Aug 6, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

Aug 6, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Smoke in Yellow Pine

Folks have been asking about the smoke in Yellow Pine. As far as I can find out, the smoke is not local, there have been no new fire reports on the Missouri and/or Pueblo fires. The smoke is apparently coming from fires in other parts of Idaho, the surrounding states and Canada. (More info below under “Fire Season”.) However There was a report this afternoon of helicopter activity over Antimony Ridge.
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Profile Road Update and Firewood for Locals


Profile road is open, but vehicles may be held by road guards if truck traffic is on the road.

Dead and downed trees were removed around the Big Creek Station and Big Creek Lodge in preparation for point protection efforts if needed for the Missouri Fire. The small material (branches, tops, etc.) was chipped and spread and the tree boles were bucked into manageable lengths. This wood is being hauled to the old “shooting range” downstream of Yellow Pine for firewood collection. Anyone with a valid Payette NF fuelwood permit is welcomed to make use of the wood.

As dump trucks are hauling the wood over Profile, vehicles will be held to allow dump trucks to pass. Once these trucks are off the road, private vehicles will be allowed to travel over Profile. Delays should be minimal, but could be up to 60 minutes and the public is asked to exercise patience as we make the road safe for travel.

Wood hauling will end on Thursday August 3 to allow free flowing weekend traffic for Harmonica Fest.
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Yellow Pine Blowdown Update

Tuesday (Aug 1) the crew had been working in the area along School Street and had a load ready to haul out.

The crew worked around early campers.

Thursday (Aug 3) looking mostly south from the corner of School Street and Westside Ave.

Another load of logs ready to go out.
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YPFD News:

Thank You YPFD from the west side residents (and festival campers) for watering Westside Ave. during the weekend. It helped keep down the dust.

YPDF tanker truck Friday evening. Ziva, one of our volunteers, supervising.

Fire 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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Fish & Game

Hunter Education trailer setting up Thursday (Aug 3) on the north west corner of Yellow Pine Ave and School St.
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VYPA News:

Next meeting is August 12th, 2017 2pm at the Community Hall.
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Community Hall Garage Sale July 15

I’ve been meaning to send out a thank you to the entire Village of Yellow Pine. I wanted to thank everyone for their help and their support at the first yard sale of Yellow Pine. It was a roaring success. We made $285 on the yard sale. And the best part of the whole thing is that the community house is looking wonderful. Not only is it going to be great for the harmonica breakfast but it is also perfectly arranged for Bingo during harmonica.

Also it is available for anyone in the community to utilize at any time. They just need to either check the calendar that is in community house or give me a call.

Thank you again to everyone for your time energy and support.

Kathy Hall
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Welch Memorial Golf Tourney 2017

Saturday September 2 at 1pm – Yellow Pine Country Club
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September 13-14 Scheduled Power Outage

A message that Idaho Power needs to replace power poles.
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook

Local Observations:

Monday (July 31) overnight low of 47 degrees with clear sky this morning, light smoky haze in the air. Not many birds around, but lots of chipmunks. Fest campers are starting to arrive. Breezy and hot early in the afternoon, persistent haze of smoke. Breezy and hot later in the afternoon as well, haze of smoke all day, high 95 degrees. Have not seen the swallows around today, just a few pine-siskins and lots of chipmunks. Cooling off after sundown and calmer with a light haze of smoke.

Tuesday (Aug 1) overnight low of 47 degrees, clear sky and haze of smoke this morning. A few noisy airplanes before 9am (Johnson Crk Airstrip webcam down.) A few pine-siskins and finches at the feeders. Jay, flicker, nighthawk and olive-sided flycatcher calling. Fire siren tested at noon. Logging crew loaded a truck full of logs today to haul out, working along the east end of School Street. Hot sunny day, high 98 degrees. A few more campers have pulled into the golf course. Pine squirrels, golden mantels and chipmunks raiding the bird feeders, while the juvenile jay squawks at them. Nighthawk “vooming” at dusk. Campfire to the west of the school at dark.

Wednesday (Aug 2) overnight low of 46 degrees, clear sky and haze of smoke this morning. A few finches and pine-siskins at the feeder. Looks like a few swallows were headed for the river. Squirrels of all kinds out running around. Hot and breezy afternoon, high 96 degrees, smoke getting thicker. Calm and very warm smoky evening. More campers arriving and very dusty. Air Quality poor! Orange waxing moon after dark.

Thursday (Aug 3) overnight low of 47 degrees, clear sky above moderate haze of smoke. McCall station reports Orange Air Quality. Not many birds this morning, one hummer buzzing by. Pine squirrels and chipmunks. Dust cloud rising above the back Stibnite road this morning (dust abatement wearing thin.) Campers crowding into the open spots on the golf course between the downed trees and slash piles. West side of the village VERY dusty. Not seeing many colombian ground squirrels today, however there are many many chipmunks running around. Hot dry smoky dusty afternoon, high 96 degrees. YPFD Volunteers got the old army tanker truck out and went by spraying water on the road to help settle the dust. Many thanks from the neighbors (and campers.) Smoke getting thicker after the sun went down, very warm evening. Campers still pulling after dark. Quiet from 1130pm to 1am, then traffic coming from the bars to the golf course.

Friday (Aug 4) overnight low of 47 degrees, clear sky above a light haze of smoke. Early morning airplanes drowned out the bird song. Dark doe with twin fawn followed by the light doe tiptoed across the road early while campers were sleeping. Lots of chipmunks running around, pine squirrels chasing each other and chittering, only one ground squirrel sighted. YPFD tanker truck sprayed water on Westside Ave before lunch time, sure helps with the dust. Another hot and smoky day, high 94 degrees. Campers trickling in during the afternoon. YPFD tanker truck sprayed water on the road again this evening. The folks camped along the road were saying they appreciate it too. Smoky orange moon above Antimony ridge at dark.

Saturday (Aug 5) overnight low of 46 degrees, clear sky above a moderate haze of smoke (McCall AQI in the red at 8am.) Dusty until the YPFD tanker truck sprayed the road with water. Fairly quite morning, not many birds, one hummer buzzed by. Lots of chipmunks running around, a couple golden mantels. Two pine squirrels were chasing each other up and down and up the fence. The YPFD ambulance went by tooting the horn a little after lunch time. Early afternoon the smoke got a lot thicker, can barely see the outline of VanMeter Hill. Cooler than it has been, high of 88 degrees, light breezes and smoky all day. YPFD tanker sprayed water again this afternoon to settle the dust. Smoke thicker later in the evening, sun was an orange disk to the west before setting. Orange nearly full moon at 215am (a few loud people still ‘partying’)

Sunday (Aug 6) overnight low of 45 degrees, clear sky above pretty thick smoke (McCall AQI shows Red at 8am.) Some rather loud airplanes early. A few pine-siskins at the feeders, one juvenile calliope hummer, very few birds around. Chipmunks galore. Campers started leaving after lunch time. Dusty and smoky, very poor air quality. Not as hot today, high of 88 degrees. Some campers staying another night. Several loud gun shots this evening, pretty close to the neighborhood.
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July average high temperature:

2017 = 92 degrees
2016 = 84 degrees
2015 = 83 degrees
2014 = 91 degrees
2013 = 91 degrees
2012 = 89 degrees
2011 = 84 degrees
2010 = 84 degrees

Letter to Share:

Commissioner Cruickshank’s July Newsletter

August 3, 2017

Monday July 3rd
I worked to catch up on my emails today.

Tuesday July 4th
Happy Independence Day everyone.

Wednesday July 5th
I sent out a reminder of a National Association of Counties (NACo)Western Region Conference call for Thursday July 6th.

I received a call concerning when information is sent to be used by Google and others on rural addressing once a new address is created. Unfortunately once we send in the information we have no control on when the data will be added to the Internet.

I received a call concerning the condition of a paved road in Valley County and inquiring when the crews could come work on the road. I forwarded this information on to our Road Superintendent.

Thursday July 6th
I listened in on the NACo Central Region Conference call to see what issues they were discussing.

Mid Morning I hosted the NACo Western Region Conference call. On this call we discussed the changes to the NACo By-Laws concerning how counties votes are counted related to population size. The changes don’t impact each county much and does give a little more weight to a rural county. We also discussed the upcoming NACo Conference and events that a person attending could see.

Monday July 10th
Commissioner meeting today. The minutes once approved can be located on the Valley County website at Valley County, Idaho | Official Site click on the commissioners section and then click on minutes.

Wednesday July 12th
As I will be running for a two year term on the NACo Executive Committee to represent the 15 Western States I sent out an email to the 15 States Executive Directors and Elected Officials from those states on my intent to run for the position.

This afternoon I participated in a National Forest Counties and Schools Coalition conference call to discuss advocacy for the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program which is being discussed by both the Senate and House on reauthorization. This important funding helps county road departments and schools with funds to offset the missing timber harvest receipts. Conversations are happening for a possible 2 year authorization.

Monday July 17th
Commissioner day again. Please see the minutes on the website once approved.

Tuesday July 18th
Today I received a call from the Emergency Manager on the Missouri Fire as it had grown to 426 acres. This fire is between Yellow Pine and Big Creek in the Profile Summit area. The Emergency Manager will be attending briefings on the fire and keep us informed of any changes. We are also now receiving daily reports from the Forest Service on this fire.

Mid morning I attended a meeting to discuss the recent “Bring It Don’t Burn It” program and review the quantity of debris collected. This program has grown a lot since it was started by the Fire Departments and the Fire Wise Group to help reduce the hazards of brush fires. Discussion was along the lines of what will it take to continue the program and help educate the value the citizens receive from the program. This year Valley County submitted this program to NACo as a Bright Idea and won an Achievement Award for the program. What a great community we live in to work hard on reduce the hazards.

Wednesday July 19th
I responded to a request to verify that funding was provided for the Squaw Creek Soil and Water Conservation District so the State of Idaho will match funds for the District. Just another way of stretching the dollars we provide to landowners for projects.

I signed comment letters for the South Fork Salmon River Access Management Plan and the Midas Gold proposed Stibnite Mining Operation and sent them to the Forest Service.

I attended a meeting with the Valley County Sheriff Office, GAR INC. (consultant), City of Cascade Council member and Mayor to discuss the potential of Valley County Sheriff taking on the law enforcement for the City of Cascade.

Tonight I drove to Boise as I have an early flight tomorrow.

Thursday July 20th
I flew to Franklin County, (Columbus) Ohio to attend the NACo Annual Conference.

Tonight I attended a reception and dinner for NACo Past Presidents.

Friday July 21st through Monday July 24th is all captured in the attached document I created of my attendance.

[Link to document:]

Tuesday July 25th
I flew Home today from Columbus, Ohio.

Once arriving in Boise I received a call from Congressman Labrador to discuss issues. Of importance to note is the discussion of not being able to deduct our state income tax from the Federal Form which has counties concerned. We also discussed the SRS need and working on Forest Management which includes Fire Borrowing concerns. Valley County receiving requests for Cooperating Agency Status with the Payette, Boise and Salmon/Challis was interesting for the Congressman to hear as it shows some changes in how the Federal Agencies are operating.

I received a call on the incident of the DF Development employee and the private person dispute over access. I then called a contact person with DF Development to inform them of this and to see what could be done to better inform DF Development employees.

Wednesday July 26th
More calls this morning concerning the dispute of access of a county road where it is private land on both sides.

This afternoon I participated in another National Forest Counties and Schools Coalition call. On this call was a discussion on folks doing a Fly-In to help showcase the need and impacts to rural counties and schools if the funding for Secure Rural Schools is not reauthorized.

Tonight a concerned citizen stopped by my house to discuss some court proceedings that they felt I needed to hear about and possibly provide some help for the concerns.

Thursday July 27th
I created the NACo Annual Conference report and sent out to the Idaho Association of Counties (IAC) to be placed on their website so all the Idaho Counties have the opportunity to read my report.

Monday July 31st
We ended the month with a commissioner meeting. These minutes will not be approved until sometime in August. Once approved they will be posted on the Valley County website.

As always if there is something that perks your interest in my newsletter let me know and I will do my best to expand on the issue.

July has been a hot month and August looks to stay the course for the first part at least.

I hope everyone is having a great summer.

Until next month be safe.

Thanks for reading. Gordon

Idaho News:

Ten-digit dialing begins this week in Idaho (yes, for all local calls)

by KBOI News Staff Monday, July 31st 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Beginning on Saturday, all Idahoans will need to begin dialing the 208 area code in order to make a local call.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission approved new area code 986 for the state in December 2015 to address the need for additional phone numbers. To implement the new area code, the commission also approved mandatory 10-digit dialing for all of Idaho.

As numbers are needed, assignments may be made out of the new 986 area code beginning on Sept. 5.

Here are some other handy tips from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.

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Preparing For The Eclipse

Valley County Sheriff’s FB page Aug 4, 2017

On August 21, 2017 a total solar eclipse will move across the country beginning in Oregon, crossing 14 states with Valley County, Idaho being in its path of totality. Partial phase start will be at 10:11:13 AM, totality starts at 11:26:35 AM. Smith’s Ferry is listed to be a prime location. We will experience 2 minutes and 12 seconds of totality!!!

We expect the demands for our agency to be extremely high during the days leading up to and after the Eclipse, so here are some tips that will not only help you, but also assist us in keeping the community safe.

Yield To Emergency Vehicles

Expect heavy traffic & extremely long delays on Highway 55. Plan to have water, snacks and fuel up your vehicle prior to the weekend. One accident on Hwy 55 could impact your travel in ways that you do not want to imagine. Be patient and cautious with your travel, don’t do it if you don’t have to. Please yield to emergency vehicles and allow them to pass or come through. This is very critical…


Extreme Fire Danger

Because of the traffic expected on 55 and the long delays, we are asking that you be very cautious of smoking outside of your vehicle and turn your vehicles off, IF you are stopped in traffic for an extended amount of time. The risk of fire danger is very high at this time and the potential for an accidental fire is very probable when you have a lot of vehicles stopped on the highway due to an accident or heavy traffic delays. Check your tires, make sure they are road worthy. Keep checking your mirrors if you’re pulling a trailer of any kind.

If you are camping, please make sure you check with us for fire restrictions that may arise prior to the Eclipse. There are no fire restrictions at this time, but that can change at a moments notice.

Calling 911

Cell phone service is NOT going to be what we normally experience. Due the circumstances of the event, prepare for your cell phone NOT to work the way you want it to. Valley County has limited coverage as it is and the infrastructure of the cell towers may not be able to handle the influx of people that are expected. With all of the calling, texting, tweeting, posting selfies and YouTube videos it is definitely going to put a burden on the cell phone towers. We ask that you please use 911 in case of an emergency, not for general questions or non emergency phone calls. We get a lot of 911 calls because people can’t find our phone number. If you google Valley County Sheriff, Idaho you will find it. Just in case you can’t find it, our number is 208-382-5160.

No Trespassing – respect it! If you don’t have someone’s permission to be on their property to view the eclipse, you need to find somewhere that you do have permission. Property owners; you must have your property posted every 660 feet with signs or orange paint. No parking signs must be posted in parking lots, contact your local law enforcement agency for regulations that are required on “no parking” private parking lots.

Get Eclipse Glasses

One of the most important safety tips for everyone, even outside of the “path of totality,” is to have proper eclipse eyewear to prevent any permanent eye injury. Check local stores and online before they sell out!

Stock Up

Grocery stores, gas stations, hotels, restaurants, transportation services, coffee shops, retail stores, urgent care clinics, and other business establishments will experience an increase in business. We recommend stocking up on water, groceries, home or camping necessities, and fueling up your vehicles beforehand.

We will be out in full force in the days leading up to and following the Eclipse to help ensure your safety!
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Payette County issues disaster declaration for eclipse

KTVB July 31, 2017

Payette County – Payette County is being proactive in anticipation of possible damage and emergencies caused by the upcoming total solar eclipse.

County commissioners on Monday declared a local emergency/disaster declaration because of the August 21 event. It’s in effect until September 5.

Officials said the declaration is in anticipation of public safety risk, financial damage and excess costs of labor, cleanup and property damage. It will help the county to respond to emergencies that happen leading up to the eclipse and beyond.

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S. Idaho museums try to preserve past with little cash

By Mychel Matthews – 8/4/17 AP

Twin Falls, Idaho — Owner Herman Stricker in the 1870s sold opium to Chinese miners who worked and lived in the Snake River Canyon. The foundation of his China House opium den still stands near the rock outline of “Stagecoach King” Ben Holladay’s stage stop.

West of the site lie the remains of Bill Dowdle, who shot up the “town” during a drunken rampage and was shot and killed by Lucy Stricker’s brother Charles Walgamott. Some buried alongside Dowdle in the small cemetery died while following the Old Oregon Trail; others died while on the intersecting stage route and Kelton Freight Road.

Yes, there’s plenty to intrigue at the historic Rock Creek Station and Stricker Homesite south of Hansen. And the site is a prime example of what’s possible when public funding and private efforts combine.

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ITD: 284 bridges throughout Idaho considered structurally deficient

by KBOI News Staff Tuesday, August 1st 2017

The Highway 55 Snake River Bridge at Marsing is one bridge in southwest Idaho that has reached its life span and is considered structurally deficient.

The Idaho Transportation Department will replace it next year.

But ITD says just because a bridge is classified as structurally deficient, doesn’t mean it’s unsafe.

“Any bridge that would be considered unsafe to drive on, it would be closed,” said Jennifer Gonzalez, ITD spokeswoman.


Fire Season:

InciWeb Idaho:

Idaho Fires:


McCall Air Quality Station:

Here is the most recent fire map from the Interagency Fire Center:

NASA GEOS 5 Smoke Forecast Aug 3-10

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5-acre fire in Star ignited by hot exhaust pipe

by Abigail Taylor Saturday, August 5th 2017

Star, Idaho (KBOI) — An Ada County farmer lost 5-acres of his wheat field to an accidental, but preventable, fire on Saturday.

Fire crews with the Star Fire District were called out just before 2 p.m. to the area of Star Road and US-26.

They say when they arrived on scene the fire was just over an acre in size, but it spread quickly.

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Mammoth Fire triples in size, but no longer threatening power supply

KTVB August 06, 2017

The Mammoth Fire, approximately seven miles north of Shoshone, Lincoln County, Idaho, August 4, 2017. (Photo: Bureau of Land Management)

Shoshone – The Mammoth Fire north of Shoshone tripled in size overnight, growing from 20,000 acres Saturday evening to an estimated 60,000 acres on Sunday, BLM officials said.

The fire destroyed one home and several other structures on Friday, but crews have been able to successfully keep the fire from damaging any more buildings over the weekend.

Saturday evening, the fire threatened to knock out electricity service to the Wood River Valley, but by Sunday morning, the Blaine County sheriff said he had been notified by Idaho Power that the threat had passed.

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Fire near American Falls threatens homes

KTVB August 05, 2017

(Photo: KIFI)

A fire that started Friday night has grown to 30,000 acres and threatens five homes southeast of American Falls.

The Powerline Fire has already destroyed six outbuildings.

It ignited on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, and is burning in sage, grass, and juniper in the Arbon Valley area about seven miles southeast of American Falls, the Idaho Falls District Bureau of Land Management reported Saturday evening.

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400 acre wild land fire on I-15 near Fort Hall

Local News 8 – Updated: Aug 05, 2017

Fort Hall, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – The Fort Hall Fire Department responded to a wild land fire on Interstate 15 by mile marker 83 near Fort Hall Friday around 3:40 p.m.

Officials report this 400 acre fire quickly spread to the East side of I-15 and impacted neighboring grain fields.

Additional support has been provided by Chubbuck Fire Department, Blackfoot Fire Department, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Fort Hall Police, Fort Hall Corrections, Tribal Transportation, Bingham County Sheriff, Shelly and Firth Quick Response teams are all at the scene.

The Tribal Emergency Operations Center was activated to support the Incident Commander. EOC contact number is (208)-237-0137.

Officials said traffic to the immediate area has been blocked off, and no structures are threatened.


Public Lands:

Boise NF booth at H-Fest in Yellow Pine

Boise NF employees sharing information about the Forest at the annual Yellow Pine, Idaho Harmonica Festival! Reminding everyone to listen to Smokey Bear and please be careful with all campfires and any activities that may cause a wildfire!

(Special thanks to Rick Wagner for sharing photos).

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Boise National Forest receives application for guided rock climbing

Boise, Idaho, July 31, 2017

The Boise National Forest, Cascade Ranger District has received a proposal to conduct Outfitting and Guiding for Rock Climbing. The proposal received was for the Pins and Needles area east of Donnelly, Idaho. This kind of activity provides basic and advanced rock climbing along with instruction. No overnight camping or infrastructure was proposed. Only day use activities are identified in the proposal.

The Forest is seeking to determine if competitive interest in providing this type of outfitting and guiding service exists before moving forward with the approval process. Forest Service Regulations require a determination of competitive interest in the area. Therefore interested individuals or companies should send a written proposal to Christopher Woras at the Cascade Ranger District, P.O. Box 696, Cascade ID, 83611.

If competitive interest exists, a prospectus may be issued providing detailed information. The deadline for response is Aug. 15, 2017. For further information you may call Christopher Woras @ 208-382-7422.

Linda Steinhaus
Public Affairs
Boise National Forest
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Seniors snap up US national park passes before price hike

By Keith Ridler – 8/2/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Seniors are snapping up so many lifetime passes good for U.S. national parks and other recreation areas ahead of a steep price increase later this month that some government agencies have run out and started issuing vouchers.

The America the Beautiful Lifetime Senior Pass has been available to buyers 62 and older for $10 for the past two decades. On Aug. 28, the price is going up 700 percent, to $80, after a measure passed by Congress late last year.

Recently retired Paul Dunham of Yuba City, California, picked one up last week at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in central Idaho.


Critter News:

Pet Talk – Rabies exposure in humans and pets

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt Aug 4, 2017 IME

Rabies virus infections in humans are nearly always fatal, but are almost completely preventable with appropriate post-exposure prophylaxis. Proper management of rabies exposure is therefore critical. The same is true for domestic pets.

Rabies virus is a zoonotic virus that accounts for an estimated 50,000 deaths in humans annually. This death rate is concentrated in developing countries with endemic canine rabies and inadequate public health systems. Four to five times more dogs and cats die of rabies annually in these developing countries than humans do. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rabies vaccination programs have eliminated domestic dogs as reservoirs of rabies in the United States, though 80 to 100 dogs and more than 300 cats contract with rabies each year, usually infected by wildlife when these domesticated pets are not vaccinated against rabies. Because rabies virus is endemic in wildlife reservoirs throughout North America and much of the world, some potential for rabies exposure in humans and domestic animas is always present. Wildlife reservoirs in North America are bats, raccoons, foxes and skunks. If your pet is bitten by a bat, raccoon, fox or skunk, then rabies prophylaxis should be instituted immediately.

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Search for two-legged dog has happy ending

KTVB August 05, 2017

The search for Duncan, the world-famous two-legged dog, ended happily on Saturday.

Duncan went missing after his family’s truck hit a bison in Fremont County, between Island Park, Idaho, and West Yellowstone, Montana.

According to a release issued by Panda Paws Rescue, owned by Amanda Giese, the truck rolled over three times. Duncan and two other dogs were ejected. Human members of the family were injured, but are expected to recover.

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Dog leads family to two injured young girls struck by lightning

by KUTV Monday, July 31st 2017

Beaver County, Utah (KUTV) – The family of two girls struck by lightning Friday issued a statement thanking the community.

The two girls, one 8 and the other 16, were hiking in the area of Puffer Lake when lightning struck the 8-year-old on the top of her head and traveled into the older girl, according to Wende Wilding with Fishlake National Forest.

A dog with the girls at the time of the hike returned to their camp at a family reunion and led family members back to where the girls were found unconscious.

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MCPAWS gets $35,535 from PetSmart Charities to upgrade cat housing

The Star-News Aug 3, 2017

MCPAWS Regional Animal Shelter in McCall has received a grant for $35,535 from PetSmart Charities to upgrade the cat housing at the shelter.

The wire dog crates that have been used to house kittens and nursing mothers will be replaced with state-of-art, humane cat housing units from Mason Company, a leading cat kennel manufacturer.

Replacing the deteriorating plastic and wire cat kennels will create cleaner, safer, and more humane housing for the cats at MCPAWS.

Over the past few years, MCPAWS has seen an increase in cat intakes, making the upgrade of cat housing a top priority. This increase is, in part, due to the recent expansion of their service area to include Adams and Idaho Counties.

With this grant, cat housing at MCPAWS will be dramatically improved, leading to happier, healthier cats, and more cat adoptions.

Shelter Operations is one of PetSmart Charities’ 10 grant categories designed to support animal welfare organizations and nonprofits as part of their newly expanded mission to find lifelong loving homes for all pets by supporting programs that bring people and pets together.

Funding from PetSmart Charities supports best practices that help pets thrive in a shelter environment until they find their forever family and offers funding for shelter-based programs that improve adoptions, reduce pets’ length of stay and strengthen shelter infrastructure.

source The Star-News:
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Mountain lion killed in south-central Idaho

7/31/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Officials with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game say they have shot and killed a mountain lion in south-central Idaho.

The agency announced Monday the female big cat was one of two mountain lions that had killed several domestic cats and a dog in the past week near Oakley.

Fish and Game officers have set up live traps to capture the second mountain lion.

In Idaho, mountain lions posing an immediate threat to a person or property can be killed without a proper license tag.

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Popular recreation area closed after bear encounters

KTVB August 01, 2017

Boise – A popular recreation area in the Boise National Forest encompassing Bull Trout Lake has been closed to the public after reports of people encountering bears in the area.

Forest officials say bears have been spotted in campgrounds near the lake over the past couple weeks.

Thanks to their keen sense of smell, bears can find food from great distances. Once food is found near humans, the bear is likely to return, which often creates a dangerous situation, officials warned.

The closure includes Bull Trout Campground and surrounding areas along NFS road 520. Bull Trout Lake is a popular fishing and camping destination located just off of Idaho 21 north of Grandjean.

The Boise National Forest is reminding visitors to be extra vigilant this summer when storing and disposing of their food and toiletry products to avoid attracting bears.

For more information and tips for avoiding a dangerous encounter with a bear, check out this website.

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Black bear swats Priest Lake jogger on Kalispell-Reeder trail; injuries minor

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Aug 1, 2017

A black bear charged a man jogging along Priest Lake on Monday, inflicting minor injuries to his leg before running off, Idaho Fish and Game Department officials say.

The incident follows a more serious attack on a woman hiking near the lake with her two unleashed dogs on July 4.

Monday’s incident occurred on the Kalispell-Reeder Trail on the west side of Priest Lake not far from Elkins Resort, said Phil Cooper, IFG spokesman in Coeur d’Alene.

“The man was jogging and said he passed a bear about 30 feet off to the side of the trail, but the man continued with no incident,” Cooper said. “The jogger made a loop and on his way back he passed the bear again. He said the bear ran up on the tail and chased him for a short distance. He said he put his hands up in the air to look bigger but the bear kept coming so he dropped to the ground.

“He said the bear swatted his leg and caused minor cuts before the bear left. The man said he did not seek medical attention.”

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Staying safe in bear country

Tips for recreating in Idaho

Anna Silver Aug 4, 2017 KIVI TV

A man was attacked by a bear while jogging recently in North Idaho and sightings have prompted a closure at a popular campground near Lowman.

While recreating in Idaho, there’s a chance a bear could be nearby. In the Treasure Valley, many people like to head to the Bogus Basin Recreation Area to hike which Idaho Fish and Game says is bear country.

It’s the time of year where bears are moving around and looking for food.

While out hiking, it’s always a good idea to make noise, carry bear spray and know how to use it.

If you’re camping in an area where there are bears, you’ll always want to secure your food. Idaho Fish and Game says once a bear gets food from an area, they will come back to that spot.

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Bear breaks into SUV, then takes it for a short drive

Subaru trashed in Durango neighborhood

By Mary Shinn Herald Staff Writer Friday, Aug. 4, 2017

photo Ron Cornelius

A bear that broke into an SUV early Friday in Durango took it for a short ride, rolling it out of a driveway and crashing it into a mailbox.

… La Plata County Sheriff’s Office deputies determined a bear was to blame, because it defecated in the car, likely because it was nervous, Cornelius said.

It also ripped up the interior of the vehicle. It pulled the steering wheel straight off the shaft, ripped the radio out of the dash and busted out the back window.

… CPW recommends residents keep cars locked and take steps to keep bears away from trash and homes.

Residents should take down bird feeders and make sure fruit from trees is picked when it’s ripe.

Freezing food scraps in plastic bags until trash day can help keep bears away, and hanging rags soaked in Pine-Sol or ammonia around compost, chicken coops and other bear attractants can function as a deterrent, he said.

full story:
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Yellowstone grizzlies removed from threatened species list

By Matt Volz – 7/31/17 AP

Helena, Mont. — For the second time in a decade, the U.S. government has removed grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region from the threatened species list.

It will be up to the courts again to decide whether they stay off the list.

The decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove federal protections from the approximately 700 bears living across 19,000 square miles in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming took effect Monday.

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8/5/17: Wolf News Roundup

(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Last week the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling that vacated a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule to remove Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region, which includes Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The ruling maintains federal protections for wolves and blocks the states from asserting control and opening up sport hunting and commercial trapping seasons targeting the animals. In Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife managers intend to remove some of the adult wolves in northeast Oregon’s Harl Butte pack to limit further livestock losses as non-lethal measures and hazing have not been successful in limiting wolf depredations. …. (Click on the link [below] for the complete story.)
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Oregon will kill 2 wolves at the request of ranchers

8/3/17 AP

Portland, Ore. — Oregon wildlife officials will kill two adult wolves in northeast Oregon at the request of ranchers who say animals in their pack have preyed on cattle for more than a year.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports ( ) Department of Fish & Wildlife managers made the announcement Thursday, saying the state will not target specific animals.

Officials will remove two adult uncollared animals in the Harl Butte pack sometimes in the next two weeks.

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Court keeps Great Lakes wolves on endangered species list

By John Flesher – 8/1/17 AP

Traverse City, Mich. — A federal appeals court Tuesday retained federal protection for gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region, ruling that the government made crucial errors when it dropped them from the endangered species list five years ago.

The court upheld a district judge who overruled the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which had determined that wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin had recovered after being shot, trapped and poisoned nearly out of existence in the previous century. They’ve bounced back and now total about 3,800.

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Wolf Education International

First week of August 2017

Idaho may offer hunters bounties for bad wolves, allow bait

Wolves may be partly to blame for wildfires raging across southern France – here’s why

Wolves kill livestock in Washington

Johnson Endorses Advancement of Bipartisan Wildlife Bill Containing Gray Wolf Delist Provision

Oregon To Kill Wolves That Preyed On Livestock

Gray wolves just won another battle to stay on the endangered species list
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No discounts for nonresident tags sold as second tags this year

Roger Phillips Aug 01, 2017 Local News 8

Boise, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – Due to high demand for nonresident deer and elk tags, Fish and Game commissioners decided on July 27 to keep them at full price.

In 2016, commissioners discounted nonresident elk tags sold to resident hunters as second tags during the month of August to spur sales. However, this year’s sales of nonresident deer and elk tags are selling even faster than last year when the nonresident deer allocation sold out for the first time since 2008, and nonresident elk came close to selling out with less than 800 tags remaining.

On Aug. 1, resident Idaho hunters can buy nonresident deer and elk tags as second tags but must pay the full nonresident price of $301.75 for deer and $416.75 for elk. Nonresidents can also buy these as second tags starting Aug. 1.

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Bat tests positive for rabies in SE Idaho

Associated Press, KTVB August 01, 2017

Pocatello, Idaho – State officials say a bat has tested positive for rabies in southeastern Idaho and area residents should take precautions.

Southeastern Idaho Public Health in a statement Monday says the bat was found in rural Bingham County.

Officials say this is the first bat to test positive for rabies in Idaho this year.

Last year, about 20 bats tested positive for rabies in the state.

Rabies is a viral illness that can be fatal in humans and other animals.

Officials say never touch bats, and be suspicious of bat activity during daylight hours.


Fish & Game News:

F&G News:

Learn about bear behavior and help prevent unwanted encounters

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Specialist
Friday, August 4, 2017 – 2:21 PM MDT

People can prevent attracting bears into situations that can be lethal to the animals

There’s been several incidents this summer involving black bears, and it’s a good opportunity to remind people about these native Idaho animals. Black bears are common, and their native range includes most of the state. Black bears are typically shy, and any encounter with humans is usually brief, from a safe distance and ends with the bear fleeing.

Black bear attacks on humans are rare, and there has never been a recorded human death from a black bear in Idaho.

When people see a black bear from a safe distance, they should consider it an exciting and interesting wildlife sighting. But they should not approach or crowd the bear, and it’s often a good idea to talk or yell to get the bear’s attention so it’s aware of your presence, especially if it’s moving in your direction and unaware of you.

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F&G News Releases

Fun Critter Stuff:

World’s largest duck spotted in Tacoma

by Alex Cnossen, KOMO News Friday, June 16th 2017

A giant rubber duck is hanging out in Tacoma this week. (Photo by Alex Cnossen, KOMO News).

Tacoma, Wash. (KOMO) – A giant rubber duck is hanging out in Tacoma this week.

The duck, hailed as the world’s largest, floated into Thea Foss Waterway as part of the Festival of Sail Tacoma Thursday afternoon. The duck and more than 20 sailing ships will be featured on the Tacoma waterfront through June 18.

The four-day maritime festival is the largest tall ships event in the Seattle region and will feature music, food and wine.

continued w/photo gallery:

Seasonal Humor:

[h/t CP]