Apr 5, 2020 The Yellow Pine Times

Apr 5, 2020 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Letter to Share:

Dear Yellow Pine residents:

Cascade Medical Center is here for you. When I (Tom Reinhardt) attended your community meeting in September, I mentioned that we were preparing to provide tele-video medical visits. We now have that up and running. If you want to schedule an appointment, call our clinic at 208-382-4285. Vicki or one of the MAs will ask you some questions to make sure that a tele-video visit is the right choice given your symptoms or need. If so, we will work with you to make sure you are set up on the Cascade Medical Center patient portal (with our EMR). We will also make sure that you are set up to be able to do a tele-video visit (laptop with camera, desktop with camera, or smart phone). We use the Zoom telemedicine system, which is confidential and secure (it works like Skype or Face-time). Before the appointment, we will email you a link for the tele-video visit. When it is time for your appointment, you will click on the link in the email and you will be connected with our provider and can begin your visit.

Regarding insurance coverage, the COVID legislation passed in March assures coverage of telemedicine visits for patients with Medicare, Medicaid, VA. Private insurers have also decided to provide coverage just as for regular in person visits, at least until the COVID epidemic crisis is declared over.

My advice is that if someone usually goes to the VA for care, they should call the VA and see if they can do a video visit with them. Or if they usually go to McCall St. Lukes, they should call their doctor there.

Tom Reinhardt, CEO
Cascade Medical Center
April 4, 2020

Community Calendar:

Yellow Pine Tavern closed until further notice
March 22 – Boil Water Order still in effect
March 23 – South Fork Road Weight Restrictions
March 28 – June 30 Lower South Fork closed to rafting
Spring Rx Burns postponed
(details below)

Valley County Covid-19 Response Page

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Idaho Gov’s Stay at Home Order


Local Events:

Nothing scheduled for now.

Village News:

Tick Season has started.

It is time for hungry bears come out of hibernation, protect your trash and pet food.
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Power Outage

We had a wet winter storm Monday night (March 30), Tuesday morning we had 3″ wet heavy snow here in Yellow Pine (the Big Creek summit SNOTEL station showed 14″ new snow.) The power blinked off a few times Tuesday morning and went off at 1230pm. The outage message at Idaho Power gave a larger number of households in the dark than what in our village, so the Warm Lake area was probably also impacted. Snowed most of the day. Power came back on at 545pm about the same time it stopped snowing.
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Earthquake and Aftershocks Felt in Yellow Pine

At 553pm Tuesday, March 31 (shortly after the power came back on) we were shook pretty hard by the 6.5 earthquake. At 628pm we felt a 4.6 aftershock. At 730am April 1st we felt a 4.1 aftershock. We felt a few of the smaller aftershocks in the following days. Dave P and others have sent some helpful links and other info to share.

March 31, 2020 6.5 Earthquake epicenter map

link: USGS Map (zoom way in to see creek names)

link: USGS Magnitude 6.5 Earthquake Felt in Central Idaho

link: USGS M 6.5 – 72km W of Challis, Idaho (more info)

link: Strong earthquake – Western Idaho (USA) on Tuesday, 31 March 2020 – information

March 31 4.6 Aftershock Map
link: USGS M 4.6 – 72km ESE of Cascade, Idaho

Misc. Info to pass along…

Report: March 31 IDT had a LG Rock on 55. mm 89. – DH

Note from Amerigas: if you have a propane problem or smell gas call them in McCall. Phone: (208) 634-8181

“The immediate vicinity of the epicenter has some history of strong earthquakes, with a 6.0 magnitude quake occurring in 1944 and a 6.1 quake occurring in 1945.” – Shawn Willsey, author of “Geology Underfoot in Southern Idaho,”

John Hopkins Hospital did not put out a Covid19 advice sheet that is circulating on social media. For direct info go to their website at (link)
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2020 Census

Report that the Census forms have arrived in Yellow Pine. Check your post office box.

Or you can fill out the census online. (You need to start the census to get to the part to find your ID.)

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Boil Water Order March 22, 2020

Update April 4th:

Unfortunately boil order is still on. The power outage experience the other day resulted in a period of time with no chlorination. Do to that lack of chlorination we need to wait a few more days to make sure that the system stabilizes before lifting the boil order. I anticipate just a few more days but we sort of have to wait and see.
– Warren Drake

Update March 28th:

The boil order will remain in effect until treatment requirements are met.
– Warren Drake

Boil Order Advisory Notice for immediate distribution. This notice should be sent to all customers as well as posted in public places such as the Tavern and the Post Office etc.

Boil Water Advisory Notice Starting on 3-22-2020

Boil Your Water Before Using

Bring tap water to a rolling boil, boil for one minute, and cool before using or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth, and preparing food until further notice.

This Boil Water Advisory Notice applies to The Yellow Pine Water System

After the turbidity of the treated water has fallen below then required limit, the boil advisory can be lifted. I anticipate that it will take just a few days to meet both criteria.
Warren Drake
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Yellow Pine Tavern closed due to COVID-19 fears

Tavern will be closed til further notice. Will have gas available as well as take out beer, pop, candy, chips, pizza. Call 208 739-7086 or go to 355 Yellow Pine Ave. House across street from the Tavern next to the Silver Dollar.
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Rock Migration Season

Watch for rocks on the EFSF road in the bowling alley area and some areas of the South Fork. While the earthquake didn’t shake anything big loose, the freeze thaw cycle along with wet weather is bringing down rocks large and small.
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South Fork Road Weight Restrictions

The load restrictions on the South Fork Salmon River Road started on Monday 3/23. They will stay in effect until the subgrade has dried out and the roadway can support standard loading.
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Snowmobile Grooming

Valley County has discontinued grooming for the season. The PNF has closed a number of snowmobile parking lots (see below under Public Lands.)
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Yellow Pine US Mail

The 3-day a week mail delivery started Nov 1st. The Post Office in Yellow Pine is open six days a week year around: M-F 845am-245pm Saturday 9am-245pm. Forever Stamp: 55 cents. Support our local post office and purchase your holiday stamps here.
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Yellow Pine Transfer Station

Lakeshore last emptied the bins Feb 13th.

Dump Report March 17th: The bins are less than half full. The road to the dump is breaking up, slush and ruts.

Please do not abuse our Transfer Station or we may lose it. Household trash must be placed in the bins, flattened cardboard boxes can also go into the bins. Do not stack trash in front of the doors. Woody yard debris only for the burn pile. No furniture, appliances, tires or construction debris allowed, those items must be hauled out to the Donnelly station by you.

Yellow Pine Transfer Station (aka, the dump)

The Yellow Pine Transfer Station is located approximately 3 miles south on Johnson Creek Road.

The TRANSFER STATION is for household trash and yard waste:
* Household trash must be put inside (and fit) the dumpster;
* Yard waste (limbs, pine needles, brush, et.) goes in the burn pile on the south end of the turn-around;
* Cardboard boxes should be flattened before putting the in the dumpster,

The DUMPSTERS are NOT for:
* Furniture (take to Donnelly Transfer Station);
* Appliances (take to Donnelly Transfer Station).

