Dec 3, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

Dec 3, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Yellow Pine Christmas Bags

Santa’s Yellow Pine Elves, we will be doing Christmas Bags again!! Contact [Nicki] if you are interested in helping out!!
— — — —

Yellow Pine Tavern

Watch all of your favorite sports on our Big Screen TV at the Yellow Pine Tavern.

Featuring Football

Open 9am to 8pm (or later on game nights)

Christmas potluck will be at the Tavern. Look for further updates on the time and what the Tavern will be providing.
— — — —

The Corner

The Corner is closed for the season. Stop by if you need wood permits. We will reopen after we have the baby.
— — — —

Hunter’s Missing Rope

Looking for a 5/8th inch climbing rope that is white with a green stripe that was stretched across the river from the Yellow Pine Campground by the concrete bridge to the other side. of the river. It was removed while we were hunting on the far side. If you or someone know of it’s whereabouts, please leave it at the Yellow Pine Tavern for us. Thank You.
— — — —

Diamond (Kennedy) Fuel & Feed


Did you know you can order pet food from Diamond Fuel & Feed and have it delivered via Arnolds? Give them a call.
— — — —

YPFD News:

There are YPFD T-shirts, as well as YPFD patches and stickers for sale at the Tavern now.

Training will resume in the spring.
— —

Winter Operations 2017-18 for YPFD and Ambulance (Medic-4)

– As always call 9-1-1 to report any Emergencies. Non-Emergency Dispatcher 208-382-5160

– As of December 7, 2017 Jeff and Ann will be out until Spring.

– Cecil Dahlman will be available throughout the winter and should be contacted if needed for FD needs.

– Those that have been trained or oriented to YPFD operations can continue to orientate and train with all the FD equipment and apparatus at their discretion.

– All initial 9-1-1 dispatches will come from Valley County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch center over the Yellow Pine (YLWPIN) frequency. The Yellow Pine Frequency (YLWPIN) is a repeater to and from Thunderbolt Tower (VALLTB). Dispatch does not have a “Yellow Pine Frequency”, due YLWPIN being only a repeater from the Thunderbolt tower so you don’t have to say you’re on the Yellow Pine frequency.

– Dispatch will say Yellow Pine Fire on Thunderbolt or Yellow Pine Medic-4 on Thunderbolt. Fire means they need someone to respond in the Fire Engine or Medic-4 for Ambulance on the Medical side.

– If you want to call Dispatch by landline or cell, please utilize the 9-1-1 landline or 208- 382-5160

– Medic-4 is the second call for assistance; Medic-1 or Medic-2 (Paramedic Ambulances) from Cascade will be the initial dispatch. If Medic-4 is not available or no one answers, please realize help is on the way. You can always confirm with Dispatch by calling 9-1-1 or 208-382-5160

– Someone hopefully acknowledge from Yellow Pine. For those that have been given radios, please carry them and turned on and be monitoring the Yellow Pine Frequency (YLWPIN) Please carry the County radios if you have them. If you need help from Cascade Fire for any reason please ask Dispatch to have them respond. You can always cancel them if they are not needed. Update Dispatch with pertinent information when available.

– If anyone needs a refresher on the radios or more explanation please see me.

– Due to Yellow Pine Radio/Repeater/Tower transmitting issues, Dispatch will also be monitoring the Meadow Creek (FG MDW) Tower as well. The receive side of YLWPIN is excellent. If you are unable to transmit on Yellow Pine (YLWPIN) or Thunderbolt (VALLTB) towers try Meadow Creek (FG MDW). The County is aware of our communications issues and will hopefully have a plan to fix it in the near future.

– All equipment and apparatus is running and filled with water and fuel. If fuel is needed please see Lorinne at the YP Tavern for Un-leaded and Matt at the Corner for Diesel. Both should be able to hold the invoices until we get back.

– The YPFD generator is working and will automatically turn on after a 10 second interruption of power. All FD station electrical outlets and apparatus doors, phones, etc. work during a power failure.

– YP Helispot, 44°57’ 36.92 “N” 115° 29’ 44.26 “W”

*** The Helispot is not officially opened due to pile debris, uneven terrain, stumps etc. and not having the endorsement of the flight services. The plan will be to have the Helispot fully operational by late spring 2018.

– Ambulance availability. Due to Ann and Jeff being out of town the ambulance transport component will be out-of-service. YP has one Emergency Medical Responder in town during the winter. If warranted, the ambulance can be used for a response to the incident. The only approved folks who can transport a patient in the ambulance are a State of Idaho licensed EMT or Paramedic, and hold National Certification, and an Employee of Cascade Fire/EMS. This is an Idaho State Health and Welfare regulation and Law by the State of Idaho. We will be in jeopardy of losing the ambulance from Yellow Pine if a patient is transported anywhere without an Idaho licensed EMT or Paramedic in the back of the ambulance with a patient.

– Once 9-1-1 is activated from YP, Cascade ambulance, (Medic-1 or 2) will immediately be dispatched and a radio call will go out to Medic-4 (YP ambulance) to see if there is an available licensed responder available to respond in the ambulance. If not, Medic-1 or 2 from Cascade Fire/EMS will be en-route regardless.

– If there are any questions, please feel free to contact me; 208-633-1010 or

Thanks, Jeff Forster
— — — —

VYPA News:

Next meeting June 2018
— — — —

Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook

Local Observations:

Monday (Nov 27) rain came down pretty good during the night, ovenright low of 33 degrees. Partly clear and breezy this morning. Heard a Steller’s Jay calling. Scattered sunshine and breezy mid-day, 10 degrees cooler than yesterday, high of 46 degrees. A few flakes of snow around 2pm and partly clear. Backhoe up on Yellow Pine Ave. cleaning the ditches between School St. and Pioneer St. Clearing before dark. Bright stars twinkling.

Tuesday (Nov 28) overnight low of 18 degrees, clear sky this morning, light frost. Some high wispy clouds came in before lunch time. Cloudy afternoon, high of 44 degrees. Fresh elk poop in the driveway. Gusty breezes after dark. Heavy snow fall after 1030pm.

Wednesday (Nov 29) overnight snow piled up 2.5″, the low was 19 degrees (must have cleared off early this morning.) Increasing clouds and warming enough for the trees to drop snow bombs before lunch time. Mail truck was about half hour late. Cloudy afternoon, high of 34 degrees. Fresh elk tracks in the snow on Pioneer street this afternoon. Clearing before dark and temps dropping. Quiet night, could hear someone split a round of wood blocks away.

Thursday (Nov 30) overnight low of 10 degrees, high thin clouds and weak sunshine this morning. Thicker overcast and no sun by early afternoon, didn’t get above freezing today, high around 29 degrees. Heard a pine squirrel sounding off this afternoon, they have been pretty quiet lately. Hazy fat moon around 830pm, then thicker clouds later on hiding the moon.

Friday (Dec 1) cloudy overnight and warmer this morning than all day yesterday. Above freezing by lunch time and melting snow dripping off roofs. Gusty breezes after lunch and more melting, high of 42 degrees. A few breaks in the clouds late afternoon, then overcast before dark. Quiet day, very little traffic. Thick clouds hiding the moon.

