July 16, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

July 16, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Fire on Profile

July 15, 2017 5:20pm

We detected a new smoke around 10am this morning on the east side of the Profile Road about 2 miles up from the East Fork. We have staffed the fire with Krassel Crew 6, Krassel Helitack, Snowslide module and we have others in route. The fire is 4 to 5 acres with an active perimeter.

Anthony Botello
Krassel Ranger
Payette National Forest

Update 850pm July 15

It’s 8-10 acres now, there are upwards of 30 firefighters on it and another hotshot crew headed there tomorrow. The Profile road is open, but we ask folks pass through and not stop in the vicinity on the road as it is hindering our efforts.

Note: As of 630pm July 16 a large plume of smoke visible from Yellow Pine.

Update 7pm July 16

We just got an update it is 70 acres, We have 40 people responding. It’s moving around. We have ordered a type 2 incident management team who will hopefully be here by Wednesday or Thursday.

photos by Forsters:

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Community Hall

A Garage Sale was held Saturday July 15 at the Community Hall from 9am to noon.
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Yellow Pine Public Meeting Monday July 17, 2017 – Stibnite Gold EIS

Ranger Strohmeyer and I along with the Stibnite Gold EIS Project Manager Piper Goessel, would like to come up to Yellow Pine next Monday July 17 to give folks a presentation and answer questions on the Stibnite Gold project.

The plan would be we would give a short overview of the project, then break out around some poster boards to answer questions more specifically about the project. Something important to remember is that we are in the scoping period of the project so we will talk about the proposal that Midas has submitted, but we have not started analysis, alternatives, etc., so this would be an opportunity for an overview so folks can provide scoping comments. We need your written comments by July 20.

Here is the project webpage for all the details. https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50516

We will plan to be in town and begin the meeting at 10am, we would like to have it in the Community Center.

Thank you, spread the word and invite those who are interested in this project and we will see you next week.

Anthony B. Botello
District Ranger
Krassel Ranger District
Payette National Forest
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Judy Wiley Memorial Stone July 17

We would like all people in the community, who can make it, to come join us at the cemetery on July 17th at 3pm. At that time, we would like to talk about Judy Wiley. She didn’t want a service or a memorial. So this would be a chat and a talk. We plan to place a stone at the foot of Bud Boyd in her memory. Judy’s sister, Linda Blank, will be joining us. Thanks to the community for their generous donations. We would also like to invite the community for chips and salsa at the Tavern after the ‘talk’. It would be a good time to talk to her sister and tell her your stories of Judy.

– MF
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Ed Staub & Sons Propane July 18

We will be in Yellow Pine Tuesday July 18th in the early afternoon. Please let everyone know that this will more than likely be our last fill before fall, so we will be filling everybody!
Thank you
Ed Staub & Sons
McCall ID 208-634-3833
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YPFD News:

July 16 – YPFD Training Day – Small live fire training today with pumping operations and nozzle and water control. Awesome day of training, thanks to everyone who participated!

photo gallery:

Next YPFD Commissioner Meeting: July 29, 2017. Community Hall at 2pm.

Training is on Sundays starting at 11am at the YP Fire Station and open to the community of Yellow Pine. Check with Jeff F. or Ann F. to confirm trainings.

Fire Siren will be tested at noon on the first of each month.
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Transfer Station


Please remember that the dump is for household trash only. Do not leave items outside of the bins. Construction debris and furniture should be taken to the Donnelly station.
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Yellow Pine Blowdown Update

Last update – July 5, 2017

The logger could start as early as the end of [last] week. Logs will be hauled up Johnson Creek and there will likely be only one load per day going out. He will also likely camp down in the flat upstream of YP Campground. I’ll let you know as soon as I get confirmation on all of those items.

Jake Strohmeyer
District Ranger
Boise National Forest, Cascade Ranger District
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The Corner Announcement

We have the store up and running. We have a ton of items. Here is a small list; Ice Cream, Yogurt, Various other Snacks, small propane bottles, motor oil , sunscreen, bug spray, feminine needs, shampoo, conditioners, toothpastes, toothbrushes, lighters, cell phone chargers. The list goes on and on. Basically a little bit of everything. We also get food orders in three times a week. People have been ordering perishables from us. We can get a wide variety, what we have been selling the most of is, bacon, milk, lettuce, ground beef, berries, bananas, yogurt and similar items. The produce we get is a decent price and great quality. We are also working on getting together other gift shop type items.
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VYPA News:

Village of Yellow Pine Association Meeting July 8, 2017

Officers in Attendance: Dan Stiff, Chairman; Deb Filler Vice Chairman; Lorinne Munn, Secretary; Ann Forster, Treasurer; Kathy Hall, Member At Large.

1. Meeting was called to order at 2:04 p.m. by Dan Stiff, Chairman

2. Lorinne Munn, Secretary, read the minutes of the June 10, 2017 meeting. Corrections and additions as follows:

a. Deb Filler mentioned the Harmonica race has 21 people interested and 6 have signed.
b. Willie Sullivan clarified that the fireworks were purchased by donations, not village funds.
c. Lorinne Munn clarified that the Fire Dept. is a Fire Protection District and the Valley County knows and approves of this. The Dept. does not have the training or equipment to fight interior structure fires. That would require trained firefighters. As a Fire Protection District, the focus is on prevention and fire proofing around structures, protecting surrounding structures and preventing a fire from spreading.
d. Ann Forster has qualified to join Gary Niebrand and Jeff Forster in extrication of passengers in a vehicle accident.

2. Treasurer’s report was given by Ann Forster, Treasurer. Balance on hand in the account is $25,297.44. Within that total the General Fund has $8,354.55; Harmonica Festival has $5,423.70; Community Hall has a minus balance… -$101.60; Bathroom Fund, $6,288.51; Cemetery Fund $5,332.28.

3. Willie Sullivan, Cemetery Commissioner, presented a written report: The committee is researching the planting of grass that requires less water and is drought resistant. Flags that were placed at graves on Memorial weekend will be removed after July 4th. A Bernice Parks memorial bench is now in place. Three headstones have been added. Two more plots have been purchased. The kiosk will be replaced when the repairs are completed. Trash will be removed. Sundy Martin has resigned as Commissioner; a new Commissioner will be elected this year and future elections for the other positions will be held in 2018 and 2019 to maintain the three-year staggered terms of office. Please email or mail to Candy any information about people buried in our cemetery so it can be included in a booklet about our Pioneer Cemetery.

4. Kathy Hall presented an oral report on the Community Hall. The committee focus in on making the Community Hall more welcoming. The window bars have been removed and stored to allow for painting the window frames. Mark Hardisty is working on repairing the water pipes in the kitchen. Some electrical work is needed. The new BBQ with and propane supply is complete. Any donated non-working exercise equipment is to be removed. The wood stove is for sale. Items in the kitchen that are broken and no longer used will be removed. Those present agreed. Dawn Brown has made arrangements to purchase the yellow folding chairs (presently stored in the Hall) from the Fire Department. Other folding chairs will be removed. A cleanup crew will be working on the kitchen soon. Better storage is needed for Harmonica items and exercise equipment. Harmonica T-shirts, years 2000 to 2014, are needed to complete our display. The committee wants to start raising money to paint the Community Hall.

5. Deb Filler, Harmonica Festival Chairman, presented a report: The Festival is less than one month away and plans are running smoothly. Presale of T-shirts is going well; $745. has been raised in the pre-sale. The committee is seeking donated items for the auction and is working on making ice available to campers.

6. Belinda Provancher, representing Midas Gold, reported the lighting fixtures at the Veterans’ Memorial have been made operational, with one additional light control to be added later.

7. Willie Sullivan reported that the composting toilet project plans must the engineered since it is a public building. The toilets have been purchased. Once the engineering report is complete, the building permit from the county will be acquired. There will be two separate rooms built as an addition on the South side of the hall. No water or heat is required. There will be a wooden interior of plywood with hard surface paint. Hand rails and hand sanitizers will be installed.

8. Idaho Power Co. is continuing to donate $60. Per year to lighting of the Veterans’ Memorial.

9. Deb Filler reported dust abatement will be applied on Monday, July 10th and payments have been made by everyone requesting the treatment. The Village pays for abatement on the main street to Profile St. and up Profile to Stibnite road. Midas Gold has donated one half of the cost; the Village’s cost is over $500. Willie Sullivan made a motion that dust abatement be funded for this amount, motioned was seconded, and the motion passed by a majority.

10. The purchase of a computer for the Village Association use was discussed. Willie Sullivan mentioned that the computer committee reported at the last September meeting. He recalled that a purchase cost of $1,300 to $1,600 was approved. Ann Forster stressed the importance of moving away from our antiquated method of bookkeeping to a computer method will save the Treasurer time and all of the Village records and minutes could be kept in one place. The computer could also be used by the Water Users’ Assoc. Dick Filler made a motion calling for a re-vote on the purchase of a computer. The motion to purchase a computer was passed by a majority.

11. Ann Forster reported that the July 4th golf tournament was very successful despite the downed trees in the golf course. The EMT group will sponsor next year’s tournament, the 20th year. The tournament is available every “odd” year for fundraising by other groups.

