April 25, 2021 The Yellow Pine Times

April 25, 2021 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Reminder: We are still under a boil water order.

Community Calendar:

Apr 17 – Boil water order issued
Feb 19 – Valley County Mask Advisory
March 11 – Tick Season Began
March 31 – Weight Limits on South Fork Salmon River road
April 2 – Hwy 55 weekday closures
April 26 – Hearing on Water Grant
May 1 – Dump Cleanup Day at 12pm
May 9 – Next Festival Planning Zoom Meeting
June 12 – VYPA Meeting
(details below)

Local Events:

Public Hearing Monday April 26

Grant – Yellow Pine Water Users Association

Comments due by 5pm April 23

Valley County is submitting a proposal to the Idaho Department of Commerce for an Idaho Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) for post disaster funding on behalf of the Yellow Pine Water Users Association, Inc. in the amount of $150,000.00.

The intent of the emergency grant funds is to provide aid to replace the severely damaged transmission and distribution lines from the public drinking water facility to the community which were severely damaged in the March 30, 2020 earthquake.

The hearing will include a discussion of the need of the project; the application process; and the project’s scope of work, location, funding/budget, schedule, and expected benefits. Action Item

Public Hearing
April 26, 2021 3:00 p.m.
Courthouse Building 2nd Floor
219 North Main Street Cascade, ID

Social distancing will be required, requiring telephonic testimony and/or limited access. Please call for further information. To listen to the hearing, please go to (link) and click on link labeled “Watch Commissioner Meetings Live” Instructions will be provided.

Direct questions & written comments to: Douglas Miller, Valley County Clerk PO Box 1350 Cascade, ID 83611 208-382-7100 (phone) 208-382-7119 (fax) dmiller@co.valley.id.us To comment telephonically or in-person, call 208-382-7100 prior to 5:00 p.m. April 23, 2021 OR email dmiller@co.valley.id.us until testimony is opened.
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Community Cleanup at the Dump May 1 at Noon

We are going to do a community cleanup at the dump on May 1 and the transfer people will come and dump the dumpsters for the beginning of summer.
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Plumbers Coming to Yellow Pine

Rocky Mountain Mechanical will be coming to Yellow Pine some time in April to do a plumbing project. If you are interested in plumbing work please call (208) 365-PIPE (7473). These guys are professionals and do great work, clean and courteous.
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Next Festival Planning Meeting

Sunday, May 9, 2021, Zoom meeting at 2pm. Contact Deb for link and passcode.
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Heating Maintenance Day

Deb Filler is coordinating with Mastercraft of McCall to schedule a maintenance day in Yellow Pine for propane and pellet stoves. If you are interested, please contact Deb at 208 633-6945. The date will be at least a couple months out.

Village News:

Rx Burn Yellow Pine April 19th

Photo by Local Color Photography

After a couple of days of thick smoke during the ignition, air quality improved somewhat during the week with light smoky haze for several days. Much better by this weekend.
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Yellow Pine General Store

Laundry is open. Gas Available and rooms for rent.
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Road News

Link: to current road reports.

Upper Johnson Creek road is still closed at Landmark.

The Stibnite road between Yellow Pine and Stibnite mine is open.

The Hwy 55 project resumed April 2nd, expect full road closures Monday-Thursday from 10am to 2pm in the Smith’s Ferry area. Project Website link:

South Fork Salmon River Spring weight limits are in effect March 31 through at least June 1st.
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Tick season started March 11th, and are numerous this spring. Check your dogs and yourself after a walk in the woods.

Pine Martins & Raccoons

Watch your small pets, reports of pine martins on the west side and raccoons on the north side of the village.

Be Fox & Coyote Aware

* Do not feed foxes human food
* Feed domestic pets indoors
* Make sure your pets are updated on Rabies vaccines
* Small pets could become a snack

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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Yellow Pine US Mail

The 3-day a week mail delivery started Nov 2nd. 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

Community Cleanup at the Dump May 1 at Noon

We are going to do a community cleanup at the dump on May 1 and the transfer people will come and dump the dumpsters for the beginning of summer.

