Aug 23, 2020 The Yellow Pine Times

Aug 23, 2020 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Reminder: We are still under a boil water order until further notice.

Community Calendar:

April 17 – Boil water order issued
May 15 – Firewood Season starts
June 16 – Hard closure of South Fork Road (weekdays)
Aug 11 – Valley County Mask Order
Aug 12 – Firewood Permits at The Corner
Aug 27 – Midas Gold 11am–3pm Community Hall
Sept 5 – Golf Tournament
Sept 12 – Midas Gold 12pm–4pm Community Hall
Sept 12 – VYPA meeting at 2pm Community Hall
Sept 12 – Flu shots after 3pm Community Hall
(details below)

From Valley County

The Valley County All Hazards Mitigation Plan is now available for public review and comment. (link)
Comments due by Monday, August 31st.

Valley County Mask-Up
A county-wide mask mandate was approved the CDH August 11th, and is now in effect for Valley County. (link)

We need Your Help to protect the place and the people we all Love.

Valley County Covid-19 Response Page

Valley County Emergency Operations Center

Rebound – Idaho Governor’s phasing program

COVID 19: Recommendations and Resources for Safe Business Practices
link: (lots of info for businesses)

Local Events:

Sept 5 – Golf Tournament

Golf check in at 10:30, Tournament starts at 11am. Entry fee is by donation.

Earl Hughes of Idaho Opry Stars is donating a music CD to every player. All funds go to the Village off Yellow Pine.

Labor Day events: Earl Hughes and friends, Gary Eller. Live music Friday & Saturday at The Corner. Sunday at Filler’s yard, to raise funds for the Village of Yellow Pine.

Roasted corn on the cob, courtesy of Cory Phillips. Funds support the Village of Yellow Pine.

Saturday Basket raffle, funds to support the Village.
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Sept 12 – Flu shots after 3pm Community Hall

Flu shots will be available after the September 12th Village meeting (~3pm). Insurance usually pays 100% of the cost. If you don’t have insurance, the cost is $25, make the checks out to Cascade Medical Center

Letters to Share:

Trip to Cinnabar

We made a UTV ride into the Cinnabar mine in early August and as always it was a great trip, one that I never get tired of doing. As we all know we lost the bottom entrance up Sugar Creek which took away a great loop ride when the forest service put a gate down there. I am concerned now that the same thing will happen on the top end of the road/trail after what I saw on our recent ride into the mine. Some UTV/ATV riders or jeeps are going off road and creating a new road/trail straight down from the top to the bottom, crossing the main road several times, and ripping up the hill side as they do. I am concerned that this new trail will allow spring run off to wash the old road out in the places where it goes through it. I feel that this off established trail riding and tearing up the mountain side is all the Forest service will need as a reason to close and gate the road on top. What a shame that would be to lose that great ride into Cinnabar.

RE – August 13, 2020
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Assistance with Support Letters

I wanted to let you know that I will be in YP @ the community center on 8/27 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm and 9/12 from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm to assist community members with their letters of support for the Stibnite Project. If you would let folks know, that would be great.

Belinda Provancher
Community Relations Manager
Midas Gold

Village News:

A Wild Ride

Tim Corn’s truck went off the Stibnite Road (Tuesday Aug 18th), and, thankfully, Tim is healing. Thanks to Cecil, Ron, crew, and Tim for removing the truck from Huckleberry Road (Saturday.) Cecil is a magician with his back hoe. – GN

August 22nd Photos

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The smoky and bad air quality in Yellow Pine is coming in from out of state.

Aug 21st Smoke

Aug 22nd Smoke
photos courtesy NWS GOES-West – Sector view: Pacific Northwest
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Power Outage Aug 17th

After a high temperature of 99 degrees, the lights dimmed and went out at 647pm. During the outage, Idaho Power recordings gave estimates of the numbers of customers affected, at 655pm 5000 customers out, at 730pm 8900 customers out, at 8pm only 3700 customers out, then at 840pm the number rose to 8160 customers out. Thankfully the power came back on at 855pm. Hot gusty breezes brought in smoke from western fires becoming thicker during the evening and by dusk the air quality was pretty bad.
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Boil Water Order issued April 17 still in effect.

Update Aug 8 (from VYPA meeting minutes.) Dawn said they are working on getting grants to replace the old water system. Ginny said several more leaks have been repaired.

Update July 5: the boil order is in effect due to extremely high use due to leaks.

Update June 12: The boil order is still on. We still are experiencing excessive water use because of leaks. Not sure when this will be lifted. We are applying for grants to repair the system.

Update June 2: The water plant is experiencing high water in Boulder Creek which brings more debris into the sand filter.

The high demand caused by leaks in the system plugs the sand filters prematurely. We will be on a boil order until further notice.
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2020 Census

The 2020 Census Impacts All Valley County Residents

Hurry and complete the census, the deadline has been moved up to September 30th. A report that only one third of Valley County residents have completed the 2020 Census!

It is recommended that we all fill out the census online.

If you spend 50% of your time in Valley County, you can consider it your home per the Census. Where you register with the Census is confidential and never linked to other governmental requirements such as property taxes or mailing address.

Link: to online census

You do not need an ID number. Go to the link. Click on “start questionnaire”. Then on the next page scroll down to “If you do not have a Census ID, click here” – when you click on that line it will start the census. (see below)

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Mosquitoes and no-see-ums are hungry. West Nile has been found in Ada, Canyon and Gem counties.

Be Bear Aware

* Keep all household garbage secured in a garage or other enclosed area.
* Leftovers or discarded fish or meat bones give off a strong odor and should be stored in your freezer until you haul the garbage to the transfer station.
* Keep attractants like B-B-Q grills, bird seed or pet food stored where bears cannot find them.
* Bird feeders should be taken down May through October or placed well out of reach of bears.
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Road News

Link: to current road reports.
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Forest Info

All campgrounds and restroom facilities in the South Fork Corridor, Lick Creek/Secesh Corridor and along the East Fork South Fork Salmon River are open. -Krassel RD
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Yellow Pine US Mail

The 6-day a week mail delivery started June 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

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.

20190429Dump2-bYellow 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, etc.) 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


The annual Water meeting for 2020 was held July 5th at the Community Hall 2pm.
link: minutes 20200705YPWUA.docx

Boil Water Order issued April 17, 2020. This could last until leaks are repaired.

