Nov 1, 2020 The Yellow Pine Times

Nov 1, 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
Aug 11 – Valley County Mask Order
Aug 12 – Firewood Permits at The Corner
Sept 8 – Hwy 55 work started
Nov 2 – 3-day a week mail starts
Nov 2-3 – Rx burn South Fork Salmon River planed
Nov 26 – Thanksgiving potluck Community Hall 2pm
Nov 30 – Firewood Season Ends
(details below)
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From Valley County

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

Rebound – Idaho Governor’s phasing program
link:

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

Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 26th, 2pm. Yellow Pine Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner, at the Community Hall.
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Rx burn South Fork Salmon River planed

Update Oct 30: For your planning purposes and general knowledge. We are narrowing down our window for prescribed fire operations in Four Mile. Tentatively we are looking at burning Monday (11/2/20) or Tuesday (11/3/20) depending on weather. Ignitions will start in the afternoon and will last one day. I expect some residual smoke for a couple days. A system is expected to enter the burn area Wednesday which should bring cooler temps, high humidity’s and increased ventilation. Thank you for your interest and have a good weekend, Patrick

The Payette National Forest, Krassel Ranger District, is planning to conduct prescribed burning in the Four Mile project area this fall. The Four Mile project area is on both sides of the South Fork of the Salmon River between Poverty Flat Campground and Reed Ranch. The area that will be targeted for fire this fall is to the east of the South Fork Rd between Reed Ranch and Poverty Flat Campground. First priority burn block will be the area between Nasty and Four Mile creeks. Ignitions should take 1-3 days for each burn block, with smoke and fire most likely present in the project area until the next significant precipitation.

The decision to implement prescribed fire always includes assessing the risk and impacts to communities, firefighters and forest resources. This season additional consideration will be given to complexity associated with COVID19, cumulative smoke exposure in our communities from wildfire and the commitment of fire resources locally and nationally.

If you will be operating in the area or have any questions please contact Laurel Ingram, Fuels Tech or Patrick Schon, Fuels Specialist, so that we can collaborate on timing.

Patrick Schon
Email: patrick.schon@usda.gov
Laurel Ingram
Email: laurel.ingram@usda.gov

Map Link: FourMile Fall 2020 Notification
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Highway 55 Closure starts Monday, Sept 21st

Fall (September through November) and Spring (March through May)
– Daytime and nighttime work seven days a week
– Full road closures Monday through Thursday from 10:00am to 2:00pm
– One-way alternating traffic during all other time frames
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Village News:

Yellow Pine Tavern Annual Halloween Party

Halloween gathering held at the Yellow Pine Tavern Saturday evening.

(waiting for photos…)


Old Tavern photo courtesy Tasha Edwards
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Yellow Pine Voting

Yellow Pine is a “vote by mail” precinct. You must be registered to vote in the Yellow Pine precinct to receive an automatic absentee ballot.

If you have not yet mailed your absentee ballot, please take it to the Valley County Courthouse before 5pm, Tuesday, Nov. 3rd.
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South Fork Road Update – Project Complete

10/26/2020

The South Fork Road reconstruction project is fully complete. No more closures or delays will take place currently or into the future.

Brian Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Payette National Forest
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After Fire Action Meeting

On Tuesday, Oct 13, there was a meeting at the community hall to compile an “After Action Review” for the Buck Fire. (No report yet.)
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Help Support the Yellow Pine Volunteer Fire Department

Thank you for all your offers of help and support. Now you can help support the Yellow Pine Fire District by donating through our Go Fund Me account. Just click on the link to get started.

Even a small donation could help reach the fundraising goal. And if you can’t make a donation, it would be great if you could share the fundraiser to help spread the word.

Thanks for taking a look!

FAQ: YPAC is the charity that was set up to allow the Village to apply for grants. It was the only 501.c3 the Village has to allow GoFundMe to recognize an authorized EIN. So, funds will go to YPAC then they will cut a check to the fire district. YPAC is lead by Corey Phillips and Matt Huber is the Secretary.
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Boil Water Order issued April 17 still in effect.

No update for August or September or October.

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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Critters

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.

Be Mountain Lion Aware

* NEVER run away from a mountain lion. The lion’s instinct is to chase and ultimately catch what they perceive as potential prey.
* NEVER turn your back on a lion. Always face them while making yourself look as large as you can. Yell loudly, but don’t scream. A high-pitched scream may mimic the sound of a wounded animal.
* SLOWLY back away while maintaining eye contact with the lion.
* Safety equipment you may choose to carry could include bear spray, a noise device, like an air-horn, and if you walk in the dark, a very bright flashlight.
* If you are attacked, fight back!
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Latest Road Reports

Link: to current road reports.
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Yellow Pine US Mail

The 3-day a week mail delivery will start Nov 2nd (he will also drive the route Nov 3rd to make sure any last minute ballots get taken out.) 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

Report the bins were emptied Wednesday Oct 14th.

Road is good from YP to the dump.

