Category Archives: News 2015

Dec 27, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times

Dec 27, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Note: We have had 5 power outages in the month of December, the shortest was 2 hours and the longest was about 3 days. So far this month we have received precipitation (either rain or snow) every day except the last two. The snow is quite heavy right now, it’s roof shoveling season in Yellow Pine. – rrS

Local Observations:

Monday (Dec 21) 605am power went out (it was sort of half power off and on before it went off.) 1.5″ new snow, 14″ total on the ground. Snow and blowing snow, gusty winds, clouds socked in to valley floor. Mail truck driver made it in, reported power line laying along side the road on Big Creek Summit. Reports of power outages all over Valley Co. Neighbor plowed local streets. Gusty winds and blowing snow into the night.

Tuesday (Dec 22) power still out, 3.5″ new snow, 16″ total on the ground, snow showers off and on. Idaho Power helicopter flew over at 1237pm. Snow off and on during the afternoon. Report that the dump had not been plowed, but people had broke thru the berm and got in. Power back on at 722pm!! Partial clearing and temp dropping, then snowed after midnight for most of the night.

Wednesday (Dec 23) 2″ new snow, 17″ total on the ground, a few flakes of snow falling all morning. Heavy snow on roofs that didn’t slide, layers of crusts. Flaking snow off and on or snowing lightly all day and into the night.

Thursday (Dec 24) 3/4″ new snow, 17″ total snow, high broken clouds. Very light to moderate snow all day. Neighbor plowing local streets. Power out at 310pm until 459pm (Ola, Sweet, Warm Lake and YP.) Another batch of snow around 10pm. Temps dropping.

Friday (Dec 25) 1″ new snow, 17″ total snow, mostly cloudy and colder. A couple elk tracks and fox tracks in the new snow on the road. Broken clouds, bits of sun once in a while. Quiet day. Full moon rose behind clouds. Cold night.

Saturday (Dec 26) no new snow, very cold morning (Zero!) Lots of fox tracks. There is a tree arching over Westside Ave near the school, and some bent over trees on the golf course. Sunny day and warmed up a bit. Cooling off fast after sundown, single digits by late afternoon.

Sunday (Dec 27) no new snow, 16″ total snow on the ground. Cloudy cold day.

Idaho News:

Region hit by power outages as winter storms blow through

BY TOM GROTE for The Star-News December 23, 2015

For the second week, raging winter storms caused major power outages from Riggins to Cascade when main electrical lines serving the area were knocked out of service.

Between 10,000 and 12,000 customers of Idaho Power Co. were left without power during back-to-back outages on Sunday and Monday.

Sunday’s outage started about 11 a.m. and Monday’s outage started about 2 p.m. Power was restored at various times depending on the location as Idaho Power turned electricity back on gradually in order not to overload its systems.

The outages were due to falling trees and ice build-up on power lines on the two transmissions lines serving Valley County, Idaho Power spokesperson Brad Bowlin said. When one line would go down, the other line would continue service, Bowlin said. The outages on Sunday and Monday occurred when both lines went down, he said.

One of the main lines originates from New Meadows while the other line originates from Tamarack Resort.

Ice Buildup

Ice would cause outages when heavy buildup on a wire near the top of the pole would cause the wire to sag onto the wires below and short them out, Bowlin said.

Idaho Power sent four snow cats and a number of snowmobiles to scan the routes along the main lines to look for the source of the trouble, he said. Those searchers were hampered by fog and the fact the routes cross areas with no roads.

Trees falling on minor power lines caused 32 additional outages affecting 644 customers between 5:30 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. Monday, Bowlin said.

“The number and location of outages shifted almost continuously,” he said. “We’d get power back on to one area, and then a tree or branch would fall elsewhere and knock out power to the same area, or another one.”

Some parts of McCall including parts of downtown were spared Sunday’s outage because they were served by a smaller power line that runs from Emmett to McCall, Bowlin said.

The power outages had residents and visitors scrambling for emergency supplies, according to local business managers.

May Hardware in McCall sold out of batteries, flashlights, candles, oil lamps parts and fuel, some shovels and extension cords, as well as other supplies, Scott Fereday of the store said.

“Most people were good, but we had some complainers that were pretty mad we didn’t happen to have 20 generators in stock,” Fereday said.

Run on Water

Customers even cleaned out the store’s supply of bottled water from its mini-refrigerator, he said.

Paul’s Market and Ridley’s Family Market in McCall also reported brisk sales of water, candles, propane bottles, flashlights and batteries, store managers reported.

“We sold out of water, any kind of heating product, anything to keep you warm, candles, propane canisters,” said Beven Ercanbrack, manager of Howdy’s Gas and Grub in Cascade.

Some retailers darkened by the outages took the disruption in stride.

“I won’t complain – it’s the downside of so much snow,” said Michelle Reagan, owner of Gravity Sports in McCall. “And I’d still take the snow!”

The Ashley Inn in Cascade checked in several travelers who feared they could not find gasoline to continue their journeys, General Manager Debbie Gunderson said.

“We made some soup, an employee ran home and got some cheese and crackers, so we were fine,” Gunderson said.

The Valley County Sheriff’s Office logged 15 slide-off over the weekend and nine accident with no serious injuries, said Sgt. Kelly Copperi, who supervises the county’s dispatch center.

McCall Fire & EMS crews were kept busy responding to fallen trees and power lines, Chief Mark Billmire said.

Firefighters also were called to false alarm activations, furnaces needing to be re-lit, and transformers that caught on fire, Billmire said.

The Star-News
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Heavy snow leaves 16,000 without power in central Idaho

By Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review Dec 21

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Power officials say nearly 16,000 customers are without power in central Idaho due to multiple downed power lines. The utility company says severe weather conditions caused the power outages in Valley County on Monday. The power went out just hours after utility crews had finished restoring outages in Valley County that had occurred over the weekend and early Monday morning. Heavy snow and broken branches broke multiple power lines in McCall, Donnelly and Cascade areas for more than 10,000 customers. Idaho Power had no immediate estimate when the power would be back on.

Meanwhile, the Idaho Transportation Department reports that U.S. Highway 95 is closed in both directions between Council and New Meadows due to “extremely hazardous driving conditions” on the roadway caused by heavy snow and falling trees. ITD advises checking for the latest road conditions. UPDATE: Highway 95 was reopened at 11 p.m., but ITD continues to advise drivers to check conditions before going.

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Power restored in north-central Idaho but residents warned to be prepared for more outages

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 12/22/15

RIGGINS, Idaho — Idaho Power officials say residents in Valley County in north-central Idaho should be prepared for additional power outages as winter storms continue to move through the area.

The utility company on Tuesday says power has been restored to nearly all of the 16,000 customers who lost power Monday due to snow-laden trees falling on power lines or ice building up on power lines.

Scattered outages to about 450 customers remained Tuesday morning.

The company says both major lines serving the McCall area didn’t have power Monday afternoon. One was re-energized Monday evening and crews are working Tuesday to re-power the other.

The company says crews on snow cats and snowmobiles are patrolling other lines for damage and to make repairs.

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Outages affect McCall businesses, visitors

Morgan Boydston, KTVB December 22, 2015

McCALL – Before Monday’s storm in McCall, shelves in Paul’s Market were completely stocked with gallons of water, the most popular item during the power outage. The market is getting another shipment in early Wednesday morning in preparation for yet another storm.

“We didn’t run out but we were almost out,” Paul’s Market Store Manager Joe Garnett said.

Monday night’s power outage in Valley County left shelves of the essentials – candles and water – practically bare. As one of the two main grocery stores in town, Paul’s Market knew people were going to need them, so they were prepared.

“Working in the mountains in Idaho sometimes the power goes out so we need a backup generator,” Garnett said.

continued w/video:
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Helicopters to help Kootenai Electric Cooperative restore power

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 12/26/15

HAYDEN, Idaho — The Kootenai Electric Cooperative will be using helicopters to help restore power in Northern Idaho.

The Coeur d’Alene Press reports ( ) the utility will use two helicopters to help clear snow off power lines. Company officials say this process, called “buzzing the lines,” involves the helicopter flying a safe distance above the lines and creating a downward wind to blow snow off them.

Crews had restored power to more than 2,700 cooperative members across the region KEC service territory by Christmas but some members didn’t have power during the holiday.

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Former McCall city manager hit by car, killed

KTVB December 24, 2015

Former McCall city manager Gene Drabinski was killed in a collision in Los Angeles over the weekend.

McCall Mayor Jackie Aymon said Drabinski was crossing a street Saturday when he was hit by a car. He died from his injuries Sunday, she said.

“We’re just crushed, we’re heartbroken,” Aymon said.

Aymon said Drabinski was in Los Angeles to visit family. A family member was walking with him when he was struck, but that person wasn’t hurt, she said.

Drabinski had been retired from his job with the city for just three months, Aymon said.

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Fire destroys McCall home on Christmas

KTVB December 26, 2015

MCCALL – A family is left devastated after a fire completely destroyed their home on Christmas.

McCall Fire Chief Mark Billmire tells KTVB that a 911 call came in just after 7 p.m. at a home on Morgan Drive, which is in the River’s Crossing neighborhood.

“When [crews] arrived on scene they already had flames coming out of the roof,” said Chief Billmire. “They tried to make entry and fight the fire from the inside but when they started pulling ceiling the attic space was fully involved. So the captain at the time pulled all the crew members out and it was shortly after that a portion of the ceiling collapsed so that was a good decision.”

The State Fire Marshal has been at the house all day. There has been no word yet on what caused the fire, but the chimney is a focus of the investigation.

Chief Billmire says the family was home at the time and had friends and family over for the holiday. Everyone was able to get out safely when the fire started.

The family, who lives in McCall full-time, is now staying with friends.

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Wildfires spark desire to help after the smoke clears

By KATHY HEDBERG – The Lewiston Tribune Published: 12/26/15

KAMIAH, Idaho — When wildfires devastated the Clearwater River area this past summer, the Rev. Luann Howard realized all the training she’d had as a pastor, counselor, mentor and chaplain aimed her straight toward some of the greatest needs.

“I think I’m not any different from most people,” the 58-year-old Presbyterian pastor said. “When you see people that you live with in a community that you know — and in a community like ours everybody knows everybody — so when your neighbor is facing such an overwhelming disaster that’s happened in their lives, how can you not try to do something to alleviate their pain?”

Shortly after the smoke cleared, Howard became part of the wildfire unmet needs committee for Clearwater, Idaho and Lewis counties. The group focuses its efforts mainly on people who lost their homes, who were under-insured or had no insurance.

Howard said there were about 73 families who completely lost their homes in the wildfires that swept through the area in mid-August. Some of those were living in campers or temporary homes, but they lost all their belongings.

The committee is in the process of assessing the needs and trying to find volunteer help, materials and funding to help replace what people lost.


Forest News:

Mill Creek Road and Area Closure on Week Day thorughout Winter for Public Safety during Timber Sale

News Release, Payette National Forest
December 21, 2015

Council, Idaho – Beginning Monday December 21st, the Mill Creek Road (Forest Road 50165) and the Shingle Hall timber sale area will be closed Monday through Friday to all motorized and non-motorized traffic (to include snowmobiles) between the forest boundary and Shingle Flat.

The purpose of the closure is to provide for public safety on the snow covered road from the high volume of log truck traffic coming out of the Shingle-Hall timber sale.  The closure was discussed in the Mill Creek-Council Mountain Final Environmental Impact Statement, and Record of Decision as a mitigation measure to provide for public safety, while still allowing for weekend access.

This closure is in effect until the roadway is cleared of snow in the spring; there will be a news release informing the public when the road and area is open on the weekdays again.  During the closure the road will be opened for public use from 10pm Friday night, through midnight Sunday.  For weekend use, an alternative snowmobile parking area has been established at the Shingle Flat gravel pit which is signed for parking of vehicles.  The lower snowmobile parking area at the base of the mill creek road is closed for the season.

The area closure covers the timber harvest area (Shingle Hall Timber Sale; Specifically, from the point of the National Forest System (NFS) Road #50165 at the forest boundary located at Township 17N, Range 1E, Section 31, to the intersection of NFS Road #50150 (e.g., cutoff saddle) and from the intersection of NFS Road #50183 to the intersection of NFS Road #50172 Township 17N Range 1E and Section 20, Boise Meridian, Adams County, Idaho, and within the Council Ranger District, Payette National Forest.

The order will be terminated in the spring when the road is basically free of snow.  The public will be informed through a news release.  For additional information, please call the Council Ranger District office at 208-253-0100.
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South Zone Districts of the Boise National Forest Intend to Submit Grant Proposals to Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation

News Release Boise National Forest
December 24, 2015

Idaho City, Idaho – The Idaho City and Mountain Home Ranger Districts of the Boise National Forest are applying for grant funding from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) to help with trail improvements and maintenance, as well as improve recreation sites used by recreational vehicle users.

The different applications will request funding through the IDPR, specifically the Off-Road Motor Vehicle Fund (ORMV) and the Motorbike Recreational Account (MBR).

* MBR / ORMV funds would be used to maintain trails in the Idaho City Area.  National Forest System (NFS) trails include:  # 049, 050, 061, and 166.  This grant proposes to address signage, brushing, and tread maintenance needs.

* MBR / ORMV Funds would improve storm and fire damaged trails in the Prairie area of the Mountain Home Ranger District.   This grant also proposes to address those trails with extensive brushing and maintenance needs outside of fire and storm damage.   NFS trails include:  # 122, 123, 125, 126, 127, 128, and 129.  Due to recent storms and fires some of these trails will continue to have tread impacts.

All grant proposals will improve the visitor experience and mitigate public health and safety hazards.  This will also help sustain the capital investment of the trail tread.  If received, implementation of the grants would begin in late summer.

Comments or requests for more information should be submitted to Megan Impson, Idaho City Ranger District, PO Box 129, Idaho City, ID  83631, at – (208) 392-3733 or Wintauna Belt, Mountain Home Ranger District, 3080 Industrial Way, Mountain Home, ID  83647 at (208) 587-7961.
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Wind-storm damaged forests in north Idaho, Spokane area more susceptible to bark beetles

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 12/26/15

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — Idaho forestry officials are warning landowners with trees damaged by recent wind storms are going to be more susceptible to infestations of some bark beetles next spring.

The Coeur D’Alene Press reports ( ) trees uprooted or broken in the storms in north Idaho and the Spokane area can become infested by bark beetles once the weather warms up again and then they will likely spread to healthier trees.

Forest health officials at the Idaho Department of Lands recommend removing damaged trees and burning, chipping or removing branches from the property.

Landowners should be careful to dry logs and green wood from the damaged trees as quickly as possible, to prevent the beetles from settling in. And they do not recommend stacking green firewood next to live standing trees.


Letter to Share:

Mystic Farm “Autie the Fawn” Update

Dec 21, 2015

Greetings and Merry Christmas from Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue!

“Autie” is the little fawn that was born nearly four months later than the others at Mystic Farm. The following is an update of her progress.

Autie Update (Sorry, no current pic):

Yesterday, after giving little Autie her morning bottle, I left her shelter door open so she could run around in the barn and out to her enclosed run as I usually do. Only this morning, the barn door to outside was open and she decide to check out the big world. Well, she checked it out all day long! I admit I was a tad worried, but it actually was pretty exciting to see her heading up the trails and into the woods. After not seeing her for quite a few hours, I went out just before dark with her evening bottle. She was no where to be seen. I started calling for her. Nothing. After a few minutes I see a small herd of about eight whitetail coming down the mountain towards the barn…with Autie right in the middle of them! She came right to me (it helped to have that bottle in my hand!). After her bottle, she was safely locked up in her enclosure/shelter. Today will be another day of learning and growing. I feel like a mama sending my little one off to her first day of school. And so the process begins of turning Autie into a “wild deer”…

Merry Christmas!
Dory and Hubcap
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Mystic Farm Limited Edition Candles

Dec 21, 2015

I’m so excited to bring this to all Mystic Farm supporters! Mystic Farm and Caribou Corner are teaming up to make a limited edition candle to raise money for the rescue babies at Mystic Farm. Individually hand painted by Caribou Corner, numbered, and hand poured as a candle by myself at Mystic Farm. The scent is the amazing Idaho Woodland – and you will love the collectors fawn/foot print jar! The pic really does not do it justice! We will be making 50 of these limited edition candles. Get one (or more!) before they are gone! Minimum donation of $20.00. All proceeds go to feed and care for the fawns at Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue. Thank you…and the fawns thank you! FCFS   Shipping costs apply.



Critter News:

KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third week of December 2015
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As wolves reappear in California, killing of calf highlights tension

December 21, 2015 By WEI Staff

A calf was likely killed and eaten by wolves in Siskiyou County last month, state wildlife officials said — the first reported case of the endangered predators dining on ranchers’ livestock and an incident that may raise tensions over wolves’ reappearance in California.

The killing of the calf prompted the first “livestock depredation investigation” since a wolf crossed into California from Oregon in 2011, marking the first evidence of a wild wolf in the state since 1924.
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Watch out for wolves, Yukon government warns

Woman and dog stalked by three wolves in Porter Creek area

CBC News Posted: Dec 24, 2015

Conservation officers killed a wolf Wednesday morning near the Whitehorse dump, after a woman was stalked by three of the animals Monday night.

Ken Knutson of Environment Yukon said one wolf was shot this morning, and another was seen at the dump.

“What we do now is once we killed one animal we just wait and see if there are other incidents reported,” he said.

“This may have created enough fear, kind of an aversive conditioning effect, if you will, on the other animals that it will be cautious around people. That would be the hope.”

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Petting Zoo Accused Of Slaughtering Endangered Gray Wolves For Fur

An animal advocacy group says it will sue Fur-Ever Wild if it doesn’t stop killing the wolves.

HuffPo Dec 10, 2015

An animal advocacy group is threatening to sue a Minnesota wildlife farm and petting zoo that it claims is slaughtering gray wolves for their fur.

Fur-Ever Wild, in the city of Lakeville, allows visitors to pet gray wolf pups. But the Animal Legal Defense Fund alleges that the farm kills and skins the wolves to sell their pelts. Gray wolves are protected under the Endangered Species Act, which means it is illegal to kill them.

… In a civil court deposition in 2012, Fur-Ever Wild owner Terri Petter said that most of her animals are raised for fur. When asked whether she killed animals for the fur or waited for them to die naturally, she responded, “It depends on the fur market.”

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Lisenbee: Bringing wolves back to ADK is a bad idea

December 22, 2015 By WEI Staff

The obvious question is why? Why would N.Y. even consider such an effort? The expense for both the research and reintroduction efforts would be huge. Who will pay for it? And what would the benefits be? More on that thought shortly.
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Avila Cattle Farmers Worried By Wolf Attacks

December 22, 2015 By WEI Staff

Two calves killed by wolves in San Juan de la Nava The photographic evidence which suggests that a small community of wild wolves appears to be prospering in the Natural Park of the Sierra de Guadarrama in the region of Madrid has been greeted recently with delight by conservationists, but not everywhere in Spain is there such enthusiasm for the species. Despite their fearsome reputations wolves are not generally a threat to human beings, but livestock farmers are concerned to say the least
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Bear takes 65-mile ride in garbage truck

Bear not hurt in incident

Loal News 8 – Dec 24, 2015

A California black bear’s probable fantasy scenario came true this week: Officers say it got to rifle through garbage all while taking a ride in a trash truck.

The bear took about a 65-mile trip after apparently climbing into the truck unbeknownst to the driver, reported The Associated Press.

When the truck arrived at its destination, the bear briefly ran free before being tranquilized and brought back to the likely area it hitched a ride, the AP story said.

The bear wasn’t hurt in the incident, the story said.

source w/video:
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Twin Falls man to serve at least 90 days in jail for poaching well-known mule deer

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 12/22/15

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — A hunter who pleaded guilty to poaching a well-known and well-liked buck in Twin Falls last winter has been sentenced to jail.

