Monthly Archives: September 2017

Road Report Sep 29

Yellow Pine: Local streets are drying out, sunny weather this week, rain in the forecast this weekend.

Johnson Creek Road: Road was still snow free (and Landmark) as of Friday morning. The usual pot holes are starting to show up after this wet weather and heavy traffic.

South Fork / EFSF Road: Report from Tuesday (Sep 26) Road is in good shape, pavement is dry. EFSF road is holding up well.

Lick Creek: No current report. Probably had some snow up high last week, warmer weather probably has melted it off – weather change coming next week. Rough road near the summit on both sides, watch for boulders sticking up out of the road.
Note: Lick Creek Summit has an elevation of 6,877 feet

Profile Creek Road: A recent report that the road is currently snow free, last week’s snow has melted. Forecast for snow line to lower to 6000′ early next week.
Note: The elevation at Profile summit is 7607 feet.

Stibnite to Thunder Mountain: No current report. Best guess is the snow from last week’s storm has probably melted, but snow is in the forecast early next week down to at least 6000′.
Note: The elevation at Monumental Summit is 8590 feet.

Big Creek to Elk Summit to Warrens Road: Road will be closed Monday Oct 2 for repairs. Source says no traffic will be able to get thru the area near the South Fork bridge for at least most of October.
Note: Elk Summit is at an elevation of nearly 9000 feet
Work Schedule:
Oct. 3-12 Work on lower repair
Oct. 17-26 Complete work on lower repair
map:

Deadwood Summit: Probably still open, no current report.
Note: The Approx Elevation at Deadwood Summit is 6,883 feet (2,098 m)

Golden Gate Road: The road is only passable on foot due to large deep wash-out about 2/3rds of the way up.
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Road Reports Sep 27

Note: This time of year conditions can change quickly. Please share your road reports.

Yellow Pine: Local streets are drying out, but not dusty yet.

Johnson Creek Road: Wednesday (Sep 27) mail truck driver (Robert) reports a delay near Halfway for Idaho Power Crews doing road work up on the hill for power line access, there was equipment standing by on the road to move rocks that were rolling down. And Idaho Power crews were sighted way up on the hill, staging equipment for tomorrow’s outage for repairs (appears they will be replacing poles.) He said Johnson Creek road is snow free (and so is Landmark) and that the usual pot holes are starting to show up after this wet weather and heavy traffic.

South Fork / EFSF Road: Report from Tuesday (Sep 26) Road is in good shape, pavement is dry. EFSF road is holding up well.

Lick Creek: No current report. Probably had some snow up high last week, warmer weather probably has melted it off. Probably good until the next series of storms coming early next week. Rough road near the summit on both sides, watch for boulders sticking up out of the road.

Profile Creek Road: A recent report that the road is currently snow free, last week’s snow has melted. Forecast for snow line to lower to 6000′ early next week.

Stibnite to Thunder Mountain: No current report. Last week hunters were stranded by snow storm. Best guess is the snow has probably melted, but snow is in the forecast for Sunday morning down to at least 6000′ or lower. Note: The elevation at Monumental Summit is 8590′.
MonumentalSummitSign-a

Big Creek to Warrens Road: Road will be closed Monday Oct 2 for repairs. Source says no traffic will be able to get thru the area near the South Fork bridge for at least most of October.
Oct. 3-12 Work on lower repair
Oct. 17-26 Complete work on lower repair
map:

Deadwood Summit: Probably still open, no current report.

Golden Gate Road: The road is only passable on foot due to large deep wash-out about 2/3rds of the way up.
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Sept 24, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

Sept 24, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Monday’s Power Outages

Monday September 18, our power went off at 1134am. Idaho Power recording said the outages was from Smiths Ferry up thru Cascade, Donnelly, McCall and Warm Lake to Yellow Pine. Power came back on just after 515pm (off for less than 5 hours.) Then, at 1007pm the power went off again. The Idaho Power recording just after midnight said there were 3000 people in the dark, from Warm Lake to Yellow Pine and Cascade to Donnelly, also Round Valley and Smiths Ferry. Power came back on after 2am (off nearly 4 hours.) Was unable to find out the cause.
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Snow in the High Country Sept 21, 2017

20170921SnowMidas-a
photo courtesy Midas Gold (see story in Idaho News)

Snow on VanMeter Sep 20th
P1000323-20170920Snow
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Bear Aware

Bear reported on the west side of the village this last week. Bears are looking for food. Keep garbage secured and pet food indoors.
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Just for the Halibut September 30 at 4pm

Sponsored by Stew Edwards, Hosted by the Tavern. September 30th at 4pm

Join us for Food & Fun $5 suggested donation gets you 5 raffle tickets for donated prizes Benefits go to the Landing Zone for Yellow Pine.

The Usual YP Pot Luck Bring a side dish to share!
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Ditch Day October 4 at 10am

This is the day we clean and repair the village ditches in preparation for the spring run-off. Please join us.
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H-Fest Meeting October 14

Saturday October 14th is the next Harmonica meeting at noon, at the community hall.
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VYPA News:

Village of Yellow Pine Association Meeting September 9th, 2017

[Draft Minutes]

Officers in Attendance: Deb Filler Chairman, Lorinne Munn Secretary, Kathy Hall Member at Large. Also in attendance 15 other members of the community.

1. Meeting was called to order at 2:02Pm by Deb Filler Chairman.

2. Willie moved the minutes be approved as posted there was no objection.

3. Treasurer’s report by Joel Fields was read by Deb Filler as follows:

a. As of August 31st, Total Community Funds $33,347.24

b. General Village Fund $7079.77

c. Cemetery Fund $5,532.38

d. Harmonica Fund $14,463.18

e. Community Hall Fund $(16.60)

f. Restroom Fund $6,288.51

g. Note must be made that the Cemetery fund received $100.00 for a plot this month which wasn’t on the last statement. The Community Hall fund has a negative due to Mark Hardesty plumbing supplies came to $425.17 The Harmonica Fund picked up $225.17 of this cost and the Community Hall Fund the remaining $200.00. Mark gave his labor for free, Thank You Mark.

4. Community Hall report by Kathy Hall. We made $162.00 for the Labor Day Community Breakfast which was split with the Harmonica Festival since their product was used for the breakfast. She is working on a Process Manual for the Hall. She is also working on ideas for fundraising for the Hall. On the wish list is a cover for the outside grill, fixing the foundation, and painting the outside of the Hall. Thanks to our Fire Department we have fire extinguishers and fire alarms for the Hall. Lynn Imel has donated a prep table which is installed. The Fillers have donated 3 propane tanks for our heater in the main part of the Hall. Lynn is getting wheels for the piano. Dawn Brown has donated $250.00 for use of the Hall for her Fly-In this month. Kathy still needs Vintage T Shirts for certain years and electrical help to fix a switch. The Hall will be winterized October 15th.

5. Willie Sullivan gave the Cemetery report. No new plots were sold this last month. The kiosk posts were rotted and new posts will be cemented in by next Friday.

6. Willie also gave a Community Hall Bathroom report. Stu Edwards has finished the plans. Next step is a building permit from Valley County. At this rate it will be next spring because concrete is involved in the proposed block and concrete foundation. It will have wooden floors and walls and be ADA compliant.

7. Lynn Imel was not present for a Membership Committee report.

8. Deb Filler submitted the Annual Written Harmonica Committee report. There are outstanding expenses and revenues which should all be in by the end of the month at which time the Budget total will be closed. As of now the remaining funds that will be transferred to the general fund is $729.50. The festival funds have already purchased the griddles, propane tank installation, propane, and plumbing expense. The total donated for the village benefit was/will be at least $3,298.43 (this could be more if additional funds are received before the 30th.) In the past, disposal fees to Lakeshore Disposal which was donated in the past but not now. This was an unexpected expense this year. We also have fees for the medical team. We have a new source of income from Project Filter for $500.00 to post no smoking signs. There are still several outstanding sources of revenue and expense for the Harmonica Fest. We received a $10,000.00 grant for advertising for the 2018 festival. This is an 87.5% reimbursement grant through the Bureau of Tourism. The McCall Chamber of Commerce is our fiscal agent (as we are not a 5013c charity). Saturday October 14th is the next Harmonica meeting at noon, at the community hall. Everyone is welcome to become part of the committee. We will be looking at what worked or did not work; income & expenses; new ideas.

9. Kyle reported for Midas Gold. He said the Geotechnical drilling is done for now. There will be more core drilling at the end of next month. There will be a winter drill program of 2-3 months. The Geotechnical drilling is foundation drilling for engineering and design. There will be more field work by contractors before the snow flies to support design and get to the feasibility level. If anyone wants more information about Midas Gold plans please contact Belinda Provancher at provancher @ midasgoldinc.com

10. The chairpersons meeting was reported on by Deb Filler. All committees are meeting their requirements as to number of members. Kathy is head of the Community Hall committee, Lynn is head of the Membership committee, Deb is head of the Harmonica committee. The cemetery is by commission not a committee of which Willy is the head commissioner.

11. The 2nd reading of the motion to change the By Laws so the Offices of Harmonica and Chairperson of the Village of Yellow Pine Association cannot be held concurrently by the same Officer was read by Deb Filler. There was objection to this motion by Cecil Dallman and Bill McIntosh. The third reading will be in the June meeting.

Old Business

Candy Sullivan reported on the Labor Day golf tournament and auction: $1,818.50 was raised and will distributed as follows. $556.00 will go to the bathroom fund of which $100.00 will still be coming in from Midas. $510.00 for fireworks. $752.50 to the Helicopter Pad. Candy thinks the bathroom has enough funds already to build the bathroom so if the Labor Day funds are not needed for that she indicated the $556.00 will go to the Helicopter Pad.

New Business

Deb Filler reported Ditch Day will be Wednesday October 4th starting at 10AM. It is held the 1st Wednesday in October yearly. Pick a ditch and clean it. This will help preserve the work we paid for a few years ago and prevent spring run-off flooding. Deb says we still have parts of our ditch clearing program that was engineered and needs doing but we ran out of funds to complete the project. For example, the back Alley behind Stiffs and the Community Hall if cleared would prevent the flooding that occurs there. The area along Kuenzli’s pasture needs attention and the hill ditches need to be realigned, among other items still on the list.

Meeting was adjourned at 3:01PM by Deb Filler

Next Meeting is in June

Submitted by Lorinne N. Munn, Secretary Yellow Pine Village Association
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YPFD News:

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

Fire Siren will be tested at noon on the first of each month.
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook
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Local Observations:

Monday (Sep 18) windy night, early morning sprinkles, overcast and blustery this morning with a few drops of rain. Birds and squirrels must be under cover, the only sound was the wind in the trees and vehicles up on the main road. Sprinkles, showers and blustery all morning. Power out 1134am, Idaho Power recording said power out in Smiths Ferry, Cascade, Donnelly, McCall, Warm Lake and Yellow Pine. Loud thunderstorm and hard rain this afternoon, high of 49 degrees. Power came on about 515pm. Sprinkles, showers and low clouds this evening. Low strings of fog/clouds streaming past Golden Gate – closer to the ground than the peak. Break in the rain at 7pm. Power out 1007pm for almost 4 hours. Rain during the night and early morning.

Tuesday (Sep 19) still raining this morning, low of 34 degrees and very low clouds. We received .067″ of rain in the last 24 hours. Snow on top of Golden Gate, snow line approx 6000′ on VanMeter. Rain snow mix after 9am for about 20 minutes, then back to rain. Pretty much rained all day, just varying in intensity, high of 43 degrees. Quiet day. Pileated woodpecker on the power pole this evening and a small flock of juncos searching the ground for food just before dark (usually don’t see juncos here until snow in on the ground) and robins are still around. Probably rained all night.

Wednesday (Sep 20) still raining this morning, low of 34 degrees and overcast. We received 0.55″ of rain in the last 24 hours. Snow line on VanMeter is lower than yesterday morning and Johnson Creek ridge is white. Half a dozen juncos in the yard, pileated woodpecker and a flicker calling, 2 finches and robins all around. Rained all day, clouds dropping low on the mountains, and quiet. Cool wet day, high of 42 degrees. Stopped raining early evening and lots of birds flying around. Breaks in the clouds and cooling off before dark. Light fog around midnight.

Thursday (Sep 21) power blipped off and on at 834am. Started snowing around 7am, ground white by 9am. In the previous 24 hours we received 0.64″ of rain plus 0.02″ of melted snow. The clouds are clear to the valley floor and 32 degrees at 9am. Stopped snowing before noon and melted, breaks in the clouds. Robins, finches and nutcrackers flying. Snow line receding up the flanks of the hills early afternoon. Light sprinkles later in the afternoon and clouds half way down the mountains for a bit, high of 50 degrees. Robins flying and a flicker on the power line at dusk. Rain during the night.

Friday (Sep 22) still sprinkling this morning and above freezing, low clouds – ridges socked in, 0.20″ of rain/snow in 24 hours. A steller jay, a few pine siskins and several finches in the yard. Have not seen chipmunks out much for a couple of days, but pine squirrels are busy. Sprinkles and showers most of the morning and early afternoon, high of 47 degrees. Flock of clarks nutcrackers attacking pine cones in the trees. Light sprinkles or misting on and off all afternoon and early evening.

Saturday (Sep 23) overnight low of 33 degrees, “chunky’ overcast this morning. Heard a few clarks nutcrackers calling and spied one chipmunk looking nervously around. Loud dirt bike brapping about the neighborhood around 10am and 1130am. A few breaks in the clouds and getting breezy before lunch time. Airplane traffic in the afternoon. Cloudy evening, high of 52 degrees. A few rowdies after dark.

Sunday (Sep 24) clearing overnight, low of 26 degrees, almost clear this morning and first hard freeze of the season. Frost on windshields, metal roofs and grass (chicken water froze.) Heard a jay this morning (and loud dirt bike.) Low flying helicopter at 1055am. Airplane traffic shortly after 12 noon and clouds building up. Cloudy and breezy afternoon, high of 56 degrees. Rather large flock of clarks nutcrackers after the cones in pine trees this afternoon. Multiple low flying (loud) airplanes at 441pm. Mostly quiet evening, some truck/trailer traffic up on main street. Mostly cloudy at dark.
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Idaho News:

After the Snow Rolls in Midas Gold Team Helps Hunters

Midas Gold September 21

Early in the fall, it is always hard to predict what type of weather we will see up at the Stibnite Gold Project site. This week was no exception. Rain early in the week quickly changed to snow flurries and by the end of the day on Wednesday there were seven-foot snow drifts above Stibnite at Monumental Summit. This unexpected storm blanketed the roads and trapped two groups of hunters in the backcountry near our site. Fortunately, we were able to help them make it down from the mountains safely.

Late on Wednesday, a hunter stopped at the core shed on site after running into town to get snow chains and not being able to get back up to his hunting party. He was part of a larger group hunting on Mule Ridge when the storm hit. As soon as we learned they were stuck, we fired up our Cat dozer and backhoe and offered to open up the roads so they could get back home. It took us 20 staff hours in the deep snow but eventually everyone got down safely. You can see just how deep the snow is from the photos below.

Thursday morning, we learned of another group of four hunters who were trapped on the back side of Monumental Summit. One of the men had texting GPS device and was able to contact his wife. She was directed to contact our office by the Valley County Sheriff’s Office and see if we could help them. After 13 staff hours, our team cleared a path for the group and we just learned that everyone is on their home to their families.

In Idaho, especially in the backcountry, we all have to help take care of one another. We care deeply about our neighbors and are always happy to lend a hand. The amount of snow took everyone by surprise and we are grateful we played a small part in getting everyone home safely.

Link with photo gallery:
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CPR, First Aid classes to be taught in Donnelly

The Star-News September 21, 2017

CPR/AED and First Aid certification classes will be held at the Donnelly Fire Station on Monday, Oct. 2, and Tuesday, Oct. 3, at 6 p.m. The CPR/AED class will be Monday and First Aid will be taught on Tuesday. The cost of the class is $5, and space is limited. To register, call 208-325-8619.

source:
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Deadly Tamarack cabin fire ruled an accident

by KBOI News Staff Thursday, September 21st 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — It’s been more than two months since a fire ripped through a cabin near Tamarack Resort that killed four people, including two adults and two children.