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
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Local Groups

YPWUA News:

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
Treasurer
ypwater @ gmail.com

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:

Heat was installed in the Community Hall on April 30, 2020.

Addition for Community Hall bathrooms October 15, 2020.

Minutes from September 12 VYPA meeting
link:

Minutes from August 8, 2020 VYPA meeting
link:

Minutes from July 11, 2020 VYPA meeting
link:

Minutes from June 13, 2020 VYPA meeting
link:

VYPA Bylaws adopted 8/8/2020 (link)

YPAC Corp Bylaws (link)
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YPFD News:

November 1 – Time to change your clocks and change the batteries (and test) your smoke and CO alarms.

Burn Ban rescinded Oct 20, 2020

After Action Report meeting Oct 13, 2020 (no minutes yet.)

YPFD had a budget meeting on September 30th at 10am at the fire station. (No minutes yet.)

Make sure to clean and check chimney fitting before starting that first fall fire in your cabin. Cleaning brushes can be borrowed from the YPFD.

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

YPFD COVID19 Policy

link: YPFD Covid 19 SOP

link: Covid-19 EMS (May 23)

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
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Biz Listings:

The Corner (208) 633-3325

Open 11am-8pm Closed Tuesdays thru end of hunting season. Calling ahead works best. 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

Open until November 3rd.
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Yellow Pine General Store (208) 633-3300

The store is open now and will be thru October (closing November 3rd for the winter.) 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
FB page link
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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
website:
Facebook:
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
website:

Deadwood Outfitters
website:
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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)
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Local Observations:

Monday (Oct 26) overnight low of 8 degrees (-1F at Stibnite) high thin hazy clouds this morning, dry (no frost.) A few jays in the neighborhood. Mostly cloudy by lunchtime. Darker clouds and just above freezing early afternoon. Golfers playing out in the forest. Light breezes and gray overcast mid-afternoon, high of 37 degrees. Cloudy and calmer at dusk, colorful clouds to the west. Looks like high thin clouds before midnight, weak moonlight. Partly clear during the night.

Tuesday (Oct 27) the 24 hour low of 13 degrees was from Monday morning, mostly clear sky this morning, dry (no frost.) Mostly clear at lunch time. Tap water has a yellow tint. Warmer and partly clear mid-afternoon, high of 59 degrees. Steller jay hanging around. High thin pink painted clouds covered most of the sky at dusk. Partly clear before midnight.

Wednesday (Oct 28) overnight low of 21 degrees, partly hazy sky this morning, dry – not much frost. Mostly clear and sunny at lunch time. Mail truck made it in on time. Warm, mostly cloudy and light breezes mid-afternoon, high of 66 degrees. Steller jay still hanging around. The sky was mostly streaked with thin pink clouds at dusk. Partly or mostly clear before midnight, Mars and the Moon shining close together.

Thursday (Oct 29) overnight low of 24 degrees, clear sky this morning, dry – very little frost. Air and street traffic before sunrise. Clear sky and strong sunshine at lunch time. Warm, clear and slight breeze mid-afternoon, high of 69 degrees. Clear and calm at dusk. Increased traffic. It looked clear before midnight, bright nearly full moon.

Friday (Oct 30) overnight low of 25 degrees, mostly cloudy-hazy sky this morning, dry – no frost. Partly cloudy and light breezes at lunch time. Mostly hazy by early afternoon. By mid-afternoon we had a gray overcast and blustery breezes, high of 68 degrees. Steller jay hanging around. Mostly dark clouds at dusk and light breezes. Partly cloudy before midnight.

Saturday (Oct 31) overnight low of 22 degrees, clear sky this morning, dry – no frost. Sunny and clear at lunch time. Local road work on Westside Ave. Clear sky, a little cooler and light breezes mid-afternoon, high of 58 degrees. Evening pine squirrel serenading the neighborhood. Clear and calm at dusk. Clear and cold at midnight, big bright full “blue” moon.

Sunday (Nov 1) overnight low of 23 degrees, clear sky this morning, not much frost. A lone Steller jay hanging around. Sunny and light breezes at lunch time. Clear sky, warm and light breezes mid-afternoon, high of 64 degrees. Clear and calm after sunset.
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Idaho News:

1,064 new Idaho COVID-19 cases, 11 new deaths

Oct 30, 2020 Local News 8

Idaho officials reported 1,064 new COVID-19 cases and 11 new deaths on Friday.

That’s the third-highest number of cases reported on a single day. There were 1,073 reported last Friday on Oct. 23 and 1,094 reported the week before that on Oct. 16. It’s also the fourth daily report higher than 1,000. Idaho officials reported 1,021 new COVID-19 cases on Oct. 24.

This brings the total confirmed and probable cases reported since March to 63,810.

There are a total of 55,834 confirmed cases and 7,976 probable cases in all 44 of the 44 counties in Idaho, according to numbers released from the local health districts and the state.

… 11 new deaths were reported bringing the total recorded deaths to 626.

full story:
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Friday, October 30

source: KTVB
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Idaho rolled back to Stage 3 of reopening plan amid coronavirus spike

Gov. Brad Little announced Idaho will be moving back into Stage 3 of Idaho Rebounds during a press conference on Monday.

Celina Van Hyning October 26, 2020 KTVB

Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced Monday that Idaho will be moving back into Stage 3 of the Idaho Rebounds plan. This decision was made due to healthcare facilities facing increased demand and capacity constraints due to COVID-19 statewide.

“Hospitals throughout the state are quickly filling up or are already full with COVID-19 patients and other patients, and way too many healthcare workers are out sick with COVID-19,” Little said.

Effective at 12 a.m. on Oct. 27, Stage 3 restrictions will be put into place statewide:

* Indoor gatherings must be limited to 50 people or less
* Outdoor gatherings must remain at 25% capacity or less
* Social distancing guidelines remain in place
* Long-term care facilities must require masks on the premises
* Seating-only at nightclubs, bars and restaurants. Nightclubs can only operate as bars
* Employers are encouraged to continue allowing employees to work remotely or to make special accommodations for in-house employees

continued:
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Idaho’s hospitals are full, nurses are fatigued and COVID-19 case rates are rising

by CBS2 News Staff Tuesday, October 27th 2020

Physician leaders from some of Idaho and Eastern Oregon’s largest health care organizations gave a grim outlook Tuesday of local hospitals on a weekly pandemic-focused session.

The topic of this week’s session was the impact of the current third wave of COVID-19 infections on hospitals, schools and individuals.

Leaders and physicians from Saint Alphonsus and St. Luke’s Health Systems and Primary Health Medical Group took part and answered questions.

continued:
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Valley, Adams counties report surge in COVID-19 cases

Council schools report outbreak among students, staff

By Tom Grote for The Star-News Oct 29, 2020

The number of new COVID-19 cases in Valley and Adams counties surged in the last week, health officials said.

The total number of positive COVID-19 cases in Valley County reached 166 cases on Tuesday, up 18 cases from 148 a week ago, health officials said.

St. Luke’s McCall on Tuesday reported 129 total positive cases from testing done at the hospital, up 14 cases from 115 a week ago.

Cascade Medical Center reported 34 positive cases, or four more than the 30 cases reported last week.

In addition, the private testing cooperative Crush the Curve has found three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Valley County with no change in the past week.

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

Central District Health reported 108 of the positive cases were confirmed to be Valley County residents as of Tuesday, which is nine more than the 99 cases reported a week ago.

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.

One death from COVID-19 has been reported in Valley County 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.

continued:
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Amazing Rescue

Boise County Emergency Management Oct 26, 2020 (via FB)

The call came into dispatch at approximately 5:30 am on October 25th. A truck was reported upside down in Grimes Creek. Nobody knew how long the truck was there but there was a man with injuries trapped inside. Clear Creek Fire (CCVFD) was dispatched to the scene. Steve Moore (assistant Fire Chief for Clear Creek Fire) arrived on scene and identified himself as Incident Commander. After a size up, Steve requested that Wilderness Ranch Fire (WRFPD) and Wilderness Ranch QRU (Quick Reaction Unit) be dispatched for assistance to extricate the driver from the truck. Marvin Jennings and Aaron Dossey of CCFD crossed the freezing water and were the first to reach the patient in the truck. EBCAD unit 15 with Pat and Cheryl Mento arrived on scene and they too crossed the creek getting completely wet from the waist down. Aaron helped Cheryl cross the creek to the patient where she did an assessment and provided care. Wilderness Ranch Fire arrived on scene and in complete darkness with only headlamps, deployed a generator and extrication equipment. Volunteers forded the freezing water carrying the heavy extrication equipment to the truck on the other side of the creek to start cutting the vehicle open to rescue the driver. Many volunteers started showing up from both departments to assist. The driver was removed from the truck, secured to a backboard and transported by small boat to the other side of the creek. Several volunteers helped lift up the patient up a steep embankment to road where he was transported to the Air Saint Luke’s helicopter. Teamwork, having all of the right equipment and the many volunteers who came together as a team made this all work! Here’s a big THANK YOU! to CCVFD; Steve Moore (Deputy Chief and IC), Marvin Jennings, Mike Underwood, Aaron Dossey, Travis Hooper, Jack Loader, Kurt Volker, Jacob Pecora, Dave Walker, and Ray Vanden Brink. And a big THANK YOU to the volunteers from WRFPD; Colton McCarthy (Fire Chief), Curtis Dill, Bob Miller, Jim Bryant, Paul Bucca, Drew Bodie, Al Estupinan, Josh Owens, Tom Horner, and Kirstin Kelling. A special THANK YOU to Air St. Luke’s for flying in to assist with the patient and transport to the hospital. These people are true hero’s for responding to calls when others are in need of help! A shout out to Ryan Jensen and his crew from Mountain Towing for the difficult task of getting the vehicle out of the water! We live in an awesome county because of all our volunteers in the county to include Lowman, Placerville, Centerville, Garden Valley, Horseshoe Bend, Idaho City and all of the surrounding Fire Departments. THANK YOU ALL!!!
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see also:

Man rescued from upside-down pickup in Grimes Creek

Volunteers waded across the icy creek carrying extrication equipment to cut the driver free from the wreckage.