Jacob Frederick Pool, 34, was sentenced Monday to 90 days in county jail and a therapeutic and educational program directed by the Idaho Department of Corrections, according to the Times-News ( ). His sentence included a lifetime ban of his hunting license and an order to pay $3,189.73 in penalties and restitution.

Pool received a retained jurisdiction sentence of 90 to 120 days, more than the probation sentence recommended by the prosecuting attorney’s office.

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Northern Idaho town mulls using deer birth control to curb growing population

By KIMBERLEE KRUESI – AP Published: 12/23/15

For years, Councilman Steve Roberge has watched white-tailed deer push his tiny north Idaho town to the limit.

Herds with as many as 40 deer casually walk through front lawns on a daily basis. Complaints of deer-related fence damage are common. Meanwhile, speed limits remain strictly low to reduce the risk of collision.

Now after seeing no change in the population one year after enforcing a feeding ban along with relocation efforts, city council members in Dalton Gardens are considering using birth control vaccines to curb the population.

“We should have around 25 to 30 deer per square mile. In Dalton we estimate there are about 150 to 250 per square mile,” Roberge said, who will be the town’s mayor come January. “And Dalton is only two square miles.”

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Rudolph the blue-eyed reindeer?

How color-changing tissue in reindeer eyes explains red nose

By HOLLY RAMER – AP Published: 12/22/15

Everyone knows Rudolph has a red nose but what about his eyes?

Prompted by questions from his 4-year-old daughter, Dartmouth College anthropology professor Nathaniel Dominy recently wrote a scholarly paper on how the unique properties of reindeer eyes might explain the advantage of having a very shiny nose, particularly if it produces red light.

Dominy, who specializes in primate vision, was already familiar with recent research on reindeer eyes when his daughter asked him about Rudolph’s nose. Scientists in Great Britain have discovered that unlike most mammals, reindeer can see ultraviolet light, meaning white polar bears or wolves that absorb UV light would stand out more against a snowy background. Reindeer eyes also include reflective tissue that appears to glow when light hits it — familiar to anyone who’s seen a pet or wild animal illuminated by car headlights. But in reindeer, the tissue changes from a golden color during the summer to a deep blue in winter.

“What happens is that at night, the animals are trying to dilate their pupils to allow as much light into the eye as possible, and because those muscles are so active, it actually blocks little valves in the eye,” Dominy explained. “The pressure in the eye builds up and compresses that tissue in the back of the eye, which causes the refractive properties to change.”


Fun Critter Stuff:

Crows’ tool time captured on camera

By Jonathan Webb, BBC News Dec 23, 2015

Ecologists have used a tail-mounted “crow cam” to catch wild New Caledonian crows in the act of making and using hook-shaped tools.

This species is well-known for its clever tool tricks, but studying its behaviour in the wild is difficult.

These tiny cameras peer forwards beneath the birds’ bellies and record precious, uninhibited footage.

As well as glimpsing two crows making special foraging hooks, the team was able to track their activity over time.

This “activity budget” offers a rare insight into the natural lives of New Caledonian crows – but it has not yet solved the mystery of precisely what drives these birds to use tools.

continued w/video and photos:
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New Caledonian crows using tools

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Owl attacks Louisiana officer, causes crash

Officer driving with window’s down felt bird hit the side of his face

By Jareen Imam CNN Dec 26, 2015

One unsuspecting police officer was in for a hoot on Christmas Eve.

Covington Police officer Lance Benjamin was riding alone Thursday with his windows down, patrolling the quiet streets of a Louisiana subdivision, when he felt something hard hit the side of his face.

At first Benjamin thought he was struck by a football, he told CNN affiliate WVUE.

“And then I felt some scratching on the back of my head and some pecking,” he said.

An owl had flown into the driver’s side window and started attacking the officer with its wings, talons and beak.


Fish & Game News:

Winter edition of Windows to Wildlife

The latest edition of Windows to Wildlife is here!

Read about:

* Dark Skies: A Vanishing Natural Resource
* Bald eagle viewing in Coeur d’Alene
* Tracking migration
* Winter wildlife events

Click to access 2016winter.pdf

Thanks for your continued support,
McCall Fish & Game
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F&G News Releases

Tips & Advice:

Tips To Help You Prepare For A Power Outage

Idaho Power

Storm-related or accident-caused power outages normally don’t last too long. The average Idaho Power customer is without power less than two hours during an entire year. But sometimes outages can extend to hours or even days.

In an emergency you need to know how to protect your health and home if electricity is suddenly unavailable. Common sense planning and careful preparation will help you avoid problems and inconveniences.

Here are several things you can do to stay safe and comfortable in the event of an outage:

It’s important to have an outage kit available if the power goes out. Your kit should include the following:

A flashlight
Extra blankets
A battery-powered radio
Bottled water
Canned and dried foods
A manual can opener
A wind-up clock or battery-powered clock
A telephone that does not depend on electricity

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Keeping Pets Safe

* If possible, keep pets indoors.

* Routinely check outdoor water dishes to make sure they don’t freeze.

* Keep food dishes well stocked; it takes lots of energy to stay warm.

* Keep antifreeze where pets cannot access it.

* Protect paws from salt and other anti-icing chemicals, or wipe paws with damp towel to remove these irritating compounds.
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Keep your pipes from freezing this winter


BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) – As temperatures in the Treasure Valley drop, the risk of frozen pipes in on the rise.

“Depending on the winter, you could take anywhere from 50 to 300 calls,” said Craig Tonks, a plumber for A1 Plumbing and Perfect Air.

Tonks has 15 years’ experience fixing frozen pipes, and he says there are a few things people can keep in mind to save themselves from an expensive fix.

First, it’s common knowledge that opening your faucets can help prevent freezes, but Tonks says it should be more than just a drip.

“If you turn on the water, and you leave the water running about the size of a pencil, then your pipes actually won’t freeze,” Tonks said.


Thanks for sharing news and photos for the YPTimes.

Dec 20, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times

Dec 20, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Note: Power was out Friday at 1205pm and back on Saturday at 622pm.

Local Observations:

Monday (Dec 14) Power still out Five inches new snow, just over a foot on the ground. Light snow all day. Idaho Power recording reporting access issues, waiting for V. Co. to plow.

Tuesday (Dec 15) Power still out. Just a trace of new snow, total snow settled down to 12 inches, mostly clear. At 1127am a large blue & white helicopter flew low and slow along the power line, circled over the village an headed off (just as it clouded up and snowed a little.) By 145pm an Idaho Power crew was at the fire hall with chain saws (one of the several line breaks was right at the edge of the village.) Mostly clear afternoon and temps dropping. Power back on at 824pm!!! (and 12 degrees.)

Wednesday (Dec 16) Cloudy and light snow. County plow truck at the cross roads before 10am. Power blipped off and back on at 1104am. Light to moderate snow most of the day, then clearing, breezy and cold. Dipped below zero overnight.

Thursday (Dec 17) High clouds and cold quiet morning. Light snow started around lunch time and continued all day, but very little accumulation and cold! Quiet day. Snowed all night, temperature rising.

Friday (Dec 18) 5″ new snow, 15″ total snow, still snowing big flakes. Power out at 1205pm. Mail truck could not make it in, and Idaho Power waiting for county to plow. Light misty rain all day and temps hovered between 32 and 33 degrees all day and most of the night. Rain freezing and building up ice on the ground.

Saturday (Dec 19) power still out, 1″ new snow, low clouds and fog. Rain or rain/snow mix or snow all day. County plow came in followed by mail truck and Idaho Power crews. Power back on at 622pm. Snowed 2″ by midnight.

Sunday (Dec 20) 2″ new snow, 13″ total, heavy frozen slush and snow. Lights flickered at 1105am and sunshine. Scattered sunshine mid-day. Cloudy by afternoon and a few snowflakes. Lights blinking a few times at 537pm.

Photos to Share:

Cinnabar road closure

Dec 17, 2015

This appears to be the first step of the complete closure for access to Cinnabar. We took this picture on Oct.26,2015 on the lower road into Cinnabar. We then went to the top end and noted a sign but no physical road block, but you can bet it won’t be long and it will be closed also.



photos by Bob Earl

Idaho News:

Heavy snow causes outages around region

McCall outage Sunday affects 1,120, lasts 12 hours

BY TOM GROTE for The Star-News December 17, 2015

Winter storms this week caused multiple power outages in the McCall area, according to Idaho Power Co.

“We’ve got 12 to 15 inches of heavy, wet snow combined with wind over the weekend which caused lines to break and trees and branches to fall into our power lines,” Regional Operations Manager Tony Calzacorta said.

About 4 p.m. Sunday, power went out to 1,120 Idaho Power customers in the McCall area when a tree fell through a power line. Service was not restored to most customers until 12 hours later, an Idaho Power Co. spokesperson said.

About 1 p.m. Monday, a tree fell into a power pole at Mission and Park streets and broke the cross-arm, cutting power to 223 customers downtown. Crews had to replace equipment and power was not restored until 5:30 p.m.

An outage affected about 230 Idaho Power customers near Lake Fork about 4 p.m. on Sunday, and power was out for about three hours, the spokesperson said.

Crews worked Sunday and through the night, and by Monday morning crews were concentrating efforts in the McCall, Yellow Pine, Donnelly, Council, Idaho City, Wilderness Ranch and Placerville areas where about 600 customers were without power.

Knee-Deep Snow

“Walking through knee-deep snow, not to mention the wet, cold and miserable conditions, has been tough,” Calzacorta said. “They’re sympathetic to our customers and are working as safely as possible to get the power back on.”

More than 200 customers between Warm Lake and Yellow Pine were without power between Sunday and 8 p.m. Tuesday.

“We have crews on snowmobiles with satellite phones going in to assess damage, and it sounds like the county will plow the road so crew trucks can get access, at least part of the way,” spokesperson Lynette Standley said Tuesday morning.

source: The Star-News
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State officials appoint hearing officer in contested western Idaho oil and gas drilling plan

By KEITH RIDLER – AP Published: 12/17/15

BOISE, Idaho — State officials on Thursday appointed a hearing officer in what will be the first use of a new Idaho law that allows unwilling mineral rights owners to be included in a company’s plan to drill for natural gas and oil.

The Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission on a 5-0 vote appointed the hearing officer for two areas in Payette County in western Idaho that a Texas oil company believes have profitable reserves. Houston-based Alta Mesa is already active in the region with more than a dozen wells producing natural gas.

The law approved earlier this year involves a process called integration that applies to specified areas, typically 640 acres. When 55 percent of mineral rights owners want drilling to go forward, they can ask the state to integrate the other 45 percent.

“We’re trying to set up a precedent for future integration as they may need to be performed,” said Commissioner Jim Classen, an exploration geologist, after the meeting. “We’re trying to do it in the fairest fashion for the benefit of the mineral interest owners as well as the exploration companies.”

John Foster, a spokesman for Alta Mesa, said the state should handle the integration much more quickly through an administrative process rather than going through the commission and a hearing officer with hearings that have yet to be scheduled.

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Idaho will give partial pay to people hired by rural fire departments to battle August blaze

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 12/18/15

Idaho says it will give partial payment to people who were hired by rural volunteer fire departments to help battle last summer’s fire near Kamiah.

The state Department of Lands will pay people hired last-minute to help firefighters on Aug. 10-17, when traditional firefighting resources were used up and blazes were still raging, reported The Lewiston Tribune ( ).

The rural fire chiefs approached the state during the fires to ask if their hires could be compensated, explained State Forester David Groeschl.

The state usually only pays contractors it signs agreements with before the start of fire season. Those contractors have their equipment inspected and are given some firefighting training.

But the department made an exception in this case. Groeschl said he decided to pay people who were doing the most important work, like using heavy equipment to dig fire lines or hauling water in trucks during the most critical time.

Those workers will get 65 percent of the standard rates for such work, he said.

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Human remains, artifacts returned to Nez Perce Tribe in northern Idaho

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 12/19/15

LEWISTON, Idaho — State officials have returned human remains and artifacts to the Nez Perce Tribe dug up more than four decades ago during construction of a northern Idaho rest stop along U.S. Highway 12.

The Idaho Transportation Department in an announcement Friday said the human remains and related objects were unearthed between 1967 and 1972 near Lenore.

“Repatriation is very important to the tribe,” Nez Perce Tribe staff attorney Darren Williams told the Lewiston Tribune ( “Working on these processes to make this happen is important.”


Forest News:

Fire showdown: Vilsack says he’ll demand emergency funding if wildfire costs exceed budget

By MEAD GRUVER – AP Published: 12/18/15

Federal budget brinkmanship could flare while wildfires are bearing down on U.S. communities after Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack vowed to end the practice of raiding other programs’ funding to cover firefighting costs.

The U.S. Forest Service depleted its firefighting budget in August as the costliest fire season in U.S. history destroyed hundreds of homes in California and the Pacific Northwest. If money budgeted for firefighting runs out again next year, Congress will need to step in with emergency funding instead of expecting the Forest Service to fill the gap, Vilsack wrote congressional budget leaders Thursday.

“The American public can no longer afford delays to forest restoration and other critical Forest Service activities caused by annual fire transfers,” he told the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate appropriations committees.

Next fire season would need to be a bad one, indeed, for firefighting funds to run out. The Forest Service is getting $1.6 billion for firefighting, up from $1 billion this past year, in the federal budget that cleared Congress on Friday.


Critter News:

Keep your pet safe from traps on the trail

Winter in Idaho means fur-trapping season is in full swing

Pets that run off-leash or off-trail are especially at risk

Idaho Fish and Game Dec 15, 2015

Most trappers avoid using traps near heavily used recreational trails and use common sense where they set traps. But, there’s always a chance a dog can get caught.

Idaho Fish and Game has two videos with tips on what to look for to avoid traps and what to do if a pet gets caught.

Some traps and trap sets can be easy to spot if you know what to look for. However, many traps can be hard to see. The video “How to recognize and avoid wildlife traps while walking your dog” will help you make decisions about whether to keep your pet on a leash in certain areas.

Video: Recognizing & Avoiding Wildlife Traps while Walking your Dog

A second video describes the types of traps and snares you could encounter and provides instructions on how to quickly release a dog. Both videos and a brochure are available on Idaho Fish and Game’s website.

Video Releasing your Dog from a Trap:

Tips to avoid traps

* Look for posted signs that a trapper might be setting traps in the area. If you see a trap, assume there are more around.

* Assume that trapping is being done in areas where you see beaver, fox, coyotes and other fur-bearing animals.

* Keep your dog on a leash in areas where you suspect trapping.

* If your dog gets caught, cover it with a coat or jacket, which should help keep it calm so you can quickly remove the trap.

* Take safety gear: It’s a good idea to carry a small first-aid kit, gloves and a multi-tool while hiking to help your dog.

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Dog survives 2-month ordeal in valley

Lilly traveled from Bellevue to Ketchum before being found

Dec 9, 2015 by Ryan Thorne – IME

A Washington woman was recently reunited with her dog after the canine went missing near a home in Muldoon Canyon east of Bellevue, only to be found two months later, skinny and freezing, some 30 miles north near Warm Springs Road in Ketchum.

The missing dog, a 2-year-old Lab and boxer mix named Lilly, was visiting Bellevue with her owner, Diane Finnie, a Vancouver, Wash., resident, during the last week of September when the dog suddenly went missing.

… Ketchum resident Andrea Cookston had found Lilly wandering around near her home on Short Swing Lane off of Warm Springs Road that night.

“She didn’t come to me right away, but I finally got close to her and was able to pet her,” Cookston said. “We put a blanket over her and she didn’t even try to shake it off, she was just happy.”

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Dog rescued from icy water by Idaho Falls Fire Department

Local News 8 – Dec 18, 2015

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – One firefighter fell into the icy Snake River just south of Idaho Falls, while rescuing a dog Friday afternoon.

Idaho Falls Fire Department responded to Gem Lake Marina for a report of a dog that had fallen through the ice and was struggling to get out.

The dog owner called in the report at 4:40 p.m. and directed the crews to her location at the marina. Firefighter/Paramedic Dan Muhlestein donned his water rescue equipment. While tethered to the other emergency crews on the bank, he crawled approximately 20 yards on the ice to reach the dog.

While attempting to pull the dog out of the water, the ice gave way under the firefighter and both ended up in the water. Muhlestein was able to lift the dog onto the ice and then pull himself back out as well. The dog then made its way back to the shore to its awaiting owner.

There were no injuries.

source w/photo:
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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third week of December 2015
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Move to take Great Lakes, Wyoming wolves off endangered list left out of federal budget bill

By STEVE KARNOWSKI – AP Published: 12/16/15

A proposal that would have taken gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region and Wyoming off the endangered list did not make it into a massive year-end congressional tax and spending package, an omission that surprised its backers but was welcomed Wednesday by groups that support maintaining federal protections for the predators.

U.S. Reps. Collin Peterson, D-Minnesota, Reid Ribble, R-Wisconsin, and some other lawmakers had hoped to attach a rider to return management of wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming to the states, which could have opened the door to a resumption of wolf hunting in those places. The provision would have undone federal court decisions that restored the animals’ protected status in the four states despite repeated efforts by the federal government to remove them from the list.

Peterson said budget negotiators dropped the provision from the final bill, which was unveiled late Tuesday, because the White House had threatened a veto if the bill contained any changes to the Endangered Species Act.

“Obviously I’m disappointed,” Peterson said. “We thought it wasn’t going to be a problem because the Fish and Wildlife Service was supporting it.”

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Scientists call for wolf delisting

by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online! November 30, 2015

A leading group of wolf scientists are calling for wolves in the Great Lakes states to be removed from federal protection, and managed by the states. The letter comes nine months after another group of scientists and wolf advocates penned a letter with the opposite viewpoint.

Click on the links below for details.
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Yellowstone wolves

by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online! December 15, 2015

Yellowstone National Park officials report that in December 2014, the park harbored at least 104 wolves in 11 packs, including nine breeding pairs. According to the park’s annual wolf report, “From 2009 to 2014, wolf numbers have fluctuated between 83 and 104 wolves, and 6 to 9 breeding pairs. Pack size in 2014 averaged 9 wolves (range = 2 to 14). Forty pups survived to year-end, including 17 in northern Yellowstone and 23 in the interior of the park. An average of 4.4 pups per pack (82%) survived in the nine packs that had pups.”

Researchers monitoring wolf-prey relationships indicate that wolves still prefer elk, but predation in bison and mule deer appear to be increasing within the park.Park officials also noted that there were 7 instances in 2014 when wolf behavior was considered habituated or when wolves closely approached humans, involving four different wolves. While hazing the wolves appeared to be somewhat effective, efforts to haze one wolf were unsuccessful, and the wolf was eventually shot by a licensed hunter near a residence outside the park.

source w/link to report:
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Dr. Charles Kay: “Isle Royale Conditions Are Not Applicable Any Place Else in North America”

December 18, 2015 at Tom Remington’s blog

*Editor’s Note* – The following article from “The Outdoorsman” Bulletin Number 60, June-November 2015, is republished here with permission. Please respect the copyright of this work. If you would like to ensure that The Outdoors remains in circulation, please donate to the cause. It is extremely worthwhile. Please click on The Outdoorsman “Subscribe” button to the right of this screen. Thank you.

Dr. Charles Kay: “Isle Royale Conditions Are Not Applicable Any Place Else in North America”

By George Dovel

In 2009, following an ongoing 2008 celebration of 50 consecutive years of wolf-moose research on Isle Royale, Research Leader Rolf Peterson warned that the island’s record low estimate of 500 moose could not provide enough sustained food for the 24 wolves they had counted. He predicted the wolf population could become extinct.

His prediction was based on basic facts from his research, which began as a graduate student in 1970 when there were 1,045 moose to feed only 18 wolves. That was nearly twice as many moose as the 30-moose-per-wolf that researchers had learned were required to feed them on a sustained basis.

But as inevitably happens when there is abundant prey and a healthy wolf population, the wolves rapidly expanded at a rate which far exceeded the reproductive rate of the moose. However that was not the only factor causing a rapid decline in the moose-to-wolf-ratio.