The BURN PILE is NOT for:
* Cardboard boxes (flatten and put in dumpster);
* Furniture and appliances (take to Donnelly Transfer Station);
* Drywall and building material (take to Donnelly Transfer Station);
* Wire or fencing (take to Donnelly Transfer Station);
* Foam Rubber (take to Donnelly Transfer Station);
* Wood with metal (like nails) attached (take to Donnelly Transfer Station.)

When closing the DOORS on the front of the dumpsters:
* Make sure the “U” brackets at the top and bottom of the door are engaged;
* The retaining bar at the middle of the door is slid into the pipe;
* And the “L” bars at the bottom of the doors dropped into place.

The Yellow Pine Transfer Station is Valley County responsibility. If it is not kept tidy, use of the Transfer Station may be revoked. That would result in residents having to take all household trash and yard waste to the Donnelly Transfer Station.

If Dumpsters Are Full, Contact Lake Shore Disposal at: 208/634-7176

Local Groups:


Boil Water Order issued March 22nd.

Second half of the water bill is due June 15, 2020.

The last Yellow Pine Water Users Shareholders meeting was Sunday July 7, 2019.
link: 20190707YPWUAminutes
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VYPA News:

Proposed VYPA Bylaws Changes

Attached is the compiled proposed changes to the bylaws the Council has received.

The proposed changes and the proposed addendum B, are being published to give folks plenty of time to read and process the information before the first reading.

link: 2020 Proposed changes to Yellow Pine Bylaws Adopted 9-12-2015.pdf

link: 2020 Addendum B-letter of interest.pdf

link: 2018 Midas Gold Community Partnership Agreement with the Village of Yellow Pine

Deb Filler – Chairperson
Village of Yellow Pine Association

The community hall committee’s goal is to have adequate heating installed in the main hall before the June VYPA meeting.

If folks have items for the community yard sale, please place them by the north wall in the community hall. If you see items you would like to purchase, you can pay Deb, Ronda, or Lynn. All funds support the community hall.

VYPA meetings for 2020 – June 13, 2pm; July 11, 2pm; August 8, 2pm; September 12, 2pm.

Village of Yellow Pine Association Meeting Minutes for September 21, 2019
link: 20190921 Village of Yellow Pine Association Meeting
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YPFD News:

YP Fire Commissioners:
Sue Holloway – District 1
Dan Stiff – District 2
Merrill Saleen – District 3
Fire Chief – Jeff Forster

Yellow Pine Fire Protection District Community Service Notice

The purpose of this letter is to show how you as a Yellow Pine Resident can help protect your structure against a wildland fire by being “Fire Wise.”

Click the link: to view 20190724 Yellow Pine Fire Protection mitigation

Biz Listings:

The Corner (208) 633-3325

Closed for the winter.
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Yellow Pine Tavern (208) 633-2233

Closed until further notice.
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Yellow Pine Lodge (208) 633-3377

Closed for Winter.
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Knotty Kat Crochet Works – 208-502-0940
FB page link
open Tue – Sat, 9-5
Yellow Pine eggs $3/doz
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Buck Horn Outfitters LLC 208-633-3614
Tom & Sarah Lanham
156 Yellow Pine Ave, Yellow Pine Id 83677
Starting June 2020 We will be doing trail rides out of Yellow Pine along with summer pack / camping trips to high mountain lakes in the area!

Wapiti Meadow Ranch – Johnson Creek (208) 633-3217
or 208-315-3554 – cabin rentals

Deadwood Outfitters
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Local Fuel Suppliers

Amerigas Phone: (208) 634-8181
Ed Staub & Sons Phone: (208) 634-3833
Diamond Fuel & Feed Phone: (208) 382-4430
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Outside Biz that will service Yellow Pine:

The Star-News

A reminder that those who live in other states can subscribe to the online edition only since the mail can take days for hard copy to reach them.

Rocky Mountain Mechanical – Plumbing – Heating – Air conditioning
(208) 365-PIPE (7473), Emmett, will service Yellow Pine

Elkhorn Heating & Cooling
(208) 906-4067 Middleton, Idaho, will service Yellow Pine

B&T Safety Solutions LLC
208-271-1600 Based out of Donnelly
Snow removal, cleaning chimneys and stoves, we do cabin staining/chinking as well
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook (updated more often than emails)

Local Observations:

Monday (Mar 30) overnight low of 32 degrees, overcast and sprinkling this morning, measured 16″ snow on the ground. A couple of jays, a few juncos and nuthatches visiting. Breezy and raining at lunch time. Hairy woodpecker and clark’s nutcracker stopped by. Stopped raining mid-afternoon and calmer, high of 40 degrees. Gusty winds, low clouds and lashes of rain late afternoon, mixed with snow, then snow. Huge flakes of snow early evening, measured an inch of snow by 730pm, then turned to rain. Drippy, wet and misting late evening. Turned to snow before midnight and sticking. Snow during the night and early morning.

Tuesday (Mar 31) power off and on at least 3 times this morning. Overnight low of 31 degrees, low overcast and a break in the snow fall at 1030am, measured 3″ new heavy wet snow (SWE= 1.12″) and 19″ snow on the ground. A few juncos and nuthatches visiting. Snowing again before lunch time for about 30 minutes. Power out 1230pm to 544pm. Snow rain and graupel all afternoon, high of 38 degrees. Earthquake at 553pm! Shook for almost a full minute, then tapered off and “vibrated” for another minute (M6.5), aftershock at 628pm (M4.6). Breaks in the clouds at sunset. Below freezing, chilly breezes and mostly cloudy at dusk (sitting down on VanMeter hill.) Mostly clear at 1030pm and temperature dropping.

Wednesday (Apr 1) overnight low of 10 degrees, partly clear sky this morning, just a trace of yesterday’s snow on the board and 18″ average snow depth. Red-winged blackbird calling and juncos twittering, hairy woodpecker and nuthatches visiting. Partly clear and right at freezing at lunch time. Mail truck made it in on time, nothing big came down onto the road. Partly clear early afternoon, high of 38 degrees. Overcast and snowing late afternoon, cold breezes and below freezing. Snowed until early evening. Lights blinking a few times around 7pm but did not go completely off. Temperatures continue to drop and partly cloudy at dusk.

Thursday (Apr 2) overnight low of 14 degrees, mostly cloudy sky and cold light breeze this morning, about 1/10″ of snow remained on the board and estimate 18″ snow on the ground. Fresh fox tracks, a pine squirrel left tracks too. Juncos twittering, nuthatches visiting. Mostly cloudy, scattered sunshine and breezy mid-day through late afternoon, high of 41 degrees. Quiet day, no traffic. Mostly clear early evening. Partly clear at dusk – large bank of clouds to the southeast and calm. It appeared to be partly clear before midnight, bright half full moon high in the sky lighting up the clouds.

Friday (Apr 3) overnight low of 16 degrees, mostly cloudy sky and chilly light breezes this morning, measured 17″ of snow on the ground. Juncos twittering all over the neighborhood and red-breasted nuthatches visiting. Scattered sunshine mid-day. Cloudy and light snow flurries on and off starting early afternoon through early evening, chilly light breezes, breaks in the clouds at times, high of 37 degrees. Increasing traffic. Several elk wandering through the golf course just after sunset. A hair above freezing, breezy and mostly cloudy at dusk. Mostly cloudy with bright moon peeking out before midnight.