On Thursday, the Idaho state fire marshal, Knute Sandahl, announced in a press conference that the fire started when one of the adults attempted to start a fire in a propane-fueled fireplace at the cabin.

A valve releasing the propane was opened, but when the person used a piece of paper to light the fire, the fireplace exploded. Investigators believe the valve was open for several minutes before the explosion.

Sandahl says that the fireplace had been converted to a wood-burning system at some point in the past, but the people who own the cabin now believed it was still set up for propane.

The conversion to a wood-burning system created a small empty area behind the new fireplace, and investigators believe that when the valve for propane was turned on, the gas filled the empty area, which contributed to explosion.

continued:
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Lightning starts fire that burns McCall home Monday

By Tom Grote for The Star-News September 21, 2017

A McCall home was heavily damaged on Monday when it was hit by lightning that started a fire, McCall Fire & EMS said.

The house at 155 Morgan Dr. in the River’s Crossing community was not occupied at the time of the fire and no one was injured, Chief Mark Billmire said. Damage was estimated at between $250,000 and $300,000.

Firefighters were called to the scene at about 3:11 p.m. after neighbors reported hearing and seeing lightning strike the home followed by smoke and flames, Billmire said.

Response was delayed because lightning knocked out the Valley County Dispatch radio repeater on No Business Mountain and communications had to be switched to an alternate repeater, he said.

Smoke and flames were spewing from all four sides of the two-story house when firefighters arrived, Billmire said.

continued:
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Historic 1915 courthouse in Adams County to be demolished

9/17/17 AP

Council, Idaho — A 1915 historic courthouse in Adams County is slated to be demolished after the abandoned building was condemned in the spring.

KTVB-TV reports that the Adams County commissioners on Friday sought bids for contractors to gut the more than 100-year-old courthouse that sits atop a hill in the town of Council.

Some residents don’t want to see it go. Danna Barnhart says it’s one of the oldest courthouses in the state.

continued:
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Heard those explosions in Blaine County? Don’t panic, sheriff says

KTVB September 20, 2017


(Photo: Courtesy of Idaho Power)

Blaine County — The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office says the sound of explosions have caused some consternation across the county lately.

But officials are reassuring residents they are not under siege.

Blame the loud booms on Idaho Power, which has been working to replace transmission lines between Hagerman and the Wood River Valley. Crews use explosives to splice the power lines together.

Jeff Lincoln, the principal engineer in Idaho Power’s transmission department, said the explosive devices are essentially a metal sleeve surrounded by detonation cord.

“The force of that explosion basically crimps that tube on the wire,” fusing it into one piece, Lincoln said.

continued:
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N. Idaho man rescued 2 days after car plunges down ravine

9/20/17 AP

Kamiah, Idaho — Authorities in northern Idaho say a man spent two days trapped in his vehicle after it plunged into a ravine.

The Idaho County Sheriff’s Office says 24-year-old Jacob Phillips of Kamiah appeared to have a broken leg when rescuers pulled from the car Sunday morning and flew him to a hospital in Lewiston.

Authorities say Phillips left work in Grangeville on Friday afternoon, and family members reported him missing later that day when he didn’t arrive home.

Searches along several possible routes failed to locate Phillips.

Wireless communications provider Inland Cellular narrowed the search area by pinging Phillips’ cellphone.

Searchers then located Phillips about 75 feet down a ravine off State Highway 162.

St. Joseph Regional Medical Center says Phillips was treated and transferred to another hospital that a spokeswoman on Wednesday declined to name.

source:
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After record breaking flu season, Dept. of Health and Welfare prepares for 2017-2018

by Devan Kaney Wednesday, September 20th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Last year was the deadliest flu season on record in Idaho with 72 influenza-related deaths.

“We certainly saw a record number of deaths last year, so certainly want people to be prepared,” said Dr. Leslie Tengelsen, Idaho’s State Influenza Surveillance Coordinator at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare saw multiple strains of the virus in the 2016-2017 season.

“A combination of a million different viruses that circulate there can be up to four different flu viruses,” Tengelsen said. “In fact, we saw all four different flu viruses in Idaho and across the country last year.”

continued:
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Idaho opts into national public safety broadband network

Associated Press, KTVB September 20, 2017

Boise – Idaho has joined 20 other states in an interstate communications network that allows public safety agencies to communicate across jurisdictions during emergencies.

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter announced this week that he signed a letter for Idaho to participate in the First Responder Network Authority, known as FirstNet.

FirstNet, in partnership with AT&T, will build, operate and maintain a secure wireless broadband communications network for Idaho’s public safety community at no cost to the state. It’s expected to boost broadband access in rural areas.

Otter says it’s in Idaho’s best interest to participate in the network.

FirstNet was created in 2012. It followed a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission that a dedicated nationwide broadband network be created to help public safety agencies communicate during large-scale emergencies.

source:
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Aviation News:

Flying the Mail in Remote Idaho

Neither tight canyons, nor wildlife on runways…The postman’s creed is slightly different for pilots delivering mail in the mountains.

By Debbie Gary Air & Space Magazine October 2017

Ahead of the Cessna parked at Central Idaho’s Badley Ranch airstrip, the peaceful canyon doesn’t reflect the difficulty of takeoff and landing here. The strip climbs from a 10- to a 17-degree slope. (Debbie Gary)

When we approached the first mail stop, Ray Arnold rolled his Cessna 206 up on its left wing and spiraled down inside the narrow canyon that funnels Big Creek past Taylor Ranch. Bare ground the color of a cougar’s hide filled the front window. The airspeed was slow, the bank was steep, and my senses were on high alert: One bad turn and we could hit the mountain, or fall into the creek. But Arnold’s hand was steady and he rolled out just above the rushing water. Another turn revealed a smaller creek and the twisted grass strip of the University of Idaho’s Taylor Wilderness Research Station.

… To reach Taylor Ranch from Cascade, we flew 70 miles above central Idaho’s nine- and ten-thousand-foot peaks, snow-covered national forests, and fire-ravaged slopes. Arnold pointed out backcountry landing spots as we passed; some snowy white stripes in a sea of evergreens, others no more than dirt scratches on the face of bare hills.

Each time he indicated a landing site, he recounted a close call some pilot had experienced there: a ski plane upended in deep snow, a nosewheel grabbed by a gopher hole. But the mail must go through.

full story:
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McCall council lower rates for airport hangar leases

Current rates called high compared with other cities

By Phil Janquart for The Star-News September 21, 2017

The McCall City Council last week lowered the rates charged to owners of hangars to lease ground at the McCall Airport.

In a 4-1 vote, council members voted to lower the rate from 35 cents per square foot per year to 30 cents per square foot for the 79 non-commercial hangars at the airport.

continued:
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McCall Airport kiosk to help pathway users understand aviation

By Phil Janquart for The Star-News September 21, 2017

The City of McCall is hoping those who use the pathway near McCall Airport will soon have a better appreciation for the airport.

The airport manager, Jay Scherer, is heading an effort to build a pocket park on airport’s west side adjacent to the public pathway.

Once built, observers will be able to do more than watch aircraft take off and land. Plans include installing a scanner that picks up flight frequencies and signs that identify flight protocols and traffic patterns, as well as weather and navigational equipment on the ground.

“We want to get people interested and excited about aviation,” Scherer said. “We want people to come check us out. Maybe we can inspire some kids to get interested in aviation.”

The project has the support of the McCall chapter of the Idaho Aviation Association, chapter president-elect Rob Tucker said.

continued:
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Mining News:

Judge: Mining company in contempt for Idaho water pollution

Rebecca Boone Associated Press, KTVB September 18, 2017

Boise – A federal judge is holding the Atlanta Gold mining company in contempt of court for allowing arsenic and iron to enter a tributary of the Middle Fork of the Boise River.

Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush released the decision on Friday, ordering the company to pay up to half a million dollars in fines and penalties if they don’t fix the problems by next year.

The Idaho Conservation League and Northwest Environmental Defense Center sued Atlanta Gold Corporation in 2011, alleging the company was violating the federal Clean Water Act when it discharged water containing pollutants from a mining tunnel into Montezuma Creek. That case resulted in a 2012 order directing the mining company to fix the problems.

In the latest ruling, the judge said Atlanta Gold had made significant progress but still allowing too much pollution into the tributary.

source:
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Fire Season:

Highline Fire Closure Rescinded

McCall, ID – The Payette National Forest has rescinded the Highline fire closure in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness effective immediately, allowing access to the trails, airstrips and area in and around Chamberlain Basin. “While the fire has moderated with the recent wet and cold fall weather, the fire still has a potential to flare up and there are risks associated with traveling in Wilderness that the public needs to understand and have awareness about,” said Anthony Botello, Krassel District Ranger. “Wilderness visitors are warned to take precautions around and under fire-weakened trees while traveling within the fire area,” Botello advises.

The Highline Fire was started by lightning on July 28 in one of the most remote areas of the Wilderness. With the exception of a handful of days, it burned mostly with low intensity and a slow rate of spread for the past 55 days and burned dead and downed vegetation, brush and some stands of trees in a natural, mosaic fashion in the Wilderness. Due to concerns for the safety of employees and visitors, the Payette issued multiple closures as the fire grew and moved.

Lightning ignited fires in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness are a natural part of the ecosystem and are managed to prevent impacts to and loss of buildings, private land, trail bridges, historic structures and other values at risk, but these natural fires are intentionally allowed to travel across the landscape in as natural a manner as possible.

Trail, airstrip and/or area closures are sometimes necessary to protect visitors from unpredictable fire intensity and spread, while allowing firefighters to take necessary actions. However, closures are also an impact to visitors to the National Forest and even more intrusive to visitors to Wilderness. Wilderness is managed with as few of controls over visitors as possible to maintain the untrammeled nature and primitive and unconfined recreation visitors seek. “We take closures in Wilderness very seriously. We go into them slowly and thoughtfully and come out of them as quickly as we can,” Botello said.

The Highline fire is not entirely out. Its spread has moderated and most areas of the fire are showing little to no heat. The short-term weather predictions are calling for cool and wet weather for the next few weeks with possible seasonal warming and drying by the first half of October. Visitors are encouraged to check with the Payette National Forest for current fire, trail and airstrip conditions and if possible stay out of the Highline fire area. Wilderness users are responsible for understanding their surroundings and taking precautions to avoid hazardous areas where fire has effected trees, soil, water or other features of a natural landscape.

For more information on Wilderness in the Payette National Forests, contact the Krassel Ranger District at 208-634-0600.

Brian Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Payette National Forest
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Firefighters pull out after wet weather cools Highline Fire

By Max Silverson for The Star-News September 21, 2017

The Highline Fire in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness has diminished significantly, prompting the Forest Service to lift area closures.

The Chamberlain airstrip and surrounding wilderness were opened to visitors Tuesday due to wet and cool weather.

The Highline Fire was started by lightning on July 28 and had burned almost 85,000 acres of wilderness by Tuesday.

The Forest Service was winding down its teams assigned to the fire this week. The National Incident Management Organization team that has been managing Highline Fire operations since Aug. 17 will give back control of the fire to the Payette National Forest today, Public Information Officer Mike Ferris said.

Firefighters on the ground at Big Creek, Beaver Creek and the privately owned Root Ranch have already been moved out, Ferris said.

continued:
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Bearskin Fire closure is modified to open County roads

Boise National Forest
Contact: Venetia Gempler (208) 373-4105

Boise, Idaho, September 22, 2017 – Changing weather conditions prompted Forest officials to modify the Bearskin closure to open up Valley County roads 555, 579, 563 and a section of Valley County road 582. All National Forest System trails and roads remain closed within the Bearskin Fire perimeter including NFS road 510.

NFS road 582 between the junctions of NFS roads 545 and 515 remain closed for culvert replacement. This work is expected to last into October.

Forest visitors are reminded to be cautious and aware of their surroundings. Trees burned in the fire may continue to smolder and fall. With warmer temperatures predicted in coming weeks, fire activity may increase. Crews will continue to patrol and monitor the fire.

To view this Forest Closure Orders and map visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/boise/alerts-notices
Scroll down to the Lowman Ranger District closures for Bearskin Area Closure Reduced – Version #5.
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Land Management Agencies lift Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in all zones of the Payette Fire Restriction Area

Date: September 19, 2017

McCall, Idaho – With much cooler temperatures and the abundance of precipitation in the past several days, land management agencies have lifted Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in the Little Salmon Zone of the Payette Fire Restriction Area effective Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Other Payette Restriction Area Zones lifted fire restrictions last Friday, September 15, 2017 and Wednesday, September 13, 2017. As such, fire restrictions are no longer in place within any zones of the Payette Fire Restriction Area. The Fire Restrictions are rescinded by agencies managing state, private and public lands in the area, including the United States Forest Service (USFS), Southern Idaho Timber Protective Association (SITPA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL).

The restrictions were put into effect on August 11, 2017 when fire danger and burning conditions were unusually high. Recent storms have brought significant moisture with much cooler temperatures to the area, moderating fire conditions significantly. Forest visitors are reminded to always be careful with all use of fire in the outdoors. The accidental start of a wildfire can still be devastating. Be alert and be aware. Follow these tips to help prevent wildfire:

* NEVER leave a camp fire unattended
* Keep water, dirt and a shovel near your fire at all times
* Make sure your fire is dead out and cold to the touch before you leave it
* Use of fireworks, exploding targets or tracer rounds is prohibited on public lands

Fire restrictions may be lifted but burn bans may still be in place in some areas. Fire restrictions and burn bans address different types of activities. Burn bans pertain to controlled burning activities such as debris burning, slash burning, or agricultural burning, for which a fire safety burn permit from IDL is required. Visit http://burnpermits.idaho.gov/ for more information.
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Prescribed Fires on the Payette National Forest

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

McCall, Idaho – The Payette National Forest will be conducting multiple prescribed fires (broadcast and pile burning) this fall. Depending on weather conditions, prescribed fire could take place anytime from now through early November.

“Fire is one of the most important natural agents of change in our forested ecosystems,” said Keith Lannom, Payette National Forest Supervisor. “Prescribed fire plays a major role in our forest restoration efforts by reducing accumulated fuels, while promoting long-term ecosystem integrity and sustainability by reducing the risk to communities and wildlife habitat from high-severity wildland fire.”

The Council and Weiser Ranger Districts plans to apply fire 4,000 acres in Cookhouse Gulch, 2,000 acres in the Mill Creek drainage, 1,500 acres in Spring Creek, and 1,000 acres in the Weiser River Fuels project area.

The McCall and New Meadows Ranger Districts plans to burn 1,500 acres in the Lost Creek-Boulder Creek project area, 3,042 acres in Rapid River (east of Pollock Mountain), 525 acres in the Upper Weiser River drainage, 400 acres near Rock Flat, and 500 acres in Bear Basin.

The Krassel Ranger District plans to ignite 1,600 acres in the Fourmile drainage, and 2,000 acres in the Bald Hill project area.

Trail heads and roads that lead into these areas will be posted with caution signs and a map of the prescribed fire locations. Fire personnel will work closely with the Idaho/Montana Airshed Group, the National Weather Service, and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to insure that smoke impacts are minimized. The decision to ignite on any given day will depend on favorable weather conditions and the need to reduce smoke effects as much as possible.

Smoke from these prescribed fires will be much less than what would be expected from a wildfire. If smoke concentrations approach air quality standards fire ignition may be delayed until air quality improves. Residual smoke may be visible for up to 2 weeks following ignition, but most of the smoke from the fires will dissipate 1-2 days after ignition.

These prescribed fires will reduce fuels near communities and improve current big game habitat by opening timber stands (maintaining the large tree component) and rejuvenating the herbaceous and browse component. In addition, birds and small mammals generally benefit from an increase in snags and/or coarse woody debris. Reducing accumulated fuels will not only increase available forage, but also promote long-term ecosystem integrity and sustainability by reducing the risk to habitat from high-severity wildland fire.

Smoke sensitive individuals may call Patrick Schon (McCall and New Meadows RDs; 347-0300), Justin Pappani (Krassel RD; 634-0600), or Phil Graeve (Council and Weiser RDs; 549-4200) with any concerns they may have about the planned prescribed fires. The public may also call the Ranger District for more information.