Boil Water Advisory Notice

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

The system is being monitored and checked daily for compliance.

You will be informed when you no longer need to boil your water.

Please share this information with other people who drink this water, especially anyone who may not get this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses).

You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

State Water System ID#: 4430059 Date distributed: 3-22-2020

Notice of Intent to File an Application with USDA, Rural Development

The Yellow Pine Water Users Association, Yellow Pine, Idaho intends to file an Application with USDA, Rural Development to obtain a drinking water system facility Emergency Community Water Assistance Grant (ECWAG). Emergency Community Water Assistance Grant (ECWAG).

If any additional information is needed, please contact:
Willie Sullivan
ypwater @

Distributed to Yellow Pine Water Users Association customers via Yellow Pine Times on June 12, 2020.

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

Next VYPA meeting: September 12 at 2pm

Village of Yellow Pine Association Meeting Minutes August 8, 2020
The regular meeting was called to order at 2:00 at the community hall by Deb Filler, Chairman.
Council Members Present: Deb Filler, Chairman; Matt Huber, Vice Chair; Ronda Rogers, Treasurer; Rhonda Egbert, Secretary.
Attendees: Ginny Bartholomew, Lorinne Munn, Dawn Brown, Nikki Saleen
Approval of minutes from July 2020 meeting as published.
Third reading of Proposed Bylaws changes read by Deb Filler. Ginny motioned for Bylaws changes to be approved, Lorinne seconded the motion. Motion carried; new Bylaws are enacted.
Treasurer report was given by Ronda, see attached documents. Lorinne requested additional ledgers in the future reports. Treasurer will try to accommodate the request.
Cemetery Report: had nothing to report. It was noted that the cemetery needed mowing and trimming.
Community Hall Report: Ronda announced we received a grant ($3100.00) from Midas Gold for a storage shed. This will free up space in the community hall. This grant was through our new non-profit YPAC. More funds are needed for shelves for inside the shed, etc. Also, items behind Community hall need moving for shed placement.
Community Hall Toilets: no report
Infrastructure Committee Report: Rhonda reported that OK gravel will be in to repair roads as soon as possible. Looking at a temporary fix for the road by bridge; Valley County is responsible for bridge repairs.
Festival Report: refunds from advertising still coming in, some funds are rolling over to next year. Un-festival weekend souvenir sales brought in over $2100. Kudos to Lorinne, Michael Emerson, and Cory Phillips family for their efforts.
Stibnite Foundation Update: Ronda said the check for the shed grant should arrive in the next 2 weeks. Lynn was not available for information from the Stibnite Advisory Council.
Yellow Pine Water User Association Update: Dawn said they are working on getting grants to replace the old water system. Ginny said several more leaks have been repaired.
Labor Day Golf Tournament: Additional events being looked at to raise funds to make up for lost funds from cancelled festival. The community needs volunteers for the golf tournament, souvenir sales, donations of beer and soda for golf players. Deb agreed to coordinate the golf tournament; Dawn will provide Deb with info about doing so. Any other fundraising ideas are welcome. Earl Huges, who performed during un-festival weekend, is trying to set up a benefit event over Labor Day weekend. Discussion about viability of t-shirts to sell for Labor Day.
Fire Department: Nicki said the budget for the fire dept. will be published soon. She apologized for the delay, having been busy finalizing her mother’s estate and building a cabin. Community needs qualified drivers to get the ambulance back from Cascade fire dept. Contact Cascade Fire for information on certifications for EMT and drivers. Department is considering a volunteer fire dept. T-shirts for sale at the general store for fire dept. Nicki recommended everyone get Life Flight insurance.
New Business:
Letters of interest for being Yellow Pine representatives for the Stibnite Foundation and Stibnite Advisory Council must be submitted to the Village Council by 9/1/2020. The letters will be presented at the September meeting for a vote by the membership.
Anyone interested in Harmonica Festival chairman for 2021 needs to notify a Council member by August 31,2020. 2021 festival chairman will be announced at the September VYPA meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 3:01 by Deb Filler.
Next Meeting in Community Hall September 12, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Rhonda Egbert

Minutes from August 8, 2020 VYPA meeting

Printable Letter of Interest to be a Community Representative

Minutes from July 11, 2020 VYPA meeting

Minutes from June 13, 2020 VYPA meeting

July 1 – Post Harmonica Meeting 2pm Community Hall
Note: at each meeting we simply add to info on the topic. That way, info from all meetings is included in a single document.
Link to notes:

Heat was installed in the community hall on April 30th.

VYPA meeting schedule for 2020 – June 13, 2pm; July 11, 2pm; August 8, 2pm; September 12, 2pm.
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YPFD News:

There was a YP Fire Commissioner meeting on June 27, 2020 at 10am at the Fire Station.
Link: 20200627 Fire Dept minutes June 27


link: YPFD Covid 19 SOP

link: Covid-19 EMS (May 23)

May 10th Burn Permits – contact the YPFD

Pile burning: Dress appropriately, have enough help on hand (people, water and tools) and make a firebreak before you start. Call your local fire protection district chief to let them know you’ll be conducting a debris burn. This saves them from sending emergency responders to your property if they are not needed. Do NOT burn on breezy afternoons.

Better yet, “Bring It, Don’t Burn It”, you can take your yard waste (limbs, pine needles, brush, etc.) to the burn pile at the Transfer Station on the south end of the turn-around. Remember, keep the pile neat. Woody debris only, no nails, no cardboard and no furniture! The Boise NF will burn the pile in the fall when it is safe and doesn’t pollute our fine YP air.