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Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
December 18, 2015
Issue No. 775

Table of Contents:

* Early 2016 Salmon Run Projections: Spring, Summer Chinook Higher Than 10-Year Average, Sockeye Much Lower

* Study: In Warmer Ocean Years Juvenile Salmon Consume More Food, But End Up Smaller, Skinnier

* Council Moves Proposal For Evaluating Salmon Habitat Above Grand Coulee To Science Review

* Study Examines Reasons Some Salmonids Enter Freshwater Before Sexual Maturation, Forsaking Ocean Food Supply

* Rainstorms, Flood Stage Rivers Make It Difficult To Maintain Target Flows For Spawning ESA-Listed Chum

* Montana’s 10-Year South Fork Flathead Cutthroat Conservation Project – Purging Non-Native Fish – Proves Successful

* Isolated Rearing Facility For Native Fish Key Component In Montana Effort To Reduce Hybridization Threats In Flathead Basin

* Kalama River Hatchery Loses 2.4 Million Salmon Fry In Flood; 15 Percent Of Wash. Fall Chinook Production Below Bonneville

* NOAA’s Three Month El Nino Outlook: Early Months Of 2016 May See Rapid Snowmelt, Warmer, Drier

* Infamous West Coast Warm Ocean Waters Known As ‘The Blob’ Weakening With Strong Winds From Alaska

* West Coast Sees Record Levels Algal Toxin: Detected In Salmon Muscle Tissue (Filets) Though Well Below Regulatory Levels

* Bureau Releases Hood River Basin Study; Finds Shift In Timing Of Water Availability

* Study: Data Contradicts Perception ESA’s Section 7 Onerous; No Project Since 2008 Stopped Under USFWS Consultations

Fun Critter Stuff:

In Siberian city, cat more popular than 6 mayoral candidates; some see comment on corruption

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 12/19/15

BARNAUL, Russia — Tired of the dog-eat-dog politics in their Russian city, the residents of Barnaul say they want a cat to be their next mayor.

The Siberian city of 650,000 people, which lies 2,900 kilometers (1,800 miles) east of Moscow, is to get a new mayor next week when a commission comprising the city council and the regional governor choose from among six candidates.

But none of the six appear to spark much affection among Barnaul’s residents. An informal online poll asking residents to express their preferences among the six and a Siamese cat named Barsik showed the feline nabbing more than 90 percent of the vote.

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Cowboys ride to the rescue of deer trapped in canal, help officials rope, recover the animal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 12/18/15

PEORIA, Arizona — Two cowboys are being credited with coming to the rescue of a deer stuck in an Arizona canal.

The state Game and Fish Department received several calls Thursday reporting a deer was trapped in a canal near Lake Pleasant, northwest of Phoenix.

The animal apparently slipped into the cold water and couldn’t scale the canal’s steep, concrete walls to get out.

Game and Fish officer Reuben Gonzales says two cowboys with lassos happened by and stopped at the scene to help.




Fish & Game News:


The Man Who Created Santa As We Know Him Today

Although he could not read or write, Thomas Nast is a perfect example of the importance of knowing our heritage and just how many legacies one person can leave behind. Thomas Nast, through his wood engravings, helped to shape customs not only in America but also throughout the world.

Thomas Nast is best known for his Christmas drawings. His first drawing appeared in Harper’s Weekly for Christmas of 1862, marking the first appearance of Santa Claus as we know him today. Prior to this, Santa had passed through a series of stages beginning with a more religious-type figure.

The inspiration for how Nast’s Santa should look came from Clement Moore’s poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Still lacking reading skills, he had his wife read to him while he prepared his drawings and engravings. On one occasion, Mrs. Nast read Clement Moore’s poem to Thomas. That was all it took for inspiration.

The next 24 years saw Nast produce 76 Christmas engravings that were signed and published. Nast used Moore’s poem to put it all together in visual form – a sleigh, reindeer, jolly old elf, filling the stockings hung by the chimney, and so forth.

In addition, Nast used his own imagination to expand upon the theme. He was the first to establish that Santa’s home was in the North Pole. In this way, Santa didn’t belong to any one country – he became a citizen of the world. The concept of Santa having a workshop and elves to help him was also Nast’s idea. Prior to his engravings, all children received gifts from Santa. Nast conceived the idea that bad children didn’t get gifts from Santa. The custom of sending Santa a letter is also due to Thomas Nast. Although the custom of kissing under mistletoe was known in Europe prior to Nast’s engravings, it was through his engravings in America that the custom caught on there.

Thomas Nast brought Christmas to a large audience through his engravings. The result of the impact that these drawings had on Americans is astronomical. In Europe, Christmas was observed for centuries on December 6. By the late 1800’s when Nast’s Santa Claus gained popularity, Christmas Day was legally established as December 25 in all states and territories in the United States. In addition, an extended school vacation during this period became a custom. (A brief pause while all students write a thank you note to the Nast estate.)

From this seed, Christmas began the move to commercial and economic interests. Stores began including drawings of Santa (though not necessarily done by Nast) in their ads and tying it in with Christmas sales and promotions. Soon to follow was the custom of sending Christmas cards. Without Nast and the Christmas drawings that he brought to the masses, it is hard to tell what Christmas and the customs that go with it would be like today.
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More Holiday Triva from History Buff

[Hat tip to RE]
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Get Ready For The 2015 Winter Solstice!

by Farmers’ Almanac Staff Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

Monday, December 21st at 11:48 p.m. EST, marks the Winter Solstice for 2015.* This is the moment when the Sun reaches the Tropic of Capricorn, and we have our shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Regardless of what the weather is doing outside your window, the Solstice marks the official start of the winter season.

The term “solstice” comes from the Latin words “sol” (sun) and “sistere” (to stand still) because, during the solstice, the angle between the Sun’s rays and the plane of the Earth’s equator (called declination) appears to stand still.

So what does that mean, exactly? Essentially, our hours of daylight — the period of time each day between sunrise and sunset — have been growing slightly shorter each day since the Summer Solstice of June 21, which is the longest day of the year (at least in terms of light). After December 21, the days will begin to grow longer and will continue to do so until we reach the Summer Solstice on June 20, 2016, at 6:34 p.m. EDT, and begin the whole cycle anew.

While we celebrate the Winter Solstice, those living in the Southern Hemisphere will be simultaneously marking the Summer Solstice. That’s because while our half of the globe is inclined away from the Sun, their half is inclined toward it. (See illustration above). Being tilted away from the Sun brings us shorter days and colder temperatures.




[hat tip SMc]
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Outdoors man?

During his physical, the doctor asked the patient about his daily activity level. He described a typical day this way:

“Well, yesterday afternoon, I walked along the edge of a lake, drank eight beers, escaped from wild dogs in the heavy brush, jumped away from an aggressive rattlesnake, marched up and down  several rocky hills, stood in a patch of poison ivy, crawled out of quicksand and took four leaks behind big trees.”

Inspired by the story, the doctor said, “You must be one hell of an outdoors man!”

”NAH,”  he replied, “I’m just a lousy golfer.”

Dec 16, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times

Dec 16, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Note: The power was out in Yellow Pine from 1237pm Sunday until 824pm on Tuesday.

Local Observations:

Monday (Dec 7) rained all night, low foggy clouds, large puddles, rain on top of ice and very slick! Rain all day. Power off at 210pm. Idaho Power recording said crew gave up at dark. Rain all night, from misting to pounding down.

Tuesday (Dec 8) Foggy and raining. Power restored at 133pm. Idaho Power recording said “lines down”. Water on top of ice on local roads, very slick! Just after 515pm it sounded like an avalanche came down to the south, up Johnson Creek somewhere. The sound of rocks rolling and trees snapping off lasted a minute or so. Fog but no rain before dark.

Wednesday (Dec 9) around daylight wind and rain, most of the snow has been replaced by huge puddles. Rain stopped after lunch time. Clouds breaking up later in the afternoon. Really slick.

Thursday (Dec 10) Snow after 7am until 11am, over 4″ new snow. Ice under the snow and slick on the road! A little rain later in the day, then a few little snow flurries once in a while into the night.

Friday (Dec 11) 1/2″ new snow, old snow settled down to 3″. Snowed pretty much all day and quiet.

Saturday (Dec 12) light snow during the day, heavy snow during the night.

Sunday (Dec 13) Power out for about 30 seconds around 6am. Freezing rain mixed with snow, bushes bent over, branches hanging low. Power off at 1237pm. Rain/snow mix most of the afternoon changing over to heavy wet snow just before dark. Neighbor plowing local streets – many thanks. Idaho Power recording reporting multiple outages all over Valley County.


Thomas Robert Heck

October 20, 1941 – December 8, 2015

Thomas Robert Heck unexpectedly passed away from natural causes on Monday December 8, 2015 at his home. Tom was born October 20, 1941, in Caldwell, Idaho. He was the eldest son of Robert and June Heck.

On August 9, 1961 Tom married Alberta Brock and they had three children together, Burton, Darrel, and Lesa.

Tom started his career as an ironworker which he did for seven years in various states and towns across the country. In 1972, he took control of M & R Auto Salvage and shortly thereafter acquired B & T Auto, combining them into the single business known as B & T Auto Salvage.

Even during difficult economic times, Tom had the skill and business aptitude to keep his shop open and workers employed.

He loved all kinds of outdoor recreation, including hunting, fishing, and riding his ATV (Power Steering) four wheeler. Tom also loved to visit yard and estate sales looking for treasure to display in his home for all to enjoy. However, it was clear to all who knew and loved Tom that his greatest treasures were his family. He was a loving and generous father, grandfather, brother and friend.

Tom is survived by his son, Darrel Lynn Heck; daughter, Lesa Ann Heck Bowen Darling and her husband, Patrick Darling; grandchildren, Kimberly and Derrick Oxnam, Eric and Katheryn Bowen, Cason and Casey Bowen, and Lindsay Bowen; step grandchildren, Krystal and Vianna Darling; great-grandchildren, Mary Heck, Roxie Kitchen, Alexia, Hailey, Drake, and Landon Oxnam, Quentin and Canela Bowen, and Aiden Bowen; 3 brothers, Al and Jean Heck family, David and Nancy Heck family, and Dennis and Chris Heck family; and former spouses, Pat Bevan and Betti Heck family.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents Robert and June Heck, his son Burton Heck, and former spouse Alberta Brock Heck Donaldson.

He will be truly missed by all his family and close friends.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, December 15th at Dakan Funeral Chapel, Caldwell, with burial to follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens, Caldwell. Friends may call Monday evening December 14th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Dakan Chapel. Condolences may be shared at

Photo to Share:

December 13, 2015


photo by Dave Putman

Letter to Share:

Idaho Power Response

(the following is an email reply from Idaho Power shared by a local)

I appreciate your patience while our guys worked to restore service. We had a couple of set backs and then at 4:00 AM on Tuesday morning a large tree went through the transmission line serving the substation at Warm Lake.  We sent 2 additional crews, a snow cat, 2 snow mobiles, and a tracked UTV in to patrol and cut the trees out.  A 2nd crew went into Yellow Pine to fix the downed tree(s) in Johnson creek and put the wire back up.

Again, thank you for your support, our employees truly care about serving you.

Merry Christmas,
Brent Lulloff
Regional Manager – Western Idaho

Idaho News:

Snowstorm knocks out power to more than 18,000

KTVB December 14, 2015

More than 17 inches of snow fell in the West-Central Mountains this past weekend and ski resorts weren’t the only ones busy. The garages at Idaho Power are empty as they respond to hundreds of power outages.

“From Garden Valley, McCall, Council area, we’ve experienced 123 outages in the last 36 hours affecting approximately 18,000 customers,” Brent Lulloff with Idaho Power said.

That, on top of another 103 outages near Idaho City.

“We’re running seven by 24 right now,” Lulloff said.

Crews have been able to get the power back on to more than 17,000 of those customers. Lulloff says the main obstacle crews have been dealing with are downed trees.

“The heavy snow accumulates on the trees, and as those trees gain weight they will fall over and they fall into our power lines,” Lulloff said.

continued w/video:
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Sheriff Patti Bolen

On Tuesday 12/08/15, at the Grove Hotel, Sheriff Patti Bolen was sworn in as the President of the Idaho Sheriff’s Association. This is a very prestigious honor and all of us at the Valley County Sheriff’s Office are very proud of her accomplishments. Sheriff Bolen was the first female elected Sheriff, sworn into office in the State of Idaho and she is now the very first female Sheriff to hold the title of President of the Idaho Sheriff’s Association. There have been two past Sheriff’s that have served in this role for Valley County. Congratulations Sheriff Bolen on a very well deserved title.

If you would like to know more about what the Idaho Sheriff’s Association does and their role in Law Enforcement, please follow this link:

source: Valley Co. Sheriff’s FB page

[hat tip to SMc]
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Missing Nampa skier sheltered in snow cave

KTVB December 15, 2015

VALLEY COUNTY — A Nampa man who skied out of bounds and got lost at Tamarack Sunday was found safe Monday morning.

According to the Valley County Sheriff’s Office, 32-year-old Sean E. Stevenson was reported missing just after 11:30 p.m. after he failed to return home from skiing. Stevenson’s vehicle was still in the parking lot, and his lift ticket had last been scanned at 10:35 a.m., officials say.

The Tamarack Ski Patrol and Valley County Search and Rescue were called in to look for the missing man. Stevenson was found near the Lone Tree Trail off Forest Service Road 218 at 9:42 a.m. Monday.

The skier said he had become disoriented and had skied out of bounds on the back side of Tamarack. He said he dug a snow cave and spent the night sheltering in it.

Stevenson was treated for dehydration and minor exposure at a McCall hospital, and released.

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Avalanche injures skier near central Idaho resort town

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 12/15/15

KETCHUM, Idaho — Officials say a skier was badly injured when he was caught in an avalanche in central Idaho on Monday afternoon.

Sawtooth Avalanche Center Director Scott Savage says the man was skiing on U.S. Forest Service land when he was caught by the slide and carried about 450 feet. Savage says the man struck a tree and sustained serious chest and internal injuries, and was almost completely buried in the snow. A companion spotted his hand and part of his leg and quickly dug the man out, The Times-News newspaper in Twin Falls reported (

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Another earthquake swarm shakes east-central Idaho

Keith Ridler, Associated Press December 11, 2015

More than 40 small earthquakes have been recorded in east-central Idaho this week in what experts say is another earthquake swarm in the region.

Officials in the Challis area on Friday reported no damage from the micro-quakes that started Tuesday and have mostly gone unnoticed or unreported in an area experienced with more vigorous shaking.

But the temblors ranging up to 2.9 magnitude have perked up scientists trying to understand the fault system in the area where a 5.0 magnitude quake struck in January.

Idaho’s largest recorded earthquake rocked the same area in 1983 when a 6.9-magnitude quake occurred near 12,667-foot Borah Peak, Idaho’s tallest peak.

University of Idaho research geologist William Phillips says scientists aren’t sure if the current earthquake swarm could lead to something bigger.


Mining News:

Gold mining company says Idaho project is feasible despite federal report on pollution

By KEITH RIDLER – AP Published: 12/8/15

BOISE, Idaho — A Canadian company proposing a gold mine in central Idaho says it’s undeterred by a U.S. Geological Survey study that found more extensive pollution than previously thought from historic mining in the area.

Midas Gold Corp. President and CEO Stephen Quin says the 4.6 million ounces of gold the company expects to recover near the town of Yellow Pine means cleaning up a century worth of past mining activities as part of the project is feasible.

The Geological Survey report released Tuesday on the Stibnite Mining Area following a three-year study shows new areas of arsenic and mercury pollution.

Hydrologist Alexandra Etheridge says a sample taken in one area found mercury to be “off the charts.”

Quin says reclamation of the area by Midas would save taxpayers millions of dollars.

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Rocky Barker’s report at the IS
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Mine proposal clears key hurdle with completion of environmental study, but lawsuit looms

By MATTHEW BROWN – AP Published: 12/15/15

BILLINGS, Montana — A proposed silver and copper mine beneath northwestern Montana’s Cabinet Mountains Wilderness cleared a significant hurdle Tuesday with the completion of an environmental study in the works for the past decade.

A final decision on the Montanore mine near the Idaho border could come by late January, said Craig Jones with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

Mines Management Inc. of Spokane, Washington, is proposing to remove up to 120 million tons of ore from the underground mine, which would disturb more than 1,500 acres of land just outside the wilderness area. Included is a 14-mile transmission line to carry power to the site near Libby, Montana.


Forest / BLM News:

Andrus Center receives $500,000 grant to develop rangeland wildfire strategies

By KEITH RIDLER – AP Published: 12/10/15

BOISE, Idaho — The Andrus Center for Public Policy has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to bring together federal, state, tribal and other entities to find ways to reduce the severity of rangeland wildfires.

The center will receive $100,000 a year over five years to host a series of small workshops and conferences that will also look at ways to restore fire-damaged landscapes.

Andrus Center Chairman and former Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus in a statement released Tuesday says it’s imperative that effective strategies are developed to protect Western ecosystems.

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Enjoy Recent Snow In The Mountains With Caution

News Release Dec 15, 2015

BOISE, Idaho – Recent snowfall in the Boise National Forest is good news for winter sports enthusiasts and water supplies.  Mountain areas have received as much as 50 inches of snow since mid-November and have kicked off an early start to skiing and snowmobiling season. Bogus Basin ski area opened for downhill and Nordic skiing on November 27.  Brian Anderson, Hydrologist for the Idaho City Ranger District says “Nearly 75% of Idaho’s water supplies come from mountain snowpack and the early start has put the local snowpack above average.”

With the change of the season, it is important to think about winter safety.  With the exception of major highways and access routes that receive year-round maintenance, travel throughout the Forest will now be limited to over-snow vehicles, skis, and/or snowshoes.

Winter travel conditions can change rapidly even on maintained routes.  It’s important to plan ahead, check with the local Forest Service Ranger Station or the Idaho Department of Transportation about conditions, bring extra clothes, food, and water, and most importantly; tell someone where you are headed and when you plan to return.  For winter adventurers headed into the backcountry on skis or snowmobiles, be aware of avalanche conditions and know your ability.

Useful links:

National Weather Service – Boise Forecast Office

Information about snowfall amounts for SNOTEL stations (some stations are currently offline)

Payette Avalanche Center

Sawtooth Avalanche Center

Jennifer Stephenson
Acting Public Affairs Officer
Forest Service
Boise National Forest
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Recreation Improvement Grants Sought for the McCall and Krassel Ranger Districts

Date:  December 11, 2015
Contact: Brian Harris (208) 634-0784 cell: (208) 634-6945

McCall, Idaho – The McCall and Krassel Ranger Districts are each applying for State of Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) grants for 2016.  All improvements are located within National Forest System lands.

The McCall Ranger District is applying for four grants through the Off-Road Motor Vehicle Fund, Recreational Vehicle Fund, and the Recreational Trails Program.

Two grants will be applied for under the Off-Road Motor Vehicle Fund.  The first will be to support the District’s Winter Trail Ranger Program.  If funded, winter trail rangers would assist with maintaining trailheads, recreation sites, and parking lots.  Winter trail rangers would also be responsible for providing education and information to Forest visitors regarding the 291 miles of groomed snowmobile trails that are located across three counties (Adams, Idaho and Valley). Work would be completed during the 2016-2017 winter recreation season.

The second request under the Off-Highway Vehicle Fund is to support the Payette Avalanche Center’s educational and technical work.  This includes providing avalanche awareness education classes, collecting and disseminating avalanche information for a seven day a week avalanche forecast, and maintaining two weather stations.  If funded, the work would be completed during the 2016-2017 winter recreation season.

Under the Recreational Trails Program, the District is applying for funds to support the re-routing of eight sections of the Jackson Creek Trail (#116).  The trail is located in Valley and Idaho Counties and is accessed from McCall off of the Warren Wagon Road.  The improved layout and design will reduce resource damage by routing the existing trail away from wet areas and on to the adjacent toe slope.  The improvements would result in less soil loss and a higher quality user experience by recreationists.  If funded, work will begin late in 2016 and be continued in 2017.