Prescribed fire is an important component of forest restoration and part of the comprehensive fire management program on the Payette National Forest. For more information, please call: Council RD: 253-0100; Krassel RD: 634-0974; McCall RD: 634-0400; New Meadows RD: 347-0300; Weiser RD: 549-4200

Brian Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Payette National Forest
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Idaho fire season wrapup: ‘Everybody is breathing a little easier now;’ costs covered

Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review Sept 19, 2017

Although the fire season seemed downright awful, with heavy smoke choking much of the state, Idaho is coming out of it without any pressing bills. That’s because the state Legislature pre-funded its wildland firefighting costs two years ago with a $60 million appropriation. This year’s firefighting expenditures, on lands for which the state is responsible for fire protection, came to just over $21 million, with $5 million reimbursable from other agencies or owners; that’s a net obligation, as of now, of $16.3 million.

Going into the fire season, Idaho had a $48.4 million cash balance from the legislative appropriation two years ago. Now, combining the $16.3 million in this year’s costs with additional outstanding bills from previous years, the state’s net obligation is about $34 million. So after all those bills are paid, Idaho still will have $14 million in its firefighting account.

State Forester David Groeschl shared that news with the state Land Board this morning, and offered a wrapup of this year’s fire season. The number of fires on state-protected land was 62 percent of the 20-year average, but the number of acres burned was 440 percent of the 20-year average. That was largely because of the big Craig Mountain Complex south of Lewiston, which burned almost 50,000 – accounting for most of the 52,700 acres that burned.

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Humans caused nearly half of fires in Idaho Panhandle

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Sept 19, 2017

A sigh of relief came from fire fighters through the cool damp air on Monday. The rain enabled agencies responsible for managing lands and providing wildland fire protection in the Coeur d’Alene Dispatch area to lift fire restrictions for the Idaho Panhandle.

… Of the wildfires recorded by the Idaho Panhandle National Forests’ Coeur d’Alene Dispatch area this season:

* 39 were caused by lightning, burning 3,997 acres so far, officials reported Friday.

* 32 were caused by human activity, burning 1,832 acres.

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Crapo, Wyden, Bipartisan Senators to Congress: Permanent Wildfire Funding Fix Must Be a Top Priority

September 20, 2017

Washington, D.C. – In the wake of historic wildfires in Oregon, Idaho, California, Washington and across the West, U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Jim Risch, R-Idaho, Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., introduced an updated version of their bipartisan wildfire funding solution that would protect desperately needed funding for fire prevention and treat wildfires as the natural disasters they are.

The Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2017 would end the destructive cycle of borrowing from fire prevention accounts to put out fires and stop the erosion of the Forest Service’s budget by reforming the way the federal government funds wildfires.

“Oregonians and westerners are battling another record-breaking fire year. The threat of catastrophic wildfires is growing, yet the federal government continues to conduct ‘business as usual’ when it comes to fighting fires in Oregon and the West,” Wyden said. “More communities are put in danger and fire prevention work gets left undone because of a backwards fire budgeting system. It’s past time for Congress to make it a top priority to end fire borrowing, stop the erosion of the Forest Service becoming the ‘Fire Service’ and start treating wildfires like the natural disasters they are.”

“If you live in a community in the western United States, you do not need to be told that wildfires are major natural disasters,” Crapo said. “With over eight million acres burned, ten states choked with smoke, and lives and structures lost, this year’s fire season is a brutal reminder that we must start treating mega fires as the disasters that they are. Now is the time to both recognize that fires are major disasters and end the destructive cycle of fire borrowing that only makes the fire situation in this country worse.”

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Public Lands:

Two Forest Roads will Close Temporarily for Road Repair in the West Branch Area near New Meadows

9/19/2017
Contact: New Meadows District Office at 208-347-0300

New Meadows, Idaho- The Payette National Forest will be enacting two temporary road closures to provide for public safety during road repair work that is scheduled to begin soon. Both roads are located in the West Branch area and accessed from Price Valley Road.

NFS Road 991 will be closed starting on Monday, September 25th and NFS Road 102 will be closed past milepost 1 a short time later, estimated to be October 2nd. Each road will be closed for up to 10 days to allow for the Contractor to complete the road repair work, which is focused on culvert work. NFS Road 101 will still be accessible during the closures.

Forest users should find alternative routes during these closures. Forest Closure Orders have been issued for both roads and the maps are attached below.

West Branch Weiser NFS Road #102 Thru Traffic Closure

NFS Road #991 Thru Traffic Closure
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‘Good Neighbor Authority’ brings IDL a new mission: More active management of fed forests

Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review Sept 19, 2017

Idaho has been seeing success with using the “Good Neighbor Authority” it was granted under the 2014 federal Farm Bill to partner with the U.S. Forest Service and increase active management and timber harvests on national forests in the state – and it’s poised to ramp the program up. “Right now we have two foresters doing GNA projects across the state, so we’re looking to significantly expand this program,” state Department of Lands Director Tom Schultz told the state Land Board today.

In the department’s budget request for next year, it’s asking for eight new positions, all from dedicated funds. That would allow the department to create a new GNA Bureau within its Forestry & Fire Division, and up the staffing for GNA programs from the current 4.3 positions to 12.3.

Two Forest Service officials touted the success of the program to the Land Board on Tuesday. “How we accomplish the work is evolving,” Nora Rasure, USFS regional forester for the Intermountain Region, told the board, “and I think that’s what’s exciting – that we can find new and different ways to get that work done.”

She said through the use of GNA and forest collaboratives, state and federal agencies are bringing their efforts together. “Working with each other to kind of pull and push each other forward, I think we’ve come up with some creative ways for doing the work,” she said.

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Forest Service, Idaho work to boost logging on federal land

By Keith Ridler – 9/22/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — The U.S. Forest Service and Idaho have forged 10 agreements for logging and restoration projects on federal land in what officials say could become a template for other Western states to create jobs and reduce the severity of wildfires.

Under the deals, Idaho foresters will administer timber sales on about 10,000 acres (40 square kilometers) the federal agency has on its to-do list but can’t complete because the money for the work is instead going to fight wildfires.

So far this year, the cost of that fight has surpassed $2 billion — more than half the federal agency’s annual budget — during one of the worst fire seasons on record in the West.

The state work involves managing timber sales to a lumber company after determining how much is available and sometimes even marking what can and can’t be cut.

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USFS Regional Intermountain News

9/20/2017

Archived Newsletters
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Critter News:

Pet Talk – What Is Parvo?

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt – IME September 22, 2017

Parvo is a gastrointestinal disease causing severe vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. It is caused by a very contagious virus called canine parvovirus. CPV is very concentrated in the diarrhea of infected animals. It is resistant to many disinfectants and can persist in the environment under a variety of conditions. It can be destroyed by cleaning contaminated surfaces with a 1:20 bleach solution—one part household bleach with 20 parts water. The best prevention of parvo disease is vaccinating your pets as puppies and then every three years. Treatment is expensive and not always successful. Vaccination is very inexpensive and an excellent prevention of the disease.

The primary signs of parvo disease are poor appetite, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea. Vomiting is often severe and diarrhea may be profuse and bloody. There is often a fever and dogs quickly become dehydrated. Secondary septicemia is common, along with shock and collapse.

Because of the severity of clinical signs in parvo disease, a number of tests are required to treat your pet effectively. Some of the tests include a complete blood count, a serum biochemistry profile, X-rays of the abdomen and stool exams to confirm the parvovirus. These tests can also show other intestinal parasites that may be complicating the disease.

Dogs with parvo disease need to be isolated from other dogs because of how contagious the virus is. Hospitalized dogs are often quarantined in an isolation ward to decrease spread of disease.

Treatment of parvo is largely supportive, as there are no antiviral drugs to kill the parvo virus. These supportive measures include intravenous drugs and electrolytes, antibiotics to suppress secondary bacterial infections, drugs to suppress the severe vomiting and sometimes blood or plasma transfusions if blood or protein loss is severe. Treatment for parvo can often take five to seven days of intense hospitalization. Dogs that survive the first two to four days of treatment are most likely to recover fully. Around 10 percent of dogs will die from this severe gastrointestinal viral disease, more if not treated aggressively by your veterinarian.

Parvo disease is horrible—just ask any veterinarian or veterinarian nurse. Whenever we see parvo, it is so sad because it is so preventable by simple vaccinations.

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MCPAWS to sponsor Brundage fun run, Oktoberfest Oct. 7

The Star-News September 21, 2017

MCPAWS Regional Animal Shelter will host a full day of fun with a dog-friendly 5km fun run followed by Oktoberfest on Saturday, Oct. 7.

The Tails on Trails fun run will begin at 9 a.m. Oct. 7 at Brundage Mountain Resort. Registration is $35 for adults and $25 for youth under age 21.

The race fee includes a Tails on Trails hat, goodie bag and registration for Oktoberfest. Registration is available online at http://mcpaws.org.

Oktoberfest festivities will begin at noon at Alpine Village, 616 N. Third St. The event will include live music by Bottom Line Band and the Treasure Valley Musik Meisters as well as a costume contest, raffle, craft goods, activities for kids and food and drinks.

Entry for Oktoberfest is $10 and includes a beer and an event koozie. Raffle tickets will be sold for $5 each at the event. For more information, visit http://mcpaws.org

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Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary plans open house Sept. 30

The Star-News September 21, 2017

Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary near McCall will host it’s annual open house from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30.

The open house is the only time during the year the public can tour the grounds and see wildlife displays and demonstrations.

Those attending are urged to bring a picnic lunch and perhaps see kokanee salmon on their migration in Lake Fork Creek.

Snowdon is located seven miles out Lick Creek Road east of McCall at end of the pavement

Snowdon’s mission is to rehabilitate and return injured and orphaned wildlife to the wild, and provide hands-on education to promote a healthy coexistence with wildlife and the ecosystem.

Snowdon specializes in the rehabilitation of local wildlife, including orphaned baby birds and mammals and injured small mammals, songbirds, waterfowl, and raptors.

The 35-acre sanctuary has a number of animal pens and enclosures, and a clinic equipped to care for ill and injured birds and animals.

Go to http://snowdonwildlife.org for more information

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Idaho considers wildlife overpasses near Montana border

9/19/17 AP

Idaho Falls, Idaho — The Idaho Transportation Department is considering the construction of overpasses that would provide safe crossings for wildlife over a stretch of U.S. Highway 20 near the state’s border with Montana.

The wildlife overpasses are in two of the four options the department has outlined for how it would use the $22 million slated to improve the 4-mile stretch of highway near Island Park, the Post Register reported on Monday.

The most comprehensive option calls for the construction of three wildlife overpasses with fencing along the roadway that would funnel animals into using the crossings.

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Washington kills three wolves this season to quell cattle attacks

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Sept 21, 2017

Wolves have kept Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife field staff busy this summer, especially in Stevens, Ferry and Asotin counties.

Gray wolves are protected in Washington by state endangered species rules, but lethal measures can be taken in cases of self-defense or repeated attacks on livestock.

At least six wolf attacks on livestock have been confirmed this season despite prevention efforts including range riders. Cattle depredations have been confirmed in Stevens and Ferry counties this summer as well as in Asotin County, where a cow and calf were attacked this month southeast of Cloverland by the Tucannon Pack.

Two wolves from the Smackout Pack and one wolf from the Sherman Pack have been killed by state-authorized shooters in response to separate incidents. In both cases, no further cattle attacks in those pack areas have been confirmed.

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Wolf Education International

Third week September 2017

Wolves in Israel are raiding campsites to try to snatch children, experts warn
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Grizzly bears roaming more new areas of Wyoming

AP Sep 22, 2017

Cheyenne, Wyo. (AP) – Wyoming is seeing more grizzly bears moving outside their established habitat in and around Yellowstone National Park, causing more conflicts with humans.

Dan Thompson of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department says as the bears extend their range it becomes more difficult to avoid conflicts between bears and humans.

In 2016, Wyoming recorded 223 cases of conflicts between grizzly bears and humans – by far the highest number among the three states in the Yellowstone ecosystem. Montana had 118, and Idaho just two last year.

Wildlife advocates say grizzlies should be able to roam suitable forest and public land areas surrounding their current habitat.

Federal protection of the bears was lifted earlier this year and management of the species was turned over to Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

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10 calves killed by grizzlies in central Montana

9/23/17 AP

Kalispell, Mont. — Wildlife officials say grizzly bears have killed ten calves on a central Montana ranch.

The Daily Inter Lake reported that the dead animals were found recently in a creek bottom on a ranch near Dupuyer in Teton County.

Wildlife officials say at least 12 grizzlies have been present in the area. It’s uncertain which were responsible for attacking the calves.

The owner of the calves will be eligible for compensation from the livestock loss fund.

Grizzly bears have been spreading into agricultural areas and encountering conflicts with humans along central Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front as they population continues to recover from widespread extermination last century.

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Officials to decide fate of peninsula mountain goats

By Evan Bush – 9/23/17 AP

Seattle — In 2010, a mountain goat in Olympic National Park gored a 63-year-old hiker and severed an artery. Then the goat stood over the bleeding man and prevented rescuers from tending to the injury. It proved fatal.

The tragic, rare goat attack helped rekindle a dormant battle over the peninsula’s mountain goats.

In the 1980s and ’90s, park officials waged campaigns to remove or eradicate the nonnative creatures, said to be destroying plant life within the park.

Those efforts stalled, and now the National Park Service is taking another swing. This summer, it published four plans for goat management. Park officials favor capturing as many mountain goats as possible over several years, transporting them to the North Cascades and killing goats that evade seizure.

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Man pleads guilty to Boise Foothills chukar poaching, woman has arrest warrant

by KBOI News Staff Tuesday, September 19th 2017


Idaho Fish and Game posted the photo of the hunting duo on social media to help track down the pair. (Courtesy Idaho Fish and Game)

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — One of two people who were spotted on a trail camera earlier this year illegally hunting chukar in the Boise Foothills has pleaded guilty.

According to Idaho court records, Dustin Dill, pleaded guilty on Monday in Ada County District court to two misdemeanors (violating Fish and Game rules and hunting without a license). He was sentenced to a year of probation and will be unable to hunt, fish or trap for two years.

Idaho Fish and Game told KBOI 2News that the other person seen on the trail cam, Shanelle Choumas, was charged earlier this year. According to Idaho court records, she currently has an arrest warrant from a separate case from 2016 for permitting animals to go without care.

Idaho Fish and Game posted the photo of the hunting duo on social media to help track down the pair after it says they were hunting chukar on the Boise River Wildlife Management area March 18, which was 46 days after the hunting season had closed.

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Owls in the Outhouse: Opening the Bathroom Door on a Foul Bird Issue

By Kris Millgate September 18, 2017


Long-eared Owl rescued from vault toilet. Photo courtesy Bureau of Land Management

Visiting a public lands outhouse is not always a pleasant experience for humans. It’s even less so for birds. Yes, birds. Here’s why there’s an owl in the toilet – and what we can do about it.

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Surplus hatchery salmon released into northern Idaho creek

9/23/17 AP

Lewiston, Idaho — More than 100 spring chinook salmon not needed at a northern Idaho fish hatchery have been released into a creek to spawn naturally.

Workers with Dworshak National Fish Hatchery released the fish Wednesday into Lolo Creek, The Lewiston Tribune reported.

Extra spring chinook returned to the hatchery this year, so the fish are surplus, fisheries biologist Tom Tighe said. Workers released the fish in an area with proven spawning gravel just upstream from where Lolo Creek joins the Clearwater River, he said.

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Warm waters off West Coast has lingering effects for salmon

By Phuong Le – 9/17/17 AP

Seattle — The mass of warm water known as “the blob” that heated up the North Pacific Ocean has dissipated, but scientists are still seeing the lingering effects of those unusually warm sea surface temperatures on Pacific Northwest salmon and steelhead.

Federal research surveys this summer caught among the lowest numbers of juvenile coho and Chinook salmon in 20 years, suggesting that many fish did not survive their first months at sea. Scientists warn that salmon fisheries may face hard times in the next few years.