YP Fire Commissioners:
Sue Holloway – District 1
Dan Stiff – District 2
Merrill Saleen – District 3
(TBA) – Fire Chief

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

Open 11am-8pm Closed Tuesdays. Calling ahead works best but not a huge deal. Groceries, Ice Cream, Beer and Soda. Our menu fluctuates but typically have Smoked Brisket, Tri Tip, Chicken, Burgers and Wings on hand.
Starting Aug 12th Firewood Permits at The Corner
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Yellow Pine Tavern (208) 633-2233

Open Daily 8am to 10pm. Outside Dining and Bar. Breakfast and Bar Food.
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Yellow Pine Lodge (208) 633-3377

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Yellow Pine General Store (208) 633-3300

The store is open now and will be open into October. Hours are 9 am to 6 pm Tuesday through Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.
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Murph’s RV Park & Mary’s Cabins (208) 633-6677

Cabins are not available in 2020. RV Spaces $25/night; $150/week; $300/month. Tent spaces $10/night. Shower house is closed for 2020.
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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 open 830am-5pm Monday-Friday, closed weekends.
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Outside Biz that will service Yellow Pine:

The Star-News

click to subscribe:
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 (Aug 17) short sprinkle of rain after midnight (Trace) overnight low of 53 degrees. Mostly cloudy and humid this morning. A few early airplanes buzzing over, morning traffic on main street. Clark’s nutcracker and steller jay calling, a few finches, pine siskins and hummingbirds visiting. Pretty hot by lunch time, less clouds and more sunshine. Hot, partly cloudy with hot breezes mid-afternoon, high of 99 degrees. Still hot early evening, hazy sky and warm light breezes. Power out 647pm to 855pm. Swallows hunting and a few pine siskins calling. Still pretty warm at dusk, gusty breezes and smoky. Pretty warm and gusty after dark.

Tuesday (Aug 18) overnight low of 59 degrees, partly clear-cloudy this morning and light haze of smoke/dust in the air. A few early airplanes buzzing over. Finches, pine siskins and a jay visiting, a clark’s nutcracker calling from the trees. Partly cloudy, light breezes and hot right after lunch time. Traffic and dust in the neighborhood. Partly cloudy, hot and light breezes mid-afternoon, high of 96 degrees. Young skinny golden mantel squirrel visiting. Still hot by early evening, mostly cloudy and light breezes. Pretty scarlet-orange clouds after sunset. Appears mostly cloudy and feels humid at dusk. Not cooling off much before midnight, probably cloudy. Thunder started around 3am (lasted about an hour) and a couple of short hard rain showers around 330am.

Wednesday (Aug 19) overnight low of 55 degrees, rain total = 0.025″ (not enough to settle the road dust), mostly hazy sky and humid this morning. A few early airplanes. Finches, pine siskins, hummingbirds and a few evening grosbeaks visiting. Amerigas tanker in the village. Overcast after lunch time. Mail truck was on time (Kaleb’s last day!) Overcast, hot and a little muggy early afternoon, light breezes and haze of smoke from Oregon, high of 90 degrees. Report of a fire start 5 miles west of YP in the Phoebe Creek area. Warm and overcast (and smoky) early evening, almost calm. Quiet evening. Warm, overcast and very smoky at dusk. (Smoke from Calif and Oregon fires.)

Thursday (Aug 20) overnight low of 51 degrees, no clouds but sky covered in smoke. A few early (loud) airplanes. Tree swallows perched on the power line, jays, a nutcracker and a few grosbeaks calling, hummingbirds, a few finches and pine siskins visiting. Clouds coming in above the smoke layer by lunch time and light breezes. Light street traffic. Mostly cloudy, smoky, hot and light breezes by mid-afternoon, high of 89 degrees. A little better air quality by early evening, partly cloudy – lighter haze of smoke and light breeze. Quiet evening. At dusk it appears there are no clouds above the haze of smoke, cooling off and fairly calm. Increasing smoke during the night.

Friday (Aug 21) overnight low of 45 degrees, appears to be mostly clear above the smoke. Some early (loud) airplanes. Jays and clark’s nutcrackers calling. Thicker smoke at lunch time. Wind gusts early afternoon. Very poor air quality. Hot, breezy and so smoky it looked overcast by mid-afternoon, high of 89 degrees. Young golden mantel squirrel hanging around. Warm and very smoky mid-evening, the sun was a faint orange disk to the west, light breezes. Light traffic for a Friday. At dusk it was cooling off but still really smoky and bad air quality. Doings up on main street. Eye watering smoke after midnight.

Saturday (Aug 22) overnight low of 44 degrees, appears to be clear above the smoke and light breeze. Bad air quality! Heard a few swallows and a nutcracker calling. Two low flying helicopters at 1121am, looked like they were headed for the airstrip? Pretty murky, sun filtered through the smoke and slight breeze after lunch time. A few finches and hummingbirds visiting. Wonky sounding airplane circled during the heat of the day, around 320pm. Hot, smoky and breezy mid-afternoon, high of 90 degrees. Hot and smoky but a little better air quality mid-evening. Smoky after midnight – a few orange colored stars.

Sunday (Aug 23) overnight low of 44 degrees, looks clear above the haze of smoke and slight breeze. A clark’s nutcracker calling from the trees. A few early airplanes and a little extra traffic. Increasing smoke and worse air quality by lunch time. Hot and smoky mid-afternoon, high of 93 degrees. Quiet afternoon. Hot and smoky mid-evening, no breeze.

Idaho News:

293 new Idaho COVID-19 cases Saturday, 2 new deaths

August 22, 2020 Local News 8

Idaho officials reported 293 new COVID-19 cases and 2 new deaths on Saturday.

That brings the total confirmed and probable cases reported since March to 29,662.

There are a total of 27,637 confirmed cases and 2,025 probable cases in all 44 of the 44 counties in Idaho, according to numbers released from the local health districts and the state.

… 2 new deaths were reported bringing the total recorded deaths to 306.

full story:
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Gov. Little says Idaho will stay in Stage 4 for another two weeks

by Brian Morrin Friday, August 21st 2020 CBS2

With new COVID-19 cases in Idaho hovering between 300 to 500 daily, Governor Little announced today the state will stay in Stage 4 of the Idaho Rebounds Plan. But the Governor did offer some promising news.

“Over the past two weeks metrics have improved in other areas. We’re seeing a downward trend in overall COVID-19 cases, test positivity rates and emergency room visits with patients with COVID like illness (are also down),” Gov. Little said.

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Valley County COVID-19 cases exceed 100

Positive results from hospitals total 106 since mid-June

By Tom Grote for The Star-News Aug 20, 2020

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Valley County topped 100 cases this week, reaching 106 cases on Tuesday, up from 97 a week ago, health officials said.

Central District Health reported 73 of the positive cases were confirmed to be Valley County residents as of Tuesday, up from 62 cases reported a week ago.

St. Luke’s McCall reported 86 total positive cases from testing done at the hospital since March, up from 80 a week ago. Cascade Medical Center reported 20 positive cases, up from 17 a week ago.

Nearly all of the positive cases reported by the hospitals were found following the start of the summer visitor season in mid-June.

The difference between the hospital figures and the health department figures are those who tested positive but did not declare Valley County as their residence.

Adams County had 22 confirmed cases among county residents as of Tuesday since March, up from 19 a week ago, according to Southwest District Health.

One death from COVID-19 has been reported locally since the pandemic reached Idaho in March. An 85-year-old McCall man died July 15 at St. Luke’s Boise hospital due to complications of COVID-19 infection.

source: © Copyright 2009-present Central Idaho Publishing Inc. All rights reserved
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Cascade schools to open Wednesday under COVID-19 rules

By Max Silverson for The Star-News Aug 20, 2020

Cascade schools plans to reopen on Wednesday offering both in-person classes and an online option for students that do not feel safe in a classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cascade School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously last week to approve the district’s reopening plan.

How classes will be conducted depends on the health emergency level declared by Central District Health. Levels include green, yellow and red.

Currently, Valley County is in the “yellow” category, which means minimal to moderate community transmission of COVID-19.

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Garden Valley School District pushes back start date after influx of Treasure Valley students enroll

The majority of the students are coming from places where there may not be an in-person option to start the school year.

Shirah Matsuzawa August 19, 2020 KTVB

With a lot of schools still facing uncertainty, some parents have now chosen to move to the small mountain town of Garden Valley to enroll their kids in the school there, but it’s having a significant impact on the school district.

“We delayed school from starting [Tuesday] to starting next Monday mostly due to the large amount, large number of enrollees,” Superintendent Vickie Chandler said.

Over the last 10 days, 79 new students have enrolled, a 35% increase from the district’s usual student body.

“This number is pushing everybody to the seams,” Chandler said.

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Idaho reports 1st case of inflammatory pediatric syndrome

Associated Press Aug 18, 2020

An Idaho hospital is reporting the state’s first case of a pediatric inflammatory illness associated with the coronavirus.

St. Luke’s Regional Health System spokeswoman Anita Kissée said Tuesday that a 7-year-old child with no known previous health conditions has been diagnosed with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children. It’s a potentially serious disease sometimes called MIS-C.

The child is in the pediatric intensive care unit in Boise. The illness is newly recognized and is believed to be a delayed complication of coronavirus infection. It often causes a fever, evidence of inflammation and severe illness involving more than two organs.

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WICAP Valley County office changes to appointment only

The Star-News Aug 20, 2020

The Valley County office of the Western Idaho Community Partnership will now provide services by appointment only in order to protect staff from COVID-19, a statement said.

The office, located at 110 W. Pine St., will lock its doors to walk-in traffic between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Appointments can be made by calling 208-382-4577 or by writing to or

Those with appointments should knock on the office door or call the office for assistance.

WICAP provides USDA food boxes as well as financial assistance to qualifying individuals. The WICAP Thrift Store is currently closed due to worries over COVID-19 and no donations are being accepted.

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Storm knocks out Cascade power, brings in smoke

By Max Silverson for The Star-News Aug 20, 2020

A wind storm Monday night cut power to Cascade residents for nearly four hours and blew in smoke from a wildfire in Oregon.

Electricity was cut to about 8,160 customers from about 6 p.m. to 10:45 p.m., according to Idaho Power Co.

The high winds brought in dense smoke from the Indian Creek Fire located near Juntura, Oregon, Payette National Fores Public Affairs Officer Brian Harris said.

The Indian Creek Fire had grown to an estimated 20,300 acres by Wednesday and was 10% contained.

Trees were blown onto power lines in Cascade, causing two small fires.

The first fire was near Pine Lakes Ranch about five miles north of Cascade at about 7 p.m.

“There was a tree on the lines and that produced some sparks that started the fire,” said Cascade Fire Chief Steve Hull. The small fire was only about 10 feet by 10 feet, he said.

The second fire was on Cabarton Road at about 10 p.m. when wind blew trees onto the power lines, causing sparks, but no poles fell, Hull said.

Cascade Fire responded to each incident with a brush truck and fire engine, each with two firefighters.

U.S. 95 was closed just south of Pinehurst in Adams County from about 9 p.m. until about 11:30 p.m., when a power line fell across both lanes, according to the Adams Count Sheriff’s Office.

source: © Copyright 2009-present Central Idaho Publishing Inc. All rights reserved
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ITD prepping for final blasting work near Highway 95 rockslide

The highway near Riggins has reopened to drivers, but ITD says travelers should expect some periods of limited access through the area over the next two months.

August 20, 2020 KTVB

Credit: ITD

The Idaho Transportation Department will begin drilling Thursday in preparation for the controlled blasting and repairs to the site of a major rockslide on Highway 95.

The blasting and reinforcement of the rock face are part of long-term repairs to the area, and are scheduled to be finished in late October.

The highway near Riggins has reopened to drivers, but ITD says travelers should expect some periods of limited access through the area over the next two months.

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Emergency crews rescue ATV rider who crashed in Boise County

by CBS2 News Staff Friday, August 21st 2020

Site of the rescue in Boise County. (Boise County Sheriff Facebook)

Idaho City, Idaho (CBS2) — An ATV rider was stranded for several hours in the Boise County wilderness following a crash in challenging terrain.

The Boise County Sheriff’s Office says the rider was last seen on a back woods trail outside of Idaho City. Crews found the rider at about 3 a.m. uninjured but was stuck on the side of the hill in extremely challenging terrain..

The sheriff’s office called the Idaho National Guard for help after multiple attempts to rescue the rider were unsuccessful. Members of the Guard were able to hoist the rider up and into the helicopter and eventually take him to the Idaho City Airport.

“The helicopter pilots and team were amazing,” the sheriff said. “They inserted a team member into crazy hostile terrain and it looked like they had done it 100s of times.”


Idaho History:

Dr. Harlan Ustick

8/18/2020 by Rick Just

… [Dr. Harlan P. Ustick] had many investments, including in the Cinnabar Mine near Yellow Pine. He was there when he wrote his last letter to his wife, telling of the wonderful prospects of the mine, but complaining about the high altitude. He had been taking strychnine to stimulate his heart. Mrs. Ustick, according to an article in the September 28, 1917 edition of the Idaho Statesman, had written back to her husband pleading with him to return home. “If the altitude is affecting your health, come home at once; the richest mine in the state is not worth risking your health for.” He never got the letter. Dr. Harlan Page Ustick died on September 26, 1917 in Yellow Pine from heart disease.

full story:
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Historic Roseberry receives grants for buildings, education

The Star-News Aug 20, 2020

The group that operates Historic Roseberry near Donnelly has received grants to maintain buildings and offer educational programs.

The Long Valley Preservation Society received a $5,000 grant from the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation to fund operation of the Roseberry General Store that was built in 1905.

A $7,000 grant from the Idaho Heritage Trust Foundation means the society is halfway toward its fundraising goal to replace the roof on the general store, society President Phyllis Bulgin said.


Mining News:

Midas Gold study outlines 4 options

Final plan could be a blend of all four

By Drew Dodson for The Star-News Aug 20, 2020

The start of mining would be delayed at least two years under two of the four alternatives to Midas Gold’s proposed Stibnite Gold Project outlined in a draft environmental study of the project.

Both of the alternatives that would delay the project were developed by the Payette National Forest, the author of the study and lead permitting agency on the proposed gold and antimony mine near Yellow Pine.

The other two versions of the project considered in the Payette’s study are Midas Gold’s original operating plan submitted in 2016 and an updated version of that plan submitted in 2019.

Midas Gold’s original operating plan is the basis for the alternatives, which explore select changes that could reduce the environmental consequences of the mine.

Of 54 alternative components to Midas Gold’s proposal considered by the Payette, 13 were carried forward into the four project alternatives included in the draft study.

Each project alternative was evaluated based on impacts to water quality, plants, fish, wetlands and other environmental factors.

Parts of each alternative could ultimately be incorporated into a final plan in the final environmental study, which is tentatively expected in August 2021, said Brian Harris, a spokesman for the Payette.

Public comment on the draft study is due Oct. 13.

A detailed analysis of each of the alternatives will be presented in a series of stories in The Star-News beginning next week.

Alternative 1 Original Operating Plan

Midas Gold’s original plan calls for three open pit mines known as the Yellow Pine Pit, the Hangar Flats Pit and the West End Pit.

A total of about 4.5 million ounces of gold, 1.5 million ounces of silver and 68 million pounds of antimony would be harvested from the three pits over the 12 to 15-year life of mining operations, according to Midas Gold.

Tailings, or neutralized waste left behind after ore processing, would be stored behind a dam in a valley lined with material designed to prevent lingering metals from escaping.

Waste rock, or rock that is extracted from the ground to reach precious metals, would be stored in one of four waste rock storage areas on site.

Streams and rivers would be diverted around mine features in open channels to minimize potential contact contamination.

Meanwhile, the East Fork South Fork Salmon River would be temporarily diverted around the Yellow Pine Pit during operations through a 0.8-mile long tunnel designed to allow upstream fish passage.

The mine would be accessed primarily by Midas Gold’s proposed Burntlog Route, which would need to be upgraded and extended by 15 miles to accommodate mine traffic.

Alternative 2 Updated Operating Plan

Midas Gold updated its original plan last May to reduce potential environmental harm of its original plan found through analysis and public comment.

One of four waste rock storage areas would be eliminated in favor of using about 25 million tons of waste rock to partially backfill the Hangar Flats Pit and the West End Pit, under Alternative 2.

A protective liner would be placed over the remaining three waste rock piles to prevent water from filtering through the rock and being contaminated with trace metals.

Diversions of run-off water and streams around the site would be also be redesigned to reduce flow losses and temperature increases while also expediting the recovery of groundwater levels.

Alternative 2 would allow for seasonal public access through the mine site, which would be closed during operations under Midas Gold’s original proposal.

Traffic to the site would also be reduced by about 2,000 trips per year through mining limestone on site to produce lime, a key substance used for neutralization in separating gold and silver from rock.

Alternative 3 Relocated Tailings Storage

Alternative 3, which was one of two generated by the Payette Forest, centers around relocating the tailings storage area to an undisturbed valley currently occupied by the East Fork South Fork Salmon River.

About two years of data collection would be needed before the alternative tailings area could be granted final approval, which would delay the start of mining if selected for the final environmental study.

The tailings storage area would contain about 100 million pounds of tailings behind an embankment nearly 2,250 feet wide and 446 feet tall.

The overall footprint would be 579 acres, or about 98 acres larger than the storage area proposed by Midas Gold in Meadow Valley, its preferred tailings storage location.

The area behind the embankment, which would be buttressed with waste rock for improved stability, would be lined to limit the escape of lingering metals.

Once mining ends, the river would be re-established on top of the tailings pile in a lined channel.

However, a consequence of moving the tailings area would be that currently uncontained tailings from Bradley Mining Company’s 1930s operations at Stibnite would not be cleaned up.

Alternative 4 Mine Access Change

The other alternative generated by the Payette Forest involves using Johnson Creek Road through Yellow Pine as the primary mine access instead of Midas Gold’s favored Burntlog Route.

At least two years would be added to the company’s estimated two to three-year construction phase due to extensive upgrades needed to about 40 miles of Johnson Creek Road, the draft study said.

Work would include blasting slopes to accommodate 20-foot-wide travel lanes and 3-foot-wide shoulders, leveling steep sections where possible and paving existing dirt roads.

Alternative 4 would minimize disturbances to roadless areas within the Payette Forest, which are valued by the Forest Service, the study said.

Also, the tunnel proposed to redirect the East Fork South Fork Salmon River around the Yellow Pine Pit would not be built for fish passage due to unknown potential benefits, under Alternative 4.

source: © Copyright 2009-present Central Idaho Publishing Inc. All rights reserved
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Public comments due Oct. 13 on Stibnite Gold Project draft study

The Star-News Aug 20, 2020

Public comments on the draft environmental study of Midas Gold’s proposed Stibnite Gold Project will be accepted by the Payette National Forest until 5 p.m. on Oct. 13.

The draft study can be viewed on the Payette Forest’s project webpage at (link)

Comments can be submitted through the project webpage by clicking on the “Comment/Object on Project” tab under the “Get Connected” menu on the right side of the page.

Written comments can be mailed to the Payette Supervisor Linda Jackson at 500 Mission St., Building 2, McCall, ID 83638. Comments are not being accepted in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Only “substantive” comments that cite specific elements of the draft study or Midas Gold’s proposal will be taken into consideration into the Payette’s drafting of a final study.

A final environmental study and draft record of decision could come as soon as August 2021 with a final decision on the project tentatively slated for December 2021.

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Public Comments Sought on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Stibnite Gold Project

McCall, Idaho, August 14, 2020 – The Payette and Boise National Forests are seeking comments on the Midas Gold Idaho, Inc, proposed Stibnite Gold Project’s draft environmental impact statement (DEIS). The DEIS can be found on the project webpage at (link) and is expected to be available on August 14, 2020.

Due to current health precautions associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Forest Service is providing alternative measures for conducting public engagement. A Virtual public Meeting Room using the open house format has been designed to conduct public engagement and solicit feedback on the Stibnite Gold Project draft environmental impact statement. The Virtual Public Meeting Room will be available at: (link) and will be open on August 24, 2020 at 12:00p.m. through the public comment period.

The proposed Stibnite Gold Project is a surface mining project proposed by Midas Gold. The project is located east of McCall, Idaho, in Valley County, on the Payette National Forest, with a portion of the project on the Boise National Forest. Approximately 500 acres of patented mining claims and 2,900 acres of unpatented claims on National Forest System (NFS) lands are involved.

The Forest Service has prepared this DEIS as required by the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA). Preliminary issues identified include access and transportation; fisheries, wildlife, and threatened and endangered species; surface and groundwater; post-closure site management and land use; cultural and historic resources, including Tribal rights and interests; public health and safety; recreation; roadless and wilderness resources; and socioeconomics.

Midas Gold is estimating a project life of approximately 21-28 years, including redevelopment and construction (2-3 years), mining and processing (12-15 years), initial closure and reclamation (2-3 years), and post-closure and monitoring (5-7 years). Their plan of operations includes mining from two historic pits and one new pit to recover gold, silver and antimony; reprocessing of historic tailings; back-filling of one pit; reconstruction of stream channels and wetlands, and restoring fish passage in the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River through the legacy Yellow Pine pit.

The Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS that was published on June 5, 2017 indicated the possible need for plan amendments to address inconsistencies with Forest Plan standards, but the amendments that would be needed were not identified at that time. The details of the proposed amendments can be found in Appendix A of the DEIS. The proposed plan amendments are expected to be approved in the decision document for the Stibnite Gold Project and the plan amendments would only apply to this project.

Regarding the decision to be made as a part of this NEPA process, the Payette Forest Supervisor is required to comply with the General Mining Act of 1872, and the Mining and Mineral Policy Act of 1970 that allow mining to take place on NFS lands. Forest Service Regulations 36 CFR 228, subpart A provide for the agency to review and approve a plan of operations that includes:

· Provision for operations to be conducted so as where feasible to minimize adverse environmental impacts to surface resources on NFS lands.

· Measures to provide for surface reclamation where practical.

· Measures for operations to meet and comply with applicable federal and state air and waste quality, and solid waste standards and requirements.

How to Comment and Timeframe

The Environmental Protection Agency will publish a Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Stibnite Gold Project DEIS in the Federal Register on August 14, 2020. A legal notice will also be published on August 14, 2020 in the newspaper of record, The Idaho Statesman, for public notification of the proposed plan amendments. Mailed and electronic comments concerning this action will be accepted for 45 days, with a 15-day extension following that date. The publication date of the NOA in the Federal Register is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period for a proposed action documented in a draft environmental impact statement. Those wishing to comment should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source.

Mailed or electronic comments will be accepted; however, electronic submission of comments is encouraged. Mailed comments must be submitted to Linda Jackson, Forest Supervisor, Payette National Forest, 500 North Mission Street Building 2, McCall, Idaho 83638-3805. Be advised that our offices are minimally staffed in response to COVID-19 and hand-delivered comments are not being accepted at this time.

Electronic comments must be submitted in a common digital format such as plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Word (.doc, .docx) or PDF (.pdf) to (link), All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received online via the public reading room at: (link)

The decision to approve the proposed project will be subject to the objection process identified in 36 CFR part 218 Subparts A and B. Only those who submit timely and specific written comments, as defined in §218.2, regarding the proposed project and project-specific plan amendments during a public comment period established by the responsible official are eligible to file an objection per §218.5. It is the responsibility of all individuals and organizations to ensure that their comments are received in a timely manner. For objection eligibility, each individual or representative from each entity submitting timely and specific written comments must either sign the comments or verify identity upon request per §218.24(b)(8). As provided by 36 CFR 219.59(b), the administrative review process of 36 CFR 218 also applies to the project-specific plan amendments.

The DEIS, NOA, legal notice and other project information is available on the project webpage at: (link). The project webpage provides you with tools to engage in the public comment process. For additional information, please contact Brian Harris, Payette Forest Public Affairs Officer, 208-634-6945, brian.d.harris @

Brian Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Payette National Forest
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Canadian mining company sues US over Idaho water pollution

By Associated Press August 19, 2020

A Canadian company seeking U.S. approval for three open-pit gold mines in Idaho is suing the U.S. government contending U.S. officials are allowing water pollution at the heavily mined site in violation of environmental laws.

British Columbia-based Midas Gold filed the lawsuit Tuesday against the U.S. Forest Service under the Clean Water Act’s citizen enforcement provision.

The area contains salmon habitat that the company says it will restore if allowed to mine.

Midas Gold is being sued by the Nez Perce Tribe over the same pollution caused by past mining companies. Midas Gold has never mined the area but has claims.


Public Lands:

Six miles of fence will protect Lake Cascade wildlife, water quality

By Max Silverson for The Star-News Aug 20, 2020

William Goshgarian pounded in post after post near the shores of Lake Cascade on Monday with the help of two assistants and a pneumatic post pounder.

Goshgarian, from Park City, Utah, is part of a five-person Idaho Conservation Corps crew that has been hard at work installing six miles of fence to keep people and ranging cattle away from the shores of the lake.

The crew began on Aug. 10 at the Poison Creek Campground on West Mountain Road and worked south. The fence is expected to be finished by mid-September.

The area around Lake Cascade is managed by the federal Bureau of Reclamation, which has had problems with people driving cars and ATVs up to the water, said Cascade Field Station manager Jim Zokan said.

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Free Use Fuelwood at Last Chance Campground until Supply Runs Out

New Meadows, Idaho, August 18, 2020 – As part of the Little Red Goose Forest Resiliency project, dead and dying trees in Last Chance campground were logged early in 2020 through the Good Neighbor Authority agreement with Idaho Department of Lands. The contractor set aside the non-merchantable material from harvested trees, and as part of the clean-up operations, the Payette National Forest is offering that material for free use firewood beginning on August 19, and extending through either August 22 or until the wood runs out. Please visit our Facebook page for updates.

Collection of wood will only be allowed between 0730 and 1730 on these days. Free use permits will be required and will be available (via phone and drop box) from the New Meadows and McCall District Offices the 17th through 21 from 8:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. Permits will also be available onsite at the campground on Wednesday, August 19, from 8:00 a.m. through 5:30 p.m.

There will be a two cord maximum per permit holder and these two cords will count towards the ten cord maximum per household. In an effort to minimize exposure for Covid-19, a maximum of ten permit holders will be allowed in the campground at a time. Only downed material is allowed (no felling of trees) and no off road travel is permitted. For additional information please contact Jeremy Greenwood at 208-347-0315.
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Grimes Creek, Boise County

A video about some of the problem issues Boise County is seeing at Grimes Creek. The same information could be said for many areas in the county.

Boise County Sheriff’s Office

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Heavy use of Grimes Creek creating concerns about sanitation, ecological damage

The heavily used area is popular because of its close proximity to Boise and it has numerous open spaces that make it optimal for dispersed camping.

August 21, 2020 KTVB

On any given weekend during the summer, the seven-mile strip of land next to Grimes Creek is packed with campers and off-road enthusiasts.

The heavily used area is popular because of its close proximity to Boise and it has numerous open spaces that make it optimal for dispersed camping.

But local residents and government officials say the heavy use at Grimes Creek is creating sanitation issues and ecological damage.


Fire Season:

Crews fighting 13 wildfires around Payette National Forest

by CBS2 News Staff Thursday, August 20th 2020

Photo Courtesy of Nicole Van Esch

Fire crews are fighting 13 wildfires on and around the Payette National Forest.

Thunderstorms came Wednesday night and brought lightning throughout the area. Multiple new fires were reported that day.

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Krassel Fires

Update Aug 22, 2020 – Contained

Phoebe: The Phoebe fire is located on the Krassel Ranger District, 5 miles West of Yellow Pine. The fire is currently 0.8 acres, 10 personnel, contained on 8/21 at 8pm. There are no closures in the area associated with the fire.

East Fork – reported by local aviation assets on the morning of August 19, 2020. Estimated size .10 acres. Due to proximity and minimal fire activity this fire is sharing resources with the Phoebe incident.

Buck Horn – Located East of Rainbow Lakes/Buckhorn Lakes. Single tree lightning strike staffed with two helicopter rappellers, .10 acres, contained and controlled as of 8:00 am on August 20, 2020.
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Here are all the wildfires burning in Idaho, eastern Oregon

Treasure Valley’s air quality was placed in the ‘orange’ category on Saturday. Sensitive individuals are urged to limit outdoor time.

KTVB updated Aug 23, 2020

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Copeland Fire

The Copeland fire started on August 19 around 3:00 am near Shaw/Twin Lakes area, 5 miles east of McCall. Cause of this fire is lighting. As of 6:00 pm on Wednesday August 19, 2020 the fire was estimated to be 90 acres. The fire is burning on the border of state and federal lands in timber.

Bulldozers, handcrews and engines are constructing fire line around the fire with the support of aviation resources. Initial attack aircraft included single engine air tankers (SEATS), large air tankers (LATS), Very Large Airtankers (VLAT), and helicopters.

No structures are threatened at this time. A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place.

Valley County Sher riff has issued a road closure on Boulder Lake Road, county road 50403. The road is closed north of the zip line to all non-fire traffic.

Looking east from Payette Lake Aug 19th

InciWeb link:
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Idaho Department of Lands: Please avoid the Copeland Fire area east of McCall

by CBS2 News Staff Friday, August 21st 2020

Copeland Fire Map

A road east of McCall is closed due to a forest fire.

The Idaho Department of Lands said Friday that it’s urging folks to avoid the Copeland Fire area while firefighters fight the fire. It’s roughly 90 acres in size.

Boulder Lake Road is closed and the IDL is asking folks to not access the area from Potter Lane, Paddy Flat Road or any other public or private route “as this creates a safety issue for both the public and our firefighters.”

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Fire near McCall 10 percent contained but there’s still a chance for growth, crews say

by CBS2 News Staff Sunday, August 23rd 2020

Copeland Fire near McCall. (Photo courtesy Idaho Department of Lands)

The Copeland Fire has grown to about 91 acres east of McCall.

The Idaho Department of Lands says firefighters are working on a full perimeter control and have limited fire spread.

“The fire activity in this forested location is moderate with mostly smoldering and isolated flames,” officials said Sunday. “However, there is still the chance of fire growth.”

Authorities are urging folks to avoid the area due to firefighter traffic and aircraft dropping water and retardant (Boulder Lake Road is currently closed).

Smoke is in the McCall area, but it’s mainly from the numerous fires in California.

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Crews fully contain remote fire near Horseshoe Bend

by CBS2 News Staff Monday, August 17th 2020

Pumpkin Fire. (Courtesy of Idaho Department of Lands)

Over 300 firefighters were able to keep a wildfire from growing any further over the weekend and crews now say it is fully contained.

The Pumpkin Fire was sparked by lightning on Aug. 6. It is about a half-mile south of the Hawley Mountain lookout, and about two miles northwest of Quartzburg.

The U.S. Forest Service says crews are making great progress with mop-up and the fire is now 100% contained and burned about 438 acres.

The fire had no ground access, so crews were flown in to fight the fire.

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Forest officials stress care after campfire sparks wildfire near Stanley

by CBS2 News Staff Monday, August 17th 2020

Park Creek Fire. (Courtesy of USFS)

U.S. Forest Service officials are stressing campers take extra care after a campfire sparked a wildfire Saturday near Stanley.

The Park Creek Fire in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area was started after a campfire escaped its ring. The fire grew to 1 acre and was controlled by Sunday.

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Fires burn thousands of acres in Idaho and eastern Oregon

More than 220 personnel are battling the Indian Creek Fire which has now burned nearly 27,000 acres east of Juntura, Oregon.

August 21, 2020 KTVB

Hot temperatures and relative low humidity continues to fuel more wildfires in Idaho and portions of eastern Oregon. Here is a list of some the bigger ones that are filling the skies above with smoke.

continued: (good info on several fires)

Critter News:

MCPAWS cancels Oktoberfest 2020 due to COVID-19 worries

The Star-News Aug 20, 2020

MCPAWS Regional Animal Shelter and Brundage Mountain Resort have canceled Oktoberfest 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event had been scheduled for Oct. 3 at The Activity Barn south of McCall.

“We couldn’t see a way to keep the fun spirit of this event while making it safe for everyone in attendance,” MCPAWS Development Directory Kattie Kingsley said.

…To help offset these losses MCPAWS has focused on grants, individual donations, monthly giving, and revenue from the MCPAWS Thrift Store and MCPAWS Veterinary Hospital in Donnelly. For more information, visit (link).

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Wood River Valley black bears getting a taste for trash

by CBS2 News Staff Thursday, August 20th 2020

Black bears in the Wood River Valley are getting a taste for trash, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

IDFG says food rewards from residential garbage containers present a public safety risk when bears become food-conditioned.

… To help prevent black bears from becoming food-conditioned, it is the responsibility of every resident to secure their garbage in a garage or locked shed.

full story:
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Idaho sage grouse numbers flat, hunting could be restricted

by CBS2 News Staff Monday, August 17th 2020

Sage grouse numbers have remained mostly flat this year, according to data from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Each year the department counts the number of birds at leks, the communal breeding grounds where male grouse put on elaborate breeding displays in hopes of attracting females. Idaho’s sage grouse declined by about 53% from 2016 to 2019, and birds north of the Snake River have been disappearing in even greater numbers, The Times-News reports.

Sage grouse were once common in a large swath of the U.S. stretching from western Nebraska to eastern California. The birds now occupy just half of their historical range, and biologists estimate that there are fewer than a million sage grouse left.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is proposing one two-day hunting season in September in some areas north of the Snake River and one seven-day hunting season in September in a region south of the Snake River, with hunters allowed to take one bird per day.

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Angler sets new Idaho record with 30.5-inch cutthroat trout

by Ryan L Morrison Tuesday, August 18th 2020 CBS2

Sam Hix of Bellaire, Texas (left) with guide Josh Heilson (right). (Courtesy of Idaho Department of Fish and Game)

An angler from Texas set a new Idaho fishing record after catching a 30.5-inch cutthroat trout.

Sam Hix from Texas and his guide Josh Heilson caught this Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the Snake River on Aug. 7.

This new catch-and-release record broke the 2016 record of 28.5 inches set by Nate Ivy.

“Yellowstone cutthroat trout are mainly found in Eastern Idaho and are native to the Snake River from Shoshone Falls upstream to its headwaters, and they are one of four subspecies found in Idaho,” according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

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West Nile Virus detected in Ada County for first time in 2020

By Izaak Anderson Aug 17, 2020 KIVI

The Ada County Mosquito Abatement District has confirmed the presence of West Nile Virus in mosquito populations for the first time in 2020.

In a press release, the Ada County Mosquito Abatement District confirmed this through a pool of trapped mosquitoes near N. Five Mile Road and W. Edna Street.

These detections have prompted truck-mounted mosquito abatement treatments in those aforementioned detection areas to prevent human cases of West Nile Virus.

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Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus found in Payette County

A total of 15 mosquitoes from the Jewel Wetlands and the Little Willow area tested positive for West Nile virus on Tuesday.

August 19, 2020 KTVB

Payette County’s Mosquito Abatement Program (MAP) collected 15 mosquitoes in two traps on Tuesday. All 15 tested positive for West Nile virus.

MAP was conducting routine surveillance on the Jewel Wetlands and Little Willow areas in Payette County. The program will now increase patrol and inspection of those areas.


Fish & Game News:

Winners announced for second 2020 Super Hunt drawing

By Brian Pearson, Conservation Public Information Specialist
Friday, August 21, 2020

Winners in the second Idaho Super Hunt drawing have been picked.

Of the 38,177 total entries, 9,913 were for two deer tags, 11,822 were for two elk tags, 3,404 were for two pronghorn tags, 7,765 were for one moose tag, and 5,273 entries were for one Super Hunt Combo, which includes a tag for each of the four species.

Super Hunt winners by species, number drawn and state were:

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F&G Commission asks Army Corps to halt proposed trail project on the Boise River Wildlife Management Area

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Supervisor
Friday, August 21, 2020

Roger Phillips/Idaho Fish and Game

Proposed 15-mile recreation trail would be built in crucial big game winter range

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has asked the US Army Corps of Engineers to end its consideration of a proposal that would build a new, 15-mile recreation trail through crucial winter range for mule deer near the shores of Lucky Peak Reservoir. Displacement of big game from crucial winter range and increased risks of wildfire, soil erosion, and invasive species threatening winter range quality were key adverse impacts noted by the Commission.

The Boise River Wildlife Management Area encompasses 36,000-acres and supports more than 300 species of wildlife including the largest wintering mule deer herd in Idaho, and over a thousand wintering elk. Those animals provide hunting opportunity for the entire Boise River drainage and Unit 39, which is one of the most popular deer and elk hunting units in the state.

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F&G commission approves 2020 sage-grouse seasons

By Brian Pearson, Conservation Public Information Specialist
Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission on Aug. 20 set the 2020 sage-grouse hunting seasons and rules, which includes a continued closure in a portion of Owyhee County, the reopening of a portion of eastern Idaho to hunting, a restrictive two-day season in open areas north of the Snake River (see map: Zone 3), and a seven-day season in open areas south of the Snake River.

In those open areas south of the Snake River (Zone 2), the season will run Sept. 19-25, with the traditional one bird per day and two birds in possession bag limit.

In open areas north of the Snake River (Zone 3), the two-day season will run Sept. 19-20, with a one bird per day and two birds in possession bag limit. That portion of eastern Idaho north of Highway 26 was added back to Zone 3 this year, after it was closed for the 2018 and 2019 hunting seasons.

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More F&G News Releases


Crazy Critter Stuff:

‘Chief mouser’ Palmerston retires as UK’s top diplomatic cat

by Associated Press Friday, August 7th 2020

Palmerston, the Foreign Office cat sits on a photographer’s ladder at Downing Street in London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

London (AP) — Time spent in lockdown was just superb for Palmerston, the chief mouser at the U.K. Foreign Office.

It was so good, in fact, that the cat has decided to leave sorting out international affairs to the human diplomats and retire to the countryside after four long, hard years on the job.

Palmerston made it official in a letter sent in his name to Simon McDonald, the office’s permanent under-secretary, which explained that he wanted more time “away from the limelight.”


Seasonal Humor:


Ray Stevens – “Quarantined”