Saturday (Dec 2) skiff of snow fell before 6am, overnight low of 28 degrees, high thin clouds this morning. Saw a steller jay fly over the neighborhood and heard red-breasted nuthatches calling. Thicker darker clouds after lunch time and chilly breeze, high of 40 degrees. Light rain in the afternoon, changing to snow after dark.

Sunday (Dec 3) snowed all night, 3″ heavy wet snow on the ground this morning, low of 30 degrees, low clouds and overcast. Light snow falling all morning into the afternoon and evening, less than 1/2″ accumulation by dark, high just under 32 degrees. Thinner clouds before dark, still snowing lightly.

Letter to Share:

Commissioner Cruickshank’s November Newsletter

Dec 1, 2017

From the Desk of Commissioner Cruickshank,

Wednesday November 1st
This morning I attended my National Association of Counties (NACo) Executive Board orientation to understand the roles of the position at the NACo offices in Washington D C. I then was able to attend a portion of media training for NACo Board members.

This afternoon I was able to attend a meeting at the White House South Auditorium concerning Rural Infrastructure. Secretary Perdue spoke to us on the importance of the infrastructure needs. I was able to request better forest management to happen and to assist in relaxing the hiring process for the Forest Service so they can approve hires at the local level. There was also a discussion on states limiting local government with budget caps which limits the ability to improve infrastructure in some cases.

Late afternoon I was able to attend the afternoon session of the NACo Finance Budget meeting.

Thursday November 2nd
This morning was a continued Finance meeting and a NACo Executive Board meeting where we worked on Strategic Priorities.

I flew home this afternoon.

Friday November 3rd
I stopped by the Idaho Association of Counties office this morning and visited with staff.

This afternoon I had a Deposition for a lawsuit from a prior board I was Chairman of several years ago.

Saturday November 4th
I created the October newsletter.

Sunday November 5th
I forwarded a request to have folks sign onto a letter to support the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program to congressional leadership. SRS provides funding to our county road maintenance and our schools to educate students.

Monday November 6th
Commissioner day today. Please go to Valley County Idaho Official Site our county website and click on the commissioner section. Once there the minutes can be found once they are approved and placed on the website. Please check out the new website design and layout and provide any feedback.

Tuesday November 7th
I sent out a reminder of the NACo West Region call I will be hosting on Thursday.

I reviewed and replied to multiple emails today and returned phone calls.

Wednesday November 8th
I attended the Ribbon Cutting for the Northwest Passage apartments in Donnelly. These apartments are an addition for Workforce Housing in our region.

Thursday November 9th
I held the West Region Call this morning.
Later this morning I participated in a Payette National Forest Cooperating Agency call on the Stibnite project.

Monday November 13th
Commissioner day. Please see the minutes once approved on the Valley County website.

Tuesday November 14th
I participated in a NACo Transportation Committee Conference call to discuss current issues with transportation infrastructure at the national level. Topics included fuel tax increases, bonding for improvements, drones and upcoming census for 2020.

I reviewed applications for filling a Judge position in the 4th District.

I signed a support letter for the City of Donnelly grant to update their Transportation Plan.

I discussed our Wild Fire grant program with our consultant and looked at potential extensions for the programs.

Wednesday November 15th
I participated in a NACo Resilient County Conference call. Topics included Disasters now becoming the norm, creating disaster toolkits, flooding, wildfire, new technology to provide information and topics for our next NACo Legislative Conference meeting in March.

Friday November 17th
I reviewed dates of the NACo Legislative Conference and the schedules. I worked on more reviews of Judge applications for the 4th District.

Monday November 20th
Commissioner day. Please see the minutes once approved on the Valley County website.

Wednesday November 22nd
I attended the Woody Bio Mass Utilization Partnership (WBUP) in Emmett. Today we decided to place the WBUP in a recess mode as we have come to a point where we need to determine our path forward if there is one.

Friday November 24th
I reviewed a document from my deposition for accuracy.

Monday November 27th
Commissioner day. Please see the Valley County Website for the minutes once approved.

Tuesday November 28th
I participated in Interviewing for the Valley County Building Official position that will become vacant as our current Official is retiring the end of December.

Wednesday November 29th
This morning I participated in a NACo Western Interstate Region Leadership call to discuss the upcoming meetings at the NACo Legislative Conference and work on agenda items for the Annual Conference which will be in Sun Valley, Idaho this coming May 2018.

This afternoon I and a fellow commissioner from Adams County met with Bryan who is the Community and Military Affairs representative with Zions Bank. Bryan just wanted to visit with us on where Zions Bank can be of assistance in the areas he is involved with.

Thursday November 30th
Today I participated on the Magistrate Commission proceedings to interview for the Ada County Judge to fill a position that is becoming vacant in the 4th District. Our interviews are held in the Fourth District Administrators office in the Ada County Courthouse.

Well that does it for another month of my duties.

Christmas will have come and gone as will the New Year so Happy Holidays to all and safe travels over the holidays.

Thanks for reading the news.


Idaho News:

Valley County to hear code change Monday to allow ‘tiny houses’ to be built

By Phil Janquart for The Star-News November 30, 2017

Valley County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Monday on an ordinance allowing so-called tiny houses as one solution to the need for affordable housing.

Tiny houses are defined as being 400 or less square feet in floor area, excluding lofts.

The public hearing is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. Monday at the Valley County Courthouse in Cascade.

The proposed rules would loosen standards for exits, access, ceiling height and headroom that are now required for larger homes, she said.

A state law allowing tiny houses is expected to be approved by the 2018 Idaho Legislature, Valley County Building Official Anne Guarino said.

Local jurisdictions are being given the option to adopt the provision early to speed up implementation, Guarino said.

Affordable housing was a motivation in proposing the state law and county ordinance, she said

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Warning issued over jury duty telephone scam

Caller demands ‘fine’ for missing service date

By Max Silverson for The Star-News November 30, 2017

Dianna Annen of McCall recently got a call late in the evening where the caller told her that her husband had failed to show up for jury duty.

He would be arrested if she didn’t pay the sheriff’s office $1,500 in prepaid Albertsons debit cards, the caller said.

The call was a scam.

It’s not the first time somebody had unsuccessfully tried to scam Annen, 74, over the phone. She told the caller she was going to call the police before doing anything.

More than 200 people in Valley County have received similar calls over the past few weeks, Lt. Jason Speer of the Valley County Sheriff’s Office said.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Vehicle hits power pole on Hwy 55

KTVB December 01, 2017

(Photo: Nick Gibler)

Boise County — Highway 55 was closed in both directions for an extended period of time after a vehicle hit a power pole Friday afternoon.

Boise County dispatch says the pole had fallen over both lanes of traffic at milepost 76, about 10 miles north of Horseshoe Bend.

Idaho Power is reporting 2,890 customers are without power in the Garden Valley & Lowman areas. Crews are on scene but no word on when power will be restored.

As of 6 p.m., both lanes had reopened.

No word on any injuries.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

It’s all about your elevation: Idaho snow levels, explained (and a cheat sheet)

by Deni Hawkins Friday, December 1st 2017

Deni Hawkins

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — You’ve probably heard Roland Steadham, Nate Larsen or me mention snow levels when talking we’re talking about upcoming storm systems in reference to which areas will see snow, and which areas will see rain.

But what does that number (usually spoken about in terms of thousands of feet of elevation) really mean to you? I’ve found this is one of the tougher concepts to explain on air, because it can be confusing if you’re not familiar with elevations of specific mountainous areas, or even the town you live in.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

New land-use rules clear path for Bruce Willis’ airport

12/1/17 AP

Ketchum, Idaho — Central Idaho officials have changed land-use rules, clearing the way for actor Bruce Willis to finishing building a private airport.

Camas County commissioners unanimously approved an amendment to the county zoning ordinance making private airports of unrestricted size and operation on AG-80-zoned agricultural land legal, the Idaho Mountain Express reported .

Under the amendment, private airports registered with the Federal Aviation Administration are automatically allowed without any county permits.

It immediately took effect after it was passed Monday.

The move came after Willis’ attorney had threatened to take legal action.


Mining News:

Forest Service plans public meetings on Idaho open-pit mine

11/29/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — The U.S. Forest Service is holding public meetings on a proposed open-pit molybdenum mine a Canadian company wants to build in the Boise National Forest in central Idaho.

The agency on Tuesday announced meetings on Dec. 5 in Boise, Dec. 6 in Idaho City and Dec. 7 in Garden Valley.

The agency is accepting comments as it prepares a supplemental environmental assessment for the mine planned by Vancouver, British Columbia-based American CuMo Mining Corp.

A federal court ruling last year ordered the Forest Service to re-evaluate the potential harm an open-pit mine could cause to Sacajawea’s bitterroot.

About 80 percent of the known population of the plant is in the Boise National Forest where the mining company says the largest unmined deposit of molybdenum in the world is also located.

— —

Forest Service begins public scoping for 2018 CuMo Exploration Project Supplemental EA

Boise, Idaho, — November, 28, 2017 — The Boise National Forest is hosting three public scoping meetings for the preparation of 2018 CuMo Exploration Project Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA). The meetings are an opportunity to visit with Forest resource specialists, learn more about the SEA and provide comments.

The open house style meetings are scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the following locations.

* Dec. 5, 2017 – Best Western Vista Inn at the Airport, 2645 Airport Way, Boise, Idaho
* Dec. 6, 2017 – Ray Robinson Community Hall, 206 W. Commercial St., Idaho City, Idaho
* Dec. 7, 2017 – Crouch Community Hall, 1022 Old Crouch Road, Garden Valley, Idaho

The SEA will focus on the re-evaluation of the Sacajawea bitterroot’s baseline, as well as other resources addressed in the 2015 SEA that were affected by the 2016 Pioneer Fire to determine whether decisions and conclusions reached in the 2015 SEA and Decision Notice/Finding Of No Significant Impact are different or remain the same.

This SEA will only focus on these resource issues because the Court determined that other issues addressed in the 2012 and 2015 lawsuits were properly addressed and there is no significant new information or changes circumstances related to these resources. For more information about this Project visit: .

The 2011 DN/FONSI and supporting EA, the 2015 Supplemental DN/FONSI and Supplemental EA, and the complete Aug. 29, 2012, and July 10, 2016, US District Court for the District of Idaho Memorandum Decisions and Orders, for the CuMo Exploration Project are available under the “Supporting tab” on the 2018 CuMo Exploration webpage:
— —

USDA Forest Service 2018 CuMo Exploration Project Scoping Letter is now Available

On February 11, 2011 Forest Supervisor Seesholtz signed a Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact (DN/FONSI) approving the plan of operations for the CuMo Exploratory Project. A lawsuit was filed on July 27, 2011 challenging this decision. On August 29, 2012 the US District Court for the District of Idaho issued its Memorandum Decision and Order. The Court ordered “that the Defendant Forest Service’s decisions regarding groundwater made in the Environmental Assessment [be] vacated and the matter … remanded to the Forest Service for further proceedings consistent with this opinion …” See Idaho Conservation League, et al., v. United States Forest Service, Case No. 1:11-cv-00341-EJL, 2012 WL 3758161 (D. Idaho, Aug. 29, 2012).

To address the analysis deficiencies identified by the Court, the Forest Service moved forward with the preparation of a supplemental EA to undertake further analysis concerning potential effects of the exploratory project to groundwater and groundwater hydrology.

In addition to updating the groundwater analysis, the Forest Service also updated other aspects of the analysis to address new information or changed circumstances that included analysis of potential effects to Sacajawea’s bitterroot. The status for this plant species changed from a Forest Watch species in 2011 to a R4 sensitive species at the time of release of the SEA for notice and comment in August 2013 and the status was subsequently updated following release of the SEA in 2013 to reflect the 2014 change in the NatureServe ranking of this plant from GNR/S2 (i.e. no global ranking) to G2/S1 (i.e. global ranking as imperiled). In addition, the Grimes Fire and fire control lines in the project area in 2014 had potentially affected the plant. In light of the new ranking of this species, additional information resulting from baseline studies completed in 2011 following issuance of the February 2011 decision, and the potential effects from the fire, as well as the importance of minimizing impacts to pollinator habitat, project mitigation, monitoring and effects disclosures were updated in the SEA.

The supplemental DN/FONSI (SDN/FONSI) addressing the 2011 Court order and other changes summarized above was signed on September 30, 2015. Plaintiffs from the 2011 lawsuit again filed a lawsuit, this time challenging the 2015 supplemental decision in January 2016. The lawsuit challenged the analysis of potential effects of exploration activities to groundwater and Sacajawea’s Bitterroot. The Court issued the memorandum decision and order in this lawsuit on July 11, 2016. The Court’s decision on these two points were as follows:

* Groundwater: The Court upheld the Forest Service’s SDN/FONSI as to the challenges relating to groundwater, and thus denied Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment and granted Defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgement as to the NEPA claims relating to groundwater.
* Sacajawea’s Bitterroot: The Court found that the Forest Service’s analysis and conclusions concerning Sacajawea’s bitterroot to be arbitrary and capricious because it failed to re-examine the baseline LESA population in the Project area following the 2014 Grimes Fire, stating “Instead of compiling and analyzing the updated data it acknowledges is needed to accurately evaluate the Project’s impact on LESA, the Forest Service proposes undertaking the data collection and evaluation as part of the Project itself. This approach improperly postpones the analysis required by NEPA until the Project has already been approved and started.”

… “The Court has afforded the Forest Service substantial deference in reaching this decision. See River Runners, 593 F.3d at 1070. The ruling stated herein does not second guess the Forest Service’s conclusions but, instead, finds error in the Forest Service’s analysis which failed to take a “hard look” at the Project’s impacts on the environment with regard to a known rare and at risk plant. For the reasons stated herein, the Court will vacate the Forest Service’s findings of no significant impact as to LESA. The Forest Service is directed to undertake the proposed re-evaluation of LESA’s baseline forthwith and analyze the results for purposes of determining whether its decisions and conclusions with regard to LESA as stated in the SEA and SDN/FONSI are different or remain the same. The Forest Service may then file an amendment or addendum to the SEA and SDN/FONSI discussing their analysis, reasoning, and decision on that issue.”

Baseline LESA surveys were completed in 2016. However, following completion of the 2016 baseline surveys, the 2016 Pioneer Fire burned additional areas within the PCA. On July 18, 2016, the Pioneer Fire began when hot temperatures, strong winds, and dry conditions, exacerbated by a lack of late-summer monsoonal moisture, fueled the fire’s growth to more than 64,000 acres by August 9, 2016, and 190,000 acres by September 15, 2016. The fire affected 27 drainages within the Idaho City, Lowman, and Emmett Ranger Districts on the Boise National Forest (Forest). The Pioneer Fire burned with varying intensity and left a mosaic of burn patterns on the landscape, ranging from unburned islands to areas where tree crowns were completely consumed.