12. Willie Sullivan reported the fireworks cost $2,500 and the insurance cost $300. Dennis and Chris Heck donated $1,000 worth of fireworks. For next year’s fireworks $400. was collected by Sullivan family members who solicited donations from the crowd. The Corner has donated $300. and the golf tournament donated $120. There will also be a Labor Day golf tournament which will provide another donation; more donations are needed. Willie Sullivan requested that the Village verify that three years ago a vote was taken by the members stating that the Village would provide $500. from Village funds if it is ever needed to assist in fireworks expenses. That money has never been asked for; the past vote was confirmed and the money is still available if needed.

New Business

Plowing of snow during the winter: Dan Stiff reported that money was paid to Cecil Dallman for plowing without passing that expense through the proper process. Willie Sullivan moved, and it was seconded, to let that payment stand. The motion passed by a majority. Dan Stiff made a motion that a committee be formed to report back concerning future plowing the roads in winter. Willie Sullivan, Cecil Dallman, Bill McIntosh, Kathy Hall and Matt Huber will be members of that committee.

Ann Forster requested that the new Treasurer by installed at the beginning of the fiscal year, June 30th. Willie Sullivan and the Village Council will look into changing the By-laws to accommodate this request. It was suggested that the Treasurer’s position could be made to a 13- month position so there could an overlap with the old and new Treasurer working together for one month.

Dan Stiff suggested that anyone going to the Valley County Commissioners regarding the Fire Department include the Fire Department staff in the discussion.

Election of officers: Deb Filler represented the nomination committee for the positions of Treasurer and Chairman. The committee nominated Joel Fields as Treasurer, seconded by Jeff Forster. Willie Sullivan moved that nomination close; seconded by Ginny Barthomew; motion passed. Joel Fields will be Treasurer. Deb Filler nominated herself as Chairman. Lorinne nominated Ann Forester. Ann declined. Willie Sullivan moved nominations close; motion seconded; motion passed. Deb Filler will serve as Village Chairman. Deb Filler nominated Lynn Imel to fill the Vice Chairman position until elections next year (now vacant since Deb Filler moved to Chairman). Willie Sullivan suggested this be approved; motion seconded by Ginny Barthomew; motion passed. Lynn Imel will serve as Vice Chairman until elections in July 2018.

Meeting was adjourned 4:00 p.m. by Dan Stiff
Next meeting is August 12th, 2017
Submitted by Lorinne N.j Munn, Secretary, Yellow Pine Village Assoc.

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Yellow Pine featured in “Big Life” magazine.

photo gallery:

[h/t AF]
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H-Fest Aug 4-6

Donations requested

The Silent and Live Auctions are looking for large and small donations for the festival. Contact Lorinne at 633-5555 for details.
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Big Creek Lodge

Breakfast at Big Creek Saturday Aug 5. 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.
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Welch Memorial Golf Tourney 2017

Saturday September 2 at 1 PM – Yellow Pine Country Club
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Harmonica T-shirt Request

I would like to send out a request to everyone who might have a T-shirt from the past harmonica festivals. We are missing the following years: 1994, 2002-2014. It would be a donation to the Community Hall. I am hoping to make the Center more inviting and useful. Any suggestions from anyone are also welcome.
My email is: 75hallker @ att.net My phone: 208-633-6270

Thanks so much, Kathleen Hall – VYPA – Member at Large
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Local Observations:

Monday (July 10) overnight low of 53 degrees, partly cloudy “dirty” sky this morning. A few finches and pine-siskins at the feeder, hear a jay calling. Swallows are busy feeding babies that poke their heads out of the nest boxes. Male calliope and a couple of female or juvenile hummers at the feeders. Big tanker truck and trailer went up main street this morning, than later dust abatement applied to Yellow Pine Ave. Clouds building after lunch time, not as hot and nice little breeze, high of 89 degrees. Got rather muggy and calm towards evening, then mostly clear at dusk, nighthawks calling. Quiet day.

Tuesday (July 11) overnight low of 50 degrees, clear sky this morning, better air quality. A few finches at the feeders. Swallows doing “group feedings”, going from box to box feeding each others chicks (swallow chicks are not quite as big as parents yet.) A few hummers visiting the feeders (we have been changing the sugar water every other day now its hot.) Light traffic and mild temps early afternoon, high of 86 degrees. County road grader and water truck starting on this end of Johnson Creek road. A report there are 3 chicks in the osprey nest, mother defending nest from other ospreys. Solitary male cowbird this evening (no finches around.) Juvenile jay begging to be fed. Seeing a few more chipmunks in the neighborhood (and too many colombian ground squirrels!) Evening grosbeaks around this evening (have not seen them for a while.)

Wednesday (July 12) overnight low of 44 degrees, clear sky this morning, good air quality. Couple of finches at the feeder, can hear a grosbeak, robin and jay calling. A report of fresh bear poop close to the intersection coming into the village. A report that the transfer station is not only full, but overflowing and a pile of debris outside the building. Quite warm today and into the evening, high of 90 degrees. Heard an olive-sided flycatcher then at dusk a nighthawk, and one female hummingbird at the feeder. Very clear at midnight, sparkly stars.

Thursday (July 13) overnight low of 46 degrees, clear sky this morning, good air quality. A few finches at the feeder, heard a grosbeak, a robin and an olive-sided flycatcher calling. Swallow chicks still growing and begging for food. A bit of traffic early. Rivers are dropping and running just a little above average now. Pretty hot after lunch, some passing clouds. Hot dry afternoon, high of 96 degrees. A couple of hummingbirds visited the feeder. Warm clear evening.

Friday (July 14) overnight low of 48 degrees, mostly clear sky this morning. A couple of finches and an evening grosbeak at the feeders. Swallow chicks crowding at the door hole begging to be fed. Some young swallows have fledged and perching on boxes and power lines. Have not seen any chickadees or nuthatches this summer. Crunchy dry in the forest. High thin clouds moving in before lunch time. Thicker clouds in the early afternoon helped block some sun. Then partly cloudy and hot later in the afternoon, high of 97 degrees. Darker clouds, cooler and breezy early evening. A few hummers visiting the feeders. Mostly clear at dusk. Light traffic today and good air.

Saturday (July 15) overnight low of 52 degrees, clear sky this morning (a little haze to the east.) A few finches at the feeders. Swallow chicks should fledge soon, seeing some young ones out perched on the tops of the bird houses and power lines – begging. (One chick flew off by 2pm.) Young steller jay on the squirrel feeder. Helicopter flew over at 947am (may have been for Profile fire?) Clouds coming in by lunch time and a little breezy. Clouds departed, hot sunny afternoon, high of 96 degrees. More clouds later in the afternoon moderated the temps somewhat for a short time, then clear and hot. Increased traffic and dust. Cloudy again late afternoon then cleared off again by early evening. Report of a fire along Profile road, 2 miles from the junction with the Stibnite road. Slight smell of smoke around midnight.

Sunday (July 16) overnight low of 50 degrees, clear sky this morning with smoky haze to the north east, air quality a tad poor. Three swallow chicks still in the box, adults flying around feeding young that are out sitting on box tops (2 chicks left the nest by 11am, last chick left before 5pm.) A few finches and a jay at the feeders. All the squirrel species out this morning, chipmunks, golden mantels, pine squirrels and ground squirrels. Light traffic but raising a lot of dust. Gusty breezes mid-afternoon and clear. Not as hot as its been, but still pretty darn warm, high of 90 degrees. By 630pm a large plume of smoke was visible from the Profile Fire to the north east, updated report that it is 70 acres. A few hummers visiting the feeders, not much bird activity this evening.

Idaho News:

Probe continues for cause of Tamarack fire that killed 4

Coroner needs more tests to determine cause of death

By Tom Grote for The Star-News July 13, 2017

Fire investigators were back at the scene last Friday of an explosion and fire at Tamarack Resort near Donnelly that killed four Boiseans on June 30.

Investigators sifted through the debris and conducted a number of interviews, Idaho State Fire Marshal Knute Sandahl said Monday.

No determination of the cause of the fire has been reached, Sandahl

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Fatal fires rare in Valley County

Tamarack victims were first deaths since 2005

By Tom Grote for The Star-News July 13, 2017

The June 30 fire that killed four people at Tamarack Resort was the first fatal fire in Valley County in 12 years, according to records.

Fatal fires are rare in the county, with the previous fatality recorded in McCall in October 2005.

The last fatal fire in the Cascade area was in 2005 and the previous fatal fire in the Donnelly area was in 2003, according to the records of fire districts serving those towns and surrounding areas.

The four people killed in the Tamarack Resort fire equaled the number of victims of a Christmas Week fire near Lake Cascade in 1998.

Here is a review of those previous fires that results in deaths.

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State fire marshal on deadly Tamarack cabin fire: ‘I want to get answers for the family’

by KBOI News Staff Friday, July 14th 2017

(KBOI Staff Photo)

Donnelly, Idaho (KBOI) — Fire investigators are continuing to try and figure out what caused a deadly fire that ultimately killed four people at a cabin at Tamarack Resort.

Idaho state fire marshal Knute Sandahl told KBOI 2News on Friday that investigators still have a long ways to go.

“There’s still a few more pieces to the puzzle,” Sandahl said. “The unfortunate thing is that it’s going to take a lot longer than I would like.”

Sandahl says investigators are focusing their attention on the fireplace.

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Cascade council to study disbanding police force

Members want to see how alternative would work

By Max Silverson for The Star-News July 13, 2017

The Cascade City Council on Monday took the first step toward what could be disbanding the Cascade Police Department and contracting with the Valley County Sheriff’s Office.