Under the Recreational Vehicle Fund, the McCall-New Meadows Recreation Zone is applying for funds to support the replacement of the Clayburn Saddle outhouse. The structure, which has been in disrepair for several years, sustained additional damage during the Teepee Springs fire this year. If funded, a new facility will be installed in 2017.

Comments or requests for additional information regarding the above projects may be directed to Susan Jenkins, Recreation Specialist, McCall Ranger District, 102 West Lake Street, McCall, ID 83638, phone: 208-634-0440 or email:

The Krassel Ranger District is applying for funds to support projects under the Off-road Motor Vehicle Fund, Motorbike Fund and the Recreational Trails Fund (RTP).

Requests from the Off-road Motor Vehicle fund would be used to conduct heavy trail maintenance, brushing and log-out of approximately 40 miles of the motorized branch of the Idaho Centennial Trail on the Krassel RD.

Requests from the Motor-bike Fund would be used to install additional drainage, mitigate trenching and install route identification along the Zena Creek Trail #294, Tailholt Trail #079 all the way to Bear Lake to where the trail ties into the Grimmet Creek Trail #129 on the McCall RD.

The grant request under the Recreation Trails Program Funds would assist in conducting a variety of maintenance activities on approximately 40 miles of trail within the Main Buckhorn, West Buckhorn and South Buckhorn drainages. Trails affected under the project would be the main Buckhorn Trail #096, W. Fork Buckhorn Trail #094, the Buckhorn cut-off trail #095, and the South Fork of Buckhorn Trail #097.

If awarded by IDPR the requested funds will be used to pay for materials, equipment rental and labor (contracts, Forest Service and Idaho Conservation Corps crew time).  Work would begin, as soon as, possible after grant awards are made (July of 2016) and could continue into calendar year 2017.

Please forward any comments regarding any of these projects to the Krassel Ranger District, 500 N Mission St, McCall, ID 83638 by January 15, 2015. You may also contact Joshua Simpson at (208) 634-0616 or e-mail at

Additional information regarding these proposals, as well as information about the Payette National Forest may also be found at:  Information regarding the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation Grant program can be found at:

Brian D. Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Forest Service
Payette National Forest
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North Zone Districts of the Boise National Forest Intend to Submit Grant Proposals to Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation

News Release Dec 15, 2015

Boise, ID – The Lowman, Cascade and Emmett Ranger Districts of the Boise National Forest are applying for grant funding from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation to help with trail and developed campsite improvements and maintenance.

The different applications will request funding through the Departments Off-Road Motor Vehicle (ORMV), Recreation Trails Program (RTP), Recreational Vehicle (RV) programs, and Mountain Bike Plate Funds.

* ORMV funds would:

– improve maintenance of 300 miles across a large cross section of the 687 miles of motorized trails within the three northern districts.

– support providing the necessary equipment and crew time to assist in the heavy trail maintenance and signing of approximately 250 miles of motorized trail.

– support 2 OHV Trail Rangers and enhance OHV trailheads with regulatory and informational signage, conduct trail clearing, install three new OHV map kiosks, and barricade illegal user created trails.

* RV and Road/Bridge Program would be to extend the existing pavement on National Forest System Road (NFSR) 489 approximately ½ mile, past popular and/or high use recreational areas, including the North Shore Lodge/Resort and Picnic Point Campground.

* Mountain Bike Plate Fund/ORMV would assist with completion of the last section of the Wewukiye mountain bike trail and rework previously constructed portions of trail.

* RTP funds would help maintain approximately 80 miles of the 230 miles of non-motorized trails located on the North Zone of the Boise National Forest.

* RV funds would be concentrated on improving Tie Creek Campground. The grant will fund the campground repairs, replacement of campground furniture and tent pads.

All grant proposals will improve the visitor experience, and mitigate public health and safety hazards.  If received, implementation of the trails and ORMV grants would begin in late summer and the RV grant would be implemented in the fall.

Comments or requests for more information should be submitted to Ronda Bishop, Cascade Ranger District, P.O. Box 696, Cascade, ID or by calling 208-382-7460.

Jennifer Stephenson
Acting Public Affairs Officer
Forest Service
Boise National Forest
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Brundage Mountain Resort Cat-Ski Outfitter and Guide Permit Reissuance Update

USDA News Release December 15, 2015

The Forest Service, Payette National Forest, New Meadows and McCall Ranger Districts, has prepared an Environmental Assessment for Brundage Mountain Resort Cat-ski Outfitter and Guide Permit Reissuance. The purpose is to reauthorize Brundage Mountain Resort a special use permit for outfitting and guiding with permitted activities that include guided backcountry skiing via snowcat on approved routes. The project is located in Adams, Idaho, and Valley County Idaho. The Responsible Official is Lisa Klinger, McCall District Ranger.

The environmental assessment and other information are available for review at the project webpage at and at the McCall Ranger District at 102 West Lake Street McCall, ID 83638.  Additional information regarding this action can be obtained from: Susan Jenkins, Persons interested in receiving updates about this project may subscribe to GovDelivery for project updates via email by clicking the link “subscribe to email updates” on the right side of the project webpage.

Individuals and organizations wishing to be eligible to object must meet the information requirements of 36 CFR 218 Subparts A and B. It is the responsibility of persons providing comments to submit them by the close of the comment period. Only those who submit timely and specific written comments regarding the proposed project during a public comment period established by the responsible official are eligible to file an objection under 218.

Written, facsimile, hand-delivered, and electronic comments concerning this action will be accepted for 30 calendar days following the publication of the notice in the Star-News, expected on December 17, 2015. The publication date in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period for this analysis.  Those wishing to comment should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source. The regulations prohibit extending the length of the comment period.

Written comments may be submitted to: Submissions via the project webpage are preferred; when the comment period opens simply click on “how to comment” on the right side of the page and fill out the webform with your comments. Electronic comments may also be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), or Word (.doc) to email:  Hard copy comments may be submitted to District Ranger Lisa Klinger, McCall Ranger District, 102 West Lake Street, McCall, ID 83638, or Fax: 208-634-0433. The office business hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. In cases where no identifiable name is attached to a comment, a verification of identity will be required for objection eligibility. If using an electronic message, a scanned signature is one way to provide verification. For objection eligibility each individual or representative from each entity submitting timely and specific written comments regarding the proposed project must either sign the comments or verify identity upon request. All comments received will be published with authorship information in the public reading room on the project webpage.

We appreciate your interest in the Payette National Forest and this project. If you have any questions regarding this project or comment period, please contact the McCall and New Meadows District Recreation Program Manager Susan Jenkins at 208-634-0415.

/s/ Lisa J. Klinger
District Ranger
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Idaho boosts 2016 wildfire protection budget by $920,000 after large blazes in 2015

By KEITH RIDLER Associated Press 12/16/15

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho officials boosted the state’s wildfire protection budget on Tuesday by about 10 percent for the 2016 fire season following one of the state’s worst fire seasons on record in 2015.

The Idaho Land Board voted 5-0 to spend an additional $920,000 aimed at preventing small fires from getting big and keeping firefighters available during wildfire seasons that experts say are lasting longer.

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said bolstering the state’s Forest and Range Fire Protection budget will save money by reducing the number of giant fires that can cost millions of dollars to fight.

“This has a lot more to do with prevention and early initial attack,” he said after the meeting.

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Western Cohesive Fire Strategy Newsletter #38

December 14, 2015

In this issue:

* Western Regional Strategy Committee Sets Aggressive Three Year Action Plan

* Assessing Mitigation Effectiveness in the New Mexico WUI

* Prescribed Fire Reducing Risk in Nebraska

* Partnerships Leading to Great Success in North Central Idaho

* Counties a Valuable Asset in Mitigating Wildfire Risk

* Losing Homes to Wildfire is a Sociopolitical Problem

* Innovative Approach Helping Communities in New Mexico

* New Quick Guides to Help Communities

* Upcoming Learning Opportunities

Letter to Share:

Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc.

Dec 14

Get your fabulous Mystic Farm candles for Christmas gifts and support the rescue! Many scents and three sizes to choose from (tins and jars) as well as Mystic Melts.


*Mail order for actual shipping cost

Thanks for supporting the rescue!

Dory McIsaac

Critter News:

Dog treats sold at PetSmart recalled

Nutro Chewy Treats Apple 4 oz.

Local News 8 – Dec 15, 2015

PetSmart has announced a voluntary recall of dog treats.

The product is Nutro Chewy Treats Apple 4 oz.

PetSmart reports that the manufacturer, MARS Petcare, has recalled the dog treats due to potential mold.

The lots codes of the recalled products that can be found on the bottom of the bag include: ‘4 50’, ‘5 02’, ‘5 03’, or ‘5 05’

PetSmart advises customers to stop feeding your pet these treats immediately and bring the product to any PetSmart store for a full refund.

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Move to take Great Lakes, Wyoming wolves off endangered list left out of federal budget bill

By STEVE KARNOWSKI – AP Published: 12/16/15

A proposal that would have taken gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region and Wyoming off the endangered list did not make it into a massive year-end congressional tax and spending package, an omission welcomed Wednesday by groups that support maintaining federal protections for the predators.

Some lawmakers from the affected states had hoped to attach a rider to return management of wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming to the states, which could have opened the door to a resumption of wolf hunting in those places. The provision would have undone federal court decisions that restored the animals’ protected status in the four states despite repeated efforts by the federal government to remove them from the list.

But spokeswomen for U.S. Reps. Collin Peterson, D-Minnesota, and Reid Ribble, R-Wisconsin, who support returning the wolves to state management, and officials with wildlife groups that lobbied against the change, all said the proposal was left out of the final bill, which was unveiled late Tuesday.

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Washington Wolf Advisory Group to meet in Spokane

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 10, 2015

A group of stakeholders that advises the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department on gray wolf management issues is scheduled to meet Sunday and Monday in Spokane. The sessions are open to the public.

Washington’s Wolf Advisory Group will open its meeting at noon on Sunday at Oxford Suites Hotel in Spokane Valley with an update on wolf population status and issues throughout the state.

A presentation on peace building among people polarized by wolf issues is set for 1 p.m.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Second week of December 2015
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Wolves appear to be visiting, not staying in Central Oregon

By DYLAN J. DARLING – The Bulletin Published: 12/15/15

BEND, Oregon — Another lone wolf recently passed through Central Oregon, following a path similar to the one blazed by OR-7, a wolf made famous by his wandering.

But like OR-7 and three other wolves tracked by collar in the past five years, OR-28 appears to not be interested in establishing a territory in Central Oregon.

Since coming from northeast Oregon last month, she is so far sticking south of Silver Lake — the dry lake, not the town — in Lake County, said Russ Morgan, state wolf coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in La Grande.

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Wolves filling up on cattle in southwestern Alberta

10 Dec 2015 WEI

The study tracked wolf predation patterns in southwestern Alberta — from the Pincher Creek area north of Waterton Lakes National Park to the edge of Kananaskis Country — where ranches and the territory of the carnivores overlap.

“When we began our project, ranchers said they believed they were losing some stock to wolves, but through cluster methods, we were able to identify where the livestock went missing and what was taking it.”“Wolves are the real culprits and have been the biggest problem as it relates to beef producers,” said Mark Boyce, a wildlife ecologist and professor of biological sciences.
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Canines Host to Abortion-Causing Parasite

14 Dec 2015 WEI

Eventually, after submitting fetuses to the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for testing, the Koenses found the cause of their herd abortion problem to be Neospora caninum, a protozoan parasite that can affect a variety of large and small animal species, including cows, sheep, deer, goats and horses. The parasite causes a disease called neosporosis, which researchers say has become a leading cause of abortion and neonatal mortality in cattle in Wisconsin, across the U.S. and around the world. In fact, studies have shown that one or more animals in at least half of the dairy and beef herds in the United States have been exposed to this disease.

According to Koens, who has researched neosporosis since his encounter with it five years ago, the Neospora caninum parasite was first recognized as a common cause of cattle abortions in the late 1980s. It wasn’t until 1998, however, that scientists discovered the connection between Neospora caninum and canines.
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Neosporosis: Recognizing and Preventing Neospora caninum Infections

December 15, 2015 By WEI Staff

*Staff Note* – We know from several studies, that the gray wolf, and thus all wolves, as well as canines in general, are definitive hosts of Neospora Caninum. It has been noted by science members of Wolf Education International, that this particular report does not do a good enough job in pointing out that wolves, not only are definitive hosts, but in explaining the differences in the natural habits of wild wolves and other wild canines and domestic canines. Because of the vast territory wolves can cover, as opposed to domestic dogs, the threat of the spread of Neosporosis is greater in wolves than domestic dogs. This should have been included as an educational tool for understanding the prevention of the disease.

Neospora caninum is a major cause of abortions in cattle. First recognized in 1988, and linked to dogs in 1998, this parasite causes an infection called neosporosis. Studies have shown that at least half the dairy and beef herds in the United States have one or more animals that have been exposed. In an infected herd, up to 30 percent of the animals may test positive, and some cows may abort several times. With good herd management, through, you can reduce this drain on your profits. The Disease Neospora caninum is a protozoal parasite—a microscopic organism.<<>>
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Man, boy, cited for killing grizzly bear while hunting near Wallace

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 8, 2015

Charges have been filed against a man and a boy involved in killing a well-publicized research-collared grizzly bear that had wandered this summer from Montana to the Silver Valley.

The two North Idaho hunters have been cited for illegally killing a grizzly bear near Wallace.  Black bear hunting season was open on Sept. 30 when the bear was shot, but grizzly bears are a federally protected species.

Idaho Fish and Game officials feared for the bear roaming in the Silver Valley and attempted to capture and relocate it.

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Grizzlies not ready for delisting from protections, experts say

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 9, 2015

Grizzly bear issues noted by experts this week include: (1) The bear-proof food containers campers have been required to use in bear country may have been tested by underachievers — bored bears that weren’t trying to get to the contents, and (2) grizzly bears are expanding numbers and range in the region but aren’t ready for delisting from Endangered Species protections.

Those are two conclusions presented so far by experts gathered in Missoula for the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee meeting this week in Missoula.

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Fishers specially equipped for Washington reintroduction

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 9, 2015

The fisher, a mid-size member of the weasel family that’s being reintroduced to the South Cacades, has a cool reproductive capability that tunes into its habitat.

Despite their name, the mostly nocturnal fishers don’t eat fish. But if their preferred food sources — snowshoe hare, birds and rodents including porcupines — are in short supply, they can adjust their birth rates.

Tara Chestnut, ecologist for Mount Rainier National Park, was one of the wildlife specialists offering insight during last week’s release of fishers trapped in Canada and relocated to the Gifford Pinch National Forest.

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Chronic Wasting Disease vigilance justified by research

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 15, 2015

Washington and Idaho hunters can be lulled to sleep by the lack of news about a significant big-game disease that’s faded from the region’s headlines in recent years.

But not too far away…

Chronic Wasting Disease is killing about 19 percent of a Wyoming mule deer herd each year, according to a wildlife researcher.

A five-year study that examined 143 deer in Southern Converse County found that 19 percent of the herd is lost each year to CWD, according to Melia DeVivo, University of Wyoming doctoral student.

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Eagle numbers on the rise after 2 sub-par years at Lake Coeur d’Alene

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 12/14/15

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — After two years of a low eagle turnout on Lake Coeur d’Alene, officials say the birds are back in full force.

The Coeur d’Alene Press reports ( ) that the Bureau of Land Management counted 126 birds at the lake Thursday, compared to just 34 at this time last year and 86 in 2013.

BLM public affairs officer Suzanne Endsley says that’s probably because of an abundant kokanee salmon population and mild weather that has kept the lake edges from freezing.

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Fish hatchery loses 2.4 million salmon in Cascades flooding

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 16, 2015

All 2.4 million fall chinook salmon fry at the Fallert Creek Hatchery on the lower Kalama River were lost when floodwaters inundated the facility last week, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Tuesday.

This is the first report on fisheries loses from flooding caused by a warm winds and rain that melted the snow just starting to pile up in the Cascades in the first week of December.

The Kalama fish died after a wave of water, mud and trees swept down on the hatchery during a heavy rainstorm Dec. 8, overtopping rearing ponds and hatchery raceways, said Kelly Cunningham, deputy assistant director for the WDFW Fish Program.

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Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
December 11, 2015
Issue No. 774

Table of Contents:

* Strong El Nino Does Its Thing To the Northwest; Pumped Up Jet Stream Brings Convoy of Storms

* 2015 Smolt Migration Report Card: Fewer Smolts Transported, Slower In-River Trip To Ocean, Survival Off The Mark

* USGS Studies Document Changes in White Salmon River Post-Condit Dam; More Salmon, Steelhead Spawners

* Catch-And-Release: Would Regular Closures Over Course Of Season Improve Angling Quality?

* Report: Willamette River Basin Tributaries Likely Will Become Sufficiently Warm To Threaten Salmon, Steelhead

* Montana Adopts Unprecedented Mandatory Kill Rule For Walleye In Flathead Basin’s Swan Lake, Swan River

* Public Comment Sought On Washington’s New Hatchery Reform Plan For Lower Columbia River

* Water Deficits, Rising Temperatures Increasing Stress On Pacific Northwest Forests

* Groups Request Extended Public Comment Time On Proposed Kachess Lake Pumping Operation

* Fishers Reintroduced Into Washington’s South Cascades; Cat-Sized Mammals Eliminated From State In 1990s

Fun Critter Stuff:

Post office refuses to release cat’s mail because he has no ID

Ted the cat gets advent calendar from owner’s mother

Local News 8 – Dec 11, 2015

A cat in England almost didn’t get a Christmas gift because he has no ID (because cat) and the postal service wouldn’t release the package to his owner.

Brittany Maher-Kirk says her mother sent a cat advent calendar in a package addressed to Ted, the cat.

“Unfortunately, we missed the delivery and the post office won’t give it to me as the cat does not have ID,” Maher-Kirk posted on Facebook.

After calling her post office in London, Maher-Kirk was told to go to her local post office and explain the situation.

The postal workers heard Maher-Kirk’s pleas and Ted got his calendar.

“It’s specifically for cats, so, full of cat treats,” she told The HuffPo via email. “They come in little blocks with fish and other festive pictures on! He loves it — when he sees it he meows and begs for the treat!”

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[hat tip to SMc]

Fish & Game News:

IDFG begins winter trapping and animal counts using helicopters

Local News 8 – Dec 11, 2015

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has announced that they will beginning their wildlife management activities that require the use of helicopters soon.

Some of the time helicopters will carry staff to count wildlife or shoot net guns to capture animals. Other times the helicopters will be used like a cowboy and cutting horse to select animals to be driven into waiting nets. Once captured the animals will have biological information collected and radio collars attached before being released.

Because the general big game hunting seasons are over, and only trappers and hardcore small game hunters are still out in the field, this means that IDFG will be able to get out and do some of their population study work without disturbing too many sportsmen.

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Fish & Game News Releases

Fun Stuff:

Sugar Plum Fairy by Tchaikovsky – Glass Harp

[hat tip to MMc]

Thanks for sharing news and photos for the YPTimes.

Dec 6, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times

Dec 6, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Local Observations:

Monday (Nov 30) cold clear frosty morning. Sunny all day (but cold.) Quiet day.

Tuesday (Dec 1) cold morning, barley above freezing by afternoon, lots of sunshine.

Wednesday (Dec 2) not quite as cold, sunny and slightly above freezing in the afternoon, dripping icicles, but not much snow melted.

Thursday (Dec 3) much warmer in the morning, snow flurry for a little while, then warming up to way above freezing by early afternoon. High of 51 degrees! Snow melting (except in the shade where the ground is frozen.) Rained pretty good during the night.

Friday (Dec 4) Misty rain, puddles and slick icy ground. Patchy snow remains, some bare spots. Rain/snow mix off and on. A report of hearing wolves howl, possibly down the EFSF from here. More snow during the night.

Saturday (Dec 5) party cloudy, chilly breeze and about an inch of new snow. Clouds went and came back, gusty winds at times. Quiet day. Report of cougar tracks near Yellow Pine in the Johnson Creek area.

Sunday (Dec 6) rain/snow mix before sunrise. Drizzles most of the day, a few snowflakes once in a while.

Letter to Share:

Commissioner Cruickshank’s November Newsletter

Dec 1, 2015

From the desk of Commissioner Cruickshank,

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving filled with family and friends.

Monday November 2nd
Today was a commissioner meeting day. Approved today were the minutes of October 26th, an appointment to the Board of Community Guardian Committee and a support letter to Idaho Parks and Recreation concerning the use of vendors to sell snowmobile stickers. These stickers is how the users pay for the grooming program. We discussed a shortfall in funding for a part time position, approved accepting payments for Personal Property Taxes owed, discussed 4-H Livestock sales not paid by purchaser and how it holds up the payments to 4-H youth, approved closing the majority of the county offices at noon on Christmas Eve, offices that are required to be open by State Law will be open until 5PM, held an Executive Session on Personnel issue, awarded the fuel bid to Kennedy Fuel and Feed, discussed Cascade Rural Fire to use the old U of I building for training before it is demolished, also discussed Donnelly Fire using the house on Goode Lane for their training before demolition.
I then participated in a conference call with Shoshone County to discuss Charter Forest as a proposal to manage National Forests.

Wednesday November 4th
I participated in a National Association of Counties Webinar Legislative update that discussed Waters of the US, Ozone concerns, changes to Overtime eligibility, Fair Housing, Military Excess property being pulled from availability to local government, Health concerns with drug pricing, 40% Excise Tax and the Office of Management and Budget on Executive Orders with changes that impact counties.

Thursday November 5th
I attended the Valley Adams Planning Partnership (VAPP) meeting to review transportation projects with Valley County, City of McCall, City of Cascade and New Meadows for submitting grants.

I participated in the National Forest Counties and Schools Coalition conference call to discuss Secure Rural Schools payments and the hiring of a Part Time Executive Director.

This evening I attended the McCall City Council meeting and provided an update of Valley County workings.

Monday November 9th
Commissioner meeting day. Approved were claims and Junior College Tuitions, reports heard from Elected officials and Department Heads, approved the contract for Jail meals, 2 Jail Detention Officers graduating from Post, set December 21st as Ugly Sweater day for the Courthouse, approved the minutes of November 2nd, approved the contract with Intermountain Hospital for Mental Holds, approved Resolution 16-03 to transfer funding for the Weed Department, reviewed Area Operating Plans for Boise and Payette National Forest Grooming operations, approved Mr. Clements to the Planning and Zoning Commission, approved the Canvas of Votes from the recent elections held for the cities, approved Cascade Rural Fire to use the old U of I building for training and salvage of windows and storm door, approved Resolution 16-02 a Quit Claim Deed for portions of Lost Basin Road, signed a letter of support for the VAPP grant applications, approved sending a letter to the Bureau of Reclamation on Right-of-Way for Duffers Lane and held an Executive Session for personnel. Approved conditions of position and asked for training a backup staff and approved Holiday pay for employees after discussion with the other elected officials who attended the discussion.

Tuesday November 10th
I attended the Idaho Airstrip Network meeting in Boise. The meeting involved updates to the airstrips primarily on National Forests or in close proximity to the National Forests that are maintained by the Idaho Aeronautics Department, volunteers and Public Agencies. Also included were airstrips along the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area in Oregon and Idaho.

Tuesday November 17th
I met with Payette National Forest Supervisor and Rangers with Idaho County Commissioner Chmelik and a Permitee to discuss a grazing permit as it included both Nez Perce and Payette National Forests.

Wednesday November 18th
Today I was back in Boise attending the Idaho Association of Counties Legislative Committee meeting to work on setting the strategy on submitting legislation the counties would like to move forward with for the upcoming 2016 Legislative session.

Thursday November 19th
Big Creek/Yellow Pine group met today. We heard a presentation on how the Idaho Roadless Rule works by the chairman of the Idaho Roadless Commission. Also discussed was potential trail opportunities for ATV and other types of uses.

Commissioner Willey and I also participated, along with other county elected officials, and staff to visit with the McCall Chamber of Commerce Leadership group to discuss county government operations.

Monday November 23rd
Commissioner day again. Approved Resolution 16-04 to correct an error in transferring funding for the Weed Department, approved claims and Jr. College Tuition, discussed people using small storage sheds as Tiny Houses which don’t meet building codes, heard reports from Elected Officials and Department Heads, approved multiple contracts with counties and the Juvenile Detention Facility, approved a Memorandum of Understanding with McCall/Donnelly Schools for education at the Juvenile Detention Facility, approved a contract for recording equipment upgrade, approved Ruska Road Validation, held a closed session for Indigent, approved minutes from November 9th, approved the Boise and Payette National Forest Snowmobile Operating Plans, appointment to Snow Advisory Committee, appointment to Board of Community Guardian Committee, approved Resolution 16-05 destruction of old court records, reviewed a Catastrophic Health Board Nomination, voted on a Gem Plan Board appointment, approved an agreement with Secesh Engineering, approved a request to extend a deadline with Central District Health for compliance at the Materials Refuse Facility (Dump), heard a report from Lakeshore Disposal on the status of the fire at Idaho Waste Systems and now hauling Solid Waste to Payette County’s Clay Peak site. Approved road name changes for Shady Lane and Shady Lane Loop to clarify where the roads are and Validated the name of Miracle Lane to access multiple parcels. Approved cancellations # 21 & #22 on Solid Waste Fees, approved cancellation #20 for market value change and approved cancellations # 23 – 26 for market value changes, held an Executive Session for personnel, approved wage for a change in wages, approved a contract for Commercial Appraisal assistance and training, Staff from Senator Crapo’s office provided a report on the Senator’s recent efforts, held another Executive Session for personnel, approved setting conditions of employment and approved a salary for replacing the retiring Jail Commander, approved signing the grant application to the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council and okayed a snow removal request for a full time resident.

Tuesday November 24th
Tonight was a meeting in Grangeville with Senator Risch, Idaho County Commissioners and others to speak on the Lochsa Land Exchange being proposed by Western Pacific Timber and the Forest Service which has been stalled as the parties believe this will be a Congressional Legislative action rather than a Federal Agency and Private Party agreement. This proposal has been ongoing for several years and Senator Risch wanted to hear from the citizens and interested groups or organizations on the facts of why the land exchange was proposed. If you are familiar with the Checker Board landscape in the Upper Lochsa River drainage this is what Western Pacific Timber is wanting to exchange for other National Forest Public Lands.

Monday November 30th
Commissioner day today. Approved were the minutes of November 23rd, a support letter to McCall Fire for a Fire Boat grant application, we heard a status update from Wildfire Prevention Associates on the wildfire projects and funding available for future projects. Also presented was a recent tour by Officials who oversee the grant projects so they are more familiar with the work Valley County is doing with the grant funding to firewise areas. Lake Irrigation representatives discussed with the commissioners a Trust Fund that was set up many years ago and now appears to not be needed however there is money left in the account. We heard a presentation on an audit of the Water Ways funding and how the grant funds need to be retained for future dock purchases. The commissioners approved requesting the funds to be retained. We provided direction to research the cost of purchasing some private land currently used for a parking area for recreational use. The funding is proposed to come from the users and grants. Western Community Action Partnership management presented an update of the services they provide in the region and commented that many folks are receiving energy assistance. Camp Pinewood presented on a potential hardship due to missing a filing for Tax Exemption. The commissioners asked the new Director to work with the Assessor on how to proceed with bringing this to the commissioners. Approved Cancellation #27 as the Solid Waste fee was double charged. We returned to the Lake Irrigation topic and heard from former Valley County Clerk who provided a history of the Trust Fund set up for Lake Irrigation and managed by the Valley County Clerk’s office. The Clerk and Assessors offices will work with Lake Irrigation and do some additional research.

Well this winds up another month of duties. For more information on Valley County happenings and Commissioner meetings please go to the Valley County website Valley County, Idaho | Official Site .

Thanks everyone for reading the news letter. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as it will have come and gone before my next letter comes out. Stay warm and travel safe out there.


Idaho News:

Nampa newlyweds injured in crash with bull celebrate Thanksgiving at home

by Katy Moeller Idaho Statesman Dec 1, 2015

It may be a long time before they are fully healed, but Jack and Doris Garner are both home from the hospital.

The couple suffered a constellation of critical injuries on the night of Nov. 1, when their Subaru station wagon struck a bull on U.S. Highway 95 about 6 miles north of Council. The 2,400-pound bull smashed through the windshield of the car.

What happened after the crash is under investigation. The owner of the injured bull, Jack Yantis, died after a fatal encounter with Adams County deputies who had responded to the accident.

Jack, 53, was released from a Boise hospital after a few days. But Doris, 47, needed medical care for more than three weeks. She was released a couple days before Thanksgiving, one of her sisters told the Statesman Tuesday.

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Sheriff Zollman says deputies’ futures unclear

Shannon Camp, KTVB December 3, 2015

Earlier this week, Adams County Sheriff Ryan Zollman identified Brian Wood, 31, and Cody Roland, 38, as the two deputies involved in the shooting death of Council rancher Jack Yantis. Zollman said that identifying the two deputies has sparked a new wave of angry emails and phone calls to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office.

“With the release of the names it’s definitely flared up again,” said Zollman. “They don’t believe they should come back to work ever as a sheriff’s deputy.”

That decision of when, and if, the men will return to active duty is one that weighs heavily on Zollman.

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McCall dash cam footage: ‘Get your hands off me!’

Bonnie Shelton, KTVB December 3, 2015

MCCALL — Through public records requests, we received dash cam video from a 2011 traffic stop involving then-McCall Police Officer Brian Wood.

Wood is one of two Adams County deputies involved in the fatal shooting of Council rancher Jack Yantis on Nov. 1, 2015.

According to court documents, Wood and the McCall Police Department were sued back in 2011 by Rodney Thomas Whaley, 78 of Cascade.

In the lawsuit, Whaley claims that Wood used excessive force and violated his civil rights during a traffic stop on July 6, 2011. The lawsuit states that Wood’s actions put the man in the hospital.

The dash cam video shows Wood pulling Whaley over. Court filings state the traffic stop was for speeding.

continued w/video:

Forest / BLM News:

Forest Service wants to close 250 miles of roads

Old logging roads in Valley County get little use

“It’s kind of the low-hanging fruit.” —Jake Strohmeyer

BY DAN GALLAGHER for The Star-News December 3, 2015

The Forest Service is considering how many miles of little used logging roads should be closed in Valley County.

Many of the roads on the Payette National Forest and the Cascade Ranger District of the Boise National Forest can be closed without causing inconvenience to forest users while protecting the environment, according to federal officials.

Valley County commissioners recently got a preview of the roads analyzed for possible closure, of which about 250 miles are on the entire Payette forest and about 55 miles are on the Cascade district.

The roads vary in length from one-tenth of a mile to about three miles and are scattered throughout the two forests.

Some roads have not been used for years, said Jake Strohmeyer, a staff officer with the Payette forest. Others are redundant as several segments reach the same destination, Strohmeyer said.

Some of the targeted roads pose an environmental risk if trucks or ATVs throw sediment into nearby creeks during when the road are wet, he said.

Some closure methods include bulldozing multiple berms to bar off-road traffic or regrading the flat road to its previous natural slope.

A public process will be started in the next few month to gather comments on the proposed closures, but Strohmeyer hopes they would not be controversial.

“It’s kind of the low-hanging fruit, such as redundant roads that were part of a logging system and we aren’t going to need that road anymore,” he said.

Access Advocates

The commissioners have been diligent to advocate forest access for recreation or industries such as mining. In 2011, Valley County joined a 2009 suit in federal court against the Payette, claiming that roads used historically, some even before creation of the Forest Service, should stay open.

As a result, a collaborative citizens group ranging from miners to fish biologists is examining access roads in the Big Creek-South Fork Salmon River area.

The roads on the list presented by Strohmeyer involve a different roads than those in the Valley County suit.

The current effort is part of the Forest Service’s attempt nationwide to determine which roads should be left open for the agency to adequately administer and protect the forests.

The roads researched for possible closure are divided into two levels:

• Level 1: A Level 1 road has been closed to all traffic, including administration, for more than a year. Many have vanished back into the landscape and are covered with vegetation.

Up to 90 percent of the 250 miles analyzed on the Payette are Level 1 roads.

“They’re usually built for timber sales that we kept for future access. We put them into long-term storage,” Strohmeyer said.

• Level 2: A Level 2 road can be traveled by a vehicle with high clearance and is maintained every two to five years. They may be closed seasonally, year-round or used just by the Forest Service under the proposal.

About 10 percent of the 250 miles on the Payette and three miles of the 55 miles on the Cascade district are Level 2 roads.

Commissioner Elt Hasbrouck said he would like the proposed closures plotted on a map to ensure some areas do not become de facto wilderness, where fire suppression is restricted and only horsemen or experienced hikers are able to visit.

[hat tip to BJ] The Star-News
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Feds trying new strategy to avoid past mistakes in wildfire rehab in southwest Idaho

By KEITH RIDLER – AP Published: 12/2/15

BOISE, Idaho — The federal government has a long history of failure when it comes to restoring sagebrush rangeland scorched by wildfires.

Scientists and land managers aim to change that by using the knowledge gained by those past setbacks to restore a giant swath of sagebrush steppe destroyed by a wildfire last summer in southwest Idaho and southeast Oregon.

Scientists say three subspecies of big sagebrush make it among the most successful and widely-spread plants in North America. The three subspecies contain variations adapted to local climate and elevation.

Past restoration efforts failed to consider those differences.

The $67 million restoration effort underway in southwest Idaho and southeast Oregon is using seeds from surviving sagebrush within the 436-square-mile burned area, seeds from sagebrush adjacent to the fire, and seeds from similar regions.

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Advocacy groups in Montana, Idaho sue over Kootenai National Forest plan

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/29/15

KALISPELL, Montana — Snowmobile clubs and advocacy groups from Montana and Idaho are suing over a U.S. Forest Service plan that bars motorized access in certain areas of the Kootenai National Forest in northwestern Montana.

The forest plan, finalized in January, designates 115,000 acres as recommended wilderness areas and eliminated mechanized and motorized means of transport in those places.

The lawsuit filed in federal court earlier this month alleges the plan fails to follow Forest Service guidelines for recommended wilderness areas.


Mining News:

Forest Service clearing out southern Arizona mine after orange sludge leak

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/30/15

TUCSON, Arizona — The U.S. Forest Service is working to plug holes and bury waste at a southern Arizona mine after orange sludge appeared downstream last year.

The Arizona Daily Star reports ( ) a September 2014 storm released heavy metals and iron from the abandoned Lead Queen mine site into the Harshaw Creek watershed, about six miles south of Patagonia.

The Forest Service is putting waste rock into an underground contained area, covering it and placing barriers to keep it in place. The cleanup is expected to be complete by February.

Patagonia Area Resource Alliance board member Carolyn Shafer says the Patagonia area is home to at least 130 abandoned mines. The alliance wants the abandoned mines to be cleaned before any new mines begin operating.


Critter News:

Remember to keep your pets warm, too

Dennis Valera – Local News 8 – Dec 01, 2015

POCATELLO, Idaho – Single-digit temperatures and harsh winds have been hitting the area hard. While we remember to stay warm outside, we have to do the same with our pets.

On Monday in Pocatello, a Boston terrier was found frozen to death by police in a man’s yard.

Mary Remer, the city’s animal services director, said the best bet to keep your pets warm in cold weather is to get them in your house.

“Get a kennel for them or something if you can’t leave them alone at any time,” she said.” Get them indoors where it’s warmer.”

If a dog has to stay outside it’s best to get them an insulated or heated doghouse, even if the dog is able to withstand cold temperatures. A heated doghouse is a must for short-haired dogs. You can put something on the opening of the doghouse to prevent wind from getting inside.

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State Supreme Court declines to reinstate northern Idaho wolf center’s exhibition license

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 12/3/15

SANDPOINT, Idaho — The Idaho Supreme Court is declining to reinstate the license of a wolf exhibition company in northern Idaho.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports ( ) that the high court issued a denial on Nov. 19.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game in February suspended Wolf People’s commercial license for one year, contending the company failed to comply with a 2012 agreement prohibiting visitors from having physical contact with the wolves.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

First Week of December 2015
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Four canines, likely wolves, photographed in Whitman County

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 4, 2015

Four canines, likely wolves but unconfirmed, were spotted Dec. 2, 2015, crossing a seeded farm field near the Johnson cuttoff road near Pullman, according to photos circulating among Palouse landowners.

Whitman County has had numerous reports of wolves in recent years, including a case in which one was illegally shot by a farmer near Pullman and a case of sheep being killed by a wolf in the northeast corner of the county.

But no wolf pack has been officially documented in the county, yet.

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Yellowstone wolf numbers up slightly

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 4, 2015

Yellowstone National Park biologists counted at least 104 wolves from 11 packs living in the park at the end of 2014.

The figures released Wednesday were up slightly from the prior year, when 95 wolves from 10 packs were counted. Northwest states released their 2014 numbers last spring.

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Montana predators kill fewer livestock, but payments up

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 4, 2015

While the number of livestock killed by wolves, coyotes and grizzly bears has declined in Montana, the state is paying a record amount this year to reimburse livestock growers’ for losses.

The Montana Livestock Loss Board was established by the state Legislature in 2007 to address economic losses caused by wolf and grizzly bear attacks and to create incentives for producers to take steps to decrease the risk of loss.

The Great Falls Tribune reports that until this year the program’s highest reimbursements were in 2009 when the state paid $144,995 for the deaths of 370 head of livestock: 107 cattle, 256 sheep, three goats, three guard animals and one horse.

So far this year, Montana has paid $146,745 for the deaths of 133 head of livestock, including 81 cattle, 51 sheep and one llama.

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California plan could end protections for gray wolves in state once predator numbers 50

By SCOTT SMITH – AP Published: 12/3/15

FRESNO, California — Gray wolves could be stripped of state endangered species protections once at least 50 of the animals are roaming in California, wildlife officials said Wednesday.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife released a draft plan for managing gray wolves, which were granted protections last year but whose numbers are growing. It outlines efforts to minimize livestock loss and ways to ensure there’s enough prey for wolves, other predators and hunters.

Under California’s protections, gray wolves can’t be killed or hunted. U.S. law also protects wolves in most of the nation, except for Idaho, Montana and parts of Washington, Oregon and Utah, but there is a pending proposal to strip federal protections from most of the Lower 48 states, including California.

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More than 11,000 Norwegians line up to shoot 16 wolves

Norwegian hunters outnumber wolves 763 to one, according to new figures for licences to kill population that could be as low as 30

Elisabeth Ulven in Oslo Tuesday 1 December 2015

Wolves have emerged as the most sought-after animal for Norwegian hunters this season, with 11,571 people registering for licences to shoot 16 animals – a ratio of 723 hunters per wolf.

The animals – of which Norway may have as few as 30 living in the wild – top the league in new figures that reveal a trigger-happy community of hunters.

The Norwegian brown bear comes in a close second with 10,930 registered licence holders keen to hunt down 18 individuals, followed by 10,820 licence holders interested in 141 wolverines, according to the country’s register for hunters.


[hat tip to WEI]
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Bull elk poached north of Council

KTVB December 1, 2015

COUNCIL — The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is asking for the public’s help tracking down whoever illegally shot an elk, cutting off the animal’s head and leaving the body to rot.

The dead bull elk was found Sunday near Ridge Road, north of Council. Game officers believe the elk was poached for its antlers Wednesday or Thursday, weeks after the elk hunting season closed in the area.

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Wild horses are available for adoption

IME – Nov 30, 2015

The BLM still has wild horses gathered from the Owyhee region following the Soda Fire available for adoption. So far, 39 horses have been adopted. There are six young fillies and five mares between the ages of 2 and 4 available for adoption. Additionally, there are a handful of 2- to 6-year-old mares and geldings from Nevada herd management areas that are available.

To adopt a wild horse, people must be at least 18 years old, never convicted of animal abuse and have the proper facilities. An approved adoption application must also be on file.

Anyone interested in seeing the horses or adopting one can contact Clay Stott at 208-384-3454 to set up a time to visit the Boise Wild Horse Corrals.

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Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
December 4, 2015
Issue No. 773

Table of Contents:

* Post-Mortem On 2015 Snake River Sockeye Run; 90 Percent Of Fish Dead Before Reaching Ice Harbor Dam

* Post-Mortem 2015 Water Year: Normal Precipitation Oct.-March, And Then Region Went Dry

* 10-Year John Day Wild Chinook Study: Smolt Size When Leaving Freshwater A Determining Factor For Return Age

* Draft EIS: Oil Trains, Proposed Vancouver Terminal, Deep Draft Ships Could Impact Listed Columbia Basin Salmonids

* Year-End Salmon Tally: 2.3 Million Adult Salmon Cross Bonneville Dam, Nearly Half Fall Chinook

* Cantwell’s Yakima Basin Legislation Passed By Senate Energy And Natural Resources Committee

* 2015 Willamette River Report Card Released; Lower River C-Plus

* FERC Issues Order Denying Further Hearings In Transfer Of Flathead Lake Dam To Tribes

* California Releases Draft Gray Wolf Conservation Plan For Comment

* New Wolf Pack Confirmed In North-Central Washington’s Methow Valley

* Study Observes ‘Emotional Fever’ In Fish: Do Fish Have Some Degree Of Consciousness?

* Higher Levels Of Fukushima Cesium Detected Off West Coast; Well Below Limits Of Concern

Fun Critter Stuff:

McManus Comedies – My First Deer

The story of my first deer. From the McManus Comedies – A Fine and Pleasant Misery.

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All Our Otters Want for Christmas are… Ice Treats!

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Watch our otters go crazy for holiday ice treats. It probably doesn’t hurt that the “frosting” is minced clams!

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All trains delayed until further notice



Fish & Game News:

Tips & Advice:

On thin ice? Know what to do if you break through

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 3, 2015

Ice fishermen aren’t the only people who could find themselves on thin ice this winter.

Everyone who ventures out near ponds, streams or lakes should have a basic understanding of what to in case of breaking through ice into a sudden cold water immersion.

First, be prepared with a looped rope for a rescue.  Angler ice picks, one for each hand, would aid in self rescue, especially if the ice surface is smooth.

Second, avoid thin ice even if you’re prepared.

continued w/video:

Fun Stuff:

Norwegian TV show about a fireplace sparks nationwide debate after furious viewers say wood was stacked with bark facing ‘the wrong way’

22 Feb 2013

In most places across the world, the topic of firewood would hardly be expected to set the nation’s imagination alight.

But in Norway, a television programme on the subject of wood has become quite the burning issue, after splitting the country straight down the middle on how it should be stacked.

Nearly a million people, 20 per cent of the Norwegian population, tuned in to the programme when it was aired during prime time on Friday night. But the angry responses started almost as soon as it had begun.

The show was inspired by the book Solid Wood: All About Chopping, Drying and Stacking Wood – and the Soul of Wood-Burning, by Lars Mytting, which spent more than a year on the Norwegian non-fiction bestseller list.


[hat tip to SD]

Thanks for sharing news and photos for the YPTimes.

Nov 29, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times

Nov 29, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Note: More of the newsletter going online this week, see links below.

Local Observations:

Sunday (Nov 22) cold morning, mostly sunny and chilly day. Smell of burning garbage hanging in the air.

Monday (Nov 23) a little warmer morning, but still cold. Vehicle exhaust polluting the air. Mosty sunny day, a little snow melted.

Tuesday (Nov 24) overcast, drizzles and misty rain off and on during the day, rained off a little snow, a lot of roofs are bare.

Wednesday (Nov 26) 2″ of new snow, mostly cloudy morning. Decreasing clouds and gusty breezes dumping snow out of the trees. Hazy nearly full moon (and breezy.)

Thursday (Nov 26) clear and cold morning, sunny cold quiet day. Bright full moon, cold night. Report that folks had a very nice pot luck dinner at the Tavern.

Friday (Nov 27) very cold morning, sunny cold day. Clear cold night.

Saturday (Nov 28) very cold morning, sunny cold day and quiet. Clear and cold night.

Sunday (Nov 29) cold morning Sunny chilly day and quiet.

Yellow Pine Weather Reports:

Now online!

Links to weather forecasts and webcams:

Road Reports:

Community Calendar and Announcements:

Real Estate:

(updated with some photos)

YPTimes Nov 29 posted here:

Idaho News:

Rules of the road for motorists include open range in much of Idaho

By BILL DENTZER – Idaho Statesman Published: 11/23/15 (hosted free by AP)

BOISE, Idaho — In March 2004, a motorcyclist riding through Lincoln County came over a slight rise in the road, hit a calf and died. In that moment, new West and old West collided, and not for the first or last time.

The rider’s family sued. The calf’s owner, the family claimed in court, had failed to maintain fencing along the road. The family lost in a case that eventually went to the Idaho Supreme Court. Fencing notwithstanding, the accident had occurred in open range territory, where longstanding tradition, eventually written into law, absolves livestock owners from liability in such cases.

It’s a standard straight out of the code of the West, reflecting the history of its settlement and establishing a pecking order among landed interests: ranchers first, farmers next. Motorists, who came much later, are on notice: Those unlucky enough to collide with livestock in the open range are financially liable not only for their injuries and damage to their vehicles, but also for the animal they strike.

In Idaho and the West, as traditional land uses cede ground to encroaching development, people and traffic, not everyone thinks that’s a fair deal.

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Small earthquake reported in northern Idaho

Small earthquake recorded in northern Idaho near Sandpoint, no damage reported

Local News 8 – Nov 23, 2015

SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) – Federal officials say a 3.4-magnitude earthquake rattled northern Idaho near Sandpoint but authorities say there are no reports of damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the temblor at about 1 p.m. Monday was about 9 miles deep and about 11 miles southeast of Sandpoint.

Officials say that’s under Lake Pend Oreille.

A Sandpoint Police Department spokeswoman says no reports of damage have been received.

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Southwest Idaho a wildfire restoration lab for land managers fighting invasive species

By ROCKY BARKER – Idaho Statesman Published: 11/27/15

MARSING, Idaho — Even before the smoke cleared last summer, scientists and resource specialists spread out across the blackened range of the Owyhee Mountains to assess the damage of the Soda Fire.

These experts from several federal and state agencies used aerial photographs and their own observations to put together a plan not just to stabilize the soils and rehabilitate the plant communities. Their job was to map out five years of projects that would restore the sagebrush steppe ecosystem and turn it into a laboratory for restoration across the West.

“We’re working for the survival of the sagebrush landscape,” said Tim Murphy, Idaho State Bureau of Land Management director. “We’ve completed Phase 1 by stabilizing the soil and preparing to reverse the cheatgrass growth.”

When the snow came earlier this month, contractors completed “drilling” seeds into the soils where the Soda Fire burned 280,000 acres after starting Aug. 10. As tractors were seeding the snow-covered Idaho and Oregon landscape, 200 scientists, land managers, county commissioners and ranchers were meeting in Boise to develop a strategy for protecting the native grasses and shrubs that provide habitat for 350 species including sage grouse by stopping and reversing the cheatgrass invasion.

continued (free view):
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NTSB preliminary report details events of small plane crash near Hope that killed 3

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/29/15

SANDPOINT, Idaho — A preliminary federal report details the events of a plane crash that killed three people near the town of Hope, Idaho, in October.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports that the National Transportation Safety Board report did not indicate why the Cessna 182 plane crashed shortly after taking off Oct. 8.

Killed were the pilot Pamela Bird, widow of renowned inventor Forrest Bird, as well as Donald and Tookie Hensley, of Mohave Valley, Arizona.


Idaho History:

Forest News:

Debate continues over Lochsa land swap proposal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/23/15

LEWISTON, Idaho — Officials are considering a controversial proposal to swap federal land for private timberland in the upper Lochsa River basin.

The Lewiston Tribune reports ( ) Republican Sen. Jim Risch is holding a meeting in Grangeville Tuesday to discuss the proposal.

Under the proposed legislation, Western Pacific Timber Co. would offer 39,000 acres of land in the upper Lochsa River basin in exchange for U.S. Forest Service land of similar value.

Most of the federal land would come from Idaho County, near Grangeville. The land is a popular area for hunting and other outdoor activities.

Federal officials say acquiring the private land would allow for protection of important fish and wildlife habitat. But opponents of the trade, which has been debated for eight years, don’t want to lose access to public land.

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Forest Service plans $1 million restoration effort on scorched northern Idaho forests

By KEITH RIDLER – AP Published: 11/23/15

BOISE, Idaho — The U.S. Forest Service is spending just over $1 million in northern Idaho to shore up areas scorched by massive wildfires last summer.

The agency on Monday announced the plan for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests aimed at stabilizing roads and trails, preventing erosion, keeping out invasive species and removing hazard trees.

About 288 square miles of the forests burned due to nine wildfires.

The agency says that’s the largest number of wildfires in any national forest this fire season.

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BLM: Wildland firefighter died from heart attack after completing training exercise in June

By KIMBERLEE KRUESI – AP Published: 11/25/15

BOISE, Idaho — Federal officials say a heart attack is to blame for the death of a wildland firefighter who passed away this summer after completing a physical training exercise.

Officials with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management say 33-year-old Terry Sonner from Hammett collapsed after completing a 2-mile training run in June.


Mining News:

Feds extend comment period on proposed plan to close key sage grouse habitat to mining

By KEITH RIDLER – AP Published: 11/27/15

BOISE, Idaho — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has extended the public comment period on the agency’s plan to withdraw 10 million acres of public lands in six western states from potential mineral extraction to protect habitat for the greater sage grouse.

The comment period will last about three additional weeks to Jan. 15, with public meetings scheduled in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming in December.

The BLM is seeking comments ahead of creating an Environmental Impact Statement before making a final decision on whether to withdraw the public lands for 20 years.

Some aspects federal authorities want to analyze include the economic effects of withdrawing the lands, wilderness characteristics, American Indian resources, mineral resources and recreation.

“We really want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to comment on the proposed withdrawal,” said BLM spokesman Mark Mackiewicz.


Letter to Share:

Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc. Update

Nov 23, 2015

Look how little Autie is losing her spots! She continues to grow and thrive and melt my heart


Hired the two most awesome guys today to help me get some work done on Mystic Farm before the big move in the spring. Kyle and Logan – you were lifesavers. We now have the fridges, more storage, stove and misc. other items out at the new barn. Set up for the new batch of fawns in the spring no longer looks so “un-doable”… We got this!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for.

Dory and all…

Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc.
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Happy Thanksgiving

Nov 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc.!

This Thanksgiving Day – and everyday – the fawns are thankful for all of you amazing supporters. Oh, and bottles…don’t forget bottles!


Happy Thanksgiving from Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc.

Dory, Hubcap, and all the critters
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Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc. Candle Tins

Nov 24, 2015


… wonderful handmade Mystic Farm natural candles. Great Christmas Gifts! Remember, all proceeds go to feed and care for the orphans at Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc. Thank You!

Dory and all at Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc.

Critter News:

Money to deter wolf attacks goes unclaimed

Federal grants help pay ranchers for preventive measures

Nov 25, 2015 by Greg Moore – IME

Due to lack of interest from [Idaho] ranchers, little has been spent from a $108,000 fund administered by the state of Idaho to prevent wolf depredation on livestock.

Judging by public comments made during the Idaho Fish and Game Commission’s quarterly meeting at the Community Campus in Hailey last week, the issue is important to Wood River Valley residents. Fifteen people urged the commission to ask the state to pursue less aggressive methods of reducing depredation, while only two people emphasized the importance of lethal control. Many commenters suggested transferring part of the $620,000 in state money available this year for lethal control of wolves to preventive measures.

Last year, the Legislature created a Wolf Depredation Control Board, and has allocated $400,000 in general fund money in each of the past two years to kill wolves. The new law also provides $110,000 annually from assessments made on livestock producers and another $110,000 from the Department of Fish and Game.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third week of November 2015
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New Washington wolf pack news sparks rare poetic debate

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 24, 2015

… OMAK – A new wolf pack has been confirmed in Okanogan County, bringing to 17 the number of packs in Washington state.

The new pack, which may have two to six members, is being called the Loup Loup Pack, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials who announced the new pack on Tuesday. It has been sighted in the Twisp and Omak areas. Loup Loup Pass was is a prominent place within the wolves’ range in the Methow Valley.

This is the fourth confirmed wolf pack in North Central Washington, including the Wenatchee Pack, which was discovered south of Wenatchee in March 2013. That pack had only two known adults found in a survey last December. Scott Becker, wolf specialist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said now that there’s snow on the ground, they’re beginning to look in the pack’s territory to see if there’s continuing wolf activity in the area.

continued (scroll down):
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Utah authorities say animal found dead in trap near Wyoming line appears to be gray wolf

By LINDSAY WHITEHURST – AP Published: 11/27/15

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah authorities say an animal that appears to be a gray wolf was found dead in a snare set for a coyote earlier this month near the Wyoming state line.

The 89-pound female was found Nov. 7 in an area where the animals are not listed as an endangered species, Kim Hersey with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said Friday.

Biologists believe the animal is a wolf but are conducting genetic tests to make sure that it wasn’t a dog hybrid, she said. Those tests could take months to complete.

The approximately 2 1/2 -year-old creature was found west of Randolph by a trapper who alerted state wildlife authorities.

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Colorado wildlife officials revisit concerns about wolf reintroduction

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/23/15

GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado — Colorado wildlife officials might soon reiterate their opposition to wolves being reintroduced to the state.

The state Parks and Wildlife Commission on Friday considered a draft resolution that would reaffirm positions the commission took in the 1980s, reported the Grand Junction Sentinel (

The resolution expresses concern about the impact wolves and grizzly bears would have Colorado’s livestock, wildlife and human welfare. Wildlife officials decided to revisit the issue after the governors of Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico sent a letter to federal officials opposing recovery plans for the Mexican wolf.

The commission hasn’t taken any action yet because members want to make sure the resolution is consistent with changes made in 2005, when then commission adopted recommendations from the state Wolf Working Group.

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Reward offered in fatal shooting of gray wolf on Upper Peninsula snowmobile trail last weekend

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/23/15

HOUGHTON, Michigan — State officials are offering a reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the shooting of a gray wolf in the Upper Peninsula’s Houghton County.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the wolf was killed Saturday on a snowmobile trail near state highway 26, a half-mile south of Twin Lakes.

Sgt. Grant Emery says the shooter fired from a vehicle.

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New Mexico Game Commission delays decision on appeal to keep wolves at Turner ranch

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/20/15

ROSWELL, New Mexico — The State Game Commission has decided to delay a decision on an appeal that would allow endangered Mexican gray wolves to be kept at Ted Turner’s ranch in southern New Mexico.

A bid by the Ladder Ranch to renew its permit for holding wolves in captivity was denied earlier this year, partly over concerns that federal officials have yet to update the recovery plan for the species.

The Turner Endangered Species Fund appealed. Executive director Mike Phillips told commissioners during a meeting Thursday in Roswell that the decision singled out the ranch for unequal treatment.

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Wolves Return to Mount Parnitha On the Outskirts of Athens

November 23, 2015 By WEI Staff

Environmentalists confirmed the presence of wolves on Mount Parnitha on the outskirts of Athens using automatic infrared photography.

Using cameras that remained active for six months, following a request for technical support by Parnitha Forestry, the Kallisto Environmental Organization for Wild Life and Nature recorded a pack of 7-8 wolves.
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Wolves “attack” southern Donetsk region

November 23, 2015 By WEI Staff

Nine cases of wolf attacks on domestic animals kept by farmers were recorded in the villages of Pershotravneve district in the Donetsk region in the past few days.

“In one case, wolves torn apart a calf, while in others – they attacked the goats, sheep and other large and small cattle. And that’s not counting how many predators tore apart poultry – ducks, chickens, geese,” said the head of hunting, fishing farm “Udacha” in Pershotravneve district Oleksandr Krasozov.
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Wolves return to Warsaw area after decades


The country’s communist regime organised a vast wolf cull in the 1960s in response to the perceived danger they posed, paying residents for every animal shot dead.

Locals killed off the park‘s last wolf pack in 1964.

Officials added the wolf to the country’s list of endangered species in the 1990s following protests from ecologists and animal rights activists, including former French movie star Brigitte Bardot.

The move helped reinstate their population in certain areas, including the mountainous region of Bieszczady in the south-east.
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Officials seek information after eastern Idaho cow elk poached near White Owl Butte

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/27/15

REXBURG, Idaho — State officials say they’re trying to find out who illegally shot and killed a cow elk in eastern Idaho.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game in a statement Friday says the elk was killed on Thanksgiving Day near White Owl Butte and left to rot.

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Ex-elk ranch employee charged with stealing elk semen

Local News 8 – Nov 25, 2015

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) – A former employee of a Twin Falls elk ranch has been accused of stealing elk semen and artificially inseminating elk at another ranch.

The Times-News reports that 30-year-old Brandon Eldredge was arraigned Friday on one count of grand theft.

Police say Eldredge stole the semen in 2011 and it was discovered the following year when owners of Early Morning Elk Ranch took inventory.

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Idaho officials OK implementation of sage grouse plan for endowment lands

By KEITH RIDLER – AP Published: 11/24/15

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho officials on Tuesday approved implementing the state’s plan to protect habitat for greater sage grouse on endowment lands, despite frustration with federal land managers.

The Idaho Land Board voted 5-0 to have the Idaho Department of Lands move forward with actions set out in the 82-page Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Plan the board approved in April.

Implementation of the plan for endowment lands was made contingent in April on federal agencies incorporating a much larger Idaho plan called the Governor’s Sage-Grouse Alternative concerning federal lands in Idaho.

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Oregon firefighters rescue owl tangled in fishing line; bird resting at rehabilitation center

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/27/15

GRANTS PASS, Oregon — Wildlife rehabilitation workers say a great horned owl that was tangled in fishing line is resting after being rescued by Oregon firefighters.

The Grants Pass Daily Courier reports ( ) that a resident in Shady Cove saw the adult male owl flapping its wings erratically while high up a tree on Sunday.

Jackson County Fire District No. 4 Captain Rick Mendenhall says the owl was “stuck big time.”

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Idaho Power first to count fish with only drones

Brian Holmes, KTVB November 25, 2015

RIGGINS, Idaho — Sixty years ago Idaho Power put dams on the Snake River. Since the 60’s fish hatcheries have helped reduce the impact of those dams on the native populations of Chinook Salmon and steelhead. But it’s only been for the past 25 years that the utility company has kept track of the spawning native population.

… Since 1991 the utility company that pulls power from the Snake River has made it a priority to keep track of the fish population that comes home to spawn in these waters.

Over those years this has been Phil Groves’ job.

“I would sit in a helicopter with the door off, and we’d fly about 250-300 feet over water and we’d fly about 35 miles an hour, and I would just count redds as we fly up and down the river,” said Groves, an Idaho Power fish biologist.

A redd is a nest made by an aging female salmon. And it’s actually not red. “In this river it’s a light-colored patch on a dark-colored river background,” said Groves.

For the first time in 25 years Phil finds himself at the controls of a drone instead of hanging out the side of a helicopter in Hells Canyon, where the winds can whip up at a moment’s notice.

full story:
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Strong salmon returns up the Columbia River; efforts to improve fish passage credited

By GEORGE PLAVEN – East Oregonian Published: 11/29/15

PENDLETON, Oregon — The Columbia Basin’s 2015 salmon season is the second-strongest year since the federal dams were built nearly 80 years ago.

A record number of fall chinook salmon returned up the Columbia River past McNary Dam in 2015, continuing on to spawning grounds at Hanford Reach, the Snake River and Yakima Basin.

More than 456,000 of the fish were counted at McNary Dam, breaking the facility’s previous record of 454,991 set in 2013. An estimated 200,000 fall chinook made it back to Hanford Reach, the most since hydroelectric dams were first built on the Columbia nearly 80 years ago.


Fun Critter Stuff:


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Wild Turkey Waltz


Fish & Game News:

Fish and game officials approve new fishing rules for coming years

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/28/15

POCATELLO, Idaho — The Idaho Fish and Game Commission have approved that state’s fishing rules for the next three seasons.

The Idaho State Journal reports ( ) that the new rules go into effect on Jan. 1.

Included in the rules is a new statewide possession limit. It will be three times the daily bag limit after the second day of the season. Currently, the possession limit is equal to the bag limit.

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Figh and Game News Releases


Now online!

Tips and Advice:

Thanksgiving food to keep away from pets

Some tranditional Thanksgiving fare dangerous for pets

Local News 8 –  Nov 25, 2015

While you’re passing around the turkey and mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving, make sure to keep an eye on Fido and his friends. Dr. Ernie Ward, a veterinarian in Calabash, North Carolina, tells the Wall Street Journal people don’t realize some human foods, even in small amounts, are risky for pets.

… According to WGN, Evans say pet owners should keep the following foods away from their furry friends:

Ham: Pork products can result in vomiting, diarrhea and even pancreatitis, which causes other digestive problems.

Stuffing: Onions and garlic are extremely toxic to dogs and cats, according to Evans. Since these items are included in most stuffing recipes, you should avoid giving any amount to pets.

Mashed potatoes: If it’s made with onion powder or garlic, don’t give it to you pet. Many animals are also lactose intolerance so the milk and butter in mashed potatoes can cause diarrhea.

Turkey bones: Aside from a choking risk, turkey bones can splinter and cause damage to the stomach and intestines. Evans also said bones can give our furry friends severe indigestion.

Salads with grapes or raisins: Grapes are potentially deadly, so keep waldorf salad and ambrosia away from dogs and cats.

Anything chocolate: This may seem like a no-brainer for experienced pet owners. But you may want to remind guests not to give animals a taste of chocolate desserts.

full story:


Roosevelt establishes Thanksgiving date

October 31st marks two occasions now: Halloween, most obviously, and also the date after which Christmas sales can begin. Christmas has creeped up to almost four weeks before Thanksgiving, but during President Franklin Roosevelt’s time retailers still considered it bad form to mention Christmas, traditionally the biggest shopping holiday of the year, before Thanksgiving. During the depression, this was a problem: Thanksgiving, falling on the last Thursday of the year, gave shoppers only 20 days to finish their gift buying. FDR though – naively – that he could move the holiday a week up, and nobody would mind. They did.

On this day, November 26, in 1941, after FDR’s announcement of Thanksgiving’s move to the third Thursday of the month met with outcry in the streets and in public, Roosevelt relented, moving the holiday back and officially enshrining in law its celebration on the last Thursday of the month.

Thanksgiving arose from a tradition of harvest-season lectures started by American settlers – the most famous of which took place in Plymouth, as governor William Bradford invited local Indians to share in the feast. President Washington declared every November 26 to be Thanksgiving, and President Abraham Lincoln dedicated the holiday fall on the last Thursday of every [year] – a tradition adhered to, save for one blip during Roosevelt’s third term – thereafter.
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The Pilgrims – American Experience




[hat tip to SMc]

Thanks for sharing news and photos for the YPTimes.

Nov 22, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times

Nov 22, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Note: The Yellow Pine Times has a website now. I’m posting more of the newsletter there each week. This should solve the problem of some email providers blocking the YPTimes as spam. – rrSue

The news will be posted here:

Yellow Pine Weather Reports:

Now online!

YP Links and other Links now posted under the “Local” tab:

Road Reports are now posted as they come in, so you can check this link any time for the latest road report:

(scroll down for older reports)

Local Observations:

Monday (Nov 16) report that the transfer station is FULL.

Tuesday (Nov 17) night, rain and wind.

Wednesday (Nov 18) cold and frozen rain, very slick! Boot cleats recommended, roads SLICK. Reports of elk hanging around the village.

Thursday (Nov 19) snowed during the night then snowed all day until dark.

Friday (Nov 20) clear and cold morning, got above freezing. Temps dropping by dark and cold.

Saturday (Nov 21) morning low of ZERO degrees! Mostly sunny day, but cold. White truck driving x-country on the golf course around 2pm. Clear and cold after dark, bright waxing moon.

Sunday (Nov 22) another cold and clear morning, about 2″ of snow still on the ground. Sunny day but still pretty chilly. Quiet afternoon.

VYPA Officers:

Buddy Bowman – Chairperson
Steve Holloway – Vice Chairperson
Lorinne Munn – Secretary
Ann Forster – Treasurer
Rick Eardly – Member at Large

If you have questions, ideas to share, or want to use the Community Hall please contact the VYPA Chairperson.

Community Calendar and Announcements now posted here:

Real Estate now posted here (updated Nov 22nd with new listing):


Harold Davis

Harold Davis, 91, passed peacefully away on Nov. 11, 2015, in McCall.

He was born at Bear Basin on Sept. 15, 1924 to William and Maude Davis, homesteaders of Valley County and true mountaineers. Harold wasn’t even a week old when his mother wrapped him up and departed for their hunting camp in the back country.

He followed in his parents’ footsteps and from that moment on, there was barely a day of Harold’s life that wasn’t spent enjoying the outdoors.

Over the course of his life, Harold had many occupations. He was a rancher, a log cutter for Brown Lumber and J.I. Morgan, a trapper, an avid fisherman and hunter, a gatherer of huckleberries. He played the guitar and sang many a song and loved old westerns and Gene Autry.

Harold was also the overseer of the Valley County landfill for almost 20 years where he made many friends. He married his wife Eula (Mike) on Oct. 1, 1948, and they were married for 61 years before her passing in 2009.

Harold was preceded in death by his father and mother, his wife, and a brother, Melvin. He is survived by his son Bill Davis of McCall, daughter YaVonna (Bruce) Baxter of McCall, and daughter Nancy (Greg) Smith of Eagle. His granddaughters, Mandy Bonilla (Juan), Niki Baxter, Sara Davis, Ali Sager, and Janelle Smith. His grandsons, Josh Davis (Misty), Seth Davis (Jennie), Nathan Davis, and Paul Smith. His great-grandchildren, Jacquelyn (Chris) Narvaiz, Andrew Bonilla, Vivienne, Collette, and Tristan Adams, Samantha Davis, and great-great-grandchildren Alex and Michael Narvaiz and Kinzlee Raines.

Harold was a gentle soul who fiercely loved his family. He was always quick with a smile and a story which endeared him to everyone he met and he will be greatly missed.

A memorial service will be held on Nov. 28, 2015 at Mountain Life Church, 14180 Highway 55, at 1 p.m. in the afternoon and officiated by Rev. Thomas Penry. In lieu of flowers the family asks that you bring a side for the meat-provided potluck, as Harold always enjoyed a good potluck. Services under the direction of the Heikkila Funeral Chapel

Published in the Star-News November 19, 2015

Idaho News:

West Central Mountains Economic Development Plan

Voted one of the top 50 communities in the U.S. in the America’s Best Communities Competition,  we are ready to take the next steps. The West Central Mountains Economic Development Plan provides a straightforward vision for social and economic prosperity for the region including the areas of McCall, Donnelly, Cascade and Meadows Valley, as well as in unincorporated areas of Valley County.

It identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the region’s economy, and develops long-term strategies for leveraging these strengths. The Plan will also develop shortterm projects or programs that will harness local resources to achieve the long-term vision. The process will engage the community, Steering Committee and elected officials to ensure the plan is meaningful, implementable, and representative of the region’s collective values.


[hat tip to SMc]
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Midas Gold camp at Stibnite

3:31 video

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Winds of mass destruction

Weather damages structures, closes roads, downs trees, cuts power

November 18, 2015 BRIAN WALKER CdA Press

Crushing winds rocked North Idaho on Tuesday, causing flying debris, numerous downed trees and fences and leaving much of the region in a blackout without power into the night.

“There’s downed power lines and trees across roads throughout Kootenai County,” Jim Lyon, spokesman for the Northern Lakes Fire Protection District, said shortly before 5 p.m. “We’re getting really stacked up and just can’t keep up with responding.”

Emergency agencies advised residents to stay inside and away from exterior walls or windows.

Meteorologist Randy Mann said winds in Kootenai County reached as high as 63 mph as of early evening. Gusts reached 71 mph at Spokane International Airport, a record for a non-thunderstorm event.

“Category 1 hurricanes are 74 mph with sustained winds,” Mann said. “We’ve reached gusts that are near hurricane strength. This time of year we can get strong winds when there’s a battle between cold and warm. This is a battle for supremacy.”

continued w/photos:

Idaho History:

Weekly History now posted here (2 this week)

Forest / BLM News:

Western weed summit takes aim at invasive plants overrunning sagebrush ecosystems

By KEITH RIDLER – AP Published: 11/19/15

BOISE, Idaho — Experts say finding a way to stop fire-prone cheatgrass and other invasive species is unavoidable if sagebrush ecosystems in the West are to remain viable for native plants and animals.

More than 200 federal and state land managers and scientists trying to figure out how to do that took part in the three-day 2015 Western Invasive Weed Summit that wrapped up Thursday in Boise.

Interior Department Assistant Secretary Janice Schneider says a key to any success will be state and federal agencies as well as other entities finding ways to work collaboratively.


Critter News:

Wolves kill fewer livestock in Idaho this year, but Cascade area defies trend

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: 11/19/15

BOISE, Idaho — Although wolves killed fewer livestock overall in Idaho this year, the Cascade area defied the trend.

The Capital Press reports ( ) that Idaho Wildlife Services investigated 91 wolf livestock killings during fiscal year 2015, down from 107 the year before and 129 in 2013.

But Wildlife Services Director Todd Grimm says the Cascade area was an exception to the trend. He says the wolves there killed nine cattle this summer, including seven owned by rancher Phil Davis. They didn’t bother to feed on the carcasses of Davis’ cattle.

Grimm plans to use a helicopter to put radio collars on the wolves there as soon as there’s a blue sky and snow, allowing them to track foot prints.

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Idaho wolf trapper courses set for Friday, Saturday

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 16, 2015

Wolf trapper certification classes are being offered by the Idaho Fish and Game Department in the Panhandle Region on Friday and Saturday.

Certification is required before a person can purchase wolf trapping tags. The course includes 6.5 hours of instruction including both classroom and field experience followed by a written exam.

Courses are offered periodically throughout the year, but most are offered in the fall and early winter when people are preparing to spend more time in the field.  This also coincides with the time of the year when wolf hides are prime and have the most value.

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Environmental groups file lawsuits seeking information on Idaho wolf-killing derby

By KEITH RIDLER – AP Published: 11/17/15

BOISE, Idaho — Environmental groups filed lawsuits Tuesday in Idaho and Washington, D.C., seeking to force federal officials to reveal reasons behind allowing a wolf- and coyote-shooting contest in parts of Idaho.

The lawsuits contend the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is violating the Freedom of Information Act by withholding records sought by the Center for Biological Diversity and Western Watersheds Project.

Steve Alder of Idaho for Wildlife said the group isn’t holding its Predator Hunting Contest this winter because hunters were unable to kill any wolves the previous two winters.

“We don’t care about lawsuits, but we failed miserably at harvesting a wolf,” Alder said. “There’s no point getting sponsorships and doing this and that and not being able to get a wolf.”

The group overcame lawsuits to hold the events on private land and U.S. Forest Service land the past two winters.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third week of November 2015
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The Tip of the Iceberg


In 1978 Eric and Sue Koens purchased a former dairy farm and moved from southern to northern Wisconsin. In 1980 they began raising registered Polled Hereford cattle on their 400 acre farm and have been seed stock producers for the past 35 years. Their herd is comprised of about 50 Hereford brood cows that are pastured in fields adjacent to their home and buildings. When I visited the Koens in July, Eric said that he has 16 bred heifers that will calve next February. He explained that he prefers the cows to calve in February rather than in late March or April because the early spring weather is typically very wet which adversely affects the calves. Calving occurs in individual sheltered pens and the cow and her new calf remain in the pen about two days. Once the calf is dried off and has nursed, the cow and calf are turned outside.

Eric and his neighbors have experienced verified wolf threats and depredations but he is quick to point out that depredation is only the tip of the iceberg regarding wolf damage. He has had cattle infected by a disease called Neosporosis. The disease is not contagious within the herd; cows are infected by ingesting oocysts present in canine feces that are deposited in feed and water sources. The disease causes cattle to abort the fetus which is very costly to the producer. Eric believes that all canines, dogs included, must be kept out of cattle pastures and other areas where cattle are present. In particular, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture recommends that canines must not come in contact with cows and heifers at calving time. The WDA also recommends that cattle producers and dairy farmers work with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to develop a plan to reduce the density of wild canines that are in the immediate area of their herds. As will be seen later in this article, reducing the density of wild canines (primarily wolves since coyotes are not protected) is currently a challenge due to the relisting of wolves in the Midwest and in Wyoming.

Eric shared information concerning two other cattle operations in the state. In 2013 verified wolf damage on a farm in central Wisconsin resulted in cattle stampeding into a cranberry marsh. The cranberry owner is attempting to collect $50,000 from the cattle owner for damages. In 2014 a cattle producer in northern Wisconsin experienced weight loss in 160 steers due to wolf caused stress. …

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Wildlife workers free hungry bear’s head from milk can

By Associated Press Published: Nov 17, 2015

THURMONT, Md. (AP) – In an episode reminiscent of “Winnie the Pooh,” Maryland state wildlife workers used an electric hand saw to remove a milk can that was stuck on the head of a bear.

Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Karis King says the wildlife response team was called early Monday to a rural location near Thurmont to rescue an adult male black bear with his head stuck inside a metal milk can.

King says the bear was calm, but the workers tranquilized him for safety reasons before carefully removing the can. She says the animal regained consciousness, lifted his head and walked into the nearby woods.

King says the bear weighed 175 to 200 pounds.

source w/photo:
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Conservation officer frees buck and video goes viral

By Roger Phillips, IDFG public information specialist November 16, 2015

It wasn’t an average day at the office for Idaho Fish and Game Conservation Officer John McLain when he encountered a white-tailed buck tangled in baling twine, but his average days don’t go viral on the Internet, either.

In August, McLain received a call about an entangled buck near Orofino, and he went to investigate it. Finding the buck, he turned on his body-mounted camera and thought, “this might be a video of me getting my butt kicked, or it might turn out alright.”

Fortunately, it was the latter, although not without some drama that he captured on video. Upon seeing McLain, the buck panicked, but the twine had wrapped around its front leg and prevented it from fleeing. The buck quickly exhausted itself, and that’s when McLain went to work carefully cutting the twine from its leg and antlers.



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Idaho deer tags nearly sold out

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 18, 2015

With whitetail hunting in full swing and reports of good hunting, nonresidents or Idaho hunters interested in a second tag may want to buy sooner rather than later.

Only about 1,300 white-tailed deer tags remained in the nonresident quota today, and all nonresident general deer tags have already been sold.

In recent years, nonresident hunters have had the option of waiting until the last minute to buy tags before their hunts, says Roger Phillips, Idaho Fish and Game Department spokesman. “Many nonresident hunters, especially in North Idaho, hunt during the Thanksgiving holiday, but with brisk sales, it’s possible the remaining quota may already be sold by then,” he said.

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Chronic wasting disease detected in deer near Yellowstone

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 20, 2015

A buck white-tailed deer killed Nov. 1 in a hunting area about 25 miles east of Yellowstone National Park has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

The case of fatal neurological disease that infects elk, deer and moose hadn’t previously been discovered close to the park.

During a July conference about another disease, the park’s chief of wildlife P.J. White said chronic wasting disease might already be in the park even though it hasn’t been detected.

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Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
November 20, 2015
Issue No. 772

Table of Contents:

* A Northern Pike Caught In John Day Reservoir: For Salmon, Canary In The Coal Mine?

* 2015: Huge Fall Chinook Return, Below Average Steelhead Run, Coho Only 28 Percent Of Average

* Study Offers Details On Lamprey Migration; Based On Environmental Cues, Less On Seasonal Timing

* As Climate Warms, Columbia Basin Salmonids Will Seek ‘Thermal Edge’ To Avoid Extinction

* Senate Energy/Natural Resources Panel Resumes Review Of Proposed Yakima Basin Water Plan

* FDA Approves Genetically Engineered Salmon For Food; ‘rDNA’ Makes The Fish Grow Faster

* Study Links Ocean Warming To Sudden Onset Of Low Oxygen Marine Dead Zones

* Report Synthesizes Relevant Research On Climate Change And Future Of Puget Sound

* Grand Opening Set For Grant PUD’s New Visitor Center, ‘The Power Of The Columbia River’

* Study Indicates Fish Health May Be Affected By Pharmaceuticals In Treated Wastewater
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Leavenworth Hatchery workers avert near disaster to salmon crop

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 20, 2015

Leavenworth [Washington] National Fish Hatchery employees worked all night Tuesday and Wednesday to save 1.2 million fingerling salmon from debris-choked flood waters that swept down Icicle Creek.

“The last flood this bad was 2005,” said Travis Collier, Assistant Hatchery Manager. Nearly two and a half inches of rain fell, melting recently fallen snow to swell the river flows above 11,000 cubic feet.

The hatchery faced two primary problems: the volume of water, and the debris it carried, officials said.

Flood diversion channel was overwhelmed with water and water in the natural channel swelled to dangerous levels.


Fun Critter Stuff:

Snow Business – Simon’s Cat


Fish & Game News:

December First Thursday and Big Game Scoring Day

Nov 16, 2015

IDFG will host a “First Thursday” at the McCall office on December 3 from 4-7 pm.  This one is a little different, as we will also be offering big game scoring at this event.  As usual, staff will be on hand throughout the evening to discuss issues or ideas, or answer questions about wildlife or hunting.  We will have a presentation on the recent drawing odds survey at 5 pm.  A Boone and Crockett scorer will be on hand to measure big game skulls and antlers.  We hope to see you there!


Regan Berkley
Regional Wildlife Manager
McCall Regional Office
555 Deinhard Ln.
McCall, ID 83638
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Idaho Fish and Game News Releases


Now online! (updated almost daily)

Thanks for sharing news and photos for the YPTimes.

Nov 15, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times

Nov 15, 2015 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Note: Something new for YPTimes subscribers. We are transitioning to a webpage format. This should help with the “spam” problem, as many email providers don’t like all the links in the e-newsletter. Certain sections of the newsletter are already online, like road reports, weather reports, recipes and real estate. (See links below.) – rrS

Yellow Pine Weather Reports:

Now online! (Updated every Sunday.)

Weather and Webcam links are posted here:

Road Reports:

Now online! Updated every Wednesday or more often as folks share reports.

Local Observations:

Monday – rain most of the day, snow after dark and half the night.

Tuesday (Nov 10) nearly 4″ of new snow, power lines and clothes lines bowed from the weight. Power off and back on at 1122am, then again at 1133am.

Friday (Nov 13) report that the Nez Perce pulled their fish traps out of Johnson Creek for the season.

Sunday (Nov 15) most of the snow has melted, about 1/2″ of patchy snow on the ground (none under the trees).

VYPA Officers:

Buddy Bowman – Chairperson
Steve Holloway – Vice Chairperson
Lorinne Munn – Secretary
Ann Forster – Treasurer
Rick Eardly – Member at Large

If you have questions, ideas to share, or want to use the Community Hall please contact the VYPA Chairperson.

Local events and announcements posted here:

Real Estate:

New Real Estate Page here!

Idaho News:

Truck totaled after rock tumbled down mountain on Hwy 55

KBOI Nov 14, 2015

BOISE COUNTY, Idaho (KBOI) — KBOI 2News has learned that a rock came off a mountain, caused a wreck and delayed traffic on Highway 55 Saturday morning.

Jerica Denniston was the first car stopped after a rock came tumbling down the mountain near milepost 74. She told a KBOI 2News employee that the rock “took out a truck” damaging and ultimately totaling the vehicle.

Traffic was stopped for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Boise County dispatch says they had an officer on scene. Traffic was delayed, but they say the roads are cleared now. No word yet on any injuries, however, Denniston says the driver was seen leaving in an ambulance.

source w/photos:
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Emotions flare at state auction of Payette Lake cabin sites

By Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review Nov 13, 2015

As the Idaho Department of Lands auctioned off 20 state-owned lake cabin sites on Payette Lake today, the auction was marred by a clash between a cabin owner and a competing bidder. “There was a lessee who was upset that someone had bid against him,” said Sharla Arledge, department spokeswoman. “The lessee did win the bid, but afterward, he confronted the person who bid against him and tried to exchange words with him. And that person was unresponsive, and the incident was over.”

“In all honesty, it was just a moment,” she said; it came during a break midway through the auction. “There was an announcement that was made shortly after that, announcing that intimidation and collusion was not allowed and was not acceptable, and just asking people to be professional.” And the auction proceeded without further incident, she said.

The cabin site in question went for $31,000 over the appraised price of $60,000, as a result of the competitive bidding. Four other lots also drew competitive bidding, but only one of those was currently leased; that site went to a bidder who wasn’t the current lessee, for $11,000 over the appraised price. Lessees have built and owned their cabins on the lots and paid rent to the state for the ground underneath; that’s led to years of lawsuits and disputes over how to charge fair-market rent in that situation. Now, the state is moving to get out of the cabin site renting business, auctioning off the sites in favor of higher-paying investments for the state endowment.

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Couple in Adams County car-bull crash healing from serious injuries

BY BILL DENTZER Idaho Statesman Nov 12, 2015

Doris Garner has no memory of the vehicle hitting the bull, much less anything that came after, when a terrible collision took its far more tragic turn.

Garner and her husband, Jack, were driving home to Nampa from a family visit in LaCrosse, Wash., near dusk on Nov. 1 when their Subaru collided with a bull on U.S. 95 in Adams County. Both suffered serious injuries. Doris faces two to three weeks more in the hospital, her sister, Shannon Ellis, said Thursday. Jack is home.

“He just said they came around the corner and there was the biggest black cow. ‘I didn’t have time to do anything,’ ” Ellis said Jack told her. “He says he remembers everything going black when it hit up into the windshield.”

What happened after the crash is under investigation and no official details have been released.

Read more here:
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Brass star to commemorate Butch Cassidy’s Idaho robbery

KTVB November 11, 2015

MONTPELIER, Idaho – On August 13, 1896, notorious Old West outlaw Butch Cassidy and two members of his Wild Bunch gang robbed the Bank of Montpelier in eastern Idaho. The gang made off with thousands and dollars in bank notes, as well as gold and silver. It was said to be the gang’s first bank robbery.

While the amount stolen was nowhere close to the some of the Wild Bunch’s big-money train heists in the years to come, it created a legend that lives on today in Montpelier.

The bank, now a museum, still stands. And now, to commemorate that fateful day 120 years ago, the museum has commissioned a large brass star, which will be installed – much like the Hollywood Walk of Fame Stars – in the sidewalk in front of the bank.

The 300 pound star was poured at Star Foundry and Machine in Salt Lake City. It features the date the bank was robbed, the names of the sheriff and chief deputy, as well as the names of the robbers – Butch Cassidy, Bob Meeks, and Elzy Lay.

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Costs mounting for Soldier Mountain’s new owners

Shannon Camp, KTVB November 13, 2015

FAIRFIELD, Idaho — If Matt McFerran has his way, the chairlifts at Soldier Mountain Ski Area will be up and running before the New Year. But right now, the ski area’s new owner is pulling 16-hour days working through what has become a mountain of paperwork.

When Soldier Mountain was put up for sale last month for a mere $149,000, some called it the deal of a lifetime.

“The purchase price definitely got the world dreaming,” said McFerran who purchased the mountain with his wife, Diane.

The McFerrans of Bend, Oregon beat out hundreds of applicants when they bought Soldier Mountain last week.


Idaho History:

Pictographs in the Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness

By Sheila D. Reddy
Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
Regions 1 and 4
Heritage Program
August 1996

In 1978 Dr. Max Pavesic described the pictographs, or paintings on stone found in the Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness area, saying:

“Another outstanding feature of Middle Fork archaeology is the nature of the rock art site. The remains are pictographs where design elements have been applied directly to a rock facing through the use of red ocher (hematite) paints… The rock are sites offer an incredible array of motifs and coloration (blue, white, black or red) Although a detailed study of the art is lacking. The majority of the panels are associated with rock shelters and caves.”

The pictographs in the Wilderness area cannot be traced directly to the Tukudika band of Northern Shoshone, for as writer P.S. Barry (1991) points out,

“… most native North Americans are skillful and subtle rhetoricians, preferring to speak obliquely of sacred matters. They would rather say that the petroglyphs and pictographs are the work of spirits, even the bluebirds that live in the rocky holes. In speaking thus they speak truly, for in symbolic language birds and spirits are the same. Both metaphors for the human spirit, and as such equivalent to the artist in this mystical transformation.”


Fun Stuff:

The Idaho Cities Song

Have friends or family who can’t say “Buhl”, “Acequia”, or “Castleford” correctly? Pass along this little number to teach them how to pronounce Idaho cities… problem solved.

More info at KTVB

Forest News:

Big Creek/Yellow Pine/South Fork Collaborative Meeting


November 19th, 2015; 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Payette National Forest

Valley County EOC

108 Spring Street, Cascade, Idaho
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Christmas Tree Permits Sales for Boise and Payette National Forests

USDA Forest Service Nov 10, 2015

The Boise and Payette National Forest (NF) vendors will begin selling Christmas tree permits on Saturday, November 21.

On Monday, November 23, permits will be available at Boise and Payette NF District Offices and the Interagency Visitor’s Information Center located at 1387 South Vinnell Way in Boise.  All tree permits are valid through December 24.

Each permit allows one tree to be cut, with a limit of three permits per family.

For both Forests, the cost of a permit for one tree is $10, and the maximum height of a permitted tree is 12 feet.  Permits are valid on both the Payette and Boise NFs.

All purchasers are provided with information about where a Christmas tree may be harvested, restrictions and helpful tips.

A Christmas tree permit is for personal use only and the use of permits for commercial use is prohibited.  Permits are not refundable for any reason.

New this year!  In coordination with the “Every Kid in a Park” program, fourth graders who are participating in the Every Kid in a Park program can receive a free Christmas Tree Permit.  The U.S. Forest Service is among several federal agencies that support the Every Kid in a Park initiative which is a nationwide call to action to build the next generation of conservationists.  The initiative provides a free pass to all fourth-grade students who first go to and complete the application process.

To receive a free Christmas tree permit, the fourth grader and a parent need to go to a Forest Service office in person with the “voucher” they received from the online Every Kid in a Park program – commercial vendors will not be issuing a free Christmas tree permit to participants of the Every Kid in a Park program, and free Christmas tree permits cannot be sent through the mail or electronically.

Participation in the Every Kid in a Park program also offers benefits at National Parks and on other public lands and facilities across the United States.

“Keep your family and your own safety in mind,” said Audrey Karpe, Boise NF Tree Coordinator.  “We recommend that people go early in the day, because it gets dark early.  The weather in the mountains is very different than in the valley and conditions can change quickly.”  “Also, make sure relatives or friends know where you are going and when you plan to return.”

If an unusually heavy snowfall occurs in southwest Idaho, and forest roads become a safety concern for the public, some areas may be closed early to Christmas tree gathering.  Forest roads are not plowed.  Call ahead for road updates if conditions warrant.  Please do not block private or county roadways at any time.  For further information call the Boise NF at:              208-373-4007 and check out our website at:

To provide for family safety, officials advise a few simple guidelines:

* Use the brochure with instruction provided.

* Practice winter survival and driving techniques.

* Bring the right tools, such as a saw and a shovel, so the tree can be cut to within 6” of the ground’s surface.

* Take along emergency equipment, plenty of food and water, and try to use a 4-wheel drive vehicle if you are planning to travel in snow country.

* Always advise neighbors and family friends of the route you intend to take, include a map of your destination, and the time that you plan to be gone.

* Be prepared for the possibility of a long hike or snowmobile ride while searching for the perfect tree.

* According to Idaho state law, any vehicle carrying a load that extends more than 4 feet past the tailgate, must display a red or florescent orange flag tied on the end of the load to caution other drivers.

Boise National Forest Offices

Interagency Visitor Information Center   208-373-4007
Sells permits for the Sawtooth, Payette, and Boise National Forests
1387 South Vinnell Way
(BLM State Office – West of Wal-Mart on Overland Road, Boise)
Hours:  M-F 7:45-4:30 p.m.

The Idaho City Ranger District   208-392-6681
3833 Highway 21
Idaho City, ID
Hours: M-F 8 a.m. – 4:30p.m

The Idaho City Ranger District will be open on 5 weekend days to sell Christmas tree permits.
Weekend open days: Saturday, Nov. 28 & Sunday, Nov. 29.
Saturday 12/5 & Sunday 12/6
& Saturday 12/12
Office hours will be 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Lowman Ranger District   208-259-3361
7359 Highway 21
Lowman, ID 83637
Hours:  M-F 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Emmett Ranger District   208-365-7000
1805 Highway 16, Room 5
Emmett, ID 83617
Hours:  M-F 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Cascade Ranger District   208-382-7400
540 North Main Street
Cascade, ID 83611
Hours:  M-F 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Mountain Home Ranger District   208-587-7961
3080 Industrial Way
Mountain Home, ID   83647
Hours:  M-F 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Boise National Forest Vendors
Idaho City Grocery   (208) 392-4426
3868 Highway 21
Idaho City, ID  83631    Open:  Everyday, 7:30 am -9 pm
Starting end of Nov. – Open: 8 am -8 pm

Tom’s Service/Sinclair   (208) 392-4900
243 State Highway 21
Idaho City, ID  83631
Open: Everyday, 5 am -11 pm

Donna’s Place   (208) 392-9777
200 Main Street
Idaho City, ID  83631
Open:  Everyday, 8 am-10 pm

Donna’s Place   (208) 392-9666
110 E Granite Street
Placerville, ID 83666
Open:  Everyday, 10 am – 6 pm

East Cleveland Beverage   (208) 459-6442
2518 E Cleveland
Caldwell, ID 83605
Open:  Everyday, 6 am – 10 pm

B & W Fuels (208) 365-2291
1900 N. Washington
Emmett, ID  83617
Open:  Sun – Thurs., 6 am – 9 pm; Fri-Sat, 6 am -10 pm

D & B Supply (208) 963-7035
(2015 Changed ownership from Emmett Saw and Motor Rentals)
111 State Highway 16
Emmett, ID 83617
Open:  Mon – Sat, 8 am – 8 pm; Sunday 9 am – 6 pm

Valley View Chevron   (208) 793-4321
459 State Highway 55
Horseshoe Bend, ID  83629
Open:  Everyday, 5:30 am – 10 pm

Ray’s Corner Market   (208) 793-2391
445 State Highway 55
Horseshoe Bend, ID 83629
Open:  Sun-Sat, 6 am – 10 pm

Garden Valley Chevron   (208) 462-3869
PO Box 447    Garden Valley, ID 83622    Open:  Sun 7 am – 9 pm;
Mon-Thurs., 6 am -9 pm; Fri-Sat 6 am – 10 pm

Payette National Forest Offices

All Payette National Forest offices are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  For more information contact any of the District Offices.

Council Ranger District Office
2092 Highway 95, Council, ID

New Meadows Ranger District Office
3674 Highway 95, New Meadows, ID

Weiser Ranger District Office
851 E 9th St., Weiser, ID

McCall Ranger District Office
102 West Lake St., McCall, ID

Payette National Forest Vendors

Ridley’s Food and Drug    (208) 549-1332
652 E 1st St., Weiser, ID
Open:  Everyday 7 am – 11 pm

Jay’s Sinclair   (208) 257-5000
Corner of Hwy 95 and Hwy 71, Cambridge, ID
Open: Everyday 7 am – 8 pm

Farmer’s Supply Co-op    (208) 253-4266
2030 N. Highway 95, Council, ID
Open:  Everyday 6 am – 10 pm

Paul’s Market      (208) 634-8166
132 E. Lake Street, McCall, ID
Open:  Everyday 6:30 am -11:00 pm

C & M Lumber   (208) 347-3648
3625 Walker Ln, New Meadows, ID
Open:  Mon – Sat 8 am – 6 pm
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Forest Service Report Highlights Restoration Progress Made Despite Growing Challenges

Agency Funding Fix Still Needed to Complete Necessary Work to Make Forests More Resilient to Fire


The U.S. Forest Service has increased the pace and scale of forest restoration by nine percent since 2011, according to a report released today.  The significant progress comes in the face of mounting challenges to the agency including record droughts, longer wildfire seasons and the increasing percentage of the agency’s budget spent fighting wildland fires.

Despite the gains, at least 65 million National Forest System acres are still in need of restoration work. The rising cost of wildfire suppression, as fires have become more intense and more expensive to fight in recent years, has taken funding away from restoration, watershed and wildlife programs, limiting the Forest Service’s ability to do the work that would prevent fires in the first place.

With a record 52 percent of the Forest Service’s budget dedicated to fighting wildfire in 2015, compared to just 16 percent in 1995, the Forest Service’s ability to do more restoration work within the current budget structure  is severely constrained by the increasing proportion of resources spent on fire.

Before a single fire broke out in 2015, the Forest Service started the Fiscal Year with a budget of $115 million less for all work not related to fire than the previous year.  Budget constraints have also reduced staffing for restoration, watershed and recreation by nearly 40 percent, from about 18,000 in 1998 to fewer than 11,000 people in 2015.


Critter News:

Oregon delists gray wolf from state endangered species protections

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 9, 2015

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 4-2 this evening, Nov. 9, to delist wolves from the state Endangered Species Act throughout the state.

The meeting began at 8 a.m. and adjourned at 6:44 p.m. About 106 people on both sides of the vote came to testify and they were limited to three minutes each.

The action removes wolves from the state ESA but has no other effect on wolf management at this time, state wildlife managers say.

Any take of wolves remains tightly regulated under the state’s wolf management plan. Killing wolves is allowed only if they’re caught in the act of attacking or involved in repeated livestock damage.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

2nd Week of November 2015
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Millions of ‘coywolf’ coyote-wolf hybrids live in North America


Wolves, coyotes, and dogs have formed a new type of creature referred to as the “coywolf” — that is, it is primarily a coyote-wolf hybrid — and researchers estimate there are now millions of them roaming around North America. Researchers believe a growing lack of suitable mates lead wolves to start breeding with dogs and coyotes, and their offspring has turned out to be a strong new species spreading quickly across different types of environments.
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Top award for Idaho archery bear may go to boy on first hunt

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 10, 2015

Harvesting the biggest black bear taken in the state this year may seem like a pretty ambitious goal for a first-year bowhunter.

But 10-year-old Sam Sherman of Eagle just may have pulled it off.

“We won’t know for awhile yet,” said Sam’s father, Tad Sherman. “The skull has to dry for at least sixty days before taking the official measurement.”

The green score measured in September was 19-13/16 inches.

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Forest roads gated to protect grizzlies opening in Idaho Panhandle

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 13, 2015

Forest road access to wood cutters and hunters will be increasing starting next week as the Idaho Panhandle National Forests begin opening forest roads that have been gated to help provide security for grizzly bears.

Gates will be opened starting Nov 16 in the Selkirk Mountains and starting Dec. 1 in the Purcell and Cabinet Mountains of the forests’ North (Kaniksu) Zone.

“The difference in opening dates between the two areas is based on local research findings and provides additional habitat security for grizzly bears that have not yet denned,” said Jason Kirchner, forest spokesman in Coeur d’Alene. “Gates will be opened as weather conditions and personnel availability allow.”

Some roads will continue to be closed to motorized vehicle traffic as shown on the forest’s latest Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM). The maps are available at forest offices.

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Snake River corridor elk numbers concern managers

Local News 8 – Nov 13, 2015

JACKSON, Wyo. – Wyoming Game and Fish biologists believe 900 to 1,000 elk are living in the Snake River corridor between Grand Teton National Park and the town of Wilson.

Game and Fish personnel used infrared cameras to count elk from the air.

Biologists and wardens believe that segment of the Jackson Elk Herd is rapidly growing, but say it has been difficult to get a good count since the area is dominated by private land.  Traditional aerial surveys were also hampered by dense tree canopy.  Wildlife managers try not to conduct low elevation aerial surveys to avoid disturbing private landowners.

The infrared aerial surveys are flown at approximately 3,000 feet in a fixed-wing aircraft.  The infrared camera shows heat signatures given off by the animals, even through thick vegetation.

The recent survey resulted in a count of 840 animals.  Wildlife managers said some animals were missed, but believe it revealed at least 90 percent of the animals present.

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Pheasant release site serves youth hunters

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 13, 2015

A youth pheasant hunting area stocked with birds raised by volunteers has been designated in the Palouse River area of Idaho.

Hunters age 15 and under who have completed a hunter education course and are accompanied by an adult with a hunting license can hunt the area, said organizer Jim Hagedorn of The Gamebird Foundation.

The group along with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game have planted 150 rooster pheasants in the area, which will be open for youth hunters through December.

The hunters must sign in at the access point. Call for directions (208) 883-3423.

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Photo to Share:

Out the living room Window

Nov 9, 2015


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Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
November 13, 2015
Issue No. 771

Table of Contents:

* 2015 Fall Chinook Return Breaking Records From Bonneville To Hanford Reach To Lower Granite

* Study Identifies Healthy Population Of ESA-Listed Bull Trout In Metolius River/Lake Billy Chinook

* Climate Conference: Higher Temperatures For PNW New Normal No Matter What Happens With Greenhouse Gases

* Oregon De-Lists Wolves From State Endangered Species Act; Federal ESA Still Applies In Most Of State

* Steelhead From Hells Canyon To Be Trucked To Boise River For Holiday Fishing

* WDFW Seeks Support For Steelhead License Plate To Raise Revenue To Conserve Native Steelhead

* NOAA Fisheries Releases Draft EIS For Puget Sound Winter Steelhead Hatcheries

* EPA Awards Environmental Education Grants To Three Pacific Northwest Organizations

* Study: Sixth Grade Science Textbooks Portray Climate Change As Matter Of Opinion, Not Scientific Fact

* Hanford’s Historic B Reactor, Part Of Manhattan Project, Now A National Historical Park

Fun Critter Stuff:

4 masked bandits caught in Oregon art gallery

David Davis, Statesman Journal November 12, 2015


NEWPORT, Ore. — Newport Police were called to the Inscapes Gallery on the Newport bayfront just after midnight Wednesday on a report of suspicious activity.

After arriving, police found four raccoon had entered the business.

We’ll let the Newport Police Department tell the rest of the story:

“Four masked bandits burglarized Inscapes Gallery on SW Bay Blvd recently. Officers responded to a report of suspicious activity after midnight and cornered the suspects immediately upon entering the business. The suspects, known only by their street names of ‘Home Dog’, ‘Da Nails’, ‘Squeaky Feets’, and ‘2-Toes Todd’, attempted to elude officers on scene. After a brief scuffle, all suspects were captured without further incident or injuries.

‘Squeaky Feets’ told officers they had no intention of taking anything from the gallery; they were only trying to straighten a few pieces of art on the wall. Tell it to the judge, ‘Feets’. Tell it to the judge.”


Fish & Game News:


Now online! (Updated every day or two.)

Thanks for sharing news and photos for the YPTimes.