The 2016 Pioneer Fire burned approximately 1,578 acres (55 percent) of the Project area, primarily in the eastern half of the Project area (Please refer to the CuMo Project: Plant Conservation Area and Fire History Map on the project webpage.). The fire burn severity was variable throughout the Project area, and included areas that were not burned at all or were burned with low, moderate, or high severity. The highest acreage of burn in the Project area was low to moderate severity (49 percent of the Project area); mapping shows that only 2 percent of the Project area was burned with high severity during the Pioneer Fire however field observation and verification indicates that there is less than 2 percent high severity burn in the project area.

As occurred in response to the 2014 Grimes wildfire (Please refer to the CuMo Project: Plant Conservation Area and Fire History Map on the project webpage.), each resource area addressed in the 2015 CuMo Exploratory Project SEA was affected differently. Similar to the updates made in response to the 2014 Grimes fire, updates will be made to address the change in baseline conditions caused by the 2016 Pioneer fire and, as appropriate, updates to the direct, indirect and/or cumulative effects will be made.

The Forest is moving forward with the preparation of a second supplemental EA to address the 2016 Court order requiring the re-evaluation of the LESA’s baseline to determine whether decisions and conclusions with regard to LESA documented in the 2015 SEA and DN/FONSI are different or remain the same in light of the effects resulting from the 2014 Grimes Fire, as well as the 2016 Pioneer Fire (Please refer to the CuMo Project: Plant Conservation Area and Fire History Map on the project webpage.). In addition, the supplement will address changed conditions resulting from the 2016 Pioneer Fire for all resources identified as affected in the 2017 Supplemental Information Report (SIR) completed for this project ( Based on preliminary conclusions in the 2017 SIR, Alternative B is not expected to change. A full description of Alternative B, including mitigations (Attachment A), monitoring (Attachment A), checklist process (Attachment A), and additional project description details (Attachment B) are available in the 2015 supplemental DN/FONSI available on the Project website.

It is important to note that the supplemental EA will focus on the re-evaluation of the LESA’s baseline, as well as other resources addressed in the 2015 SEA that were affected by the 2016 Pioneer Fire (refer to 2017 SIR), to determine whether decisions and conclusions reached in the 2015 SEA and DN/FONSI are different or remain the same.

This supplement will focus on these only these resource issues because the Court determined that other issues addressed in the 2012 and 2015 lawsuits were properly addressed, the evidence and analysis in the SEA and supporting project record supported the determination that no significant impacts would occur to other resources from proposed management activities, and there is no significant new information or changes circumstances related to these resources. Specifically, the 2012 and 2016 Court Orders concluded that:

* The EA has given appropriate consideration to the great gray owl and taken the requisite “hard look” at the impacts the CuMo Project may have on the species in making its determination that no significant impact would be had to the species and, therefore, no EIS is needed. Accordingly, the Court finds the Forest Service has satisfied it obligations under NEPA in this respect. (2012 Memorandum Decision and Order, pg 23.)
* The Forest Service’s conclusion finding no significant impact on the species [Northern Goshawk] is not arbitrary and capricious as it is based on the hard look given to appropriate study and data concerning the northern goshawk. (2012 Memorandum Decision and Order, pg 25.)
* The EA … concludes the Project alternative “may impact individual wolverines but are not likely to contribute to a trend towards federal listing or cause a loss of viability to the population or species …” … The Court finds this conclusion is well reasoned and explained and not arbitrary and capricious. (2012 Memorandum Decision and Order, pg 27.)
* The Court concludes that the CuMo Project is consistent with the Forest Plan and, in particular, with [Forest Plan standards] MIST08 and MIST09. The Forest Service properly evaluated the Forest Plan as required by NFMA and set forth a plan for approving any encroachments into a RCA [riparian conservation area] that is unavoidable and the monitoring and mitigation efforts to be used in such a case. (2012 Memorandum Decision and Order, pg 44.)
* The Court finds the Forest Service’s conclusions regarding groundwater are not arbitrary or capricious as they are supported by material throughout the SEA and in the administrative record. The record evidences that the Forest Service took a hard look at the Project’s impacts on groundwater in reaching its finding of no significant impact. (2016 Memorandum Decision and Order, pg 33.)
* Plaintiffs fault the Forest Service for not identifying, inventorying, and mapping the surface water features that have been found to be connected to the groundwater in the Project area. (Dkt. 30 at 22.) … Having considered the entire record, the Court finds the Forest Service appropriately considered this issue in reaching its conclusion that mapping would not be useful in the case given the particular makeup of the Project Area. (2016 Memorandum Decision and Order, pgs 33-34.)
* The Court also finds the Forest Service properly addressed DEQ’s concerns about unlined waste pits. (2016 Memorandum Decision and Order, pg 35.)
* Based on the foregoing, the Court finds the Forest Service’s analysis and conclusions concerning groundwater satisfy NEPA. The Forest Service complied with the Court’s prior Order and addressed the concerns stated therein with regard to groundwater. Therefore, the Court upholds the Forest Service’s SDN/FONSI as the NEPA challenges relating to groundwater. (2016 Memorandum Decision and Order, pgs 36-37.)

We are requesting your comments on the proposed updates to the analysis proposed to address the specific concerns identified in the July 10, 2017 Court Order described above, and subsequent changed conditions resulting from the 2016 Pioneer Fire described in the 2017 SIR. To be most useful in the analysis, please submit your comments by January 8, 2018. Written, facsimile, hand-delivered, verbal, and electronic comments concerning this project will be accepted.

Please send written comments to Melissa Yenko, Forest Environmental Coordinator, Boise National Forest; 1249 South Vinnell Way, Suite 200; Boise, Idaho 83709; or by fax at 208-373-4111; or you may hand-deliver your comments to the Boise Forest Supervisor’s Office, located at 1249 South Vinnell Way, Suite 200, Boise, during normal business hours from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays.

Comments may also be submitted through the 2018 CuMo Exploration Project webpage at

Email comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Adobe (.pdf) and Word (.doc) to Please put “2018 CuMo Exploration Project” in the subject line of e-mail comments. Comments must have an identifiable name attached or verification of identity will be required. A scanned signature may serve as verification on electronic comments.

Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection in the “Public Comment Reading Room” ( Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this project and will be released in their entirety, if requested, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. Only those who submit comments or notify the Forest that they would like to remain on the mailing list for this project through one of the comment options provided above or subscribe to receive email updates for this project will receive future correspondences on this project. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, without an associated name and address receiving further correspondences concerning this project will not be possible.

To stay connected to this Project electronically, the Forest Service has transitioned to a web-based electronic public notification system that allows all interested parties to receive project material (scoping documents, updates, draft and final NEPA documents, and decisions) by e-mail. This system gives you direct control over which mailing lists you are subscribed to and immediate electronic access to project documents as they are posted online. It’s easy, it’s good for the environment, and it gives “on-demand” access to projects.

To subscribe to this new system, go online to the 2018 CuMo Exploration Project webpage: On the project webpage, you will see a box titled “Get Connected” on the right hand side of the page, click on “Subscribe to Email Updates”. When you click on that item, you will be prompted to provide your e-mail address and select a password. When you have logged in, you will be able to manage your account by subscribing to projects by Forest, District, project type, or project purpose. You will also be able to change your e-mail address and password. If you no longer wish to follow the project(s), simply delete your subscription. Once you are subscribed, you will receive all project information via e-mail, unless you specifically request hard copies.

Three open-house style public meetings will held to discuss the 2018 CuMo Exploration Project Supplemental EA scoping effort. The meetings will allow the Forest Service to summarize the approach to the Supplemental EA, as well as provide an opportunity for the public to ask questions, offer opinions, and provide written comment, if desired. The public meetings will occur from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the following locations:

* December 5, 2017 – Best Western Vista Inn at the Airport, 2645 Airport Way, Boise, Idaho
* December 6, 2017 – Ray Robinson Community Hall, 206 W. Commercial St., Idaho City, Idaho
* December 7, 2017 – Crouch Community Hall, 1022 Old Crouch Road, Garden Valley, Idaho

The 2011 DN/FONSI and supporting EA, the 2015 supplemental DN/FONSI and Supplemental EA, and the complete August 29, 2012 and July 10, 2016 US District Court for the District Of Idaho Memorandum Decisions and Orders, for the CuMo Exploration Project are available under the “Supporting Tab” on the 2018 CuMo Exploration Project webpage:

Thank you for your continued interest in this project. For additional information or hard copies of any of the documents on the website referenced above, please feel free to contact me.

Melissa Yenko
Forest Environmental Coordinator
Boise National Forest
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Canadian company announces plan to open mine, refinery in east Idaho

East Idaho News October 16th, 2017

Blackfoot, [ID] — Vancouver, British Columbia based eCobalt has announced plans to develop a cobalt mining operation in Salmon and hydrometallurgical refinery on a railhead in neighboring Blackfoot. The Salmon mine is the only environmentally permitted primary cobalt project in the United States.

With pre-construction activities already underway, the vertically integrated Idaho Cobalt Project is designed to produce cobalt for the rechargeable batteries market. The total capital and reclamation cost is estimated at $288.1 million.

“We are thrilled to announce eCobalt’s massive investment in our community that could create 60-90 full-time, well-paying jobs,” said Blackfoot Mayor Paul Loomis. “The Idaho Cobalt Project is projected to support mining and refining capabilities through 2029. We’re excited to welcome eCobalt to Blackfoot and support their Idaho Community Block Grant application requesting funds to build a new railroad spur here, vital to improving their mine to refinery transport capabilities,” he said.

Refinery jobs will pay in the $60,000-$70,000 range. Approximately 125 jobs will be created at the Salmon mine.

[h/t Midas]
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Idaho asks federal agency to regulate oil injection wells

By Keith Ridler – 11/28/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Idaho wants the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to take over regulating underground injection wells needed by the state’s oil and natural gas industry to economically dispose of wastewater.

The federal agency in a notice Monday said it will take public comments through Jan. 11 on the plan to transfer a portion of the state’s Underground Injection Control program.

The Idaho Department of Water Resources in August requested the change after failed attempts by the state to get approval from the EPA to regulate what are called class II injection wells.

“The lack of class II injection well permits is the single biggest hindrance to developing this industry in Idaho,” said John Foster, spokesman for Texas-based oil company Alta Mesa.


Public Lands:

Pioneer Fire closure area significantly reduced, in time for winter activities

Boise National Forest News Release 11/30/2017

Boise, Idaho, November 30, 2017 — Progress on the Pioneer Fire recovery effort has prompted Forest officials to reopen an area within the 2016 burn, in time for winter recreation. The old closure spanned about 49,000 acres. The Pioneer Winter Timber Salvage Operations closure includes roads and trails within the remaining 3,000 acres as salvage logging continues.

Rock Creek Road and other routes in the 594 road system west and southwest of Lowman, Idaho, remain closed to motorized vehicles. Routes that remain closed include: National Forest System (NFS) roads 594, 594E, 594D, 594D1, 594D2 and 594DA.

Both closures are in place for public safety from hazards associated with salvage logging. Visitors may encounter heavy equipment and logging trucks on NFS roads.

“We’re pleased to be able to reopen more of the Pioneer Fire area,” said Brant Petersen, Idaho City District Ranger. “We have made enough headway on hazardous recovery work to warrant reducing the closure order and reopening public access to popular recreation opportunities this winter.” To learn more about Pioneer Fire implementation efforts and winter recreation opportunities watch this video:

The Idaho State Highway 21 corridor is heavily used by all types of recreationists. Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR), who operate a back country yurt program, will be able to open three of the six Idaho City Backcountry Yurts (Rocky Ridge, Stargaze and Skyline Yurts). For more information:

Visitors will be able to park in four IDPR Park N’ Ski areas and have access about 16 miles of non-motorized trails. As more work is completed, additional winter routes will be groomed for snowmobile access. Overall, winter recreationists will experience more open areas and spectacular views. For additional park and ski information visit:

Be aware that as in any post fire area the landscape is different. There is a higher degree of hazards that may last over many years. Dead trees will continue to fall and washouts and debris flows may occur after heavy rains.

Visitors should also be prepared for the backcountry and the winter weather conditions. Tell someone where you are going, carry extra food, water and warm clothing. Carry appropriate safety equipment for the outing such as, avalanche equipment, beacons, transceivers and a shovel. To view all forest closures visit:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

BLM protects road surface with annual winter closure of Eighth Street

Date: November 27, 2017
Contact: Michael Williamson, (208) 384-3393

Boise, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management would like to remind the public of the annual seasonal road closure of upper Eighth Street in the Boise Foothills to prevent road damage during wet conditions.

This seasonal closure pertains only to full-sized vehicles and is in effect from Dec. 1 to May 15, beginning 2.8 miles up the road from the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center. The route remains open year-round for motorcycles, mountain bikes and all other non-motorized use.

“The purpose of this seasonal road closure has always been to prevent road damage from full-size vehicle use when the road bed is wet and easily rutted,” said David Draheim, BLM outdoor recreation planner. “This goes a long way towards minimizing erosion and road maintenance costs, and preventing other resource damage from occurring.”

Over the last several years there has been an increased cost associated with repairing vandalism to the gate and resource damage from those trying to drive around it.

The BLM appreciates the public’s cooperation in respecting the road closure and helping to protect resources. For more information, please contact the BLM Boise District Office at 208-384-3300.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

BLM set to hire 80 new firefighters

Kaitlin Loukides Nov 28, 2017 Local News 8

Idaho Falls – The Bureau of Land Management Idaho Falls District is now hiring wildland firefighters for the 2018 fire season.

“We are looking for hardworking, physically fit individuals to fight fires across eastern Idaho,” Kris Bruington, Idaho Falls District BLM Fire Operations Supervisor, “We will be filling approximately 80 seasonal positions in eastern Idaho.”

Pay starts at $12.33 with the opportunity for overtime and hazard pay. To qualify you must be 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen and have six months of general experience.

Positions range from engines and hotshots to dispatch. Learn more about wildland fire positions and the Idaho Falls District here.

You can apply through January 30, 2018 by clicking on this link and search for range technician positions. Idaho Falls District has stations in Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Atomic City, Blackfoot, Fort Hall, Malad, American Falls, Dubois, Salmon and Soda Springs.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

USFS Regional Intermountain News

Issue 23 November 29, 2017


Critter News:

Danger Along the Trail

McCall man warns hikers after dog caught leg in trap

By Max Silverson for The Star-News November 30, 2017

Randy Hickman was taking his dogs for their daily walk earlier this month when he heard a desperate cacophony of barks and yelps. Cora, a small Shih Tzu/Heeler mix, had been caught in a leg-hold trap.

The trap was placed just a few feet from where Hickman had parked his car near the entrance to the Crestline trailhead off of Eastside Drive in McCall.

“I was shocked that someone would put their traps in such a high traffic area,” Hickman said. “People walk their dogs here all the time and it’s a popular spot to get Christmas trees.”

The traps were legally set since the Crestline Trailhead is located on state land, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Hickman was lucky that Cora was mostly unharmed from the experience.

“Thankfully I know how to release these traps,” said Hickman, who works for a beer and wine distributing company and is a member of the rock ‘n’ roll band The Bottom Line.

“If I didn’t, and this happened as it was getting dark, she could have really hurt herself,” he said.

Hickman called the McCall Fish and Game office and was told the trap, along with several others he found nearby, were legally placed.

Trapping is generally allowed on all public lands, but there are exceptions for Valley County for fox, which may only be trapped on national forest and state lands, McCall F&G Conservation Officer Kevin Primrose said.

Traps must be set five feet from the center of a maintained trail and off of roadways, Primrose said.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


2018 McCall Winter Carnival to feature Iditarod sled-dog qualifier

By Tom Grote for The Star-News November 30, 2017

A qualifier for the Iditarod sled-dog race in Alaska will be held as part of the 2018 McCall Winter Carnival.

The McCall Ultra Sled Dog Challenge will see up to 12 sled-dog teams and their mushers cover 200 miles of highlands along the west side of Long Valley between McCall and Smiths Ferry.

The race will begin on Monday, Jan. 29, and end on Wednesday, Jan. 31. The teams will earn points toward qualifying for the Iditarod race, a 1,000 mile race between Anchorage and Nome, Alaska, scheduled to start March 3.

The race is the brainchild of Jerry Wortley, a New Meadows resident and pilot who provides supporting flights for the Iditarod race each year.

“Early in Idaho’s history, travel by sled dog was the only way to get around during winter in the backcountry,” Wortley said.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

No. 2 is No. 1 Problem at McCall Golf Course

Workers collected 1,000 pounds of dog poop last year

By Phil Janquart for The Star-News November 30, 2017

There is a poop problem at the McCall Golf Course and it’s becoming increasingly hard to ignore.

On any given day, the seven miles of cart paths used as walking paths during the winter are dotted with biological land mines left by man’s best friend.

And, some of the winter park’s patrons are getting tired of seeing it, much less having to slalom around it.

“We picked up over a 1,000 pounds of it last year,” McCall Golf Course Superintendent Eric McCormick said.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Mohkave the tame bobcat dies at age 16

Animal would stop traffic at home of owner

By Phil Janquart for The Star-News November 30, 2017

Mohkave, the tame bobcat who turned heads and stopped traffic on Warren Wagon Road in McCall for 16 years, died last week of kidney failure, his owner said.


The 55-pound bobcat gained near celebrity status, stopping drivers in their tracks as they passed his home and serving as an educational tool for teachers at local schools.

Children and adults in the thousands became acquainted with Mohkave over the years, said his owner, Rob Mayfield. A special part for regular visitors to McCall was a visit to Mohkave, Mayfield said.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Pet Talk – Bad breath in cats and dogs

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt Dec 1, 2017 – IME

Bad breath is caused by gingivitis or inflammation of the gums that surround the teeth. Gingivitis is a component of periodontal disease, the most common oral disease in dogs and cats. Dogs and cats don’t brush their teeth, or floss, so tartar builds up on the teeth. This tartar is made up of millions of bacteria, which irritate the gums, causing that foul breath you notice when your dog or cat decides to lick you early in the morning or late at night. 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 animals is the accumulation of plaque and tartar on the base of the teeth. Try not brushing your own teeth for a week or two and then you can feel this plaque and tartar forming on your teeth.

In many animals, there are no obvious signs of gingivitis, and the condition may be noticed only when your veterinarian is doing an oral exam on your pet. There may be pain on opening the mouth, loss of appetite or bleeding from the gums. The gums are usually bright red and swollen. A foul odor is always noticed from the mouth.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Fitness trackers no longer exclusive to humans; new collars measure your pet’s activity

by Mallory Sofastaii Dec 1, 2017 KIVI TV

If you’re thinking of buying a fitness tracker for a friend or family member, you may also want to consider getting one for your dog. More companies are now beginning to unleash fitness trackers for pets.

“Pet trends follow human trends, said LinkAKC Chief Marketing Officer Herbie Calves.

We started taking notice of what we feed our pets, now it’s the amount of activity they’re getting.

LinkAKC, one of the newest pet fitness trackers on the market, tells consumers the right amount of activity for your pet then monitors movement throughout the day.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

FDA warns of commercial dog bone treats after 90 illnesses, 15 dog deaths

by Adrian Mojica, WZTV Monday, November 27th 2017

The Food and Drug Administration is warning dog owners to think twice about stuffing your pet’s stocking with dog bones over the holidays.

The FDA says it received about 68 reports of pet illnesses related to “bone treats” frequently purchased at stores. These include treats described as ham bones, pork femur bones, rib bones, and smokey knuckle bones. The FDA did not list any specific brands of dog treats in its warning.

In total, the FDA says there have been about 90 dogs involved in the reports, and 15 dogs reportedly died after eating a bone treat. Other complications include choking, digestive tract obstruction, cuts to the mouth, vomiting diarrhea, and bleeding from the rectum.

The FDA says owners should also avoid giving dogs chicken bones from the kitchen and be careful they can’t get to turkey or steak bones placed in the trash.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Idaho State Police issue drug overdose kit for police dogs

11/28/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Idaho State Police has issued an overdose reversal drug that troopers can administer to police dogs that are in danger of inhaling harmful substances during searches.

Sgt. Ken Yount tells KTVB-TV in a story on Monday that the agency has issued an injectable form of naloxone.

Yount says dogs are trained to sniff out and locate controlled substances.

He says that can include powerful forms of heroin and fentanyl that are up to 100 times stronger than morphine.

He says the rapid, intense sniffing dogs use to locate the drugs could cause them to get a fatal dose.

Each kit for police dogs cost $150. Yount says that so far they haven’t had to use one.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Boise police K9 dies after cancer battle

KTVB November 27, 2017

(Photo: Boise police)

Boise – A Boise police K9 officer died unexpectedly last week after a battle with cancer, the department announced Monday.

Dasty died Friday, November 24, after being diagnosed earlier this year.

Dasty was handled by a Boise police officer at the Boise Airport and was an explosives detection K9 owned by the TSA. The dog was undergoing treatment and was due for early retirement with his handler in Boise.

“Dasty was a happy dog who loved his job. He would even sit by the car on his days off waiting to go to work,” said Dasty’s handler, Officer Whipps. “Dasty was well loved by his airport colleagues, his family and pretty much anyone who met him.”

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third week of November 2017
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

US adopts recovery plan for Mexican wolves, lawsuit planned

By Susan Montoya Bryan – 11/29/17 AP

Albuquerque, N.M. — After decades of legal challenges and political battles that have pitted states against the federal government, U.S. wildlife managers on Wednesday finally adopted a plan to guide the recovery of a wolf that once roamed parts of the American Southwest and northern Mexico.

The plan sets a goal of having an average of 320 Mexican gray wolves in the wild over an eight-year period before the predator can shed its status as an endangered species. In each of the last three years, the population would have to exceed the average to ensure the species doesn’t backslide.

Officials estimate recovery could take another two decades and nearly $180 million, a cost borne largely by breeding facilities that support threatened and endangered species work.

— — —

Environmentalists plan lawsuit over wolf plan

11/29/17 AP

Environmental groups say they intend to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its plan for recovering the endangered Mexican gray wolf in the American Southwest and northern Mexico.

The agency released the plan Wednesday, just a day before a court-ordered deadline. That triggered instant criticism from the same groups that had initially sued in an effort to get the agency to update outdated guidance for restoring the species.

The groups followed up Wednesday afternoon with a notice of intent to sue, accusing federal officials of violating the Endangered Species Act.

The groups contend the plan contains shortcomings that will hinder recovery of the predator and could threaten to lead to the extinction of the wolves.

full story:
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Wolf Education International

Newsletter last week November 2017

Wolves’ return to Oregon brings conflict and opportunity

A different look at ranchers’ attitude toward wolves

Anderson: Wolves known to stalk hunter’s kill scene for an easy meal

Final Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, First Revision
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary completes second bear enclosure

The Star-News November 30, 2017

Snowdon Animal Sanctuary near McCall has completed its second bear enclosure just in time to welcome its first resident, a small orphaned bear cub.

A $2,500 grant from the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation as well as donations from GoFundMe funded the one-acre bear enclosure, which will supplement a two-acre bear enclosure already in place.

With both enclosures, the sanctuary will be able to separate bears of different sizes as well as help wildlife agencies from neighboring states when not in use by Idaho bears.

Volunteers Tom O’Reilly, John Schott and Scott Pressman as well as Snowdon Board member Jeff Rohlman worked to install the metal paneling.

The paneling helps to make the enclosure escape-resistant for orphaned bear cubs.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Grizzly numbers hold steady around Yellowstone

By Matthew Brown – 11/30/17 AP

Billings, Mont. — Grizzly bear numbers in and around Yellowstone National Park are holding relatively steady, according to figures released Thursday, as state wildlife officials begin discussions on whether to hold the first public hunts for the animals in decades.

There are an estimated 718 bears in the Yellowstone region that includes portions of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, according to the leader of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team.

That’s up slightly from last year’s tally of 695 bruins, but is not considered a significant increase because of uncertainties around the estimates, said study team leader Frank van Manen with the U.S. Geological Survey.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Jerome man gets jail, probation for poaching four elk

Laine Harbaugh killed and left four elk in the Pioneers

by Joshua Murdock Dec 1, 2017 IME

A Jerome man charged with one felony and one misdemeanor for killing and wasting four elk without having a tag in November will serve 14 days in county jail and two years of probation after pleading guilty to charges that were amended down to misdemeanors.

Laine Harbaugh originally faced one count of flagrant, unlawful killing or wasting a combination of animals or species within 12 months, a felony, and one count of wasting of wildlife, a misdemeanor, for killing and leaving to rot four elk in hunting Unit 49 of the Pioneer [Mountains] Zone on Nov. 26. Blaine County Prosecutor Jim Thomas said the killing and wasting occurred around Hyndman Peak and the headwaters of the Little Wood River. He said Harbaugh did not possess a big game elk tag at the time he killed the animals.

Thomas said the “flagrant” felony charge was a result of Harbaugh killing the four elk—two elk is the threshold for the charge—and the misdemeanor wasting charge was a result of Harbaugh’s leaving the animals to rot after killing them.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Ruling preventing Idaho horse herd sterilization is appealed

By Keith Ridler – 11/29/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is appealing a federal court ruling preventing the sterilizing of a herd of wild horses in southwestern Idaho that opponents of the plan fear could set a precedent.

The notice filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Idaho challenges a ruling in September ordering the BLM to revise its 2015 plan.

The plan calls for sterilizing the herd and replenishing it with wild horses captured elsewhere to maintain a herd of 50 to 200 horses.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Officials plan to cull at least 600 Yellowstone bison

by Associated Press Wednesday, November 29th 2017

Pray, Mont. (AP) — Bison managers expect between 600 and 900 of the animals at Yellowstone National Park to be culled this winter by hunting or slaughter.

Federal, state and tribal officials met in Montana on Tuesday to work out the details for a winter management plan for the bison herds, agreeing the population should be decreased or stabilized, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported .

There are nearly 5,000 bison in the two park herds, park officials estimated. The removal of 600 bison would keep the population relatively stable, according to park biologists.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Goat on the loose for over a month finally caught

Local News 8 – Nov 30, 2017

Blackfoot, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – The Blackfoot Police Department has finally caught a goat that has been on the loose since Oct. 27.

According to officials, the department received several calls about the loose goat in the area of Old West Bridge and Frontage Road.

Over one month later, the goat has been apprehended, and officials report the goat has been placed in a permanent home.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Ada Co. commissioner charged with game tag violation

Morgan Boydston, KTVB November 28, 2017

Boise County — Ada County Commissioner Rick Visser is charged with misdemeanor failing to validate a game tag.

According to court records, Visser was charged in late April in Ada County and the case was then moved to Boise County. The commissioner tells KTVB he was hunting in Horseshoe Bend, which is in Boise County, at the time of the citation. He says the citation was for allegedly not validating his turkey tag immediately upon kill.

Under Idaho Statute 36-409 (Fish and Game – Licenses to hunt, fish and trap), as soon as a person kills any wildlife for which a tag is required, a tag belonging to that person must be validated and attached to said wildlife in a manner provided by commission rule.

Court records show Visser’s trial is set for Jan. 9 in Boise County. He’s due back in court next month for a motion hearing.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
December 1, 2017
Issue No. 853
Table of Contents

* Judge Floats Idea Of Suspending Work On 2018 BiOp For Salmon/Steelhead Due To Lack Of Completed EIS

* Judge Denies Irrigators’ Motion For Hearing On 2015 Spill/Transportation, Spread The Risk

* NOAA Invites Comments On Lethal Removal Of Sea Lions At Willamette Falls; Threat To Listed Winter Steelhead

* New Approach In Idaho Underway To Better Direct Salmon Habitat Restoration, Measure Results

* Columbia River Harvest: US V. Oregon EIS Completed, Preferred Alternative Extends Current Agreement

* Recovery Of West Coast Marine Mammals Dramatically Increasing Consumption Of Chinook Salmon

* Study Brings Attention To How Timing Of Fishing Seasons Impacts Spawning, Life History Patterns

* South Santiam’s Foster Dam Gets Improvements To Aid Juvenile Salmon Passage

* Idaho’s Dworshak Reservoir Held At Lower Elevation As Hedge Against High Winter Inflows

* Washington Energy Site Council Denies Permit For Huge Oil Terminal On Columbia River

* Wild Fish Conservancy Sues Cooke Aquaculture Over Atlantic Salmon Fish Farm Escape

* Senate Passes Bill To Improve Conditions At Columbia River Tribal Fishing Sites

Fish & Game News:

Fish and Game issues advisory on McCall ‘town deer’

The Star-News November 30, 2017

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is warning residents to not feed the “town deer” in McCall and to watch out for them on the roads.

Fish and Game responds to dozens of reports of dead or injured deer each year in McCall and Cascade, with more than 30 in McCall alone last year, McCall Regional Wildlife Manager Regan Berkley said.

“These deer died of two primary causes: vehicle-related injuries or starvation because their digestive systems were unable to process the feed they were given,” Berkley said.

Deer do not naturally spend winters in McCall because they do not have access to natural forage,”she said.

“The only reason the town deer stay is because people feed them, year after year,” Berkley said “Feeding in town may actually harm more deer than it saves.”

Deer on the roads are another winter problem. “During winter, we get so much snow that the only places deer can really move around are on roads,” Berkley said. “If you observe a deer crossing the road, expect that more deer are coming right behind it.”

Fish and Game’s options for responding to injured deer are limited because adult deer are not candidates for successful rehabilitation, she said.

Badly injured deer will be euthanized, while those that appear to be able to survive their injuries will be released.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Fish and Game to begin helicopter game surveys

The Star-News November 30, 2017

Hunters with late-season deer and elk tags might have some company during December as Idaho Department of Fish and Game survey helicopters will be taking to the air.

“Deer and elk surveys occur during winter, when animals are concentrated and are easier to see and count in open country,” said Regan Berkley, McCall regional wildlife manager for Fish and Game.

Information gathered during these surveys helps to determine male to female ratios as well as hunting season mortality and current calf and fawn survival, Berkley said.

“Biologists will be on the lookout for hunters, and will try to avoid disturbing active hunts,” she said.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Fish and Game: Poachers are ‘stealing the natural resources of Idaho’

by Sophia Doumani Friday, December 1st 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — It’s a small percentage of poachers that can make a big difference for law-abiding hunters this season.

Chief of enforcement for Idaho Fish and Game, Matt O’Connell, says there is a 10 percent violation rate. Of those, about 5 percent are considered to be serious violations.

“The small minority of violators out there who are doing the more serious violations can directly input big game populations, fish populations, and cause the limits to be affected for other sportsmen who are trying to be honest and do the right thing,” O’Connell said.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Attract wintering birds, support outdoor education

By Mike Demick, Conservation Information Supervisor
Monday, November 27, 2017

Stock up on winter bird seed and find that special holiday gift for the outdoor person on your list at the Fish and Game Morrison Knudsen (MK) Nature Center’s Holiday Bird Seed Sale December 1 and 2.

Backyard bird lovers can purchase locally-preferred bird seed, as well as feeding supplies, books, apparel, jewelry, children’s gifts and nature-themed holiday gifts. Nature center staff will be available to help with seed selection and for education.

The sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Family-friendly activities are planned for Saturday, December 2 including kid’s take home crafts from 11 to 2 p.m. and live bird presentations at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 and 1:30 p.m.

The nature center is located behind Fish and Game headquarters at 600 S. Walnut in Boise.

Proceeds will help fund the nature center’s educational programs. The sale is presented by MK Nature Center and Wild Birds Unlimited.

For questions, contact Sue Dudley at 208-287-2900

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Boise River survey finds a surprising species: a non-native freshwater shrimp

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Specialist
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Shrimp was likely dumped from an aquarium or escaped a pond

Finding strange, non-native creatures living in the Boise River has nearly become a tradition, or at least, a recurring incident, and Idaho Fish and Game would like to see it end.

In a recent case, Fish and Game crews surveying the Boise River near Warm Springs Golf Course discovered a freshwater shrimp commonly known as “grass” or “ghost” shrimp that are native to the lower Mississippi River. They are typically sold in pet shops for aquariums, and they likely came from someone dumping an aquarium, or somehow escaped a private pond.

“That’s my best guess,” said Regional Fish Biologist John Cassinelli. “Those are the most likely explanations for how they got there.”

The first shrimp was found in a slow, placid stretch of the river while crews were introducing a mild electrical current, which stuns fish and other aquatic creatures so biologists can gauge populations.

The strange find piqued the biologists’ curiosity whether there might be more shrimp. They returned later and found several others – including an egg-carrying female – lurking beneath a cutback in the same, slow section of the river.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

F&G News Releases

Fun Critter Stuff:

Big cheetah-like feline captured in Pennsylvania

by The Associated Press Saturday, November 11th 2017

This Nov. 7, 2017 photo shows an African Serval cat rescued from the streets of Reading, Pa., by the Animal Rescue League of Berks County. Police captured the big African cat, resembling a cheetah, running loose through the streets. The cat was transported to a big cat rescue facility that can give it the special diet and extensive exercise it needs. ( Tim Leedy/Reading Eagle via AP)

Reading, Pa. (AP) — Police captured a big African cat, resembling a cheetah, running loose through the streets of a Pennsylvania city.

Reports about the spotted feline started coming in on Nov. 3 in Reading, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of Philadelphia. When officers tracked it down, they initially thought they’d found a cheetah.

The Animal Rescue League of Berks County says they got a call from the city’s police department about the big cat on Saturday.

When staff responded, they found a cat called an African serval. The cats are illegal to own in Pennsylvania without a license, and the state’s game commission says no one in Berks County has such a license.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Lost Kitty

Lost cat, no collar and not very friendly – please share and let’s find this poor baby’s owner.

(via Cascade Vet Clinic FB page)

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


Tips & Advice:

Fire dept: Do not plug space heaters into power strips

by KATU Staff Wednesday, November 29th 2017

Photo: Umatilla County Fire District #1

As the weather gets colder and space heaters come out of the basement, a local fire department is asking you to remember a key tip.

The Umatilla County Fire District #1 wants to remind space heater users that you should never plug a heater into a power strip.

“These units are not designed to handle the high current flow needed for a space heater and can overheat or even catch fire due to the added energy flow,” the department says in a Facebook post.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

25,000 bugs could be living in your fresh Christmas tree

Jermaine Ong Nov 27, 2017 KGTV

It’s bad enough there could be a Christmas tree shortage this holiday season, but if you do get that fresh tree, you may be bringing home thousands of unexpected guests.

Pest control company Safer Brand says as many as 25,000 bugs could live in one Christmas tree.

According to the company, most of the bugs aren’t dangerous and will eventually die. The common bugs that survive are aphids, spiders and bark beetles.

Safer Brand suggests customers inspect trees for potential bug nests before buying.

The company also says if you do buy a tree, leave it in a garage for a few days and shake it out before bringing it inside your home.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

How to prevent being a victim of package theft this Christmas

by Abigail Taylor Tuesday, November 28th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — It is like hitting the jackpot for an opportunistic thief: the thousands of packages left on doorsteps during the holiday season.

While online shopping has made buying Christmas presents a breeze for many, it’s also made it really easy for criminals to cash in on what’s inside.

… Here are some practical things you can do so you’re not a victim:

1. Track your package. That way you know when to expect its arrival.

2. Be careful leaving notes. Include delivery instructions online rather than a note on the door because that just shows you’re not home.

3. Pick up your package instead. You can grab it from the post office or shipping center.

4. Ship it somewhere else. Have it sent to your work or a friend’s house who will be home.

full story: