Monthly Archives: April 2017

April 30, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

April 30, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Big Creek Lodge

Breakfast at Big Creek dates are Saturdays-June 17 and June 24. We will add one or two more dates after Profile Gap opens so Yellow Pine folks can make the drive. Breakfasts run from 8-10am, and are $10/plate. Visitors can take a tour of the lodge and enjoy pancakes, ham, eggs and coffee/juice. The lodge is 80% complete, and the first workers of the season will be flown in early May to finish the fireplace, interior framing and window framing—the project will need Mother Nature to cooperate so we can complete everything later this summer/fall. Note: Idaho Aviation Foundation will begin recruiting for Caretakers soon for the 2018 season (mid May to late Oct)! Stay tuned if you are interested in learning more, or call Colleen at 208-853-2280 if you want to get more information.
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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.

2017South-Fork-Road-Slump

South Fork Salmon River Road MP 12 early April 2017 (photo Will Perry PNF)

– Will Perry – Payette National Forest
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Tick Season

The continued wet weather along with deer and elk in the village are a boon to ticks.
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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
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Local Observations:

Monday (Apr 24) rain early this morning, with a little snow mixed in at times (barely stayed above freezing), low clouds – ridges socked in. Robins calling, otherwise quiet. Rain stopped before noon, pileated woodpecker whooping. A short little shower around 1pm. Decreasing clouds during the afternoon, filtered sun, cool breezes. Rain and snow during the night.

Tuesday (Apr 25) snow from last night melting in the light misty rain this morning. Clouds breaking up and rain quit by 1030am, partly clear by mid-day. First daffodil bloom in our yard. Bigger leaves on wild gooseberry bushes. Cloudy by late afternoon, a few drops of rain at 630pm. Gusty winds after 10pm, then calmer after midnight.

Wednesday (Apr 26) stayed above freezing overnight, cloudy and humid this morning. Robins calling and a raven flew over. Quiet cloudy day. Little short showers off and on later in the afternoon. During the rain shower at 6pm, several jays were calling from a neighbor’s tree, robins chirping happily. Moderate rain fell for over 30 minutes before dark. Puddles and robins chirping at 9pm. Snowed a skiff during the night/early morning.

Thursday (Apr 27) skiff of snow fell early morning, low of 31 degrees. Snow melting and partly cloudy this morning, robins chirping, no swallows. Ground squirrel running around eating grass. Snow flurries off and on all day, a break early afternoon, then more snow flurries, no accumulation.

Friday (Apr 28) froze this morning, low of 27 degrees, a few flakes of snow fell 9am-10am. Robins calling, no swallows around. Squirrels out running around. Snow flurries off and on until 1pm. Breaks in the clouds in the afternoon, cool and breezy. A little traffic, otherwise very quiet. Robins hopping and chirping at dusk.

Saturday (Apr 29) hard freeze this morning, low of 23 degrees, frost melting as the sun hit. Swallows are back, first mourning dove sighting, jays and robins calling. Second daffodil blooming. Sunny all morning and warm. Clouds building in late afternoon and overcast by evening. More Colombian ground squirrels out of hibernation. First brown-headed cowbird sighting. Lots of swallows around in the evening, and of course robins. Cloudy night, no stars out.

Sunday (Apr 30) stayed above freezing overnight, overcast and feels like rain this morning (but didn’t.) All the daffodils are in bloom. Lilac bush buds elongated and showing dark purple where the flowers will come. Bleeding hearts are slowly growing more red spikes but some have a green fringe of tiny leaves. Swallows are still here, robins and small birds calling. A few light sprinkles around 630pm. Swallows and robins out in numbers this evening.
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Letter to Share:

Commissioner Cruickshank’s April Newsletter

April 30, 2017

From the Desk of Commissioner Cruickshank,

Sunday April 2nd
Today I worked on emails and sent out data on the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program of payments to all the Commissioners and Clerks in Idaho.

Monday April 3rd
Commissioner day today. The minutes once approved will be located on the Valley County website Valley County, Idaho | Official Site under the commissioners section. http://www.co.valley.id.us/

Tuesday April 4th
This morning I met with the Payette National Forest Supervisor to discuss access into the Payette National Forest for the public.
I attended a meeting with a potential company interested in the Bio-Mass Campus idea and how it could work in Valley County.
I attended the Board of Community Guardian meeting in Cascade.
I met with the two folks who will be going with me to Denver for the America’s Best Communities (ABC) Awards event held later this month to finalize our presentation to the audience.
I participated in a conference call with the Legislative Staff at the National Association of Counties (NACo) to discuss current legislative concerns as they relate to President Trump’s first budget release. Topics included Waters of the US, Bureau of Land Management 2.0 Plan, Opiod Crisis, Affordable Health Care, Tax Reform, potential Government Shutdown, Sanctuary Cities, Infrastructure which included broadband, bridges and Public Private Partnerships which are the big issues facing us right now. We also discuss how the SRS and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) is not in the Continuing Resolution at this time and efforts to advocate for them to be included as they are important to counties.

Wednesday April 5th
I participated in a WIR Executive Board call to discuss the agenda for the WIR Conference and work on final details for speakers and workshops. I replied to a potential speaker for the conference that he was included.

Thursday April 6th
This morning I listened in to a NACo Central Region conference call to understand more of how these calls are done. I sent out an email to folks on the WIR Nomination Committee for a date of a conference call to discuss possible candidates for a special award at the WIR Annual Conference.
I returned a call to a Montana Commissioner to discuss the PILT program and advocacy.
I attended the West Central Mountains Economic Development Council meeting this afternoon.

Friday April 7th
I participated in a conference call with the folks doing our Employee Salary study to review the documents they are working on. I made suggestions and requested speaking to other County offices to clarify some questions they had.
I attended the Payette National Forest Wildfire Simulation exercise they conducted in McCall.
I participated in a NACO Executive Board conference call to discuss an upcoming NACo Advocacy Fly In and to report on Western Region issues.

Sunday April 9th
I replied to an email request for evaluation of the NACo Executive Director from my perspective.

Monday April 10th
Commissioner day today. Minutes once approved will be on the website. http://www.co.valley.id.us/
I returned a call to the McCall/Donnelly School Superintendent inquiring about the SRS efforts for reauthorization.
I returned a call to the ABC Spokesperson on the deadline to submit our presentation materials to the ABC folks in Denver.

Tuesday April 11th
I attended a tour of the McCall Annex with City of McCall Police Chief and staff on a potential use of the facility once the Juvenile Center is closed.
I participated in a call to discuss an upcoming agenda for the Big Creek/Yellow Pine Collaborative meeting which will be held the end of April.

Wednesday April 12th
I sent out a reminder of the NACo Western Region conference call with the agenda which will happen tomorrow April 13th.
I participated in the National Forest Counties and Schools Coalition (NFCSC) call to discuss the need of bridge funding for SRS payments until we return to responsible/sustainable management of our National Forests which historically funded this program and the Forest Service. Today the Forest Service is relying on taxpayer dollars to fund the majority of their budget as the decline in Timber Harvest is much less than in the last 100 years. We also work to find potential solutions of how to do responsible management.

Thursday April 13th
I returned a call concerning the flood plain area below Cascade Dam and discussed the opportunity to appeal the current flood plain survey.
I chaired the NACo Western Region as I am the Western Region Representative for the NACo Executive Board. Today we heard from the state of Washington on issues facing the state of Washington. Also allowed were topics of concern from other commissioners is other states. We heard from NACo staff on the Icivics program which can be found on the website at naco.org which is a board game of how county government works. You might check this out and see for yourself how this relates to county government.
As a result of this call I received a request from a Nevada Association of Counties Natural Resource person to discuss some concerns they have on Natural Resources in Nevada. I connected them with our Idaho Association of Counties Natural Resource staff person to discuss further.
I had a phone conversation with Valley County’s Emergency Manager to discuss recent mudslides and related damage to Valley County roads and to understand where Valley County fit into the Emergency Declaration for Idaho.
I returned a call to a citizen asking about when the repairs were completed in past years beyond Warren, Idaho where it comes back into Valley County and then over to Big Creek.
I returned a call to a developer representative to discuss the upcoming Tamarack Property Tax Deed Sale.

Friday April 14th
I responded by phone to a request to understand more about the upcoming WIR Annual Conference and to discuss how small rural counties can have a better say in Federal Legislation. The concern is small populated counties are often ignored due to not having a significant impact even though the impact may greatly hamper the smaller rural counties more. The other issue was rural voices are small in state legislatures and we need to improve this.
This afternoon I attended the Funeral Services of a neighboring county who left this earth way to early. A great tribute to him was the incredible turnout of folks for the service.

Monday April 17th
Commissioner meeting today. Please see the Valley County website for the minutes of this meeting once approved. http://www.co.valley.id.us/

Tuesday April 18th
This morning I drove to Boise to catch a flight to Denver for the ABC Award Event along with two other from our area. Tonight we attended an evening reception for ABC held at the Co Bank offices in Denver.

Wednesday April 19th
Today is Award Day for ABC. The top eight finalist in the contest provided presentations on their last 11 months and implementing their plans and moving forward in their communities. Sadly I must report Valley County/Meadows Valley did not win one of the top three positions however we did celebrate the fact that we have a great plan to work from and will continue to work on this into the future. Tonight there was an evening reception to wind down the event.

Thursday April 20th
This morning we gathered with folks from Chisago Lakes, Minnesota and Arlington/Darrington, Washington to debrief on the outcome as none of us were in the top three of the contest. However we all were communities that have similar issues and are sharing ideas. So again we are winners as we met great folks from other communities who want to stay in touch and share experiences.
I along with one of our group took the train into Denver and did a quick tour of a portion of downtown before we had to catch our shuttle to the airport to fly home.

Friday April 21st
I caught up on emails and sent out a Thank You and Invite to the ABC Project Leads for out next meeting in May to work on the path forward.
This afternoon I participated in a NACo Executive Board Conference call. Discussed the final details of the Fly In next week.

Monday April 24th
Commissioner day today. The minutes of this meeting will not be approved until a meeting in May so they will not be on the website until approved.
I left the meeting in the afternoon to drive to Boise to attend an Idaho Association of Counties (IAC) Board of Directors event tonight in Boise.
I received a phone call from a Forest Service person inquiring about how Valley County worked with the Payette and Boise National Forests to accept Forest Roads and Trails Act easements to be able to maintain routes into the National Forest that provides Public access to the Public Lands.

Tuesday April 25th
I attended the days event of planning with the IAC Board of Directors. Discussed were new staff joining the IAC office, Executive Directors report, Mid Winter Conference dates, Idaho hosting the WIR Annual Conference next year in Sun Valley, IAC Legislative Committee authority on Legislation, Policies and Procedures Manual, Scholarship Fund and an IAC By-Laws update. Tonight I attended the evening dinner for the IAC Board.
I received a message, late tonight, requesting me to submit my name to possible testify to a congressional committee and needed a call to discuss.

Wednesday April 26th
I flew to Washington DC to attend the NACo Leadership Fly In to meet with multiple offices on the budget impacts and issues counties face.
In between flights I learned that the testimony I am requested to give is on SRS and PILT impacts to counties so I called back to my commissioners to see if they were okay with my missing a commissioner meeting to be able to testify before I submitted my name. I then confirmed that I would submit my name to be considered.
I arrived early enough to participate on the NFCSC conference call to discuss SRS advocacy for the program and discuss recent efforts from their Fly In held a few weeks ago in Washington DC.
I attended the planning session of NACo to receive our assignments for the next two days of meetings.
Tonight NACo had a reception for the attendees who made the commitment to come speak on behalf of their counties, states and regions.
I also received a call that my name was submitted for testimony in front of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on May 2nd at 10:00 AM and would receive confirmation sometime tomorrow.

Thursday April 27th
9:00 AM This morning we met at the NACo offices and received last minute changes to schedules. We watched NACo President and NACo Transportation Chair being interviewed at C-SPAN to discuss county issues.
10:00 AM Was a Shut Down Summit held in the NACo Conference Center where NACo President, NACO 1st Vice President, a Commissioner from Miami-Dade County and a Mayor from College Park, Maryland where they spoke on the potential government shut down impacts and federal budgetary uncertainty.
11:00 AM I participated along with the WIR President and NACo Public Lands Chair in an interview with Route 50, a local media outlet, to discuss the SRS and PILT impacts if not reauthorized.
Lunch at NACo
1:00 PM I was able to attend the sessions where we heard from Marty Rieser, Senior Counsel, Office of the Majority Whip which is Representative Steve Scalise from Lousianna and Derrick Dockery, Director of Coalitions, Office of the Speaker, which is Representative Paul Ryan from Wisconsin. Topics included Affordable Health Care ongoing work despite talk of nothing is happening, Tax Reform and how this could help the economy by providing more incentives, allowing counties more authority on health care, streamlining federal process to get projects moving and understanding not all counties are the same.
Next we had a short conversation with Congressman Charlie Dent from Pennsylvania and is Co-Chair of the Tuesday Group in the House of Representatives. He was able to speak to us on how the counties have to deal with congressional decisions. He had to leave due to a call for a vote on the House Floor.
3:00 PM An attempt was made to meet with Congressman Drew Ferguson from Georgia however with the floor votes happening we met with a staff person for a few minutes.
4:30 PM I along with my counterparts WIR President and NACo Public Lands Chair met with John Ruhs, Acting Deputy Director, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Department of the Interior. Here we had a planned 30 minutes to talk and left there after 1 1/2 hours so they took extra time to discuss our concerns. We spoke on the recent BLM Planning 2.0 and how counties want to be included with future discussions, counties having good data to draw from, social economic impact to counties when decisions made without local input, creating an advisory Think Tank, counties goal is to be involved all through the process and not left out in the decision making, relationships creating better partnerships, understanding what counties are bringing to the table, following the laws in any plan with coordination and collaboration with all and National Monuments need local input and agreement upfront instead of after the fact.
I received confirmation that my name will be accepted to testify on May 2nd and that I need to have my written testimony in by 10:00 AM Friday April 28th which is tomorrow.
I attended the NACo Leadership Fly-In dinner.
I then worked on the written testimony for tomorrow’s submittal.

Friday April 28th
Early to NACo Offices for breakfast and finalizing my written testimony and submitted on time.
Received last minute changes to our schedules for this morning.
10:30 AM I met with Layne Bangerter, former staff of Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, who is now EPA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Governmental Affairs. In this role he, guides and manages EPA’s Office of Governmental Affairs. We discussed the Waters of the US ruling and how it has now been pulled back by Executive Order which if implemented would of impacted all counties across the U.S. Layne helped with the writing of the Executive Order. We discussed the concern that the Federal Government is the only one concerned about clean air and water. We assured Layne that this is not true the concern is the ability to respond while we wait for permits and additional damage is done to the watershed or our air. We discussed the need to use Natural Resources to assist with funding the efforts to restore the watersheds and improving the environment. Counties and local stakeholders know the land they live on and can provide the best information. The need to do a better job of education on where the good is and recognize what the bad is. When making comments on federal decisions we focus on the bad and forget to provide what is good in the decision. EPA is requesting getting other states and NACo together to discuss steps moving forward by digging deeper into the issues to find solutions. Taking some time to review the past work and see where the issues began to weigh the cost versus benefits of decisions and reporting back to everyone.
Also participating were folks from the BLM office in Idaho via the phone. They requested me to stop by sometime to discuss more of Idaho’s concerns and how to work forward.
I then returned to NACo offices where several of us discussed the last two days of events and meetings before departing home.
I am honored to have the opportunity to represent Valley County, the State of Idaho, the Fifteen Western States and counties across America during this NACo Leadership Fly-In. It provides me with a greater understanding of the issues we face and the process our government works from. I truly am grateful to be able to do this for you.

I flew home this afternoon arriving home at 1:00 AM Saturday morning.

So that end this month of April. If you read something in this newsletter and would like more information please send me an email an I will do my level best to respond.

Thanks for reading the news of my work as a Valley County Commissioner.

Gordon

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Idaho News:

Scam alert

Valley County Sheriff’s Office 4/28/2017

In the last two days, the Valley County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center has received several calls from citizens reporting that someone is calling representing Idaho Power. The claim is that they are past due on their bill and there is a shut off notice pending. There is an 800 number that they are giving to call, but it is apparently to the same person that is calling. DO NOT give any of your personal information or pay the bill. Hang up and call 1-800-488-6151 to confirm that your bill is in good standing and there is no pending shut off notice. Be alert and share!!!

via FB:
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Lack of prize money does not deter ABC group from mission

Foundation to be set up to continue economic development

By Tom Grote for The Star-News April 27, 2017

The group that drafted an economic development plan for Valley County and Meadows Valley plans to continue its work even though it fell short of winning millions of dollars from the America’s Best Communities contest.

The West Central Mountains Economic Development Council did not receive one of the three cash prizes announced during an awards ceremony last week in Denver.

Huntington, W. Va., won the top prize of $3 million, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., won the second-place prize of $2 million and Statesboro, Ga., earned the third place prize of $1 million.

The Valley County-Meadows Valley Group was one of eight finalists in the America’s Best Communities contest, having survived three elimination rounds from a total of more than 300 communities that applied.

The group still plans to form the West Central Mountains Community Foundation, which is where any prize money would have gone, said Sherry Maupin, spokesperson of the West Central Mountain group.

full story at The Star-News:
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Valley County to air changes in pathway master plan

Update seeks connection of communities

By Max Silverson for The Star-News April 27, 2017

Valley County commissioners will hold a public hearing on Monday on proposed updates to the Valley County Pathways master plan, which seeks to connect local communities with pathways and encourages developers to build public trails.

The hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday at the Valley County Courthouse in Cascade.

The plan, which was recommended for approval by the Valley County Planning and Zoning Commission, would expand recreational paths throughout the county and beyond.

The focus of the plan is to link communities together and not necessarily create pathways within city limits, according to proponents.

“It is nice to have a plan to review and work toward developing pathways to connect our communities,” Valley County Commissioner Gordon Cruickshank said.

“No funding or construction or purchase of easements or right-of-way is involved in this proposal,” Cruickshank said. “Any funding request will be on a case-by-case basis.”

Priority projects in the proposed master plan include the acquisition of property along pathway corridors, the development of detached pathways adjacent to major roads, and signs on commonly used corridors.

full story at The Star-News:
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Warren Wagon Road Washouts

from the Payette NF Facebook page April 25, 2017

The spring snow and rains have caused slope failures on at least five sections of the Warren Wagon Road, Road 340, from the Warren Summit to the South Fork of the Salmon River.

At least one of these failures is severe enough to limit full size vehicle use. There is also a slide across the road near the bottom of Elk Creek.

The Payette National Forest and Valley County are working together to secure funding to fix these failures as well as to put a closure order in place closing the road to full size vehicles.

It is anticipated that this section of the road (Warren to the South Fork) will not be fixed, nor opened to full sized vehicles during the 2017 summer.

source/photo:
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Car rolls down embankment near Horseshoe Bend, 2 injured

KTVB April 23, 2017

Horseshoe Bend – A car went off Idaho 55 and rolled down an embankment Sunday afternoon, injuring the two people inside, police said.

The crash happened at about 1:30 p.m. north of Horseshoe Bend.

According to Idaho State Police, 74-year-old Sondra J. Worden, of Meridian, was driving northbound on Highway 55 when she lost control and drove off the right shoulder. The car rolled down an embankment and came to a rest on its roof.

Worden and her passenger, 76-year-old Patricia A. Craven, of Lathrop, Missouri, were taken by ground ambulance to Saint Alphonsus in Eagle. Their conditions have not been released.

Both were both wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

© 2017 KTVB-TV
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ITD: Landslides along Highway 55 not as bad as expected

Dean Johnson, KTVB April 27, 2017


Motorists are urged to watch for falling debris along Highway 55. (Photo: KTVB)

Boise County – It’s something many in Boise County have to deal with this time of year. A combination of the melting snow and spring rains can saturate the soil causing the hillsides to become unstable, sending boulders, trees, and soil right into some of the roadways.

The Idaho Transportation Department uses their plows to help clear the roads of that debris, which is why even with no snow or slick roads there’s a chance you could find them still on the road.

“It’s almost May and we still have snow plows running up and down the road, and that’s why they’re out is to plow rocks,” Brian Inwards with the Idaho Transportation Department said.

Inwards added on any given year plow trucks will drive hundreds of miles a day as they make several trips from Cascade to Horseshoe Bend looking for landslides. However, this year has been different.

“We just haven’t had the rocks,” Inwards said. “It’s actually been fairly quiet, which is unexpected, we expect a lot of rocks and we haven’t got them.”

continued w/video report:
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Adams and Washington Counties Road/Bridge Projects

from The Adams County Recorder Facebook page April 24, 2017

For some reason, we were not informed about a public meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 25 at the Council Elementary School, concerning the ITD project below. It will be over by the time the paper comes out this week, so we’re posting the info here.

US-95: Remove & replace eight bridges at various locations in Adams & Washington Co.

Work will begin in spring & be completed in the fall.

Traffic will be reduced to a single lane with shoulder closures, narrow lanes, & speed reduction in each work zone.

Contract budget is $5.1 million.

source:
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N. Idaho officials ID body found in Salmon River

4/25/17 AP

Grangeville, Idaho — A north-central coroner has identified the body that was found in the Salmon River over the weekend.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that Idaho County Coroner Cody Funke verified the body as 35-year-old Derek L. Olson of Riggins.

The body was found near a rest area on Saturday morning by Dave Olson — Derek’s father — who had been searching for his son’s remains for a few weeks. The son went missing March 20 when his vehicle plunged into the river about 28 miles upstream from where the remains were found.

source:
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Saturday auction in Riggins to aid children of crash victim

The Star-News April 27, 2017

A benefit auction will be held on Saturday in Riggins to benefit the children of a Riggins man who died in an accident in March.

The auction for the children of Derek Olson will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Salmon River Inn, which is downstairs at Summerville’s in Riggins.

Auctioneer Kelley Chamberlain will be on hand to seek bids from members of the audience.

Olson, 35, died in an accident on March 20, according to the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office received a report at around 12:05 a.m. March 20 that a vehicle had gone into the river on U.S. 95 a few miles south of Riggins.

Olson’s body was recovered last Saturday about 28 miles downstream from the accident location, the sheriff’s office said.

For questions or to make a donation to the auction, contact Marty Coulter at 315-2320 or martelcoulter@gmail.com or Melissa Blimka 208-890-8511.

Auction items can be dropped off at Summerville’s before the auction. Donations to an account for Olson’s children can be mailed to Sasha and Evan Olson, PO Box 1158, Riggins, ID 83549.

source The Star-News:
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Lucky Peak Dam – Rooster Tail 2017 – Drone / Ground Footage

4/23/2017 Boise, Idaho Copyright Crane Studio Imaging 2017


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Millions of spoiled onions disposed of in Idaho, Oregon

Associated Press, KTVB April 24, 2017

Nyssa, Ore. – An estimated 100 million pounds of spoiled onions have been disposed of in Idaho and Oregon following a winter of unprecedented snowfall.

The Capital Press reported Sunday that both states extended the onion disposal deadline a month to April 15 in response to the number of onions.

… The onions are believed to be spoiled due to sheds collapsing under the weight of large amounts of snow and ice.

full story w/photos:
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Rain delays Idaho potato, wheat planting

4/25/17 AP

American Falls, Idaho — Eastern Idaho farmers are hoping for a hot and dry spell after cold rain delayed much of their spring planting schedules.

The Capital Press reported Monday that farmers usually have all of their wheat planted and potatoes underway by this time of the year. But with frequent storms, cold weather and saturated soil in the state, farmers are now behind schedule.

State crop adviser Keith Fehringer says farmers need to make up lost ground to avoid yield reductions.

Eastern Idaho farmer Mark Darrington says he estimates his potato planting to be two weeks behind last year and about six days behind his five-year average date.

source:
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Mountain snowpack highest since 2006

Dean Johnson, KTVB April 28, 2017

BOISE – The last time we had this much snowpack still left in the Boise mountains at the end of April was in 2006. Some places still having as much as six feet of snow on the ground.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service conducted their monthly snow survey at Mores Creek Summit Friday morning.

There are some bare spots showing on the hillside where the winter snow has begun to melt. And although the snow is melting, hydrologists say we are still 128% above normal for this time of year.

continued w/video report:
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Overhaul of Idaho oil and gas laws includes new commission

By Keith Ridler – 4/27/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — A revamped commission overseeing Idaho’s natural gas and oil industry and a beefed-up state agency to aid that effort emerged from this year’s legislative session along with more detailed reporting requirements for oil companies.

The new laws and rules are a major course change for Idaho as expected windfalls of oil and gas money to state coffers and landowners have failed to happen despite several years of production. Severance taxes on reported production have never matched Idaho’s cost to regulate the relatively new industry.

The new Oil and Gas Conservation Commission that starts work this summer replaces mostly citizen commissioners with three industry experts, a county commissioner and the director of the Idaho Department of Lands.

continued:
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Public Lands:

 

20170407WindStorm1

photo April 8, 2017 by rrSue

Yellow Pine Blowdown Update

USDA Forest Service 4/28/2017

You are subscribed to Yellow Pine Blowdown for USDA Forest Service. This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

The Forest Service is seeking public input (scoping comments) for the proposed Yellow Pine Blowdown Project on lands managed by the Cascade Ranger District of the Boise National Forest.

Project Description

On April 7, 2017, a wind event occurred in the Yellow Pine area that toppled concentrations of trees. In the area immediately west and south of the community of Yellow Pine an estimated 200 trees were blown down.

The purpose of this project is to (1) initiate treatments within the community protection zone to reduce fuels and wildfire hazards, (2) reduce potential insect risk, specifically western pine beetle, Douglas-fir beetle, and Ips, (3) remove down trees affecting access and use of the recreation areas, and (4) capture the economic value of the timber (if commercially viable). For a more detailed description of the proposed project, please review the proposed action report (PAR) on the Project webpage: http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=51724

How to Comment

The Forest Service is contacting interested persons, groups, and agencies to make them aware of the project and to gather pertinent feedback. Please make your comments as specific as possible to help us identify and address issues.

Electronic, written, hand-delivered, and facsimile comments concerning this project will be accepted. Comments may be submitted through the Yellow Pine Blowdown Project. To submit comments using the web form, select “Comment on Project” under “Get Connected” on the right panel of the project’s webpage.

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

Written comments may be submitted to: Boise National Forest, Cascade Ranger District, PO Box 696, Cascade, ID 83638 Attention: Terre Pearson-Ramirez, or by fax at 208-382-7480. Office hours for submitting hand-delivered comments are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection in the Public Comment Reading Room on the project webpage and will be released in their entirety, if requested, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

When to Comment

To be most helpful, please submit your scoping comments by May 22, 2017.

For further information on the project, please contact Terre Pearson-Ramirez, NEPA Planner, by email at tramirez@fs.fed.us or by phone at 208-382-7461.
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South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project EA is now available

USDA Forest Service 4/25/2017

Dear Interested Party:

The Forest Service has completed the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project and is seeking public comment on this EA during the 30-day notice and comment period. The South Pioneer Project is located in Boise County approximately 18 miles northeast of Idaho City, Idaho, and 48 miles northeast of Boise, Idaho. The Project Area covers approximately 39,100 acres in the Boise River watershed. The EA is available on the Project web page: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50694. If you would prefer a hard copy of the EA, please contact John Riling, Team Leader, at jriling@fs.fed.us or by phone at 208-373-4171. A summary document containing the Agency’s response to comments received during the February 2017 scoping period is also available on the project website.

Project Description

The South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project proposes cutting hazard trees along NFS roads and trails, reforesting areas, decommissioning unauthorized routes, and salvaging additional trees killed by the wildfire to recover economic value to support restoration work. Salvage harvest activities are anticipated to begin in early summer 2017 and be completed by the end of the 2018 operating season, while activities such as reforestation would continue for approximately 10 years.

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

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

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

1. Relief from hazards threatening human health and safety
2. Mitigation of threats to natural resources on NFS or adjacent lands
3. Avoiding a loss of commodity value sufficient to jeopardize the agency’s ability to accomplish project objectives directly related to resource protection or restoration.

If the Chief decides this project qualifies for an ESD, the project will be exempt from the pre-decisional objection process (36 CFR 218). This exemption will allow us to implement the project as soon as the environmental analysis is completed and the decision is signed. Providing for immediate implementation following completion of the environment review allows the Boise National Forest to remove hazards safely, complete associated resource protection/restoration projects, and capture enough commodity value to market some of the trees. Often, if material proposed for removal cannot be sold, many of the project’s objectives cannot be met.

We recognize the importance of the public involvement process for this project and am aware that, should an ESD be approved, the expedited emergency procedure alters the structure of that process. Thus, as has been done since the fall of 2016, I will continue to employ a variety of communication options to share and receive information from interested parties. Visit the Pioneer Fire website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/boise/home/?cid=fseprd530485 for up-to-date information.

How to Provide Comment

The Forest Service is contacting interested persons, groups, and agencies to make them aware of the project and to gather pertinent feedback. To be most useful, please make your comments as specific as possible.

Electronic, written, hand-delivered, and facsimile comments concerning this project will be accepted. Comments may be submitted through the South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project webpage at https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=50694.

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

Written comments must be submitted to: Boise National Forest, Idaho City Ranger District, Attention: Brant Petersen, District Ranger, 3833 Highway 21, P.O. Box 129, Idaho City, Idaho 83631 or faxed to (208) 392-6684. The office hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection in the “Public Comment Reading Room” on the project webpage and will be released in their entirety, if requested, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

Written, facsimile, hand-delivered, and electronic comments concerning this action will be accepted for 30 calendar days following the publication of the legal notice in the Idaho Statesman, the newspaper of record. The publication date of the legal notice in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period. Those wishing to comment should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source. The regulations prohibit extending the length of the comment period. The legal notice will be posted on the project website within 4 calendar days of publication in the newspaper of record.

Stay Connected to this Project via the Web

To assist the Forest Service in meeting its goals of reducing our carbon footprint and to achieve a sustainable operation, we are transitioning to a web-based electronic comment system that allows all interested parties to receive project material (project updates, draft and final NEPA documents, and decisions) by e-mail. This new system gives you direct control over which mailing lists you are subscribed to and immediate electronic access to project documents as they are posted online. It’s easy, it’s good for the environment, and it gives “on-demand” access to projects.

To subscribe to this new system, go online to the South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project webpage: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50694. On the project website, you will see a box titled “Get Connected” on the right hand side of the page. Click on “Subscribe to Email Updates”. When you click on that item, you will be prompted to provide your e-mail address and select a password. When you have logged in, you will be able to manage your account by subscribing to projects by Forest, District, project type, or project purpose. You will also be able to change your e-mail address and password. If you no longer wish to follow the project(s), simply delete your subscription. Once you are subscribed, you will receive all project information via e-mail, unless you request hard copies.

Only those who subscribe to the mailing list, submit comments, or notify the Forest that they would like to remain on the mailing list for this project will receive future correspondences on this project. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, without an associated name and address, receiving further correspondences concerning this project will not be possible.

For further information on the project, please contact Brant Petersen, Idaho City District Ranger at 208-392-6681 or bpetersen02@fs.fed.us, or John Riling, Team Leader at 208-373-4171 or jriling@fs.fed.us.

Sincerely,
Melissa Yenko
Acting Forest Planner
Boise National Forest
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South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project Update

USDA Forest Service 4/27/2017

Dear Interested Party,

This email is to let you know that the following updates have been made to the South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project web page (https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50694):

* The Scoping Comment Response Table is now available under the Scoping Tab.
* The legal notice announcing the 30-day Notice and Comment Period for the EA is now available under the Analysis Tab.
* The Biological Assessment submitted to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pioneer Fire Vegetation Burn Severity Map, and hazard tree guide literature documents are now available under the Supporting Tab.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
Melissa Yenko
Acting Forest Planner
Boise National Forest
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Forest Service seeks public comment on the South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project Environmental Assessment

Boise National Forest 4/28/2017

Boise, Idaho, April 28, 2017 — The Boise National Forest has completed the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the South Pioneer Salvage and Reforestation Project. This EA addresses public feedback received before, during and after the February 2017 public scoping period; the strategic goals and objectives in the Boise National Forest Plan; data collection and analyses of the fire’s effects and best available science. The 30-day comment period on this EA begins the day following publication of the legal notice in the Idaho Statesman, the newspaper of record. The EA is available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50694

This EA assesses the effects of actions proposed in the southern portion of the 2016 Pioneer Fire area to remove hazard trees along priority travel routes posing public health and safety concerns, reforesting areas, decommissioning unauthorized routes, and salvaging additional trees killed by the fire to recover economic value important to support restoration work. The EA for the North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project, assessing effects for similar actions in the northern portion of the fire, was released the week of April 17, 2017.

Immediate implementation is essential to successfully accomplish this project’s purpose and need. Thus, the Boise National Forest will request an emergency situation determination (ESD) from the Chief of the Forest Service. Should the Chief grant the ESD, the project will be exempt from the 36 CFR 218 pre-decisional objection process and implementation could begin immediately following issuance of the project Decision anticipated to be in late June 2017.

The Boise National Forest recognizes the importance of the public involvement process for this project and is aware that, should an ESD be approved, the expedited emergency procedure alters the structure of that process. Thus, as we have done since the fall of 2016, we will continue to employ a variety of communication options to share and receive information from interested parties. Visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/boise/home/?cid=fseprd530485 for up-to-date information.

Linda Steinhaus
Public Affairs
Boise National Forest
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North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project Update

USDA Forest Service 4/25/2017

Dear Interested Party,

This email is to let you know that the following updates have been made to the North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project web page (https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50789):

* The Scoping Comment Response Table is now available under the Scoping Tab.
* The legal notice announcing the 30-day Notice and Comment Period for the EA is now available under the Analysis Tab.
* The Biological Assessment submitted to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now available under the Supporting Tab.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
Melissa Yenko
Acting Forest Planner
Boise National Forest
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Private Land Markers

Payette National Forest via Facebook 4/24/2017

Have you noticed orange fence posts, orange tree blazes and orange gates lately?

Per Idaho State law, the orange marking on fence posts, trees and gates is a signal that private land lays behind these markings.

Per Title 10, Chapter 70 of Idaho Law, property that “Is posted with a minimum of one hundred (100) square inches of fluorescent orange, bright orange, blaze orange, safety orange or any similar high visibility shade of orange colored paint except that when metal fence posts are used, a minimum of eighteen (18) inches of the top of the post must be painted a high visibility shade of orange,” denotes private land and entering these marked areas is considered trespass.

Open public lands do not have these markings and the public is welcome. Please note that some roads are open to public use, but may have private lands on both sides of the roadway. It is always best to “Know Before You Go” by referring to land ownership maps.

Please see the below links to view parcel ownership maps by counties:

Adams County: http://data.idahoparcels.us/www/rib/adams.html
Idaho County: http://data.idahoparcels.us/www/rib/idaho.html
Valley County: http://data.idahoparcels.us/www/rib/valley.html
Washington County: http://data.idahoparcels.us/www/rib/washington.html
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Projects under Categorical Exclusion Open for Public Comment

Date: April 24, 2017 Payette National Forest
Contact: Brian Harris (208) 634-0784 cell: (208) 634-6945

McCall, ID – As the snow recedes, the McCall District Ranger and Krassel District Ranger are considering several small projects under categorical exclusions of the National Environmental Policy Act. As a categorical exclusion there are no additional designated public comment periods so the “scoping” phase is the best opportunity for public input. Two small projects are currently open for public scoping comments.

The Brundage Bulk Sampling project is located on the McCall District west of City of McCall near the junction of Highway 55 and Goose Creek Road, northeast of the intersection. This is a new bulk sampling project proposed by the claimant at the existing Brundage Placer claim, where related minerals work has been ongoing for several years. Two areas would be excavated for sampling, processed off site, and then the site would be reclaimed. It is estimated that the project would take 10 to 30 days to complete and would occur late summer of 2017. The project webpage is http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=51285,

The North Fork Lick Creek Trail #082 Reconstruction and Reroute project is located on the Krassel Ranger District east of the City of McCall on the east side of Lick Creek Summit and North of Lick Creek Road. The Forest Service proposes to reconstruct a section of the North Fork Lick Creek Trail #082 at the upper end of the drainage that is approximately 1 mile in length; re-route approximately 85’ of tread near Hum Lake where downfall has caused users to create a go around to access the main trail; and clearing and re-establishing the trail tread and trail prism near the bottom of the North Fork Lick Creek drainage where large diameter trees have fallen over the trail covering approximately 0.5 mile of tread. Trail #082 is a currently managed as a Trail Class 2 (moderately developed) trail for 3 miles and then as a Trail Class 1 (minimally developed) trail for the remaining 7.8 miles, and is open to all forms of non-motorized recreational uses. Work would be done during summer of 2017. The project webpage is http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=51262.

For Brundage Bulk Sampling and North Fork Lick Creek Trail projects, the full scoping notices with maps are available for download from the project webpages, plus interested parties can subscribe to email updates and/or submit comments on these project using the menu on the right side of the webpage. Comments received by May 12th would be most useful to the deciding officials for these two projects.

Several other projects will be available for public scoping between now and July. The project websites are currently published though scoping information and the webforms to submit comments are not yet available; however, interested persons can still subscribe to email updates using the link on the right side of the project pages to ensure they get notice of when projects open for comment.

Two small projects that are planned to begin scoping soon are Pony Creek Outfitter and Guide Special Use Reauthorization (https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=51372) and Payette Lakes Ski Club Bear Basin Permit Amendment (https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=51370) which examines expansion of the parking lot at Bear Basin for a winter warming shelter, both on the McCall District.

Two large projects that are expected to begin public scoping soon are Stibnite Gold Plan of Operations EIS (https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50516) and South Fork Restoration and Access Management Plan (http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=51257), both on the Krassel District. As complex projects being considered under Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Assessment respectively, these two projects will have multiple public comment periods over the next two years with scoping as the first opportunity to provide input.

For a complete list of all projects on the Payette National Forest, large and small, please visit the Forest Schedule of Proposed Actions webpage at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/payette/landmanagement/projects

Brian D. Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Payette National Forest
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Ponderosa park to remove trees due to beetle kill

The Star-News April 27, 2017

Ponderosa State Park in McCall will remove dead and dying trees from Meadow Marsh and other scattered areas.

The trees must be removed to reduce hazards and to reduce spread of infection from beetles, a news release said. The work should be done before Memorial Day.

The work will affect the Meadow Marsh Trail, parts of Sunrise Trail, as well as sections on the day use road. Meadow Marsh trail will be closed during the thinning.

The Douglas-fir beetle is a common bark beetle that kills Douglas-fir trees. The best management is to promote stand vigor by thinning, the release said.

For questions, call the park 634-2164 or contact Richard Taplin at richard.taplin@idpr.idaho.gov or Johannes Giessen at johannes.giessen@idpr.idaho.gov.

The Star-News:
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Court rules against immediate protections for whitebark pine

4/28/17 AP

Helena, Mont. — An appeals court has ruled that U.S. government officials don’t have to take immediate action to protect a pine tree that is a source of food for threatened grizzly bears.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in its order Friday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s ability to protect species through the federal Endangered Species Act is limited by “practical realities,” such as scarce funds and limited staff.

The whitebark pine is in decline amid threats of disease, the mountain pine beetle, wildfire and climate change.

The Fish and Wildlife Service in 2011 said that protections for the high-elevation tree were warranted, but precluded by other priorities. Two conservation groups sued to force the government to immediately list the whitebark pine as an endangered or threatened species.

Canada listed the tree as endangered in 2010.

source:
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Attention rafters: Float permit policy change!

by Natalie Hurst Friday, April 28th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) – Effective May 1, cancellations for float permits for the Four Rivers (Selway, Salmon, Snake, and Middle Fork of the Salmon Rivers) will no longer be released randomly.

Cancellations for control season launch dates will only be available for reservation during a one-hour booking window each day.

The booking window will open daily from 9 to 10 am Mountain Time.

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Critter News:

Pet talk – Zinc Toxicosis In Dogs

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt and Dr. Malia Wayment Apr 28, 2017 IME

The most common source of zinc for small animals is eating pennies minted after 1982. During that year, the composition of pennies changed from all copper to a zinc core with a copper coating. Other sources include galvanized steel hardware (nuts, bolts) and topical zinc oxide ointments. We don’t know why our pets ingest these objects, but they commonly do.

Elemental zinc is released from metallic objects by the action of stomach acid. Once absorbed into the bloodstream, zinc can cause the red blood cells of dogs and cats to rupture.

Because younger animals are more likely to ingest foreign bodies, they are at increased risk for zinc toxicosis. As little as one penny can poison a dog or cat.

Destruction of red blood cells results in anemia, reddish-colored urine and yellowish skin (jaundice). The pigments released on rupture of the red blood cells can be toxic to the kidneys, leading to kidney failure in severe cases.

Diagnosis is based on clinical signs. Metallic objects can be seen on abdominal X-rays. Blood tests are very important.

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Judge orders wolves back under state management in Wyoming

by Associated Press Wednesday, April 26th 2017

Cheyenne, Wyo. (AP) — A court has formally lifted endangered species protection for wolves in Wyoming and put the state back in charge of managing them.

Tuesday’s order by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia follows a March ruling by the court that federal officials adequately responded to concerns about Wyoming’s wolf-management plan. Environmental groups declined to appeal.

Gov. Matt Mead praised the order, saying Wyoming officials recognize the need to maintain a healthy wolf population.

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Wyoming wolf hunts to start again after US court decision

By Mead Gruver – 4/26/17 AP

Cheyenne, Wyo. — Wyoming will hold a wolf hunt for the first time in four years this fall now that a federal court has lifted endangered species protection for wolves in the state, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said Wednesday.

Planning is now underway for the hunt in northwestern Wyoming, which will probably be similar to the state’s last wolf hunting seasons in 2012 and 2013, officials said.

continued:
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Wyoming wolf hunt off to slow start with no reports

4/29/17 AP

Jackson, Wyo. — Wyoming wildlife officials say hunters have not killed any wolves since the legal wolf hunt began.

The Jackson Hole and News Guide reports Wyoming Game and Fish Department officials say they have not received a report of a hunter-killed wolf as of Friday.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Last week of April 2017
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Wolf nearing extinction gives birth to 6 pups at museum

4/29/17 AP

Durham, N.C. — A wolf nearing extinction in the wild has given birth to six pups at a North Carolina museum.

The News & Observer reports a 6-year-old red wolf at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham gave birth Friday to three male and three female pups. It marks the first births of the critically endangered animal at the museum since 2002.

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Wolf Education International

Newsletter April 28, 2017

Court removes obstacle to release wolves in New Mexico

Wyoming wolf hunts to start again after US court decision
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Mountain lion shot, killed in Salt Lake City backyard

4/29/17 AP

Salt Lake City — Utah wildlife officials say they fatally shot a mountain lion that had found its way into a residential backyard in Salt Lake City.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Sgt. Ray Loken says cougar sightings were reported starting about Friday afternoon in the Glendale neighborhood of southwest Salt Lake City.

Authorities searched for hours until they spotted the animal trying to attack a house cat.

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Mountain lion killed in Riverton

4/27/17 AP

Riverton, Wyo. — Authorities have killed a mountain lion after it was sighted a second time this week near homes and an elementary school in the central Wyoming city of Riverton.

Brian DeBolt, of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, says the decision to kill the animal Wednesday was made for public safety.

The Ranger reports that the lion was spotted by a resident under the deck of a residence Wednesday.

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Idaho horseback riders on salmon trek pass through Portland

By Andrew Theen The Oregonian/OregonLive April 24, 2017


Three Idaho women road their horses through downtown Portland on April 24, 2017, part of a 900-mile journey to raise awareness of the plight of salmon in Idaho.

Three women rode horses through downtown Portland on Monday, part of a 900-mile journey to raise awareness about the plight of endangered Idaho salmon.

The trio are traveling roughly the same path imperiled sockeye salmon do, making their way up the Columbia, Snake and Salmon Rivers to the spawning grounds in Idaho’s Sawtooth National Forest.

The trek started last week in Astoria, and the three Idaho residents opted to ride through the heart of Portland to draw attention to their cause.

The “Ride for Redd,” a nod to the term for a salmon spawning ground, is backed by the nonprofit advocacy group Idaho Rivers United. Just before noon, the three riders crossed the Hawthorne Bridge and gathered on the Central Eastside.

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Moose rounded up by officers after stroll in Montana town

4/30/17 AP

Butte, Mont. — A cow moose that went out on a stroll alarmed residents in western Montana before officers were able to herd it safely out of town.

The Montana Standard reports several Deer Lodge residents had started calling authorities on Saturday when the deer was first spotted on the north side of town.

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Mountain goats gaining in numbers in Wyoming

4/30/17 AP

Jackson, Wyo. — The population of non-native mountain goats is growing prolifically in the Teton Range in Wyoming, while the number of native bighorn sheep is in noticeable decline, a biologist says.

Counting bighorn sheep from a helicopter over the past three years, Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologist Aly Courtemanch has tallied no more than 57 bighorns in the Tetons, a considerable drop from counts of 96 in 2008 and 81 in 2010.

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Abandoned hedgehog found at Lucky Peak

KTVB April 28, 2017


(Photo: Lucky Peak)

Boise — Lucky Peak rangers are urging people not to dump unwanted pets in the wild after a hedgehog was rescued near the Lucky Peak recreation area.

The hedgehog was found Thursday near Barclay Bay.

Hedgehogs are not native to Idaho, and can die when exposed to extreme heat or cold. Lucky Peak officials say the animal was someone’s pet, and was apparently distressed to go from living in a cage to the outdoors.

“He or she was expectedly a bit frightened and withdrew into its defenses, but after a few moments of picture taking was warming up quickly and exploring,” rangers posted on Facebook.

The hedgehog was taken to the Idaho Humane Society, and will be placed up for adoption.

source:
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Know these hunters? Idaho Fish and Game seeks Boise Foothills poaching suspects

by KBOI News Staff Friday, April 28th 2017


Fish and Game says the pair was hunting chukar on the Boise River Wildlife Management area March 18, which was 46 days after the hunting season for chukar had closed.

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Idaho Fish and Game is trying to figure out the identity of two chukar poaching suspects.

Fish and Game says the pair was hunting chukar on the Boise River Wildlife Management area March 18, which was 46 days after the hunting season for chukar had closed.

The Boise River WMA was also closed to the public during the time and was/is off limits to the public (it’s scheduled to open back up on Monday).

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Native plants attract birds to your own backyard

By Kathy Aney – 4/29/17 AP

Pendleton, Ore. — Jack Simons doesn’t need television or a good novel for high drama. All he needs to do is step onto the back deck of his Pendleton home and look around.

On a recent morning, Simons stood sipping from a steaming cup of coffee and noticed an eastern kingbird carrying something wiggly in its beak. His interest was piqued.

“I went and got my binoculars and looked closer,” Simons said. “The bird was feeding praying mantises to its babies.”

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Nevada Republican seeks to rewrite Endangered Species Act

By Scott Sonner – 4/29/17 AP

Reno, Nev. — Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller wants to rewrite the Endangered Species Act to ban any new listings without specific approval from Congress and the governors of states where the fish or wildlife live.

The measure he and Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky reintroduced in the Senate this week also would automatically remove a species from the protected list after five years unless Congress voted to keep it there. In cases where a listed species is found only in one state, that governor would be in charge of implementing any protections.

Heller said the dramatic changes are needed because environmentalists increasingly use the act as a tool to block development of public and private lands at the expense of economic growth. He’s most concerned about ongoing federal efforts to protect the imperiled sage grouse across much of the West.

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Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
http://www.cbbulletin.com
April 28, 2017
Issue No. 828

Table of Contents

* Sea Lion Task Force Sends Recommendations To NOAA Fisheries On Further Actions To Reduce Pinniped Salmon Predation
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438805.aspx

* Slow Start This Year But Sea Lions Back At Bonneville Dam For Spring Chinook Feasting
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438804.aspx

* Third Year Of Shooting Salmon-Eating Cormorants, Oiling Nests: Goal Is To Kill 2,409 Birds In Columbia River Estuary
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438803.aspx

* Groups Ask Feds To Cease Barging Snake River Sockeye; This Year Most Smolts Likely Past Collector Dams By May 1
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438802.aspx

* Appeals Court Upholds Decision Allowing Hatchery Fish In Elwha River Salmon Recovery
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438801.aspx

* Group Challenges PGE Request To Elevate Deschutes Clean Water/Salmon Reintroduction Case To Appeals Court
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438800.aspx

* Settlement In Columbia River Clean Water Case Will Fund Water Quality Projects
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438799.aspx

* eDNA With Crowdsourcing Enhances Mapping Of Bull Trout Refuges
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438798.aspx

* Study Tracks Engaging Nature With Overall Well-Being, Trust In Governance A Key Metric
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438797.aspx

* Oregon Adopts Ocean Salmon Seasons; Low Klamath Fall Chinook Forecast Constrains Fishing South Of Cape Falcon
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438796.aspx

* Invasive European Green Crab Found At Washington’s Dungeness Spit; Rapid Response Trapping, Removal
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438795.aspx

* Bureau Of Reclamation Releases Draft EA For Modernizing, Overhauling 18 Generators At Grand Coulee
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438794.aspx

* Learning To Live With Fire: Study Calls For New Ways To Adapt To Increasing Wildfire, Warming
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438793.aspx

* Mini-Magnets: Study Says Fish Homing Skills Based On Iron Possibly Connected With Eyes
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438792.aspx

* NOAA Says Northwest Winter Weather ‘Selected Significant Climate Anomaly’
http://www.cbbulletin.com/438791.aspx
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Fish & Game News:

Uncovering the secrets of the Snake River’s smallmouths

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Specialist
Monday, April 24, 2017 Idaho Fish & Game

A stunned smallmouth bass emerged from the flood-swollen Snake River. It was a slab by anyone’s standards – 19 inches and 4.5 pounds, mottled bronze with dark bars on its broad sides and as pot bellied as a sumo wrestler.

If you’re wondering “where does a smallmouth like that come from?” Idaho Fish and Game biologists and a University of Idaho graduate student are wondering the same thing, and they’re working to find out.

The bass rose to the surface of the cold water because it was momentarily stunned by an electrical current, then netted, weighed, measured and surgically implanted with a pill-sized transmitter that will send a radio signal to receivers, which will track its whereabouts in the Snake River between Swan Falls Dam and Brownlee Reservoir.

continued:
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Chinook Salmon Fishing

In Idaho, anglers eagerly wait and plan their vacations around the Chinook salmon’s annual return.

Idaho Fish & Game

Chinook Salmon are one of the more popular sport fish across the western states due to their large size, hard fighting ability, and excellent table fare.

Chinook returning to Idaho are classified into three groups or “runs” – spring, summer and fall Chinook – based on when they begin their migration upstream to spawn. Most fish range from 12 to 20 pounds, but fish over 30 pounds are caught each year. Due to the different times Chinook salmon enter Idaho, fishing opportunities can often be found from May through October.

Seasons and rules are set annually because the number of Chinook returning to Idaho can vary greatly from year to year. Many factors influence seasons, such as collecting enough fish for spawning and providing different communities with the opportunity to harvest fish. Use the Seasons and Rules page to find maps of each fishing zone.

source:
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F&G News Releases

https://idfg.idaho.gov/press
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Fun Critter Stuff:

BeaverChainsaw-a
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Beaver leads a herd of 150 cattle around a field in Saskatchewan, Canada.

“A very Canadian moment”


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Cute baby beaver

Jeff the Nature Guy shows off Shiloh, a three-week-old North American beaver at ZooMontana.


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Leave It To Beavers


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Seasonal Humor:

IdahoSummer-a
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Weather Reports April 23-29

April 23 Weather:

At 930am it was 42 degrees, mostly cloudy (one large break in the clouds.) Rain shower started at 1015am lasted about 15 min. Rain (with a hint of snow) falling at 153pm, fog along the river. Not raining at 205pm and breaks in the clouds. Pretty good shower 315pm to 330pm. Breaks in the clouds at 410pm. Raining at 510pm. At 530pm it was 43 degrees and raining. Not raining at 545pm. At 730pm it was 45 degrees and partly clear. At 9pm it was 42 degrees and rain coming down in sheets, blustery breezes swirling around, think it lasted around 30 minutes. Not raining at 1130pm. At 6am it was 32 degrees and light rain. At 845am rain/snow mix. At 9am light rain.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time April 24, 2017 at 09:30AM
Low clouds, light mist
Max temperature 54 degrees F
Min temperature 33 degrees F
At observation 35 degrees F
Precipitation 0.18 inch
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth 0 inch
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April 24 Weather:

At 930am it was 35 degrees, light misty rain, low clouds (ridges socked in.) Drizzling at 1030am. Not raining at 1145am. Breaks in the clouds at 5pm. At 6pm it was partly cloudy. At 730pm it was 45 degrees, mostly cloudy and a chilly breeze. Raining at 120am. Snowing big flakes (with a little rain) at 140am. Appears to have preciptated most of the night. Snow on the roofs melting at 9am.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time April 25, 2017 at 09:30AM
Mostly cloudy, misty rain
Max temperature 52 degrees F
Min temperature 32 degrees F
At observation 37 degrees F
Precipitation 0.19 inch
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth Trace
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April 25 Weather:

At 930am it was 37 degrees, snow from last night melting, mostly cloudy and misting rain. Not raining at 1030am. Partly clear by noon, little breezy. At 120pm stronger breezes, more clouds and filtered sunshine. Cloudy by late afternoon. A few drops of rain around 630pm. At 7pm it was 47 degrees, cloudy and light breeze; the river is loud. Gusty breezes kicking up at 1010pm. Fairly calm at 130am.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time April 26, 2017 at 09:30AM
Overcast
Max temperature 54 degrees F
Min temperature 36 degrees F
At observation 41 degrees F
Precipitation Trace
Snowfall 0.0 inch
Snow depth 0 inch
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April 26 Weather:

At 930am it was 41 degrees, overcast and feels humid. Very light sprinkle at 1124am for a couple minutes. A little shower probably some time between 3pm and 4pm, surfaces are damp at 420pm. Light sprinkles at 528pm for a short while. Another short little sprinkle around 6pm. At 7pm it 44 degrees and dark overcast. Steady rain started before 730pm. Slacked off to a sprinkle at 753pm (noise reduction on tin roof was noticible.) Very light sprinkle at 805pm and a bit of a breeze. At 9pm it was 37 degrees, puddles from earlier downpour, but not raining and cloudy. Not raining at 130am. Not raining at 445am. Sliff of snow fell and mostly melted by 930am.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time April 27, 2017 at 09:30AM
Partly clear
Max temperature 48 degrees F
Min temperature 31 degrees F
At observation 35 degrees F
Precipitation 0.17 inch
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth Trace
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April 27 Weather:

At 930am it was 35 degrees and partly clear (snow from early this morning melting.) Light snow falling at 1029am. Break in the snow flakes at 1059am, then very light snow at 11am for about 15 minutes. Breaks in the clouds and breezy at 1145am. Light snow falling at 1215pm. Not snowing at 1233pm. Flaking snow at 1250pm. No accumulation. At 2pm breaks in the clouds and breezy. At 430pm a patch of blue sky overhead, but lowering clouds on VanMeter and light breezes. Snowing very lightly at 448pm. Dark clouds and steady snow at 505pm. Very light snow at 525pm and breezy. A few flakes at 535pm and spots of sunshine. At 6pm more sun and not snowing. A few flakes fell for a couple minutes before 7pm, then breaks in the clouds. At 720pm it was 37 degrees, low clouds and just started snowing again, probably lasted 20-30 minutes. At 9pm it was 32 degrees and partly clear. Dry at 1130pm. Dry at 130am. A few flakes falling at 910am.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time April 28, 2017 at 09:30AM
Overcast, flaking snow
Max temperature 45 degrees F
Min temperature 27 degrees F
At observation 31 degrees F
Precipitation Trace
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth Trace
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April 28 Weather:

At 930am it was 31 degrees, overcast and flaking snow. At 1005am not snowing, a few breaks in the clouds. Flaking snow at 1150am. Steady light snow at 1215pm. Probably quit snowing before 1pm. At 130pm breaks in the clouds, light breeze. At 4pm cloudy and dry. At 7pm it was 37 degrees, broken clouds. At 9pm it was dry. At 8am it was 29 degrees and blue sky.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time April 29, 2017 at 09:30AM
Clear
Max temperature 47 degrees F
Min temperature 23 degrees F
At observation 34 degrees F
Precipitation Trace
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth 0 inch
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April 29 Weather:

At 930am it was 34 degrees and clear, frost melting. At 1230pm it was 53 degrees and clear, light breezes. A few clouds at 4pm, light breezes. By 520pm nearly overcast. At 745pm it was 51 degrees and overcast. Overcast at 9pm. Cloudy at 130am. At 6am it was 37 degrees and cloudy.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time April 30, 2017 at 09:30AM
Overcast
Max temperature 60 degrees F
Min temperature 34 degrees F <– yesterday morning
At observation 41 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch
Snowfall 0.0 inch
Snow depth 0 inch
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Idaho History April 30, 2017

Chinese Miners

Grave by Chinese workings South Fork Salmon River

110930GraveamongChinesework
photo by Local Color Photography 09/30/2011

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Lick Creek Road to South Fork Salmon River

From McCall take Park St. to Davis St. to Lick Creek Road (Forest Road #48). You will drive past Little Payette Lake and Browns Pond, Lake Fork Campground and Slick Rock (8.5 miles). This road continues on through unique glaciated peaks and valleys to low elevation canyons. Sixteen miles into the trip, you will pass Duck Lake Trailhead. The road continues on for another 13 miles past Ponderosa Campground along the Secesh River to the South Fork Salmon River. One mile past the junction of Forest Road #674, Forest Road #48 and #674 split. Just to the north of the junction of the South Fork Salmon River and the East Fork South Fork Salmon River a Chinese Dugout is visible on the east side of the river which you may hike to. You have two options at this point – to continue on road #674 for 25 miles along the South Fork Salmon River to the Warm Lake Road, back to Cascade (20 miles) and McCall (25 miles) or continue on to Yellow Pine and take the Johnson Creek Road to Warm Lake Road and back to Cascade. (120 miles round-trip, 3 hours to Yellow Pine, 3 hours from Yellow Pine to Cascade)

source: Payette National Forest
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Charlie and Polly Bemis in Warrens

USDA Forest Service Payette National Forest, Heritage Program
July 2002 Kathleen Prouty

Lalu Nathoy, locally known as Polly, was born in Peking, in the northern reaches of China. As famine stripped the provinces of food, Lalu’s family fell on hard times and traveled south. In 1869, Lalu’s father exchanged his daughter for money to buy seed in order to save the remaining family members (Elsensohn 1987: 16-18). In 1871, with two other young Chinese girls, she was shipped to the United States from Hong Kong (Idaho Statesman, 1924, reprinted 7-8-1954). Lalu was eighteen when she landed in San Francisco harbor An old woman smuggled her up to Portland where she was sold to a Chinese resident of Warrens for $2,500. The buyer hired another Chinese man to bring her by pack train to Warrens (Gizycka 1923).

C.J. Czizek, former State Mine Inspector and manager for the Little Giant Mine in the Warrens District (Idaho County Free Press 1919: p.1), was a friend and resident in Polly Bemis’ boarding house in Warrens. In a 1933 interview by The Idaho Statesman, Czizek said he knew Polly first about 45 years ago. “At that time (in the 1870’s),” he said, “there were about 1500 white men and 1500 Chinese working in the mines and but one woman, a Mrs. Johnson. ‘Big Jim’ an exceedingly tall handsome Chinaman, was the leader of the Chinese colony… He managed all their affairs. He always dressed in elegant brocaded silk robes and wore a mandarin cap with a scarlet button on the top. He brought a half a dozen Chinese women to the camp.

It was in Warrens that Polly met Charles A. Bemis, the son of Alfred Bemis for who Bemis Point, once the richest property in Warrens is named. Czizek said, “The younger Bemis was a jeweler in a Connecticut town and his father persuaded him to come out to the camp. The easterner fell for Polly at once and they became great friends.” (The Idaho Statesman, September 24, 1933).  Czizek also declared that Polly was not a poker bride as was widely believed.

Charles became involved in the saloon business early in life and by 1880 owned a saloon in Warrens. Polly’s name first appears in the Warrens census in 1880 (the census lists her place of birth as Peking, her age as 27). She is recorded as living in the same residence as Charles Bemis. Her occupation is listed as “housekeeping” (U.S. Census, Washington (Warrens) Precinct, Idaho County, Idaho Territory).

Other newspaper reports from The Warrens Times give brief glimpses into the life of Polly and Charles. In 1887, the Bemis’ house burned in a fire and all but some gold dust and coin was lost. In 1889, Charlie had the job of deputy sheriff in Warrens. Also, during that year on July 4th, he raced his horse, named Dash, twice and lost. Charlie Bemis was shot in the face during a gambling brawl in September 16, 1890. The bullet shattered his cheek and he was in danger of dying from his wounds. When the doctor gave up on him Polly nursed him back to health.

In 1893, the couple bought a mining claim near the Salmon River, 1 miles from Warrens. Charles A. Bemis and Polly Nathoy were married on August 13, 1894. Herb McDowell, a Warrens resident recalled that every summer they would come to town to visit and to sell at the things they had raised on the ranch (McDowell 1987:2). In 1904, a devastating fire burned the business district of Warrens taking with it several buildings owned by Charley Bemis, including the saloon.

The Bemis’s went on to become legends in the Salmon River country. They have become the subjects of many a romantic tale in books and even a movie, A Thousand Pieces of Gold, based loosely on their life. Charlie Bemis passed away on Oct. 22, 1922 and Polly on November 6, 1933. They are remembered as possessing the spirit of adventure and tenacity required in the early days of the Idaho frontier.

source: Secesh History
[h/t BJ]
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bemis2

Polly Bemis with her horses, Nellie and Julie, Feb. 6, 1910
Courtesy of the Idaho State Historical Society, Neg. No. 62-44.7, Photograph by Charles Shepp

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Chinese Sites in the Warren Mining District

In the late 19th century, thousands of Chinese immigrants flocked to the western United States to make their fortunes in the gold rush and in the railroad and fishing industries associated with the expansion of the American frontier. Many of these immigrants came at first to California, but by the 1860s, they had begun to move to other western states. In 1862, the Warren Mining District–located on the South Fork of the Salmon River in north central Idaho–was organized when gold was discovered near Warrens Creek. Due to the mining union’s exclusionary policies, Chinese immigrants were initially prevented from participating in mining operations. However, in 1869 the union miners voted to open the camp to Chinese miners since they were willing to mine placer gold (extraction of mineral deposits from excavations of sand, gravel, clay, or silt by washing or dredging), which many American miners were unwilling to do because of the labor intensive process.

The Chinese immigrants–-like other sojourners in the United States-–placed a high value on maintaining a traditional diet and lifestyle, which significantly impacted the social and cultural composition of the Warren area. Contemporary records indicate that during the summer mining season, there may have been between 800 and 1200 Chinese miners in the area. The population was mostly male, though some women were among their numbers. Between 1870 and 1900, the growing immigrant community at Warren included numerous Chinese-owned businesses including shops, a laundry, a saloon, a gambling house, a pharmacy and mining companies. Chinese were also employed as cooks, handymen, farmers, barbers, blacksmiths, fishermen and shoemakers; a majority of the women, as recorded in census statistics, worked as prostitutes.

source: National Park Service
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Warren Mining Camp Events

Payette National Forest

Horse stealing was a common occurrence in the West during the 19th century. On a summer trip into the mining camp of Warren in 1867, a Lewiston Journal correspondent reported, “I had the misfortune of having my horse stolen. No trace of him could be found …. I then procured another horse and proceeded,” (July 4, 1867)

A reporter writing from Warren, Idaho on Christmas Day in 1874 wrote: “In this camp about fifty white men are wintering and the number of Chinamen I do not know, probably about the same number. The principle employment of a large part of them is getting their firewood, cooking and eating their grub, assembling in small squads, poking fun at their neighbors who are disposed to work around and on their claims to some extent. Although they seem to be a happy community. Riding on snow shoes downhill, occasionally stagg dancing, and playing private jokes on upon each other form much of their amusement.” (The Northerner, January 9, 1875).

Whenever a crime was committed, the Chinese were immediately suspect as noted in this article: “From our correspondent at Warrens we learn that the safe extracted from Cronan’s store at that place a few days ago was found Sunday in a ditch in the rear of town, broken open and the gold dust and coins removed, but all the papers, county warrants, and a sum of greenbacks and gold notes remained untouched. Suspicion rests upon Chinamen.” (Idaho Signal, October 12, 1872)

The editor of The Nez Perce News summed it up in 1881:

“The camp [Warren] was never the scene of such excitement as characterized Florence in early days. Its residents were essentially law abiding, and shooting scrapes were exceedingly rare, so much so that but one lynching has ever occurred in the history of the camp, and that was only two Chinamen hanged two years ago… (August 4, 1881).

From The Nez Perce News – March 18, 1886

Our Warrens Letter
H.C. Savage Mysteriously Disappears
Big Fire at the Meadows etc

Warrens, Idaho, Mch. 5, ’86

Ed. News: – The reported passage by the house of Mr. Hailey’s annexation bill, with the boundaries as formerly published, seems to give general satisfaction.

We are having some excitement in camp over the disappearance of an old resident, H.C. Savage. He was working on a mining claim with a partner, Warlick, on the south fork, sixteen miles from here. Savage cannot be found and circumstances indicate that he has been foully dealt with. Warlick is detained pending investigation. The country is being searched for a clue to the missing man.

The principal lodging and storehouse of the Fook Sing claims on the Meadows was burned to the ground this morning. The Chinamen, twenty-five or thirty in number, stood by perfectly paralyzed and saw the building slowly consumed with all their, blankets, clothes and grub. Loss about $5000. Fire commenced in the chimney. Bad for the Chinamen but good for the merchants. N.B.W.

source: Payette National Forest
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Ah Toy and Ah Kan – Crossing Paths in Warren

USDA Forest Service Payette National Forest, Heritage Program July 2002

During the last half of the 19th century, the people of China were undergoing a series of struggles that included warfare, slavery, natural disasters, overpopulation and environmental degradation. In order to improve their standard of living, thousands of Chinese sojourners and immigrants came to western America in search of economics opportunities. Many planned to return to China when they had made their fortunes. The Chinese found work in mines, building railroads, and canneries. They also worked a variety of service jobs in mining districts and ports.

Born in Canton, China, Ah Toy came to Idaho in a wave of Chinese migrating to the western states and territories after gold was discovered there. In 1880, when he was 31, he worked as a miner in the Warren area. In 1890 he took a trip back to China, probably to visit with family. He soon returned in 1891 and continued as a successful merchant man selling pork to the miners at the Mayflower Mine for 17 cents per pound.

In 1892 Ah Toy is noted on a delinquent tax list as owning 16 horses with a man called Ah Kan. Ah Kan came to central Idaho as a boy with his father in 1862. As a young man he ran a mule train, packing into Warrens. Later Ah Kan worked with Ah Toy at managing livestock, and packing and transporting goods. Both men prospered but their lives took different paths.

Ah Toy had a garden spot on the slopes of the South Fork of the Salmon River where he raised vegetables and strawberries, selling them to people in the area of Warren. He had a little mining claim that he worked also. He constructed ditches from a nearby spring to irrigate his garden, water livestock and placer mine at his claim. He grew hops, grapes, rhubarb, strawberries, and other produce. Ah Toy had the skills of a miner, gardener, livestock packer, merchant, and traveler and was capable of doing business with the ethnically diverse frontier population. He built a simple dugout into the hillside and found his niche in the local community.

Ah Kan accumulated a fortune and returned to China. He married and settled down to a life of ease. He soon grew homesick for the free life of the mines, and returned to America around 1910, leaving his wife with the promise that he would send for her. Shortly after he left China, a son was born but his wife died soon afterwards. The placer mines had ceased to be profitable and he never regained his former wealth. He became a herbal doctor in Warren and was population with the children.

Bu 1910 Ah Toy and Ah Kan were two of only six Chinamen living in Warren. Sometime after 1910 but before 1918 ah Toy moved to the vicinity of Meadows and Long Valley. In Old Meadows he had a restaurant and laundry. During Roseberry’s heyday he had a restaurant in the Cox General Store, and then in 1918, he moved to McCall and was the proprietor of the Idaho Hotel (now called Hotel McCall). Sometime before the 1920 census Ah Toy probably went back to China or moved elsewhere, for there are no more records of him.

Ah Kan continued on at Warren as the last of the Chinese immigrants to live there. In 1932, Forest Ranger A.E. Briggs talked of Ah Kan saying, “No one seemed to know how old he was, but he could have easily been a hundred years of age, judging from his appearance. He was very reserved and was never seen talking to anyone. Some folks say he was cranky, but who wouldn’t be at that age.” In March of 1934, Ah Kan was flown out of Warren by a local pilot and taken to the Grangeville County hospital where he passed away.

Two men, Ah Toy and Ah Kan, came and went, seeking their fortunes, sharing the trail for a moment then traveling their separate ways.

source: History Secesh
[h/t BJ]
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Ah Toy’s Horse

Excerpt from Hidden Heritage: Historical Archaeology of the Overseas Chinese By Priscilla Wegars

The 1910 memoirs of Walter Mann, an early forest ranger, reveal some rare and interesting glimpses of Toy, his gardens, and a horse Toy sold to ranger Mann (Mann, 1969):

I had bought this horse from Old Toy, a Chinaman. Toy had a garden spot on the slopes of the South Fork of the Salmon river where he raised vegetables and strawberries. Toy packed his vegetables on horseback out to the mines, where he sold them at a good profit. However, this horse, he would not trust to carry his vegetables, so he used him as a saddle horse. The horse would buck and throw Toy off. Then Toy would tie the horse to a tree, get a club and beat him, yelling “Ki Ti, Ki Ti” at every whack. Toy could then ride the horse.

After Mann bought the horse, he appropriately named him Ki Ti. While at the forest headquarters in McCall, Idaho, Mann tried his hand at packing supplies on the untrustworthy animal (Mann, 1969):

The pack was all on and I was starting to throw the diamond hitch, when away Ki Ti went – bucking, running, kicking, squalling. He bucked all over the little town of McCall, Idaho. He dumped the camp bed, scattered the sugar and flour, but for some reason the pack bags stuck to the saddle. Then the carton of matches caught fire and smoke came pouring out of the bags. I wondered if the horse would burn up. A crowd had gathered – everyone yelled – they gave me advice – it was fun for them. It was a great exhibition.

As it turned out, Ki Ti didn’t burn and Ranger Mann had many eventful years with the horse that Ah Toy would not miss.

source w/more info: (google book)
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Governor Issues Proclamation to Protect Chinese from Attack

by Evan Filby

GoldWorkers-Chin-a
Chinese Workers with White Miner. Personal Collection.

On April 27, 1886, Idaho Territorial Governor Edward A. Stevenson issued a proclamation that said, in part, “The life and property of our citizens, and those of the Chinese as well, who are engaged in our midst in peaceful occupations, are entitled to and must receive the equal protection of the laws of our Territory.”

Chinese miners had been active participants in the gold fields from the earliest days. Every region followed much the same pattern: Whites wrote district mining codes that excluded Orientals altogether, and might enforce the rules with violence. Then, unable to find enough cheap white labor, miners changed the rules to allow white owners to hire Chinese workers. Finally, whites began to sell played out (supposedly) claims, or abandon them to the Chinese.

In January 1866, the Territorial legislature passed a law that overrode local codes and allowed Chinese to work in the gold fields … upon payment of a $5 per month fee. With two or three thousand Orientals working in Idaho mines by 1868, this represented a tidy sum for the government. That number ballooned even further after the completion of the transcontinental railroad. The 1870 census for Idaho enumerated 4,274 Chinese (28.5 percent) among the Territory’s 15 thousand inhabitants.

Yet they were still not really welcome, for various reasons: blind racism, perplexity at their “odd” diet and customs, and their infamous opium dens. There was probably an element of jealousy too. Chinese miners, often in communal groups, could wrest decent profits from claims that whites considered worthless. Few whites wanted to work as incredibly hard as the Orientals, but that was surely counted against them too.

Predictable results followed: a host of discriminatory laws and taxes, calls for their expulsion, and unpunished white offenses against Chinese. Crimes against Orientals sometimes included mass murders that were conveniently blamed on the Indians. Members of various “Anti-Chinese Leagues” met openly to advocate their expulsion from the United States. The Idaho Statesman reported (February 27, 1886) on one such convention, which called for a boycott of businesses that employed Chinese labor.

Some elements within these organizations wanted stronger actions, although leaders said, “We denounce all violence and attempted violence on the person or destruction to the property of the Chinese.”

Stevenson’s proclamation came about partly because, in late 1855, vigilantes lynched five Chinese suspected of murdering a white storekeeper in Pierce. This atrocity even came to the attention of the Emperor of China, and the Chinese ambassador demanded an investigation. (Nothing much came of that, of course.)

With all that publicity, Stevenson had to respond to a tip that plans were afoot to expel the Chinese from Idaho, by force if necessary. His proclamation enjoined such actions “with the assurance that the law will hold those who may engage in such deeds responsible, individually and collectively, for the results of their acts.”

The proclamation, and probably some internal squabbling, defused the conspiracy, so there was no outbreak of violence.

Collectively, the Chinese made a substantial, but largely ignored contribution to the growth of Idaho, and not just in terms of mining. However, the pressure against them never let up. The 1900 Census enumerated just 1,467 Chinese in the state (less than 1 percent).

source: South Fork Companion
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Massacre At Hells Canyon

by Kami Horton

In 1887, a gang of horse thieves gunned down as many as 34 Chinese gold miners on the Oregon side of the Snake River near Hells Canyon. Some have called it the country’s worst massacre of Chinese by whites. Though the killers were known, and at least one confessed, no one was ever convicted.

In 1995, a Wallowa County clerk discovered hidden trial documents, uncovering the nearly forgotten incident.

Why was the story buried? What happened to the killers? Who were the victims?

“Massacre at Hells Canyon” examines not only the murders but also the hidden history of the Chinese laborers who help build the West in their search for “Gold Mountain.”

Chinese_MinersOHS-a
Chinese gold miners working a small stream. Haxeltine, M. M., Photographer

Tens of thousands of Chinese laborers came to North America in the 1850s with the Gold Rush. In addition to gold mining, they provided necessary services to newly developed communities.

They operated laundries, tended vegetable gardens, opened boarding houses and worked as cooks. By the thousands, they worked on railroad projects that connected the West. They cleared farmlands, worked in canaries and provided labor for factories. But they also faced widespread discrimination.

In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act barred Chinese laborers from entering the country. It was almost impossible for Chinese residents to become citizens or legally own property.

Throughout the 1880s, Chinese immigrants watched their communities be burned, attacked and sometimes destroyed by racists mobs. In some places, Chinese were lynched or shot, while others were run out of town. They had almost no legal rights to defend themselves.

For decades, those incidents were excluded from many historical texts. Today that is beginning to change.

A memorial now marks the spot where the Chinese gold miners died in Hells Canyon, and groups are working to preserve the stories of the early Chinese Americans who helped settle the West.

source with half hour video: OPB Jan. 23, 2017
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Massacred Chinese gold miners to receive memorial along Snake River

By Richard Cockle

Joseph — In a Snake River jetboat, it’s easy to roar right past Chinese Massacre Cove without noticing it.

The spot where a gang of white frontiersmen gunned down nearly three dozen Chinese gold miners on May 25, 1887, is little more than a gravel bar broken by river-polished boulders and overgrown with stunted and gnarled hackberry trees, sumac and poison ivy.

“Just another place along the river,” says R. Gregory Nokes of West Linn. He wrote the 2009 book, “Massacred for Gold: The Chinese in Hells Canyon,” published by Oregon State University Press.

Nokes and a group of friends calling themselves the Chinese Massacre Memorial Committee plan to have a helicopter deliver a 4-by-5-foot granite monument to the cove for a June 21-22 ceremony commemorating the killings. The monument will be engraved in English, Chinese and Nez Perce with the words:

“Chinese Massacre Cove. Site of the 1887 massacre of as many as 34 Chinese gold miners. No one was held accountable.”

The killers were believed to be a gang of Oregon horse thieves, ranch hands and a 15-year-old schoolboy. Their crime was discovered when the mutilated bodies of the Chinese miners — the killers apparently had hacked their victims with axes after they were dead — began showing up 65 miles downstream at Lewiston, Idaho.

“It was the most cold-blooded, cowardly treachery I have ever heard tell of on this coast,” Judge Joseph K. Vincent, a 19th-century Idaho justice of the peace and U.S. commissioner, is quoted as saying in Nokes’ book. “Every one was shot and cut up and stripped and thrown in the river.”

The killers’ take probably amounted to 312 ounces of gold dust valued at roughly $5,000 at the 1887 rate of exchange of $16 per ounce, Nokes says. One of the robbers, 21-year-old J.T. Canfield, was delegated to sell the gold for money and probably ended up with all of it, he says.

The massacre apparently was more than a mere robbery gone bad. The outlaws could just as easily have taken the unarmed Chinese miners’ gold and let them live, Nokes says. In those days, Chinese immigrants were unpopular in many quarters and would have had nobody in authority to complain to about their missing property.

“It was really a savage act of racial hatred,” Nokes says.

While it’s too late to seek justice, “we can honor their memory,” he says of the victims.

Among the layered tragedies of the massacre was the loss of the identities of the men who died. Only 11 names were left behind — among them Chea Ling, Kong Mun-kow, Ah Yow and Chea Lin-chung. But all the names had English spellings, leaving modern historians with no real idea who they were without the precise Chinese characters to go by.

“It is a pity. They died nameless,” says Chuimei Ho of Bainbridge Island, Wash., vice chair of the Chinese Massacre Memorial Committee. She’s a founder of the Chinese in North America Research Committee, which explores the history of Chinese in the Pacific Northwest.

She planned to spend several days this month scouring Panyu District archives south of Canton City, China, where the miners were believed to have come from, in hopes of unearthing their identities, she says.

“In a way, I feel very honored to be involved,” she says. “But I don’t want to raise hopes. It is a very small chance.”

massacrefilebad-a
Mike Brown Rustler and horse thief Frank Vaughan (left forefront), one of the suspected killers in the 1887 Chinese Massacre, later turned state’s evidence and was never charged. He’s seated with relatives in this photo, taken about 1909, at his remote home in the Imnaha River Canyon of northeastern Oregon.

Six Oregon men eventually faced murder charges in the massacre. Hiram Maynard, Hezekiah Hughes and a schoolboy named Robert McMillan, all of Wallowa County, were tried and found innocent in 1888. The ringleaders, Canfield, Homer LaRue and Bruce “Blue” Evans, fled Wallowa County and were never caught.

Another suspected conspirator, Frank E. Vaughan, turned state’s evidence and wasn’t charged, but a relative later said he “was guilty as sin.”

Chinese workers began immigrating to the “Gum San” or Golden Mountain, their term for the frontier-era American West, during the California Gold Rush of the 1840s, historians say. Their numbers probably peaked at an unofficial 132,300 in 1882, Nokes says, and some scholars believe they made up fully a quarter of Oregon’s population as early as the 1870s.

Nobody knows exactly what set the Chinese Massacre in motion, Nokes says. One account by pioneer Ross Findley suggests the killers spent an afternoon watching the miners from nearby bluffs and planning the crime, then returned the next day and opened fire on them.

A separate account in the 1930s by Harland Horner suggests the gang encountered the Chinese miners while trying to swim a herd of stolen horses across the flood-swollen Snake River into Idaho. When the Chinese refused to lend the outlaws a boat, Evans came up with the idea of killing them.

Retired Washington State University history professor David H. Stratton wrote in an authoritative 1983 essay: “The brutality of the Snake River atrocity was probably unexcelled whether by whites or Indians, in all the anti-Chinese violence of the American West.”

A year after the massacre, Congress paid $276,619.75 to the Chinese government “out of humane consideration and without reference to the question of liability … as full indemnity for all losses and injuries sustained by Chinese subjects within the United States and the lands of residents thereof.”

The amount was $75,000 less than the Chinese had requested, and the Chinese massacre wasn’t specifically mentioned in the settlement.

Canfield, who ended up with the Chinese gold, is believed to have spent 10 years in a Kansas prison for stealing mules. Afterward, he went to Texas, then owned a blacksmith shop in Glenns Ferry, Idaho, Nokes says. He may have achieved some local prominence, because at his death in 1929 at age 63, his tombstone was the biggest in the Glenns Rest Cemetery.

source: The Oregonian on November 26, 2011
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page updated June 23, 2020

Updated Road Report April 30

Sunday (Apr 30) the latest report is from Friday afternoon. Road was clear and dry all the way from Cascade to Yellow Pine. The last 8 miles on the EFSF road was rough and pot holes. Watch out for a “truck-eater” sized pot hole by the Park’s Creek bridge.

South Fork Salmon River Road Weight Restrictions are in effect.

Report from Saturday (Apr 29) Took a ride up Johnson Creek Rd. Made is up the first couple of curves of Rustican Canyon. Large boulder just after the first curve.

Road conditions can change quickly. Be prepared for trees, rocks and slides this time of year.

Snow Totals:
Big Creek SNOTEL 6580′ = 88″
Deadwood Summit SNOTEL = 131″
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Road Report April 28

Friday (Apr 28) report Cascade to Yellow Pine this afternoon. Clear dry roads, a few rocks on the South Fork, otherwise clear. The EFSF is getting pot-holey, especially from Parks Creek to Yellow Pine. Watch out for a “truck eater” sized pot hole by the Parks Creek bridge.

Timber Sale signs posted along the EFSF road coming into Yellow Pine.

South Fork Salmon River Road Weight Restrictions in effect.

Road conditions can change quickly. Be prepared for trees, rocks and slides this time of year.

Snow Totals:
Big Creek SNOTEL 6580′ = 88″
Deadwood Summit SNOTEL = 132″
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Yellow Pine Blowdown Update 4/28

Yellow Pine Blowdown Update

USDA Forest Service 4/28/2017

You are subscribed to Yellow Pine Blowdown for USDA Forest Service. This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

The Forest Service is seeking public input (scoping comments) for the proposed Yellow Pine Blowdown Project on lands managed by the Cascade Ranger District of the Boise National Forest.

Project Description

On April 7, 2017, a wind event occurred in the Yellow Pine area that toppled concentrations of trees. In the area immediately west and south of the community of Yellow Pine an estimated 200 trees were blown down.

The purpose of this project is to (1) initiate treatments within the community protection zone to reduce fuels and wildfire hazards, (2) reduce potential insect risk, specifically western pine beetle, Douglas-fir beetle, and Ips, (3) remove down trees affecting access and use of the recreation areas, and (4) capture the economic value of the timber (if commercially viable). For a more detailed description of the proposed project, please review the proposed action report (PAR) on the Project webpage: http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=51724.

How to Comment

The Forest Service is contacting interested persons, groups, and agencies to make them aware of the project and to gather pertinent feedback. Please make your comments as specific as possible to help us identify and address issues.

Electronic, written, hand-delivered, and facsimile comments concerning this project will be accepted. Comments may be submitted through the Yellow Pine Blowdown Project. To submit comments using the web form, select “Comment on Project” under “Get Connected” on the right panel of the project’s webpage.

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

Written comments may be submitted to: Boise National Forest, Cascade Ranger District, PO Box 696, Cascade, ID 83638 Attention: Terre Pearson-Ramirez, or by fax at 208-382-7480. Office hours for submitting hand-delivered comments are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection in the Public Comment Reading Room on the project webpage and will be released in their entirety, if requested, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

When to Comment

To be most helpful, please submit your scoping comments by May 22, 2017.

For further information on the project, please contact Terre Pearson-Ramirez, NEPA Planner, by email at tramirez@fs.fed.us or by phone at 208-382-7461.

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20170407WindStorm1

Road Report April 26

Wednesday (Apr 26) mail truck driver (Robert) said he had a good trip in, a little shower while on the EFSF road, otherwise dry all the way in, no rocks or trees to clear. Plenty of room to get by on the South Fork road (MP12) where the road is caving off.

Also a recent report there is about 12 feet of snow on Profile Summit. Airstrip at Big Creek looks bare.

South Fork Salmon River Road Weight Restrictions are still in effect.

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

Snow Totals:
Big Creek SNOTEL 6580′ = 89″
Deadwood Summit SNOTEL = 133″
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Warren Wagon Road washouts

From the Payette NF Facebook page April 25, 2017:

The spring snow and rains have caused slope failures on at least five sections of the Warren Wagon Road, Road 340, from the Warren Summit to the South Fork of the Salmon River.

At least one of these failures is severe enough to limit full size vehicle use. There is also a slide across the road near the bottom of Elk Creek.

The Payette National Forest and Valley County are working together to secure funding to fix these failures as well as to put a closure order in place closing the road to full size vehicles.

It is anticipated that this section of the road (Warren to the South Fork) will not be fixed, nor opened to full sized vehicles during the 2017 summer.

April 23, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

April 23, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Boise National Forest Southwest of Yellow Pine

(AKA The Yellow Pine Country Club)

(Apr 11) “Jeff met with the District Ranger from Boise National Forest, Jake Strohmeyer today here in Yellow Pine. They are addressing the downed trees in the golf course area as this is Boise National Forest property. At this point the wood belongs to them and they are looking into options to have the area cleaned up. We encourage those interested in cleaning up the area and wanting firewood to please be patient as the Forest Service develops a plan. There will be more information as we receive it.” – AF
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Map showing approximate path of wind April 7

20170407MapYPtoParksCrk

The trees fell almost in a straight line west to east, the worst impact is south west of Yellow Pine in the golf course area. A report that trees are down on the strip of forest between the new and old EFSF roads, however the campgrounds appear to be OK. Sadly, the osprey nest tree was one of the casualties along with other trees across the river. A few trees are down on Johnson Creek close to the village, and in the dispersed campground by the old ford.
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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
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Tick Season

Reminder: Its that time of year to check for ticks on people and pets after a walk in the forest.
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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
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook
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Local Observations:

Monday (Apr 17) rained all night, did not get below freezing. Mostly cloudy this morning and light misty rain. Pine squirrel chattering, robins and jays calling (didn’t see any swallows.) Light rain showers most of the morning and early afternoon. Elk on the golf course, pine squirrel posing on the fence and a ground squirrel scurrying about. Mostly cloudy late afternoon and evening.

Tuesday (Apr 18) clouds during the night and above freezing. Overcast this morning and light breeze. Swallows have returned and checking out nest boxes, a few robins chirping. Buds breaking on the lilac bushes. Pine squirrel, ground squirrel and golden mantel squirrel running around. Brief storm with hail and rain early afternoon, breezy at times. Rain started again just before dark, lots of robins chirping.

Wednesday (Apr 19) cloudy night, stayed above freezing (barely.) This morning partly clear and light breeze. Swallows still around, jays calling, robins running around. Elk grazing thru the neighborhood early this morning. Cloudy warm quiet day. Darker clouds and stronger breezes towards evening.

Thursday (Apr 20) rain early this morning, probably between 5am and 7am and stayed above freezing. Dark low clouds, ridges socked in, and more rain after 10am. Cool cloudy breezy day, showers once in a while and a 10 minute snow flurry this afternoon, then partly cloudy later in the evening and stronger cold breeze. Cloudy after dark.

Friday (Apr 21) froze this morning (low of 27 degrees) cloudy. Swallows and robins calling. Decreasing clouds and sunshine most of the day. Almost clear by evening, light breeze and quiet day. Stars out tonight.

Saturday (Apr 22) froze this morning (low of 26 degrees) clear sky. Lots of swallows swooping around, jay calling from the trees. Sunny warm morning. Pine squirrels running around. Clouds moving in and getting thicker by afternoon and breezy. More people and traffic. Robins chirping at dusk.

Sunday (Apr 23) rain during the night and early this morning, stayed above freezing. Mostly cloudy and calm, a few low wispy clouds on the ridges. Lots of swallows swooping, flicker calling, robins chirping. Golden mantel squirrel looking for food. Jays calling and visiting feeders. One big fat ground squirrel munching grass. Pine squirrel knocking cones out of the trees. Big buds on the daffodils, tiny leaves on the lilac bushes, bigger leaves on the wild gooseberry bushes. Short rain showers off and on during the day. Raven calling this evening, broken clouds and fairly calm.
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Idaho News:

Valley County Upcoming Events

4/19/2017

There are two great community events coming up!

A seed swap in partnership with the McCall Public Library and the West Central Mountains Food Coalition, taking place at the McCall public Library May 2nd, 6:30 to 7:30.

As well as a DIY Drip Irrigation lesson being held at Bistro 45 May 5th, 5:30pm.

Thank you for sharing the information.

Casie Carnes
Administrative Assistant
UI Extension, Valley County
Ph# (208) 382-7190
valley @ uidaho.edu
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Valley County reaches America’s Best Communities finals, falls short of winning

by KBOI Staff Wednesday, April 19th 2017

Denver, Colorado (KBOI) – While it fell just short of the top prizes, Valley County, Idaho will still be considered one of America’s Best Communities.

Valley County earned $150,000 in prize grants from America’s Best Communities, a $10 million community revitalization competition sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel, since the campaign was launched in September 2014.

About 350 communities entered the competition, and Valley County was one of just eight teams that advanced to the final round.

continued:
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McCall to host Arbor Day celebration on April 29 at Franz Witte

The Star-News April 20, 2017

A celebration of Arbor Day by the city of McCall will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at Franz Witte Nursery, 530 Highway 55 South in McCall.

Presentations will include forest management in urban areas, pruning and planting tips, suggestions for plant selection and lessons on limiting the effects of wildfire.

There will be a special appearance by The Lorax, the central character of the Dr. Seuss children’s book about protection of the environment.

source The Star-News:
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Arbor Day activities announced throughout the state

by Natalie Hurst Friday, April 21st 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) – Each year, the last Friday in April is set aside to celebrate Arbor Day and call attention to the important role trees play in the state.

This year, Arbor Day falls on April 28 and several special activities are planned throughout Boise and the state of Idaho.

… “With 40 percent of our state covered in trees, Idaho has a lot to celebrate on Arbor Day,” said IFPC director Betty Munis. “Trees are not only beautiful and renewable, working forests also provide jobs to more than 17,000 Idahoans and bring $1.3 billion to our state’s economy and $18 million in tax revenue. Additionally, timber harvested from state forests provided over $63 million to public institutions including $36.7 million for public schools.”

full story:
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Vandalism at Southfork Landing

by Janet Juroch April 23, 2017 BCC

Garden Valley: It appears there is a fair amount of vandalism at Southfork Landing overnight of April 22-23. Many road intersection signs were taken down. The tire tracks leading up to the sign are evidence that they were pushed over by a vehicle. A spec home had the garage door pushed in and there is a sign down on Banks Lowman…pushed by a vehicle with the same tire tracks.


photo by Janet Juroch

more photos:
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Public Lands:

McCall Ranger District Seeks Volunteer Campground Host for Upper Payette Lake

Date: April 18, 2017
Contact: Brian Harris (208) 634-0784 cell: (208) 634-6945

McCall, ID – The Payette National Forest is looking for volunteer campground hosts who are enthusiastic about public lands! We currently have a hosting opportunity available at Upper Payette Lake Campground near McCall, Idaho. A host campsite is provided, as well as propane and small stipend. Minimum 2-month commitment (opportunities available May-Sept), and a minimum of 3 volunteer days per week.

Volunteer campground hosts are front-line representatives of the U.S. Forest Service and vital to the success of public land management. Typical duties include informing visitors of recreational opportunities, answering questions from visitors, monitoring campground sites for fee compliance, recording daily occupancy levels, maintaining campground facilities, and more.

About Upper Payette Lake: This campground is located 19 miles from McCall, Idaho, on the shores of beautiful Upper Payette Lake. The no-wake lake offers great fishing, canoeing and kayaking opportunities. The paved, mile-long Shoreline Trail begins in the campground and several additional hiking and biking trails begin just across the road from the entrance to the campground. The campground has reservable and non-reservable sites, as well as sites for large groups.

For more information, please contact Anna Lowell, Recreation Manager, at 208-634-0440. We hope you’ll consider joining our summer volunteer team on the Payette National Forest!

Brian D. Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Payette National Forest
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Community Wildfire Mitigation

Payette National Forest

link to poster::
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North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project Update

USDA Forest Service 4/18/2017

Dear Interested Party:

The Forest Service has completed the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project and is seeking public comment on this EA during the 30-day notice and comment period. The North Pioneer Project is located immediately north and south of Lowman, Idaho, and about 74 miles northeast of Boise, Idaho, in Boise County. The Project Area covers approximately 28,007 acres in the South Fork Payette River watershed. A hard copy of the complete EA is enclosed and can be downloaded from the project website located at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50789. A summary document containing the Agency’s response to comments received during the February 2017 scoping period is posted on the project website.

Project Description

The North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project proposes cutting hazard trees along NFS roads and trails, reforesting areas, decommissioning unauthorized routes, and salvaging additional trees killed by the wildfire to recover economic value to support restoration work. Salvage harvest activities are anticipated to begin in early summer 2017 and be completed by the end of the 2018 operating season, while activities such as reforestation would continue for approximately 10 years.

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

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

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

* Relief from hazards threatening human health and safety

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

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

If the Chief decides this project qualifies for an ESD, the project will be exempt from the pre-decisional objection process (36 CFR 218). This exemption will allow us to implement the project as soon as the environmental analysis is completed and the decision is signed. Providing for immediate implementation following completion of the environment review allows the Boise National Forest to remove hazards safely, complete associated resource protection/restoration projects, and capture enough commodity value to market some of the trees. Often, if material proposed for removal cannot be sold, many of the project’s objectives cannot be met.

We recognize the importance of the public involvement process for this project and am aware that, should an ESD be approved, the expedited emergency procedure alters the structure of that process. Thus, as has been done since the fall of 2016, we will continue to employ a variety of communication options to share and receive information from interested parties. Visit the Pioneer Fire website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/boise/home/?cid=fseprd530485 for up-to-date information.

How to Provide Comment

The Forest Service is contacting interested persons, groups, and agencies to make them aware of the project and to gather pertinent feedback. To be most useful, please make your comments as specific as possible.

Electronic, written, hand-delivered, and facsimile comments concerning this project will be accepted. Comments may be submitted through the North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project webpage at https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/CommentInput?project=50789.

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

Written comments must be submitted to: Boise National Forest, Lowman Ranger District, Attention: John Kidd, District Ranger, 7359 Highway 21, Lowman, ID 83637 or faxed to (208) 259–3366. The office hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection in the “Public Comment Reading Room” on the project webpage (https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/ReadingRoom?project=50789) and will be released in their entirety, if requested, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

Written, facsimile, hand-delivered, and electronic comments concerning this action will be accepted for 30 calendar days following the publication of the legal notice in the Idaho Statesman, the newspaper of record. The publication date of the legal notice in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period. Those wishing to comment should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source. The regulations prohibit extending the length of the comment period. The legal notice will be posted on the project website within 4 calendar days of publication in the newspaper of record.

Stay Connected to this Project via the Web

To assist the Forest Service in meeting its goals of reducing our carbon footprint and to achieve a sustainable operation, we are transitioning to a web-based electronic comment system that allows all interested parties to receive project material (project updates, draft and final NEPA documents, and decisions) by e-mail. This new system gives you direct control over which mailing lists you are subscribed to and immediate electronic access to project documents as they are posted online. It’s easy, it’s good for the environment, and it gives “on-demand” access to projects.

To subscribe to this new system, go online to the North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project webpage: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50789 . On the project website, you will see a box titled “Get Connected” on the right hand side of the page. Click on “Subscribe to Email Updates”. When you click on that item, you will be prompted to provide your e-mail address and select a password. When you have logged in, you will be able to manage your account by subscribing to projects by Forest, District, project type, or project purpose. You will also be able to change your e-mail address and password. If you no longer wish to follow the project(s), simply delete your subscription. Once you are subscribed, you will receive all project information via e-mail, unless you request hard copies.

Only those who subscribe to the mailing list, submit comments, or notify the Forest that they would like to remain on the mailing list for this project will receive future correspondences on this project. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, without an associated name and address, receiving further correspondences concerning this project will not be possible.

For further information on the project, please contact John Kidd, Lowman District Ranger at (208) 259-3361 or jkidd@fs.fed.us, or Clint VanZile, Team Leader at (208) 373-4100 or cvanzile@fs.fed.us.

Sincerely,
Melissa Yenko
Acting Forest Planner
Boise National Forest
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Forest Service seeks public comment on the North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project Environmental Assessment

4-21-2017 News Release

Boise, Idaho, April 21, 2017 — The Boise National Forest has completed the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the North Pioneer Salvage and Reforestation Project. This EA addresses public feedback received before, during and after the February 2017 public scoping period; the strategic goals and objectives in the Boise National Forest Plan; data collection and analyses of the fire’s effects and best available science. The 30-day comment period on this EA begins the day following publication of the legal notice in the Idaho Statesman, the newspaper of record. The EA is available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50789

This EA discloses the effects of actions proposed in the northern portion of the 2016 Pioneer Fire area to remove hazard trees along priority travel routes posing public health and safety concerns, reforesting areas, decommissioning unauthorized routes, and salvaging additional trees killed by the fire to recover economic value important to support restoration work. The EA for the South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project, assessing effects for similar actions in the southern portion of the fire, is anticipated to be released the week of April 24, 2017.

Immediate implementation is essential to successfully accomplish this project’s purpose and need. Thus, the Boise National Forest will request an emergency situation determination (ESD) from the Chief of the Forest Service. Should the Chief grant the ESD, the project will be exempt from the 36 CFR 218 pre-decisional objection process. Thus, implementation could begin immediately following issuance of the project Decision anticipated to be in late June 2017.

The Boise National Forest recognizes the importance of the public involvement process for this project and is aware that, should an ESD be approved, the expedited emergency procedure alters the structure of that process. Thus, as we have done since the fall of 2016, we will continue to employ a variety of communication options to share and receive information from interested parties.

Visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/boise/home/?cid=fseprd530485 for up-to-date information.

Linda Steinhaus
Public Affairs
Boise National Forest
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Volunteers sought to work on wilderness trail projects

The Star-News April 20, 2017

Volunteers are sought by the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation for its Wilderness Vacations starting on June 14.

The volunteers would work on several week-long volunteer trail projects in the wilderness. The projects will be led by trained staff with meals prepared by backcountry chefs.

Volunteers will learn how to use tools such as crosscut saws and pulaskis as well as other wilderness skills.

For information and to register, go to http://selwaybitterroot.org and follow the “Get Involved” tab.

source The Star-News:
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Restoration mantra has created a bump for logging

4/23/17 AP

Lewiston, Idaho — Logging is up in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest under the U.S. Forest Service timber program that focuses less on commercial sales and instead sees logs as a byproduct of restoration and efforts to cut the risk of fire.

Last year the forest sold 60 million board feet of timber, compared with nearly 58 million the previous year, The Lewiston Tribune newspaper reported. The average since 1999 has been just under 38 million board feet.

Forest Supervisor Cheryl Probert said more restoration is needed because of insects and disease in the forest, and that means logging volumes could increase in the near future.

“Our harvest is more about ecological processes, and the volume is a byproduct. We are emphasizing restoring species and structural diversity,” Probert said.

continued:
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USFS Regional Intermountain News

USDA Forest Service Region 4 bulletin 04/05/2017

Table of contents:

Regional Spotlight
Forest Features
Fire Information
Partnerships
Regional Publications
About Us

link:
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Letter to Share:

More spring scents – Mystic Farm candles!

4/22/2017

Help support Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue!

2017MysticFarmCandles-a

Each candle is made by hand, natural, excellent scent throw, and expect to burn approximately 50 hours! 100% of the proceeds go to the rescue. (Other scents available upon request).

Email or phone Dory to place your order. Actual shipping charges apply.

Thanks for your continued support!

Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc.
208 241-7081
mysticfarmrescue @ gmail.com
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Critter News:

Pet talk – Xylitol Toxicosis In Dogs

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt and Dr. Malia Wayment April 21, 2017 IME

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in sugar-free chewing gums, candies and baked goods, as well as some toothpastes and mouthwashes. Xylitol is also available as a granular powder for use as a sweetener in baked goods, drinks and cereals.

In dogs, xylitol causes the release of large amounts of insulin. Subsequently, exposed animals can develop a rapid and profound drop in blood sugar. This effect only occurs in dogs; xylitol is safe for human use. In some cases, the liver may also be affected.

Dogs initially develop vomiting and diarrhea after xylitol ingestion. Blood glucose may drop in as little as 30-60 minutes. If the drop in blood sugar is profound, weakness, difficulty walking, collapse and seizures may occur. Ingestion of chewing gum can result in delayed hypoglycemia about 12 hours post-ingestion. Acute liver failure can develop in 24-72 hours, with signs of jaundice, lethargy and abnormal bleeding tendencies.

continued:
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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

April 2017
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Group sues to reinstate rule protecting Alaska bears, wolves

By Dan Joling – 4/20/17 AP

Anchorage, Alaska — A national environmental group is suing the federal government, claiming that a rule created to protect wolves and bears within Alaska wildlife refuges was illegally revoked this year through a seldom-used law.

The Center for Biological Diversity is challenging the constitutionality of the Congressional Review Act, a 1996 law that allows Congress — by passing a joint resolution signed by the president — to repeal federal regulations adopted in the last months of a previous administration.

This year, Congress used the act to repeal a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule banning “predator control,” an Alaska program to kill wolves, black bears or grizzly bears to boost moose and caribou populations for human consumption.

continued:
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Officials confirm deaths of 2 endangered wolf pups

4/21/17 AP

Albuquerque, N.M. — Wildlife officials have confirmed that two endangered Mexican gray wolf pups died last month.

The Arizona Department of Game and Fish detailed the cases in a monthly report released Thursday.

The agency says a female pup with the Hoodoo Pack was found dead in Arizona in March. The cause remains under investigation.

A male pup with Arizona’s Bluestem Pack died after being captured for a medical evaluation. Officials say testing confirmed the animal had canine distemper.

continued:
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Elk foundation banquet to be held May 13 at Tamarack Resort

The Star-News April 20, 2017

The local Heartland Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will hold its annual fundraising banquet and auction starting at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 13 at Tamarack Resort, in the Canoe Grill.

There will be raffles items, fun family games with prizes that include firearms and other high quality items, silent bid auction and a live auction conducted by Kelly Chamberlain.

Ten top brand firearms will go home with lucky winners. Along with the firearms, there will be an Eberlestock pack, Diamondback bow package, Kenetrek boots and gators, Yeti cooler, steelhead fishing trip, airplane flight, canvas and metal art pieces, Traeger grill, jewelry, knives and archery items.

The menu will feature tri-tip, roasted vegetables, garden salad, roasted red potatoes and dessert. Dinner costs are $30 per person plus one combined membership for $35. A ticket of $95 buys two meals and a membership that includes the Bugle magazine.

For banquet tickets, call Marilyn Leavitt at 634-3512 or visit http://rmef.org. Early bird raffle tickets are half-price when purchased prior to the banquet. No tickets will be sold at the door.

The mission of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is to conserve, restore and enhance habitat for elk and other wildlife.

source The Star-News:
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Thousands of elk are leaving Wyoming refuge early

4/20/17 AP

Jackson, Wyo. — Wildlife officials say elks are leaving the National Elk Refuge in western Wyoming by the thousands.

The Jackson Hole News and Guide reports the official refuge count on Wednesday fell below a 2,500 threshold that allows for the opening of the multiuse pathway paralleling Highways 26, 89 and 191 located north of Jackson.

continued:
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Winter deer losses prompt major cuts to Oregon hunting tags

4/18/17 AP

Baker City, Ore. — State wildlife officials are cutting in half the number of deer tags allowed for this fall’s hunting season in Baker County following the winter deaths of hundreds of deer.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will only sell 1,450 deer tags this fall. The 50-percent tag reduction applies to all four of the county’s hunting units, The Baker City Herald reported on Monday.

The department’s decision marks Baker County’s most severe reduction in deer tags in more than 20 years.

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Record-low bighorn lamb numbers a concern in North Dakota

By BLAKE NICHOLSON – 4/18/17 AP

Bismarck, N.D. — The number of bighorn lambs in North Dakota’s Badlands is at its lowest point on record, possibly threatening the long-term future of bighorn hunting in a state where thousands of hunters apply for only a handful of once-in-a-lifetime licenses.

Bacterial pneumonia killed dozens of animals in the herd in 2014, and North Dakota canceled its fall bighorn hunting season in 2015 for the first time in more than three decades. The state Game and Fish Department reinstated hunting last year after deaths tapered off, and a season this fall appears likely unless there are a large number of summer deaths of adult rams, which hunters seek because of their trophy horns.

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Meridian firefighters rescue baby goose that was left behind

by KBOI News Staff Thursday, April 20th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Firefighters with the Meridian Fire Department were called out to an unusual situation Thursday morning at St. Luke’s Hospital.

Employees at the hospital had noticed that several goose eggs hatched this week in a nest at the hospital. At some point, it appears that the mama goose and her babies left the nest and flew away, but one baby goose that was unable to fly was left behind.

The nest is on a roof at the hospital that had no access for people to get to, so the Meridian Fire Department was called in to assist.

continued w/video:
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Howdy’s to host Lake Cascade fishing tourney April 29-30

The Star-News April 20, 2017

Howdy’s Gas and Grub in Cascade will hold its 23rd annual Fishing Tournament on the waters of Lake Cascade on Saturday and Sunday, April 29-30.

There will $900 in cash prizes in categories including largest trout caught and the highest accumulated weight for perch.

Registration costs $8 for adults, while youths age 13 years and younger can fish for free.

Prizes will be awarded at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 30, at Howdy’s with free merchandise given away.

For more information, call Howdy’s at 382-6712 or drop by Howdy’s or Old Town Market in McCall for details.

source The Star-News:
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Fish & Game News:

Idaho Fish and Game trailer stolen in Boise

KTVB April 20, 2017

Boise — Investigators are asking for the public’s help identifying a suspect in the theft of a Idaho Department of Fish and Game trailer in Boise earlier this month.

The cargo trailer was taken April 7 from near the Fish and Game headquarters at 600 South Walnut Street. The trailer and its contents are worth an estimated $100,000, according to Crime Stoppers.

Surveillance cameras captured an image of the suspected thief, a white man wearing a black hoodie and a backwards cap. The trailer is a white 2017 Forest River Cargo Trailer, with an Idaho license plate of A14607.

Anyone who recognizes the suspect or has any information about the crime is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 208-343-COPS or Boise Police at 208-570-6000. Tipsters may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

© 2017 KTVB-TV
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F&G News Releases

https://idfg.idaho.gov/press
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Fun Critter Stuff:

River otter Tucker learns how to swim

Published on Apr 21, 2017

Learning to swim isn’t easy, even for river otters. Tucker, a North American river otter born at the Oregon Zoo in late February, took his first dip this week … but not without a lot of help from their mom, Tilly.


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Body-surfing otters, in Otters of Yellowstone

PBS 2013


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Idaho History April 23, 2017

Fur Trappers in Idaho

Caswell Brothers

The men primarily responsible for the Thunder Mountain gold rush were the three Caswell brothers: Dan, Ben and Lou, and their cousin, A. O. Huntley. The Caswells were trappers and hunters from Wyoming who decided to move into Idaho for new trapping grounds. They came by way of Yellowstone National Park, with a number of half-broken pack horses and a couple of hundred traps, finally arriving at Big Creek and locating on what was known for years as the “Old Caswell Ranch.” (It is now the Wallace ranch.) Trapping in winter and prospecting in summer, they discovered gold at the mouth of Monumental Creek, which they traced to its source on Thunder Mountain.
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Trappers Flat

The “Temperance House” at Trappers’ Flat between Johnson and Riordon Creek advertised:

“We keep no whiskey, beer or gin,
We had no chance to have it in;
When spring returned and roads are dry We figure on a full supply.”
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Trappers Flat

William “Bill” Hendrix, present Ada County commissioner, freighted into the Thunder Mountain area when he was a young feller, with his step-father, D. R. Miller. They went by way of Knox and Trappers’ Flat; he remembers the roads “were awful.”

source: Valley County GenWeb

[h/t SMc]
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Captain Bonneville led a life of adventure while exploring the West

By Arthur Hart Special to the Idaho Statesman Feb 4, 2017

Benjamin Louis Eulalie de Bonneville was born near Paris in 1796, the son of publisher Nicolas Bonneville and his wife, Marguerite Brazier. The family moved to the United States in 1803 when Benjamin was 7. Their passage was paid by English-American Thomas Paine, who had lived with the Bonneville family in France and was godfather to Benjamin and his brothers Louis and Thomas. Paine left most of his estate to Marguerite Brazier Bonneville, who cared for him in his last illness.

Paine is often considered a Founding Father for his influential writing, notably two pamphlets that inspired Americans to fight for their independence from Britain. “Common Sense” and “The American Crisis” were best sellers of their time, so influential that John Adams said, “Without the pen of the author of ‘Common Sense’ the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.”

The year 1803, when the Bonneville family arrived in America, was a uniquely historic one in American history. James Monroe and Robert Livingstone signed the Louisiana Purchase treaty in Paris, doubling the size of the United States, and six months after that Congress ratified the purchase for $27,000,000. President Thomas Jefferson would then appoint Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore that vast area, totally unknown to the rest of the country.

Young Benjamin Bonneville received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1813. He graduated in just two years, after which he was stationed at posts in New England, Mississippi and Arkansas before being sent to Fort Gibson in the Indian Territory in 1824 and promoted to captain.

While on leave to visit his native France he was the guest of General Lafayette. On his return to America in 1828, he was transferred to Jefferson Barracks in Missouri.

In August 1831, Bonneville secured a 26-month leave of absence from the Army to lead an information-gathering expedition on the geography, geology and Indian tribes of the American West, including what became the Oregon Trail across Southern Idaho (although the name “Idaho” would not come around until many years later). Bonneville’s journal became the source of Washington Irving’s classic “The Adventures of Captain Bonneville, U.S.A., in the Rocky Mountains and the Far West. Digested from his Journal and Illustrated from Various Other Sources.”

Irving describes in an introductory note how he met Bonneville “at the table of Mr. John Jacob Astor, who, being the patriarch of the fur trade in the United States, was accustomed to have at his board various persons of adventurous turn, some of whom had been engaged in his own great undertaking; others, on their own account, had made expeditions to the Rocky Mountains and the waters of the Columbia. Among these personages, one who peculiarly took my fancy was Captain Bonneville, of the United States army; who, in a rambling kind of enterprise, had strangely engrafted the trapper and hunter upon the soldier.”

Bonneville’s name has been attached to features across the West, from prehistoric to recent. Lake Bonneville, formed about 32,000 years ago, once covered much of present Utah and parts of Idaho and Nevada. About 14,500 years ago the waters of the lake broke out through southeast Idaho’s Red Rock Pass and roared across Idaho in the great Bonneville Flood. Some of the erosion caused by that torrent can still be seen along the Snake River south of Boise Valley. Great Salt Lake and Utah Lake are remnants of ancient Lake Bonneville, and at Bonneville Salt Flats in eastern Nevada, world land speed records have been broken more than once.

Bonneville County in Eastern Idaho was created by the Legislature in 1911, with Idaho Falls as its county seat; that city has a Bonneville High School. Bonneville Peak is on the border between Bannock and Caribou counties. Boise County has a Bonneville Hot Springs, and so does the state of Washington, at North Bonneville, near Bonneville Lock and Dam on the Columbia River, operated by the Bonneville Power Administration. It has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1987. Bonneville, Ore., is an unincorporated community in Multnomah County that got a post office in 1900. The Union Pacific Railroad maintained an “eating house” there for the convenience of travelers before its passenger trains were equipped with dining cars.

link to: IdahoHistoryCaptainBonneville.doc
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Fur trader Alexander Ross explored much of Idaho in early 1800s

By Arthur Hart Special to the Idaho Statesman November 12, 2016

Alexander Ross was among the employees of John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company who came by sea around South America aboard the ship Tonquin and landed at the mouth of the Columbia River in March 1811. Wilson Price Hunt’s Overland Astorians were then struggling across what became Idaho after the disaster at Caldron Linn on the Snake River, where one of the company’s most experienced voyageurs had lost his life in the raging river, leading the company to cache its canoes and other goods and set off for Astoria on foot.

The ill-fated Tonquin had arrived after a hellish voyage around Cape Horn with the men whose job it was to build Fort Astoria. She then sailed up the coast to Vancouver Island, where Indians boarded the ship and killed all but one member of the crew, who then managed to blow up the ship, killing himself and many of the Indians on deck.

… On July 28, 1811, Ross went up the Columbia with a trading expedition under the leadership of Robert Stuart. At the junction of the Columbia and Okanagan rivers they built a small trading post, which they dubbed Fort Okanagan. The rest of the company continued north to trap and trade for furs while Ross was left alone in charge of the post. He traded with the Indians for the next few years, during which time he took Sally, an Okanagan woman, as his wife. They were united in Christian marriage on the day before Christmas 1828, after Sally had borne him 13 children. Despite the stigma attached to their being of mixed blood, the older sons did well both professionally and financially.

In 1824, Ross, now working for the renowned Hudson’s Bay Company, led a large brigade of fur trappers up Idaho’s Big Wood River in search of a way through rugged country into Stanley Basin. He discovered Galena Summit on Sept. 18, 1824, and the headwaters of the Salmon River, which led him north through a scenic valley teeming with big game, beaver and other fur-bearing animals. The historical marker near the summit on Idaho 75 is headlined “Alexander Ross.” The text, written by Dr. Merle Wells, tells us, “When he reached Challis on Oct. 6, he had traveled this highway route from Bellevue to Salmon, mostly through unexplored land.” Wells and other historians of the fur trade have followed Alexander Ross’ meticulous journals of his fur brigade’s 1824 travels from April 14 to Nov. 5.

After he retired from the fur trade Alexander Ross moved to the Red River colony, where he served variously as sheriff, captain of police, magistrate, commissioner and court examiner. He wrote several books now considered classics, including “Fur Hunters of the Far West” and “Adventures of the First Settlers on the Oregon or Columbia River, 1810-1813.” Nobody was better qualified to write those histories than he, and two centuries later they are still in print.

link to: IdahoHistoryAlexanderRossIdaho early1800s.doc
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page updated Nov 19, 2018