The council voted to split with Valley County the $2,500 cost of hiring a consultant to negotiate a preliminary contract for policing services within city limits.

The decision does not commit the city to a contract, but will allow council members to see specific terms of an agreement.

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Six people in the hospital following McCall crash

by KBOI News Staff Thursday, July 13th 2017

McCall, Idaho (KBOI) — Six people are in the hospital after a crash on Eastside Drive in McCall.

Idaho State Police says Kyle Petersen, 27, was driving in a 1991 Ford Bronco when he failed to negotiate a curve and rolled several times.

Petersen and his passenger, 32-year-old Donna Contreras, were both transported to the ambulance along with four juveniles.

Police say the four juveniles and Contreras were wearing seat belts, but it is unknown at this time if Petersen was as well.

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Valley County gets funds for emergency food, shelter

The Star-News July 13, 2017

Valley County has been awarded $2,961 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.

The funds were provided through the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program

Public or private voluntary agencies in Valley County interested in applying for funds should contact Marilyn Arp, Local Board Chair, at 634-5833 or P.O. Box 228, McCall, ID 83638. The deadline for applications is Friday, July 21.

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Brutal winter’s impact still being felt in some Idaho towns

More water, fewer fish, less cash for river towns

KIVI TV Jul 13, 2017

“Snowpocalypse 2017” may feel like a distant memory, but anglers and businesses that cater to them are still feeling the effects.

The swollen rivers resulting from the melting snow made the migration from the Pacific Ocean to Idaho difficult for Chinook salmon. This year’s salmon return is less than half of the 10-year average.

… A limited season was allowed on the Little Salmon River and a very early season gave anglers on the Clearwater a meager opportunity that yielded very few fish. For the first time in many years there will be no season on the South Fork Salmon River outside of Cascade or the Upper Salmon River in Lemhi and Custer Counties.

full story:
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Plane that took off from McCall crashes in eastern Oregon

by KBOI News Staff Tuesday, July 11th 2017

Baker City, Ore., (KBOI) — A pilot and his passenger escaped serious injuries after their small plane crashed near the Baker City Airport over the weekend.

The Baker County Sheriff’s Office says a plane that had taken off from McCall and was headed to Baker City landed in a field east of the runway after its engine failed.

The pilot, Peter Taylor of Red Bluff, Calif., suffered a small cut above his right hand — the only reported injury.

The crash remains under investigation.

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Officials may know where missing man is, but can’t get to him

KTVB July 10, 2017

Idaho County – Sheriff’s officials believe they have found the area along Highway 95 where they believe a 54-year-old Boise man and his vehicle went into the Salmon River.

Relatives and the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office have been looking for John “Randy” French, who has not been seen or heard from since he went on a fishing trip June 29 in the Riggins area in Idaho County.

On Sunday, the sheriff’s office received a report from a citizen that the license plate for French’s vehicle had been found, and there was evidence that the vehicle went into the river near milepost 201.5 on Highway 95.

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2 injured in Muldoon UTV rollover

July 10, 2017 IME

A man and woman from Bellevue were flown to Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello after crashing a utility task vehicle off of the side of Muldoon Canyon Road near Bellevue on Sunday.

According to Blaine County Sheriff’s Patrol Capt. Curtis Miller, Nikki Swainston, 44, was driving east in a Polaris Razor 800 utility task vehicle, commonly known as a UTV or “side by side,” with Jose Guerrero, 42, in the passenger seat. Miller said that Swainston failed to negotiate a left curve about 11.6 miles east of Bellevue, causing the vehicle to travel off of the right side of the road, go down an embankment and roll onto its passenger side. He said Swainston was likely traveling too fast for the road.

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Pocatello man drowns in Snake River rafting accident

Local News 8 – Jul 10, 2017

Alpine, Wyo. (KIFI/KIDK) – A 48-year-old Pocatello man died Saturday after he was thrown from a raft on the Snake River. The accident happened about 11:38 a.m. Saturday.

Lincoln County, Wyoming Sheriff’s Captain Brian Andrews said Christopher Chapman, 48, was thrown out of a raft that flipped over in the Snake River Canyon near Alpine. The rest of the rafting party made it to shore safely.

Chapman was pulled into another raft that was floating the river behind. The rafters took him to Sheep Gulch. They began to administer CPR, but could not revive him. He was declared dead at the scene.

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Idaho Power worker says water bottle almost started fire inside truck

by KBOI News Staff Friday, July 14th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Go ahead and file this under “didn’t think of that.”

Idaho Power has shared a video story of one of its workers that recently noticed a potential fire hazard from inside an Idaho Power truck during a lunch break.

“I happened to notice some smoke out of the corner of my eye, and looked over and noticed that light was being refracted through a water bottle and was starting to catch the seat on fire,” said Dioni Amuchastegui, a stations battery technician for the power company.

Employees posted a video to the company’s YouTube channel to recreate the potentially dangerous situation and even recorded a blazing temperature of 213 degrees.

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Blaze caused by fireworks destroys Pocatello home

Associated Press, KTVB July 14, 2017

Pocatello, Idaho (AP) – Authorities say a man setting off aerial fireworks in eastern Idaho while a neighbor screamed at him to stop ignited a brushfire that destroyed one home and damaged another.

Pocatello Fire Department Captain Nick Christensen tells the Idaho State Journal that firefighters responded to the blaze at about 10 p.m. Thursday and had it extinguished at about 1:30 a.m. Friday.

Authorities say the fire started when a fireworks mortar ignited dry grass that quickly spread across a ravine and then to a street with homes.

Authorities say that about 15 homes were evacuated but reported no injuries. Damage estimates were unavailable.

Police say they know the identity of the man lighting fireworks but are not releasing his name. Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad says the city intends to bring charges.


photo source:
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Idaho man apologizes for blaze started by illegal fireworks

7/15/17 AP

Pocatello, Idaho — An eastern Idaho man is apologizing for setting off illegal aerial fireworks that caused a brush fire that burned down a neighbor’s home and damaged another.

John Woods of Pocatello told the Idaho State Journal in a story on Saturday that he caused the Thursday fire.

“I lit off five fireworks and I think the fourth one was a bad deal,” he said. “I burnt people’s houses down, and I don’t know what else to say except I’m sorry.”

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Bonneville County Weed Control uses insects to stop invasive weed

Michaela Leung Jul 12, 2017 KIVI TV

According to Bonneville County Weed Control, the Yellow Starthistle has already taken over millions of acres in California.

This weed chokes out the grass that wildlife depend on and the needles in the weeds can cause Chewing Disease in animals.

The county has come up with a unique solution. They have brought in the Hairy Weevil. The county says the bugs will not be a problem for other plants and animals in the area.

“They shipped us in some insects that only eat Yellow Starthistle. If for some reason all these Yellow Starthistle disappear the bug would go away. They will not eat anything else. And hopefully they will start suppressing the spread,” says Jeffrey Pettingill, Superintendent for Bonneville County Weed Control.

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Mosquito traps in Ada County test positive for West Nile

by KBOI News Staff Friday, July 14th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Two mosquito traps in Ada County have tested positive for West Nile according to the Ada County Mosquito Abatement District.

This is the first time this year West Nile has been found in Ada County this year.

“With the historic flooding we saw this spring, this unfortunately was something we were anticipating this year,” said Commissioner Dave Case. “When we have positive results like this, our Mosquito Abatement District addresses it immediately. We will continue to monitor these locations, in addition to our regular treatment efforts throughout all of Ada County.”

The areas that tested positive were in Kuna near Indian Creek and Valley Heights drive between Cloverdale and Five Mile.

continued (w/tips to elimiate mosquitoes):
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Idaho, western state farmers battling ‘significantly high’ Mormon cricket populations

by Rebecca Boone Associated Press Thursday, July 13th 2017

Boise, Idaho (AP) – Farmers in the U.S. West face a creepy scourge every eight years or so: Swarms of ravenous insects that can decimate crops and cause slippery, bug-slick car crashes as they march across highways and roads.

Experts say this year could be a banner one for Mormon crickets – 3-inch-long bugs named after the Mormon pioneers who moved West and learned firsthand the insect’s devastating effect on forage and grain fields.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service reports “significantly higher Mormon cricket populations” on federal land in southwestern Idaho, agency spokeswoman Abbey Powell wrote in an email to The Associated Press.

“There isn’t a clear explanation why populations are so much higher this year,” Powell wrote. “We know that populations are cyclical. … In Idaho, in a few locations, we have seen populations as high as 70 per square yard.”


Fire Season:

Homeowners in Boise prepare to fight wildfires

Michael Sevren Jul 12, 2017 KIVI TV

Boise, Idaho – Homeowners are learning how to protect their property from wildfires. On Wednesday local firefighters and Zamzows hosted a class for families who live in the wildland-urban interface. An area where the city meets the open range. They learned how to come up with an evacuation plan, make survivable space and firewise landscaping. Firefighters say planting different types of vegetation in three different zones around your home can prevent a wildfire from reaching it.

“You also have the ‘no area’ around the home which is those first immediate five feet you don’t want to plant anything in that area and so if you see something live a fuel break like how we use bulldozers on fires that’s essentially what your landscape is a fuel break for that wildfire,” said Keri Steneck of the Boise District BLM.

Firefighters say planting native vegetation and clearing away dead plants can also lower the risk of a fire reaching your home.

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Local ranchers, farmers provide initial attack efforts during fire season

Stephanie Hale-Lopez Jul 13, 2017 KIVI TV

Boise – This fire season, it’s not just firefighters who are fighting flames, it’s ranchers and farmers, too. Known as the Rangeland Fire Protection Association — or RFPAs — they’re the not-so-secret weapon when it comes to protecting private land.

Ranchers and farmers rely on the land for their livelihood, which means helping to protect it just makes sense. In fact, more than 300 of them have joined one of the nine RFPA groups across the state.

“Because they are on the ground, living and working where these fires are happening, they can get to the fires more quickly,” said Emily Callihan, Public Information Officer for the Idaho Department of Lands.

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290 acre brush fire burning west of Kuna 80 percent contained

by KBOI News Staff Thursday, July 13th 2017

(Photo courtesy Ada County Sheriff)

Kuna, Idaho (KBOI) — A brush fire is burning on Black Cat and King Roads, just west of Kuna.

The BLM says the Murphy Lane fire is 290 acres and is burning grass and brush near Kuna Butte.

Kuna Fire and BLM are responding, and dispatch tells KBOI 2News that resources are still working to get on scene. The call for the fire came in at 2:56 p.m. Thursday.

The fire has also spread to Kuna Cave Road, and people are urged to avoid the area.

… The fire is now 80% contained, and full containment is expected by 11:00 Thursday night.

full story:
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Firefighters tackle early morning brush fire in Eagle

by KBOI News Staff Saturday, July 15th 2017

The Eagle Fire Department says the brush fire was reported near north of Beacon Light and Willow Creek. (Eagle Fire)

Eagle, Idaho (KBOI) — Firefighters were called out to an early morning brush fire in Eagle Saturday.

The Eagle Fire Department says the brush fire was reported near north of Beacon Light and Willow Creek. It was reportedly at about 20 acres.

There’s no word yet on a cause, or containment at this time.

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Early morning fire burns 30 acres in Eagle

KTVB July 15, 2017

Eagle – A brush fire that broke out early Saturday morning in the area of Willow Creek Road and Knob Hill Court is under investigation.

The fire burned approximately 30 acres, and is now contained.

The fire threatened structures for a short time, but an Ada County dispatcher says it did not damage any homes.

Someone who spotted the fire called it in at 4:49 a.m. Saturday. Crews from the Eagle, Meridian, Star and Boise fire departments responded.

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Lightning ignites fires to north, south

July 10, 2017 IME

Fire season in the area has begun.

Eighteen firefighters responded to a lightning-caused fire reported in the Yankee Fork drainage Sunday. According to a news release from the Salmon-Challis National Forest, the Milk Fire, about eight miles north of the Yankee Fork Work Center, east of the Custer Lookout, was reported to have burned 10 acres by Monday.

A lightning-caused three-acre fire was reported on the forest’s Middle Fork Ranger District near Indian Creek on July 4. According to the Forest Service, it has been extinguished.

The lightning-caused Antelope Fire by this morning had burned about 2,000 acres of grass and brush on BLM land about five miles south of Shoshone. However, high winds fueled the fire today and the blaze was last estimated to have burned more than 4,000 acres of land. Highway 93 south of Shoshone was closed this afternoon because of the fire and efforts to slow its spread.

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Evacuations in place as 40,000-acre fire near Bruneau Dunes spreading at ‘alarming speed’

by Kelsey Anderson & KBOI News Staff Monday, July 10th 2017

Bruneau, Idaho (KBOI) — About 40,000 acres have burned near the Bruneau Dunes State Park, and evacuations are in place, according to the Twin Falls Bureau of Land Management.

The Loveridge Fire started Sunday, near the Sailor Cap Bombing Range. A spokeswoman for the Twin Falls BLM tells KBOI 2News, the blaze started around 4:30 p.m. Sunday and is spreading at an “alarming speed.”

We’re told more resources from throughout the state will be pouring in today to help fight these flames. Structures are threatened.

The state park is now closed.

There’s no estimated contain or control time for the fire. There’s no determined cause yet.

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Highway 93 back open after fast-moving brush fire

KTVB July 10, 2017

U.S. Highway 93 about 5 miles south of Shoshone was back open Monday evening – but that drivers should expect delays – after being closed in both directions because of a fast-moving brush fire.

The Bureau of Land Management says the Antelope Fire is being fueled by 25 mph wind gusts.

Seven air tankers are dropping retardant on the fire. Other resources battling the blaze include 8 engines, one dozer and four overhead.

The fire was started by lightning Sunday.

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Meadow Creek Fire burns 200 acres near I-84

by KBOI News Staff Monday, July 10th 2017

The Bureau of Land Management says a brush fire two miles east of I-84 mile marker 256 is showing active fire behavior.

The fire has already grown to 200 acres, and smoke jumpers are en route.

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Twin Falls District BLM Fire Update

July 11, 2017

Meadow Creek Fire

* Located two miles east of I84, mile maker 256
* Size: 493 acres
* Contain: 7/12/2017 at 6 p.m.
* Control: 7/14/2017 at 6 p.m.
* Resources: Raft River Rural Fire Department, smoke jumpers, five engines, two type two hand crews, two overhead
* Fuel type: grass, brush, juniper
* Fire behavior: smoldering and creeping
* Structures threatened: no
* Cause: undetermined
Size change due to more accurate mapping. Resources are improving containment lines and mopping up hotspots.

Loveridge Fire (Final Update)

* Located eight miles southeast of Bruneau, BLM land
* Size: 38,645 acres
* Contain: 7/10/2017 at 6 p.m.
* Control: 7/11/2017 at 8 p.m.
* Resources: nine engines, two overhead, two dozers, one water tender
* Fuel type: grass and brush
* Fire behavior: none
* Structures threatened: no
* Cause: lightning

Antelope Fire

* Located approximately 5 miles south of Shoshone
* Size: 29,500 acres
* Contain: estimated 7/12/2017 at 8 p.m.
* Control: estimated 7/13/2017 at 8 p.m.
* Resources: Notch Butte Rangeland Protection Association, ten engines (Twin Falls District BLM and Sawtooth National Forest), three dozers, three overhead, one water tender
* Fuel type: grass and brush
* Fire behavior: smoldering
* Structures threatened: no
* Cause: lightning

Resources continue to improve containment lines and mopping up hotspots.

For More Information, Kelsey Brizendine, Fire Information and Prevention Officer, kbrizendine@blm.gov 208-308-5991

Idaho Wildfires visit http://www.IdahoFireInfo.com
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Crews fight lightning caused fire in Arbon Valley

Local News 8 – Jul 14, 2017

Ft. Hall, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – Ft. Hall firefighters are working to contain the Rattlesnake fire.

The fire began at around 4 p.m. Thursday in the Arbon Valley area. It was believed to be started by lightning.

It was estimated at about 155 acres Friday morning. There was no prediction as to when it would be contained or controlled.

The Ft. Hall Fire Department is managing the fire, but has released no information.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service have committed one dozer, three engines and one 10-man hand crew to help fight the fire. Other fire agencies have also been working on that fire.

Earlier Thursday, the 10 acre Trail Creek fire was contained on Ft. Hall land. It is forecast to be controlled by 8 p.m. Friday.

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Smokejumpers brought in to help fight brush fire near Inkom

Containment of both fires expected Sunday night

Chris Oswalt Jul 16, 2017 Local News 8

Inkom, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – The Bureau of Land Management said Sunday afternoon that it expects to have two brush fires burning outside of Inkom contained by evening.

The two lightning-caused fires are burning on BLM land in the Blackrock Canyon area north of Inkom. They are being called Caddy Canyon 1 and Caddy Canyon 2.

Caddy Canyon 1:
113 acres
Six engines and air attack currently being used
Estimated containment 7 p.m. Sunday

Caddy Canyon 2:
25 acres
Smokejumpers and hand crews were diverted to Caddy Canyon 1 fire
Estimated containment at 3 p.m. Sunday with full control by 8 p.m. Sunday

The BLM says neither fire is threatening any homes or property.

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Lightning to blame for 18 new wildfires in Idaho

by Brian Morrin Saturday, July 15th 2017

Moose Creek wildfire caused by lightning

Nez Perce – Clear Water National Forests, Idaho — Tonight, fire fighters are battling eighteen lightning caused fires in the Nez Perce, Clearwater National Forests.

The fires broke out late Friday (7/14/2017) afternoon. Thunderstorms rolling through the area are believed to be the culprit.

The fires are burning in the Lochsa, Powell, Moose Creek and Red River Ranger Districts.

The U.S. Forest Service says its receiving reports of other fires that haven’t been confirmed yet.

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Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Update

July 16, 2017

Several lightning-caused starts have been detected across the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests due to a late afternoon isolated thunderstorm on July 14, 2017.

Currently, 18 fires have been detected on the Lochsa/Powell, Moose Creek, and Red River Ranger Districts with additional possible starts continuing to be reported. Weather advisories are currently in effect and storm cells are expected to cross the area this afternoon, with lightning, wind, sporadic rain and possible hail.

Forest and Fire Management Staff considered the long-term effects of smoke in their decision to manage fires in the wilderness and roadless areas. “We are very sensitive to health impacts due to wildfire smoke and take measures to reduce the long duration fires when we can,” said Cheryl Probert, Forest Supervisor. Fire managers are working with air quality specialists to monitor smoke and potential impacts to communities. In addition to smoke impacts, values at risk, availability of resources, and location were considered in determining suppression actions of fires not threatening communities.

Firefighter and public safety is the number one priority in wildland fire management and emergency response. Fire activity across the nation has significantly increased and the National Preparedness Level (PL) is currently 4. PL 4 means that three or more Geographic Areas are experiencing wildland fire incidents requiring Type 1 and 2 Incident Management Teams. Competition exists for resources between Geographic Areas. Nationally, 60% of Type 1 and 2 Incident Management Teams and crews are committed to wildland fire incidents.

Current fire status for fires by district:


Fires currently staffed on the Lochsa/Powell District include the Parachute-0.25 acres approximately 4 miles northeast of Powell, Storm–0.25 acres, Cherokee – 3 acres, Twin #322–0.25 acres, and Round Top 1–0.5 acres all located approximately 5 miles south of Lolo Pass, Checkerboard–5.25 acres located near the Idaho/Montana border approximately 5 miles east of Lolo Pass, Pappoose–5-7 acres located approximately 4 miles northwest of Powell, and Brushy– 15 acres, located north of Brushy Fork about 4 miles south of Lolo Pass.

The fires on the Lochsa/Powell Ranger District with the exception of the Hidden and Maud fires are located in the area referenced as the checkerboard with adjacent privately owned tracts of land.

The Hidden fire (approximately 1 acre) is located in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, currently unstaffed and is being managed for resource benefits. The Maud fire (approximately .25 acres) located in a roadless area south of Beaver Ridge is also being managed for resource benefits and is currently unstaffed.

For more information on current fire status or closures for public safety due to wildfire, please call (208) 942-3113.

Moose Creek Ranger District:

Moose Creek 1 fire is 7 acres and is .25 miles east and southeast of Moose Creek Ranger Station. Moose Creek 2 and 3 fires have merged and are estimated to be 2 acres located southwest of the Moose Creek Runway. The Mink Peak fire is on Mink Peak and is approximately .5 acres in size. The Lone Pine fire is .25 miles west of Lone Pine Point in Marten Creek and is .5 acres in size. The Lone Pine fires is 1.5 miles south of the Three Links bridges. The Elbow Bend fire is one mile south of Roll Point and 1.8 miles northeast of Elbow Bend. The fire is located within the 2015 Roll fire perimeter.

All wilderness fires were started by lightning and will be managed for resource benefits.

For more information on current fire status or closures for public safety due to wildfire, please call (208) 926-4258.

Red River Ranger District:

Fires currently being managed for resource benefits on the Red River Ranger District, are located approximately 14 miles east of Red River Ranger Station. The Ladder fire is approximately 2 acres, Rattlesnake Point fire is approximately 2 acres, and the Bleak fire, approximately 10 acres located 3.5 miles southwest of Dry Saddle near the Magruder Road.

For more information on current fire status or closures for public safety due to wildfire, please call (208) 842-2245.

Fire and closure information will be posted on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/nezperceclearwater


see also: http://www.idahofireinfo.com/
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Debate over use of jumbo bomber as wildfires rage in West

By Keith Ridler – 7/15/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — A giant aircraft that can fly high above oceans on intercontinental flights instead jets in low and slow over a flaming forest, trailing a long plume that settles on the ground and creates a wildfire-stopping barrier.

The operators of the Boeing 747 converted from a passenger jet into a firefighting air tanker say it has proven itself battling forest fires in countries outside the U.S. The modifications allow it to drop more than 19,000 gallons (72,000 liters) of a flame-squelching combination of ammonium phosphate and sulfate mixed with water that comes billowing out in a red-colored line.

“We just happen to be the biggest, fastest firetruck in the air,” said Jim Wheeler, CEO of Global SuperTanker Services.

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July 14, 2017

Many western states continue to experience high fire activity. Seven new large fires were reported as well as seven contained. Firefighters continue to work toward their suppression goals.

When you work and play in our precious forests and rangelands, it’s critical for you to be fire safe. Remember to have spark arresters on equipment and vehicles like chainsaws, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. Modern exhaust systems can easily ignite vegetation, so drive and park in designated areas, and avoid dry brush and grass. Taking these simple steps can keep you, and our natural resources, from going up in smoke.

States currently reporting large fires:

Alaska (14)
Arizona (5)
California (7)
Colorado (5)
Idaho (2)
Louisiana (1)
Montana (5)
Nevada (5)
New Mexico (1)
North Dakota (1)
Oregon (5)
Utah (1)
Washington (1)
Wyoming (1)

more info:

Public Lands:

Midas Gold Geophysical Investigation Update

USDA Forest Service 7/12/2017

Dear Interested Party,

The Forest Service is seeking scoping comments for the proposed Plan of Operations for Geophysical Investigation on the Krassel Ranger District of the Payette National Forest. Activities include the construction of 62 drill pads, access to drill pads, drilling, and drill site reclamation in the Stibnite area east of Yellow Pine, Idaho. The project area is located on National Forest System lands located within sections 2, 3, 11, 14, 15, 16, 21, 24, Township 18 North, Range 9 East, Boise Meridian, Valley County, Idaho The scoping document provides more detailed information about the project and can be found along with the Plan of Operations as submitted by Midas Gold Idaho, Inc. on the project’s webpage at http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52065.

The Forest Service is contacting interested individuals, groups, and agencies to make them aware of the project and to gather pertinent comments. To be most helpful, please submit your scoping comments by August 14, 2017, and make your comments as specific as possible.

The project webpage provides you tools to engage this process as you wish. From “Get Connected” on the right hand side of the page, use the “Comment/Object on project” link to access a simple webform to submit your comments on this project. The “Public Comment/Objection Reading Room” are the published comments received on this project. Click on “Subscribe to Email Updates” and enter your email address if you wish to receive electronic communication about this project.

Webform submission of comments is preferred but written comments concerning this project will also be accepted. Comments for the project may be submitted to Clint Hughes, 500 North Mission, Building 2, McCall Idaho 83638.

Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection and will be released in their entirety if requested pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. Comments received in response to this request will also be available for public inspection on the “Public Comment Reading Room” on the project webpage http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52065. Only those who subscribe to Email Updates or submit scoping comments will receive further communication about this project.

For further information on this project, please contact Clint Hughes, Geologist, 208-634-0756 or cehughes02@fs.fed.us.

Anthony B. Botello
Krassel District Ranger
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Feds partner to reduce hazardous fuels around Lake Cascade

Boise, Idaho, July 10, 2017

The Cascade Ranger District of the Boise National Forest, in partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) are planning fuel treatments to mechanically reduce the amount of hazardous fuels on Reclamation lands next to private property around Lake Cascade.

“This project has multiple benefits,” said Jim Bishop, Fuels Assistant Fire Management Officer, Cascade Ranger District. “Besides reducing the fuel load, mulching along these areas will improve the forest’s ability to withstand wildfire and in the long term, improve wildlife habitat by generating new growth.”

A track-mounted mechanical mulching (mastication) machine will use a rotating drum to shred vegetation, including standing trees to clear the sites and decrease risks from wildfire.

The Boise National Forest road crew and District employees will begin July 10, 2017, in the following areas:

* Unit #1 Tucker Road – 28 acres. Located south of Roseberry Road off Tucker Road in T-16N R-3E Section 16, approximately 2 miles west of Donnelly, Idaho.

* Unit #2 Dawn Drive – 77 acres. Located south of Roseberry Road and east of Dawn Drive in T-16N R-3E Section 15, approximately 2 miles southwest of Donnelly, Idaho.

For public and employee safety, signs will be posted on roads and access points leading into the project area to notify them that operations are in progress.

Residents adjacent to the project area will be notified before implementation. Your cooperation and patience during this period are appreciated.

Linda Steinhaus
Public Affairs
Boise National Forest
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Some mountain roads could be closed for years after devastating spring runoff

KTVB July 11, 2017

(Photo: Kelton Hatch/Idaho Fish & Game)

Fairfield – Heavy winter snow and the resulting spring runoff caused such severe damage to some mountain roads, it could be years before they are reopened.

Idaho Fish & Game officials said one road – in the Sawtooth National Forest – could be closed for three years or longer.

The heavily damaged road is an unpaved eight-mile stretch northwest of Fairfield along the South Fork of the Boise River between Bounds Creek Campground and Baumgartner Campground.

Photos taken by Fish & Game conservation educator Kelton Hatch shows a large section of the road near Bounds Creek Campground completely washed out by the river.

Officials advised sportsman that some roads throughout Idaho’s mountains will remain closed through hunting season because of damage. Anyone looking to head into the mountains is urged to check with the local Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management offices to get updated information on campground closures, road conditions and fire danger.

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Forest Supervisor issues Decision on South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Environmental Assessment

Boise, Idaho, July 11, 2017
Boise National Forest Supervisor Cecilia Seesholtz signed the Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project July 10, 2017, selecting Alternative B (Proposed Action) with modifications. Modifications made in the Decision Notice were in response to a changed condition caused by high spring flows and runoff in June that resulted in damage to NFS road 312 and loss of corresponding vehicle access north of the damaged road. Changes are discussed in detail in the Decision Notice and FONSI posted on the project website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50694

Implementing Alternative B, as modified in the July 10, 2017, Decision Notice/FONSI, will:

* Reduce hazard trees along roads and trails on about 7847 acres through a combination of treatments including salvage and fell and leave

* Salvage additional dead trees on 3,971 acres

* Decommission 4.4 miles of unauthorized routes causing resource damage

* Re-establish forested conditions by planting trees on 12,571 acres, naturally regenerating 4,703 acres

* Restore whitebark pine on 294 acres

* Restore riparian vegetation on 37 acres

“We know that when we engage our stakeholders throughout the planning phase of a project, we make better decisions,” said Brant Petersen, Idaho City District Ranger. “We regularly met with our local collaborative group, the Boise Forest Coalition, tribal and timber industry representatives; County commissioners; state agencies and other interested stakeholders. A 30-day comment period on the Environmental Assessment was included in the extensive public involvement efforts implemented from October 2016 through June 2017. These efforts helped inform the development of the Proposed Action and understand the effects of implementing actions included in the decision.”

District Rangers from both the Idaho City and Lowman Ranger Districts hosted field trips with a wide range of people to discuss the proposed action and the Forest’s intent to request an Emergency Situation Determination (ESD). During the analysis process for Environmental Assessment preparation, Forest representatives met formally and informally with groups to discuss the project when requested and participated in public forums to share presentations about the Project. “We truly appreciate the hard work and thoughtful collaboration our partners put into helping us developing this project,” said Petersen.

An Emergency Situation Determination is defined at 36 CFR 218.21(b) as: 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.

Authority to authorize an ESD rests solely with the Chief and Associate Chief of the Forest Service. Current regulations at 36 CFR 218.21(d) identify that when an emergency situation exists with respect to all or part of a proposed project, the proposed action shall not be subject to the predecisional review (objection) process and may be implemented immediately following notification of the decision.

“Throughout the planning process, we discussed with stakeholders the timing of hazard tree removal and salvage harvest and how critical it is to achieving the purpose and need for the South Pioneer Project, “ said Cecilia Seesholtz, Forest Supervisor of the Boise National Forest. “The combination of my Decision and approval of the ESD by the Chief of the Forest Service May 31, 2017, allows immediate implementation.”

“Doing the work immediately this field season recovers the greatest wood product value from hazard and dead trees salvaged before deterioration occurs. It is essential to recover this value so we can accomplish project objectives for hazard tree treatments; watershed improvements; and forest restoration, including reforestation.”

“The South Pioneer Project is known for its high concentration recreation use year-round,” said Seesholtz. “Operations will reduce risks and improve public access to the yurts, operated by Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, multiple motorized and non-motorized winter and summer trails and trailheads and popular campgrounds along Idaho State Highway 21.”

With the ESD approval, the Forest is moving forward with project implementation, including the award of hazard and dead tree salvage sale contracts, following issuance of the South Pioneer Project Decision Notice/FONSI signed July 10, 2017, and notifying stakeholders of the decision through this news release and other venues.

For more information visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/boise/home/?cid=fseprd530485
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Cattle grazing suspended on 2 central Idaho allotments

By Keith Ridler – 7/14/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — An environmental group has reached a settlement in a lawsuit against the U.S Forest Service that suspends cattle grazing in a central Idaho area with salmon spawning habitat and that includes the White Clouds Wilderness.

The agreement between Hailey, Idaho,-based Western Watersheds Project and the Forest Service late last week removes cattle from portions of the East Fork of the Salmon River in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

The lawsuit filed in October contended the Forest Service broke environmental laws on two grazing allotments by issuing permits to livestock growers with a history of violating restrictions.

The agreement eliminates livestock on the two allotments in 2017 and 2018 and prevents their return until the area meets environmental standards set for the recovery of salmon, steelhead and bull trout.

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Senior Pass Price Skyrocketing

Western Slope No Fee Coalition July 13, 2017

Dear Public Lands Supporter

The National Park Service says the effective date for an 800% increase in the price of a lifetime Senior Pass has been set for August 28, not October 1 as previously announced. ACT NOW!

Below is the article we issued when the increase was first approved, updated with new developments.

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USFS Regional Intermountain News

Regional Spotlight
Forest News
About Us

June 28 Newsletter now online here:
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Zinke recommends no changes to Idaho, Washington monuments

By Nicholas K. Geranios – 7/13/17 AP

Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho and the Hanford Reach National Monument in Washington state are no longer under review for possible modification, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Thursday.

The monuments were among 27 covered by President Donald Trump’s April executive order calling for a review of monuments created since 1996.

Thursday’s announcement that no changes will be made to the two monuments came after public comments and conversations with stakeholders, Zinke said.


Letter to Share:

So You Want To Be A Rehabber?

A day in the life – and ramblings – of a wildlife rehabilitator. From Dory:

Wake up in the morning after a sleepless night trying to figure out medication changes, nipple changes, diet changes, and stressing about the grant you worked on for TWO DAYS only to have it disappear…POOF…into thin air and you can’t retrieve it anywhere on your computer. You head out to the barn at 7:45 with a cup of Keurig coffee in your hand to feed eighteen (18) babies – four of which need special attention, i.e., meds and tube feeding. Your intern – who you wonder how in the world did I ever do this last year on my own? – ends up getting kicked on her already bruised and battered legs while holding fawns while I stick the tube down their throat and put antibiotic ointment in eyes we HOPE will come back from blindness – and gets crapped on all while trying to keep legs from kicking us and injuring themselves. We then scoop and scrape up poop and pee and put down fresh shavings and straw, cut up mounds of apples and other produce, clean the containers for the produce and water, clean and refill bottles with the appropriate formulas for each baby, empty – scrub – and refill pools, and pick fresh browse to hang in the pens/enclosures. We head to our respective “domiciles” – me to the house to check emails and FB – feed my four dogs and two cats and myself – and the intern to clean herself up and make some breakfast. It is now nearly 11:00 AM. Checking email and…POOF…again. The computer tells me I have a virus and all credit cards and other information is compromised. Send a text to genius neighbor asking for assistance. Nearly have the dogs and cats fed and a call comes in re. a fawn next to a road “with a broken back leg”…jump in the truck (with two dogs in the back seat), honk for the intern, and head out to find the fawn as per the directions given over the phone (the people that found it had to leave the area). Spend nearly two hours and 1/4 tank of gas scouring back roads and finally realize we were given wrong directions. Call the folks back – get it straightened out. Finally locate the fawn and it has a broken front leg – with exposed bone – and a broken back. Put fawn in the crate in the box of the truck. Stare into his beautiful eyes and realize there is nothing that can be done. Call vet and let them know we are coming in to have a fawn euthanized. Arrive at vet and we are put in a room to wait for a vet to come in to administer the “blue juice.” Keep sending intern out to the truck to check on my pups that are waiting in the heat. Intern and I start cracking jokes about the fawn’s beautiful eyelashes and how we should transplant them to one of our fawns that is missing her eyelashes…and her eye. Humor is a good coping mechanism. The vet finally comes in and puts the little guy out of his suffering. I’m covered in blood and stink. So what better time to stop in at the feed store and purchase 18 gauge needles we need to administer antibiotics to the special needs fawns at home? Blood and all, we head to the feed store and get the needles and the pine shavings we realize we are out of. A stop at the coffee drive thru – who needs food? – and on our way home to feed the eighteen babes that are late for their mid-day feeding. We get home and genius neighbor is waiting to check out my ailing computer (thanks Don :-) ). Intern runs up to the barn to heat bottles and I head up as soon as the computer issue is figured out. Need a new computer. Head up to the barn to tube feed the two special needs babes, only to discover the bandages on the one have slid down and are doing no good on the wound. Go to plan B and put her in a diaper which will reach high enough to cover the wound…do they make newborn “extra long” diapers? After tube feeding the two babes – and trying and succeeding to give the one a smaller nipple and she actually suckles after many days of tubing – we feed the other fifteen fawns and the elk calf. Bottles refilled and ready to go in the fridge and we realize we forgot to give the two fawns their shot of antibiotics. Catch the fawns…again…and give them their shot. Put out more produce for the night and we head once again to our respective dwellings. It’s now 8:30 PM – I’m still covered in blood and goo – and a shower and a rum & Coke is all I can think of. I remember I haven’t eaten today and pull the dried up Subway sandwich the intern picked up yesterday in town when she did a speed run for supplies for the fawns and I had not had a chance to eat. Slam down the sandwich – make a rum & Coke – and jump in the shower. And, here I am at 9:00 PM. Are you ready to be a rehabber yet? Would I change my life? Absolutely not. I thank God every day for blessing me with my life. Thanks for “listening”…sometimes it’s just good to ramble…


Critter News:

After spending 9 months alone in mountains, lost dog is home

7/10/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — A lost Boise dog is back home after nine months and a brutal winter alone in the Idaho mountains.

Mo, an elderly Chesapeake Bay Retriever, wandered away from her owners during a hunting trip last September.

Darwin and Cindy Cameron stayed near the tiny hamlet of Horseshoe Bend about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Boise for three months looking for Mo. But deep snow and harsh conditions eventually made the search impossible.

Dog rescuer Cheri Glankler took in a starving retriever that had collapsed at a nearby ranch last month, the Idaho Statesman reported. Based on the dog’s initial disheveled appearance, it was clear that she had been living on her own in the wild, Glankler said. She posted photos of the dog on Facebook, and word quickly reached the Camerons that Mo may have been found.

continued (quite a story!):
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Pet talk – Heat stroke in pets

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt Jul 7, 2017 – IME

The combination of high temperatures, high humidity and poor ventilation can be fatal to dogs and cats. Dogs and cats do not sweat, as people do. Thus, the cooling benefits of water evaporation from the skin are not available to them. Panting and radiation of heat from the skin surface are their main means of controlling body temperature. If the air temperature and humidity are high and air circulation is reduced, those protective mechanisms are inadequate. Body temperature can then increase dramatically, resulting in collapse and severe shock. Animals not treated promptly may die.

Dogs with short “pushed-in” noses, such as pugs, bulldogs, Pekingese and boxers are especially susceptible to heat stroke, since their restricted breathing doesn’t allow enough air exchange for rapid heat loss.

Heat stroke is an emergency. The goals of therapy are to lower body temperature and treat shock and organ damage that occurs with the hyperthermia. As soon as you realize your pet has heat prostration, remove it from the source of heat and wet it with cool tap water. Wrap the animal in a cool, wet towel and transport it to the veterinary hospital immediately.

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Pet talk – Allergies in dogs and cats

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt July 14, 2017 – IME

Allergic reactions occur when the immune system reacts to substances called antigens. Antigens are usually proteins. There are four ways that antigens can get into the body: by injection, i.e. a bee sting; by ingestion—think peanut allergies; by inhalation—think ragweed; and by contact—think poison oak or poison ivy. Systemic allergies include urticarial (hives), anaphylaxis and drug allergies.

Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening hypersensitivity reaction. Urticaria, or hives, is acute focal swellings of the skin, which are very itchy. Drug allergies occur when the immune systems reacts adversely against some component of a drug.

Anaphylaxis and urticaria can be caused by many different allergens, including insect venoms, injectable drugs and vaccines and blood transfusions.

In dogs, the target organ for anaphylaxis is the liver and gastrointestinal tract. Vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory distress, collapse, shock and death can occur. In cats, facial itchiness, salivation, difficulty breathing, diarrhea and vomiting may occur.

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Tips to keep your pet cool during the hot summer months

Michael Sevren Jul 12, 2017 KIVI TV

Garden City, Idaho – Unlike humans, cats and dog don’t sweat and these hot temperatures can be deadly to your four-legged friend. Veterinarians at WestVet say they’re seeing at least one overheated pet a week and some of the cases have been fatal. Heavy panting is one symptom to look out for and doctors say keep an eye out for stumbling and increased body temperature. Heat stroke in pets can happen when they’re are left in hot cars, at home with no air conditioning, and even hiking in the foothills.

“Unfortunately what happens to this patents is all the organs start to fail one at a time, we literally see pretty much every organ fail unless we get to them in time cause they just get heated up too much so it’s serious,” said Dr. Andrea Oncken an Animal Critical Care Specialist with WestVet.

Some tips to keep your pet cool, limit play outside in the middle of the day, make sure your pet has water, and a cool spot in your home for them to relax.

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Cheatgrass can be a health risk for dogs

Jim Duthie, KTVB July 14, 2017

Boise – Whether it’s hiking, camping, or fishing, most of us are spending a lot of time outdoors this time of year, and in most cases, we take our dogs along with us. But there’s something out in those open spaces that you might not have thought about, that could cause injury to your pet.

… We’re talking about the seedheads from a plant that is common throughout southwest Idaho: cheatgrass.

“These get up in between their toes and form these nasty abscesses,” said Dr. Rosenthal. “They get in the ears and cause ear infections. They get in the eyes and cause ulcers in the eyes. And the valley, of course, is full of them.”

full story:
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Canine Water Safety Critical in Rafting Adventures

July 10, 2017 by Janet Juroch – BCC

It is part of Americana to take your dog everywhere, even rafting. Somehow we forget to make sure our dogs are safe and should have a flotation jacket just as people do. Little dogs especially can fall off rafts and they need help in some of our colder and swift waters. Big dogs can be better swimmers but many are not ready for rivers like the fast moving Payette Rivers.

Hunters usually make sure their hunting dogs have a safety vest of florescent orange so their dogs are visible and not mistaken for other wildlife. They can be easily seen. So when riding the water crafts, a safety vest is just as important. Many dogs are taken by the Payette River and never to be found.

A local Garden Valley resident, Lisa Rappleye, lives at Milepost 19 on the Banks-Lowman Road. This is at Danskin Station where rafters can put in or take-out along the Southfork of the Payette. She is well aware of the continuing problem that she encounters with floaters losing their dogs on the river. People come to her house and frantically looking for their dog that got carried away by the waters. She explains that some dogs do end up at her place and they are okay. But there are the ones that are never found. She says, “It is getting really old and I am tired of my day being ruined by the dog owners that realize their dog did not make it.” She wants to get the word out that it is crucial to keep your pets safe in the Payette.

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Wood River Wolf Project enters 10th year

Signs of wolves are few around valley

Greg Moore Jul 7, 2017 – IME

As the Lava Lake Institute for Science & Conservation enters its third season running the Wood River Wolf Project, wolves have either learned to keep a low profile or are mostly gone from the valley altogether.

Project Coordinator Avery Shawler said she and project Field Manager Kris Thoreson have been monitoring wolf presence since April, including placing camera traps ahead of sheep bands as they’ve been trailed into the mountains beginning in late June.

“So far, it’s been a very quiet year,” she said. “We’re getting the sense that the wolves in the Wood River Valley are getting very wary of humans and have decided that sheep just aren’t worth it.”

If so, Shawler said, that would be a mark of success for the wolf project.

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Fish and Game proposes allowing hunters to bait wolves

Another rule would restrict remote cameras

Greg Moore Jul 14, 2017 IME

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission is considering several changes to hunting rules, including allowing the use of bait to hunt wolves and prohibiting the use of motion-activated remote cameras and electronic communication devices for hunting all big-game animals.

The Department of Fish and Game is seeking public comment on the proposed changes until July 26.

Under current rules, wolves can be killed by hunters when they are attracted to bait set out for black bears, where hunting seasons are open for both black bear and wolf, but big game rules do not allow use of bait specific to hunting wolves. The use of bait for black bear is determined on a game management-unit basis, and baiting is permitted in the hunting units surrounding the Wood River Valley.

Department spokesman Mike Keckler said the department is proposing the rule change in response to requests from hunters who want to use bait for hunting wolves outside of the black bear seasons…

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Wolf activity, including livestock attack, updated by Washington officials

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review July 14, 2017

Washington officials confirmed a minimum of 20 gray wolf packs in the state at the end of 2016. (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

A wolf attack on livestock in Ferry County has been confirmed this week by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Following is the report issued today by the agency detailing that wolf depredation along with updates on other wolf capture, collaring and monitoring efforts.

At least two Washington wolves have been killed in vehicle collisions this season and another was killed to protect woodland caribou.

At least one Washington collared wolf is known to have been legally killed after ranging into Idaho, where gray wolves have been delisted from endangered species protections and can be hunted and trapped in specified seasons.

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Wolf Education International

Newsletter Second week July 20107

Europe’s Wolves They’re Back
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Idaho camper feels bear’s mouth on foot; Fish and Game closes campgrounds

by KBOI News Staff Saturday, July 15th 2017

Ketchum, Idaho (KBOI) — The Sawtooth National Forest has closed camping along a popular camping destination near Ketchum after a rash of bear activity.

Idaho Fish and Game says the forest has closed all camping along the North Fork Road. The bear activity started Wednesday morning when a bear awoke campers and was later chased off. The next night, Fish and Game says, a camper woke up to feeling pressure on her right foot from the bear’s mouth.

She yelled and the bear ran off.

“She wasn’t injured,” said Fish and Game Conservation Officer Alex Head. “The sleeping bag was not damaged, but it did leave some saliva on the sleeping bag.”

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Black bears active in Teton Valley

Local News 8 – Jul 12, 2017

Tetonia, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – After a flurry of black bear activity in Teton Valley, the Idaho Fish and Game Department is encouraging people to be cautious.

Spokesman Gregg Losinski says Fish and Game personnel trapped a black bear that had begun getting into things at the BYU-Idaho Outdoor Learning Center last week.

At the same time, another black bear was getting into human living space in Tetonia. In one case a bear broke into a home’s basement window. Losinski said the bear apparently went inside the house but was frightened away before causing much more damage.

Department Bear Educator Kyle Garrett has been going door-to-door to remind people how to discourage bears. At one house, the occupants were not home, but he noticed a bear had already paid a visit to the house. (see picture)

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Black bears cute, loveable but also seriously dangerous

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review July 10, 2017

Videos of black bears that circulate online can be hilarious. Bears have personality. They do funny things. But sometimes bears and other wild animals attack people for no clear reason. Don’t ever forget that.

Bear awareness education can go a long way in helping prevent bear attacks, especially keeping clean campsites, hanging food and carrying bear spray.

The following roundup of four recent attacks, including two fatal attacks and one serious attack on a woman at Priest Lake, helps us understand the risks and responsibilities of being in bear country.

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Utah wildlife officers euthanize bear who bit man’s head

7/11/17 AP

Salt Lake City — Wildlife officials have recently confirmed that a bear was euthanized after biting a man’s head in central Utah.

KSL-TV reports the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources confirmed Monday that a California man was attacked while camping in Desolation Canyon on Fourth of July. The man says he awoke to find a black bear biting the back of his head.

According to Conservation Outreach Section Chief Robin Cahoon, the man suffered relatively minor injuries and drove himself to get medical care.

Wildlife officers say they successfully captured and euthanized the bear involved in the attack.

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Mountain lion crashes through window, lands on sleeping woman

by Sinclair Broadcast Group Thursday, July 13th 2017

A mountain lion crashed through a window in Colusa, California July 4, landing on the bed of a sleeping woman before darting out a back door.

Security footage of the incident shows the mountain lion first colliding with the door of a bowling alley next door.

Confused, the animal turns and sprints towards the apartment building.

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Antlers growing like weeds on heads of deer, elk, moose

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review July 14, 2017

A bull moose photographed by a trail cam in Stevens County sports a good rack of antlers in early July with six weeks to grow before they harden and the velvet is rubbed off in time for the mating season. (Steve Gilbertson)

Weeds aren’t the only things growing like weeds this summer. Members of the deer family are sprouting antlers that can grow to 30 or 40 pounds, in the case of an elk or moose, in just a few months.

Deer antlers are among the fastest types of tissue growth in mammals.

Each year, the antlers of a buck or bull typically begin growing in April in response to increasing day length after the old rack falls off. They develop fully in four months. The northeastern Washington bull in the photo above is going to be a bruiser during the fall mating season considering it still has six weeks of growing season left.

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WSU convenes first elk-hoof disease meeting

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review July 13, 2017

This limping elk was photographed east of Castle Rock in June. The elk’s left rear hoof is misshapen from hoof rot disease.

Looking for a diagnosis and cure that state wildlife scientists weren’t able to deliver, the 2017 Washington Legislature shifted authority for research on elk hoof disease from the Department of Fish and Wildlife to Washington State University.

The first meeting in the new alignment was held this week, as reported below by Charlie Powell, WSU Veterinary School public Information officer.

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Endangered pygmy rabbits saved by BLM

by KBOI News Staff Wednesday, July 12th 2017

(Photos courtesy BLM)

Some endangered pygmy rabbits are taking a breath of fresh air after Oregon Bureau of Land Management saved them.

The rabbits were on a state managed breeding ground that was swept by fire in late June. The fire burned nearly 38,000 acres. The BLM says dozens of rabbits were saved.

“Everybody was really excited to be a part of that,” said Parrish of the seven-member BLM team.

The rabbits rely on the sagebrush, but that was burned away. In some places the ground was still warm to the touch. For hours, the team reached into the burrows to save the rabbits.

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The West’s newest bird species has a beak like a crowbar

A recently discovered species of crossbill already faces extinction.

Nick Neely July 12, 2017 High Country News

At 6:30 one morning in early July, Craig Benkman, a University of Wyoming ecologist, began to stalk red crossbills in the South Hills of Idaho. We were between Twin Falls and the Nevada border, outside a cabin tucked into a forest near a minor ski hill, Magic Mountain. He and several of his graduate students had quietly strung ornithology’s signature ploy, a diaphanous mist-net, between two metal poles. It hung nearly invisible, low to the ground, below two lodgepole pines. Several of these sanguine birds — a large finch with a beak that looks curiously off-kilter, one mandible overlapping the other — were resting in the grass by a salt lick. Crossbills feed exclusively on the seeds of conifer cones, and must supplement their diet with sodium. “It’s like how, in the Sierra, marmots chew on your sweaty boots,” Benkman explained. Typically the birds might swallow a little clay from the roots of a fallen tree for salt, but here cabin owners had arranged mineral blocks in the grass to lure moose and deer nearer to their windows. Benkman peered through his binoculars at a male sitting with several others beside the net, all of them looking up warily with glossy black eyes. The male’s domed head, breast and rump were the crimson of an heirloom tomato, flecked with orange, with yellow ochre. “Oh,” Benkman said, in a rising whisper. “An unbanded one.”

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Fish salvage order issued for lower Big Lost River

7/15/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Idaho wildlife officials have issued a fish salvage order for the lower Big Lost River in central Idaho that’s expected to run dry.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game said Friday it has suspended limits on the number of fish that can be caught as well as size limits on the section of the river below the Moore Diversion.

The order runs through Aug. 31 and also allows anglers to use seines and dip nets to catch fish.

Anglers are required to have a valid fishing license.

Officials say high water in the spring caused an unknown number of fish to move below the Moore Diversion.

Officials say that section of the river will go dry this summer and fish will be stranded and die.

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The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
July 14, 2017
Issue No. 837

Table of Contents

* Some Columbia River Chum Salmon Populations (ESUs) Above Delisting Goals, Others High Risk Of Extinction

* Actions Continue To Aid Returning Snake River Sockeye: Removing Spillway Weirs, Increasing Cool Dworshak Flows

* Declining Steelhead: Study Says Conditions Early In Marine Life Phase Strong Contributors To Survival

* Ocean Conditions, Sea Lions Faulted For Low Willamette Steelhead Return; Only 822 Wild Winter Steelhead

* Harvest Managers Approve More Tribal Fishing, Concerns Expressed Over Low Sockeye, Summer Steelhead Returns

* With Some Of Lowest Steelhead Returns On Record, ODFW Asks Anglers To Give Fish A Helping Hand

* Upper Columbia Tribes’ Report Examines Costs, Benefits Of Altering Dam Operations To Get Closer To Natural Flows

* $1.6 Million Fish Passage Project Will Open 17 Miles Of NE Oregon Habitat For Migratory Fish

* House Appropriations Bill Includes Language Prohibiting Removal Of Federal Dams Without Congressional Approval

* Study: Flexibility In Behavior of Some Animals Helps Them Accommodate A Changing Climate

Fish & Game News:

I Found a Bat in my Home! What Do I Do?

By Sue Nass, Monday, June 26, 2017

They come out after sunset in the summertime, swooping through the backyard hunting for moths, flies, beetles, spiders, crickets, and other insects. That is all okay. But what if you find a bat trapped inside your home? First, stay calm.

Many people assume that bats “carry” rabies, that is, spreading the disease without ever becoming sick themselves. However, although bats can transmit rabies if infected (typically through a bite), only about one-tenth of one percent of bats ever contract the disease and when they do, they eventually become sick and die. But that doesn’t mean you should handle a bat carelessly.

The most important thing is to keep both you and the bat safe because bats are a valuable part of our environment and are legally protected in Idaho. Bats provide free pest control by consuming the insects that damage crops, saving US farmers over 3 billion dollars annually. A single individual of the bat species known as Little Brown Myotis can consume up to 600 mosquito-sized insects per hour!

So what to do about that bat in your home? Idaho Fish and Game has produced a short video that explains in quick precise steps how to safely remove the bat in a manner that will protect both you and the bat. Watch:

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F&G News Releases


Fun Critter Stuff:

Chuck the Marmot gets full pardon after being caught stowing away

July 5, 2017 Spokesman Review

(PFPD photo)

Tongue firmly cheeked, a Post Falls PD officer penned the following report re: a persistent stowaway who was found in an engine compartment at the Post Falls Walmart:

Officers responded to Walmart when a customer was unable to get her car to start. She opened her hood and found a rather large Marmot trapped in the engine compartment. With the assistance of a kind citizen and a handy tow truck operator from Recovery Masters the Officers worked tirelessly to remove the animal’s fur from the fan belt. Once Unstuck Chuck was free Officers began the tedious task of negotiation with the furry stowaway. Chuck was very reluctant to leave his new found feast of electrical wires. When attempts to talk him down failed the Officers and helpers turned to their tools and used multiple methods of extraction. Finally, Chuck gave up and fled the Dodge Neon. While congratulatory back patting was taking place Chuck returned to his life of crime and found another vehicle to unlawfully enter. Once again, Officers tried to reason with the rodent who now seemed tired and perhaps a little stressed out. Begrudgingly, he quickly gave up and was captured. Officers quickly took him into custody and left the area before Chuck could reoffend. We are happy to announce that Chuck was granted a full pardon and was released back into his natural habitat. He has been trespassed from Walmart.

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Alan Alan Alan Steve Steve Steve

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Tips & Advice:

Bear awareness tips offered for national forest visitors

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review July 7, 2017

Following several bear encounters in the past week, including the terrifying attack on a woman and her dogs hiking near Priest Lake, the Idaho Panhandle National Forest is putting out more education on living and recreating in bear country, especially in this season of what appears to be a bumper crop of huckleberries.

In summary, and with my added perspective gleaned from covering bear encounters for years:

* Do not approach or feed wild animals, especially bears. All wildlife can be dangerous. Breaking down their natural wariness to humans can lead to problems initially or to people who encounter the animal later.

* Bears are generally shy creatures and don’t want to come face-to-face with people. Make noise when hiking in bear country: Talk, sing or clap your hands to let a bear know of your presence.

* Store food in hard-sided vehicles,bear-proof containers or by properly hanging food bags out of a bear’s reach. For more information, read the Idaho Panhandle National Forests’ Food Storage Requirements. Proper food storage is required on national forest system lands north of Clark Fork, Lake Pend Oreille and the Pend Oreille River.

* Dogs can aggravate bears and wolves. Keeping a dog on a leash is the safest method for preventing a dog from encountering a wild animal, including a moose, and leading an agitated, protective or territorial critter back to the humans.

* Carry bear spray when in the woods. Have it handy on a belt or pack strap and know how to use it.