Credit: Steve Moore, Clear Creek Fire

link:
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Drilling complete at US-95 slide south of Riggins

October 27 ITD


ITD

Drilling on the face of the slope is now complete. Next crews will start installing mesh at the top of the slope and removing the rock berm on the south side. Impacts to traffic – delays up to 15 minutes – are expected to remain the same until early November.

Remaining work includes installing cable netting on the face of the slope, installing fencing at the bottom of the slope, repairing the surface of US-95 and making minor changes to Old Pollock Road. Work is expected to wrap up in mid-November.
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Letter to Share:

COVID-19 fatigue has set in, but now is not the time to snooze

BY St. Luke’s McCall Medical Staff

Hear that alarm? Now is not the time to hit the snooze button!

We have different types of alarms in our life in order to be prepared and to remind us of things that are important. Some alarms we can hit snooze, or even ignore, most of the time we need to heed them. We have had alarms go off for seven months about COVID-19, we know there’s fatigue, but we cannot hit snooze.

Idaho and many of our communities are experiencing extreme spikes in COVID-19 illness and deaths. As of today, St. Luke’s Health System has defined their hospital capacity as “guarded” due to a rapid increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

In Valley County, after a period of only a few positive cases, there has been a sudden increase in documented infections since Wednesday, Oct. 21. We are concerned that our case rate risks mirroring the extreme spikes in much of the rest of Idaho.

Our Twin Falls hospital is currently experiencing the brunt of the outbreak in our region. This is having a direct effect on the smaller rural hospitals surrounding Twin Falls which need to transfer patients requiring a higher level of care to St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center.

You may be asking yourself, “what’s that got to with us, we’re fine?” Well it has everything to do with us, because we’re all in this together. When the larger medical centers in Idaho fill up with COVID-19 patients it means there are fewer beds available to accept patients from outside the area.

What’s happening in Twin Falls could easily happen in Boise, which directly affects us in Valley County.

Do not misunderstand, we have outstanding providers, nurses and clinical staff to care for you, but we do not have an intensive care unit in Valley County to care for those who need high acuity care.

With the recent rise in cases, rural counties and small towns all over the country have seen a disproportionate rise in cases. Cumulative COVID-19 mortality rates are higher in rural parts of some states compared to urban areas. We are dedicated to avoiding that fate here.

Cases throughout the state and country are rising and they are predicted to continue to rise, as colder weather sets in and we begin to spend more time indoors.

We had been holding our own and overall, our positive cases were previously relatively low. We are grateful to all the individuals and businesses who have been following the CDC guidelines from the beginning. Please resolve to do everything possible not to contract or spread the virus.

The fatigue from dealing with COVID-19 is real but we must not let up.

We have tools to fight COVID collectively. We need to remain diligent and deploy them more vigorously in areas of our communities where guidelines are not being followed.

Please know those of us who are here to take care of you, are working diligently to provide the care that our community requires and to procure additional resources where needed. But we need your help. Help us help you!

Here’s what we are doing and ask you to do as well:

• Wear a mask in public, wash hands frequently and watch your distance. Remember that you wear a mask to protect others and they should extend the same courtesy to you. Masks need to be worn properly, covering both the mouth and nose and pulled snugly to the face. Fabric masks should consist of at least two layers of tightly woven fabric and laundered daily if re-used. Isolate yourself and get tested if you develop fever or respiratory illness.

• Get an influenza vaccine.

• Limit interactions with those outside your household. Tighten your social circle and limit indoor gatherings to less than 10. Better yet, limit indoor gatherings to those in your household.

• We all want to support our local restaurants and shops, so consider take-out versus indoor dining and buying local versus traveling to other areas to shop.

• Minimize travel and plan your shopping and errands to minimize interactions.

Take care:

• Of yourself by exercising, getting enough sleep, eating right and staying hydrated. Find ways to unplug and reduce stress.

• Of each other: Be kind and gracious. Thank each other for wearing a mask and smile, even when wearing a mask. It can affect your emotion and can be seen in your eyes. Check in with family, friends and neighbors.

Idaho is receiving national attention for the rise in cases and deaths from COVID-19. This is not the kind of attention we want. We all want to be known for all the things we love about this place, not for being a COVID-19 hot spot!

(St. Luke’s McCall Medical Staff consists of Todd Arndt, MD, Heather Beaman, PA-C, Chuck Blankman, PA-C, Ashley Brown, LCSW, David Burica, MD , Sarah Curtin, MD, Jonathan Currey, MD, Heather Davis, PA-C, Mark Engibous, CRNA, Maureen Ferguson, MD , Megan Fitzmaurice, FNP, Autumn Freeland, PA-C, Jennifer Gray, MD, Caitlin Gustafson, MD , David Hall, MD, Rachelle Hamell, FNP, Doug Irvine, MD, Gregory Irvine, MD, Anna Kinney, PA-C , Patrick Kinney, MD, John Kremer, MD, Angela Latta, FNP, Jennifer Lewis, MD, Rich McChrystal, PA-C, Katrina McKellips, DO, Curt Meske, MD, Cory Nelson, CRNA, Timothy Neuschwander, MD, Amy Ocmand, MD, Tobin Purslow, PA-C, Adam Weller, MD, Julie Welty, MD, Jacob Wilson, LCSW, Marcia Witte, MD.)

source: The Star-News Oct 29, 2020
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Scam Alerts:

Beware of COVID-19 medical scams

October 27, 2020 Local News 8

If you are seeking a cure for COVID-19, be careful when shopping online.

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden is warning people that some sellers are falsely claiming that things like colloidal silver, essential oils, supplements, and immunity-boosting therapies can prevent COVID-19 infections or treat other health conditions. In fact, he says they could pose a risk to consumers’ health.

“My office has contacted several sellers in the past eight months about their deceptive and unsubstantiated health claims,” Wasden said. “Ads for fake coronavirus cures are particularly troubling and should be reported to my office.”

continued:
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BBB: Make sure your smart home devices are cyber secure

By: Kristen Bolden – Executive Producer KIVI Oct 26, 2020

During the pandemic, the demand for smart home devices is on the rise. Unfortunately, the rush to buy products like the Amazon Echo or Google Nest means new cybersecurity risks, opening the door for scammers.

Rebecca Barr from the Better Business Bureau wants to remind everyone that any device connected to the internet is a cybersecurity threat. That means the more online products you have in your home, the more vulnerable you are to an attack. Within the next 12 months, over 80 million U.S. households intend to purchase a new type of smart home device, meaning scams will likely be on the rise.

So what are scammers looking for exactly? Smart home products keep track of unique personal information such as when you are home or away and your daily routine. Many also connect to some of your most frequently accessed online accounts like streaming services, which are powered by payment information. A hacker could take control of your smart device, access your data, and steal your identity without much effort.

continued:
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Tips & Advice:

IFFD share tips to avoid winter house fires

By Ariel Schroeder October 28, 2020 Local News 8

October marks the end of fire season, but this doesn’t mean we’re in the clear.

As we stay cozy and warm indoors this winter season, the Idaho Falls Fire Department reminds us to be safe when operating home heating equipment.

According to the IFFD, home fires occur more in winter than in any other season.

They say fall is the time to prepare our home from winter fires.

Public Information Officer for the Idaho Falls Fire Department, Kerry Hammon suggests cleaning and inspecting your home’s heating sources is a good place to start.

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Public Lands:

Abandoned Campfires

Payette NF (via FB Oct 30, 2020)

Forest Service firefighters have responded to 6 wildfires started by people abandoning campfires and warming fires over the last few days.

One such wildfire is the Tussle Fire on the Council Ranger District located off the Skunk Creek Road. The fire is approximately an acre in size and presents hazards to firefighters regarding falling trees. Smoke from the fire is visible from Lockwood Saddle and the Horse Mountain Lookout area – If you see smoke in this area, there is no need to call 911.

Fire behavior this time of year is typically low to moderate, but every fire presents risks to firefighters.

Be sure to fully extinguish all campfires and warming fires!
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South Fork Road Update – Project Complete

10/26/2020

The South Fork Road reconstruction project is fully complete. No more closures or delays will take place currently or into the future.

Brian Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Payette National Forest
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Rx burn South Fork Salmon River planed

Update Oct 30: For your planning purposes and general knowledge. We are narrowing down our window for prescribed fire operations in Four Mile. Tentatively we are looking at burning Monday (11/2/20) or Tuesday (11/3/20) depending on weather. Ignitions will start in the afternoon and will last one day. I expect some residual smoke for a couple days. A system is expected to enter the burn area Wednesday which should bring cooler temps, high humidity’s and increased ventilation. Thank you for your interest and have a good weekend, Patrick

The Payette National Forest, Krassel Ranger District, is planning to conduct prescribed burning in the Four Mile project area this fall. The Four Mile project area is on both sides of the South Fork of the Salmon River between Poverty Flat Campground and Reed Ranch. The area that will be targeted for fire this fall is to the east of the South Fork Rd between Reed Ranch and Poverty Flat Campground. First priority burn block will be the area between Nasty and Four Mile creeks. Ignitions should take 1-3 days for each burn block, with smoke and fire most likely present in the project area until the next significant precipitation.

The decision to implement prescribed fire always includes assessing the risk and impacts to communities, firefighters and forest resources. This season additional consideration will be given to complexity associated with COVID19, cumulative smoke exposure in our communities from wildfire and the commitment of fire resources locally and nationally.

If you will be operating in the area or have any questions please contact Laurel Ingram, Fuels Tech or Patrick Schon, Fuels Specialist, so that we can collaborate on timing.

Patrick Schon
Email: patrick.schon@usda.gov
Laurel Ingram
Email: laurel.ingram@usda.gov

Map Link: FourMile Fall 2020 Notification
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South Fork Salmon River

Payette NF via FB Oct 27, 2020

Every August since 1965, Payette National Forest fisheries personnel have sampled areas of the South Fork of the Salmon River to evaluate fine sediments within Chinook salmon spawning areas.

This survey technique, known as “core sampling”, is performed by digging out portions of the stream bed and “sieving” that material through a series of graduated sieves (a strainer) that separates the material by size classes. The individual size classes are then placed in calibrated buckets and the displaced water is measured and recorded. A core sampling site consists of 40 individual dig sites and the material from each dig typically weighs around 50lbs.

Biologists are particularly interested in fine sediments, those less than 6 mm (slightly smaller than your pinky nail), because too much fine sediment can be detrimental to salmon and steelhead egg-to-fry survival.

In the winter of 1964 – 1965, a rain-on-snow event took place in the upper South Fork of the Salmon River watershed. This event, in conjunction with the hundreds of miles of logging roads and the unstable granitic soils of the region, caused several very large landslides that delivered thousands of cubic feet of fine sediment into the south fork and very nearly wiped-out the river’s Chinook salmon population.

As a result, a ban on logging within the south fork watershed was enacted and annual core sampling efforts were initiated. Fifty-five years later, the data set created by this sampling effort is one of the largest of any kind within the U.S. Forest Service and continues to guide management decisions on the Payette National Forest.

Today, the levels of fine sediment in the South Fork of the Salmon River are very close to what they were prior to the 1960s and are in line with reference sites in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. This shows fisheries personnel that the methods being used in the area are working, providing a safe habitat for Chinook salmon.
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Skunk Creek Project

10/17/2020

The Forest Service is seeking public input (scoping comments) for the proposed Skunk Creek Project on the Cascade Ranger District in Valley County.

Project Description

The project would utilize commercial thinning, non-commercial thinning and/or prescribed fire to improve stand conditions, increase resiliency to ongoing and future insect activity, reduce existing hazardous fuels accumulations, and reduce the potential future fuel load being created by the current insect mortality within the wildland urban interface of the Clear Creek subdivision.

For a more detailed description of the proposed project, please review the proposed action report (PAR) on the Project webpage: (link)

How to Comment

The Forest Service is contacting interested persons, groups, and agencies to make them aware of the project and to gather pertinent feedback. Your comments will help us identify and address issues. Comments may be submitted in the following ways:

1. Through the Skunk Creek Project webpage (link above). Select “Comment on Project” under “Get Connected” on the right panel. If uploading a file with comments, comments must be in the form of plain text (.txt), Word (.doc, .docx) or PDF (.pdf).
2. Mail to Cascade Ranger District, PO Box 696, Cascade, ID 83611.
3. By fax at 208-382-7480.Hand delivered comments are not being accepted at this time as there are limited office functions as part of precautions in response to the coronavirus.
4. Comments received will be included in the project record and may be released in their entirety, if requested, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
5. If submitting comments by mail or fax, be sure to include “Skunk Creek” in the subject line.

When to Comment

To be most helpful, please submit your comments by November 17, 2020. For further information on the project, please contact Jim Bishop, Team Leader, at 208-382-7400.
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USDA Forest Service Sloans Point Forest Resilience Project Update

10/26/2020

You are subscribed to Sloans Point Forest Resilience Project for USDA Forest Service. This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

District Ranger Jennifer Blake signed the Decision Memo for the Sloans Point Forest Resilience Project on October 26, 2020. The Decision Memo is available on the project webpage at: (link)

The primary objective of the Sloans Point Project is to address insect and disease disturbances, which may be interfering with forest resiliency and reducing key components of the forest matrix, especially the western larch and ponderosa pine components. The project is designed to: 1) maintain and improve desired species composition to include aspen, western larch, Douglas-fir, and ponderosa pine; 2) manage for mixed age and size class distribution with an emphasis on retaining large diameter trees; and 3) reduce stand densities to reduce susceptibility to insect and disease outbreaks and improve forest resiliency.

This project falls within a category of action authorized by the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA) and is excluded from documentation in an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement. The Forest Service utilized a collaborative process to develop management recommendations as required by the HFRA and is partnering with the Idaho Department of Lands through the Good Neighbor Authority, which enables the Forest Service to achieve restoration and resilient landscape objectives across ownership boundaries through cooperative agreements. In accordance with the Agriculture Act of 2014, Subtitle A, Sec. 8006, this decision is not subject to administrative review.

Implementation of this decision is scheduled to begin in summer 2021.

Please contact Jennifer Blake, McCall District Ranger, at 208-634-4000 for additional information about this project.
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Decision to Move Forward on the Sloans Point Forest Resilience Good Neighbor Authority Project Made

McCall, Idaho, October 27, 2020 – The McCall District Ranger has signed the Decision Memo for the Sloans Point Forest Resilience Project on October 26, 2020. The 2273-acre project is located off the Paddy Flat Road within the Kennally Creek Watershed. The primary objective of the project is to address insect and disease disturbances, that are interfering with forest resiliency and reducing key components of the forest matrix, especially the western larch and ponderosa pine components.

The Forest Service utilized a collaborative process by partnering with the Idaho Department of Lands through a Good Neighbor Authority partnership agreement. This partnership enables the Forest Service to achieve restoration and resilient landscape objectives across ownership boundaries through cooperative agreements.

The project is designed to maintain and improve desired species with a mixed age composition to include aspen, western larch, Douglas-fir, and ponderosa pine while retaining large diameter trees. The project will also guard against insect and disease outbreaks by improving forest resiliency.

Implementation of this decision is scheduled to begin in summer 2021. The Decision Memo is available on the project webpage at: (link)

Please contact Jennifer Blake, McCall District Ranger, at 208-634-4000 for additional information about this project.
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Jordan Fire

October 30th, 2020 BLM

Start Date: 10/30/2020
Start Time: 2:30 pm
Location: 6 miles southeast of Jordan Valley, Oregon
Cause: Under Investigation
Fire Size: Estimated at 700 acres
Fire Behavior: Running
Structures Threatened: None at this time
Fuels and Terrain: Burning in grass and brush with steep topography.

Fire Crews/Resources: Four BLM engines, one BLM dozer, one type-2 hand crew, Owyhee RFPA resources, one air attack and two airtankers.

Evacuations: None

Closures: None

Summary: Bureau of Land Management and Owyhee RFPA resources are fighting the Jordan Fire near Jordan Valley, Oregon. The fire is running in grass and brush in steep terrain. Ground and aviation resources are currently engaging in fire suppression efforts as they work toward establishing containment lines and stopping active fire spread.

Fire season is not over, so please do your part to prevent human caused wildfires when recreating on public lands.

For more information on fires in Idaho visit (link)
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Letter to Share:

Just a little good news

Gamebird Foundation (via email 10/31)

Just a little good news. The glass is 1/2 full. We are half-way to reaching our goal of 2000 Red-Leg Partridge eggs for 2021. We will need $2000.00 plus fright. We have commitments for the first 1,000. We have turned my front yard into a sales yard. All the commission we receive will go into a fund for The Gamebird Foundation. We have a couple friends that help us put the equipment on Facebook and other forms of advertising. So far we have sold a horse trailer and a Bass boat. We have a motorbike coming soon and I think a 250 ford pickup, 4×4 with about 50,000 miles. Also have a retired plumbing contractor that said he will send some of his consulting fees to the Foundation. We have several elk and other prints to sell that have been donated. Please keep your eyes and ears open for products that we can sell. This is one way that we can help fund the Foundation in tough times. More news but we want to keep it short.

“The Pheasant Guy”
Jim Hagedorn
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Critter News:

Snake River Animal Shelter temporarily closes due to COVID-19

October 30, 2020 Local News 8

Due to unforeseen COVID-19 related circumstances, the Snake River Animal Shelter will be closed to volunteers and the public until Nov. 17, 2020.

Snake River Animal Shelter Executive Director Kristin Sanger said a staff member tested positive and others have symptoms.

She plans to do a deep cleaning before reopening.

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Pet Talk – The Hype and Hope of Cannabis in Veterinary Medicine

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt Oct 30, 2020 IME

Cannabis refers to the plant Cannabis sativa, which originated in Central Asia, and has been used medicinally for more than 5,000 years. There are thousands of varieties of the cannabis plant, which differ in their compounds. The proportion of compounds in the cannabis plant determines its pharmacological properties.

CBD, Cannabidiol, was first identified in 1940 and appears in insignificant concentrations in the hemp plant. CBD is not considered intoxicating and it may have potentially favorable effects on anxiety, inflammation and epilepsy. At this time, under federal law, there are no uses of CBD for animals. Nevertheless, research is being conducted on the safety and efficacy of CBD in companion animals, mainly dogs.

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Trump administration removes gray wolf from endangered species list

October 29, 2020 (Local News 8)

The Trump administration is dropping the gray wolf from the endangered species list under the assertion that the animal’s population has sufficiently recovered, a move conservation groups decry as shortsighted and promise to challenge in court.

The move comes after the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed last year to remove the gray wolf from being listed under the Endangered Species Act after the wolf population increased. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, there are more than 6,000 gray wolves in the US.

“Today’s action reflects the Trump Administration’s continued commitment to species conservation based on the parameters of the law and the best scientific and commercial data available,” Interior Department Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement Thursday.

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2 moose shot and left to rot near Banks

The poached cow and calf moose are the fourth and fifth moose illegally killed in the area this month, according to Fish and Game.

October 27, 2020 KTVB

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is investigating the fifth illegal moose shooting since the month began after a pair of moose were found dead near Banks.

The cow and calf moose had been shot and left to rot near Dry Buck Road, about three miles west of Banks.

Fish and Game received a tip about a poached cow moose through the Citizens Against Poaching hotline on Oct. 18. After conservation officers arrived in the area and began to investigate, an officer’s dog found a bull calf lying dead a few yards away from the female moose.

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‘Dangerous’ and ‘ethically ridiculous’: After botched elk shooting in Gimlet, homeowners question hunting regulations

Elk kill brings focus on hunting in residential areas

Emily Jones Oct 28, 2020 IME

After a bull elk was shot by two different bowhunters on Sept. 19 and 23—first nonfatally on the west side of state Highway 75, then fatally in a Rainbow Bend backyard—homeowners have been left scratching their heads over the legal practice of big-game hunting in residential neighborhoods.

… The controversial incident began on Sept. 19 when an archer hit the bull on a large parcel of private property in Game Unit 48, across the highway from Gimlet subdivision, prompting the animal to bolt across the highway into the residential neighborhood—located within Game Unit 49—with an arrow in its stomach.

Tajkowski said the archer then went “door to door” in Gimlet asking if he could take this animal down legally on their property.

“It seems that he was a young hunter who didn’t know any better,” he said.

full story:
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Pheasant stocking underway near Inkom

October 27, 2020 Local News 8

The Idaho Fish and Game Department plans to stock 1,500 pheasants at the Portneuf Wildlife Management Area south of Inkom this fall.

The WMA is managed by Fish and Game and is already a popular site for deer, turkey, and grouse hunting. “Now hunters can count on a more consistent and fun pheasant hunting experience between October 25th and the end of pheasant season in November,” said Regional Communications Manager Jennifer Jackson.

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Idaho’s sockeye salmon run falters again; experts perplexed

Associated Press / KIVI Oct 29, 2020

A meager return of sockeye salmon to central Idaho this year despite high hopes and a new fish hatchery intended to help save the species from extinction has fisheries managers trying to figure out what went wrong.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game plans to form a working group to understand why only 27 of 660,000 juvenile fish raised in the hatchery and released in central Idaho in 2018 survived the two-year, 1,800-mile trip to the ocean and back to return as adults. Fisheries managers expected about 800.

On a more positive note, 125 fish reared in the wild in Redfish and Pettit lakes near Stanley returned this year.

source:
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Fish & Game News:

Information sought about bull and cow moose killed and left to waste near Banks

By Brian Pearson, Conservation Public Information Specialist
Monday, October 26, 2020

This is the fourth and fifth illegally killed moose in SW Idaho in October

Idaho Fish and Game is asking the public for information regarding two moose that were recently poached and left to waste on the border of Unit 32 and Unit 32A west of Banks.

Fish and Game conservation officers received a call from the Citizens Against Poaching hotline on Oct. 18 regarding a cow moose that was shot and left to waste near Dry Buck Road, about three miles west of Banks.

When officers arrived and investigated, an officer’s dog located another bull calf moose that was shot and left just a few yards away from the cow. Officers gathered and processed evidence from the scene, and believe that the two animals were shot sometime between Oct. 14 and Oct. 18.

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Mule deer harvests down based on early check station reports, but more data needed

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Supervisor
Thursday, October 29, 2020

Hunters had less time to hunt before check stations opened this year

Deer hunting in southern Idaho either got off to a slow start, or the harvest stats are lagging due to the timing of the opener, or a combination. That’s the preliminary snapshot based on mid October check station reports.

Check stations mostly captured early mule deer harvests in southern and eastern Idaho during opening weekend because many elk and white-tailed deer hunters concentrate their efforts later in the season.

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Deer hunting continues into November and December, even if you have regular deer tag

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Supervisor
Friday, October 30, 2020

Deer hunters have many more opportunities to notch a tag

For many Idaho hunters “deer season” is seen as two or three weeks in October during the general, any-weapon season, particularly if they’re targeting mule deer in central or south Idaho. But there are many other opportunities available for those who haven’t notched a tag and want to keep deer hunting.

Pull out your dog-eared and tattered copy of the 2020 Idaho Big Game Seasons and Rules, or see it online, and check out the seasons you’ve skimmed or overlooked in the past because you still have plenty of places to continue deer hunting.

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More F&G News Releases

link:
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Crazy Critter Stuff:

Security footage solves ‘moo-stery’ behind vandalized fall harvest display

by Kari Barrows, WLOS Staff Wednesday, October 28th 2020


Photo courtesy of Edneyville Elementary School

Hendersonville, N.C. (WLOS) — One mountain elementary school has solved a mystery behind some smashed pumpkins, thanks to surveillance cameras, and identified the ‘hooved hoodlums’ behind the incident.

On Oct. 9, Edneyville Elementary School shared a photo online of Mrs. King’s 2nd grade class in front of a new fall harvest display donated by The Nix Pumpkin Patch.

Just over a week later, the school announced the display had been destroyed.

“Thank goodness the damage was repairable, and that we were able to check security footage and get pictures of the 11 perpetrators!” the school’s post read.

Photos show cows taking over the school grounds at night, apparently crushing through some of the fall display.

“If you recognize any of these hooved hoodlums, let us know!”

continued: w/more photos
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Seasonal Humor:

Halloween2-a

CovidHalloweenCandy-a

CatsDST
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