Fisheries managers also worry about below average runs of steelhead returning to the Columbia River now. Returns of adult steelhead that went to sea as juveniles a year ago so far rank among the lowest in 50 years.

Scientists believe poor ocean conditions are likely to blame: Cold-water salmon and steelhead are confronting an ocean ecosystem that has been shaken up in recent years.

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The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
http://www.cbbulletin.com
September 22, 2017
Issue No. 844

Table of Contents

* Gorge Fire Aftermath – Rains, Debris Flows—Prompts Trucking Of Two Million Juvenile Fish From Oregon Hatchery
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439608.aspx

* Council Gets Update On Assessing Hatchery Stock, Habitat For Potential Salmonid Reintroduction Above Grand Coulee
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439607.aspx

* NOAA Climate Center Pegs La Nina At 55-60 Percent For Coming Months; Could Mean Colder, Wetter Than Average
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439606.aspx

* Updated Salmon Returns Show Below Average; Harvest Managers Set Commercial, Tribal Fishing Times
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439605.aspx

* Agencies Announce Caught Night Poachers Gillnetting Salmon At Mouth Of Deschutes River
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439604.aspx

* New Corps Contract Moves Willamette Trout Production From McKenzie River Hatchery To Trout Farm In Summer Lake
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439603.aspx

* Escaped Atlantic Salmon Continue To Be Caught; WDFW Report Says Fish Not Expected To Establish Themselves
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439602.aspx

* Biologists Tell Council That Sea Lion Predation Puts Willamette Winter Steelhead At 89 Percent Chance Of Extinction
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439601.aspx

* Estuary Cormorants Nesting In Low Numbers; Corps Unsure If Culling Will Resume Before Season Ends
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439600.aspx

* Upper Columbia White Sturgeon Recovery Efforts Now Producing Enough Fish For Tribal, Non-Tribal Fisheries
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439599.aspx

* NOAA Fisheries Finalizes Recovery Plan For ESA-Listed Eulachon (Smelt); Includes Columbia Estuary
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439598.aspx

* Groups Amend Complaint In Wild Upper Willamette Winter Steelhead Litigation
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439597.aspx

* Judge Extends Stay In Deschutes River Lawsuit As Parties Pursue Settlement, Possible Mediator
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439596.aspx

* Corps Ends Summer Ops At Dworshak While Managers Note Continued Low Steelhead Passage In Lower Snake
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439595.aspx

* Fall Creek Dam (Mid-Willamette) Gets New Fish Collection Facility To Meet BiOp Requirements
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439594.aspx

* Council Science Advisory Panel Issues Evaluation Of Idaho Wildlife Mitigation Projects
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439593.aspx

* USGS Scientists To Release Red Dye In Idaho’s Kootenai River To Study Where, How Fast Larval Sturgeon, Burbot Move
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439592.aspx

* Idaho Fish And Game Director Moore Elected President Of National Fish And Wildlife Organization
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439591.aspx
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Monarch butterflies might vanish from northwest summers

By Annette Cary – 9/23/17 AP

Kennewick, Wash. — Children in the northwest might not see the fluttering orange and black wings of a Monarch butterfly on a summer day a few decades from now.

A study published recently in the journal Biological Conservation documents the steep decline of the population of migrating monarchs in the West.

“This study doesn’t just show that there are fewer monarchs now than 35 years ago,” said Cheryl Schultz, an associate professor at Washington State University Vancouver and lead author of the study.

“It also tells us that, if things stay the same, western monarchs probably won’t be around as we know them in another 35 years,” she said.

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Fish & Game News:

Highline Fire Closure Area Reduced in Middle Fork Elk Zone

By Evin Oneale, Regional Conservation Educator
Friday, September 15, 2017

A large portion of the Middle Fork Elk Zone has reopened thanks to cooler temperatures and slower fire growth of the Highline and Goat Fires burning within the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area. The new closure area and other fire updates can be viewed at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5500/ or https://idfg.idaho.gov/fire.

The updated closure impacts only 17 percent of the Middle Fork Elk Zone, where the season opens today (September 15).

The Big Creek Trail #196 and everything south of the trail is now available to hunters. Several backcountry airstrips are also operational including Cold Meadows, Cabin Creek and Soldier Bar.

While the previous closure affected 52 percent of Unit 26, now only 19 percent of the unit is closed. Nearly half of unit 20A remains closed as fire activity is primarily within that unit.

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Cooler temps draw big game, create challenges for hunters

By Andrew Weeks for The Star-News Sept 21, 2017

Deer and elk seasons are off to a slow start in the McCall area, but that likely will change as the temperatures dip, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said.

Hunters currently are afield on a couple of hunts: archery season, which opened Aug. 30 and runs through Sept. 30; and any-season deer and elk hunts, which recently opened in some backcountry units

“The start of the season has been slow, mostly because of the hot, dry weather,” said Regan Berkley, regional F&G wildlife biologist in the agency’s McCall office. “I’m guessing the cooler, wetter weather pattern we’re about to see will change that and things will pick up.”

That’s good news for hunters anticipating the general season opener in early October. A drop in temperatures could, however, bring new challenges to hunters.

“Cooler weather will be much better,” said McCall F&G Conservation Officer Marshall Haynes said. “But this week’s extreme drop in temps, and rain and snow, might not make it real easy on the hunters.”

But elk like the weather, Haynes said. “The elk rut usually peaks in mid to late September and should be good with the change in weather,” he said.

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Make the call to catch poachers

By Mike Demick, Conservation Information Supervisor
Monday, September 18, 2017

With many hunting seasons in progress or about to begin, the Idaho Fish and Game is asking the public to call the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline if they witness a violation of fish and game laws.

“Calls from concerned citizens are instrumental in catching poachers stealing from Idaho’s citizens,” said Chris Wright, Fish and Game assistant enforcement bureau chief.

Callers to CAP hotline, 1-800-632-5999, can report wildlife law violations anonymously, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Cash rewards are available to callers who provide information leading to the citation of suspected wildlife law violators.

During the 35 year history, CAP has been an important link to catching poachers. Each year, CAP receives an average of 600 calls from the public, which results in 150 citations issued and $20,000 paid in rewards.

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F&G News Releases

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

New Hampshire llama helps protect ducks from wild bear

by WGME Wednesday, August 16th 2017


The llama’s name is Noir for its black fleece, and Wednesday was not his first escape. (Jackson Police Department)

Jackson, NH (WGME) – Golfers in Jackson, New Hampshire were surprised when a llama showed up on the sixth hole at Eagle Mountain Golf Course.

The llama’s name is Noir for its black fleece, and Wednesday was not his first escape.

Apparently, llamas are very protective, and Noir has become attached to a family of ducks.

Recently, a bear has been sniffing around the ducks and their eggs looking for a snack.

So Noir has been jumping into action, escaping his paddock to chase the bear off.

Noir the llama is back home on the farm, but not before starring in a few selfies.

Noir’s owners are working to raise the llama’s electric fence, and are going to reach out to state biologists to help with their bear problem.

source:
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Seasonal Humor:

ElkSaddle11-a
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Idaho History September 24, 2017

The Willey Ranch

South Fork of the Salmon River, Valley County, Idaho

Willey Family Genealogy

WilleyFamilyP1000324

Compiled and edited by Eileen Duarte

Simeon A. (Sim) Willey and his wife Mary Alma Vickers homesteaded on the South Fork Salmon River in 1895. They had ten children, Ray, George, Arcie born 1982, Willys, Edith, Blanche born 1905 who married A. Gilbert McCoy, Earnest, Mary V. born 1908, Pearl born 1903 and Warner born 1900 married Margaret Lange. Sim died at is ranch in 1939. Norman Willey, Sim’s brother was Idaho’s second Governor.

source: “Free Land! Hopes and Hardships of Pioneers of Valley County, Idaho” by the Valley County History Project.
— — — — — — — — — —

Norman and Simeon Willey

by Sheila D. Reddy

… Norman Willey and his brother Simeon were born in New York State and educated there. Norman was twenty years older than Simeon, and he was working in the California gold fields when Simeon was born in 1859.

California was the training ground for early placer and quartz miners. By the time Norman came into the Idaho Territory in 1864, he understood the processes and the mechanics of mining, and the dynamics of living in a mining town. Willey settled in the Warren gold camp, and Simeon joined him there in the early 1880s.

Local newspapers, happy to receive word from the outlying mining camps, recognized Norman Willey’s correspondence as being far above average. The editors of the Boise and Lewiston newspapers were openly delighted to find a column from him in their in-coming mail. Willey later became friends with “Idaho Statesman” editor Milton Kelly; perhaps it was that friendship, combined with Norman’s interest in the political progress Idaho Territory was making towards statehood that drew Willey into a political career as a governor of Idaho.

Norman Willey’s term as governor was filled with strife and soon after he left office in 1893 he returned to the mines in California.

Simeon had married Mary Alma Vickers. Soon after Norman left Warren, Simeon, his young wife, and two small children packed their belongings and moved to a cabin on the South Fork of the Salmon River.

When Simeon made application for homestead on the South Fork ranch in 1918, he stated that during 26 years all members of the family were away from the claim only one night.

Homestead records indicate the Willey’s log ranch house was 40 by 60 feet, with an ell, 24 by 12 feet. This was a relatively large house. It was needed because the family had grown to nine children. The children attended school in a log bunkhouse on the ranch. One of their teachers was the famous pioneer, Mary Zumalt. Mary’s husband, Charles, drove the stage into Warren in the summer months and the mail sled in the winter, while Mary taught school.

One of the saddest facets of the Willey history took place in 1921. Penniless, Norman Willey’s eyesight and hearing began to fail and he moved to Kansas to be with a sister. He died there alone on November 2, 1921 at the country poor farm.

Simeon lived on the South Fork ranch until he died on November 26, 1939. The “Idaho County Free Press” wrote in his obituary, “Old Slim, as he was known to the people along the river and in Warren and McCall, was a genuine pioneer. His reason for seeking the seclusion of the Salmon River wilderness was never known.”

source: “Free Land! Hopes and Hardships of Pioneers of Valley County, Idaho” by the Valley County History Project.
— — — — — — — — — —

Sim Willey’s First Ranch

“The next ranch upstream from the South Fork located on the west side of the river was the Curley Brewer ranch. Brewer was not the first one to occupy this ranch. Simeon or Sim Willey was there sometime in the early 1880s. In 1896, the Willey family moved up river to Sheep Creek. …”

source: Homesteads (South Fork Salmon River) By C. Eugene Brock “Valley County Idaho Prehistory to 1920” Valley County History Project pages 211-212
— — — — — — — — — —

Willey Ranch

by Deanna Riebe

“Sim Willey homesteaded on the South Fork Salmon River in 1895, a few miles below the mouth of the Secesh River. He raised a large family there and provided a school for them on the ranch. The Willey Ranch was always a gathering place, and some say you could find a variety of people at the Willey’s for Sunday dinner – Chinese miners, local Indians, travelers passing through, and even the governor. Normal Willey was Idaho’s second governor, and also Sim Willey’s brother.

“The Willeys were also very much a part of the Yellow Pine community. Ted Abstein (the son of Henry Abstein) recalls that Sim Willey and his family would drive a steer from their ranch on the South Fork all the way to Yellow Pine for the Fourth of July celebration. The seer was barbecued on a spit through the night with men working in shifts, turning the spit, feeding the fire and basting. … Abstein also recalls family trips from Yellow Pine to the Willey Ranch by trail, in an over-the-mountains route, before a road was built along the river.”

source: Valley County, Idaho Prehistory to 1920 – Valley County History Project page 344.
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Willey Ranch Homestead Patent August 1, 1923

Signed by Warren G. Harding

link to: WilleyRanchPatent.PDF
— — — — — — — — — —

Simeon A. Willey (1859 – 1939)

Simeon Willey dies at Ranch

December 7 (FP*) – The death of Simeon Willey, 80, at his cattle ranch on the South Fork of Salmon river on Sunday, November 26, removed another interesting patriarch from the Salmon river wilderness country.

He went to Warren in the early 80’s from New York state. At that time mining activity in Warrens camp was at a boom stage. Mr. Willey and his young family packed their worldly possessions on horses and said goodbye to Warren and civilization and crossed Warren summit into the South Fork canyon. They penetrated the rugged canyon country nearly fifty miles, following along the South Fork until they came to a spot where the canyon floor widened and on this spot they set their stakes. Young Willey and his youthful wife built a cabin and settled down to conquer the wilderness and raise a family.

While Simeon took to adventures in mining camp, his brother, Norman B. Willey, turned to adventure in the political life of the territory. Both were intelligent, educated men. Norman was elected lieutenant governor and when Governor George L. Shoup resigned to accept a seat in the United States Senate in 1890, the lieutenant governor took his place.

For many years the Willey’s nearest neighbors were the “Dead Shot” Reeds who has squatted on the South Fork 20 miles above. Occasionally during the year members of the two families would meet on the trail; it is said that neither family encouraged visitors.

The Willey family packed farm machinery on horseback from McCall, mowing machines, rakes, haystacker. An original small bunch of cattle was developed into a band of several hundred head. Abundance of range land and wild hay on the bar make the cattle venture a profitable one.

The elder daughter assisted her father with cattle on the range for many years. Two sons later helped. One of the boys was drafted during the World War and was killed. Except for an occasional prospector and hunters in the fall, the sparsely settled South Fork canyon was dominated by the Willey and Reed families.

Lou Thompson, at his place on the South Fork below, related his experience in taking the young Willey boy to McCall at the age of about 14 where the youth saw for the first time a train, automobile, stores, motion pictures – in fact, he got his first glimpse of civilization. The children had been taught at home by their mother.

“Old Sim” as he was known to people along the river, in Warren and McCall, was a genuine pioneer. His reasons for seeking the seclusion of Salmon river wilderness was never known.

Extracted from Cheryl Helmer’s Warren Times/A collection of news about Warren, Idaho. Henington Publishing Company, Wolfe City, TX., 1988.

* Idaho County Free Press, Grangeville.

He is buried on the ranch he homesteaded, next to his son Ray who died in 1918. (See Private Cemeteries).

His daughter Pearl Hitchcock’s obituary gives additional family history.

source: Valley County GenWeb Project
[h/t SMc]
— — — — — — — — — —

Pearl Willey Hitchcock

(1903 – 1993)

(From Pearl’s funeral, courtesy of Janet Cox Harshfield)

Pearl was from, and a part of, a pioneer family with a lot of history behind her – especially Idaho history. I found it extremely interesting so I want to share a little of that, not really as an obituary of her life, but rather a few interesting highlights from an intriguing family history. The family was here in America very early for there is the record of them being admitted to a Church in Boston in 1634. You realize that is only 14 years after the coming of the pilgrims on the Mayflower.

Pearl’s parents family originated in New York. Her grandmother was a Rosevelt.

Her father and his brother were part of the 1849 Gold Rush to California. Then when gold was discovered in Idaho they came to the Idaho Territory. Her uncle Norman Willey was a colonel in the Idaho militia during the Sheepeater war. Her father and uncle went into Warren as gold miners.

Her father’s brother, Norman Willey became the First Lieutenant Governor of Idaho and became the the second Governor of the State when Governor Shoup went to Washington D.C. as a senator. Her father moved to the Salmon River in 1895 to establish the Willey Ranch. (Valley County)

The Willey Ranch became the gathering place for everybody along the Salmon River country. When the circuit riders came through the people would gather at the Willey Ranch for church services.

They had the largest library in that part of the country. Both Pearl’s father and uncle graduated from the University of Kansas. Her uncle graduated from the University at age 17. They brought with them many books when they came to Idaho.

They had a private School on the ranch. Pearl went through 8 grades there. The population was so scattered that not too many neighbors got there but some did including such names as Dead Shot Reed’s family.

She took care of both her father and mother. In fact she nursed her father for the last few years of his life and ran the ranch herself for his last three years.

The ranch was the gathering place for neighbors and for travelers coming through, including the Nez Perce Indians who camped on their land during the salmon run and when snow got deep in mid-winter. When Pearl prepared dinner, especially Sundays, she never knew how many would be there. It would sometimes include Indians, very often some of the Chinese and forest rangers who might be in the area. The Willey’s were criticized severely because their dinner table and home was always open to the Chinese or the Indians as well as anyone else.

Pearl came to Emmett in 1933. She joined the Church in 1940.

She was married to Floyd Smith from 1941 to 1949. She was married to Robert Hitchcock from 1951 to 1959. So she was a widow for her last 33 years.

During her working years she did a lot of things but nursing was one of the dominant things. She did home nursing care before the term was coined. She also worked in the packing sheds, and for a number of years at Ore-Ida just after the company was started. Then of course she worked at the Senior Citizens – part of the time as a paid cook and served for a long time as a volunteer.

She has been a member of the first Baptist Church for nearly 53 years, and so very active. I remember her walking to church even from the South Slope area for a time, but she was always in every service for many years. And much of the time she had gathered up some of the neighbor kids and made sure they were in Sunday School and church. She remained faithful to her church to the end. She had nearly perfect attendance in 1992 in the morning services, and was in church the Sunday before she died. It is a rarity to see people as faithful and dedicated to their church over so long a time span as she.

source:  Gem County GenWeb Project
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Willey Ranch – Rebillet Ranch

One homestead had already been established during the Warren mining boom downriver at the mouth of Sheep Creek by Sim Willey. The Willey Ranch, as it was called, when the forest was organized, was later bought by Clarence A. Rebillet in the 30’s and is now referred to as the Rebillet Ranch.

source: “Bury My Soul at Krassel Hole” by Tom Ortman 1975
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Rebillet Family Tree

Clarence A. Rebillet
ClarenceARebillet-a
Birth: 1905 Guernsey, Platte County, Wyoming, USA
Death: Nov. 11, 1963 Camas County, Idaho, USA
Spouse: Marriage Date 7 Jun 1927
Reva Hortense Moon Rebillet (4/7/1903 – 8/11/1968 )
Clarence and Reva Rebillet are buried in the McCall Cemetery Block C-04, Lot 7 & 6
Children:
Louis Rebillet (1929 – 1985)
Bonnie Bertha Rebillet (1931 – 2001)
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Louis G. Rebillet
December 20, 1929 – August 18, 1985
Birth: Dec. 20, 1929 Guernsey, Platte County, Wyoming, USA
Death: Aug. 18, 1985 West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida, USA
Parents:
Clarence Arthur Rebillet (1905 – 1963)
Reva Hortense Moon Rebillet (1902 – 1968)
Burial: McCall Cemetery, McCall, Valley County, Idaho, Block C-07, Lot 28
Husband of Rose Saleen. Father of Loues, Jill & Katy. Stepfather of Bill, Tom, Merrill, Dan, Steve, Rosana Saleen Little & Janet Saleen Meckel. SA, Navy, Korea, 1950 – 1951.
— —

Bonnie Bertha (Rebillet) (Don Caward) Davis
Birth: May 25, 1931 Wheatland, Platte County, Wyoming, USA
Death: Age 70; August 8, 2001, McCall, Idaho
Burial: McCall Cemetery, Block C-04, Lot 5
Parents:
Clarence Arthur Rebillet (1905 – 1963)
Reva Hortense Moon Rebillet (1902 – 1968)
Mother of Joyce (Harold) Lukecart
Married Del Davis February 1967
— — — —

Louis G. Rebillet

Louis Rebillet regularly traveled the South Fork from the mouth of the Secesh River to Mackay Bar and Elk Creek during winters, and from Warren to the Willey Ranch during summers from 1946 to 1962.

source: Tom Remington
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Louis Rebillet and Rose Marie Saleen

roselouieribilete-a
(photo courtesy C. Gillihan)

… “On June 7, 1974, when the older children had left the nest and the youngest was in his mid-teens, Rose married a childhood friend she had gone to school in Cascade with, Louis Rebillet. Louie, as he was affectionately known, was an elk and deer hunting outfitter in the South Fork of the Salmon River and Big Creek regions. He also hunted cougar in the wintertime and had killed 40 cougars by 1968. After a few seasons operating the outfitter business together, Louie sold the operation and moved to Boise with Rose. However, the big town of Boise was not to his liking. Soon, they were back in the mountains operating the hunting business at Mackay Bar and managing the Hettinger Ranch on the South Fork, where they fed about 60 head of horses and mules in the winter. Later, with Louie and Rose back in Boise, Louie took a truck driving job. In 1985, at age 55, he passed away while making a delivery stop in Florida. The years riding the trails with one of the best outdoorsman Idaho has ever known were incredibly good years for Rose.”

source: Legacy.com
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Hunting transferred from Rebillet to Davis

Idaho Outfitters and Guides Board Meeting

August 14, 1960

“Transfer of Warren [hunting] area from Louis Rebillet to Del Davis was approved.”

source: Idaho Outfitters and Guides Board
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Bonnie Bertha Rebillet (Caward) and Del Davis

“Following military service Davis returned to Idaho, married his sweetheart, Bonnie, and settled on the ranch, which had belonged to his wife’s family. “Bonnie was very much the maverick woman,” remembers Fowler. “She was like Annie Oakley, and she loved being in the mountains.” They, along with their children, lived on the property year-round.”

source: “A life in the Saddle” Sun Valley Magazine January 15, 2009
— — — — — — — — — —

Del Davis

DelDavis-a

Text: Greg Wilson Photography: Jim Fowler

Early outfitters were a rare breed in Idaho, perhaps because there seemed to be no need for the moniker.

Informal guiding, on the other hand, dates back—at least—to the first time a stranger stepped onto the soil, long before statehood, and asked a Native American to point the way. If you lived in the Idaho wilderness, you found your own paths through it and shared them with anyone who may have asked for directions. Licensing? Why?

If you could stay alive out there, well, that seemed like license enough.

Nonetheless, in 1954, Idaho did license its first guides and outfitters—a few hardened men whose way of life evolved naturally into a way of making a living. Primarily fishermen and hunters, they emerged from the backcountry, the heart of the land, to share outdoor skills and local knowledge with “outsiders,” helping them bag a trophy elk or land an impressive rainbow, but also sharing a unique brand of Western personality, companionship, and wisdom. More than 400 licensed outfitters operate in Idaho today, employing more than 2,000 licensed guides; but, fifty years ago, they were few and far between.

Although many of these men are gone now, their stories, handed down by those who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with them in the backcountry, are still being told. The legend of hunting guide Del Davis, one of Idaho’s early outfitters, lives on through the words of fellow hunter, guide, and devoted friend, Jim Fowler, who says, “Del was tough as nails, sinewy and strong.” Davis was rugged, a reflection of the landscape in which he lived.

source: “A life in the Saddle” Sun Valley Magazine January 15, 2009
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Delton Arlie “Del” Davis

(1921 – 1990)

DelDavisNavy-a

South Fork of the Salmon River – Delton Arlie “Del” Davis, 69, of the South Fork of the Salmon River, died Saturday, Oct 20, 1990, in McCall after a struggle with cancer.

Funeral services will be held at 2pm Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Heikkila Funeral Chapel, McCall. Dan Rohrbacker will officiate. Burial will be at 2pm Thursday, Oct, 25, at the Willey Ranch Cemetery on the South Fork of the Salmon River.

Del was born in January of 1921, and reared and educated in Midvale. At age 20, he started as a packer and guide for geological survey crews and hunters. Later, Del worked for Boeing Aircraft in Seattle, until he joined the U.S. Navy during World War II. Upon being discharged at the end of the war, he returned to Boeing for a time, and also managed a fish plant on the coast. Del returned to Idaho and continued as an outfitter and guide until his illness this year. He married Bonnie Rebillet Caward in February of 1967, and they had since lived on the old Willey Ranch on the South Fork.

Del enjoyed having a place away from phones and the hustle and bustle of the outside world where his friends could come to relax. He loved the mountains, river, and animals; the company of friends and good stories; and the challenge of big game hunting.

Survivors include his wife, Bonnie Davis; three daughters, Judy Meyer of Bethel, Alaska, Cheri Bates of Boise and Kathey Stone of Weiser; a son, Delton “Buzz” Davis of Weiser; a stepdaughter Joyce Lukecart of McCall; 12 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and three sisters, Margie Towll in California, Georgie Towll in Oregon and Dean Rotert in Washington. He was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters; two brothers; and his former wife and mother of their children.

Memorials may be made to Mountain Search & Rescue, Box 859, Cascade 83611.
— — — — — — — — — —

Delton Irvin “Buzz” Davis

(1944 – 2006)

DavisBuzzObit

Following a long and courageous battle with lung cancer, Buzz Davis quietly slipped away at home on March 29, 2006.

Born in Seattle, Wash. on Feb. 12, 1944, Buzz´s family moved to Weiser in the early 1950s. He was known to his friends and family as a cowboy, gold miner and a real good ole´ boy who loved life and lived it to it´s fullest. The son of an outfitter, Buzz had many fond memories of the back country and the people who, like him, appreciated the beauty and majesty of Idaho´s wilderness.

In 1991 Buzz returned to his roots and became a licensed Outfitter and Guide operating on the South Fork of the Salmon River for many years. He made lifelong friends from the East Coast to the West Coast.

In later years Buzz enjoyed gold mining, hunting, deep-sea fishing, and Karaoke singing with family and friends. Buzz loved helping folks out, be it working on their home, running heavy equipment or going on a much loved cattle drive. He touched every one he came in contact with in a very special way, we will miss him very much. He is survived by his life partner, Sharon Driessen, his children; Cheri and Joey Severence, Jay Davis and Diane and Jim Martin; sisters and their husbands, Cheri and Marc Meyer, Kathy and Alan Stone, a half brother Casey McMullen, Sharon´s children Lee Driessen and Shawna and Randy McKinnis, five grandsons and many nieces and nephews.

His mother, Thelma McMullen, his father, Del Davis and his sister, Judy Bates, preceded him in death. His family would also like to thank all of the Mountain States Tumor Institute doctors and wonderful staff for their support and care of Buzz during his illness. It was there he made many new friends. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are given in Buzz´s name to MSTI in Fruitland c/o Thomason Funeral Home, Weiser, Idaho. Services will be held Saturday, April 1, 2006 at 3 p.m. at Thomason Funeral Home.

Published in Idaho Statesman on Mar. 31, 2006

[Ashes scattered along South Fork of Salmon River near Hamilton Bar]
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WilleyRanchMap

Willey Ranch Now

MikeDorrisWilleyRanch2015-a
Mike Dorris at the Willey Ranch 2015

Photo and story by Debbie Gary

… Before we flew back to McCall, Dorris landed at Willey Ranch, the steepest runway in Idaho—550 feet long at a 23-degree incline. One day his wheels got stuck in snow there, halfway up the runway. He and his passenger took turns holding the brakes to prevent the aircraft from sliding backward while the other man dug a path through the snow for the wheels.

Dorris used to deliver mail to Willey Ranch until someone burned the house down smoking in bed. He’d taken me there just to share the thrill. Imagine flying toward a mountain, then instead of turning, crashing, or climbing, you pitch the nose up just enough to land on it.

source: Air & Space Magazine October 2017
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Cessna 180 Departing Willey Ranch, Idaho

10/15/2010

Cessna 180 Departing Willey Ranch, a private airstrip, on the South Fork of the Salmon.

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page updated Nov 30, 2018

Road Report Sep 24

Yellow Pine: We received over 2″ of rain last week (and snow on Thursday), local streets are damp and pot holes still have water.

Johnson Creek Road: There may be snow lingering up high, and could be slick early mornings. A report that it is starting to get rough again at Halfway, otherwise good shape. Also a report of a large rock in the road at Halfway – and another report the rock had been moved.

South Fork / EFSF Road: Report on Saturday (Sep 23) Road is in good shape, pavement mostly dry. Watch for ice in the shady spots early mornings.

Lick Creek: Probably has some snow up high in the shade. Rough road near the summit on both sides, watch for boulders sticking up out of the road. No current report.

Profile Creek Road: A report from Saturday (Sept 23) “needed chains to get over the summit.”

Stibnite to Thunder Mountain: Probably Closed with snow.
20170921SnowMidas-a
photo courtesy Midas Gold Sept 22

Big Creek to Warrens Road: (Probably high elevation snow.) No current report.
Warren to the South Fork access – Regarding road repairs on two areas that slumped this spring on Valley County’s section of the road.
This is the road beyond Warren down to the South Fork of the Salmon River near Trails End Subdivision.
Valley County has contracted the repairs to begin at the end of August. The road will be remain open, except for these listed dates – on these dates the road will be closed.
Sept. 19-28 Begin work on lower repair
Oct. 3-12 Work on lower repair
Oct. 17-26 Complete work on lower repair
map:

Deadwood Summit: Probably still open with high elevation snow. Photo from Deadwood Outfitters posted Sep 23.

Golden Gate Road: The road is only passable on foot due to large deep wash-out about 2/3rds of the way up.
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Weather Reports Sep 17-23

Sept 17 Weather:

At 9am it was 40 degrees, mostly cloudy and slight haze of smoke. At 140pm it was 64 degrees, overcast, light breezes and slightly smoky. At 510pm it was 66 degrees, cloudy and light breezes. At 755pm it was 61 degrees, mostly cloudy and light breezes. Blustery at midnight. Appears to have sprinkled on and off early morning.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time September 18, 2017 at 09:00AM
Cloudy, windy, drops of rain
Max temperature 70 degrees F
Min temperature 40 degrees F
At observation 48 degrees F
Precipitation Trace
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Sept 18 Weather:

At 9am it was 48 degrees, windy, cloudy and drops of rain. Little short sprinkle around 910am. Sprinkles just before 930am. Sprinkles and showers and blustery most of the morning. Light rain at 12pm and light breezes. At 130pm it was 45 degrees, low clouds on the ridges and raining. Break in the rain around 230pm. Thunderstorm with hard rain from approx 4pm to perhaps 440pm. (Power out 1135am-515pm.) Sprinkling at 618pm. At 7pm it was 44 degrees and not raining. (Power off 1007pm for about 4 hours.) Probably rained during the night and early morning.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time September 19, 2017 at 09:00AM
Low clouds, raining, light breezes
Max temperature 49 degrees F
Min temperature 34 degrees F
At observation 34 degrees F
Precipitation 0.67 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Sept 19 Weather:

At 9am it was 34 degrees and rain, chilly light breeze, low foggy overcast, ridges socked in, snow line appears to be about 6000′. Rain snow mix at 910am for about 20 minutes. Not raining at 935am, breaks in the clouds. Raining just before 11am. Still sprinkling lightly at noon. At 120pm it was 42 degrees and misting lightly. Raining pretty good around 4pm. At 5pm it was 40 degrees and misting. At 6pm very light sprinkle. At 7pm just a few drops. At 740pm it was 38 degrees and light rain. Pretty good shower around 830pm. May have rained most of the night. Raining before sunrise.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time September 20, 2017 at 09:00AM
Cloudy, breezy and raining
Max temperature 43 degrees F
Min temperature 34 degrees F
At observation 39 degrees F
Precipitation 0.55 inch
Snowfall Trace
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Sept 20 Weather:

At 9am it was 39 degrees, overcast and raining. Snow on VanMeter, Antimony Ridge and Johnson Creek Ridge. At 12pm it was 40 degrees, steady rain and overcast, ridge tops are socked in. Raining pretty good from about 2pm to around 330pm, then sprinkles. Back to steady rain by 430pm. Misty sprinkles at 530pm. Not raining at 630pm and breaks in the clouds. At 7pm it was 40 degrees, mostly cloudy, cold light breeze. So far 0.64″ of precip. Broken clouds at 8pm and 39 degrees. At midnight it was 34 degrees and light fog. Guessing it started snowing around 7am.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time September 21, 2017 at 09:00AM
Low clouds, snowing and sticking
Max temperature 42 degrees F
Min temperature 32 degrees F
At observation 32 degrees F
Precipitation 0.66 inch
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth Trace
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Sept 21 Weather:

At 9am it was 32 degrees, low clouds (socked in to the valley floor) snowing and sticking (ground half white.) Bigger flakes by 930am, ground is white. Tiny flakes, almost rain by 1010am, snow on the ground starting to melt, clouds starting to lift. Stopped snowing at 1020am, then misting for a little while. Cloudy and light breeze at 11am. Patches of blue sky by 12pm, patchy fog/clouds still flanking the mountains, snow line has retreated. At 1pm it was 46 degrees, partly clear overhead, but chunks of clouds sitting on the peaks and flanks. Started sprinkling before 445pm. At 515pm it was 39 degrees, solid overcast (down on the ridges) and light rain falling. Not raining at 630pm (not sure when it quit). At 7pm it was 39 degrees and cloudy. At 8pm it was cloudy. Raining at 245am (probably started around 2am.) Looks like it may have rained lightly all night, still raining at 830am.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time September 22, 2017 at 09:00AM
Low overcast, light sprinles
Max temperature 50 degrees F
Min temperature 32 degrees F <– yesterday morning
At observation 37 degrees F
Precipitation 0.20 inch
Snowfall Trace
Snow depth Trace
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Sept 22 Weather:

At 9am it was 37 degrees, low overcast, ridges socked in and light sprinkles. Misty sprinkles and showers all morning. At 2pm it was 47 degrees, cloudy (one little crack letting in sun for a few moments) a few drops of rain and chilly light breeze. Light sprinkles on and off. Light shower at 315pm. At 725pm it was 43 degrees cloudy and misting a little on and off. At 8pm it was 41 degrees and very light mist.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time September 23, 2017 at 09:00AM
Overcast
Max temperature 47 degrees F
Min temperature 33 degrees F
At observation 36 degrees F
Precipitation 0.02 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Sept 23 Weather:

At 9am it was 36 degrees, damp and “chunky” overcast. At 1045am it was 42 degrees, a little breezy and a few cracks in the clouds to the west. At 140pm it was 49 degrees, mostly cloudy but some large breaks in the clouds letting in a little sunshine from time to time and light chilly breezes. At 5pm it was 48 degrees, breaks in the clouds and light gusty breezes. At 715pm it wa 46 degrees and mostly cloudy.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time September 24, 2017 at 09:00AM
Almost clear, 1st hard frost
Max temperature 52 degrees F
Min temperature 26 degrees F
At observation 26 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch
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Road Report Sep 22

Yellow Pine: We have received over 2″ of rain in the last 4 days (snow yesterday), local streets are wet and pot holes full of water. Snow line appears to be about 6000′.

Johnson Creek Road: Reported on Sep 20 snow and slush on Warm Lake Hwy at Big Creek Summit and especially on Warm Lake summit and slick. Slush and snow on Johnson Creek road from Landmark down to Trout Creek.

South Fork / EFSF Road: Reported to be in good shape Sept 20, watch for early morning slick spots on South Fk in the shade.

Lick Creek: Probably has some snow up high. Rough road near the top, watch for boulders sticking up out of the road.

Profile Creek Road: Might still be open but snowy up high, no current report.

Stibnite to Thunder Mountain: Probably Closed with snow.
20170921SnowMidas-a
photo courtesy Midas Gold

Big Creek to Warrens Road: (High elevation snow)
Warren to the South Fork access – Regarding road repairs on two areas that slumped this spring on Valley County’s section of the road.
This is the road beyond Warren down to the South Fork of the Salmon River near Trails End Subdivision.
Valley County has contracted the repairs to begin at the end of August. The road will be remain open, except for these listed dates – on these dates the road will be closed.
Sept. 19-28 Begin work on lower repair
Oct. 3-12 Work on lower repair
Oct. 17-26 Complete work on lower repair
map:

Deadwood Summit: No current report. (Snow/slush at Landmark.)
9-15-2017 Bearskin Fire Closure Reduced – Version #4
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5536/41165/

Golden Gate Road: The road is only passable on foot due to large deep wash-out about 2/3rds of the way up.
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Road Report Sept 20

Yellow Pine: Local streets are wet and pot holes full of water.

Johnson Creek Road: (Sep 20) Mail truck driver (Robert) reports snow and slush on the road at Big Creek Summit and especially on Warm Lake summit and slick. Slush and snow on Johnson Creek road from Landmark down to Trout Creek.

South Fork / EFSF Road: Reported to be in good shape Sept 19th.

Lick Creek: Depends on your perception. A report from last weekend that “the road is pretty good” (passenger car.) Another report (Sep 13) that the road is “par for the course”, not bad where the washout was fixed above Zena Creek, but rough and rocky, “boulders poking up out of the road” in places near the top.

Profile Creek Road: Open, no current report. (Probably has snow near the summit.)

Stibnite to Thunder Mountain: Open, no current report. (Probably has high elevation snow.)

Big Creek to Warrens Road: (High elevation snow)
Warren to the South Fork access – Regarding road repairs on two areas that slumped this spring on Valley County’s section of the road.
This is the road beyond Warren down to the South Fork of the Salmon River near Trails End Subdivision.
Valley County has contracted the repairs to begin at the end of August. The road will be remain open, except for these listed dates – on these dates the road will be closed.
Sept. 19-28 Begin work on lower repair
Oct. 3-12 Work on lower repair
Oct. 17-26 Complete work on lower repair
map:

Deadwood Summit: No current report. (Snow/slush at Landmark.)
9-15-2017 Bearskin Fire Closure Reduced – Version #4
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5536/41165/

Golden Gate Road: The road is only passable on foot due to large deep wash-out about 2/3rds of the way up.
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Fire Update 9/20/2017

Note: This will probably be the last fire update for this season.

VanMeter morning of Sept 20
P1000323-20170920Snow

Local Conditions: In the last 48 hours Yellow Pine has received 1.22″ of rain and a trace of snow, highs in the 40’s and lows just above freezing. Snow in the higher elevations above 6000 feet.

Yellow Pine Forecast

Today Showers, with thunderstorms also possible after noon. High near 46. Southwest wind around 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
Tonight Rain showers likely before midnight, then a chance of rain and snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30. South southwest wind 3 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Thursday A chance of rain and snow showers before noon, then a chance of rain showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 46. Calm wind becoming north northwest around 5 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Thursday Night A 40 percent chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 29. North wind 3 to 6 mph.
Friday A chance of rain and snow showers before noon, then a chance of rain showers. Cloudy, with a high near 46. North wind 5 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Friday Night A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 29.
Saturday A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly before noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 48.

Johnson Creek Airport WebCam
http://www.ruralnetwork.net/~yellowpinecm/
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Stage 1 Fire restrictions have been lifted.
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Bearskin Fire

Boise National Forest

Current as of 9/18/2017
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Wednesday August 23rd, 2017 approx. 07:30 PM
Location 21 miles NE of Lowman, Idaho – located in Valley County
Incident Commander M Quesinberry
Total Personnel 136
Size 30,144 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 10%
Estimated Containment Date Sunday October 01st, 2017 approx. 12:00 AM

9-15-2017 Bearskin Fire Closure Reduced – Version #4
The Bearskin Fire area closure on the Boise and Salmon Challis National Forest has been reduced significantly due to a decrease in fire activity. The change in the closure opens more than 80,000 acres to fall hunters and recreationists. The modified closure goes into Friday, Sept. 15, at noon.
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5536/41165/

9-15-2017 Bearskin Fire Closure Order – Version #4

Bearskin Fire Update – Saturday, September 17, 2017

Boise, Idaho – Most work on the Bearskin Fire was completed by the end of shift Saturday and most resources will be off the fire by tonight in advance of an expected cold front. Only a small workforce of local engines and crews will remain after today, actively engaged in mop-up and monitoring to ensure the fire does not escape containment and to conduct firing operations if needed. Smoke may linger for weeks, and even flare up, as interior hot spots ignite.

Weather was warm and dry Saturday and that is expected to continue for one more day. A cold front will arrive Monday and from 3 to 6 inches of snow is expected between then and Wednesday.

Operations Section Chief John Giller says today, three engines will be working along County Road 579 on the west side of the fire, focusing on an area that showed a little activity late Saturday. The east side of the fire is quiet and in patrol status.

All the suppression repair work is done – suppression repair restores areas on the landscape that have been damaged by the work of equipment and crews fighting the fire. Backhaul will continue today, returning truckloads of equipment used on the fire like pumps and hoses, to the local district.

The National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) which has been managing the fire since Sept. 11 will transfer command to a local Incident Commander Monday morning at 6 a.m. As NIMO prepares to demobilize (leave the incident), leadership attention will be focused on the firefighters, both hand crews and engines, as operational responsibility is transferred to the District. This ensures continuity of tasks and keeps firefighter safety first and foremost.

InciWeb link: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5536/
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Payette Wilderness Fires

Highline Fire Closure Rescinded

McCall, ID – The Payette National Forest has rescinded the Highline fire closure in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness effective immediately, allowing access to the trails, airstrips and area in and around Chamberlain Basin. “While the fire has moderated with the recent wet and cold fall weather, the fire still has a potential to flare up and there are risks associated with traveling in Wilderness that the public needs to understand and have awareness about,” said Anthony Botello, Krassel District Ranger. “Wilderness visitors are warned to take precautions around and under fire-weakened trees while traveling within the fire area,” Botello advises.

The Highline Fire was started by lightning on July 28 in one of the most remote areas of the Wilderness. With the exception of a handful of days, it burned mostly with low intensity and a slow rate of spread for the past 55 days and burned dead and downed vegetation, brush and some stands of trees in a natural, mosaic fashion in the Wilderness. Due to concerns for the safety of employees and visitors, the Payette issued multiple closures as the fire grew and moved.

Lightning ignited fires in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness are a natural part of the ecosystem and are managed to prevent impacts to and loss of buildings, private land, trail bridges, historic structures and other values at risk, but these natural fires are intentionally allowed to travel across the landscape in as natural a manner as possible.

Trail, airstrip and/or area closures are sometimes necessary to protect visitors from unpredictable fire intensity and spread, while allowing firefighters to take necessary actions. However, closures are also an impact to visitors to the National Forest and even more intrusive to visitors to Wilderness. Wilderness is managed with as few of controls over visitors as possible to maintain the untrammeled nature and primitive and unconfined recreation visitors seek. “We take closures in Wilderness very seriously. We go into them slowly and thoughtfully and come out of them as quickly as we can,” Botello said.

The Highline fire is not entirely out. Its spread has moderated and most areas of the fire are showing little to no heat. The short-term weather predictions are calling for cool and wet weather for the next few weeks with possible seasonal warming and drying by the first half of October. Visitors are encouraged to check with the Payette National Forest for current fire, trail and airstrip conditions and if possible stay out of the Highline fire area. Wilderness users are responsible for understanding their surroundings and taking precautions to avoid hazardous areas where fire has effected trees, soil, water or other features of a natural landscape.

For more information on Wilderness in the Payette National Forests, contact the Krassel Ranger District at 208-634-0600.

Brian Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Payette National Forest
— — —

Missouri Fire
1,277 Acres 9/15/2017
Location Missouri Ridge, Krassel District north east of Yellow Pine
Area Closure Order for Missouri Fire has been Terminated 9/15/2017
The Area Closure Order for the Missouri Fire (Order #0412-504) has been terminated effective September 15, 2017. This lightning ignition on the Krassel District north of Yellow Pine has displayed little to no activity and no growth for several weeks. Those venturing into the burned area are advised to watch for hazard trees and unstable terrain. The Missouri Ridge Trail (NFS #031) is passable.
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5373/

Goat Fire
818 acres 9/14/2017
Location in the Middle Fork of the Salmon River drainage.
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5387/
— — —

Highline Fire

Payette National Forest

Current as of 9/19/2017, 6:45:27 PM
Incident Type Wildfire
Date of Origin Saturday July 29th, 2017 approx. 12:00 AM
Incident Description Wildfire Burning Within The Frank Church River Of No Return Wilderness
Incident Commander Joe Reinarz, Incident Commander, National Incident Management Organization (NIMO)
Total Personnel 13
Size 84,619 Acres

Highline Fire Update – September 20, 2017

This will be the last distributed update unless significant activity occurs. Monitor Inciweb for the latest information.

Location: The Highline Fire and Goat Fire are both burning on the Payette National Forest, Krassel Ranger District, entirely within the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness (https://tinyurl.com/y8qomgpm), approximately 23 miles east/northeast of Warren, Idaho.

Date of Origin: July 28, 2017 @ approx. 7:00 p.m.

Cause: Started by lightning

Current Size: Highline Fire: 84,619 acres / Goat Fire: 818 Acres

Current Situation: Weather forecasts show conditions will remain very cool, with numerous rain and snow showers possible through early Friday morning. The National Incident Management Organization that has been managing the fire since mid-August will transition with a local Type 3 Incident Commander Thursday morning. The incoming fire resources will spend much of Wednesday shadowing and gaining information about the fire. Continued assessment of the weather conditions and planning for extraction of point protection equipment such as gravity fed sprinkler systems positioned to protect values at risk within the fire area will continue. The need to re-staff Root Ranch and the Beaver and Big Creek areas will be assessed after a dryer weather pattern moves into the area next weekend. A total of 13 people are assigned to the incident.

Fire Management Strategy: The Payette National Forest has selected a monitor/point protection fire management strategy as the fire is burning within the Wilderness and was started naturally by lightning. This management approach allows fire to play its natural role in the Wilderness to achieve ecological benefits for enhancement of forest health and wildlife habitat, while protecting Values at Risk. Suppression actions will be taken as needed to protect Values at Risk.

Closures: No Forest Area Closures are in place. The public is reminded to use caution when traveling in areas near the fire as trees may have been weakened by fire and may fall without any warning.

For More Information: Follow the Payette National Forest on Twitter at @Payette Forest, and on Facebook at U.S. Forest Service – Payette National Forest. Subscribe to email updates via GovDelivery at https://goo.gl/R2fDJr. If you have a question, please email us at payettefireinformation@gmail.com. Visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5500/ for more information on the Highline and other fires throughout the nation and http://www.idahofireinfo.com for information on fires throughout the state of Idaho.

Light snow over the Highline fire, Sept 19, 2017

InciWeb link: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5500/
— — —

Highline Fire Closure Area Reduced in Middle Fork Elk Zone

By Evin Oneale, Regional Conservation Educator
Friday, September 15, 2017

A large portion of the Middle Fork Elk Zone has reopened thanks to cooler temperatures and slower fire growth of the Highline and Goat Fires burning within the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area. The new closure area and other fire updates can be viewed at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5500/ or https://idfg.idaho.gov/fire.

The updated closure impacts only 17 percent of the Middle Fork Elk Zone, where the season opens today (September 15).

The Big Creek Trail #196 and everything south of the trail is now available to hunters. Several backcountry airstrips are also operational including Cold Meadows, Cabin Creek and Soldier Bar.

While the previous closure affected 52 percent of Unit 26, now only 19 percent of the unit is closed. Nearly half of unit 20A remains closed as fire activity is primarily within that unit.

source:
https://idfg.idaho.gov/press/highline-fire-closure-area-reduced-middle-fork-elk-zone
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Salmon-Challis 2017 Wilderness Fires

Honeymoon Fire
1,860 Acres 9/20/2017
Location Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, 30 NM NW of Stanely, ID
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5543/

Tappan Fire
1,650 Acres 9/20/2017
Location On the Middle Fork and North Fork Ranger Districts, near the confluence of Camas Creek and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Fire is located east of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5458/

Ibex Fire
17,256 Acres 9/20/2017
Location 23 miles NW of Challis, Idaho
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5426/
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Updates

Coolwater Complex
3,264 acres 9/18/2017
Location Near Andy’s Lake and Coolwater Mountain
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5597/

Hidden Fire
12,261 acres 9/16/2017
Location Hidden Ridge, 7 mi. NE of Elk Summit Guard Station
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5446/

Chute Creek Fire
5,107 acres 9/20/2017
Location 2.5 miles west of Blodgett Lake, 16.7 miles west of Hamilton, Montana
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5515/

Buck Lake Fire
2,390 acres 9/20/2017
Location 19 Miles NE of Elk City, Idaho
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5561/

Hanover Fire
26,500 acres 9/18/2017
Location South of Grangeville, ID and northeast of Riggins, ID
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5459/

Rattlesnake Point Fire
4,843 acres 9/15/2017
Location Rattlesnake Point – Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5442/

Moose Creek 1 Fire
17,395 acres 9/20/2017
Location Southeast of the Historic Moose Creek Ranger Station
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5405/

Lone Pine Fire
15,237 acres 9/20/2017
Location Below Lone Pine Point in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5456/

Patrol Ridge Fire
1,175 acres 9/14/2017
Location Patrol Ridge – 4.5 miles east of Windy Saddle
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5608/

Big Elk
80 acres 9/18/2017
Location Big Elk Creek
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5602/

Pronghorn Fire
78 acres 9/14/2017
Location Matteson Ridge
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5587/
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Idaho Panhandle National Forest Fires

North Fork Hughes Fire
5,000 Acres 9/18/2017
Location 20 miles North of Nordman, Idaho
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5343/

Buck Fire
2,386 Acres 9/18/2017
Location on the St. Joe Ranger District, approximately 16 miles southeast of Avery, Idaho.
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5493/
— — — — — — — — — — — —

National Interagency Fire Center

September 19, 2017

Yesterday at 2 p.m. the National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group lowered the national preparedness level to PL4. This decision was based on cooler temperatures and rain throughout the western states, decreased initial attack activity, very little growth on large fires, and an increase in the availability of resources.