20190429Dump2-bYellow Pine Transfer Station (aka, 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.

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


See Notice of Public Hearing for water grant under Village News.

Update April 16, 2021: Water usage is holding at around 35k gallons per day, down about 15k since a leak was fixed.

Please conserve water. Turn off your trickle when it is above freezing during the day.

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

Boil Your Water Before Using
Boil Water Order issued April 17, 2020.
Link: to Notice

Update Nov 29: Warren replaced the water meter because of inconsistent readings. With the new meter, the community is currently using over 55,000 gallons of water per day. A leak has been identified and will be repaired as soon as we can coordinate the contractor, equipment needed and weather together. It is difficult to get everything planned in the winter. When the repair is scheduled, the community will have a few days notice before the water is shut down. Since we are using more water than the rated use through the sand filters, the boil order will remain in effect. We continue the grant request process that is extremely slow. – Steve H

Update Nov 25: the boil order is still in effect due to the large quantity of water that is leaking from the system. – Warren D
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VYPA News:

VYPA Meetings are the 2nd Saturday of June, July, August, and September (June 12, July 10, August 14, September 11) at 2:00pm at the Community Hall.

Village Council members:
Deb Filler, Chairman
Matt Huber, Vice Chairman
Ronda Rogers, Treasurer
Rhonda Egbert, Secretary
Ron Noel, Member at Large

VYPA Bylaws adopted 8/8/2020 (link)

YPAC Corp Bylaws (link)

Anyone interested in being a part of the Festival Planning/Working committee, please contact Deb Filler. Meetings will begin at the end of January. Even if you aren’t physically in YP, you can participate in the committee.
Next Festival Planning Meeting May 9, 2021 – Contact Deb for Zoom link and passcode.
2021 Planning Notes updated May 28th (link)
Yellow Pine Music and Harmonica Festival Policy and Procedure Link:
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YPFD News:

YP Fire District 2 (east of Yellow Pine Ave) up for election Nov 2nd for 4 year term (per Valley County.) Link:

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 keep your chimney clean. Cleaning brushes can be borrowed from the YPFD.

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, “Rake It and Take It” 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
Tim Rogers – 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
We will now be open 11am-8pm, closed on Tuesdays only. We will still offer smoked tri tip, brisket, and chicken sandwiches and also burgers and chicken wings.
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Yellow Pine Tavern (208) 633-2233
Yellow Pine Tavern open daily:
Monday thru Thursday 8am to 9pm
Friday and Saturday 8am to 10pm
Sunday 8am to 8pm
Indoor Dining with limited seating and Outdoor Dining Available.
Full Breakfast Menu. Burgers, Pizza, Fajitas, Beer, Wine and Pop
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Yellow Pine Lodge (208) 633-3377
Closed Nov 3rd for winter.
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Yellow Pine General Store (208) 633-3300
Rooms, fuel, and laundry available. Store opens early May.
Email for reservations
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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

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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Local Observations:

Monday (Apr 19) overnight low of 30 degrees, mostly cloudy this morning, gusty breezes, a few balls of “graupel”, and haze of smoke in the air. Jays, clark’s nutcracker, cassin’s finches, red-breasted nuthatches, a dark-eyed junco, hairy and downy woodpeckers, first evening grosbeak and collared dove visiting, later a big fat colombian ground squirrel popped out for a bit. Gusty breezes and mostly cloudy at lunch time, haze of smoke. Gusty breezes early afternoon, mostly cloudy and haze of smoke. Mostly clear, breezy and better air quality mid-afternoon, high of 54 degrees. VanMeter is still smoking here and there. Clear sky before sunset, light breezes and light haze of smoke settling in along the river. Clear sky and light breeze at dusk. Clear and haze of smoke before midnight.

Tuesday (Apr 20) overnight low of 22 degrees, clear very blue sky and light breezes this morning. The trees are full of cassin’s finches singing, tree swallows are back, jays, nuthatches, robins, male red-wing blackbird and pine squirrel visiting. Clear sky and light haze of smoke at lunch time. A few clouds, thin haze of smoke and light breezes early afternoon. Clear sky, warm, light breeze and light haze of smoke late afternoon, high of 59 degrees. Clear and above freezing at dusk. Looked mostly clear before midnight.

Wednesday (Apr 21) overnight low of 21 degrees, clear sky above a thin haze of smoke this morning. Swallows, cassin’s finches, pine siskins, jays, nuthatches, hairy and downy woodpeckers, colombian and pine squirrels visiting. Clear, warm and breezy with a haze of smoke at lunch time. Mail truck made it in on time. Clear, smoky haze and breezy early afternoon. Clear sky, light breezes, warm and light haze of smoke late afternoon, high of 62 degrees. Clear, calm and haze of smoke at dusk. Looked clear before midnight.

Thursday (Apr 22) overnight low of 24 degrees, mostly cloudy (high thin small clouds) and variable breezes this morning, 0.02″ in the rain gauge. The tree swallows are still around, more robins have arrived, lots of cassin’s finches, a few pine siskins, jays, nuthatches, downy woodpecker, a colombian and a pine squirrel visiting. Thicker broader clouds and light breezes at lunch time. Shooting started around 5pm. Breezy, overcast (sitting down on VanMeter) and a few misty drops of rain late afternoon, then a few small cracks in the clouds, high of 62 degrees. Heard a red-winged blackbird calling. Bigger breaks in the clouds and a little breezy before sunset. Starting to rain just before dusk, didn’t last long. Skiff of snow fell during the night.

Friday (Apr 23) overnight low of 32 degrees, mostly cloudy (foggy ridges) and breezy this morning, good air quality. Heard a flicker calling, a few tree swallows swooping, robins, jays, cassin’s finches, nuthatches, chickadee, hairy and downy woodpeckers and a pine squirrel visiting. Broken cloud cover at lunch time. First rufus hummingbird sighted. Warm, mostly cloudy and breezy late afternoon, high of 61 degrees. Mostly cloudy, calmer and warm before sunset. Calm, above freezing and mostly cloudy at dusk. Looked cloudy before midnight.

Saturday (Apr 24) overnight low of 34 degrees, overcast and light breeze this morning. Some tree swallows still around, no finches, red-winged blackbird calling, jays, nuthatches, downy and hairy woodpeckers, clark’s nutcracker and pine squirrel visiting. Gusty breezes before lunch time. Light sprinkles, overcast and breezy early afternoon. Cooler, overcast and still raining lightly late afternoon, high of 51 degrees. Quit raining by early evening, broken cloud cover. Cloudy and not raining at dusk, foggy on top of VanMeter. Raining pretty good at 1015pm, then light showers. Still sprinkling lightly after midnight. Probably sprinkled most of the night.

Sunday (Apr 25) overnight low of 35 degrees, 24 hour rainfall measured 0.17″, low overcast (foggy ridges) and misting very lightly this morning. Red-winged blackbird calling, no finches, jays, nuthatches, female downy and male hairy woodpeckers visiting. Stopped raining a little after lunch time. A report there was 4″ of new snow on the road going over Big Creek summit this morning. Gusty breezes kicking up early afternoon. Sprinkles of rain on and off mid-afternoon, temperature and clouds dropping, high of 47 degrees. Raven calling off in the distance. Break in the rain late afternoon and overcast.

Idaho News:

190 new Idaho COVID-19 cases, 3 new deaths

April 23, 2021 Local News 8

Idaho officials reported 190 new COVID-19 cases and three new deaths Friday.

That brings the total confirmed and probable cases reported since March to 186,183.

There are a total of 149,366 confirmed cases and 36,817 probable cases in all 44 of the 44 counties in Idaho, according to numbers released from the local health districts and the state. …

The state said 585,090 people have received the vaccine, and 997,994 total doses have been administered. 444,371 people are fully vaccinated. …

The state said 14 new hospitalizations have been reported bringing the total number to 8,033 and 1 new case has been admitted to the ICU bringing the total to 1,368. …

3 new deaths were reported bringing the total recorded deaths to 2,031.

full story: [Valley County 833 cases, 6 deaths]
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Valley County COVID-19 vaccination rate rises to 52%

By Tom Grote for The Star-News April 22, 2021

A total of 52% of Valley County residents over age 16 had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Monday, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported. That is up from the 50% rate reported last week.

A total of 4,968 county residents had received the vaccine out of an estimated 9,552 total population age 16 or over, according to the H&W’s online COVID-19 tracking site.

One new positive case of COVID-19 was reported by St. Luke’s McCall last week. That broke a streak of two weeks where no new positive cases were reported in Valley County.

St. Luke’s McCall has now reported 639 total cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic reached Valley County a year ago.

Cascade Medical Center reported no new cases in the last week, holding at 106 total positive cases for the third week in a row. A total of 745 cases have been reported in Valley County since the start of the pandemic.

Four confirmed deaths and two suspected deaths related to COVID-19 among Valley County residents have been reported by Central District Health.

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3.5 magnitude earthquake reported near Stanley

by CBS2 News Staff Sunday, April 25th 2021

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported a 3.5 magnitude earthquake near Stanley just after 10 a.m. on Sunday.

The approximate location of the quake occurred 1.9 miles west-southwest of town.

The USGS said it was about 3.2 km deep.


more info: USGS Link
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The USGS is showing 3 quakes in Idaho so far today:

2.6 3 km WSW of Stanley, Idaho 2021-04-25 05:09:15 (UTC-06:00) 1.1 km

3.5 3 km WSW of Stanley, Idaho 2021-04-25 04:23:21 (UTC-06:00) 3.2 km

2.7 11 km NW of Stanley, Idaho 2021-04-25 03:42:39 (UTC-06:00) 5.8 km


Scam Alert:

Beware of these tax scams

By Natasha Williams Apr 20, 2021 KIVI

Tax day is coming up on May 17–but the Better Business Bureau is warning Idahoans about scammers trying to cash in on your refund.

According to the BBB, scammers will steal your identity and file taxes for you in hopes of stealing your refund–and sometimes you won’t even know it’s happening until it’s too late.

That’s why the BBB says it’s best to file early.


Mining News:

Council to do its own water tests at Stibnite

Sampling would be separate from Perpetua’s

By Drew Dodson for The Star-News April 22, 2021

Independent water quality tests will be done at the proposed Stibnite Mine Project under a project announced by the Stibnite Advisory Council.

The testing will be funded by Perpetua Resources, which is proposing to extract gold and antimony from the Stibnite area of Valley County, but Perpetua will have no part of the drawing or testing of water samples, the council said.

The first tests will take place in July, when water samples will be taken from 18 locations around the area of the proposed mine that is crossed by the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon.

The samples will be collected from groundwater, the East Fork and other streams around the mine site, said Bob Crump of Riggins, who chairs the Stibnite council.

“This will allow community members to compare the results with the information Perpetua Resources is currently sharing and develop a clearer picture of the conditions that exist today,” Crump said.

After each round of samples is analyzed, results will be available for public review at (link)

The water samples will be collected in addition to samples from 70 locations that Perpetua already collects and submits to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Payette National Forest, Perpetua CEO Laurel Sayer said.

“We believe in total transparency,” Sayer said. “Giving the community the ability to check our work is simply part of being a responsible mining company.”

The program was developed after community members and local groups expressed worries over the how water quality in the East Fork will affect areas downstream, Crump said.

Perpetua will fund the program at a cost of about $89,000 per year, said Denis Duman, who represents Idaho County on the Stibnite council and teamed up with Crump to develop the program.

“We don’t see that as a conflict of interest,” Duman said, noting an independent lab that will be used to analyze the results.

The samples will be collected by the Idaho Water Resources Research Institute, which was established by the University of Idaho.

Water samples will then be sent to Anatek Laboratories in Moscow, which will report the results back to the Stibnite council.

“The lab will report to the council, not Perpetua,” Duman said.

The results will include water temperature, acidity levels and dissolved metals, among other things.

The council plans to allow local citizens to observe and participate in the testing, with details to be determined, Duman said.

The East Fork, groundwater and other streams at Stibnite do not currently meet federal drinking water standards due to pollutants left by previous mining operations.

Some recent samples taken at Stibnite show arsenic levels 700 times higher than federal standards allow.

Mining at Stibnite began in 1939 and continued sporadically through the 1990s, when the site was abandoned.

Perpetua Resources, formerly known as Midas Gold, began mineral exploration at Stibnite in 2009.

Perpetua reached an agreement in January with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to begin cleaning up the historic waste.

That agreement authorizes about $7.5 million in work to begin this summer, including moving 325,000 tons of waste away from the East Fork and diverting streams around historic waste.

Two more areas outside of the mine project area could be cleaned up if the mine is given permits by the Payette National Forest. Those permits are pending.

The Stibnite Advisory Council was formed by Perpetua, then known as Midas Gold, in 2019 to allow community representatives to share information and voice worries related to the Stibnite Gold Project.

Communities represented on the council are the cities of Cascade, Donnelly, New Meadows, Riggins and Council, the Village of Yellow Pine and Adams and Idaho counties.

The City of McCall declined to join and Valley County is not a member due to potential conflicts since the county will be asked to issue permits for the mine.

source: © Copyright 2009-present Central Idaho Publishing Inc. All rights reserved (used with permission.)

Public Lands:

State: Tamarack not liable to pay fire costs

West State Fire costs $400,000 to battle

By Max Silverson for The Star-News April 22, 2021

Tamarack Resort will not be required to cover firefighting costs for the West State Fire, which burned 61 acres within the resort in November 2020 after slash fires burned out of control on the resort’s ski slopes, according to the Idaho Department of Lands.

The state investigated the cause of the fire and determined that the resort would not be cited or billed for the about $400,000 cost of fighting the fire, Public Information Officer Sharla Arledge said.

Several precautions were taken by the resort staff tending the fires and there was a quick response once they realized the fire was out of control, Arledge said.

“Tamarack employees appear to have been diligent in preparing for the planned burn that, unfortunately, got away from them,” she said.

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Payette plans to improve campsites in New Meadows area

The Payette National Forest is seeking comments on a project to improve campsites in the New Meadows Ranger District.

The Cold Springs, Last Chance, Grouse and Hazard Lake campgrounds are candidates for work done to expand, improve or replace fire rings, picnic tables, campsite markers, fee tubes, signs and kiosks.

A fence and toilet at the Last Chance campground are proposed to be replaced. The campground is located about nine miles northwest of McCall and has 20 single and two double campsites

Work on the Last Chance and Hazard Lake campgrounds is proposed to start this summer.

The Hazard Lake Campground has 12 campsites and is about 27 miles north of McCall.

The Cold Springs Campground has 19 campsites and is about eight miles west of New Meadows.

The Grouse Campground has 12 campsites and is about nine miles north of McCall.

“Camping is such a timelessly classic way to enjoy public lands and create great memories,” New Meadows District Ranger Erin Phelps said.

“We’re very excited about this opportunity to update our campgrounds and improve the visitor experience,” Phelps said.

The work would be funded by the Great American Outdoors Act of 2019, which provided $285 million to the Forest Service to reduce the backlog of maintenance across the agency.

Comments can be submitted electronically through the project webpage.

For more information about the project, visit (link) and search for “Campgrounds Deferred Maintenance Project.”

For more information on how to comment on the project or to request further information, contact Payette National Forest Central Zone Recreation Manager, Mike Beach at michael.beach@usda.gov or New Meadows District Ranger Erin Phelps at 208-514-5809 or erin.phelps@usda.gov.

Comments are requested before May 7.

source: The Star-News April 22, 2021
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State seeks comments on changes to timber cutting near streams

The Idaho Department of Lands is seeking public comment on proposed changes that would make it easier to understand rules for harvesting timber next to fish-bearing streams.

The department is holding a series of public meetings as part of negotiated rulemaking procedures on proposed changes to two rules.

Revisions of these two rules would simplify implementation as well as account for up-dated forest management practices of the current Shade Rule, which went into effect in 2014.

The Shade Rule was established to protect the shading of fish bearing streams when timber is harvested, but many consider the rule to be too complicated with numerous opportunities for error, an IDL news release said.

Local residents can offer comments during a meeting on Tuesday, May 4, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites, located at 201 N. Third St. in McCall.

For more information, visit (link) and search for “rulemaking” or “Rules Pertaining to the Idaho Forest Practices Act.”

source: The Star-News April 22, 2021
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Southwest Idaho Resource Advisory Committee to Accept Project Proposals

April 19, 2021

The Southwest Idaho Resource Advisory Committee (SWI-RAC) will be accepting proposals for review and consideration for funding for Fiscal Years 2021, 2022 and 2023. The proposal deadline is May 18, 2021.

“The SWI-RAC will be very busy as they have about approximately $1.4m eligible for awarding to projects,” said Brian Harris, Designated Federal Official for the SWI-RAC. “RAC participation enables local residents to have a meaningful role in deciding how federal funds are spent on public lands.” The funds are available through the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act.

SWI-RAC-funded projects must be located on National Forest System Lands in Ada, Adams, Boise, Elmore, Gem, Valley, and Washington counties, or on nearby lands if the project will benefit resources on the National Forests. Projects can be completed by Forest Service personnel, through partnership agreements, or by open-bid contracting with individuals and corporations. The SWI-RAC works closely with the Forest Service to recommend projects that will benefit forest health, fish, wildlife, soils, watersheds and other resources; maintains roads, trails and other infrastructure; or control noxious weeds.

The SWI-RAC covers the Payette and Boise National Forests, the Fairfield Ranger District on the Sawtooth National Forest, the Middle Fork Ranger District on the Salmon-Challis National Forest, and the Hell Canyon Recreation Area in Adams County that is managed by the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

Applications for SWI-RAC proposals can be obtained at (link), or from the Designated Federal Official, Brian Harris at brian.d.harris@usda.gov , 208-634-6945.

Potential project sponsors should contact local Forest Service offices to obtain information that may be needed for a proposal, including a Forest Service contact, and to ensure proper agreements and paperwork are completed that will enable the project sponsor to obtain funding if recommended for funding by the SWI-RAC. Projects must include a letter of support from the County Commissioners in those counties where the project is proposed. Selected project sponsors may be asked to make a 20 minute presentation to the SWI-RAC if deemed necessary. Times and locations will be assigned by the DFO.

SWI-RAC meetings to review and recommend projects will be held in late May and early June at dates and times to be determined. Meetings will be held in a virtual environment and are always open to the public.

Date: May 18, 2021 What is Due? Project Proposals

Completed applications must be received in hardcopy form or via email to DFO Brian Harris at brian.d.harris@usda.gov on or before the May 18, 2021 deadline. If submitting hardcopy proposals, mail completed proposals to Brian Harris, Payette National Forest, 500 N. Mission Street, suite 2, McCall, Idaho 83638 with a postmark no later than May 18, 2021.

Brian Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Tribal Liaison
Payette National Forest

Fire Season:

Valley County offers $500 grants to reduce wildfire risk

[Deadline May 2]

The Star-News April 22, 2021

Valley County is offering $500 grants through a new Firewise pilot program to encourage landowners to reduce wildfire risk on their property.

There are 20 awards available, with three being reserved for each of the county’s three fire districts and one for a backcountry location. The remaining will be awarded by priority.

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of members from the Valley County Fire Working Group and final recipients will be approved by Valley County commissioners.

“The review panel is looking for innovative and creative projects that contribute to the community, even if the project is implemented only on one parcel,” Stephanie Nelson of the Valley County Fire Working Group said.

Examples of approved uses of funds include:

• Removal of hazard fuels, such as trees, brush and pine needles, that require hired labor, equipment rental or supplies, including leaf bags and chainsaw gas.

• Landscape hardening and upgrading to Firewise plants.

• Upgrading building materials to those that are fire resistant.

• Improvements for soffits, attic screens, enclosing wood decks and firewood storage areas.

• Support for community work days.

• Development and implementation of evacuation signage.

• Disbursement of educational materials, contacting absentee landowners and informing the community about defending their homes against wildfire.

A site visit will be required during the application process and again for photos to be taken once the grant application is selected.

Successful applicants will be reimbursed for their approved, completed projects that meet agreed criteria.

The application deadline is May 2, and awards will be announced within two weeks. Projects must be completed by Aug. 1.

For more information, including applications and rules, email VCFirewise@gmail.com or visit the Valley County Fire Working Group’s Facebook page.

source: © Copyright 2009-present Central Idaho Publishing Inc. All rights reserved (used with permission.)
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Preparing your property for fire season

By Emma Iannacone April 21, 2021 Local News 8

With the weather warming up, fire officials are hoping property owners will take steps to make sure they’re ready for fire season. …

Stouse offers some tips for homeowners:

* Create a fire-resistant zone around your home that is free of leaves, debris or flammable materials. Stouse suggests starting closest to your home and working outward.

* When working on spring and summer projects, use fire-resistant materials to build, renovate or make repairs.

* Space out trees and trim branches that hang over decks and roofs to keep fire from traveling to structures. Trim low-hanging and low-lying branches that can light from a ground fire and ignite a tree.

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Yellow Pine “Rake it and Take it”

Instead of burning pine needles and branches, rake it and take it to the Transfer Station and pile NEATLY in the burn pile.

Remember only pine needles, branches and brush, no furniture, tires or construction materials.
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Full Lavaside Fire containment delayed

April 23, 2021 Local News 8

Firth, Idaho (KIFI) – Update 4/24 6:36 A post on The Bureau of Land management’s Facebook page says the blaze is 75% contained at this hour, but no “significant fire activity observed.” Crews had planned on it being 100% contained by now. Their new timeline is for Saturday at 6pm. The adjustment was made due to the sensitive nature of the fire.

The post goes on to say light precipitation occurred over the fire. 1 hand crew and 4 engines are scheduled to staff the fire tomorrow.

We expect another update tomorrow when 100% containment is reached.


Critter News:

Fish and Game urges keeping trash away from hungry bears

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is asking residents for help curbing the problem of hungry bears foraging for food in McCall neighborhoods by making sure they don’t find any.

The department is already receiving reports of bears in the area, said Regan Berkley, Idaho Department of Fish and Game wildlife manager in McCall.

“Bears emerge hungry in the spring and are drawn to town by smells of food and trash,” Berkley said.

The bears will knock over trash cans many times in search of something to eat, she said.’

“It is important to make sure they don’t get a reward for this behavior,” Berkley said.

Bears are likely to return if they find even one trash can, cooler or freezer with food.

To prevent bear problems, residents are asked to do the following:

• Use bear-resistant trash containers properly by not overfilling them or tampering with latches.

• Take down bird feeders, as bird seed is a high-protein food source for bears. Birds are less dependent on feeding sources in the spring.

• Do not store coolers, freezers or refrigerators outside where bears can access them.

• Businesses are asked to not prop open bin lids.

Bears that have become too accustomed to human food sources cannot responsibly be relocated. They can become dangerous and, in some cases, must be trapped and lethally removed, Berkley said.

“Please help us avoid this situation by ensuring bears do not have access to human foods or trash,” Berkley said in the press release.

source: The Star-News April 22, 2021
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Legislation aims to kill 90% of wolves roaming Idaho

By Associated Press (AP) Apr 21, 2021

An Idaho Senate committee has approved legislation allowing the state to hire private contractors to kill about 90% of the wolves roaming Idaho.

The agriculture industry-backed bill approved Tuesday includes additional changes intended to cut the wolf population from about 1,500 to 150. Backers say there are too many wolves and they’re attacking cattle, sheep and wildlife.

Opponents say the legislation threatens a 2002 wolf management plan involving the federal government that could ultimately lead to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service taking back control of managing the state’s wolves. About 500 wolves have been killed in Idaho in each of the past two years.

source: KIVI
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Yellowstone park hazes wolves that get used to people

Associated Press April 25, 2021

Yellowstone National Park is using paintballs, rubber bullets and flying beanbags to haze wolves that have become too comfortable around people.

Biologist Doug Smith got permission from park rangers to use the non-lethal projectiles when members of the Wapiti Pack began travelling along roads and getting close to tourists on snowmobiles.

Park workers were instructed to fire on the wolves only during “teachable moments,” when they’d associate the pain with their nearness to humankind.

The hazing worked on one wolf that had become so used to people that it took a photographer’s tripod in November 2019.

source: Local News 8
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Horseback riders highlight the challenges they face on the trails

By Steve Dent Apr 22, 2021 KIVI

… Equestrian riders often use the foothills trails, especially those off of Cartwright Road. Now, they’re hoping to raise awareness to help everyone stay safe on the trails.

“Horses are more a fight or flight. They are going to see a predator,” said Karen Danley, a board member with the Foundation for Ada/Canyon Trails Systems. “They might think of you as a cougar and they are going to react to that.”

A horse typically weighs more than 1,000 pounds so a reaction on the trails can create a dangerous situation for both riders and other users.

“If something that startles him, his first reaction is fear and he might lash out at you with his hooves or he may run right into you,” said Beumeler. “It doesn’t make sense to a person, but it is very logical to a horse.”

Trail etiquette requires hikers and bikers to yield to horseback riders and bikers need to yield to hikers.

full story:
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World Center for Birds of Prey to break ground on new building on Earth Day

By Meredith Spelbring Apr 22, 2021 KIVI

The World Center for Birds of Prey will break ground on an expansion of its Interpretive Center on Earth Day.

The center will begin an expansion project to include more “educational opportunities and exhibits” on April 22 as part of a $3.2 million campaign known as HATCHED. Full construction will begin in July 2021 once the World Center’s Critically Endangered Californian Condors’s nestlings have fledged their nest, according to the Center.

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Spring Chinook salmon fishing starts at 3 Idaho rivers

By Cooper Waytenick Apr 24, 2021

Spring Chinook salmon fishing on the Snake, Lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers started Saturday after the Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved the start date back in March.

While returns to the Clearwater River are forecasted to be insufficient for fishing, fisheries managers are forecasting a run of more than 11,000 hatchery spring Chinook Salmon which are bound for all of the above locations.

Fishing on the Lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers is limited to 4 days per week, Thursday through Sunday, while fishing on the Snake River will be 7 days per week.


Fish & Game News:

F&G seeks public input on whether to mandate gender identification for mountain goats

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Supervisor
Thursday, April 22, 2021

Deadline to comment is April 30

Fish and Game is seeking public input regarding whether to mandate a gender identification course for mountain goats for hunters who draw mountain goat tags. People can comment by going to the public survey webpage. Deadline to comment is April 30.

Mountain goats are sensitive to harvest, particularly harvest of adult females. Increased nanny harvest can lead to population declines and fewer tags available to hunters in the future. Idaho and other states have various programs to educate hunters on gender identification of mountain goats and the importance of reducing the numbers of nannies taken in the harvest.

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Weekly Salmon Fishing Update – April 21, 2021

By Chris Sullivan, Anadromous Fisheries Coordinator
Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Welcome to our new weekly Chinook Salmon Fishing Update. Each week, we will provide updates on seasons and rules and share data from creel surveys, hatchery returns, and fish passage through the Columbia and Snake rivers to help anglers plan their salmon fishing trips.

Chinook salmon fishing starts April 24, and this week we cover seasons and rules information and point anglers towards informational tools on the Idaho Fish and Game website.

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More F&G News Releases


Crazy Critter Stuff:

Giant tortoise with injured legs given skateboard to get about

by Georgina JadikovskA Zenger News Monday, April 12th 2021

Munich — A giant endangered tortoise was seen moving around on a roller board during a physiotherapy session after joint problems left it with difficulties in lifting its massive shell.

The male African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata), named Helmuth, is treated at ZOOM Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen zoological adventure world in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Helmuth, 23, has recently been whizzing around the zoo on a roller board due to problems with its front legs. African spurred tortoises are listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Endangered Species.

continued: w/video

Seasonal Humor: