Author Archives: The Yellow Pine Times

About The Yellow Pine Times

The Yellow Pine Times is a not for profit newsletter dedicated to sharing news and events.

Sept 17, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

Sept 17, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Bear Aware

Bear reported on the west side of the village this week. Bears are looking for food. Keep garbage secured and pet food indoors.
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Just for the Halibut September 30 at 4pm

Sponsored by Stew Edwards, hosted by the Tavern, September 30th at 4pm

Join us for Food & Fun $5 suggested donation gets you 5 raffle tickets for donated prizes Benefits go to the Landing Zone for Yellow Pine.

The Usual YP Pot Luck Bring a side dish to share.
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Ditch Day October 4 at 10am

This is the day we clean and repair the village ditches in preparation for the spring run-off. Please join us.
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VYPA News:

Last meeting was Saturday, Sept 9, 10am at Community Hall.
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YPFD News:

Training is on Sundays starting at 11am at the YP Fire Station and open to the community of Yellow Pine. Check with Jeff or Ann to confirm trainings.

Fire Siren will be tested at noon on the first of each month.
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook

Local Observations:

Monday (Sep 11) overnight low of 41 degrees, clear sky, slight haze of smoke, light breeze and a good amount of dew. Feels a little like fall this morning. More birds around, could hear robins, nutcrackers, a nuthatch and finches. Power blipped off and on at 1157am. Clear hot day, light haze of smoke, high of 90 degrees. More traffic than usual for a Monday, streets are dusty again. Quiet evening. Bright half moon. Doe running around after dark.

Tuesday (Sep 12) overnight low of 43 degrees, mostly clear sky (high thin wisps) light haze of smoke (low end of yellow AQ). Heard one nutcracker and a nuthatch calling. Pine squirrels dropping cones out of the trees and sounding off. Heard a pileated woodpecker whooping after lunch time. Quiet day and very little traffic. Clouds coming in from the south and by late afternoon it was pretty much overcast. Short little misty rain shower at 615pm, not enough to get wet, high of 89 degrees. Clouds breaking up by evening, good air quality.

Wednesday (Sep 13) early morning rain shower, overnight low of 50 degrees, clouds dissipating quickly, light breeze and excellent air quality. Power off 8am to 420pm. Robins grouping up, calling and flying, nuthatches “hanking” in the trees. Pine squirrels busy gathering cones. Pileated woodpecker visited the ant pile. Diamond (Kennedy’s) Fuel truck delivered fuel to Yellow Pine today. Idaho Power crew spotted in Scott Valley this afternoon. A little more traffic than usual for a Wednesday. Quiet except for a generator and a chainsaw today. Warm afternoon, partly cloudy, light breezes and good air, high of 83 degrees. Quiet evening, slight haze of smoke. Middle of the night, a large “creature” was huffing and growling on Westside Ave.

Thursday (Sep 14) overnight low of 51 degrees, mostly cloudy, not much dew, light haze of smoke and light breezes. A few more birds around, robins flocking and flying, nutcrackers and nuthatches calling from the forest, pileated woodpecker whooping and a few finches. Pine squirrels very busy gathering cones. Power out from 8am to around 330pm. Cloudy and cooler today, a little breezy, high of 74 degrees. Quiet evening and dark clouds.

Friday (Sep 15) overnight low of 44 degrees, overcast, sprinkles of rain started falling before sunrise, damp and misty this morning (0.02″). Not many birds out except robins, a jay and a nutcracker. Misty sprinkles on and off before lunch time (0.01″). Pileated woodpecker visited the ant pile. Cloudy, cool and breezy all day, but no more rain, high of 49 degrees. Quiet afternoon and evening. Not a day to have a window open.

Saturday (Sep 16) overnight low of 38 degrees, partly cloudy, chilly breezes and good air this morning, slight haze of smoke. Heard nuthatches, nutcrackers and robins. Report of an owl hooting in the neighborhood before daylight. Streets are dusty again already, increased traffic this afternoon. Breezy cloudy day, high of 64 degrees. Folks buzzing still around after dark.

Sunday (Sep 17) overnight low of 34 degrees, mostly cloudy sky with a slight haze of smoke this morning. Not much bird activity (a flicker poking the ground), a lone pine squirrel sounding off. Fall temperatures today, cloudy and light breezes, high of 70 degrees. Increased traffic, a little thicker smoke and dusty roads.

Idaho News:

Shooting at Lake Cascade campground leaves San Diego man dead

Nampa man charged, said he was defending himself

By Tom Grote for The Star-News September 14, 2017

A shooting at a campground on Lake Cascade early Friday left a San Diego man dead and a Nampa man charged with a felony.

William L. “Tinker” Brasuell, 45, of San Diego, Calif., died at the scene of the shooting, which happened about 1:30 a.m. Friday at the French Creek Campground on the west side of Lake Cascade near Cascade.

Christopher D. Humes, 47, of Nampa, was detained at the scene and charged with aggravated battery, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.

Valley County Prosecuting Attorney Carol Brockmann said she will seek to add an additional 15 years of prison time under a state law on use of a deadly weapon during a felony.

Humes is scheduled to appear in Valley County Magistrate Court in Cascade on Sept. 26 on a hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence for him to stand trial. Humes was being held in Valley County Jail on $100,000 bond.

An autopsy found Brasuell he had been shot once in the chest, Valley County Coroner Scott Carver said.

Humes told investigators that he fired three shots at Brasuell with a .380 handgun after Brasuell attacked him, according to a Valley County Sheriff’s Office report filed with the charges.

Brasuell choked him, threatened to kill him and threw him to the ground, Humes told sheriff’s deputies who responded to the scene.

Humes, who was dressed only in underwear, a T-shirt and socks, said he did not see Brasuell show a weapon, and no weapons were found near the body, investigators said.

Three .380 shell casings and the handgun were recovered from the scene. Humes declined to be treated by EMTs, the report said.

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State fire marshal finalizing report on Tamarack cabin fire that killed four

by KBOI News Staff Wednesday, September 13th 2017

Photos courtesy Alan PartridgeII and Sarah Whipple

Tamarack, Idaho (KBOI) — It’s been more than two months since a fire ripped through a cabin near Tamarack Resort that killed four people, including two adults and two children.

Since then there’s been few details on what caused the deadly fire, though answers may be coming soon.

The state’s fire marshal told KBOI 2News on Wednesday that his office returned from Tamarack today (Wednesday) for an additional two-day follow up and is finalizing a report.

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Charges filed against Former Valley County coroner

Nathan Hess accused of using county vehicle for personal gain

By Tom Grote for The Star-News September 14, 2017

Former Valley County Coroner Nathan Hess has been charged with two misdemeanors that said he used county vehicles for his personal gain.

Hess, who resigned in May without explanation, used his county-issued vehicle to take a body to a funeral home in Boise on Jan 16, 2017, for which he was paid $400, according to the charges.

Hess also used the county vehicle for his personal use between November 2016 and April 2017, court records said.

The charges are punishable with up to one year and jail and a $1,000 fine for each charge. Hess, 41, of Donnelly, is scheduled to appear in Valley County Magistrate Court in Cascade on Oct. 3.

“It has been my honor to serve Valley County,” Hess said in his resignation letter. “However, because of circumstances I do not wish to disclose, I am unable to continue my services as coroner.”

“I don’t have a comment at the moment, but I will,” Hess told The Star-News on Tuesday.

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Summer’s nearly over, but West Nile virus threat isn’t

Joe Parris, KTVB September 14, 2017

Boise – Summer is coming to an end. If that thought makes you sad, at least you can look forward to the end of mosquito season too.

For now though, as long as Idaho has warm days, the mosquitoes will be sticking around, and so will the risk of west Nile virus.

All the flooding that happened across the Valley this year caused public health officials to predict a bad mosquito season. Thankfully though, it looks like that isn’t happening.

In 2016 Idaho saw nine reported cases of human West Nile virus infections across the state. This year, there have been 10.

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Stargazers eye the nation’s first dark sky reserve in Idaho

By Keith Ridler, Associated Press Fri., Sept. 15, 201

This June 4, 2016 photo provided by Nils Ribi Photography shows the Milky Way in the night sky at the foot of the Boulder Mountains in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho. (AP / Nils Ribi Photography)

Boise, Idaho (AP) — Tourists heading to central Idaho will be in the dark if local officials get their way.

The first International Dark Sky Reserve in the United States would fill a chunk of the state’s sparsely populated region that contains night skies so pristine that interstellar dust clouds are visible in the Milky Way.

“We know the night sky has inspired people for many thousands of years,” said John Barentine, program manager at the Tucson, Arizona-based International Dark-Sky Association. “When they are in a space where they can see it, it’s often a very profound experience.”

Supporters say excess artificial light causes sleeping problems for people and disrupts nocturnal wildlife and that a dark sky can solve those problems, boost home values and draw tourists. Opposition to dark sky measures elsewhere in the U.S. have come from the outdoor advertising industry and those against additional government regulations.

Researchers say 80 percent of North Americans live in areas where light pollution blots out the night sky. Central Idaho contains one of the few places in the contiguous United States large enough and dark enough to attain reserve status, Barentine said. Only 11 such reserves exist in the world.

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Cause of Elderly Woman’s Death in St. Joe Wildfire Area Determined

September 08, 2017 By Chanse Watson Shoshone News Press

Wallace — The Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) reports that the 74- year old Emmett, Idaho woman who was found deceased in the St. Joe National Forest earlier last month died as a result of heat exhaustion and dehydration.

Virgina Bayes and her husband, Walter, 79, became stranded and separated in a remote area of southern Shoshone County while out recreating in late July.

To make a bad situation worse, the couple were also in the vicinity of the Buck wildfire area.

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House Passes Vital Fiscal Year 2018 Funding for Idaho

Simpson secures PILT, wildfire funding, in House Appropriations bills

Washington, September 14, 2017

On Thursday, Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson supported passage of full year fiscal year 2018 funding. While a continuing resolution funds the government until December 2017, full year appropriations must still be passed for the remainder of the fiscal year. The bill was passed by a vote of 211-198 and includes legislation previously passed by the House including Chairman Simpson’s Energy and Water bill which has critical funding for Idaho National Laboratory.

“Today’s legislation is an important step towards finishing fiscal year 2018 appropriations,” said Congressman Simpson. “This bill is an important marker for many Idaho priorities such as PILT, wildfire funding, and provisions that rein in burdensome regulations from the previous Administration. I look forward to working with my colleagues to see that these policies ultimately are signed into law so we can ensure federal agencies can fulfill their missions as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

[h/t Gordon C]
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Pacific Northwest could be in for another La Niña winter

Rich Marriott, KING September 15, 2017

Good news, skiers. New weather models show an increased chance of La Niña conditions this winter in the Pacific Northwest.

La Nina conditions in the Pacific increase the chances of below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) issued its monthly update on El Niño/La Niña (ENSO) conditions in the Pacific. Computer models had been leaning towards a neutral winter, but are now trending towards a La Nina winter.

CPC says there is “an increasing chance (55-60%) of La Niña during the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter 2017-18.”

As a result, CPC issued a La Niña Watch for the Pacific.

We often have pretty good ski seasons during La Niña winters. But remember, it just increases the chances of a cool, damp winter – it doesn’t guarantee them.

We had a La Niña winter last year, with the wettest October-June on record.


Fire Season:

Area Closure Order for Missouri Fire has been Terminated


The Area Closure Order for the Missouri Fire (Order #0412-504) has been terminated. This lightning ignition on the Krassel District north of Yellow Pine has displayed little to no activity and no growth for several weeks. Those venturing into the burned area are advised to watch for hazard trees and unstable terrain. The Missouri Ridge Trail (NFS #031) is passable.


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Land Management Agencies lift Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in most zones of the Payette Fire Restriction Area

September 15, 2017

McCall, Idaho – With cooler temperatures and chances of precipitation increasing into next week, local land management agencies will lift Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in the Payette West, Payette East, and Long Valley/Meadows Valley Zones of the Payette Fire Restriction Area beginning Friday, September 15, 2017. The Fire Restrictions are rescinded by agencies managing state, private and public lands in the area, including the United States Forest Service (USFS), Southern Idaho Timber Protective Association (SITPA), and the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL). Restrictions were terminated in the Weiser River Zone of the Payette Fire Restriction Area on Wednesday, September 13, 2017.

The Little Salmon Zone of the Payette Fire Restriction Area remains in Stage 1 fire restrictions until further notice. See map below for location.

The restrictions were put into effect on August 11 when fire danger and burning conditions were unusually high. Recent storms have brought some moisture with much cooler temperatures to the area, and with the days getting shorter fire conditions have moderated. Forest visitors are reminded that vegetation is still dry and to be careful with all use of fire in the outdoors. The accidental start of a wildfire can still be devastating. Be alert and be aware. Follow these tips to help prevent wildfire:

o NEVER leave a camp fire unattended
o Keep water, dirt and a shovel near your fire at all times
o Make sure your fire is dead out and cold to the touch before you leave it
o Use of fireworks, exploding targets or tracer rounds is prohibited on public lands

Area closures due to active wildfires are still in effect on some public lands, including the area affected by the Highline Fire on the Payette National Forest. Contact the land management agency for your area of interest for specific information regarding fire closures.

Fire restrictions may be lifted but burn bans may still be in place in some areas. Fire restrictions and burn bans address different types of activities. Burn bans pertain to controlled burning activities such as debris burning, slash burning, or agricultural burning, for which a fire safety burn permit from IDL is required. Visit for more information

notice w/map:
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Boise National Forest

Stage 1 fire restrictions will be lifted effective 12:01 a.m. September 17. To view the order click here.
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Amid raging wildfires, fire management practices criticized

By Andrew Selsky – 9/7/17 AP

Salem, Ore. — Intense wildfires plaguing much of the West have rekindled controversy over logging restrictions and fire management practices that critics say have created explosive fire seasons.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, took to the floor of the Senate on Thursday to describe the toll the fires have taken.

Efforts to thin dead and dying trees have been inadequate, he said as he stood next to a large photo of flames leaping from trees in the majestic Columbia River Gorge.

“This is a yearslong pattern in the West,” he said, calling for smarter policies and criticizing the “broken system of fighting wildfires.” He complained that federal funds earmarked for fire prevention are instead used for firefighting.

“The idea of ripping off prevention, which you need most, defies common sense,” Wyden said. “Shoddy budgeting today leads to bigger fires tomorrow.”

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Forest Service spends record $2B battling forest fires

By Matthew Daly and Dan Elliott – 9/14/17 AP

Washington — The Forest Service has spent more than $2 billion battling forest fires around the country — a record as wildfires blacken the American West in one of the nation’s worst fire seasons.

Wildfires have ravaged the West this summer with 64 large fires burning across 10 states as of Thursday, including 21 fires in Montana and 18 in Oregon. In all, 48,607 wildfires have burned nearly 13,000 square miles (33,586 square kilometers).

The fires have stretched firefighting resources, destroyed more than 500 homes and triggered health alerts as choking smoke drifted into major Western cities.

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Billions of dead trees force US fire crews to shift tactics

By Dan Elliott – 9/7/17 AP

Albany, Wyo. — Vast stands of dead timber in the Western U.S. have forced firefighters to shift tactics, trying to stay out of the shadow of lifeless, unstable trees that could come crashing down with deadly force.

About 6.3 billion dead trees are still standing in 11 Western states, up from 5.8 billion five years ago, according to U.S. Forest Service statistics compiled for The Associated Press.

Since 2010, a massive infestation of beetles has been the leading cause of tree mortality in the West and now accounts for about 20 percent of the standing dead trees, the Forest Service said. The rest were killed by drought, disease, fire or other causes.

Researchers have long disagreed on whether beetle infestations have made wildfires worse, and this year’s ferocious fire season has renewed the debate, with multiple fires burning in forests with beetle-killed trees.


Public Lands:

Payette forest awarded stewardship contract near Lost Valley

The Star-News September 14, 2017

The Payette National Forest has awarded the Rough Finn Stewardship Contract to Idaho Forest Group of Grangeville.

The project is located on the New Meadows District near Lost Valley Reservoir and is the fifth of a dozen stewardship contracts planned with the Lost Creek Boulder Creek Landscape Restoration Project, a news release said.

The contract will be for work on 1,300 acres and improvements on 30 miles of roads. The project is expected to produce about 10 million board feet of logs, the release said.

Work is expected to begin this fall or spring and continue until March 2021.

Planned projects include thinning and controlled fire to increase the area’s resistance to fire, improved recreation facilities, and improved wildlife habitat.

The project was the subject of a 2015 lawsuit was filed by Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Idaho Sporting Congress, and Native Ecosystems Council. A judge dismissed the lawsuit in August 2016.

“We are pleased to move ahead with the restoration activities,” Payette Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom said

The project will result in a landscape that is closer to a more natural state and more resistant to uncharacteristic wildfires, Lannom said.

The Payette Forest Coalition met for two years to understand conditions, develop goals, and to consider different approaches to the project, he said.

“The PFC adds a collaborative and consensus approach to conducting land stewardship on public lands,” Lannom said. “They are a vital part of the Payette Forest’s restoration program and reflect how the Forest Service operates as a multiple use agency.”

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Idaho Hunter Gets $500 Reward for Busting Motorized Gate Crashers

Posted by HLNews Sep 7, 2017

Boise – A public land hunter in Idaho recently collected a $500 reward from Backcountry Hunters & Anglers after reporting illegal use of an off-road vehicle in the Third Fork drainage on the Emmett Ranger District of the Boise National Forest.

As a result of this action, an Ada County resident pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the Motor Vehicle Use map on public lands, which carries a fine of $225 for each count. These areas are closed to protect wildlife from motorized disturbance during spring calving and fall hunting. BHA offers rewards of up to $500 for public land users who provide a report of illegal OHV use leading to a conviction.

Daniel Garringer, the hunter who reported the lawbreakers, acknowledged the challenges of enforcement in the area.

“The use of ATVs and off-road vehicles in the area has always been prohibited, but in the recent years, due to the rise in popularity, things have really gotten out of hand,” said Garringer. “I have no issue with riding your ATVs on the main road that is open to traffic to get to your favorite spot to hunt; however, I do have an issue with people abusing and pushing the limits to get to areas that are off limits to motorized vehicles.”

[h/t BNF]

Critter News:

Pet Talk – Dental Disease in Dogs and Cats

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt 9/15/2017 IME

The gingiva is the part of the gums that surrounds the teeth where they arise from the jaw. Gingivitis is inflammation of this area. Gingivitis is a component of periodontal disease, which is the most common dental disease of dogs and cats. Because the gingiva lies in close proximity to the teeth and helps maintain the health of the tooth sockets, longstanding and severe gingivitis can increase the risk that teeth will be lost. When the gingiva is inflamed, it often recedes from the tooth, revealing the tooth roots.

The major cause of gingivitis in dogs and cats is accumulation of plaque and tartar on the base of the teeth. In cats, many viral infections can cause inflammation of the gingiva.

Dogs and cats don’t brush their teeth, so it’s up to their owners to make sure their teeth are cleaned. Some owners are able to brush their pets’ teeth. There are many oral medications, bones and products that help your pet keep its teeth clean of plaque and decrease subsequent gingivitis and tooth loss. Many owners brush their pets’ teeth religiously, but most owners never do, nor even think about it.

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Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary plans open house Sept. 30

The Star-News September 14, 2017

Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary near McCall will host is annual open house from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30.

The open house is the only time during the year the public can tour the grounds and see wildlife displays and demonstrations.

Those attending are urged to bring a picnic lunch and perhaps see kokanee salmon on their migration in Lake Fork Creek.

Snowdon is located seven miles out Lick Creek Road east of McCall at end of the pavement

Snowdon’s mission is to rehabilitate and return injured and orphaned wildlife to the wild and provide hands-on education to promote a healthy coexistence with wildlife and the ecosystem.

Snowdon specializes in the rehabilitation of local wildlife, including orphaned baby birds and mammals and injured small mammals, songbirds, waterfowl, and raptors.

The 35-acre sanctuary has a number of animal pens and enclosures, and a clinic equipped to care for ill and injured birds and animals.

Go to for more information.

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Wolves understand cause and effect better than dogs

Date: September 15, 2017
Source: University of Veterinary Medicine — Vienna

Summary: A rattle will only make noise if you shake it. Animals like the wolf also understand such connections and are better at this than their domesticated descendants. Researchers say that wolves have a better causal understanding than dogs and that they follow human-given communicative cues equally well. The study provides insight that the process of domestication can also affect an animal’s causal understanding.

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8/30/17: Wolf News Roundup

(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Wyoming Game & Fish Department reports that as of August 30, there have been 65 confirmed wolf deaths in Wyoming so far in 2017, with 36 of the animals killed in response to livestock depredations; 17 wolves legally taken in Wyoming’s predator zone; and 12 others that died of natural or unknown causes. Additional reports on Oregon, Washington an Idaho…. (Click on the link above for the complete story.)
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Some New Mexico lawmakers concerned with wolf recovery plan

9/12/17 AP

Albuquerque, N.M. — Some state lawmakers in New Mexico say a plan for recovering endangered Mexican gray wolves in the American Southwest is flawed and politically driven.

The 21 Democrats outlined their concerns in a letter sent recently to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency is seeking public comments as it works to meet a court-ordered deadline to have a recovery plan completed by the end of November.

The plan is a long time coming as the original guidance for restoring the species was adopted in 1982. The lack of a plan has spurred legal challenges and skirmishes over states’ rights under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The lawmakers say federal officials should specify a target for wolf releases as well as a benchmark for genetic diversity among the population in New Mexico and Arizona.

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Endangered Mexican wolf killed following livestock attacks

By Susan Montoya Bryan – 9/15/17 AP

Albuquerque, N.M. — An endangered Mexican gray wolf has been killed by federal employees after a Native American tribe requested the animal be removed from the wild in the wake of a string of cattle deaths near the Arizona-New Mexico border.

The death of the female wolf marks the first time in a decade that efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to curb livestock attacks by wolves has had lethal consequences for one of the predators.

The decision to remove the member of the Diamond Pack was first made in June after three calves were killed over several days, sparking concern among wildlife managers about what they described as an unacceptable pattern of predation.

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Wolf over its head in swimming attack on whitetail buck

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Sept. 13, 2017

A gray wolf swims after a whitetail buck at Lakeland Provincial Park and Recreation Area in northern Alberta. (David Smith / LEP Photography)

A wolf could out-swim a white-tailed deer but couldn’t make the buck a meal.

Canadian amateur photographer David Smith was canoe-camping recently in Lakeland Provincial Park and Recreation Area in northern Alberta near Lac La Biche when the deer plunged into the water with a wolf in close pursuit.

His series of photos, which are available for viewing on his Facebook page, shows the wolf catching the whitetail and biting its rump several times but then giving up. Perhaps the wolf had been kicked or maybe it simply figured it was futile to kill a deer in the middle of a big lake, Smith said.

The buck swam away.

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Wolf Education International

Second week September 2017

Lethal wolf take lands ODFW in hot water with both sides

Wolves on the prowl

Coywolves are Taking Over Eastern North America
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Charging Grizzly Bear Near Island Park

8/31/2017 U.S. Forest Service – Caribou-Targhee National Forest (via FB)

A hiker on the Lake Marie Trail south of Sawtell Peak near Island Park Idaho was charged twice by a grizzly bear. The hiker deployed bear spray and was able to safely get away from the bear. Hikers are warned to use caution if you go on this trail or avoid the trail for the next week or so to prevent another encounter with this bear. The bear could be defending cubs, or its food.

Bow hunters are advised to remove your carcass immediately, or if you have to leave your carcass move the gut pile away from the carcass so as not to attract bears. If you have to leave your carcass make sure you know where it is and you approach it with the assumption there is a bear on the carcass. You do not want to surprise a bear on your kill. As a courtesy to others in the area of your kill, put your gut pile at least ¼ mile away from a trail so a bear is not close to trails or other areas used by recreationalists.
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2nd grizzly attack in week in Montana stopped by bear spray

by Associated Press Monday, September 11th 2017

Gardiner, Mont. (AP) — A grizzly bear attacked a woman in southwest Montana but was driven off by bear spray.

It was the second grizzly attack in the region in a week.

Andrea Jones of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department says the latest attack occurred on Saturday on a private ranch north of Gardiner.

Jones says the victim and two companions were near a cow carcass when the bear attacked and bit the legs and back of the victim. The bear fled when her companions deployed bear spray.

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Yellowstone grizzly bear killed after raiding backcountry camps

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Thu., Sept. 14, 2017

A grizzly bear that had been raiding backcountry campsites and chasing campers in Yellowstone National Park since last year has been captured and killed, the Associated Press reports.

The National Park Service says biologists killed the immature, male grizzly on Sept. 8 after their nonlethal attempts to alter its behavior failed.

In 2016, the bear entered campsites in the Heart Lake area of Yellowstone and destroyed tents, sleeping bags and sleeping pads. National Park Service staff tried unsuccessfully to haze the bear with bean bag rounds, rubber bullets and cracker shells.

Last month, the bear forced a group of three backpackers out of their campsite near Heart Lake and consumed all of their food. In response, Yellowstone officials closed the area to backcountry camping and made the decision to catch and kill it.

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Idaho Power crew frees young osprey tangled in twine in nest

9/13/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — A young osprey tangled in twine atop a nesting pole in southwest Idaho has been cut loose and freed by workers with a utility company.

Idaho Power in a news release Tuesday says employees Chad Owens and Jeremy Torkelson on Sept. 3 ascended to the nest near Swan Falls Dam in a bucket on a long arm extending from a truck.

… The company sent a line crew. The men wrapped the young bird in a shirt and removed the twine from its talons, and the osprey immediately flew away.

full story:


Fish & Game News:

Highline Fire Closure Area Reduced in Middle Fork Elk Zone

By Evin Oneale, Regional Conservation Educator
Friday, September 15, 2017

A large portion of the Middle Fork Elk Zone has reopened thanks to cooler temperatures and slower fire growth of the Highline and Goat Fires burning within the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area. The new closure area and other fire updates can be viewed at or

The updated closure impacts only 17 percent of the Middle Fork Elk Zone, where the season opens today (September 15).

The Big Creek Trail #196 and everything south of the trail is now available to hunters. Several backcountry airstrips are also operational including Cold Meadows, Cabin Creek and Soldier Bar.

While the previous closure affected 52 percent of Unit 26, now only 19 percent of the unit is closed. Nearly half of unit 20A remains closed as fire activity is primarily within that unit.

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Seats available for wolf trapping certification classes in Idaho Falls, McCall and Coeur d’Alene

By Gregg Losinski, Regional Conservation Educator
Thursday, September 7, 2017

IDAHO FALLS – Those interested in trapping wolves in Idaho are reminded that Idaho law requires you pass a mandatory wolf trapping certification class before purchasing wolf trapping tags.

Idaho Fish and Game has four certification classes currently available and open for enrollment.

* Idaho Falls: Saturday September 23rd, 9 AM to 4:30 PM., Fish and Game Upper Snake Regional Office, 4279 Commerce Circle.
* Coeur d’Alene: 2 separate courses: Friday, September 22nd; Saturday September 23rd, 9 am to 4:30 pm, Fish and Game Panhandle Regional Office, 2885 W. Kathleen Ave.
* McCall: Saturday November 18, 9 am to 4 pm, Fish and Game office, 555 Deinhard Ln.

Pre-registration is required. Those interested can register at
or by contacting the respective Fish and Game office.

The registration fee is $8 per student. Those registering online by credit card will be charged an added convenience fee of $1.75.

The course will cover a variety of topics including wolf biology and management, wolf behavior, trapping and snaring techniques, harvest reporting requirements and proper care of the animal after harvest. On-site demonstrations include both classroom and in the field presentations and include equipment and rigging, using diverters to avoid non-target catches, trap site selection, and information on how to minimize human scent in the area.

Students successfully completing the certification course receive an Idaho Wolf Trapper Certification Card that enables them to purchase wolf trapping tags. Certified wolf trappers may purchase up to five wolf trapping tags per trapping season.

The general furbearer trapping class does not qualify people for the purchase of wolf trapping tags. When registering, please be certain to sign up for the wolf trapper instructor-led class you want to take.

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F&G News Releases

Fun Critter Stuff:

Deceased New York woman leaves $300,000 to two cats

Mary Bowerman, USA TODAY Network, TEGNA August 24, 2017

A wealthy Bronx, New York woman recently died and left part of her fortune to her beloved cats, according to local reports.

Ellen Frey-Wouter left $300,000 of her $3 million estate to ensure that Tiger and Troy would be properly cared for, WABC-TV reported.

Frey-Wouter, who was widowed, left detailed instructions that the cats “never be caged” and be well cared for, the New York Post reported.

Tiger and Troy are being cared for by Frey-Wouters’ former home health aides, the Post reported.

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[h/t CP]
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Record-setting cats share home

by The Associated Press Sunday, September 17th 2017

Will Powers holds his cat Arcturus Aldebaran Powers, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017 in Farmington Hills, Mich. Arcturus, a F2B Savannah cat, has been named the tallest pet cat in the world in the Guinness World Records 2018 version. Arcturus, at two years old, is about 19 inches and still growing. (Edward Pevos/Ann Arbor News via AP)


Seasonal Humor:

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Duh? Don’t take selfies with bears, Aspen police say

Photogs endanger themselves, their kid, animals

Sep 15, 2017 Local News 8

Don’t take selfies with bears.

That’s the reminder Colorado’s Aspen Police Department issued recently after a crowd surrounded a mama bear and her cubs coming down from a tree near a mall Wednesday, KUSA reported.

It was a “fairly large crowd of photo takers and those that insisted on trying ot get close enough to take selfies,” Sgt. Rob Fabrocini told KUSA.

“We were trying to do the best we can to keep people away, but it’s a large area and people get by us,” Fabrocini told KUSA. “There was a woman holding a child within 5 feet of the bear trying to take a selfie with her back to the bear, which was very aggravating to see that.”



Idaho History Sep 17

George Fritser

Fritser Ranch South Fork Salmon River

Homestead patented March 27, 1926 by Harry Fritser

Patent Image
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George Fritser

South Fork of the Salmon Wild and Free

An On-line Book by Jerry Dixon © 2001

July, 1972 Chapter 1

… and hiked out to the South Fork Guard station. There we met the Forest Service guards who knew all the old timers from the area. One who particularly interested me was a resident who had lived on the river at Fritser Creek for 70 years. The following summer, July 1973, I hiked in with fellow smokejumper, Jeff Fereday, to meet him.

“Is your name George Fritser,” Jeff inquired when we arrived.

“Used to be,” was the laconic reply.

George Fritser with weathered face, creased hands and bright eyes, was the son of an original Idaho homesteader. He lived on the site where he was born, January 5, 1902, for almost 90 years. There he tilled the land his father had settled on before the turn of the century. George was born in a log cabin that sat a stone’s throw from his latest house.

The Fritser homestead still lies on a sandy bar 50 ft. above the pellucid waters of the South Fork but it is empty now. It is rimmed in by steep mountains that allow only three hours of sun to filter in during December but there is no old timer that comes out to feed “his deer” and “chickens” (spruce hens) on brisk winter days. The large orchard with apple, plum and cherry trees is a remnant of what it was, the branches having been broken by foraging bears and the large beautiful garden is gone. Above the home where two large hay fields once were and livestock grazed is only a harrow that was carried in almost a century ago.

When George’s father, Harry Fritser Sr., came to the South Fork from Oregon in 1898 it was still a wild and perfect country. The river was teeming with Chinook salmon and wolves as well as brown bears roamed the steep mountains or river breaks as the locals referred to the canyon walls. Two Canadian miners Hollaway and Dunaway were mining the site that would become the Fritser homestead. They in turn had leased it to Chinese who mined but could not legally own land in America. In the 1980’s archeologists would find “spectacular” Chinese gardens that George knew about his entire life.

Harry Fritser Sr. claimed the bar where Hollaway and Dunaway had mined. The two Canadians had taken off down the river in a boat after their claims played out. They lost 500 feet of rope in the first rapids (probably Devil Creek). We can only speculate how far they got in a raft as the South Fork is a Class IV+ or V- depending on water level.

George was the first born to Harry and Charlotte Fritser, coming on a cold January day in 1902. After that followed 10 brothers and sisters, all brought into the world without the help of a midwife or doctor. The nearest town was Warrens which was a day’s ski away out of the gorge that is deeper than the Grand Canyon.

Charlotte Genant was living with her family on the South Fork when she married Harry Fritser. Harry took his bride and moved to a log cabin he had built on his homestead. The nearest neighbors were the Willy’s two miles upstream or the Hinkley’s one mile down river. In either case it meant getting across the South Fork which until recently called for rowing a boat or fording during low water.

South Fork of the Salmon River was at times a difficult place to grow up. To make ends meet, Harry Fritser would sell a cow in the fall or herd sheep in the summer. The large Fritser family did not have many conveniences. George described the good old days when, “We ate weeds and grass and drank milk mostly.”

Nonetheless, the Fritser children grew up in the serenity and beauty of the spectacular river gorge. Life was hard but Harry and Charlotte Fritser provided a stable family life for them. Then tragedy struck when Charlotte Fritser died during childbirth bearing her eleventh child. George, then 17 years old, skied to Warrens to get a doctor.

The only “doctor” he could find was Chinese so George brought him back to the river by descending the 5000 foot breaks (this historic trail is very close to where I jumped in 1972). The “doctor” administered herbs but could do nothing about the real cause of the problem which eventually led to Charlotte’s death on May 28, 1919. She was buried above the ranch on a shady knoll overlooking the river.

That fall (1919) the county superintendent of schools, Tersey J. Wayland, rode into the Fritser homestead on a borrowed horse. She had heard of the Fritser children (10 now, one daughter had died) living on the river with no mother and no school near. It was the law that all children had to go to public school. Mrs. Wayland wanted to bring them out to Boise to give them a chance to have a formal education. When she arrived at the ranch there was apprehension among the siblings because for the children to leave the ranch meant that Harry Fritser Sr. would be left alone.

George was in Cascade at the time fighting a fire. A vote was taken by the children when the school marm explained whey she had come. Some wanted to stay on the ranch and others wanted to see what life was like outside the canyon walls. They all eventually decided to leave with the superintendent. George later said that because of the law, the children’s vote was probably moot.

Traveling by horseback, the caravan of nine children and Mrs. Waylaid rode down the South Fork and up into Warrens where they spent the night in the old Warrens Hotel. Then they traveled to Boise where the children were all put up for adoption. It would take two years before they would all find a new home. George returned home to the South Fork after fighting a forest fire and left that fall for Boise, where he enrolled in school. When he tried to find out where his siblings were the adoption home denied him the information. It was 19 years before he found out where all of them were.

George stayed in Boise with the Witlock family until February 1923. He found Harry Jr. in Cascade staying with the Tersey J. Wayland family. During the time the brothers stayed there they had talks with a pastor in town who told the Fritser brothers they were working hard and receiving little in return. They would plow with four horses out in the Wayland’s field and then go to school. George remarked, “They would work us like slaves and never paid us anything.”

On a clear summer night in July of 1923 the brothers stole away from Cascade and the Wayland home. They only had a small sack of sugar between them and one rifle. They had planned to make it to the South Fork of the Salmon River in one day almost 67 miles. Sleeping at Scott Valley at the foot of the Salmon River Mountains, the next day they rose before the sun and crossed Big Creek summit and dropped into the headwaters.

The usually clear river was high and brown, and they had to descend to the ’49 ford before they dared cross. Even then they were in chest deep water. It took three days to reach home and a joyful reunion with their father. These were the only two of his children that Harry Sr. would ever see again . The sons stayed with the father until his death in September of 1927.

George and Harry Jr. became two of the earliest Forest Service employees. Harry Jr. died of “tick fever” in 1936 while packing horses in the Salmon River country. George said, “When they pulled the tick off his back it was as big as your thumb and the welt on his back was as big as your hand.”

Into his ninety’s George pulled ticks off himself every spring. He maintained that if a person paid attention you could feel them crawling on you and besides, “Ticks got to be on your skin for 24 hours before they stick their head in you.”

Except for brief periods when he served in WWII or worked as a watch repairman George has lived on the river. The conflagration of 1949 burnt down the original log cabin George was born in. The fire can only be compared to the ones that torched Idaho in 2000. Directly across the river, all that remains of the dense Douglas fir stand are small trees. But the two 50 ft trees shading his house he remembers as saplings in his youth. In 1951 he drug enough wood to build his house over the South Fork breaks. The entire house was built with $200 of lumber.

George was 70 years old when the first kayakers led by J. Cal Giddings kayaked the river in 1972. During the next decade I would be able to spend much time on the river with George and a part of every month. The last time I saw him was with Jeff Fereday and family in 1987, and like the river, he seemed to have changed very little, except that he was more ornery. Then in the winter of 1992 I received a call to my Alaskan home from Jeff, “There was a house fire, George could not get out.”

He had been staying three miles upriver at the Willy ranch, when a house fire started on a sofa spread quickly. George’s memorial is above the ranch where he spent his life next to his mother, brother and infant sister.

A weathered marker stands at the grave site.

The book South of the Salmon Wild and Free is copyrighted © 2001 by Jerry Dixon
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George Fritser

South Fork of the Salmon River

March 22, 1978 by Pearl Boydstun

Harrison Fritser was born in Missouri in 1867 his wife Charlotte Jeanott) was born in 1884.

Harrison traded his land in Garden Valley for a wagon, team of horses, cow and some chickens and moved to the South Fork of the Salmon River in 1898. He lived in a tent the first winter and the next summer he cut logs and built a house. Mr. and Mrs. Fritser were married in Roseberry, Idaho 1901.

They raised produce and packed on horseback to Warren, panned gold along the river to get money enough to pay their taxes and buy a few clothes, wild game and fine fish were plentiful so meat was no nroblem. One year they made $65.00 panning gold.

Mrs. Fitser died during childbirth May 28, 1919 she is buried on the South Fork ranch. After Mrs. Fitser passed away the County School Superintendent Tirza Wayland hired a Mr. Whitlock who had a string of rack horses in Warren to go to the Fitser ranch with her to bring the children out to attend school, they were taken to the children’s home in Boise excert the two older boys, George and Harry.

Harry stayed with the Waylands and George lived with Whitlocks. George was 17 years old and had never been inside a school house before he began working in the first grade and at the end of that term he was in the fifth. He attended the Maple Grove School in Boise Valley, his teacher was Bonnie Fisher. He stayed with the Whitlocks and went to school until 1923, he finished the 8th grade in Cascade, Idaho.

He went back to Boise Valley to see his brother Harry who was living with the Waylands. Mrs. Wayland became very ill so George stayed on to help with the work until she passed away.

While there he and Harry attended the Free Methodist Church, George was baptised in the Ridenbaugh Canal when he joined the church.

George and Harry decided they should go to see their father whom they had not seen for four years. They left the Wayland place in Boise early one July morning walking all the way to the South Fork, they traveled most of the time for three days and nights, sleeping only when they got too tired to walk, each carried a burlap sack which they would wrap up in under a tree to sleep.

When they reached the ranch Mr. Fitser was not there, he had gone to Warren for supplies, when he returned and found his sons there he was very happy, they sat un all night and talked.

Harry took a job packing supplies to the Split Creek Lookout and was stricken with tick fever (1935) he was taken to the hospital in Ontario, Oregon but it was too late he passed away and was buried in a cemetery in Ontario.

George went to work for Bailey Dustin who also had a ranch on The South Fork near Pony Creek then worked for a time for Brad Carey. He went back to Cascade to get some clothes he had left there and stayed to go to High School during the winter, then returned to the South Fork ranch the next summer. The ranch comprising about 45 acres lying along the river, it is patented land and now belongs to one of George’s younger brothers Who is a doctor in Twin Falls.

George has lived on the land most of his life and worked for the Forest Service until 1946. He raises a garden and some fruit especially berries, he winters horses for people who live in the surrounding mountains where the winters are long. He took a picture of a cougar that came into his yard in 1971 and laid down under a bush.

George is almost 76 years old now, a kind friendly man who has many friends, young and old.

McCall Public Library Collection
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Backcountry life’s for him

The Star-News 8-8-1984 By Mike Stewart


Where are the mountain men?
They’re down by the river
Big rollin’ river
gonna sweep right over you

Some kind of livin’
when you’re down by the river,
feeling that you’re home
and you’re never really lonely

Big Rollin’ River
Song by Ken Kuhne, McCall

The house sits on a bench above the South Fork of the Salmon River at the five-mile marker, north from the end of the South Fork Road.

A corrugated tin roof tops the structure. That’ s not unusual in snow country. But, what is unusual is that the exterior walls of the cabin are also corrugated metal.

George Fritser is the home’s builder and lone occupant, if you don’t count his dog Chipper or the rats which preclude his leaving for any lengthy periods.

Fritser won’ t say so, but one wonders if the metal sides have something to do with the fact that the first cabin Fritser lived in at the site burned to the ground in the Pidgeon Creek Fire of 1949. That cabin was the same one in which Fritser was born 82 years ago.

He built his current house in 1951, packing in the materials necessary on an old wagon road and hauling them across the South Fork on his cable car.

Fireproofing a house’ s exterior is the sort of caution that seems fitting for a man who, with the exception of a few years in Boise for schooling following World War I and summers working for the U. S. Forest Service, has spent his entire life working a 45 -acre ranch in the Idaho back country.

The eldest of 11 children born on the ranch to Harry and Janotte Fritser, George has watched over his small, isolated corner of the world for the better part of a century.

“The river hasn’t cut any deeper. It looks about the same. I can’t tell any difference,” he said.

But he has seen a great difference in the numbers and types of people he sees traveling up and down the river.

During his early years, the population of Warren, numbered around 1,000.

With their small parcel of land, Fritser’ s family worked as many of the Chinese in the area worked, raising and hauling fruits and vegetables into Warren for sale to the miners.

At the peak, Fritser said about 600 “Chineemen” lived along the river growing produce for resale to miners or “skim digging,” which Fritser defined as “working here or there wherever there was a hotspot.”

Produce would be packed to Warren and sold by the Chinese, who would then return with human waste from Warren to be used for fertilizer, he said.

A five-gallon coal oil can filled with strawberries was worth $5 at Warren, and one entire acre at the Fritser place was planted in the small red fruit, George said.

One of the terraced Chinese gardens located near Bear Creek, a few miles downstream from the Fritser place, was irrigated by a two-mile long ditch, he said.

“It took them two years to dig that ditch, and that’s where the two last Chineemen lived. They’ d come up here to visit every once in a while,” he said.

About 1918, the two, known as Chinee Bob and High Pockets, left the area. One went to Boise and the other returned to China, Fritser said.

The population in the area didn’ t peak, however, until the 1920s, when Fritser said about 2,000 miners worked on the dredges in the Warren area.

At its largest, the boom town of Warren had three general stores, he said. Several mines in the region had tunnels extending a mile or more into the mountains.

But he said the number of people in the area had a definite effect on the number of deer and elk.

“In 1916, there were only about three deer in the whole country,” he said. Happily, that has changed as the number of permanent residents along the South Fork has dropped since those days.

Life in the back country was not without hazards, one of which is aptly demonstrated by a story Fritser tells about himself and brother, Harry.

With their father gone herding sheep to raise grocery money for the winter’s supplies, the two were using a small boat to row back and forth across some “ripples” in the river above their ranch.

They stopped to land on a rock in the middle of the river and became stranded when they lost a grip on the rope tied to the boat. Attempts by their mother and another brother, Bob, to throw them a rope from shore proved futile, and the two spent the entire night sitting on the rock.

Finally, a neighbor living three miles upstream at what is now the Del Davis Ranch came to their rescue by swimming his horse out to the rock to pick up each of the boys.

“That was the longest night I ever put in,” Fritser said. “It rained a bit in the middle of the night and the river raised a bit.”

George and Harry were the only two, residents of the ranch after their father died in 1927. Their mother had taken the children to Boise in 1919, and, with the exception of occasional visits, their father was alone until 1923 when Fritser and another brother, Eric, returned to the ranch.

“Dad, he was glad to see us,” Fritser said.

Following their father’ s death, George and Harry took care of things until Harry died a young man in 1936 from “tick fever.”

“So, I was. by myself in 1936,” he said.

By himself, but not alone, as Fritser remembers the days when salmon and steelhead used to run up the river in large numbers, and when huge dolly varden trout could be caught by the hundreds in a fishing hole just below his place.

“I have to get out fishing one of these days,” he said, spurred on by the talk of big fish. He said it’s been several years since he went fishing in the river that’s only a stone’ s throw from his house.

Fritser is now living on the pension he earned working summers for the forest service, seven of which were spent on the Tailholt fire lookout a few miles above his place.

The Fritser acreage, once nearly taken up by, cultivated garden, has almost returned to a natural state. Only a ‘ few apple trees stand in the otherwise grassy meadow above his cabin.

Four of George’ s sisters are still alive, three in Boise and one in Twin Falls, but he is the last of the brothers with whom he grew up.

Why has he stayed on in the South Fork, alone, when most people his age are living in retirement centers or with other family members?

Besides the rats, which he said would take over the place if he left it unattended, Fritser said he likes it along the river.

“I’m always catching a cold out in town,” he said.

Besides, he added, “A man just gets used to living out here.”

Here’s to the heroes
that live down on the river
here’s to ol’ George Fritser
who endured the
strongest storm

And when his life is over
no small man shall
put him under;
his spirit shall continue
in the legends and the songs

McCall Public Library Collection
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Cabin blaze claims backcountry old-timer

South Fork-Salmon River — An aging backcountry man died in a cabin blaze here early Monday morning.

Valley County Coroner Marvin Heikkila said George Fritser, 89, died of smoke inhalation in a cabin on the Del Davis Ranch, where he had been cared for over the last three years by Bonnie Davis and her stepson, Buzz Davis. The cause of the fire, which burned the cabin to its foundation at approximately 6:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 9, remained undetermined as of Tuesday.

“The cabin was totaled,” Heikkila said, “all except the concrete.”

Heikkila and Valley County Sheriffs Deputy Dave McClintock recovered the remains Monday afternoon. Buzz Davis, who had apparently been sleeping in the basement when the conflagration began, was treated for second degree bums on his hands. Davis and his stepmother, who was not present, had cared for Fritser for some time.

This gentleman had lived on the river all his life, and he was to the age where he couldn’t take care of himself,” Heikkila said. “He did not want to come out, so about three years ago he moved up there and they started taking care of him.”

The cabin where Fritser died is about three miles south of his own cabin on the South Fork. Ironically, he had carefully fireproofed his own cabin with corrugated sheet metal, possibly because the cabin in which he was born burned to the ground in the Pigeon Creek Fire of 1949.

On the river all his life, Fritser was witness to hundreds of “Chineemen” skim digging and selling vegetables to miners along the river. He saw the deer population along the river nearly eradicated by Warren’s mining boom in the teens and 20s of this century, and also saw fish runs along the river such as those in following generations may never see again. Fritser was so much a, part of the backcountry that he refused to be moved out for geriatric care or even cataract surgery, reports said.

No investigation is planned.
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George Albert Fritser


Davis Ranch — George Albert Fritser, 89, died Monday, Dec. 9, 1991, at the Davis Ranch on the South Fork of the Salmon River.

Memorial services will be held in his honor at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18, at the Relyea Funeral Chapel, 318 N. Latah, Boise.

George was born Jan. 5, 1902, at the Fritser Ranch on the South Fork of the Salmon River in Valley County, Idaho, the first child in a family of 11 children of Harrison and Charlotte Fritser. His mother and father both came to the South Fork in 1898 to homestead.

George had lived most of his life on the South Fork where he worked for the Forest Service from 1926 to 1935, while living at the Fritser Ranch. In the fall of 1942, he entered the armed forces and was stationed at Hammers Field, Calif., and later was transferred to the 22nd Air Corps at Davis Monthan Field, Ariz.

During his lifetime, he traveled to many interesting places, but George always returned to the family ranch on the South Fork and his peaceful existence in the mountains of Idaho. Over the years, many family members and friends visited George and experienced the wonderful Idaho outdoors with him.

Survivors include four sisters; and numerous nieces and nephews. The family suggests that memorials may be made to Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue, P.O. Box 741, Boise 83701.

Fire Update 9/17/2017

Local Conditions: Much cooler temperatures in Yellow Pine the last couple of days. Yesterday the high was 64 and the low this morning 34 degrees. Tomorrow there is a good chance for rain in the forecast. Air has been much better, but there is still a slight haze of smoke.

Yellow Pine Forecast

Today Partly sunny, with a high near 67. Light south southwest wind becoming southwest 8 to 13 mph in the afternoon.
Tonight A 20 percent chance of showers after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 44. South southwest wind 5 to 11 mph.
Monday Showers. Temperature falling to around 44 by 9am. South southwest wind 7 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Monday Night A 50 percent chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 35. West southwest wind 5 to 8 mph.
Tuesday Showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 48. West southwest wind 6 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Tuesday Night Showers. Low around 36. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Wednesday Showers. High near 47. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Johnson Creek Airport WebCam
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Boise NF Stage 1 fire restrictions will be lifted effective Sunday, September 17, at 12:01 a.m.

Payette NF Stage 1 fire restrictions were lifted September 15th.

Some fire closure areas have been reduced, see individual fire links for latest reports.
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McCall Air Quality
Sept 16 smoke map

NOAA generates daily maps showing smoke pattern:

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Bearskin Fire

Boise National Forest

Current as of 9/16/2017, 12:58:40 PM
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Wednesday August 23rd, 2017 approx. 07:30 PM
Location 21 miles NE of Lowman, Idaho – located in Valley County
Incident Commander M Quesinberry
Total Personnel 136
Size 30,144 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 10%
Estimated Containment Date Sunday October 01st, 2017 approx. 12:00 AM

9-15-2017 Bearskin Fire Closure Reduced – Version #4
The Bearskin Fire area closure on the Boise and Salmon Challis National Forest has been reduced significantly due to a decrease in fire activity. The change in the closure opens more than 80,000 acres to fall hunters and recreationists. The modified closure goes into Friday, Sept. 15, at noon.

9-15-2017 Bearskin Fire Closure Order – Version #4

Bearskin Fire Update – Saturday, September 17, 2017

Boise, Idaho – Most work on the Bearskin Fire was completed by the end of shift Saturday and most resources will be off the fire by tonight in advance of an expected cold front. Only a small workforce of local engines and crews will remain after today, actively engaged in mop-up and monitoring to ensure the fire does not escape containment and to conduct firing operations if needed. Smoke may linger for weeks, and even flare up, as interior hot spots ignite.

Weather was warm and dry Saturday and that is expected to continue for one more day. A cold front will arrive Monday and from 3 to 6 inches of snow is expected between then and Wednesday.

Operations Section Chief John Giller says today, three engines will be working along County Road 579 on the west side of the fire, focusing on an area that showed a little activity late Saturday. The east side of the fire is quiet and in patrol status.

All the suppression repair work is done – suppression repair restores areas on the landscape that have been damaged by the work of equipment and crews fighting the fire. Backhaul will continue today, returning truckloads of equipment used on the fire like pumps and hoses, to the local district.

The National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) which has been managing the fire since Sept. 11 will transfer command to a local Incident Commander Monday morning at 6 a.m. As NIMO prepares to demobilize (leave the incident), leadership attention will be focused on the firefighters, both hand crews and engines, as operational responsibility is transferred to the District. This ensures continuity of tasks and keeps firefighter safety first and foremost.

For Forest Closure Orders and maps visit:
Scroll down to Lowman Ranger District Closures for Bearskin Area Closure Reduced – Version #4.

Stage 1 fire restrictions will be lifted effective 12:01 a.m. September 17. To view the order

9-15-2017 Bearskin Fire IR Map

InciWeb link:
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Payette Wilderness Fires

Missouri Fire
1,277 Acres 9/15/2017
Location Missouri Ridge, Krassel District north east of Yellow Pine
Area Closure Order for Missouri Fire has been Terminated 9/15/2017
The Area Closure Order for the Missouri Fire (Order #0412-504) has been terminated effective September 15, 2017. This lightning ignition on the Krassel District north of Yellow Pine has displayed little to no activity and no growth for several weeks. Those venturing into the burned area are advised to watch for hazard trees and unstable terrain. The Missouri Ridge Trail (NFS #031) is passable.

Goat Fire
818 acres 9/14/2017
Location in the Middle Fork of the Salmon River drainage.
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Highline Fire

Payette National Forest

Current as of 9/17/2017
Incident Type Wildfire
Date of Origin Saturday July 29th, 2017 approx. 12:00 AM
Incident Description Wildfire Burning Within The Frank Church River Of No Return Wilderness
Incident Commander Joe Reinarz, Incident Commander, National Incident Management Organization (NIMO)
Total Personnel 70
Size 84,619 Acres

Current Situation: The rain that fell over the Highline and Goat fires over the last 36 hours reduced fire behavior significantly. Approximately two tenths of an inch came down to wet the fuel across the area. A reconnaissance flight on Saturday revealed only isolated pockets of smoldering heat. The largest area of heat concentration was on the northeast corner of the Highline fire in the Big Bear Creek and Mule Creek Peak area. No open flame was observed during the flight and not much discernable fire growth was detected. The weather forecast for the next few days shows a wet system coming in Monday through Friday bringing precipitation amounts of up to one inch over the week. Sunday, crews will be extracted from the Root Ranch and the Beaver and Big Creek areas in front of the forecasted precipitation. Personnel will be consolidating extra point protection equipment in Beaver and Big Creek in anticipation of extraction from the fire area once threat to the values at risk are mitigated. A total of 70 personnel are assigned.

Highline Fire Update – September 17, 2017

Highline Fire Operations Map, Sept 17, 2017

List of Trails Partially or Entirely Closed in the Highline Fire Area

Minimal fire behavoir on the Highline Fire Posted on: 09/17/17

InciWeb link:
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Highline Fire Closure Area Reduced in Middle Fork Elk Zone

By Evin Oneale, Regional Conservation Educator
Friday, September 15, 2017

A large portion of the Middle Fork Elk Zone has reopened thanks to cooler temperatures and slower fire growth of the Highline and Goat Fires burning within the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area. The new closure area and other fire updates can be viewed at or

The updated closure impacts only 17 percent of the Middle Fork Elk Zone, where the season opens today (September 15).

The Big Creek Trail #196 and everything south of the trail is now available to hunters. Several backcountry airstrips are also operational including Cold Meadows, Cabin Creek and Soldier Bar.

While the previous closure affected 52 percent of Unit 26, now only 19 percent of the unit is closed. Nearly half of unit 20A remains closed as fire activity is primarily within that unit.

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Salmon-Challis 2017 Wilderness Fires

Honeymoon Fire
1,860 Acres 9/14/2017
Location Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, 30 NM NW of Stanely, ID

Tappan Fire
1,650 Acres 9/14/2017
Location On the Middle Fork and North Fork Ranger Districts, near the confluence of Camas Creek and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Fire is located east of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River

Ibex Fire
17,256 Acres 9/14/2017
Location 23 miles NW of Challis, Idaho
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Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Updates

Coolwater Complex
3,118 acres 9/16/2017
Location Near Andy’s Lake and Coolwater Mountain

Hidden Fire
12,261 acres 9/16/2017
Location Hidden Ridge, 7 mi. NE of Elk Summit Guard Station

Chute Creek Fire
4,420 acres 9/15/2017, 8:07:37 PM
Location 2.5 miles west of Blodgett Lake, 16.7 miles west of Hamilton, Montana

Buck Lake Fire
2,390 acres 9/15/2017
Location 19 Miles NE of Elk City, Idaho

Hanover Fire
26,500 acres 9/15/2017
Location South of Grangeville, ID and northeast of Riggins, ID

Rattlesnake Point Fire
4,843 acres 9/15/2017
Location Rattlesnake Point – Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness

Moose Creek 1 Fire
17,395 acres 9/15/2017
Location Southeast of the Historic Moose Creek Ranger Station

Lone Pine Fire
15,237 acres 9/15/2017
Location Below Lone Pine Point in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness

Patrol Ridge Fire
1,175 acres 9/14/2017
Location Patrol Ridge – 4.5 miles east of Windy Saddle

Big Elk
80 acres 9/14/2017
Location Big Elk Creek

Pronghorn Fire
78 acres 9/14/2017
Location Matteson Ridge
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Idaho Panhandle National Forest Fires

North Fork Hughes Fire
3,931 Acres 9/14/2017
Location 20 miles North of Nordman, Idaho

Buck Fire
2,100 Acres 9/16/2017
Location on the St. Joe Ranger District, approximately 16 miles southeast of Avery, Idaho.
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National Interagency Fire Center

September 17, 2017

No new large fires were reported yesterday. Nationally, 49 large fires have burned nearly 1.9 million acres. More than 19,000 wildland firefighters and support personnel are assigned to fires across the western United States.

Weather: Breezy conditions will develop across the northwestern states as the next system begins to move on shore. Widespread wetting rainfall is expected by mid-day in the Cascades. By mid-afternoon, cloud cover will begin to increase across the Northern Rockies and the Great Basin. Temperatures will again be below normal across the West, but could be as much as 20 degrees below normal across the Pacific Northwest. For the most part, California will miss out on the approaching precipitation as conditions remain dry. Looking elsewhere, a breezy southwesterly flow will continue across the Great Plains, extending as far east as the Great Lakes region. Meanwhile, Jose will continue a slow northward track off the East Coast.

States currently reporting large fires:

Arizona (1)
California (7)
Idaho (3)
Montana (14)
Nevada (1)
Oregon (14)
South Dakota (1)
Washington (8)
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PNW Fires 9/17/2017


Road Reports Sep 17

Yellow Pine: Local streets are dusty again, please drive respectfully.

Johnson Creek Road: (Sep 13) road is pretty good, except it’s starting to get rough on the hills.

South Fork / EFSF Road: Reported to be in good shape Sept 15th, lots of traffic on the So Fk for hunting season.

Lick Creek: Depends on your perception. A report from last weekend that “the road is pretty good” (passenger car.) Another report (Sep 13) that the road is “par for the course”, not bad where the washout was fixed above Zena Creek, but rough and rocky, “boulders poking up out of the road” in places near the top.

Profile Creek Road: Open, no current report.

Stibnite to Thunder Mountain: Open, no current report.

Big Creek to Warrens Road:
Warren to the South Fork access – Regarding road repairs on two areas that slumped this spring on Valley County’s section of the road.
This is the road beyond Warren down to the South Fork of the Salmon River near Trails End Subdivision.
Valley County has contracted the repairs to begin at the end of August. The road will be remain open, except for these listed dates – on these dates the road will be closed.
Sept. 19-28 Begin work on lower repair
Oct. 3-12 Work on lower repair
Oct. 17-26 Complete work on lower repair

Deadwood Summit: No current report.
9-15-2017 Bearskin Fire Closure Reduced – Version #4

Golden Gate Road: The road is only passable on foot due to large deep wash-out about 2/3rds of the way up.

Weather Reports Sep 10-16

Sept 10 Weather:

At 9am it was 50 degrees, clear sky, light haze of smoke and slight breeze. At 2pm it was 84 degrees and mostly clear, light haze of smoke. At 5pm it was 83 degrees, partly cloudy and light breezes. At 740pm it was 72 degrees and mostly cloudy (high thin wispy) and light haze of smoke.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time September 11, 2017 at 09:00AM
Clear, light breeze, slight haze, good amount of dew
Max temperature 86 degrees F
Min temperature 41 degrees F
At observation 45 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch
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Sept 11 Weather:

At 9am it was 45 degrees, clear sky w/slight haze of smoke, cool breeze and a good amount of dew. At 230pm it was 88 degrees, clear, light breeze and light haze of smoke. At 8pm it was 70 degrees and almost calm.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time September 12, 2017 at 09:00AM
Mostly clear (thin wisps) and haze of smoke
Max temperature 90 degrees F
Min temperature 43 degrees F
At observation 50 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch
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Sept 12 Weather:

At 9am it was 50 degrees, mostly clear sky (high thin wisps) and haze of smoke (low end of yellow.) At 140pm it was 87 degrees, partly cloudy (building up from the south) and haze of smoke. At 215pm it was 88 degrees. At 530pm it was 84 degrees and cloudy. A short light misty sprinkle at 615pm. At 8pm it was 73 degrees, clouds breaking up. Early morning rain shower (before 8am) just a trace.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time September 13, 2017 at 09:00AM
Partly cloudy, good air, light breeze
Max temperature 89 degrees F
Min temperature 50 degrees F
At observation 58 degrees F
Precipitation Trace
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Sept 13 Weather:

At 9am it was 58 degrees, partly cloudy, light breeze and good air. At 125pm it was 80 degrees, partly cloudy, light breeze and good air. At 450pm it was 81 degrees, partly cloudy, light breeze and slight haze of smoke. At 820pm it was 65 degrees and mostly clear.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time September 14, 2017 at 09:00AM
Mostly cloudy, light haze of smoke, light breezes
Max temperature 83 degrees F
Min temperature 51 degrees F
At observation 54 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch
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Sept 14 Weather:

At 9am it was 54 degrees, mostly cloudy, not much dew, haze of smoke and light breezes. At 230pm it was 73 degrees, mostly cloudy, haze of smoke and light breezes. At 5pm it was 66 degrees, overcast, light haze of smoke and breezy. At 740pm it was 59 degrees, overcast and chilly light breeze. Rain started before sunrise.

NOAA Weather report:
Observation time September 15, 2017 at 09:00AM
Overcast, light sprinkle
Max temperature 74 degrees F
Min temperature 44 degrees F
At observation 45 degrees F
Precipitation 0.02 inch
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Sept 15 Weather:

At 9am it was 45 degrees, overcast and light sprinkles. Misty sprinkles on and off continued until around 1130am, getting breezy. At 3pm it was 48 degrees, cloudy and cool breezes. At 810pm it was 44 degrees, cloudy and chilly light breeze. At 11pm it was 43 degrees and cloudy.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time September 16, 2017 at 09:00AM
Partly cloudy, chilly breeze, good air
Max temperature 49 degrees F
Min temperature 38 degrees F
At observation 38 degrees F
Precipitation 0.01 inch
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Sept 16 Weather:

At 9am it was 38 degrees, partly cloudy, chilly breeze and good air. At 2pm it was 59 degrees, partly cloudy and cool breezes. At 8pm it was 56 degrees, mostly cloudy (thin and wispy) and slight breeze, good air.

NOAA Weather report:

Observation time September 17, 2017 at 09:00AM
Mostly cloudy, slight haze
Max temperature 64 degrees F
Min temperature 34 degrees F
At observation 40 degrees F
Precipitation 0.00 inch

Midnight Fudge Cake


1 box Ultimate Fudge brownie mix
1 box Triple chocolate cake mix
Ingredients to make both cake and brownies (listed on box)
1 jar Hot Fudge topping


Homemade Chocolate Brownie
Homemade Chocolate Cake
1 jar Hot Fudge topping


In a medium bowl, make brownie batter as directed on box or in recipe above.

In a separate medium bowl, make the cake mix according to directions on box or recipe above.

Grease a 9×13 baking pan.

Pour half the cake mixture in first, followed by half the brownie mixture.

Using a knife, swirl the two mixtures together to create a marble effect.

Bake in a preheated oven, 350, for about 35 minutes, or until cooked through.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.

Drizzle desired amount of hot fudge on top and serve.

* Since you are only using half the batter of each, you can grease another 9×13 to make 2 cakes.

Slow Cooker: Easy Taco Soup


1 lb Frozen Chicken Breast
1 Can Bush’s Great Northern Beans (undrained)
1 Can Black Beans (undrained)
1 Can Dark Red Kidney Beans (Partially Drained)
1 Can Green Giant White Corn (undrained)
1 Packet Taco Seasoning
1 Packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix. (powder)
1 Can Diced Tomatoes w/ Green Chiles (undrained)
+ Dash of Cumin.


Place all ingredients in crock pot.

Cook 1 hour on high or 6 hours on low.

Notes: Do not defrost chicken, put it in first, on the bottom of the pot closest to the heating mechanism. Do not drain any of the cans except the kidney beans and even then only drain off what sits on the top of the can, leave 3/4ths of undrained.

Can be substituted with a pound of frozen ground beef. Can be topped with shredded cheese and sour cream.