One new large fire was reported in Utah yesterday, but firefighters contained it. Currently, 44 large fires have burned 1,6 million acres. Firefighters will take advantage of the current weather conditions and push toward containment goals.

Weather: The large, strong, and cold low pressure system will continue to move into the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, and the Northern Rockies bringing widespread rain and mountain snow along with breezy winds rotating counterclockwise around the low pressure area. To the south across the southern half of the Great Basin and California, a windy southwesterly flow will develop and will create pockets of critical fire weather conditions despite having only marginally low afternoon humidity levels. The breezy flow will continue east across the Great Plains toward the Great Lakes. Meanwhile off the East Coast, Jose will continue to spin a few hundred miles off the Jersey Shore possibly moving toward Long Island and Boston.

States currently reporting large fires:

California (6)
Idaho (2)
Montana (15)
Oregon (14)
Washington (7)

https://www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/nfn.htm
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Sept 17, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

Sept 17, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Bear Aware

Bear reported on the west side of the village this week. Bears are looking for food. Keep garbage secured and pet food indoors.
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Just for the Halibut September 30 at 4pm

Sponsored by Stew Edwards, hosted by the Tavern, September 30th at 4pm

Join us for Food & Fun $5 suggested donation gets you 5 raffle tickets for donated prizes Benefits go to the Landing Zone for Yellow Pine.

The Usual YP Pot Luck Bring a side dish to share.
— — — —

Ditch Day October 4 at 10am

This is the day we clean and repair the village ditches in preparation for the spring run-off. Please join us.
— — — —

VYPA News:

Last meeting was Saturday, Sept 9, 10am at Community Hall.
— — — —

YPFD News:

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

Fire Siren will be tested at noon on the first of each month.
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook
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Local Observations:

Monday (Sep 11) overnight low of 41 degrees, clear sky, slight haze of smoke, light breeze and a good amount of dew. Feels a little like fall this morning. More birds around, could hear robins, nutcrackers, a nuthatch and finches. Power blipped off and on at 1157am. Clear hot day, light haze of smoke, high of 90 degrees. More traffic than usual for a Monday, streets are dusty again. Quiet evening. Bright half moon. Doe running around after dark.

Tuesday (Sep 12) overnight low of 43 degrees, mostly clear sky (high thin wisps) light haze of smoke (low end of yellow AQ). Heard one nutcracker and a nuthatch calling. Pine squirrels dropping cones out of the trees and sounding off. Heard a pileated woodpecker whooping after lunch time. Quiet day and very little traffic. Clouds coming in from the south and by late afternoon it was pretty much overcast. Short little misty rain shower at 615pm, not enough to get wet, high of 89 degrees. Clouds breaking up by evening, good air quality.

Wednesday (Sep 13) early morning rain shower, overnight low of 50 degrees, clouds dissipating quickly, light breeze and excellent air quality. Power off 8am to 420pm. Robins grouping up, calling and flying, nuthatches “hanking” in the trees. Pine squirrels busy gathering cones. Pileated woodpecker visited the ant pile. Diamond (Kennedy’s) Fuel truck delivered fuel to Yellow Pine today. Idaho Power crew spotted in Scott Valley this afternoon. A little more traffic than usual for a Wednesday. Quiet except for a generator and a chainsaw today. Warm afternoon, partly cloudy, light breezes and good air, high of 83 degrees. Quiet evening, slight haze of smoke. Middle of the night, a large “creature” was huffing and growling on Westside Ave.

Thursday (Sep 14) overnight low of 51 degrees, mostly cloudy, not much dew, light haze of smoke and light breezes. A few more birds around, robins flocking and flying, nutcrackers and nuthatches calling from the forest, pileated woodpecker whooping and a few finches. Pine squirrels very busy gathering cones. Power out from 8am to around 330pm. Cloudy and cooler today, a little breezy, high of 74 degrees. Quiet evening and dark clouds.

Friday (Sep 15) overnight low of 44 degrees, overcast, sprinkles of rain started falling before sunrise, damp and misty this morning (0.02″). Not many birds out except robins, a jay and a nutcracker. Misty sprinkles on and off before lunch time (0.01″). Pileated woodpecker visited the ant pile. Cloudy, cool and breezy all day, but no more rain, high of 49 degrees. Quiet afternoon and evening. Not a day to have a window open.

Saturday (Sep 16) overnight low of 38 degrees, partly cloudy, chilly breezes and good air this morning, slight haze of smoke. Heard nuthatches, nutcrackers and robins. Report of an owl hooting in the neighborhood before daylight. Streets are dusty again already, increased traffic this afternoon. Breezy cloudy day, high of 64 degrees. Folks buzzing still around after dark.

Sunday (Sep 17) overnight low of 34 degrees, mostly cloudy sky with a slight haze of smoke this morning. Not much bird activity (a flicker poking the ground), a lone pine squirrel sounding off. Fall temperatures today, cloudy and light breezes, high of 70 degrees. Increased traffic, a little thicker smoke and dusty roads.
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Idaho News:

Shooting at Lake Cascade campground leaves San Diego man dead

Nampa man charged, said he was defending himself

By Tom Grote for The Star-News September 14, 2017

A shooting at a campground on Lake Cascade early Friday left a San Diego man dead and a Nampa man charged with a felony.

William L. “Tinker” Brasuell, 45, of San Diego, Calif., died at the scene of the shooting, which happened about 1:30 a.m. Friday at the French Creek Campground on the west side of Lake Cascade near Cascade.

Christopher D. Humes, 47, of Nampa, was detained at the scene and charged with aggravated battery, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.

Valley County Prosecuting Attorney Carol Brockmann said she will seek to add an additional 15 years of prison time under a state law on use of a deadly weapon during a felony.

Humes is scheduled to appear in Valley County Magistrate Court in Cascade on Sept. 26 on a hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence for him to stand trial. Humes was being held in Valley County Jail on $100,000 bond.

An autopsy found Brasuell he had been shot once in the chest, Valley County Coroner Scott Carver said.

Humes told investigators that he fired three shots at Brasuell with a .380 handgun after Brasuell attacked him, according to a Valley County Sheriff’s Office report filed with the charges.

Brasuell choked him, threatened to kill him and threw him to the ground, Humes told sheriff’s deputies who responded to the scene.

Humes, who was dressed only in underwear, a T-shirt and socks, said he did not see Brasuell show a weapon, and no weapons were found near the body, investigators said.

Three .380 shell casings and the handgun were recovered from the scene. Humes declined to be treated by EMTs, the report said.

continued:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

State fire marshal finalizing report on Tamarack cabin fire that killed four

by KBOI News Staff Wednesday, September 13th 2017


Photos courtesy Alan PartridgeII and Sarah Whipple

Tamarack, Idaho (KBOI) — It’s been more than two months since a fire ripped through a cabin near Tamarack Resort that killed four people, including two adults and two children.

Since then there’s been few details on what caused the deadly fire, though answers may be coming soon.

The state’s fire marshal told KBOI 2News on Wednesday that his office returned from Tamarack today (Wednesday) for an additional two-day follow up and is finalizing a report.

continued:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Charges filed against Former Valley County coroner

Nathan Hess accused of using county vehicle for personal gain

By Tom Grote for The Star-News September 14, 2017

Former Valley County Coroner Nathan Hess has been charged with two misdemeanors that said he used county vehicles for his personal gain.

Hess, who resigned in May without explanation, used his county-issued vehicle to take a body to a funeral home in Boise on Jan 16, 2017, for which he was paid $400, according to the charges.

Hess also used the county vehicle for his personal use between November 2016 and April 2017, court records said.

The charges are punishable with up to one year and jail and a $1,000 fine for each charge. Hess, 41, of Donnelly, is scheduled to appear in Valley County Magistrate Court in Cascade on Oct. 3.

“It has been my honor to serve Valley County,” Hess said in his resignation letter. “However, because of circumstances I do not wish to disclose, I am unable to continue my services as coroner.”

“I don’t have a comment at the moment, but I will,” Hess told The Star-News on Tuesday.

continued:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Summer’s nearly over, but West Nile virus threat isn’t

Joe Parris, KTVB September 14, 2017

Boise – Summer is coming to an end. If that thought makes you sad, at least you can look forward to the end of mosquito season too.

For now though, as long as Idaho has warm days, the mosquitoes will be sticking around, and so will the risk of west Nile virus.

All the flooding that happened across the Valley this year caused public health officials to predict a bad mosquito season. Thankfully though, it looks like that isn’t happening.

In 2016 Idaho saw nine reported cases of human West Nile virus infections across the state. This year, there have been 10.

continued:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Stargazers eye the nation’s first dark sky reserve in Idaho

By Keith Ridler, Associated Press Fri., Sept. 15, 201


This June 4, 2016 photo provided by Nils Ribi Photography shows the Milky Way in the night sky at the foot of the Boulder Mountains in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho. (AP / Nils Ribi Photography)

Boise, Idaho (AP) — Tourists heading to central Idaho will be in the dark if local officials get their way.

The first International Dark Sky Reserve in the United States would fill a chunk of the state’s sparsely populated region that contains night skies so pristine that interstellar dust clouds are visible in the Milky Way.

“We know the night sky has inspired people for many thousands of years,” said John Barentine, program manager at the Tucson, Arizona-based International Dark-Sky Association. “When they are in a space where they can see it, it’s often a very profound experience.”

Supporters say excess artificial light causes sleeping problems for people and disrupts nocturnal wildlife and that a dark sky can solve those problems, boost home values and draw tourists. Opposition to dark sky measures elsewhere in the U.S. have come from the outdoor advertising industry and those against additional government regulations.

Researchers say 80 percent of North Americans live in areas where light pollution blots out the night sky. Central Idaho contains one of the few places in the contiguous United States large enough and dark enough to attain reserve status, Barentine said. Only 11 such reserves exist in the world.

continued:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Cause of Elderly Woman’s Death in St. Joe Wildfire Area Determined

September 08, 2017 By Chanse Watson Shoshone News Press

Wallace — The Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) reports that the 74- year old Emmett, Idaho woman who was found deceased in the St. Joe National Forest earlier last month died as a result of heat exhaustion and dehydration.

Virgina Bayes and her husband, Walter, 79, became stranded and separated in a remote area of southern Shoshone County while out recreating in late July.

To make a bad situation worse, the couple were also in the vicinity of the Buck wildfire area.

continued:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

House Passes Vital Fiscal Year 2018 Funding for Idaho

Simpson secures PILT, wildfire funding, in House Appropriations bills

Washington, September 14, 2017

On Thursday, Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson supported passage of full year fiscal year 2018 funding. While a continuing resolution funds the government until December 2017, full year appropriations must still be passed for the remainder of the fiscal year. The bill was passed by a vote of 211-198 and includes legislation previously passed by the House including Chairman Simpson’s Energy and Water bill which has critical funding for Idaho National Laboratory.

“Today’s legislation is an important step towards finishing fiscal year 2018 appropriations,” said Congressman Simpson. “This bill is an important marker for many Idaho priorities such as PILT, wildfire funding, and provisions that rein in burdensome regulations from the previous Administration. I look forward to working with my colleagues to see that these policies ultimately are signed into law so we can ensure federal agencies can fulfill their missions as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

continued:
[h/t Gordon C]
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Pacific Northwest could be in for another La Niña winter

Rich Marriott, KING September 15, 2017

Good news, skiers. New weather models show an increased chance of La Niña conditions this winter in the Pacific Northwest.

La Nina conditions in the Pacific increase the chances of below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) issued its monthly update on El Niño/La Niña (ENSO) conditions in the Pacific. Computer models had been leaning towards a neutral winter, but are now trending towards a La Nina winter.

CPC says there is “an increasing chance (55-60%) of La Niña during the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter 2017-18.”

As a result, CPC issued a La Niña Watch for the Pacific.

We often have pretty good ski seasons during La Niña winters. But remember, it just increases the chances of a cool, damp winter – it doesn’t guarantee them.

We had a La Niña winter last year, with the wettest October-June on record.

source:
——————————–

Fire Season:

Area Closure Order for Missouri Fire has been Terminated

9/15/2017

The Area Closure Order for the Missouri Fire (Order #0412-504) has been terminated. This lightning ignition on the Krassel District north of Yellow Pine has displayed little to no activity and no growth for several weeks. Those venturing into the burned area are advised to watch for hazard trees and unstable terrain. The Missouri Ridge Trail (NFS #031) is passable.

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Land Management Agencies lift Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in most zones of the Payette Fire Restriction Area

September 15, 2017

McCall, Idaho – With cooler temperatures and chances of precipitation increasing into next week, local land management agencies will lift Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in the Payette West, Payette East, and Long Valley/Meadows Valley Zones of the Payette Fire Restriction Area beginning Friday, September 15, 2017. The Fire Restrictions are rescinded by agencies managing state, private and public lands in the area, including the United States Forest Service (USFS), Southern Idaho Timber Protective Association (SITPA), and the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL). Restrictions were terminated in the Weiser River Zone of the Payette Fire Restriction Area on Wednesday, September 13, 2017.

The Little Salmon Zone of the Payette Fire Restriction Area remains in Stage 1 fire restrictions until further notice. See map below for location.

The restrictions were put into effect on August 11 when fire danger and burning conditions were unusually high. Recent storms have brought some moisture with much cooler temperatures to the area, and with the days getting shorter fire conditions have moderated. Forest visitors are reminded that vegetation is still dry and to be careful with all use of fire in the outdoors. The accidental start of a wildfire can still be devastating. Be alert and be aware. Follow these tips to help prevent wildfire:

o NEVER leave a camp fire unattended
o Keep water, dirt and a shovel near your fire at all times
o Make sure your fire is dead out and cold to the touch before you leave it
o Use of fireworks, exploding targets or tracer rounds is prohibited on public lands

Area closures due to active wildfires are still in effect on some public lands, including the area affected by the Highline Fire on the Payette National Forest. Contact the land management agency for your area of interest for specific information regarding fire closures.

Fire restrictions may be lifted but burn bans may still be in place in some areas. Fire restrictions and burn bans address different types of activities. Burn bans pertain to controlled burning activities such as debris burning, slash burning, or agricultural burning, for which a fire safety burn permit from IDL is required. Visit http://burnpermits.idaho.gov/ for more information

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Boise National Forest

Stage 1 fire restrictions will be lifted effective 12:01 a.m. September 17. To view the order click here.
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Amid raging wildfires, fire management practices criticized

By Andrew Selsky – 9/7/17 AP

Salem, Ore. — Intense wildfires plaguing much of the West have rekindled controversy over logging restrictions and fire management practices that critics say have created explosive fire seasons.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, took to the floor of the Senate on Thursday to describe the toll the fires have taken.

Efforts to thin dead and dying trees have been inadequate, he said as he stood next to a large photo of flames leaping from trees in the majestic Columbia River Gorge.

“This is a yearslong pattern in the West,” he said, calling for smarter policies and criticizing the “broken system of fighting wildfires.” He complained that federal funds earmarked for fire prevention are instead used for firefighting.

“The idea of ripping off prevention, which you need most, defies common sense,” Wyden said. “Shoddy budgeting today leads to bigger fires tomorrow.”

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Forest Service spends record $2B battling forest fires

By Matthew Daly and Dan Elliott – 9/14/17 AP

Washington — The Forest Service has spent more than $2 billion battling forest fires around the country — a record as wildfires blacken the American West in one of the nation’s worst fire seasons.

Wildfires have ravaged the West this summer with 64 large fires burning across 10 states as of Thursday, including 21 fires in Montana and 18 in Oregon. In all, 48,607 wildfires have burned nearly 13,000 square miles (33,586 square kilometers).

The fires have stretched firefighting resources, destroyed more than 500 homes and triggered health alerts as choking smoke drifted into major Western cities.

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Billions of dead trees force US fire crews to shift tactics

By Dan Elliott – 9/7/17 AP

Albany, Wyo. — Vast stands of dead timber in the Western U.S. have forced firefighters to shift tactics, trying to stay out of the shadow of lifeless, unstable trees that could come crashing down with deadly force.

About 6.3 billion dead trees are still standing in 11 Western states, up from 5.8 billion five years ago, according to U.S. Forest Service statistics compiled for The Associated Press.

Since 2010, a massive infestation of beetles has been the leading cause of tree mortality in the West and now accounts for about 20 percent of the standing dead trees, the Forest Service said. The rest were killed by drought, disease, fire or other causes.

Researchers have long disagreed on whether beetle infestations have made wildfires worse, and this year’s ferocious fire season has renewed the debate, with multiple fires burning in forests with beetle-killed trees.

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Public Lands:

Payette forest awarded stewardship contract near Lost Valley

The Star-News September 14, 2017

The Payette National Forest has awarded the Rough Finn Stewardship Contract to Idaho Forest Group of Grangeville.

The project is located on the New Meadows District near Lost Valley Reservoir and is the fifth of a dozen stewardship contracts planned with the Lost Creek Boulder Creek Landscape Restoration Project, a news release said.

The contract will be for work on 1,300 acres and improvements on 30 miles of roads. The project is expected to produce about 10 million board feet of logs, the release said.

Work is expected to begin this fall or spring and continue until March 2021.

Planned projects include thinning and controlled fire to increase the area’s resistance to fire, improved recreation facilities, and improved wildlife habitat.

The project was the subject of a 2015 lawsuit was filed by Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Idaho Sporting Congress, and Native Ecosystems Council. A judge dismissed the lawsuit in August 2016.

“We are pleased to move ahead with the restoration activities,” Payette Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom said

The project will result in a landscape that is closer to a more natural state and more resistant to uncharacteristic wildfires, Lannom said.

The Payette Forest Coalition met for two years to understand conditions, develop goals, and to consider different approaches to the project, he said.

“The PFC adds a collaborative and consensus approach to conducting land stewardship on public lands,” Lannom said. “They are a vital part of the Payette Forest’s restoration program and reflect how the Forest Service operates as a multiple use agency.”

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Idaho Hunter Gets $500 Reward for Busting Motorized Gate Crashers

Posted by HLNews Sep 7, 2017

Boise – A public land hunter in Idaho recently collected a $500 reward from Backcountry Hunters & Anglers after reporting illegal use of an off-road vehicle in the Third Fork drainage on the Emmett Ranger District of the Boise National Forest.

As a result of this action, an Ada County resident pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the Motor Vehicle Use map on public lands, which carries a fine of $225 for each count. These areas are closed to protect wildlife from motorized disturbance during spring calving and fall hunting. BHA offers rewards of up to $500 for public land users who provide a report of illegal OHV use leading to a conviction.

Daniel Garringer, the hunter who reported the lawbreakers, acknowledged the challenges of enforcement in the area.

“The use of ATVs and off-road vehicles in the area has always been prohibited, but in the recent years, due to the rise in popularity, things have really gotten out of hand,” said Garringer. “I have no issue with riding your ATVs on the main road that is open to traffic to get to your favorite spot to hunt; however, I do have an issue with people abusing and pushing the limits to get to areas that are off limits to motorized vehicles.”

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[h/t BNF]
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Critter News:

Pet Talk – Dental Disease in Dogs and Cats

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt 9/15/2017 IME

The gingiva is the part of the gums that surrounds the teeth where they arise from the jaw. Gingivitis is inflammation of this area. Gingivitis is a component of periodontal disease, which is the most common dental disease of dogs and cats. Because the gingiva lies in close proximity to the teeth and helps maintain the health of the tooth sockets, longstanding and severe gingivitis can increase the risk that teeth will be lost. When the gingiva is inflamed, it often recedes from the tooth, revealing the tooth roots.

The major cause of gingivitis in dogs and cats is accumulation of plaque and tartar on the base of the teeth. In cats, many viral infections can cause inflammation of the gingiva.

Dogs and cats don’t brush their teeth, so it’s up to their owners to make sure their teeth are cleaned. Some owners are able to brush their pets’ teeth. There are many oral medications, bones and products that help your pet keep its teeth clean of plaque and decrease subsequent gingivitis and tooth loss. Many owners brush their pets’ teeth religiously, but most owners never do, nor even think about it.

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Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary plans open house Sept. 30

The Star-News September 14, 2017

Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary near McCall will host is annual open house from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30.

The open house is the only time during the year the public can tour the grounds and see wildlife displays and demonstrations.

Those attending are urged to bring a picnic lunch and perhaps see kokanee salmon on their migration in Lake Fork Creek.

Snowdon is located seven miles out Lick Creek Road east of McCall at end of the pavement

Snowdon’s mission is to rehabilitate and return injured and orphaned wildlife to the wild and provide hands-on education to promote a healthy coexistence with wildlife and the ecosystem.

Snowdon specializes in the rehabilitation of local wildlife, including orphaned baby birds and mammals and injured small mammals, songbirds, waterfowl, and raptors.

The 35-acre sanctuary has a number of animal pens and enclosures, and a clinic equipped to care for ill and injured birds and animals.

Go to http://snowdonwildlife.org for more information.

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Wolves understand cause and effect better than dogs

Date: September 15, 2017
Source: University of Veterinary Medicine — Vienna

Summary: A rattle will only make noise if you shake it. Animals like the wolf also understand such connections and are better at this than their domesticated descendants. Researchers say that wolves have a better causal understanding than dogs and that they follow human-given communicative cues equally well. The study provides insight that the process of domestication can also affect an animal’s causal understanding.

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8/30/17: Wolf News Roundup

(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Wyoming Game & Fish Department reports that as of August 30, there have been 65 confirmed wolf deaths in Wyoming so far in 2017, with 36 of the animals killed in response to livestock depredations; 17 wolves legally taken in Wyoming’s predator zone; and 12 others that died of natural or unknown causes. Additional reports on Oregon, Washington an Idaho…. (Click on the link above for the complete story.)
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Some New Mexico lawmakers concerned with wolf recovery plan

9/12/17 AP

Albuquerque, N.M. — Some state lawmakers in New Mexico say a plan for recovering endangered Mexican gray wolves in the American Southwest is flawed and politically driven.

The 21 Democrats outlined their concerns in a letter sent recently to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency is seeking public comments as it works to meet a court-ordered deadline to have a recovery plan completed by the end of November.

The plan is a long time coming as the original guidance for restoring the species was adopted in 1982. The lack of a plan has spurred legal challenges and skirmishes over states’ rights under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The lawmakers say federal officials should specify a target for wolf releases as well as a benchmark for genetic diversity among the population in New Mexico and Arizona.

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Endangered Mexican wolf killed following livestock attacks

By Susan Montoya Bryan – 9/15/17 AP

Albuquerque, N.M. — An endangered Mexican gray wolf has been killed by federal employees after a Native American tribe requested the animal be removed from the wild in the wake of a string of cattle deaths near the Arizona-New Mexico border.

The death of the female wolf marks the first time in a decade that efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to curb livestock attacks by wolves has had lethal consequences for one of the predators.

The decision to remove the member of the Diamond Pack was first made in June after three calves were killed over several days, sparking concern among wildlife managers about what they described as an unacceptable pattern of predation.

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Wolf over its head in swimming attack on whitetail buck

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Sept. 13, 2017


A gray wolf swims after a whitetail buck at Lakeland Provincial Park and Recreation Area in northern Alberta. (David Smith / LEP Photography)

A wolf could out-swim a white-tailed deer but couldn’t make the buck a meal.

Canadian amateur photographer David Smith was canoe-camping recently in Lakeland Provincial Park and Recreation Area in northern Alberta near Lac La Biche when the deer plunged into the water with a wolf in close pursuit.

His series of photos, which are available for viewing on his Facebook page, shows the wolf catching the whitetail and biting its rump several times but then giving up. Perhaps the wolf had been kicked or maybe it simply figured it was futile to kill a deer in the middle of a big lake, Smith said.

The buck swam away.

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Wolf Education International

Second week September 2017

Lethal wolf take lands ODFW in hot water with both sides

Wolves on the prowl

Coywolves are Taking Over Eastern North America
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Charging Grizzly Bear Near Island Park

8/31/2017 U.S. Forest Service – Caribou-Targhee National Forest (via FB)

A hiker on the Lake Marie Trail south of Sawtell Peak near Island Park Idaho was charged twice by a grizzly bear. The hiker deployed bear spray and was able to safely get away from the bear. Hikers are warned to use caution if you go on this trail or avoid the trail for the next week or so to prevent another encounter with this bear. The bear could be defending cubs, or its food.

Bow hunters are advised to remove your carcass immediately, or if you have to leave your carcass move the gut pile away from the carcass so as not to attract bears. If you have to leave your carcass make sure you know where it is and you approach it with the assumption there is a bear on the carcass. You do not want to surprise a bear on your kill. As a courtesy to others in the area of your kill, put your gut pile at least ¼ mile away from a trail so a bear is not close to trails or other areas used by recreationalists.
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2nd grizzly attack in week in Montana stopped by bear spray

by Associated Press Monday, September 11th 2017

Gardiner, Mont. (AP) — A grizzly bear attacked a woman in southwest Montana but was driven off by bear spray.

It was the second grizzly attack in the region in a week.

Andrea Jones of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department says the latest attack occurred on Saturday on a private ranch north of Gardiner.

Jones says the victim and two companions were near a cow carcass when the bear attacked and bit the legs and back of the victim. The bear fled when her companions deployed bear spray.

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Yellowstone grizzly bear killed after raiding backcountry camps

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Thu., Sept. 14, 2017

A grizzly bear that had been raiding backcountry campsites and chasing campers in Yellowstone National Park since last year has been captured and killed, the Associated Press reports.

The National Park Service says biologists killed the immature, male grizzly on Sept. 8 after their nonlethal attempts to alter its behavior failed.

In 2016, the bear entered campsites in the Heart Lake area of Yellowstone and destroyed tents, sleeping bags and sleeping pads. National Park Service staff tried unsuccessfully to haze the bear with bean bag rounds, rubber bullets and cracker shells.

Last month, the bear forced a group of three backpackers out of their campsite near Heart Lake and consumed all of their food. In response, Yellowstone officials closed the area to backcountry camping and made the decision to catch and kill it.

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Idaho Power crew frees young osprey tangled in twine in nest

9/13/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — A young osprey tangled in twine atop a nesting pole in southwest Idaho has been cut loose and freed by workers with a utility company.

Idaho Power in a news release Tuesday says employees Chad Owens and Jeremy Torkelson on Sept. 3 ascended to the nest near Swan Falls Dam in a bucket on a long arm extending from a truck.

… The company sent a line crew. The men wrapped the young bird in a shirt and removed the twine from its talons, and the osprey immediately flew away.

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Fish & Game News:

Highline Fire Closure Area Reduced in Middle Fork Elk Zone

By Evin Oneale, Regional Conservation Educator
Friday, September 15, 2017

A large portion of the Middle Fork Elk Zone has reopened thanks to cooler temperatures and slower fire growth of the Highline and Goat Fires burning within the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area. The new closure area and other fire updates can be viewed at
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5500/ or https://idfg.idaho.gov/fire.

The updated closure impacts only 17 percent of the Middle Fork Elk Zone, where the season opens today (September 15).

The Big Creek Trail #196 and everything south of the trail is now available to hunters. Several backcountry airstrips are also operational including Cold Meadows, Cabin Creek and Soldier Bar.

While the previous closure affected 52 percent of Unit 26, now only 19 percent of the unit is closed. Nearly half of unit 20A remains closed as fire activity is primarily within that unit.

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Seats available for wolf trapping certification classes in Idaho Falls, McCall and Coeur d’Alene

By Gregg Losinski, Regional Conservation Educator
Thursday, September 7, 2017

IDAHO FALLS – Those interested in trapping wolves in Idaho are reminded that Idaho law requires you pass a mandatory wolf trapping certification class before purchasing wolf trapping tags.

Idaho Fish and Game has four certification classes currently available and open for enrollment.

* Idaho Falls: Saturday September 23rd, 9 AM to 4:30 PM., Fish and Game Upper Snake Regional Office, 4279 Commerce Circle.
* Coeur d’Alene: 2 separate courses: Friday, September 22nd; Saturday September 23rd, 9 am to 4:30 pm, Fish and Game Panhandle Regional Office, 2885 W. Kathleen Ave.
* McCall: Saturday November 18, 9 am to 4 pm, Fish and Game office, 555 Deinhard Ln.

Pre-registration is required. Those interested can register at
https://idfg.idaho.gov/education/wolf-trapper-education-course
or by contacting the respective Fish and Game office.

The registration fee is $8 per student. Those registering online by credit card will be charged an added convenience fee of $1.75.

The course will cover a variety of topics including wolf biology and management, wolf behavior, trapping and snaring techniques, harvest reporting requirements and proper care of the animal after harvest. On-site demonstrations include both classroom and in the field presentations and include equipment and rigging, using diverters to avoid non-target catches, trap site selection, and information on how to minimize human scent in the area.

Students successfully completing the certification course receive an Idaho Wolf Trapper Certification Card that enables them to purchase wolf trapping tags. Certified wolf trappers may purchase up to five wolf trapping tags per trapping season.

The general furbearer trapping class does not qualify people for the purchase of wolf trapping tags. When registering, please be certain to sign up for the wolf trapper instructor-led class you want to take.

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F&G News Releases

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

Deceased New York woman leaves $300,000 to two cats

Mary Bowerman, USA TODAY Network, TEGNA August 24, 2017

A wealthy Bronx, New York woman recently died and left part of her fortune to her beloved cats, according to local reports.

Ellen Frey-Wouter left $300,000 of her $3 million estate to ensure that Tiger and Troy would be properly cared for, WABC-TV reported.

Frey-Wouter, who was widowed, left detailed instructions that the cats “never be caged” and be well cared for, the New York Post reported.

Tiger and Troy are being cared for by Frey-Wouters’ former home health aides, the Post reported.

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KittenT-paper-a
[h/t CP]
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Record-setting cats share home

by The Associated Press Sunday, September 17th 2017


Will Powers holds his cat Arcturus Aldebaran Powers, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017 in Farmington Hills, Mich. Arcturus, a F2B Savannah cat, has been named the tallest pet cat in the world in the Guinness World Records 2018 version. Arcturus, at two years old, is about 19 inches and still growing. (Edward Pevos/Ann Arbor News via AP)

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Seasonal Humor:

BearMaulingPrelude-a
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Duh? Don’t take selfies with bears, Aspen police say

Photogs endanger themselves, their kid, animals

Sep 15, 2017 Local News 8

Don’t take selfies with bears.

That’s the reminder Colorado’s Aspen Police Department issued recently after a crowd surrounded a mama bear and her cubs coming down from a tree near a mall Wednesday, KUSA reported.

It was a “fairly large crowd of photo takers and those that insisted on trying ot get close enough to take selfies,” Sgt. Rob Fabrocini told KUSA.

“We were trying to do the best we can to keep people away, but it’s a large area and people get by us,” Fabrocini told KUSA. “There was a woman holding a child within 5 feet of the bear trying to take a selfie with her back to the bear, which was very aggravating to see that.”

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