March 11, 2018 The Yellow Pine Times

March 11, 2018 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

March 11

“Spring ahead” Daylight Savings Time Change was today March 11. Sunrise was before 10am and sunset after 7pm.
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Yellow Pine Tavern

Our Annual St Patrick’s Day Potluck at the Yellow Pine Tavern March 17th at 4pm. Corn Beef and Cabbage provided by the Tavern.

Watch all of your favorite sports on our Big Screen TV at the Yellow Pine Tavern. Open 9am to 8pm (or later on game nights.) Jukebox is up and going.
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The Corner

The Corner is closed for the season.
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Winter Water Advice

To help prevent frozen water, avoid parking over buried water lines, allow the natural snow cover to insulate the ground. Driving over the lines will also push the frost deeper and can result in frozen pipes. Also, don’t plow the snow over where water lines are buried, and avoid covering up water shut off valves.
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Be Predator Aware

Reports of raccoons around the upper end of the village. Foxes were roaming around the village March 3rd and 5th. A report of wolves howling March 2nd. Keep an eye on small dogs and cats and please don’t leave pet food outdoors.
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2018 Fest

The 2018 festival T-shirt contest is now open! All entries must include the year (2018) and the festival name “Yellow Pine Festival” in the design Entries must be received by Friday, May 18th, 2018. The prize for the winning design is $100! Multiple designs by the same artist can be sent in.

Hint: these shirts are screen prints, simpler designs stand out better. Submit your entry by email to Marj Fields at fieldsmarjie @
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YPFD News:

Winter Fire Safety Tips

Keep your chimney clean to prevent flue fires. Make sure your smoke detector is working. Never leave a portable electric heater unattended. Fire extinguishers should be charged, visible and easily accessible.

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

Training will resume in the spring.
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VYPA News:

Next meeting June 2018
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Winter Propane Tips

Keep the snow cleared around propane lines and pipes leading from your tank to the house. The weight of snow sliding off roofs can cause leaks that can result in fire. Make sure you have a CO detector with working batteries.

Amerigas Phone: (208) 634-8181
Ed Staub & Sons Phone: (208) 634-3833
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Diamond (Kennedy) Fuel & Feed

We carry most varieties of Diamond Brand Dog Food. We even have a new line by Diamond called Professional Plus which is a grain-free formula. It is only $29.99 per bag. We have FREE samples in the office if anyone is in the area they can swing by and pick up several samples. They make great day trip servings too when on the go. 208-382-4430
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Local Observations:

Monday (Mar 5) overnight low of 14 degrees and 3/4″ new snow, average 16″ total snow down here on the flat. Cloudy this morning, a couple of flakes of snow drifted down. Fresh fox tracks in the neighborhood. Two pine squirrels chasing each other around and around and up and down a big pine tree, scolding and “growling” at each other. Nuthatches and chickadees busy at the feeders. Snow flurries and breezy off and on after lunch time, high of 34 degrees. Breaks in the clouds and bits of sunshine, then cloudy again by sundown. Clearing during the night and cold.

Tuesday (Mar 6) overnight low of 7 degrees, trace of new snow, average 16″ total snow, very blue sky. Nuthatches and chickadees visiting this morning. Clear sky and strong sun mid-day, icicles dripping like crazy, high of 47 degrees. Hairy woodpeckers visiting. Sunset is after 6pm, clear sky and temps dropping.

Wednesday (Mar 7) overnight low of 6 degrees, measured 15″ of snow on the flat (average.) Clear sky, very blue over VanMeter. Chickadees, red-breasted nuthatches and a female hairy woodpecker visited, the pine squirrel showed up later (dashing down the fence “plowing” snow), and later the male downy woodpecker. Some high haze coming in by lunch time, strong sunshine, icicle dripping like crazy and warm, high of 52 degrees. Cloudy by late afternoon, and still above freezing. Paths are half ice (slick) and half mud with standing water. Below freezing at midnight, puddles frozen.