Saturday (Apr 4) overnight low of 16 degrees, almost clear sky this morning, measured 17″ snow on the ground. At 1020am a dark blue loud fast helicopter circled over the village then headed up Johnson Creek. A few nuthatches and juncos visiting, jays calling from the trees. First sighting of a male cassins finch. Gusty breezes and mostly cloudy at lunch time. Pine squirrel visited. Possible aftershock felt at 318pm. Overcast and gusty breezes late afternoon, high of 47 degrees. Overcast and calmer at dusk, robin chirping. Thin clouds and filtered moonlight before midnight. Rain fell early morning.

Sunday (Apr 5) 24 hour low of 25 degrees (from Saturday morning), mostly cloudy warm (39F) and breezy this morning, measured 16″ snow on the ground. Juncos and nuthatches visiting. Cloudy and gusty at lunch time. Possible aftershock felt at 237pm. Mostly cloudy with scattered sunshine and breezy afternoon, high of 50 degrees. Late afternoon it was overcast and gusty winds. At dusk it was calmer, mostly overcast, a few drop of rain and robins calling.

Letters to Share:

Did You Feel It? (Aftershocks?)

Send in your Earthquake Stories

From Yellow Pine March 31, 2020

Our power had been off since 1230pm and snowing all day, the power came on at 545pm and it quit snowing, then at 553pm the earthquake struck. At first we thought it was a strong gust of wind, the rumbling increased in volume as if a runaway dump truck was about to crash through the wall. My husband jumped up and looked out the window – and it knocked me back in my chair. Then the shaking started – side to side – and everything in the house rattling, wind chimes going off. The shaking lasted (forever) about a full minute, but continued to vibrate for almost another minute or more. The hanging chimes were still swaying a little for a couple more minutes. I could NOT get out of my chair. My husband tried to walk across the room it kind of tossed him around the room like he was doing some crazy new dance. He says I was squeaking, “Earthquake, earthquake!” It took half an hour before our heart rates had settled down. Felt an aftershock at 628pm, but he didn’t. No injuries or local damage reported. – rrSue
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From Washington

I felt the Earthquake in Cusick WA! I was sitting in my office chair at home and it was gentle rocking/swaying. I initially thought my son Hunter was behind me, very gentle messing with my chair to see if I’d notice. I was impressed because I’m not easy to sneak up on. Turned around to congratulate him on his stealth but he wasn’t there. I concentrated on what the chair was doing. Wondered if my blood pressure is out of control enough to move my chair? Nope pulse feels normal. Is the washing machine on, vibrating the floor, no? Can’t hear any music, much less loud music that vibrates the air. Ghost? Doubt it. It’s an earthquake. I looked outside and all around for other signs of it, nothing. Tried to see if I could feel it standing, but could only feel it sitting in the chair and it was a pleasant swaying, so sat back down to enjoy it while it lasts. I have to admit, in the past, I was disappointed all the other times I was in an area where an earthquake happened because I missed them. Probably [was] driving when they happened and far enough away that they went entirely unnoticed by me. After deciding there is no danger to Hunter, I was pleased to be experiencing one at last. I briefly wondered where the center is and if harm is being caused elsewhere, but preferred to think I’m among the lucky few that even knows it’s happening. I hope it didn’t cause damage and no one was hurt and assume it wasn’t very destructive because I hadn’t heard anything about it until I read your email. Thank you Railroad, for confirming, I haven’t lost my mind. I really did feel an earthquake and it was such a neat thing to feel….from here.

– NW

Idaho News:

4.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Cascade

by Ryan L Morrison Friday, April 3rd 2020

(Courtesy USGS)

Another 4.3 magnitude earthquake hit central Idaho near Cascade Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Did you feel it? USGS wants to know. Tell them here. (link). There have been 230 responses as of Friday evening.

CBS2 viewers are saying some shakes were felt from Boise to Idaho Falls and all the way up to Lewiston.


[Note: this was east of Deadwood, near Hwy 21 between Swamp Creek and Flat Creek.]
link: USGS map to zoom in on
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Quake rattles and rolls, but no damage reported

By Tom Grote for The Star-News April 2, 2020

Area residents were shaken and stirred by Tuesday’s earthquake that rocked the region, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.

The 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck at 5:52 p.m. Tuesday with the epicenter in a remote area about 42 miles east of Cascade.

The epicenter of the earthquake was next to Shake Creek and Laidlow Creek, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Local police and fire agencies said there were no reports of significant damage or injury.

The Valley County Sheriff’s Office posted a Facebook advisory asking residents with above-ground propane tanks to check them for leaks.

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Idaho authorities say no major damage after 6.5 earthquake

by Associated Press & CBS2 News Staff Wednesday, April 1st 2020

Rock fall. (Israel Bravo)

The day after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake rattled Idaho, authorities near the epicenter say there have been no reports of significant damage or injuries.

Kathy Rodgers, a dispatcher with the Custer County Sheriff’s Office, said calls poured in following the earthquake just after 6 p.m. on Tuesday but all appears to be well in central Idaho region. The county is sparsely populated, with roughly 4,300 residents.

“It’s wonderful – we got a lot of calls, but no damage and no injuries,” she said Wednesday morning.

At least 47 aftershocks had been recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey by mid-morning, with the largest one measured at a magnitude 4.6.

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ITD clearing rockfall, checking infrastructure after Idaho shook by 6.5 earthquake

by Ryan L Morrison Wednesday, April 1st 2020

(ITD photo)

Idaho Transportation Department crews are clearing rockfall and inspecting infrastructure following the 6.5 earthquake that shook the Idaho Central Mountains Tuesday.

Several mountain highways saw rockfall on the roadway following the quake including highways ID-75 near Stanley, ID-21 north and south of Lowman, ID-55 between Horseshoe Bend and Cascade, and ID-52 east of Emmett.

Maintenance crews responded immediately to clear these hazards from the roadway and ensure the road was safe for travel.

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M 6.5 earthquake shakes central Idaho, causes widespread avalanches

by Ryan L Morrison Friday, April 3rd 2020 (CBS2)

Location: Crooked Creek, Sawtooth Mountains. Photo Credit: Ben VandenBos/Sawtooth Avalanche Center

On Tuesday a 6.5 magnitude earthquake shook central Idaho and the surrounding areas. The quake’s epicenter was just 20 miles northwest of Stanley.

The earthquake happened right at the end of a major spring snowstorm that dropped two to three feet of new snow in the mountains near the epicenter.

The avalanche danger was already rated as high on the day of the earthquake. In fact one section of Highway 21 was closed due to an avalanche before the earthquake.

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Strong earthquake rocks valley

6.5 magnitude quake felt as far away as southern Canada

Greg Moore April 3, 2020 IME

Already on edge due to a deadly viral pandemic, Wood River Valley residents were further rattled Tuesday night by the second largest earthquake ever recorded in Idaho.

The U.S. Geological Survey pinpointed the 6.5 magnitude quake to a spot deep underground about 20 miles northwest of Stanley. It occurred at 5:52 p.m.

“Perceived shaking for the quake was very strong,” the USGS reported Wednesday. “The event was widely felt, with close to 16,000 ‘Did You Feel It?’ reports thus far submitted, but [is] likely to have low impact.”

According to a USGS response map, the quake was felt as far north as southern British Columbia and Alberta, and as far west as western Washington and Oregon.

continued: (interesting story about Redfish Lake)
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How an M6.5 Earthquake Led to a Historic Avalanche Cycle in the Sawtooths

April 5, 2020 Words by Smg Co-owner Chris Lundy, Photos by Guide Tanner Haskins

The Experience

On March 31st, Sara and I were up at the Williams Peak Hut shoveling it out from nearly 2 feet of new snow. The yurts have been shut down for several weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic—which means there’s no one up there keep them from getting buried with snow. We had just finished the digging and were relaxing in the warm hut. Then our world was rocked.

At 5:52 pm, everything started to shake, rumble, and sway. We ran outside and the first thing I saw is an image that will stick with me forever. The snow-laden trees were swinging side to side, and the new snow they had been holding was exploding everywhere. Almost immediately, we heard a different sort of rumbling—the kind that comes from large avalanches. Keep in mind that all of this happened in a matter of seconds, and my brain was still processing what was happening. My first thought was that a massive avalanche was about to hit the hut—an irrational thought since the yurts are in a safe location. Sara, having grown up in Idaho and experienced the 1983 Borah earthquake, knew exactly what was going on. I am still struck by how vulnerable you feel when the Earth stops standing still, especially in the mountains where gravity wants to pull things downhill.

continued: lots of photos at the bottom, click one to start gallery
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Intermountain Gas asking customers to only call if they smell natural gas

by CBS2 News Staff Wednesday, April 1st 2020

Intermountain Gas is asking customers to only call if they smell natural gas after a flood of reports came in following Tuesday’s earthquake.

Intermountain Gas will continue to respond to odor calls from customers related to the earthquake.

However, employees have not encountered significant damage to infrastructure but have found minor leaks at meters where a fitting loosened and just had to be tightened.

“We are asking customers to call into Intermountain customer service only if they smell natural gas or have another type of emergency,” said a spokesperson for the company. “A number of customers have called in for a safety check when no odor is present, and responding to those calls takes resources away from areas that need attention.”


[Note: Amerigas sent a note for Yellow Pine customers to call them if you smell propane leaking. Phone: (208) 634-8181]
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Idaho quake had little effect at Yellowstone

April 1, 2020 Local News 8

Yellowstone National Park (KIFI/KIDK)-The U.S. Geological Survey Yellowstone Volcano Observatory reports there are no connections between the 6.5 magnitude Idaho earthquake Tuesday and the Yellowstone system.

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‘Be ready for more earthquakes’: Nearly 200 aftershocks reported in Idaho after Tuesday’s 6.5 magnitude earthquake

Officials say there is a small chance of an aftershock that is even bigger than Tuesday’s earthquake.

KTVB April 5, 2020

After a magnitude 6.5 earthquake shook most of the northwestern United States Tuesday evening, the United States Geological Survey is warning residents that more quakes are on the way.

“Be ready for more earthquakes,” the agency posted on its website Tuesday night.

According to USGS, there have been nearly 200 aftershocks reported throughout central and southern Idaho since Tuesday’s initial earthquake. Aftershocks have most frequently occurred in Cascade, Challis and Idaho City.

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Idaho Quake Video

by Shawn Willsey

April 1 update on the March 31 M6.5 earthquake that struck central Idaho. I discuss how and where the quake was felt, why it occurred in this area, and information about the fault that produced the quake.

25 minute educational video [h/t DP]

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Valley County ready for whatever COVID-19 throws at it

Task force to coordinate efforts, communication

By Max Silverson for The Star-News April 2, 2020

The Valley County Emergency Operations Center is up and running and laying plans for the next steps in the local effort to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The center, which became active last Thursday, is a coordinated effort to organize local resources and unify response plans across the valley.

“The goal of the Valley County EOC is to be ahead of the game,” EOC Public Information Officer McKenzie Kraemer said.

“We are not waiting for things to happen, but are actively planning for various trigger points and scenarios,” Kraemer said.

… The group has established a Valley County COVID-19 hotline for the public to call to seek information and ask questions. The hotline is staffed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at 208-382-7303.

Questions, information, volunteering or service ideas can also be emailed to the EOC at valleycovid@co.valley.id.us

The group also has established a COVID-19 informational webpage at (link).

full story:
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Remaining snowmobile parking lots in Valley County closed

By Max Silverson for The Star-News April 2, 2020

All recreational snowmobile lots in the region were closed Monday with Valley County voting to close Wellington Snow Park in Smiths Ferry and Clear Creek lot south of Cascade on Monday.

The move comes after other snowmobile lots were closed and the county’s groomed snowmobile trail program suspended in an effort to dissuade out-of-state visitors from coming to Valley County to recreate.

The extensive network of snowmobile trails in Valley, Adams and Idaho counties have parking lots that operate under the jurisdiction of multiple agencies, which did not opt to close each lot at the same time.

Last week, the Payette National Forest had closed the West Face parking lot west of McCall, the Gordon Titus Upper Elevation parking lot near Brundage Mountain Resort and the Wallace Lane parking near New Meadows.

The Boise National Forest closed the Anderson Creek lot west of Cascade.

The Idaho Department of Lands previously closed the Brush Creek, Green Gate and Francis Wallace parking lots on Warren Wagon Road.

source: Copyright 2009-present Central Idaho Publishing Inc
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First case of Valley resident with COVID-19 confirmed

By Tom Grote for The Star-News April 2, 2020

The first case of COVID-19 in a Valley County resident was announced on Monday by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

A woman over age 50 tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus by Central District Health, which serves Valley County.

The woman was recovering at home, a news release. The health department was investigating how the woman may have contracted the virus.

The name of the woman and the town in which she lives was not disclosed.

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McCall police turn back plane from Seattle that landed at McCall airport

By Drew Dodson for The Star-News April 2, 2020

Two people aboard a plane from Seattle were told by McCall police to immediately return to Seattle after landing at the McCall Municipal Airport last Thursday morning amid COVID-19 precautions.

Pilot Russ Stromberg was told to cancel the flight before taking off due to Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s statewide isolation order, but believed his flight fit within the order’s criteria of “essential travel” since it was construction-related.

“We continued on because we believed based on our research before we took off that we were essential business,” said Stromberg, 72, who was traveling with his wife, Tricia Stromberg.

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Tamarack Resort

April 4, 2020 11:20 a.m. – Tamarack Resort announced limited resort access through May 1

Although recreation and restaurant operations were suspended on March 17, Tamarack Resort announced on Saturday that the resort will have limited access through May 1. No guest access will be allowed at this time.

Guests who purchased lodging and event tickets for the beginning of May will be refunded in full if the reopening is further delayed, according to a press release.

(from KTVB 4/4)
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Woman with COVID-19 virus brought to St. Luke’s McCall

Hospital stays mum on exposure, quarantines

By Tom Grote for The Star-News April 2, 2020

A Riggins woman who later tested positive for the COVID-19 virus was brought to the emergency room of St. Luke’s McCall last week, according to the Lewiston Tribune.

The woman is the first person with COVID-19 known to have traveled into Valley County.

A St. Luke’s spokesperson would not say how many emergency room staffers came into contact with the woman or if any of the staffers had been tested or told to self-quarantine due to potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

A man who lives in the Riggins area told the Lewiston Tribune that his wife was the coronavirus victim.

The man, who did not want to be named, said his wife has been undergoing treatment for cancer and was ill earlier this week. Riggins EMTs were dispatched on March 25 and took her to St. Luke’s McCall.

From there she was taken to St. Luke’s in Boise, the Tribune reported. Later that day, the man was called by someone from St. Luke’s in Boise saying his wife tested positive for COVID-19, the Tribune reported.

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Valley County Notice on Short-term Rentals, Hotels/motels and Rv Parks

Any short-term rentals, hotels/motels or RV parks that are currently occupied by guests should ask those guests to depart as soon as possible and return to their primary residence.

Any reservations for short-term rentals, hotels/motels or RV parks between now and April 15, 2020 should be cancelled, unless the renting party is providing an essential service.

To read the full Valley County resolution, please visit (link).

(V. Co. FB page 3/30)
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Chief: Limits on short-term rentals difficult to enforce

By Drew Dodson for The Star-News April 2, 2020

Enforcing the proper use of short-term rentals during the COVID-19 emergency will be “almost impossible,” McCall Police Chief Justin Williams said.

“It will be very difficult to specifically identify and enforce that aspect,” Williams said. “Should we be notified of violations, officers will definitely respond and handle accordingly.”

The city has notified local property management companies and the owners of short-term rentals of statewide orders on their businesses, Williams said.

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Adams County Emergency Manager Carol Walsh reports:

On March 31, Southwest District Health (SWDH) confirmed the first COVID-19 case in Adams County in a male in his 60’s. He is currently self-isolating at home. The source of transmission is under investigation. Additional case-specific information about this individual is confidential and will not be released. Adams County and Southwest District Health will continue an investigation and if other people are found to have been possibly exposed, they will be contacted, provided guidance and monitored for symptoms.

The Adams County Commissioners have signed a Declaration of Emergency to assure the community is prepared to receive any federal and state assistance if it becomes necessary.

All County Offices are currently closed to the public to protect the employees and locals from the spread of the Coronavirus.

The Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles has most procedures automated on its website:

For those not comfortable with using computers Adams County DMV has a drop box in front of the Courthouse. If you have and questions or concerns, please call the Courthouse for assistance. (208) 253-4272.

The US Forest Service is in the process of bringing on-board their Fire Fighters and other Seasonal Workers to prepare for Fire Season. They advised that the current Seasonal Workers are locals from Adams and Valley County. The Forest Service is taking the risks presented by COVID-19 seriously and is following USDA and CDC public health guidance as they continue to offer services to the public.

There have been concerns addressed about people coming to our community to stay in second homes, rentals, and for recreational purposes from other areas. Per the Commissioners it would be the appropriate and the sensible thing for them to stay at their main place of residence, but Constitutionally we cannot mandate this. The situation will be monitored closely.

Outdoor Recreation During Shelter-in-Place
With the Governor’s Proclamation of Extreme Emergency and his “stay at home” order, people are asking questions regarding travel and recreation. People are encouraged to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine allowing recreation you can do within your community.
Q: “Am I still allowed to go outside for exercise and recreation?”
A: “Outdoor activity near your home is OK, but you should keep a distance of 6 feet from people outside of your household.”
Q: Can I go hiking, mountain biking, or camping?
A: Day trips are strongly encouraged, however, make sure to minimize your travel distance from home. If a trailhead is congested, consider finding another trail to use. Be sure to check conditions before you go as many campgrounds and trails may be closed. Last, make sure to bring all the supplies you will need from home to avoid putting strain on local grocery stores.
Q: Can I drive to a mountain town like McCall or Stanley? There aren’t many people in those communities, so social distancing should be easier.”
A: No. The point of the order is to keep people in their communities in an effort to slow the spread of COVID19. All non-essential travel must be avoided. Please stay home so you don’t overwhelm the limited resources in other towns and communities who are also staying home to slow the spread.”

Additionally, keep in mind that first responders and medical professionals have a lot on their plate and if you are injured or lost, they may not be able to get to you in a timely fashion.

This is a difficult time right now and it can cause people to feel overwhelmed, especially when it is heightened by loneliness or worry. Experiencing these feelings are common during times of heightened stress. Please do not be afraid to reach out to family, friends or the Department of Health and Welfare. They offer anonymous and confidential assistance to all.
Idaho COVID-19 Hotline – 888-330-3010
Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline – 2-1-1 or 208-398-4357
For the most current and correct information, please go to:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (link) –
Southwest District Health (link) –
State of Idaho (link) –
And for you using Facebook go to Southwest District Health Facebook page.

source: Adams County FB page
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Council man first confirmed COVID-19 case in Adams County

By Tom Grote for The Star-News April 2, 2020

A Council man who was featured in a series in The Star-News in January about opioid addiction is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Adams County, according to his wife.

Ted Cole, 66, was taken by air ambulance to a Boise hospital Wednesday morning suffering from pneumonia, according to his wife, Janie Cole. Ted Cole was in stable condition, Janie Cole said.

Cole confined himself to his home following his diagnosis of COVID-19 and was suffering only mild symptoms before he took a turn for the worse overnight Wednesday, Janie Cole said.

“We have no idea where we came in contact (with COVID-19),” she said.

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Adams County Sheriff Update

William “Bill” James has been apprehended and is in the custody of Adams County Sheriff’s Office! Thank you to all the agencies that assisted in the search and arrest of this individual. Please be patient for further information as there will be a press release to follow.

(Adams County Sheriff FB page 4/4)

Valley County had Hwy 55 closed Saturday morning to assist Adams County. The road has been reopened for traffic.

(Valley County Sheriff FB page 4/4)
— —

Adams County shooting suspect hit deputy’s vehicle multiple times

by CBS2 News Staff Wednesday, April 1st 2020

William “Bill” Pearle James. (Courtesy Adams County Sheriff)

New Meadows, Idaho (CBS2) – A man suspected of shooting at two deputies in Adams County deputies began shooting at them soon after they arrived on scene, court documents reveal.

According to a probable cause affidavit, two deputies were called out to a property on Highway 55 in New Meadows on Sunday for a report of a violation of a protection order.

After the second deputy arrived, court documents say, “William James began firing at them with a rifle from a barn on the west side of the property.” He continued firing his rifle and hit one of the deputy’s vehicle several times, almost hitting one of the deputies, the documents say.

— — —

Manhunt continues for New Meadows shooter

Man fires on two Adams deputies called on protection order

By Drew Dodson for The Star-News April 2, 2020

A manhunt for a Cambridge man continued Wednesday afternoon near New Meadows after the man opened fire on two Adams County Sheriff’s deputies on Sunday.

William “Bill” James, 24, is wanted for attempted murder after firing several shots at ACSO deputies Nikki Sauerland and Randall Benavides about 4:35 p.m. Sunday.

The deputies responded to the Quality Feed on Idaho 55 in Meadows, about three miles east of New Meadows, after a report he was there in violation of a protection order, according to a probable cause affidavit from the sheriff’s office.

“They just pulled in the driveway, parked and were exiting their vehicles when he opened fire on the patrol vehicles, hitting one patrol vehicle multiple times,” said Incident Commander Kevin Haight, an Idaho State Police Captain.

James fired a semi-automatic rifle from behind cover in a shed with farm equipment, Haight said.

The protection order against James stems from a May 8, 2019 incident in which he was charged with felony attempted strangulation and misdemeanor battery, according to court records.

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Donnelly man charged in shooting of neighbor’s home

Woman, three children inside were not hurt

By Tom Grote for The Star-News April 2, 2020

A Donnelly man was arrested on five felonies last Friday after a home near Donnelly was sprayed with at least a dozen bullets while a woman and three small children were inside, the Valley County Sheriff’s Office said.

No one was injured in the incident, which happened about 5:43 p.m. Friday in The Meadows at West Mountain a neighborhood west of Donnelly, Chief Deputy Dave Stambaugh said.

Christopher J. Kaufman, 48, was arrested without incident and taken to Valley County Jail in Cascade, where he was booked on one charge of shooting at an occupied dwelling, three counts of injury to a child and one count of malicious injury to property, all felonies.

Kaufman was arraigned on Monday in Valley County Magistrate Court in Cascade.

He was ordered to appear again on May 12 to determine if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial. Kaufman was released on $10,000 bond.

A woman called Valley County Dispatch to report that bullets had been fired through the rear wall of her home on Charters Drive, entering a living room and the children’s room, Stambaugh said.

The woman and her three children, ages 1, 3 and 6, were not injured.

Six Valley County deputies, two command officers, one Idaho State Police trooper and two Payette National Forest law enforcement officers responded to the scene, Stambaugh said.

The officers contained the area, then scanned the neighborhood to be sure no one had been shot, he said.

Officers then surrounded a house on Cameron Drive from where the shots were determined to have been fired.

After about two hours of preparation, a telephone call was made to the occupant of the residence, who surrendered without incident.

A .223 semi-automatic rifle was seized and 14 spent shell casings were recovered, Stambaugh said.

The reason the shots were fired were still under investigation, he said.

“Sheriff Patti Bolen would like to thank the public and other responding law enforcement agencies for the safe resolution to this incident,” Stambaugh said.

source: Copyright 2009-present Central Idaho Publishing Inc
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2020 Census


It is the official Census Day! Have you completed your form? Most households should have received a form in the mail, but if not, you can still complete the Census online at (link)

If you don’t have an ID yet, then click the link at the bottom that says, “If you do not have a Census ID, click here.”

(from Valley County FB 4/1)

[Note: you have to start the census to get to the page to click to get an ID number.]
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Gov. Little suspends more regulations to increase telehealth access

Apr 02, 2020 By KIVI Staff Apr 2, 2020

Governor Brad Little announced the suspension of 18 more regulations to more quickly, efficiently and safely respond to Idaho’s coronavirus emergency. This adds to the 125 regulations he suspended in March.

Governor Little’s latest action ensures citizens have greater access to telehealth and medical professionals can more easily obtain necessary licenses to quickly engage in the response effort.

“As the number of confirmed cases in Idaho continues to rise by the day, we are maintaining our focus on increasing healthcare capacity to deal with the medical needs of our friends and neighbors,” Governor Little said.

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Idaho’s primary election will still be held on May 19, done through mail

by CBS2 News Staff Monday, March 30th 2020

Idaho’s primary election, set for May 19, will remain on that date and will be conducted by mail.

Governor Brad Little and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney announced Monday there will be no change in Idaho’s primary election date of May 19.

The election will be conducted by mail through absentee voting due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

“The move is necessary after it became clear that sufficient polling places and poll workers could not be obtained for the election,” Little’s office said.

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Idaho’s primary election to remain on May 19, will be conducted by mail

Monday March 30, 2020

Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney announced today there will be no change in Idaho’s primary election date of May 19.

The election will be conducted by mail pursuant to the existing laws for absentee voting due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

The move is necessary after it became clear that sufficient polling places and poll workers could not be obtained for the election.

— — —

Governor’s Proclamation April 1, 2020

link: [h/t LI]

Tips & Advice:

5 Tips for Grocery Shopping

from Valley County (FB 4/3)

COVID-19 is changing the way we do just about everything…including how we shop at a grocery store. Below are 5 TIPS to make this necessary task safer for you and your family:

1. Don’t Go Often: this is a hard one, but whenever possible, don’t go to the store. Run out of eggs? Plan a different meal or check for a substitute before making a quick grocery run. If you can limit your grocery store runs to once a week or once every two weeks, fantastic.

2. Go at Slower Times: the less traffic at the store, the less risk of contamination. Similarly, once in the store, be aisle smart – if there is a crowd in one aisle or section, loop around and come back to that area when it has cleared.

3. Go With A List: This is not the time to browse aisles or go in without a plan. A list can help you reduce the time you spend in the store. If you can, consider ordering your list based on the store layout (more prep, but cuts your time even more!).

4. Know What You Can Freeze: Did you know you can freeze milk, bread, fruits, veggies and more? A quick online search can show you lots of tips on how to get the most out of your groceries and limit food waste so you can go to the store less.

5. Disinfect and Isolate:

* Bring hand sanitizer or wipes with you and use it often – on the cart handle, on your hands, on your credit or debit card (and wallet and purse!).
* Once home, designate a “hot zone” for your newly purchased items.
* Place all items in one space (a counter, the floor, etc.)
* Take each item out of the bag and wipe down with a disinfectant wipe THEN place it on a counter away from your “hot zone.”
* Wash hands thoroughly
* Put your groceries away.
* Now is the time to back-track and disinfect. Start with the “hot zone” you placed your groceries in. Then move to the door knobs, your car handles, steering wheel, etc. – anything you touched while on this errand should be wiped down.
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Tips to stay safe while grocery shopping

April 2, 2020 Local News 8

Many of us are concerned about staying safe while grocery shopping since there are often times crowds of people.

ABC’s Becky Worley spoke with a doctor who shares some simple things you can do to stay healthy.

You can view that advice in the video above.


Mining News:

Midas Gold posts survey about jobs at Stibnite Mine

By Drew Dodson for The Star-News April 2, 2020

A survey aimed at identifying who would be interested in working for Midas Gold once it launches its proposed Stibnite Gold Project near Yellow Pine has been opened to the public.

Anyone interested in taking the survey can find it at (link).

The survey was released recently by the Stibnite Advisory Council, a panel of citizens from eight local communities and Midas Gold officials that meet monthly to receive project updates and share community worries, challenges and wins.

“We feel it will be beneficial in our conversations around the table regarding the impact the Midas Gold Stibnite project might have on the current and future workforce,” said Julie Good of New Meadows, who chairs the council.

The survey results could help the council determine how the prospective workforce would affect housing, transportation, environmental effects and other employment in the area, Good said.

The survey will remain open for several months in order to get as many responses as possible.

Questions asked in the survey cover general demographic information, level of interest in working for Midas Gold and what positions are desired by respondents. All responses are anonymous.

Midas Gold remains in the permitting stage of its Stibnite Gold Project, with the next step expected to be the release of a draft environmental study later this year.

Once the draft study is released, a final decision on the project would be expected about a year later, at which point Midas Gold could begin construction on its proposed gold and antimony mine.

The construction phase would be expected to last up to three years, during which the company expects to employ between 600 to 1,000 people.

The mining phase would employ about 500 people and could last for 12 to 15 years following the construction phase, according to the company.

After mining ends, up to 200 people would be employed as Midas Gold spends another two to three years cleaning up the site and disassembling mining infrastructure.

source: Copyright 2009-present Central Idaho Publishing Inc

Public Lands:

Payette National Forest Temporarily Shutting Down Access to Waters within the Boundaries of the Lower South Fork of the Salmon River

McCall, Idaho, March 28, 2020 In alignment with current federal, state and local guidance for social distancing, and to ensure health safety of its employees, visitors and volunteers, the Payette National Forest will be suspending access to the waters within the boundaries of the Lower South Fork of the Salmon River, effective immediately. The closure will remain in effect until June 30, 2020.

The Lower South Fork of the Salmon River corridor begins at the confluence with the Secesh River, and ends at the confluence with the Salmon River. This segment of the corridor is approximately 37 miles long and extends from the low water mark on either side of the river only. This area does not include any land outside of the low water mark within each river corridor.

These actions have been taken based on CDC guidelines to promote social distancing. The areas covered under this closure order provide access to recreational float boating opportunities within the Payette National Forest, and create a high probability of congregating groups of 10 or more individuals, thus creating a concern about the ability of recreationist to practice social distancing at these sites. The closure will also reduce the risk of community spread of the COVID-19 virus by discouraging discretionary travel. Further, adjacent National Forests have issued temporary closures on the Main Salmon River and Middle Fork Salmon River to float boat uses. This closure order aligns the Payette National Forest with our neighboring Forests’ closures to surrounding waterways.

For more information regarding the closure, please contact:

* McCall Ranger District: 102 W Lake St, McCall, ID 83638, 208-634-0400

As we work through an unpredictable and rapidly changing situation, health and safety is our number one priority. We are committed to continuing to support our communities and fulfill our mission as we all work together to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19.

The USDA Forest Service continues to assess and temporarily suspend access to recreation areas that attract large crowds and cannot meet social distancing guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Visitors to national forests are urged to take the precautions recommended by the CDC. For tips from the CDC on preventing illnesses like the coronavirus, go to: (link). Information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is available at: (link)

For up-to-date information on the Payette National Forest, visit (link)

link: attached Closure Map and Order
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Payette National Forest delays opening of recreational sites

By Max Silverson for The Star-News April 2, 2020

The Payette National Forest has delayed the opening dates of popular recreation sites and will no longer maintain restroom facilities on the forest in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

All restrooms on the Payette National Forest are no longer being stocked or maintained, officials said.

Campgrounds and other overnight facilities on the Payette are not yet open for the season.

Opening dates have been pushed back further and cannot be reserved online. Refunds for reservations already made will be made, officials said.

Several sites have been closed through at least May 15, including Mann Creek, Spring Creek, Brownlee, Big Flat, Cabin Creek, Lafferty, Cold Springs, Last Chance, and Huckleberry Campgrounds on the west side of the Forest; and, Poverty Flat, 4-Mile, Camp Creek, Buckhorn, Ponderosa, Secesh Horse Camp, Old East Fork, and Big Creek Campgrounds on the west side of the Forest.

Lake Fork, Kennally Creek, Burgdorf, Jeannette, and Chinook Campgrounds have been closed through at least the end of May.

Grouse, Upper Payette Lake, and Hazard Lake Campgrounds have been closed at least through mid-June.

The Buck Park Cabin and Paddy Flat Guard Station Cabin will remain closed through at least July 1.

The actions have been taken based on the best available medical advice for cleaning per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, and to promote social distancing, officials said.

source: Copyright 2009-present Central Idaho Publishing Inc
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USDA Forest Service Payette National Forest SOPA Update

April 1, 2020

Payette National Forest SOPA for USDA Forest Service. This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

The quarterly Schedule of Proposed Actions for the Payette National Forest was published today and is available to you online at this (link) or through the Forest webpage.

Thank you for your interest in the Payette National Forest.
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Avalanches and rock slides blocking middle fork of Salmon River system

By Todd Kunz April 2, 2020 Local News 8

(USFS photo)

Custer County, Idaho (KIDK/KIFI) – There are avalanches and rock slides blocking Marsh Creek, the tributary to the middle fork of the Salmon River.

Images from the Salmon-Challis National Forest Facebook page show the extend of the slides.

The agency said the slides are blocking or partially blocking the middle fork just above Boundary Creek, where Marsh Creek and Bear Valley Creek converge.

The Salmon River is currently closed to boating from Dagger Falls to where it connects with the main Salmon River.

It is possible these slides were triggered during Tuesday’s 6.5 magnitude earthquake northwest of Stanley, but there is no confirmation.

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Salmon-Challis National Forest offering free personal use firewood

by CBS2 News Staff Tuesday, March 31st 2020

Salmon-Challis National Forest announced Tuesday it will be offering free personal use firewood to the general public.

The offer begins Wednesday and will last through June 1.

Standing dead and down trees can be gathered for firewood. Wood cutters can take up to four cords of firewood for personal use.


[Note: this does not apply to the PNF or BNF, our firewood season starts May 15th. I checked with the PNF: “If the directive from the national office for a free of charge program is still in effect in mid-May, the Payette National forest will also offer it free of charge.” – Brian Harris]
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BLM announces availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Tri-state Fuel Breaks Project

Date: April 3, 2020
Contact: Mike Williamson 208-473-8354 mwilliamson@blm.gov

Vale, Ore. and Boise, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management is announcing the availability of a Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Tri-state Fuel Breaks Project, an effort to reduce flammable vegetation adjacent to roadways. Fuel breaks provide safe anchor points for firefighters and strategic opportunities to more effectively limit the spread of wildfires.

This project is part of a larger national wildfire reduction strategy guided by President Trump’s Executive Order 13855 – Promoting Active Management of America’s Forests, Rangelands, and Other Federal Lands to Improve Conditions and Reduce Wildfire Risk, as well as Secretary’s Order 3372 – Reducing Wildfire Risks on Department of the Interior Land through Active Management.

The project area consists of about 3.6 million acres of land within Malheur County, Oregon, and Owyhee County, Idaho. Wildfires are the primary threat to this region’s sagebrush-steppe habitat, one of the largest strongholds for Greater sage-grouse. This landscape-level project supports both sagebrush-dependent wildlife and traditional land uses, such as ranching and recreation. This strategic system of fuel breaks will integrate with existing fuel breaks in northeastern Nevada to improve firefighting efficiency.

“The Tri-state Fuel Breaks Project will provide wildland firefighters with additional opportunities to contain wildfires and reduce impacts to working landscapes and wildlife habitat,” said BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs William Perry Pendley. “These fuel breaks will also improve safety for first responders, including Rangeland Fire Protection Associations and others in the firefighting community.”

The Final EIS outlines five alternatives, including a No Action Alternative (no fuel breaks). Under the four action alternatives, fuel breaks would only be implemented alongside existing roads and would extend up to 200 feet on both sides of roadways on BLM-administered lands. Fire suppression experts identified roads based on their strategic importance for accessing and responding to wildland fires.

The Final EIS introduces the preferred alternative, Alternative 5, which proposes a strategic fuel break network that addresses impacts to wildlife and cultural resources based on the analysis in the Draft EIS and comments received during the comment period. This alternative modifies the fuel break network from routes analyzed in the Draft EIS under Alternatives 2, 3, and 4. The preferred alternative would result in a fuel break network of 47,213 acres along 987 miles of existing roads.

The 30-day availability period in which the public can review the Final EIS begins April 3, 2020, with the EPA’s publication of a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. The Final EIS and supporting information is available online at (link) (case sensitive). If you are unable to access the documents online and would like a paper copy, please contact the BLM Boise District Office at 208-384-3300.

Critter News:

Pet talk – Vaccinate against canine distemper

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt April 3, 2020 IME

Canine distemper is a contagious viral infection of dogs that may cause respiratory, gastrointestinal, ocular or central nervous system disease. The routine use of vaccines against canine distemper has greatly reduced the incidence of this disease in North America, but it is still common in many parts of the world.

Canine distemper virus is transmitted between dogs primarily through infected respiratory secretions. Unvaccinated puppies are most susceptible to canine distemper virus infections; however, older dogs may become infected. The infection weakens the immune system, making the animal more susceptible to other diseases.

Clinical signs are variable and depend on the strength of the dog’s immune system. Dogs with a weak immune system, such as puppies, are unable to fight off the infection and can develop severe clinical signs of disease.

— — — — — — — — — —

There’s little chance petting animals will spread coronavirus

The coronavirus has led individuals to worry about touching animals.

April 3, 2020 KTVB

Furry friends are always a solace, especially during a time of crisis like the one the world is currently facing.

This has left many pet owners wondering if petting or cuddling their pets could leave them exposed to the novel coronavirus.

… It’s unlikely. The VERIFY team can’t flat out say no because there’s always a chance of something strange happening here. However, according to the CDC and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), pet fur is not a great environment for carrying the virus.

… That being said, pet owners should be washing their hands after handling their animals, their food, waste or supplies. They should also limit their contact with other animals that aren’t their own just in case.

full story:
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One golden eagle’s amazing journey from Alaska’s Arctic to Idaho’s Salmon River

By Wildlife Diversity Biologist, Joel Sauder Idaho Fish and Game Tuesday, March 31st 2020

Screen Shot 2020-03-31

Many wildlife species need large landscapes to survive and thrive. Elk often summer at higher elevations and move 10-50 miles to find winter ranges at lower elevations. Songbirds that summer in Idaho can winter in the Southwest US, Mexico, or even further abroad. Wildlife make these movements without compass or GPS, just using the instincts they were born with. While we know these facts in our heads, we get jaded to them over time, because that is just the nature of our busy lives. But every once in while we get an opportunity to see them again for the first time, and we should be amazed.

Late this winter I got a call from Steve Lewis, a USFWS researcher based in Alaska. A transmitter he had deployed on a golden eagle had stopped moving outside of Grangeville and he was hoping I could recover it for him. Besides salvaging a valuable piece of equipment, knowing if the bird perished or if the transmitter was shed was important information. The most recent location transmitted showed it was on private land out towards Pine Bar. After making contact with the land owner, who not only gave permission to recover the transmitter but was excited to assist in the recovery effort, we ATV’ed as close as we could to the location and starting hiking. In the end, it turned out to be a pretty straightforward affair. The transmitter was right at the last reported location, still attached to the golden eagle, which looked like it just fell out of sky, with no clear cause of death.

This is where the story gets interesting.


Fish & Game News:

Hunting and fishing seasons continue with social distancing and travel guidelines

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Supervisor
Monday, March 30, 2020

Idahoans can continue to recreate under Covid-19 restrictions, but they should take precautions and follow guidelines

Idaho Fish and Game has not closed any fishing or hunting seasons in response to Covid-19, and the department is providing guidelines in accordance with the Governor’s orders for social distancing at least six feet apart, including while fishing and at access sites and boat ramps.

“Fishing lends itself to social distancing,” Fish and Game Fisheries Bureau Chief Jim Fredericks said. “In fact, for most types of fishing, general etiquette says if you’re fishing within six feet of the next person, you’re way too close.”

— — — — — — — — — —

Nonresident licenses, permits, and tags sales temporarily suspended by F&G Commission

By Staff Writer
Saturday, April 4, 2020

Nonresidents who purchase a 2020 hunting license may still apply for controlled hunts that will occur this fall.

At their April 4 meeting, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission adopted a rule that temporarily suspends the sale of several types of nonresident fishing and hunting licenses, tags, and permits. The action is effective immediately and lasts until the rule is repealed consistent with relevant state of Idaho public health orders.

The Commission found this rulemaking supportive of the protection of public health consistent with the March 25 Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Order to Self-Isolate for the State of Idaho in response to COVID-19.

— — — — — — — — — —

Snare diverters no longer required for wolf trapping

By Brian Pearson, Conservation Public Information Specialist
Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Snares must be equipped with either a break-away device or cable stop incorporated within the top loop

Under a rule adopted by the Fish and Game Commission that is now in effect, there is no longer a statewide requirement for using diverters on snares for trapping gray wolves. However, snares must be equipped with either a break-away device or cable stop incorporated within the top loop of the snare.

As a provision of the rule, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission can still require diverters in local areas to reduce bycatch of non-target species if deemed necessary, but at this time, no such local requirements have been established.

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Moose, sheep and goat application period is open – here’s how to apply online

By Brian Pearson, Conservation Public Information Specialist
Friday, April 3, 2020

Check out the video below for a step-by-step guide

The application period for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat controlled hunts is currently open and runs through April 30, and the big game controlled hunt application period follows right on its heels.

The department’s public offices are closed through at least April 15, consistent with the Governor’s statewide, stay-at-home order to aid in reducing the spread of Covid-19. As a result, Fish and Game officials are encouraging hunters to apply for controlled hunts online. Here is a video tutorial about how to do that:

continued: w/video
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More F&G News Releases


Crazy Critter Stuff:

Un-baaaaa-lievable: Goats invade locked-down Welsh town

by The Associated Press Tuesday, March 31st 2020

(Pete Byrne/PA via AP)

London (AP) — Un-baaaaa-lievable: This wild bunch is completely ignoring rules on social distancing.

With humans sheltering indoors to escape the new coronavirus, mountain goats are taking advantage of the peace and space to roam in frisky clumps through the streets of Llandudno, a town in North Wales.

continued: w/more photos

Seasonal Humor: