported the hunting party was possibly snowed in and a search party had been sent out. Another search party from Fort Missoula had also been ordered out, but had to turn back because of the deep snow. General Carlin ordered out a third search party. The third party traveled fast and, without knowing it, passed the party from Kendrick. This party reached the junction of the Lochsa and Selway Rivers where they encountered two trappers. They enlisted the aid of the trappers, constructed two rafts, and poled upstream on the Lochsa. After two arduous days of fighting the current they came upon a camp containing all of the party except George Colgate. Carlin explained that Colgate had become sick and near death, so all the campers voted to leave him in the camp further up the river. The campers had constructed a clumsy raft that had come apart where they were found. It was never explained why none of the party went on up the river to search for Colgate.

Upon returning to Kendrick, Carlin stated they had tried to ride out on horses, but the snow was already belly deep, so they had to turn back to the river camp. That night their horses disappeared and were never seen again. The next morning the snow was falling more heavily and without snowshoes they decided to fight their way down the river. They made a mile the first day. They made another camp and stayed several days while they consumed almost all their food and supplies. Finally the storm had abated somewhat and the snow settled into somewhat of a crust. They decided to move downstream again, but complications had developed because Colgate had become too sick to travel. In a near panic, the others decided to leave him, constructed the raft and made it 30 miles downstream.

It was assumed that Colgate died immediately and it was written off as another wilderness travel and forgotten by most folks. Still there were a few who wondered about the incident and the following year in February, Charley Colgate, the cook’s son, and a party went out to solve the riddle. With provisions for two weeks, they set out for the spot where George supposedly died. It took twice as long as expected, their clothes were in rags, and virtually all of their food was gone, but the search continued. One man was seriously wounded when a snag they set fire for warmth fell over on him. He had a broken collar bone, severe lacerations and burns on his body, but this time the rest of the party were determined to take care of the injured man..

After nursing him for almost a week, they fashioned a crude litter and carried him 30 miles to a trapper’s cabin who had plenty of food. For several days they rested and started back to Kendrick. They were met by a search party looking for them. The injured man regained his health, but the trip had been in vain.

In the summer of 1894, Lieutenant Elliot, who had led the first rescue party was given a routine assignment to lead a survey party into the mountains where Colgate had been abandoned. By sheer accident they found a human skeleton with enough clothing remaining to identify it as Colgate. Nearby several articles were found that had been in his pockets. There was no question as to the identity. As the remains were found five or six miles further downstream from where he had been left, two schools of thought arose. One was that if he traveled that far alone, with help he could have been saved. The other was that the Carlin party did the right thing to leave him and ensure their own safety. The survey party took his remains on upriver to the hunting party’s original campsite and buried him alongside the river.

About forty miles west of Lolo Pass, alongside Route 12 in central Idaho, a rest stop looks over Colgate’s grave site.

However, all information contained here has been extracted from an article in the 1968 Summer edition of Old West Magazine and the original article was written by Roscoe Le Gresley.

source: Find a Grave
— — — — — — — — — —

Jerry Johnson and the Lost Mine

Jerry Johnson (Photo courtesy Montana Historical Society)

On September 26, 1893 the Carlin Party reached the Lochsa River a short distance below the mouth of Warm Springs Creek. They were surprised to find four men there. Two were hunters and departed for Montana the next day. The other two were Jerry Johnson and Ben Keeley. They were building a cabin and planning to stay during the winter.

In his book “In the Heart of the Bitterroot Mountains”, Himmelwright has a chapter on “The Lost Indian Prospect and Jerry Johnson”. He writes:

“Six feet in height, with a powerful frame slightly bent by advancing years, black hair mixed with gray, jet black eyes, and a stubby gray beard, Jerry Johnson, the prospector, would arouse curiousity and interest anywhere. A Prussian by birth, he emigrated at an early age to New Zealand. There he became interested in mining, and since then he has devoted his life to prospecting for the precious metals in the wildest and most unfrequented regions of the earth, and occasionally acting in the capacity of guide, hunter and packer. Enthusiastically devoted to his work and often with no other companion than his faithful dog, he has searched for gold in the most inaccessible regions of the Cascades and Rocky mountains, and now, at the advanced age of 60 years, rugged from hardship and exposure, he still loves the isolation and solitude of the mountains, and is seeking with characteristic perseverance the long lost Indian Prospect.

“Many years ago, while Johnson was encamped in the heart of the Bitterroot Mountains, a halfstarved Indian found his way to Johnson’s camp. The Indian was given food and shelter, and grateful for the favors shown him, before departure, in broken English and by signs and gestures, he informed Johnson he knew where there was “Heap Elk City, heap Pierce City”, meaning much gold, there being mines at the places named. Johnson at once engaged the Indian to guide him to the place.

“Returning to the nearest point where supplies could be purchased, he secured adequate equipment, and with one other man and the Indian started back into the mountains. The route taken by the Indian was along the Lolo trail to the warm springs. Here the Indian fell sick, but the party pushed on fifteen miles farther east to a small prairie which Johnson calls “The Park”. When they reached this point, the Indian became so sick he could proceed no further. Fearing he might die, Johnson got the Indian to tell him how the gold was found. This was quite difficult as the Indian could speak few words of English and had to convey most of the information by gestures. The story he told was substantially as follows:

‘A party of Indians were camped at the place they were journeying to, some years previously, and one of them being suddenly taken very sick, a “sweat-bath” was prepared for him. (Here the author describes the making and use of a sweat house.)

‘While preparing this sweat-bath, it was necessary to loosen and remove some white rock and while doing this, the Indians discovered that the rock was full of gold, or, as the Indian called it “Elk City”.

‘The Indian guide grew worse and weaker every hour, and Johnson being alarmed, took him in his arms and carried him to a more elevated position, where a view to the eastward could be obtained.

‘Which way from Here?’ Johnson Asked.

‘With his remaining strength, the Indian raised his arm and pointed to a peak covered with snow. “See snow”, he said. Then raising one finger, he pronounced the one word “sun” and rolled over on his blanket exhausted. A few hours later he died.

“Not discouraged by his ill fortune, Johnson and his companion buried the Indian and pushed on to the peak indicated to him and searched the country beyond and around the peak all that summer, but never succeeded in finding the old Indian camp. Since that time he has spent several summers fruitlessly in the same neighborhood, and is now passing the winter in that desolate snow bound region, hoping, early in the spring, to continue his search for the “Lost Indian Prospect.”

… Jerry Johnson spent his old age in the Missoula vicinity and is buried at the Missoula Cemetery.

Jerry Johnson cabin in about 1902.


(pages 134-135)
source: “A History of the Clearwater National Forest” pub 1981, By Ralph S. Space, Clearwater National Forest Supervisor, 1954-1963
The Clearwater Historical Society, Orofino, Idaho

page updated Nov 19, 2018

Road Report March 26

No current reports – please share your road reports!

As of last Wednesday (Mar 22) mail truck driver (Robert) reports a pretty good trip in. Watch for black ice in the early morning on both sides of Big Creek Summit. The South Fork road is pretty much bare pavement the full length. The contractors are still working on removing the slide debris off the side of the EFSF road and clearing the ditch. No rocks or trees down.

Local streets are mostly clear. A little snow remains in the shade.

Remember, road conditions can change quickly. Be prepared for trees, rocks and slides this time of year with the freeze thaw.

South Fork Salmon River Road Weight Restrictions
I wanted to make folks aware that the weight restrictions have been placed on the South Fork Salmon River Road. We anticipate this restriction remaining in effect until late May.
Be cautious when driving on the South Fork and East Fork South Fork Salmon River Roads. There have been and continue to be numerous slides and debris rolling onto the roadway. In addition there is a fill slope failure occurring near MP 12.0 that we will continue to monitor through the spring with anticipated repair work this summer.
Will Perry – Payette National Forest

Snow Totals:
Yellow Pine ‘sno-brd’ 4800′ = Trace
Big Creek SNOTEL 6580′ = 92″
Deadwood Summit SNOTEL = 133″


Weather Reports March 19-25

Yellow Pine Weather Forecast

This week 6″ of snow melted and we received 0.65″ of rain. So far this month we have received 11.9″ of snow, melted plus rain adds up to 4.61″ of water.

March 19 Weather:

At 1030am it was 39 degrees, low misty clouds and light steady rain. Pretty much rained all day. Not raining at 515pm. At 645pm it was 40 degrees, higher clouds and not raining. At 8pm it was 39 degrees and some thin high fog. May have rained a little between 9pm-10pm. Not raining at 2am, looked a bit foggy. At 6am it was 35 degrees, not raining. Probable rain between 630am and 830am. Very light sprinkle at 1015am.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time March 20, 2017 at 10:30AM
cloudy, very light sprinkles
Max temperature 42 degrees F
Min temperature 34 degrees F
At observation 40 degrees F
Precipitation 0.23 inch
Snowfall 0.0 inch
Snow depth 6 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

March 20 Weather:

At 1030am it was 40 degrees, overcast and very light sprinkles, didn’t last long. Cloudy and warm. Little showers between 2pm and 330pm. Light drizzle at 530pm, lasted about 10 minutes. At 640pm it was 48 degrees and cloudy. At 8pm it was cloudy. Heard rain around 3am. At 6am water dripping off roof but not raining.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time March 21, 2017 at 10:30AM
Mostly cloudy
Max temperature 49 degrees F
Min temperature 32 degrees F
At observation 40 degrees F
Precipitation 0.07 inch
Snowfall 0.0 inch
Snow depth 5 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

March 21 Weather:

At 1030am it was 40 degrees and mostly cloudy. At 140pm it was 52 degrees. At 5pm very light sprinkles, didn’t last long but enough to make things damp. At 710pm it was 45 degrees and mostly cloudy. Lightly misting at 8pm. Sprinkling at 920pm (river is loud.) At 1120pm it was 38 degrees and steady rain. Probably did not rain after midnight.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time March 22, 2017 at 10:30AM
Partly clear
Max temperature 57 degrees F
Min temperature 30 degrees F
At observation 39 degrees F
Precipitation 0.12 inch
Snowfall 0.0 inch
Snow depth 2 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

March 22 Weather:

At 1030am it was 39 degrees and partly clear. At 1220pm it was 49 degrees and a little breezy. Mostly cloudy warm day, lots of snow melted! At 710pm it was 43 degrees and mostly cloudy. At 8pm it was 42 degrees. At 6am it was 31 degrees.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time March 23, 2017 at 10:30AM
Partly clear, light breeze
Max temperature 52 degrees F
Min temperature 28 degrees F
At observation 40 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch
Snowfall 0.0 inch
Snow depth 1 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

March 23 Weather:

At 1030am it was 40 degrees, partly clear and light breeze. Mostly clear at 1pm, warm and light breezes. At 715pm it was 45 degrees and mostly clear. At 11pm it was 30 degrees, partly cloudy and stars.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time March 24, 2017 at 10:30AM
Partly clear, light breezes
Max temperature 54 degrees F
Min temperature 26 degrees F
At observation 44 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch
Snowfall 0.0 inch
Snow depth Trace
— — — — — — — — — — — —

March 24 Weather:

At 1030am it was 44 degrees, partly clear and light breezes. Wind kicked up at 1045am, overcast. Some hard wind gusts at 1110am. Wind gusts and light rain at 1230pm. Calmer, thinner clouds, light rain at 120pm. Still sprinkling at 3pm. Steady rain at 5pm. At 7pm it was 38 degrees, low misty clouds and light sprinkles. At 930pm it was 36 degrees and steady light rain. At 6am it was 33 degrees.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time March 25, 2017 at 10:30AM
Mostly clear, fog laying on the hillsides
Max temperature 48 degrees F
Min temperature 32 degrees F
At observation 35 degrees F
Precipitation 0.23 inch
Snowfall 0.0 inch
Snow depth Trace
— — — — — — — — — — — —

March 25 Weather:

At 1030am it was 35 degrees, mostly clear above, foggy clouds laying on the sides of the mountains. At 1pm it was calm and mostly cloudy. Breezy at 5pm. Low clouds, dark, breezy and spitting rain (almost snow) at 550pm. Snowing at 555pm. Light rain by 605pm, done by 615pm and breaks in the clouds. At 725pm it was 40 degrees and partly clear. At 11pm it was 30 degrees, mostly cloudy and light breeze. At 6am it was 27 degrees.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time March 26, 2017 at 10:30AM
Mostly cloudy
Max temperature 49 degrees F
Min temperature 25 degrees F
At observation 35 degrees F
Precipitation Trace
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth Trace

Road Report March 22

Wednesday (Mar 22) mail truck driver (Robert) reports a pretty good trip in. Watch for black ice in the early morning on both sides of Big Creek Summit. The South Fork road is pretty much bare pavement the full length. The contractors are still working on removing the slide debris off the side of the EFSF road and clearing the ditch. No rocks or trees down.

Note: The rocks vs. truck incident happened on the road between YP and Stibnite a mile above Tamarack Creek. Full story on Sunday. 

South Fork Salmon River Road Weight Restrictions

I wanted to make folks aware that the weight restrictions have been placed on the South Fork Salmon River Road. We anticipate this restriction remaining in effect until late May.
Be cautious when driving on the South Fork and East Fork South Fork Salmon River Roads. There have been and continue to be numerous slides and debris rolling onto the roadway. In addition there is a fill slope failure occurring near MP 12.0 that we will continue to monitor through the spring with anticipated repair work this summer.
Will Perry – Payette National Forest

Map 0402-04-54 MAP.pdf
Order 0402-04-54 SFK Salmon Rd Restrictions.pdf

Remember, road conditions can change quickly. Be prepared for trees, rocks and slides this time of year with the freeze thaw.

Snow Totals:
Yellow Pine ‘sno-brd’ 4800′ = 2″ (avg.)
Big Creek SNOTEL 6580′ = 88″
Deadwood Summit SNOTEL = 129″


Avalanche Advisory March 22, 2017

Avalanche Advisory March 22, 2017

Bottom Line

The Avalanche Danger is Moderate today at all elevations and aspects. Human triggered loose, wet avalanches remain possible on all steep slopes. On leeward facing slopes in the highest elevations, you may encounter thin wind slabs that are reactive to the weight of a skier or snowmobile. Cornice failures are also a major concern, large cornices are overhanging ridge lines much farther than you might expect. Avoid traveling near the edges of and spending time below heavily corniced ridgelines.

Avalanche Problem #1: Loose Wet

Last night, freezing temperatures returned to the mountains after quite a bit of rain on snow above 8,000 feet, and a sustained lack of freezing temperatures that lasted for around 24 hours. The freeze won’t last long below 7,000 feet today where temperatures are forecasted to climb back up above freezing, and if the Sun pokes it’s head out we will possibly see some loose-wet, shallow natural avalanches, especially on Southern aspects.

Cornices are a serious concern right now as well, if you are up high near ridge lines, yo can see monster cornices on pretty much all of the leeward slopes. Avoid travel on or near corniced ridge lines and limit the amount of time you spend on slopes below them as well.

Avalanche Problem #2: Wind Slab

With an inch or two of new snow last night and gusts from the Southern end of the compass, you may find some shallow 2-4 inch fresh wind slabs that could be sensitive to the weight of person. Today, the forecasted 15MPH winds in the upper elevations will continue to grow shallow wind slabs.

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 31, please respect Snowcats operating, signed and unsigned closures and other users 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”).

Ski areas are closed to snowmobile traffic, last week a group of snowmobilers poached the Northern portion of Tamarack Resort crossing under a fixed and signed rope line and left trenches on 3 of the ski runs that don’t get groomed. Don’t be “that guy” that gives sledders a bad name, please respect boundaries, snowmobiling at a ski resort is a low blow and a safety concern.

Recent Observations

No new avalanches were reported or observed, skiing and snowmobiling the last few days has been a mushy, slushy, sometimes enjoyable, mostly sticky mess. Warm temps have turned the upper snowpack into something that resembles a melting snowcone.


SHORT TERM…As of 2 AM MDT clouds continue to stream nne
through our area but little if any pcpn is falling. Upper
trough off the NW coast is shifting east but will split as it
comes inland, with the main parts going north and south of us
this afternoon and tonight. As a result, showers will develop
again today in our northern and southern mountain areas, as
well as in Harney County. Other areas, including the Treasure
and Magic valleys, will have only a slight chance of showers.
Instability will be weaker than yesterday but still enough for
a slight chance of thunderstorms this afternoon and evening,
except in and near the Boise Mountains and Camas Prairie.
After a relatively cool night under the split upper trough,
Thursday will be dry and a little cooler than today as the next
short wave ridge builds in from the west. Warming with the
ridge will come Friday. Winds will be light west or northwest
today, light and variable tonight, then light to moderate
northwest Thursday. Gusts to 25 mph are expected Thursday
afternoon in the Upper Treasure and western Magic valleys.

.LONG TERM…Thursday night through Wednesday…An active pattern
will bring a series of upper troughs across the Pac NW through the
period. The first system tracks across the region Fri/Sat with
moderate precip amounts and snow levels of 5-6k feet. Saturday night
and Sunday are dry for most areas, though southeast Oregon will see
precipitation chances increase Sunday afternoon as the next upper
wave approaches the coast. While there are differences in the
pattern evolution between the ECMWF and GFS early next week, both
solutions keep the area wet and cool Sunday night through Tuesday.
Snow levels will hold around 5k feet. Drier conditions on Wednesday
as a short wave ridge passes. Temperatures are within a few degrees
of normal through the period.

Rockslide photos from March 18

Correction: This incident occurred on the Stibnite road just below Tamarack Creek. 

Saturday March 18 (via Facebook) Road Report

“Had the luck of the Irish with us yesterday. Our driller while driving to Yellow Pine, picked up a passenger at mile 8. [Eight] 600-1300 lbs boulders came down the hill. He was so lucky and the fact that he was driving alone. The F250 took all the damage and provided him a place to hide when the rest of the boulders came down. H&H towing came from Cascade last night and around 10 pm got the truck loaded and made it YP around midnight. Craziest St. Patty’s Day I’ve ever had!!!”



Flood Advisory until March 20, 845pm

Yellow Pine Forecast

Flood Advisory

Flood Advisory
National Weather Service Boise ID
803 PM MDT SUN MAR 19 2017

Boise ID-Valley ID-Elmore ID-Camas ID-Gem ID-Adams ID-Washington ID-
Baker OR-
803 PM MDT SUN MAR 19 2017

The National Weather Service in Boise has extended the

* Small Stream Flood Advisory for...
  Snowmelt in...
  Boise County in southwestern Idaho...
  Valley County in southwestern Idaho...
  Northeastern Elmore County in southwestern Idaho...
  Camas County in southwestern Idaho...
  Gem County in southwestern Idaho...
  Adams County in southwestern Idaho...
  Washington County in southwestern Idaho...
  Baker County in northeastern Oregon...

* Until 845 PM MDT Monday/745 PM PDT Monday/

* At 758 PM MDT/658 PM PDT/, numerous small streams are running high
  across the West Central and Boise Mountains, the Upper Weiser
  Basin, Camas Prairie, and Baker County. Many small streams and
  rivers will experience minor flooding through Monday. The flooding
  is the result of snowmelt coupled with recent and expected


Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood
deaths occur in vehicles.