Thursday (Mar 8) warmed up above freezing during the early morning and snowed a skiff before 9am, then cloudy and light breezes. Paths are slick with the snow hiding the ice. Red-breasted nuthatches, chickadees and a small flock of dark-eyed juncos visiting. Both female and male hairy woodpeckers came by. Quite a snow storm after lunch for about an hour and a half, large snowflakes and clouds down to the valley floor, melting on contact, high of 39 degrees. Cloudy afternoon, then misty sprinkles at sundown. Light rain on and off all night, turning to snow early morning.

Friday (Mar 9) overnight low of 32 degrees, light snow falling this morning (trace), measured an average of 14″ of snow on the flat. Slushy and wet this morning, slush and water on icy paths. Lots of little nuthatches and chickadees, a few dark-eyed juncos and one “suicidal” squirrel. Heard a clarks nutcracker (or a jay imitating one) and a female hairy woodpecker visited. Light snow all morning, then rain/snow mix early afternoon, high of 45 degrees. Breaks in the clouds and brief bits of sunshine in the afternoon. Colorful sunset (and still above freezing.)

Saturday (Mar 10) overnight low of 20 degrees, mostly clear sky this morning, average 13″ snow on the flat. Paths getting slicker as the sun touched the ice. Male downy woodpecker, the crazy squirrel and lots of nuthatches and chickadees this morning, heard a steller jay calling from the trees. Warm afternoon, paths melted and muddy, a few spots on some streets are starting to “break up”, high of 52 degrees. Most steep roofs have slid their snowloads. Clear sky at sunset and calm. Lots of stars out at 1030pm.

Sunday (Mar 11) overnight low of 23 degrees, overcast this morning, average 13″ old snow. Small flock of dark-eyed juncos, several red-breasted nuthatches and a few mountain chickadees visiting this morning. Also a clark’s nutcracker, a stellar jay, a male downy woodpecker and the local pine squirrel stopped by for snacks. Breaks in the clouds at lunch time and warm, high of 52 degrees. Partly sunny afternoon. Mostly clear at sundown.


Reneé Grotjohn

Reneé Grotjohn, 70, of McCall, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018.

Reneé was born Oct. 1, 1947 in Omak, Wash, to Pauline and Norman Adkins. She was the middle sibling of their five children.

She was raised in the Boise valley on the family farm that originated in 1910 and she attended Boise High School.

In 1964 she married Bland “Sonny” Yelton in Yellow Pine on The Dude Ranch, where her family owned and operated the Circle B grocery store. Into their union was born three children, Robin, Tiffany and Sonya.

In 1985, Reneé married Vernon Grotjohn Sr. and with him brought his three children Bonnie, Becky and Vernon Jr.

Reneé is survived by her husband, Vernon, her sisters Oleta (Paul) McDonald of Arizona, Christine Alvarado of New Mexico, her son Robin (Kim) Yelton of Caldwell, her daughters Tiffany (Brad) Bowen of Mountain Home, Sonya Yelton of Meridian, Bonnie Allen of Chino Hills, Calif., Becky (Ed) Giroux of San Bernardino, and son Vernon Jr. (Caroline) Grotjohn of Lewiston, her 16 grandchildren: Stephanie Bowen, Christopher Yelton, Blake Bowen, Mykala Yelton, Jennifer Bingham, Christopher Bingham, Jennifer Hernandez, Christie Savage, Jeffery Allan, Stephanie Carr, Heather Fisher, Brandon Trenton, JR Grotjohn, Denise Whitman, Brian Giroux, Katie Valenzuela and many great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Reneé was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Harold Adkins and her sister LaDonna Chandler Rodgers.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to: MCPAWS Regional Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 1375, McCall, ID 83638-1375

There will be a celebration of Reneé’s life on Sunday, March 11 at 2 p.m. at Lardo’s located at 600 West Lake Street, McCall.

If desired, you may leave a note or message and sign Renee’s online guest register at

Arrangements in care of McCall Funeral Home, McCall.

excerpted from: The Star-News March 8th

Idaho News:

Texas brothers put 54,000 acres of land up for sale

Parcels are part of 172,000 acres bought in 2016

By Tom Grote for The Star-News March 8, 2018

The Texas brothers who bought 172,000 acres of forest land in southern Idaho, including Valley County and Meadows Valley, have put 54,000 of those acres up for sale.

Map courtesy Country Homes of Map shows the boundaries of McCall Red Ridge Ranch, a 31,000-acre parcel south and west of McCall offered by the Wilks brothers of Texas for $61 million.

The parcels are listed on the Country Homes of America website and are offered by Wilks Ranch Brokers.

Farris and Dan Wilks of Cisco, Texas, have listed six tracts of forest, mountain and riverfront property. They are:

• McCall Red Ridge Ranch: 31,000 acres south and west of McCall. Asking price – $61 million.

• Paddy Flat Summit Ranch, 1,980 acres southeast of Lake Fork. Asking price, $2.9 million

• Clear Creek Mountain Ranch, 4,100 acres south of Cascade. Asking price – $5.6 million.

• Big Creek Ranch, 853 acres with three miles of river frontage near Cascade. Asking price, $2.1 million.

• Salmon River Ranch, 4,664 acres near White Bird with nine miles of Salmon River frontage in Idaho County. Asking price: $4 million.

• Boise Ridge Mountain Ranch, 11,300 acres between Horseshoe Bend and Idaho City. Asking price – $10.3 million.

Once owned by Boise Cascade and later Potlatch Corp., the lands had been historically open to public access but were closed after the Wilks brothers’ purchase.

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Jet boat race fundraiser to be held March 17 in Riggins

The Star-News March 8, 2018

The Salmon River Jet Boat Fundraiser will kick into gear on Saturday, March 17, at 6 p.m. at the Riggins Community Center.

The event will include a spaghetti dinner and a full bar as well as silent and live auctions and drawings. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Salmon River Schools.

For more information, contact Glenna at 208-315-2309. The Riggins Community Center is located at 121 Lodge St.

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Idaho House spikes rural schools network bill

Associated Press March 7, 2018

Boise, Idaho (AP) — A bill backed by Idaho’s top schools chief to develop a new rural schools network has once again failed to clear the Legislature. For the third year in a row, state lawmakers on Wednesday blocked a proposal to form a three-year pilot project in which rural schools would collaborate and share resources. The pilot project would cost $300,000 annually, which would come out of the state superintendent’s office.

Republican Rep. Wendy Horman, who leads efforts on writing the state’s education budget in the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, reiterated her prior concerns that the bill created an additional layer of bureaucracy. Republican Rep. Paul Amador, R-Coeur d’Alene, the bill’s sponsor, countered the legislation will help schools run more efficiently.

Ultimately, House members voted 48-20 to block the bill from moving forward. Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra has unsuccessfully attempted to pass similar proposals since taking over the office in 2015.

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Snowpack levels continue to rise. More storms.

by Roland Steadham, Chief Meteorologist Wednesday, March 7th 2018

On average, most of the basins you see above are up about 5 points compared to one week ago.

The recent round of snow we had last week and through the weekend has given our snowpack levels another good shot. On average, most of the basins you see above are up about 5 points compared to one week ago. This puts us in a very comfortable spot as we approach the runoff season. Plus, don’t forget our reservoir levels are running at 75-85% full and this is before the start of the spring melt.

We also have more rain showers and mountain snow on the way. A weak storm is going to move into the northwest and send little surges of moisture in our direction. This will bring a few showers to the valley on Thursday along with a better chance of showers on Friday. The mountains aren’t going to be hit very hard but we could see several inches of new snow at the ski resorts between now and the end of the day Friday.

Drier air will move in this weekend and this will give us partly cloudy skies on Saturday and Sunday. High temperatures will be right where they should be this time of the year…in the mid 50’s. We’ll keep it dry through the first of next week with highs also in the 50’s.

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5 types of apples, once thought extinct, are rediscovered

3/5/18 AP

Lewiston, Idaho — Five types of apples, once thought to be extinct, have been rediscovered in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

The Lewiston Tribune newspaper reported Monday that “apple detective” David Benscoter located the trees growing near a butte in the rolling hills of the vast Palouse agricultural area.

Benscoter worked with apple experts at the Temperate Orchard Conservancy in Oregon and Fedco Seeds in Maine to positively identify the apple types. They were compared to written descriptions from old books and antique watercolor paintings.

The newly rediscovered apples include the Shackleford, Saxon Priest, Kittageskee, Ewalt and McAffee varietals. An estimated 17,000 named apple varieties are thought to have originated in North America, but Benscoter says only about 4,000 still exist today.


Scam Alert:

BBB: Online shopping scams are now the riskiest type of fraud

by Alexis Goree Tuesday, March 6th 2018

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — The Better Business Bureau says online shopping scams now top its list of riskiest types of fraud.

These scams jumped from number four on the list in 2016 to number one last year.

“Well this is the place where people are losing all their money. Because they’re purchasing things online and the website looks authentic and maybe it looks like one you’ve used before, maybe it’s an advertisement you see pop up on social media,” said Veronica Craker, Content & Communication Director with the Better Business Bureau.

The most common scam purchases of 2017 were related to pets, cosmetics, clothing, electronics and automobiles.


Mining News:

Ask Midas: Why Is Sediment in the River a Problem?

March 7 Midas Gold Mckinsey Lyon

Midas Gold Idaho wants to keep the community informed about the work we are doing at the Stibnite Gold Project site. The Ask Midas blog series gives the experts in our company a chance to answer some of the community’s most frequently asked questions and help clear up any misconceptions around the project.

At Midas Gold, we are very concerned about the amount of sediment in the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River. We do regular road maintenance, including public roads, to try and keep dirt and dust from entering the river and have been reforesting areas of our site to help stabilize soils in the region – to date we’ve planted more than 50,000 trees. But why are we so concerned about sediment? This week, I get to tell you in our Ask Midas series.

Why do we need to be worried about sediment in the river?

High amounts of sediment can degrade aquatic habitat and have a detrimental effect on fish. Elevated sediment can clog fishes’ gills, make it difficult for them to see their food and even reduces their ability to fight diseases. The failed dam at Blowout Creek is the single largest source of sedimentation on the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River. Hundreds of tons of sediment are dumped into the river each year at this spot. In fact, in the spring, the problem is so bad the river looks like chocolate milk because it is so thick with sediment. Unless something is done, sediment in the river will continue to have a negative impact on the fish, plants and overall health of the river. Our plan of restoration and operations allows us to fix the problem at Blowout Creek, as well as make many other changes that would positively benefit the river, including reconnecting salmon with their native spawning grounds. Without private investment the sedimentation problem will only continue to get worse.

If you have a question you would like us to answer, please email it to


Letter to Share:

Good Neighbor program aids forests

By The State Board of Land Commissioners

Picture the size of Idaho’s largest city, then multiply it more than 160 times.

The U.S. Forest Service has identified an area that large – approximately 8.84 million acres of national forests spread across Idaho – that is at high risk of mortality from insect and disease infestation and wildfire.

That sobering picture is part of the reason diverse interests including the timber industry, conservation interests, and multiple levels of government are getting behind a process for increasing the pace and scale of forest and watershed restoration work on federal lands in Idaho.

Good Neighbor Authority is a federal law that enables the State of Idaho and the Forest Service to work together on federal land management projects that involve removing dead trees and other fuels, conducting prescribed burns, planting new trees, and carrying out other on-the-ground activities that reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires.

As members of the State Board of Land Commissioners, we wholeheartedly support Good Neighbor Authority because it is improving the health of Idaho’s national forests, strengthening the economies of local timber communities and supporting Idaho’s forest products industry.

Good Neighbor Authority is a great tool for chipping away at the enormous amount of work needed to ensure our public lands keep providing benefits for generations to come.

The Forest Service spends less taxpayer money by using streamlined State of Idaho contracting processes to carry out its federal forest plans. Additional Idaho Department of Lands foresters and staff help implement the projects, which are vetted through federal environmental review processes and are supported by local collaborative groups

The Forest Service maintains oversight and decision-making authority, but the federal agency has been a great partner in efficiently administering this program.

Another advantage of Good Neighbor Authority: it eventually will pay for itself.

Industry contributions combined with funds from the federal government and the State provided the seed money to get Good Neighbor Authority started in Idaho, but income from the projects themselves is expected to be funding the program within five years.

Good Neighbor Authority agreements are in place with four national forests and include 11 projects on federal lands across Idaho. Timber harvesting already has started on two of the projects.

The projects will produce enough timber to support 1,300 direct forest industry jobs and 300 indirect jobs, provide $68.5 million in additional wages, and contribute $118 million to Idaho’s economy. Federal agencies are eager to line up more Good Neighbor Authority projects with help from the State.

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee of the Idaho Legislature has approved a budget request from the Department of Lands to expand our ability to use Good Neighbor Authority in Idaho. With final legislative approval, we will add to the number of projects already in progress and expand our work to include rangelands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Idaho is demonstrating that we prefer action to waiting for further legislative fixes to the tangle of laws and budget challenges that inhibit federal land management agencies.

Good Neighbor Authority is gaining momentum in Idaho because it is working. We hope the rest of the West follows Idaho’s lead by focusing efforts on how we can work together to improve the lives of our citizens and the health of our lands right now.

(The State Board of Land Commissioners is comprised of Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, Secretary of State Lawerence Denney, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra, and State Controller Brandon Woolf.)

source: The Star-News March 8th

Public Lands:

Warmer weather conditions prompts road closures for public safety

Contact: Public Affairs Officer Venetia Gempler (208) 373-4105

Boise, Idaho, March 9, 2018– The Boise National Forest is temporarily closing National Forest System (NFS) road 384 (Granite-Rabbit Creek road) and NFS road 327 (Edna Creek-Crooked River) for public safety until May 18, 2018, unless rescinded by the Forest Supervisor.

Overall, NFS roads may appear firm and packed in the morning, but as temperatures warm throughout the day the snow, ice and road base thaws. The Idaho City Ranger District learned of the unsafe conditions when motorists were getting their vehicles stuck.

“It is common this time of year to close the roads due to the unpredictable weather conditions,” said Brant Petersen, Idaho City District Ranger. “We are concerned about visitor safety and resource damage and this is our way of protecting motorists from getting into dangerous situations.”

As the snow recedes, forest officials expect to have some damage to roads and trails. Visitors should be cautious and check the Boise National Forest’s webpage for current closure orders and maps. For specific details on this closure visit:

link to map:

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BLM removes over 60 pounds of nails from Sand Dunes

Sands expose illegal pallet burning dangers

Local News 8 March 9, 2018

St. Anthony, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – As BLM Recreation Planner Ben Cisna headed out to begin seasonal preparations for the St. Anthony Sand Dunes, he didn’t expect to spend his entire day trying to remove thousands of sharp nails protruding from the sand.

“I pulled up to the area to complete some sign maintenance, and I noticed thousands of dark lines in the sand,” said Cisna. “I didn’t know what it was at first, but as I got closer I realized it was nails.”

Shifting sands and melting snow exposed the remnants of pallet burning and other illegal activities on the dunes.

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US Forest Service head resigns amid misconduct investigation

CNN Mar 8, 2018

The head of the US Forest Service has resigned amid reports that the agency was looking into misconduct allegations against him.

“Many of you have seen the news reports which included the stories from women who told of their experiences with sexual harassment in the Forest Service. I admire their courage,” Tony Tooke wrote in an email to employees.

The email later adds, “In some of these news reports, you may have seen references to my own behavior in the past. This naturally raised questions about my record and prompted an investigation, which I requested and fully support, and with which I have cooperated.”

Tooke added: “I have been forthright during the review, but I cannot combat every inaccuracy that is reported in the news media. What I can control, however, are decisions I make today and the choice of a path for the future that is best for our employees, the Forest Service and the US Department of Agriculture. I must also think about what is best for my family. Therefore, I have decided that what is needed right now is for me to step down as Forest Service Chief and make way for a new leader that can ensure future success for all employees and the agency.”

Link to PBS story:

Critter News:

Good girl! Ada County Court dog helps comfort victims

by Lauren Clark Wednesday, March 7th 2018

Boise, Idaho (KBOI). — For many victims, the task of testifying in court can be overwhelming.

“The criminal justice system can be extraordinarily traumatic for people as they go through the process,” said Ada County Prosecutor Jan Bennetts. “The foreign environment, a big courtroom for children, it can be daunting and intimidating”

But for some, that intimidation begins to melt away, the moment a furry four legged employee walks through the door.

Sunday is a yellow Labrador mix, who has an important job at the court house. She’s a comfort dog, offering her sweet eyes, warm golden fur, and wet nose to calm down vulnerable victims of any age.

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Dog Owners Warn Of Suffocation Danger From Chip Bags

Kate Streit Mar 7, 2018

Most dog owners will tell you that their pet will do anything to get her paws on some human food. What you may not realize, however, is that your dog’s relentless pursuit of treats can be dangerous if she sticks her head inside chip bags.

A woman named Christina Young took to Facebook on February 26 to share the story of how her pit bull, Petey, suffocated to death after getting his head stuck in a chip bag. Young is deeply saddened by the loss of her beloved pooch and is sharing her story in the hopes that it will help other dog owners from suffering from the same tragic accident:

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Pet Talk – Ringworm

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt March 9, 2018 IME

Ringworm is a fungal skin infection of dogs, cats and humans that targets the growing hairs of the surface of the skin. Its medical name is dermatophytosis. The common name is called ringworm because the lesions often have a ring or round shape in dogs, cats and people.

Dermatophytes are fungal organisms that can be contagious from any mammal to another. The transfer happens in cat to cat, dog to dog, human to human, and cat or dog to human, and vice versa.

Hair loss is the common sign, but is variable. Dandruff and crusty and scaling skin lesions can also occur. Itchiness is usually not present, unless secondary bacterial infections are present.

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Imported guard dogs deployed as part of US wolf-sheep study

by Keith Ridler, Associated Press Saturday, March 10th 2018

Boise, Idaho (AP) — Federal scientists are trying to decide if it’s time to let the big dogs out.

Nearly 120 dogs from three large breeds perfected over centuries in Europe and Asia to be gentle around sheep and children but vicious when confronting wolves recently underwent a study to see how they’d react to their old nemesis on a new continent.

The dogs were gathered as puppies in Portugal, Bulgaria and Turkey and sent to the American West, where they spent four years guarding sheep.

“When we were first looking at doing this, a lot of people wanted to know: What dog do I use in dealing with wolves and grizzly bears?” said Julie Young, a Utah-based research biologist with the U.S. Agriculture Department’s National Wildlife Research Center.

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Trapper who shot Oregon wolf sentenced to probation, fined

3/9/18 AP

Portland, Ore. — A trapper who shot a gray wolf after finding it caught in one of his traps has been sentenced to two years on probation and 100 hours of community service.

Union County Judge Thomas Powers also suspended David Sanders’ hunting and trapping license for three years and fined him $7,500. Sanders, 58, pleaded guilty Feb. 26 to one count of unlawful taking of wildlife. He received his penalty that day, court records show.

The shooting occurred in December at a trapping site west of Elgin in the Umatilla National Forest.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

First week of March 2018
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Wolf Education International

3/7/3017 Newsletter

Hungry wolves push into village, attack resident’s dog

List of World-Wide Wolf Attacks
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Here, Kitty, Kitty!

Idaho Mountain Express March 9, 2018

A bobcat stands guard next to a fence near Ketchum earlier this week. Bobcats, which live in Idaho year-round, typically weigh between 15 and 30 pounds. They prey mostly on mice, voles, rabbits and other small animals. Bobcat sightings tend to go up after a spike in rabbit or rodent populations, as bobcats’ reproduction varies depending on prey availability.

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Senate unanimously passes roadkill bill, sends to governor’s desk

Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review March 7, 2018

The Senate has voted unanimously in favor of HB 549, Rep. Mike Moyle’s roadkill bill, sending the measure to the governor’s desk. The bill writes into state law current Idaho Fish & Game rules that allow the salvage of certain road-killed animals, with conditions, and adds an additional provision: That motorists or passers-by can humanely dispatch a badly injured animal they’ve struck, to put it out of its misery.

Currently, only a law enforcement officer can legally dispatch the animal.

Moyle’s bill has drawn support from sportsmen’s groups, motorists and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Late on Tuesday, the Senate voted 35-0 in favor of the House-passed bill. Sen. Lee Heider, R-Twin Falls, the bill’s Senate sponsor, told senators, “I hope that none of us have to do this in the near future, but if you do, rest assured that you’ll be in accordance with state law.”

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Wyoming proposes hunt of up to 24 grizzlies this fall

3/9/18 AP

Cheyenne, Wyo. — The first grizzly bear hunting in the lower 48 states in more than 40 years could happen in Wyoming this fall.

Yellowstone-region grizzlies haven’t been hunted since they were put on the federal endangered species list in 1975. Wyoming officials released a plan Friday that would allow up to 24 grizzlies to be killed this fall.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission will vote on the plan May 23.

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Officials report refuge elk are faring well in mild winter

AP Mar 10, 2018

Jackson, Wyo. (AP) – Officials say elk on the eastern Wyoming refuge are distributed more widely than usual and are living off forage this winter.

The Jackson Hole News and Guide reports the National Elk Refuge has not provided supplemental alfalfa feed as the mild winter has left plenty of natural grasses in the area.

Refuge biologist Eric Cole says no calves have been found dead on the refuge, and the death rates this year are among the lowest in decades.

About 50 adult elk have been found dead, but nearly all were infected with scabies, a disease that can leave the animals vulnerable to hypothermia.

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Salmonella outbreak linked to guinea pigs

9 people have been infected in 8 states

Erin Gabriel – CNN Mar 09, 2018

A multistate outbreak of salmonella has been linked to pet guinea pigs, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nine people have been infected in eight states, and one person has been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.

A continuing investigation by the CDC, several states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has found evidence that contact with pet guinea pigs is the likely source of the salmonella outbreak.

The illnesses started on dates ranging from July 17, 2015, to Dec. 15, 2017.


Fish & Game News:

Shed hunt responsibly to protect big game animals

Even with a milder winter, animals still need to conserve energy

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

As the winter months pass and spring approaches, many people suffering from cabin fever head to Idaho’s hills in search of the antlers big game animals have dropped.

Antler hunting, more commonly known as shed hunting, is a fun activity and a reason to get back in the hills. All a person needs is sharp eye and a willingness to endure the ever-changing weather of Idaho.

But it’s important to remember that while we’re having an early case of spring fever, animals are still trying to get through winter. Although this winter has been relatively mild and adult survival will likely be high, young animals, especially fawns, might still be struggling to get through their first winter.

“Wintering big game animals are very susceptible to any kind of disturbance whether it is from passing motorists, domestic dogs or shed hunters in late winter and early spring,” said Daryl Meints, Fish and Game’s deer and elk coordinator. “There’s growing concern over shed hunters putting additional stress on wintering big game in many areas of the state.”

Deer and elk typically rely on their fat reserves to survive winter, and what little nutrients they can gain – if any – from dried vegetation before spring green up occurs and their bodies transition to that fresh, nutritious feed.

Any extra movement an animal makes costs it energy and depletes those fat reserves, which can lead to sickness and oftentimes death, especially for fawns and calves.

“Some animals may be pushed over the edge unintentionally by the very people who want to see them during the fall hunting seasons,” Meints said.

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2017 total deer and elk harvest above average, but mule deer was down

Elk and overall deer harvest exceeded the 10-year average

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Specialist
Monday, March 5, 2018

Hunters took more elk and white-tailed deer in 2017 than in 2016, but mule deer harvest was down. With a much milder winter so far, Fish and Game biologists expect the drop in mule deer harvest to be short lived as herds recover from last year’s difficult winter across Central and Southern Idaho.

The 2017 elk harvest was about 17.5 percent above the 10-year average, and despite the dip in the mule deer harvest, 2017’s overall deer harvest was still slightly above the 10-year average.

Glenna Gomez/Idaho Fish and Game

Elk harvest

Elk hunters are enjoying some of the best hunting in recent history. Harvest was up by 1,242 elk in 2017 over 2016, which was largely an increase in cow harvest. The bull harvest dropped 341 animals between 2016 and 2017.

Fish and Game increased cow hunting opportunities to reduce herds that are causing damage to private lands in parts of the state.

Idaho’s elk harvest has exceeded 20,000 elk for four straight years, which hasn’t happened since the mid 1990s.

Idaho’s elk herds have grown in recent years thanks in part to mild winters, but elk don’t typically suffer the same fate as mule deer when winter turns colder and snowier.

“Elk are much hardier animals and less susceptible to environmental conditions,” Fish and Game Deer and Elk Coordinator Daryl Meints said. “It has to be a tough winter to kill elk.”

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Got an opinion? Fish and Game wants to hear it

Comments are currently being taken for proposed big game rules, waterfowl seasons and rules, and statewide fish management plan

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Specialist
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Fish and Game officials are updating rules, regulations and management plans for fish and wildlife, and people can weigh in by going to the survey and comment page.

Comments are currently being taken for proposed big game rules, waterfowl seasons and rules, and statewide fish management plan.

Deadlines to comment are:

Fisheries management plan: March 12
Proposed big game rules: March 20
Waterfowl rules and seasons: March 24

source w/links:
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F&G News Releases

Fun Critter Stuff:

Milky eagle-owl

Milky eagle-owl baby found its new home at the World Center for Birds of Prey. The little ball of fluff was flown in from Zoo Atlanta in Georgia, where it hatched. (Courtesy of Erin E. Katzner)

photo gallery:
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Meet Oliver. A baby Verreaux’s eagle-owl who will steal your heart

by KBOI News Staff Wednesday, March 7th 2018

link to video:
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Cute Owls video

Video link on Facebook
[h/t MC]

Tips & Advice:

Tax credit includes those who did not pay taxes

Hopefully everyone who earned less than $53,930 in 2017 knows about this. The IRS estimates millions who qualified the Earned Income Tax Credit didn’t take advantage it, mostly due to people who paid no income tax in the year. They don’t file a tax return thinking there is no need to because they owed no tax. Even if you had no income tax deducted from your pay, you can qualify and may get a check from the IRS.

First what is an earned income tax credit versus a tax deduction? A tax deduction is used to reduce the amount of income that is used to determine the income tax you owe. A tax credit is used to reduce the tax owed.

If the credit is larger than what you paid in taxes, including paying nothing, you will get the excess amount. So if your credit is $500 and if your tax due was $750 before the credit, you would only have to pay $250 ($750 minus $500). If you paid $100 in taxes you would get a check in the mail for $400. If you paid nothing, you would get $500 in the mail.

The earned income tax credit is for working people with low and moderate incomes. To qualify, taxpayers must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if they don’t owe any tax or aren’t required to file. Here are some things taxpayers should know about the EITC:

• Taxpayers who worked and earned less than $53,930 may qualify.

• Taxpayers must file a federal income tax return claiming the credit. This is true even if a taxpayer isn’t otherwise required to file a tax return.

• Taxpayers who are married and file a separate return don’t qualify for the EITC.

• Filers must have a Social Security number valid for employment for themselves, their spouse if they’re married, and any qualifying child listed on their tax return.

• Taxpayers must have earned income. This may include earnings from working for someone else as an employee or being self-employed.

• Filers may be married or single, and with or without qualifying children to qualify. For a child to qualify, they must have lived with the taxpayer for more than six months in 2017. In addition, the child must meet the age, residency, relationship and joint return rules to qualify. Filers who don’t have children must also meet the age, residency and dependency rules.

• U.S. armed forces members serving in a combat zone have special rules that apply.

Many who qualify for the tax credit can file a return for free.

The Cascade and McCall public libraries allow anyone in the county, not just citizens of the city limits, to use their computers for a limited time to file a return for no charge. The steps how to file the return are provided. The McCall Public Library will provide.

The Donnelly Community Library also provides free computer time to file your income tax returns. School staffers advise to not come Wednesday or Thursday after school as about 20 kids will be there for an after-school program. You can come it just will be noisy.

The libraries provide no tax assistance, only help in getting online to file the free return if you qualify. Each library could use some volunteers to help people with tax filing help. The amount of time would be up to the volunteer.

Dennis Marguet, Cascade

source: The Star-News March 8th

Seasonal Humor: