Category Archives: News 2016

Jan 1, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

Jan 1, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Happy 2017 from Yellow Pine

Village News:

Local streets have been plowed by local volunteers, snow packed with a couple inches loose snow on top. December has been a bit colder than normal, it only got above freezing eight times, four mornings we had single digits and below zero temperatures on six mornings. The average high temp was 29 degrees and the average low was 5 degrees. There has been 36.9 inches of snow fall and down here on the flat by the school there is 16″ total snow on the ground.
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Christmas Day in Yellow Pine



Gerri Adkins


Geraldine Ann “Gerri” Schmitt Adkins
1942 – 2016

Twenty-two years to the day since the passing of her beloved mother, Gerri, age 74, died peacefully in the arms of her three adoring daughters, on December 23, 2016 at her daughter Pam’s home after a very brief battle with lung cancer.

Gerri was born on August 18, 1942 in Nampa, Idaho, and was the second of six children to Howard and Cecilia Schmitt. She attended St Paul’s Catholic School through the eighth grade, going on to graduate from Nampa High School with the Class of 1960, remaining friends with many of her classmates throughout her lifetime.

Gerri married Brent Nyborg on July 1, 1961 and to that union were born three daughters—twins, Pamela Marie and Tamera Ann, on May 17, 1962, followed by Camille Louise on August 4, 1963. She lovingly called them Pami, Tami & Cami, and they became the light of her life and reason for living which she proved on many occasions. Unfortunately, when Camille was six months old Gerri got sick with ulcerative colitis and thus began the struggle for her life. In 1964, becoming only the second person in the State of Idaho to have an ileostomy, during that time, she received the last rights three times but fought to pull through. Her medical history just went on from there and continued to be a battle throughout the rest of her life. She was a walking miracle, and one of the strongest, bravest people you could ever meet!

Gerri worked several secretarial jobs, but one of her favorites was her executive secretary position at Oppenheimer Companies, which she held for many years until she left Boise. A beautiful seamstress, she sewed clothes to make extra money in her spare time. A craft which she also used to keep her girls clothed. Later, she traded in sewing for knitting, this was a craft that everyone in her family benefited from with gorgeous sweaters and blankets. She was so proficient she could knit even when her eyes where closed!

In June of 1973, with her parents’ help she had the opportunity to purchase a bar and cafe in Yellow Pine and move to the mountains which she so grew to love. The girls attended school there for one year, as part of the “Yellow Pine Nine”. The following school year, due to a lack of kids to open the school, Gerri faced one of the hardest decisions of her life, she had to be separated from her girls when they moved to Kuna with their Dad and Step-Mom to attend school.

On March 17, 1977, she married Jim Adkins and together they purchased Zena Creek Ranch. Upon this union, three more daughters entered Mom’s life—Jeanne, Juli and Laura. Gerri’s cooking was known far and wide, and anyone that stopped by couldn’t leave there without being fed a meal or a snack. She loved to tend her yards and her gardens, when she wasn’t helping Jim with his excavation business. The two also spent a lot of time at their cabin in Stibnite—another place Gerri was very fond of—while Jim was working for the mine.

In the last few years, Gerri’s health diminished and she had to leave her home at the ranch. Though she missed her mountains, she enjoyed the time she got to spend with her girls, grandkids, and great-grandkids. From her great-grandchildren, she lovingly acquired the nickname “GiGi,” loved spoiling them with treats and cookies every time they came to visit.

Gerri is survived by her husband, Jim Adkins; daughters Pam (Bret) Judy, Tami (Kevin) Spangler and Camille (Rick) Thomas; step-daughters Jeanne (Tom) Lake, Juli (Tyson) McCoy and Laura (Chad) Melanese; seven grandchildren, eight step-grandchildren; nine great grandchildren, five step great grandchildren; and one step great-great grandson; sisters Virgie McGolden, Linda Mortensen, Sue (Doyle) Collins and Vickie (Greg) Lovejoy; aunts Theresa Knox and Shirley Schmitt; numerous nieces and nephews; one special friend since birth, Marilee Wood.

Gerri was preceded in death by her Mother and Father, her brother Joe Schmitt, brother-in-law Wally McGolden, a great-grandbaby Brylee Nicole Fowler, and numerous Aunts and Uncles.

A memorial service will take place on Friday, December 30, 2016, at 11:00 am at the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel. 415 12th Ave S, Nampa, ID 83651. An online guest book is available at

Memorial contributions can be made to or a .

Mom, we love you to the moon and stars and back, always and forever!!!

Published in Idaho Statesman on Dec. 28, 2016

[h/t BG]
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Funeral Program for Gerri

Gerri Memorial.pdf

[h/t JC]
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Gerri Adkins slide show

by TJ Thomas

[h/t SMc]

Local Observations:

Monday (Dec 26) mostly clear and cold this morning, low of 3 degrees, 16″ total snow on the ground. Sunny all day, warmed briefly in the afternoon, then temps dropping before dark. Stars twinkling. Storm came in early morning, rising temps, wind and snow.

Tuesday (Dec 27) low overcast, steady snow falling this morning, an inch new snow and 17″ total on the ground. Snowed all day, another inch by 130pm and another inch by 430pm, then slacking off to flaking, clouds lifting and breaking up before dark. Report of very poor driving conditions between YP and Cascade due to blowing snow in the afternoon. Stars out at 8pm. Snowing again at 1am.

Wednesday (Dec 28) snow yesterday and last night added up to 2.5″ new and total snow 18″ on the flat, cold morning breaks in the clouds. Decreasing clouds and sunny day, warmed up above freezing! But as soon as the sun went down the temps dropped.

Thursday (Dec 29) very cold night, 0F for the low, then clouds came in and warmed to 11F by 930am. Large slow airplane flew over the village at 1137am. Clearing and sunny and above freezing by early afternoon. Ravens calling. By sun down clouds building up.

Friday (Dec 30) not so cold last night, cloudy morning. Raven flew over calling. Snowing before 11am. Snowed into the afternoon. Smell of engine exhaust in the air. Snowed about 1/2″ during the day, then clearing before dark. Noticed the day was slightly longer, still a bit light at 530pm.

Saturday (Dec 31) very cold, low -6 and clear. Sunny cold day, slow to warm up, then temps dropping after sundown. Quiet night.

Sunday (Jan 1) clear and got down to 2F by 4am, then clouds came in and light snow before 9am, just a trace and stopped before 11am. Noon siren went off, spooked raven flew over the school. Hairy woodpecker sighted on the edge of the golf course. Cloudy chilly afternoon. Some unexpected fireworks shot off around 825pm.

Letter to Share:

Commissioner Cruickshank December 2016 Newsletter

From the desk of Commissioner Cruickshank Dec 31, 2016

Thursday December 1st
Today I was honored to participate in presenting to a class of New Elected Officials on Emergency Management on how to be prepared for any issue that arises. I also presented along with Valley County’s Sheriff and an Attorney from the Idaho Counties Risk Management Program on requirements of maintaining an Adult Detention Facility. My part was to help understand the budgeting side and what is mandated by law.

Friday December 2nd
Today was spent on the phone discussing the upcoming needs for the Bio-Mass study, visiting with a Lakeshore Disposal Representative on Solid Waste issues and meeting with a Tamarack Homeowner Board member to discuss the Tax Deed Process on Tamarack parcels.

Monday December 5th
Today was a Commissioner meeting day. To see today’s topics please visit the Valley County website at Valley County, Idaho Official Site the meeting minutes will be posted here once approved by the commissioners. Generally this takes up to two weeks. Of significance today was the taking of parcels at Tamarack that had not paid their taxes for several years and setting February 21st as the day to offer them for sale.
I returned a call to the Idaho State Tax Commission confirming the Idaho Council of Government was dissolved however the Tax Commission had not been notified.
I also received a call asking if I would consider running for a vacancy of the Western Region Representative on the National Association of Counties (NACo) Executive Board due to a Montana Commissioner leaving office the end of December. My response was I would consider it and wanted to discuss with my wife and others before committing to run.
I forwarded emails to Idaho Commissioners and Clerks on advocating for the Secure Rural Schools program as it has not been reauthorized and counties and schools will be suffering without the funding.

Tuesday December 6th
I called several folks to ask their opinion of my running for the Western Region Representative and to understand the commitment for this position with NACo.
I worked on the tentative agenda for an Americas Best Communities Forest Restoration Summit and sent emails to folks I want to speak to find their availability.
I received a call from the Idaho County Natural Resource person inquiring about mining access due to the lawsuit Valley County has with the Payette National Forest Travel Management Plan.

Wednesday December 7th
I called more folks on the idea of my running for the Western Region Representative position.

Thursday December 8th
Tonight I attended the Snow Advisory Committee meeting in Cascade.

Friday December 9th
Caught up on emails.

Monday December 12th
Commissioner meeting today. Check the website under commissioners for the minutes once approved.

Wednesday December 14
This morning I attended the Americas Best Communities project lead meeting in Cascade to review the status of projects.

Thursday December 15th
I attended the Woody Bio-Mass Utilization Partnership meeting in Emmett. Major discussion on the material needed for the Bio-Mass Study to be completed and meeting specific timelines.
Called a citizen in McCall who had been inquiring about Bio-Mass and what avenues would work in McCall as the McCall Environmental Committee has been discussing this topic.
This afternoon I participated in a conference call with the National Forest Counties and Schools Coalition as the Secure Rural Schools funding did not make it in the legislation passed before Congress adjourned for the rest of the year. Advocacy efforts were discussed to encourage folks to speak to legislators while they are in their respective home states.

Friday December 16th
I attended the Objection meeting at the Payette National Forest to listen to how the Payette National Forest was responding to objections raised on the Big Creek Resource Management Plan. Several people had objected to various portions of the plan including Valley County as it concerned access for citizens.
This afternoon I participated in a NACo Transportation Committee conference call to learn about current legislation and how it effects counties.

Monday December 19th
Commissioner day today. Please see the minutes on the Valley County website.

Tuesday December 20th
I responded to an email where a citizen was complaining about being charged for interest and late fees on prior taxes. Apparently this was from last summer and the person was just now complaining that Valley County was adding the extra cost. By following State Law we have no recourse for this person as the taxes were not paid timely.
After receiving an email on NACo’s Western Interstate Region and the Western Governors Association working on similar advocacy that impacts the Western States I forwarded this information on to the Idaho Commissioners and Clerks to keep them informed.

Wednesday December 21st
Worked on emails this morning.
This afternoon I attended the Retirement Party for a Sheriff Deputy.

Thursday December 22nd
This morning was an Idaho Association of Counties (IAC) Board of Directors Conference call. Discussion on upcoming legislation, ethics, reviewing updates to the IAC by-laws, process for submitting resolutions and the potential for Idaho to host the 2018 Western Interstate Region Annual Conference.
This afternoon I reviewed a draft of the Bio-Mass Study to date for clarification. Minor corrections were found to be addressed.

Tuesday December 27th
Commissioner day today. Please see the Valley County Website later in January as these minutes will not be approved until mid January 2017.

Wednesday December 28th
Today I sent out an email letting folks know in the Western States and NACo officials  that I would be placing my name in to run for the vacant position on the NACo Executive Board to represent the Western Region. Voting will take place during the NACo Legislative Conference held the end of February 2017. Not to be confused with the Western Interstate Region of NACo, the Western Region Representative is part of the Governance of NACo.

Thursday December 29th
I received multiple responses from folks supporting my running for the Western Region Representative position.
I received a call on the opportunity to groom a route to not interfere with a route on the DF Development LLC property. Valley County is working hard to find routes and respect the private property requests by DF Development and informing recreation users to do the same. This new route parallels the private property several hundred yards away and provides the access needed.

Well 2016 leaves us and 2017 is coming in. I hope each and everyone of you had a great year and look forward to the New Year.

Thanks to everyone who reads the newsletter and I hope this is informative to provide a snapshot of my commissioner duties to represent Valley County.

Happy New Year everyone,

Idaho News:

Cascade is in the ‘zone’ for total solar eclipse next summer

Yellow Pine and McCall are just north of the line of totality.

Mark your calendar for Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 for the total solar eclipse. The total eclipse will be the first in the continental United States since 1979 and the only total eclipse that will reach Idaho this century.

For more information about the eclipse of 2017, go to the American Astronomical Society’s website at
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How The Plow Driver Saved Christmas

Two women spotted breaking into Roseberry general store, arrested

By Tom Grote for The Star-News December 29, 2016

Two Grinches were nabbed in the act of breaking in the historic general store at Roseberry on Christmas Day thanks to the alert action of a Valley County snow plow driver.

Chelsea Morford, 41, and Tristann Harrison, 40, both of McCall, were arrested at the store by Valley County Sheriff’s deputies and charged with felony counts of burglary.

The two were arraigned on Tuesday in Valley County Magistrate Court and ordered held in the Valley County Jail in Cascade on $5,000 bond each.

A hearing will be held on Jan. 17 to determine if the two should stand trial on the charges.

The incident started about 6:45 a.m. Christmas Day when Valley County Road and Bridge Assistant Superintendent Sam Clemens was driving a county snowplow through Historic Roseberry, located one mile east of Donnelly, a sheriff’s office report said.

Clemens saw what he believed to be a flashlight in the former MacDougal General Store and reported it to Valley County Dispatch. Deputies responded to the school and detained two women, the sheriff’s office said.

A search warrant was obtained for a pickup parked at the store and deputies found a variety of items including 12 bags of marbles, stick candy, a copper wood pump, photos and posters, a small wooden baseball bat, three pieces of silverware and a silver cap gun, according to the sheriffs report.

The items targeted by the burglars had more historical value than monetary worth, said Barbara Kwader, president of the Long Valley Preservation Society, which oversee the complex of buildings that includes the Valley County Museum.

full story The Star-News
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Chimney fire damages home on Jughandle Drive

The Star-News December 29, 2016

A build-up of creosote in a chimney flue is being cited as the cause of a fire Monday night at a home southeast of McCall, Donnelly Fire & EMS reported.

The fire at 50 Jughandle Dr. was reported about midnight on Monday. Two people who were in the home escaped without injury, Donnelly Fire Chief Juan Bonilla said.

Ten Donnelly firefighters along with three firefighters from McCall Fire & EMS responded to the blaze, which started in the chimney and spread into the attic and roof, Bonilla said.

No estimate of damage was available to the home, whose owner was identified as Claudia King. Firefighters spent 5-1/2 hours on the scene, Bonilla said.

source The Star-News
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Man hospitalized after fireworks accident in McCall

KTVB December 30, 2016

McCall — A 40-year-old man was airlifted to a Boise hospital after he was injured in a fireworks accident Thursday night.

McCall fire officials say the incident happened at a home at 301 Rio Vista Boulevard. The man’s hand was injured when a mortar exploded, according to the fire department.

He was taken first to a nearby hospital, then transferred to Boise. The injury is not life-threatening, according to fire officials.

Copyright 2016 KTVB
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Idaho Highway 55 Could See Construction And A New Bridge Next Year

By Samantha Wright Boise State Public Radio 12/28/2016

If you drive on Idaho Highway 55, get ready for some construction slowdowns in the New Year.

For anyone traveling north from Boise to Banks, Cascade, Donnelly or beyond, Highway 55 is the main route, and an extremely busy one, especially in the summer months. Any construction project on the highway is of interest to travelers, especially one that will take 10 to 12 months and replace an entire bridge.

The Idaho Transportation Department will hold a meeting next week to talk about their project to replace the Idaho 55/Payette River Bridge.

It was built in 1934 and no longer meets today’s standards. So the Department wants to build a new bridge, in the fall of 2017.

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Dozens of Santas hit the slopes at Tamarack

(Photo: Tamarack)

KTVB December 25, 2016

BOISE – After a busy night of delivering presents, Santa cooled off with some runs at Tamarack Resort Sunday morning. Actually, dozens of Santas hit the slopes.

Tamarack provided video showing 24 Santas skiing and snowboarding Christmas morning. Every guest who showed up dressed as Santa received a free lift ticket on Sunday.

Dozens of Santas going skiing Christmas morning

continued w/video:
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Body of snowmobiler found in Idaho mountains

12/29/16 AP

Salmon, Idaho — Authorities say an east-central Idaho snowmobiler has been found dead in a mountainous area northwest of Salmon.

The Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office tells the Post Register in a story on Wednesday that deputies and rescue teams found the body of 58-year-old Michael Mogard of Salmon on Saturday.

Officials say they found Mogard’s snowmobile at noon and followed footprints to his body.

Lemhi County Coroner Mike Ernst says a preliminary determination is that Mogard died from exposure. Mogard was reported missing the day before his body was found.

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Idaho area code overlay coming in 2017

New numbers to be assigned 986 prefix

Ryan Thorne Dec 28, 2016 IME

Due to the high demand for phone and messaging services in Idaho, the 208 area code has been exhausted and a new area code will be implemented in 2017.

Beginning Sept. 5, Idahoans obtaining new telephone lines and services will be assigned a 986 area code.

According to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, the new 986 area code will overlay the currently used 208 area code and will be issued statewide and not just in a specific geographic region.

In addition to the new area code, beginning Aug. 5, telephone users in Idaho will be required to dial all 10 digits of a phone number, including the area code, to complete a call, even if the call is local.


Public Lands:

US considers mining limits to save sage grouse

by Dan Elliott, Associated Press Thursday, December 29th 2016

Denver (AP) — The Obama administration will release five possible plans Thursday for limiting mining on federal land in the West to protect the vulnerable greater sage grouse, but it isn’t saying which it prefers.

The options range from banning new mining activity on about 15,000 square miles for up to 20 years to imposing no additional restrictions on mine locations.

The Associated Press obtained the outlines of the proposals in advance.

The rules would affect sage grouse habitat on federal land in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.

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Shielded Native American sites thrust into debate over dams

By Keith Ridler – 1/1/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — A little-known federal program that avoids publicizing its accomplishments to protect from looters the thousands of Native American sites it’s tasked with managing has been caught up in a big net.

The Federal Columbia River System Cultural Resources Program tracks some 4,000 historical sites that also include homesteads and missions in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.

Now it’s contributing information as authorities prepare a court-ordered environmental impact statement concerning struggling salmon and the operation of 14 federal dams in the Columbia River Basin.

A federal judge urged officials to consider breaching four of those dams on the Snake River.

“Because of the scale of the EIS, there’s no practical way for us, even if we wanted to, to provide a map of each and every site that we consider,” said Sean Hess, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Pacific Northwest Region archaeologist. “There are some important sites out there that we don’t talk about a lot because of concerns about what would happen because of vandalism.”


Letter to Share:

Mystic Farm Update


The time is fast approaching when I will be out of commission operating the rescue and organizing the “GROW MORE SPOTS” fundraiser – albeit temporarily. Needless to say, we are behind a bit compared to other years. Please get your raffle tickets and mark your calendars for the January 21st event! You can use the following phone numbers for raffle ticket purchase, auction item drop offs (or need for pick up), and for any questions you may have: 208 597-3950 or 208 304-8241. They will guide you in the right direction. Thank you SO much!
Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc.
208 241-7081

Critter News:

Twice in one week, Eagle firefighters rescue pets from icy pond

Nicole Blanchard Idaho Statesman Dec 26, 2016

For the second time in a week, Eagle Fire Department has come to the rescue of a dog in an icy pond, saving one pup on Monday morning, according to a tweet from the department.

EFD spokesman Rob Shoplock said an off-duty Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputy saw the dog go into the pond at Optimist Field near Hill Road and Idaho 55. The deputy called Eagle Fire Department, which has a station just down the road.

Shoplock said firefighters grabbed an ice rescue suit and took off to help the canine. He said the dog, which he thinks was a labradoodle, showed no obvious signs of injury and walked away from the scene with its owners.

“The owners were out walking their dogs,” he said. “And they didn’t attempt to go out on the ice — thank god!”

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St. Luke’s nurse rescues dogs from icy pond

Morgan Boydston, KTVB December 29, 2016

Boise – Beth Stettler, a registered nurse at St. Luke’s Employee Health, selflessly rescued two dogs out of a pond in Boise on Christmas Day.

Stettler says she knows heading out onto an icy ponds is unsafe – she’s constantly reminding her kids not to play on the ice. But she says she felt mentally and physically prepared to come to the rescue in a life-or-death situation when two dogs jumped in and couldn’t get out.

Tuesday night, we told you about two separate dog rescues this week in partially frozen ponds in Eagle. In those situations, we may want to be rescuers ourselves but first responders say you could be putting your own life at risk.

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Wyoming sled dog race holds stage in Idaho

12/31/16 AP

Driggs, Idaho — The Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race, the country’s largest sled dog race outside of Alaska, will hold a stage in Driggs, Idaho on Jan. 28.

The Idaho State Journal reports that the race was launched in 1996 to showcase western Wyoming scenery, but has been sneaking over the border to Idaho for the past couple of years.

The city of Driggs and the Teton Valley Community Animal Shelter host the Idaho stage. It will be the second day of the race.

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2 dogs attacked by mountain lion near Ketchum

AP, KTVB December 28, 2016

(Photo: IDFG)

Ketchum, Idaho (AP) – One dog has died and another is injured after they were apparently attacked by a mountain lion in a subdivision south of Ketchum.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that wildlife officials have trapped and released the mountain lion in a remote area after the Thursday attacks.

A female Australian shepherd died from its wounds after the attack and a male yellow Labrador retriever is recuperating.

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Wolf News Roundup

by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online! December 11, 2016

Dead Druid
The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports on the death of a wolf from Yellowstone National Park’s northern range. The nearly 10-year-old male from the Druid Peak Pack was killed by a hunter in Montana during that state’s fall wolf hunting season. For the history of this wolf, and the wolf pack that grew to 37 animals, check out the link below.

California’s Wolf Plan
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has released its Conservation Plan for Gray Wolves in California. The plan identified four key issues that are considered most significant for the future of wolf conservation: 1) wolf-livestock interactions; 2) wolf-ungulate interactions; 3) wolf interactions with other wildlife; and, 4) wolves and human safety concerns. For all the details, check out the links below.

Colorado Wolf Reintroduction
A spokesman for the Turner Endangered Species Fund is advocating that gray wolves be reintroduced to western Colorado. But for that state’s environment to receive ecological benefits, there would have to be enough wolves – enough that wolves were “common.” According to the spokesman, “There’s no profound downside and there’s a real, big upside.”

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British Columbia man stalked by wolf

by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online! December 12, 2016

According to media reports, a wolf attacked and killed a dog on a ski trail in British Columbia before following the dog’s owner back to a parking lot. The attack happened on a ski trail at the Bulkley Valley Nordic Centre, which has stated its intention to leave the trails closed while conservation officers investigate.

See the links below for more details.

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Anti-wolf dog vests tested

by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online! December 12, 2016

Dogs in a village in Finland will be equipped with safety vests this spring, in an effort to keep them alive during attacks by wolves. Each vest contains chili cartridges that will release chili powder into the face of a wolf that punctures the vest while attacking the dog.

To learn more, check out the media links below.

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Wolf Education International

Newsletter 12/27/2016

Norway to Kill 2/3 of their Wolves
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Norway reprieves 32 of 47 wolves earmarked for cull

Under Norway’s endangered predator laws, only 15 lone wolves proved to pose a threat to livestock

Tone Sutterud and Elisabeth Ulven, Oslo Tuesday 20 December 2016

The Norwegian government has issued a last-minute reprieve for 32 of the 47 wolves that had been earmarked for a cull to protect sheep flocks.

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Idaho elk ranchers find strong market with hunters

By John O’Connell –  1/1/17 AP

Driggs, Idaho — Rancher Kent Bagley and his sons Greg and Stephen derive almost a third of their income from agricultural tourism, and their farm-raised elk are the main attraction.

The Bagleys bought their first 15 elk in the late 1990s, seeking to diversify their beef and dairy business. They’ve since given up the dairy, focusing on elk and beef cows.

As with the dairy market, elk prices have ebbed and flowed — and while values of most farm commodities have declined lately, Stephen said elk meat, antlers and bulls raised for penned hunting operations have all risen.

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Herd of 41 elk die in Eastern Oregon after falling through ice

Associated Press, KGW December 27, 2016

Richland, Ore. (AP) – Officials say an elk herd has died after the animals fell through the ice at a reservoir in east Oregon.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a Facebook post that 41 elk died Tuesday on the Powder River arm of Brownlee Reservoir.

The Baker City Herald reports someone who lives near the reservoir called to report the incident. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Biologist Brian Ratliff told the newspaper the elk were trying to cross the reservoir from the north side when the ice broke in four places.

Officials drove to the area to see if it was possible to save any of the elk or salvage meat, but Ratliff said neither option was possible.

The reservoir is about 40 miles east of Baker City.

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Passersby rescue moose stuck on frozen St. Joe River

Taylor Viydo, KREM December 28, 2016

Benewah Co., Idaho – Benewah County Judge and Idaho Department of Fish and Game officer Douglas Payne snapped quite the photo earlier this month.

Payne was driving along the St. Joe River when he spotted another driver looking at a moose that had fallen through ice and was stuck.

Payne and two others helped rescue the moose from the ice using a tow strap. The rescue efforts took 30 minutes.

The moose (a cow) was reunited with her calf that was watching from the shoreline.

(© 2016 KREM)
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Taylor Viydo @KREMTaylor Dec 28

Another picture of the moose rescue from last week. This is a shot of the moose before rescue efforts began. She was stuck!

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Pronghorn prosper in Blaine County

Researchers to continue monitoring speed champions

Madelyn Beck Dec 28, 2016 IME

Pronghorn, often mistakenly referred to as antelope, are an odd species. Pronghorn don’t jump fences, don’t travel if snow is higher than 18 inches and their closest living relative is the giraffe, according to Idaho Department of Fish and Game wildlife research scientist Scott Bergen.

“There is nothing like it,” he said.

Generally, pronghorn find areas of fence to cross under or through an opening to get through during a migration. As for the snow, Bergen said a hefty snowstorm can stop a migrating herd in its path, sometimes leading to starvation in easily snowed-in areas like Arco.

“It’s a little tragic,” he said.

Bergen was part of a Wildlife Conservation Society group in 2009 that helped uncover migratory routes of pronghorn herds living near Picabo and Carey, which can span more than 160 miles over a year. Currently, he said, the Blaine County herds have migrated out of the area to a few different locations.

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Lander group works to provide water to wildlife in Wyoming

12/25/16 AP

Casper, Wyo. — A Lander-based group is working to give wildlife across Wyoming access to water.

Water for Wildlife and partner organizations have recently installed five guzzlers — or water tanks — across the state in order to provide drinks for Wyoming’s thirsty wildlife, The Casper Star-Tribune reported.

The group raises money to build and install the water tanks across the state’s dry, arid regions. The guzzlers are intended to provide water to animals during periods of drought and also to expand the areas where the animals can live.

When donors ask if their money is working, they often provide photographic evidence. Each guzzler is equipped with a remote-censored trail camera that picks up images of elk, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, songbirds and even bobcats stopping by for a drink.

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Nearly 20 geese killed in Meridian by illegal hunting

Alex Livingston, KTVB December 29, 2016

Meridian, ID – Throughout the day the sound of hundreds of Greater Canadian Geese echoes through a subdivision in Meridian. On Monday, however, an uncommon sound rang through the neighborhood – gunshots.

“When the guys went by I just had a funny feeling,” said Drew Wahlin, the President of the Idaho Chukar Foundation and witness to the shooting.

What happened next left Walhin and his wife speechless.

“It all happened so quickly when it was going on and I was taken back a little bit,” said Wahlin.

Wahlin said he and his wife were about to snowshoe with their dog when two men in a pickup truck pulled over on the side of the road, got out, and shot at the nearly 500 geese.


Fun Critter Stuff:

The Bulb Bandit is waging war on Christmas

Jim Dever, KING December 06, 2016

Seattle – A four-legged thief is waging war on Christmas in Queen Anne.  He’s “The Bulb Bandit.”

The bandit is none other than a fuzzy, little squirrel.

Homeowner Margaret Rican has seen him in action. He’s been stealing her Christmas light bulbs.

“130 bulbs yesterday and he came back for the rest,” said Rican.

This scrounging squirrel is stealing the season one bulb at a time. He somehow gets the lights off of the line and runs away to the neighbor’s yard.

At first, Margaret thought it was kind of annoying, but now it’s kind of impressive.

continued w/video news report:
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Beaver caught ‘shopping’ for Christmas decorations, causes property damage to Md. store

by Erin Danielle Jones ABC7 November 30th 2016

(Photo Courtesy of St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office)

Charlotte Hall, Md. … Witnesses say they saw the beaver attempting to select the perfect Christmas tree and checking out other discounted holiday decor.

Corporal Yingling was called in after the beaver reportedly caused some property damage to the store.

Officials say the beaver attempted to flee the area when Yingling arrived but he or she was safely “apprehended” by Animal Control.

source w/photos and video:

Fish & Game News:

News Releases


Boxing Day

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

What is Boxing Day? Why is it called Boxing Day? What, if anything, does boxing have to do with it? Boxing Day, like a box, has many points of interest.

Boxing Day is a centuries’ old British traditional gift-giving day once recognized across the British empire. Today Boxing Day is considered part of the Christmas season’s festivities in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Boxing Day occurs on December 26 (the day after Christmas). However, if Christmas falls on a Saturday, Boxing Day takes place on the following Monday.

Boxing Day in Ireland is also known as St. Stephen’s Day. But did you know: There are two saints named Stephen! One St. Stephen was stoned to death for his Christian faith and is considered the first Christian martyr. The other St. Stephen practiced mission work in Sweden and had a fondness for animals—especially horses. (This may be the reason that horse racing is popular on this day.)

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A History of the New Year Celebration

by Borgna Brunner

The celebration of the new year on January 1st is a relatively new phenomenon. The earliest recording of a new year celebration is believed to have been in Mesopotamia, c. 2000 B.C. and was celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox, in mid-March. A variety of other dates tied to the seasons were also used by various ancient cultures. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians began their new year with the fall equinox, and the Greeks celebrated it on the winter solstice.

Early Roman Calendar: March 1st Rings in the New Year
The early Roman calendar designated March 1 as the new year. The calendar had just ten months, beginning with March. That the new year once began with the month of March is still reflected in some of the names of the months. September through December, our ninth through twelfth months, were originally positioned as the seventh through tenth months (septem is Latin for “seven,” octo is “eight,” novem is “nine,” and decem is “ten.”

January Joins the Calendar
The first time the new year was celebrated on January 1st was in Rome in 153 B.C. (In fact, the month of January did not even exist until around 700 B.C., when the second king of Rome, Numa Pontilius, added the months of January and February.) The new year was moved from March to January because that was the beginning of the civil year, the month that the two newly elected Roman consuls—the highest officials in the Roman republic—began their one-year tenure. But this new year date was not always strictly and widely observed, and the new year was still sometimes celebrated on March 1.

Julian Calendar: January 1st Officially Instituted as the New Year
In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar introduced a new, solar-based calendar that was a vast improvement on the ancient Roman calendar, which was a lunar system that had become wildly inaccurate over the years. The Julian calendar decreed that the new year would occur with January 1, and within the Roman world, January 1 became the consistently observed start of the new year.

Middle Ages: January 1st Abolished
In medieval Europe, however, the celebrations accompanying the new year were considered pagan and unchristian like, and in 567 the Council of Tours abolished January 1 as the beginning of the year. At various times and in various places throughout medieval Christian Europe, the new year was celebrated on Dec. 25, the birth of Jesus; March 1; March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation; and Easter.

Gregorian Calendar: January 1st Restored
In 1582, the Gregorian calendar reform restored January 1 as new year’s day. Although most Catholic countries adopted the Gregorian calendar almost immediately, it was only gradually adopted among Protestant countries. The British, for example, did not adopt the reformed calendar until 1752. Until then, the British Empire —and their American colonies— still celebrated the new year in March.

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New Year’s – Holidays

Civilizations around the world have been celebrating the start of each new year for at least four millennia. Today, most New Year’s festivities begin on December 31 (New Year’s Eve), the last day of the Gregorian calendar, and continue into the early hours of January 1 (New Year’s Day). Common traditions include attending parties, eating special New Year’s foods, making resolutions for the new year and watching fireworks displays.

lots more info:

Happy New Year


[h/t SMc]

Dec 25, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times

Dec 25, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Christmas Day Potluck at The Corner 5pm.
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Mail Day

Mail will come in on Tuesday the 27th as Monday is a holiday.
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Judy Wiley Memorial Stone

Chris Niebrand, Marjie Fields, Sue Ledford, and Nora Jean have been talking about a memorial stone for Judy Wiley.  Chris Niebrand  has volunteered into looking for a stone.  If anyone would like to donate to this please send their donation to Marjie Field at 3706 N E Thompson St, Portland. Or. 97212.


Geraldine A. Atkins

Atkins, Geraldine A., 74, of Kuna (and Zena Creek), died Friday December 23, 2016 at her home. Services are pending Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel. 208-442-8171

Published in Idaho Statesman on Dec. 24, 2016
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Lois Fry

A celebration of the life, music, and friendships of Lois Fry will be celebrated on Saturday Jan. 14, 2017, 6-9 p.m., at Northfork Lodge located at McCall RV Resort.

All are welcome! Bring potluck dish, musical instruments, stories and dancing shoes.

Donations at the door to cover expenses. Contact person: Janet Houlian (208) 630-4304.

Published in the Star-News December 22, 2016

Local Observations:

Monday (Dec 19) the low was close to zero last night, clouds came in and a skiff of snow by daylight, cold light breeze, 14″ total snow on the flat. Two ravens flew over the village, and a couple of elk were west of the golf course. (First critters we have seen in weeks.) A couple of snow flurries today, but no accumulation. Rather breezy, but warming up. Internet sluggish around 720pm. Temp warmed up and snowing around 5am.

Tuesday (Dec 20) warmed up during the night and snowing early morning. 2″ new snow by 930am, 16″ total snow on the flat, and still snowing. Snow fell until early afternoon, then warmed to above freezing. Rain and then sleet late afternoon. Clearing after dark and cold.

Wednesday (Dec 21) cold morning, low of -2, clear sky. Winter Solstice sunrise at 1046am (by the school.) The sun was down before 4pm (from our perspective) but still lighting up the top of Golden Gate, the last ray of sun left the top of VanMeter 456pm. Clear and temps dropping quickly.

Winter Solstice Sunrise over Antimony Ridge by Terry

Thursday (Dec 22) very cold morning, low of -7, mostly clear sky, 15″ (old) snow on the flat. Clouds increased during the day then clearing in late afternoon. Quiet day. Temp dropped then clouds came in before midnight.

Friday (Dec 23) not quite as cold, low was around 5 degrees. 14 above and cloudy this morning. Raven calling after lunch time. Snow storm came in right on time at 1115am, blustery and steady snow until around 330pm, little over 1/4″ accumulated. Report of an elk up on the hill above main street eating bushes around homes. A few flakes falling after sundown, calmer and warmer than it has been for a while at 30 degrees. More snow fell during the night.

Saturday (Dec 24) it was 24 degrees this morning, low clouds, ridges socked in nearly to the valley floor. 3″ new snow overnight, 17″ total snow on the ground and still snowing. Snow stopped by lunch time. Cloudy afternoon and evening.

Sunday (Dec 25) fine light snow started before 8am, just a trace, cloudy and cold. Warmed into the mid 20’s today, flaking snow until afternoon, but no accumulation. Locals with snow plows (and backhoe) clearing roads this afternoon. Sky starting to clear before dark.

Idaho News:

Ray and Carol Arnold supply residents of the Idaho back country with much more than mail

Carolyn White December 2, 2016 The Fence Post

Llamas don’t ride well in airplanes. Just ask Carol Arnold of Arnold’s Aviation in Cascade, Idaho.

Her partner, Ray, won’t fly them anymore.

“We put two in his Cessna one day, and they didn’t get along. It was a rodeo,” Carol said. “Their hooves are pretty sharp and they tore up the interior.”

The Arnolds started their aviation business by building a hangar on what was once an open field with a simple dirt strip. During the past 42 years, they have become an important lifeline to the people who live in the isolated Salmon River backcountry.

Ray, along with a second pilot, makes more than 20 stops every Wednesday and Thursday, carrying not only animals but guests, groceries, hay, fuel, tractor tires, seeds, canvas tents, non-electric tools, propane-powered appliances and of course, bags of mail.

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Valley County stops plowing  snow for part-time residents

Fear of budget cuts forces paring back of plow routes

By Tom Grote for The Star-News December 22, 2016

Valley County is no longer plowing snow on county roads where there are no year-round residents, Road and Bridge Superintendent Jeff McFadden said.

The new policy, started this winter, is intended to save money in case Congress does not reauthorize federal funds that make up nearly half of the road department’s budget, McFadden said.

Plowing has been stopped to any road where it has been determined someone lives less than 20 days per month, he said. …

2014 Survey

Valley County commission Chair Gordon Cruickshank said the cutbacks are in line with a survey taken by the county in 2014.

Respondents to the online survey came down strongly in opposition to new fees or taxes to maintain the county’s roads

Respondents resoundingly opposed creating a highway district separate from the county or increasing property taxes.

The survey on the county web site attracted 358 responses. About 88 percent came from full-time residents and the rest were part-time residents.

“The road department and the commissioners are doing what the people asked of us,” Cruickshank said.

full story The Star-News
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Valley County to acquire Clear Creek parking lot from Wilks brothers

State grant, donations will pay for 4.7-acre parcel

By Max Silverson for The Star-News December 22, 2016

Valley County has struck a deal to purchase a parcel of land for a multi-use recreational parking lot at the end of Clear Creek Road south of Cascade.

A deal with the billionaire Wilks Brothers of Cisco, Texas, will see the county buy the 4.7-acre parcel for $42,300, Valley County Recreation Director Larry Laxson said.

The land serves as a staging area for snowmobilers in the winter as well as mountain bikers and off-road motorists in the summer, Laxson said. The purchase is expected to be completed by Jan. 20.

The parking lot is located on private land, and until this year the owners allowed the county to use the parking lot without a formal agreement.

Earlier this year, however, the Wilks brothers acquired the parking lot as part of their purchase of 172,000 acres of timber land in central Idaho formerly owned by Potlatch Corp. of Idaho.

full story The Star-News
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McCall fire chief suggest giving smoke alarm as gifts

The Star-News December 22, 2016

McCall Fire & EMS Chief Mark Billmire has a last-minute Christmas gift idea – smoke alarms.

Smoke alarms are free at the McCall Fire Station at 201 Deinhard Lane, and firefighters will help install them and replace batteries, Billmire said.

“The simple gift of a smoke alarm is an outward expression of how much you care,” he said.

Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries, Billmire said.

Smoke alarms are recommend in every bedroom on each level of a house and in the main living space.

“Sleeping with the bedroom door closed slows the smoke from entering and provides a little extra time if you need to escape out a window,” Billmire said. For questions, call 634-7070.

source The Star-News
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Former Tamarack golf course to be sold at auction Dec. 29

Course has been closed for two years over legal disputes

By Tom Grote for The Star-News December 22, 2016

The former Osprey Meadows Golf Course at Tamarack Resort can be purchased for as little at $1.2 million when the land goes up for auction next week.

The auction is the latest move that homeowners at Tamarack hope will lead to consolidated ownership of the various parts of the resort southwest of Donnelly.

The 200 acres of overgrown land will be sold to the highest bidder at an auction set to begin at 10 a.m. next Thursday, Dec. 29, at the Valley County Courthouse in Cascade.

full story The Star-News
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Adams historical society gets $13,000 grant

The Star-News December 22, 2016

The Adams County Historical Society has received a $13,000 grant from Idaho Heritage Trust for the continuing restoration of the historic Pacific & Idaho Northern Railway Depot in New Meadows.

The funds will be used to complete restoration of the corbels, fascia, and soffits. Matching money will come from “The Fosdick” benefit event awarded this past fall and proceeds from the March Family Endowment.

The first phase was completed in the spring of 2016 an involved taking down of all items involved in preparation for restoration.

This restoration project is the final phase of the exterior restoration of the P&IN depot

source The Star-News
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Winter Newsletter, 2017 – UI Extension, Valley County

Wishing you a Wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

We hope to see you this winter at some of the programs planned in 2017. Our office specializes in community development, agriculture, horticulture, and 4H youth development programs. Please view the boxes below to learn more about upcoming programs!

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ISP urging caution around emergency vehicles this winter

KTVB December 24, 2016

Idaho State Police urge all drivers to slow down and increase following distance in winter driving conditions, and be cautious around emergency vehicles.

ISP says that in the last two weeks, five ISP patrol cars have been hit while troopers were performing investigations on the interstate. The Canyon County Sheriff’s Office has had three patrol cars hit in the same period.

ISP alone has responded to more than 230 crashes so far during the month of December — that’s not counting crashes handled by local agencies.

Copyright 2016 KTVB
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State officials deliver $37 million to Idaho public schools

By Keith Ridler –  12/20/16 AP

Boise, Idaho — State officials have presented Idaho’s public schools with a ceremonial check for about $37 million.

The presentation on Tuesday on the second floor of the Capitol Rotunda followed a performance by the Capital High School choir and came before the Idaho Land Board’s regular monthly meeting.

“That check we gave to public schools this morning was huge,” said Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, one of five statewide elected officials on the board.

The check ranks among the largest of disbursements ever to Idaho’s public schools.

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Snowmobilers rescued after getting stuck overnight

12/23/16 AP

Idaho Falls, Idaho — A group of snowmobilers has been rescued after becoming stranded and running low on fuel in Fremont County’s backcountry.

KIFI-TV reports that Fremont County Search and Rescue was called into the area around 2 a.m. Thursday.

The six people in the group told the first two responders who reached them that they had a fire burning and were OK to spend the night.

A team started out at daybreak and reached the group before noon.

Everyone was tired but OK when they returned to base camp that afternoon.


Mining News:

Idaho suction dredge gold miner fined by federal authorities

12/20/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho suction dredge gold miner has agreed to pay a $3,600 fine for violating the Clean Water Act on the South Fork Clearwater River in north-central Idaho.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the agreement Tuesday with Robert Paul Rice Jr. of Idaho Falls.

The EPA says Rice broke the law with unauthorized discharge of pollutants into the river on July 22, 2015.

Federal officials say Rice ran a suction dredge on the river at a time when that activity was prohibited to protect critical habitat for steelhead and bull trout under the Endangered Species Act.


Public Lands:

Bogus Basin Forest Health Project Update

USDA Forest Service 12/19/2016

The Decision Memo for the Bogus Basin Forest Health Project on the Mountain Home Ranger District is available for viewing. The Decision Memo documents Forest Supervisor Seesholtz’s decision to implement the Bogus Basin Forest Health Project. The Decision Memo is available on the Project web page:

Supervisor Seesholtz has determined that this action falls within the categorical exclusion found in Section 603 of Healthy Forests Restoration Act (16 U.S.C.6591b). The Bogus Basin Forest Health Project was reviewed in accordance with the categorical exclusion guidelines at FSH 1909.15(30), as updated on May 28, 2014. Following review of the resource conditions identified at 36 CFR 220 .6(b), Supervisor Seesholtz determined that no extraordinary circumstances exist. In addition, the interdisciplinary team’s analysis did not identify any other unusual circumstances or uncertainties about environmental effects associated with the action that would preclude use of a categorical exclusion.

On January 17, 2014, the President signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (Pub. L. No.  113-76). Section 431 of that Act directs that the 1992 and 2012 legislation establishing the 36 CFR 215 (post-decisional appeals) and 36 CFR 218 (pre-decisional objections) processes “shall not apply to any project or activity implementing a land and resource management plan … that is categorically excluded ….under the National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA].”  On February 7, 2014, the President signed into law the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) (Pub. L. No. 113-79).  Section 8006 of the 2014 Farm Bill repealed the Appeals Reform Act (ARA) (Pub. L. No. 102-381).  The ARA’s implementing regulation was 36 CFR 215.  The 2014 Farm Bill also directs that the pre-decisional objection process established in the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2012 shall not be applicable to categorically excluded projects or activities.  As a result of these two statutes, the Forest Service no longer offers  notice, comment and  appeal opportunities pursuant to 36 CFR 215 for categorically excluded projects.

Implementation of this decision is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2017.

Please contact Stephaney Kerley, District Ranger, Mountain Home Ranger District, if you have questions regarding this project at 208-587-7961.

Aaron Stockton
South Zone NEPA Planner, Boise 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

Boise, Idaho, December 19, 2016 — 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 trail and developed campsite improvements and maintenance.

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

* RV funds would be concentrated on improving Rattlesnake Campground and funding campground furniture and tent pads replacement as well as improve the spur sites.

* ORMV funds for Avalanche and snowmobile safety public education, assess trail conditions, trail maintenance (clearing downed trees and debris) as necessary, assist the groomers especially when working in Avalanche areas and complete compliance checks.

* Posting Kiosk information, placing snow poles, route assurance markers so that recreationalist can clearly identify a trail and are able to return safely.

* Fund more frequent patrols, debris removal and clearing trails over the next several years due to 188,000 acre Pioneer Fire. Over the next several years more than average blow downs, falling snags, landslides and other issues are expected due to the decreased soil stability and fire damage.

* ORMV funds would provide additional funding to assist with the necessary equipment and crew time to support heavy trail maintenance and signing of approximately 250 miles of the 687 miles of motorized trails within the three northern districts (Lowman, Cascade and Emmett Ranger Districts) ) of the Boise National Forest.

* RTP funds would help maintain approximately 80 miles of the 230 miles of non-motorized trails located within the three northern districts (Lowman, Cascade and Emmett Ranger Districts) of the Boise National Forest.

All grant proposals will improve the visitor experience, and remove some public health and safety hazards caused by the Pioneer Fire. 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 Mathue Fasching, Lowman Ranger District, 7359 Highway 2, Lowman, ID 83637 or by calling (208) 259-3361 ext. 7553, and/or  Everardo Santillan, Emmett Ranger District 1805 Highway 16, #5, Emmett, ID 83617, (208) 365-7000 ext. 7611.

Linda Steinhaus
Public Affairs
Boise National Forest
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McCall Ranger District Seeking Grants for Recreation Improvements

December 20, 2016, Payette National Forest

McCall, ID – The McCall Ranger District on the Payette National Forest will be applying for state recreation grants for trail, recreation, and avalanche programs.

The district will be applying for two grants to support the Payette Avalanche Center.  The first proposal will be submitted in order to support continued daily avalanche advisory work, as well as provide assistance in repairing or replacing technical equipment for weather stations and avalanche beacons. The second proposal is a request to cover 50% of the cost of a new snowmobile for the program.

Plans also call for rerouting sections of the Jackson Creek Trail off of the Warren Wagon Road near McCall.  The proposal calls for rerouting the trail out of wet areas and enhance the trail.

The final proposals to be submitted will be to make facility improvements to the Lake Fork Campground.  The current restroom facilities are in need of full replacement.  Funds will also be requested to improve signage in the campground and enhance other amenities such as picnic tables and fire rings.

Comments or requests for information should go to Susan Jenkins at 208-634-0400 or

Brian D. Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Payette National Forest
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Payette River Annual River passes now available for 2017 season

12-23-2016 News Release

Boise, Idaho, Dec. 23, 2016 — Annual River Passes for the Payette River Recreation Area in the Banks and Garden Valley area are now on sale for the entire 2017 season for $20 per pass at the following locations:

Alpenglow Mountain Sports Boise/Bogus Basin Rd 208-331-2628
Cascade Outfitters Garden City 208-322-4411
Idaho River Sports Boise/Hyde Park 208-336-4844
Ray’s Corner Market Horseshoe Bend 208-793-2391
Valley View Chevron Horseshoe Bend 208-793-4321
Garden Valley Chevron Garden Valley 208-462-3869
USFS Garden Valley Work Center Garden Valley 208-462-3241
Emmett Ranger District Emmett 208-365-7000

The season pass waives the daily $3 fee charged at each Payette River Recreation site and can also be used in fee areas along the South Fork of the Snake River. Fees will start May 1 in the Payette River complex. River recreation fee sites include: Beehive Bend, Chief Parrish, Banks Beach, Banks River Access, Deer Creek, Confluence and Danskin. During the boating season, there are self-service daily fee stations for non-annual pass holders.

For visitors with an America the Beautiful Interagency Senior or Access Pass, Payette River Recreation Area use is free. The Idaho State Parks Passport is not valid at federal recreation sites.

Funds received are directly used for operation, improvement and site maintenance to enhance recreation opportunities and public use along the Payette River corridor. The fee program is within the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.

The program is managed jointly by the Bureau of Land Management and the Boise National Forest. The Forest Service manages the daily operations and maintenance, and administers commercial outfitter and guide permits, while the BLM performs most of the construction activities and administers special recreation event permits.

Comments are welcome and are evaluated annually. Further information is available by calling the Emmett Ranger District at 208-365-7000.

Linda Steinhaus
Public Affairs
Boise National Forest

Critter News:

The Standoff, in McCall, Idaho

Dec 19, 2016 KTVB

by Daniel

Photo Gallery:
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Winter Wildlife Sport Elegant Dress

Dec 16, 2016 – IME

Photo by Roland Lane

A weasel dressed for a white Christmas is almost perfectly camouflaged against a backdrop of fresh snow earlier this week along Warm Springs Creek west of Ketchum. Three species of weasels swap their summer brown coats for snowy whites: the least weasel, the long-tailed weasel and the short-tailed weasel, or ermine. Weasels feed on rodents, including mice, voles and young cottontails.

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Groups to sue over coyote poisons

Potential plaintiffs claim two substances endanger other wildlife

IM Express Dec 23, 2016

Four conservation and animal-welfare groups have filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to protect imperiled mammals and birds from two deadly pesticides used to kill coyotes and other predators. The suit seeks mitigation measures to prevent exposure of the poisons to nontarget predatory and scavenging animals, including grizzly bears, Canada lynx, wolves and California condors.

The EPA has registered the pesticides at issue—sodium cyanide and Compound 1080—for use by Wildlife Services, the predator-control arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as by state predator-control agencies in Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, New Mexico and Texas.

M-44 devices propel lethal doses of sodium cyanide into the mouths of animals lured by bait, while Compound 1080 is used in “livestock protection collars” strapped onto the necks of sheep and goats that often graze on public lands. The collars contain bladders filled with liquid poison intended to kill coyotes.

The lawsuit is being pursued by the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians, The Humane Society of the United States and the Fund for Animals.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third week of December 2016
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Conservation area to help wildlife migration in 3 states

By Keith Ridler –  12/22/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — A federal agency has established a 7,000-square-mile watershed conservation area in three Western states that includes major migration corridors for birds and mammals, officials said Thursday.

The Bear River Watershed Conservation Area in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming is part of a plan to protect wildlife habitat by buying perpetual conservation easements from willing private landowners, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said.

The agency said it has identified some 1,400 square miles of potential easements that connects the northern and southern Rocky Mountains.

The conservation area includes national wildlife refuges in each state and the 500-mile Bear River. The river starts in the Uinta Mountains in Utah and flows north into Wyoming before making a U-turn in Idaho and flowing south back into Utah where it becomes the largest surface water source for the Great Salt Lake ecosystem.

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Hailey elk video garners over 1 million views on Facebook

Dec 23, 2016 IME

Footage taken of elk crossing state Highway 75 north of Hailey had been viewed 1.4 million times on Facebook as of press deadline Thursday.

The footage, shot by Hailey resident Toni Marcroft, shows several trophy bull elk crossing the highway and jumping a white fence on its west side while northbound drivers wait patiently.

The video was posted to Facebook on Monday by the Chamber of Hailey and the Wood River Valley’s social media manager, Julie Gates. She said Wednesday that she has watched the video gain thousands of views each day.

“I kept checking the video periodically and was just amazed at the amount of views,” she said. “It’s such a boon for the chamber and the community to bring so much attention to our little valley.”

To view the video, visit

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Mountain goat image tops Scotchman Peaks photo contest winners

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review 12-21-2016

(Leslie Keibert)

Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness 2016 photo contest winner Leslie Keibert kept her proper distance when she caught these two mountain goats with her telephoto lens on Scotchman Peak.

more info:
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Researchers target disease-carrying bighorn sheep

By ERIC BARKER –  12/24/16 AP

LEWISTON, Idaho — Faint beeps picked up by a transceiver alert Frances Cassirer to the nearby presence of bighorn sheep, but the animals are momentarily invisible.

Their tawny bodies and white rumps are a perfect match for the conditions in the Asotin Creek canyon. The mix of patchy snow, dry grass, sage brush and basalt outcroppings make the animals melt into the landscape.

“It’s the Bev Doolittle effect,” she said, referencing the artist known for landscape paintings sprinkled with animals that are, at first glance, hidden by their markings.

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Mountain ash a festive holiday treat for birds

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review 12-21-2016

Townsend’s solitaire eating from a pyracantha bush. (Alistair Fraser)

People planning landscaping changes this spring should take a tip from the birds and consider planting a a version of mountain ash.

The clustered fruits produced by regular or dwarf varieties are a hit with birds from fall through winter. The Townsend’s solitaire in the photo above reminds us orange berries are a hit with birds, even though in this case it’s from a pyracantha, a thorny bush that provides cover and protection for birds, too  Tina Wynecoop shared this photo from her friend Alistair Fraser of Nelson, British Columbia.

Other similar photos coming in from birders around the region show a variety of species including robins and waxwings feasting on the bright orange “berries.”

Warning: Bears also bulk up on mountain ash fruits in the fall after the huckleberry crops have faded away.

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Good rescue it was: Yoda the tortoise saved from school fire

12/21/16 AP

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Firefighters have rescued a Russian tortoise named Yoda at an eastern Idaho elementary school after a heating device caused his habitat to start smoldering.

The Idaho Falls Fire Department says it responded early Wednesday to a fire alarm at Fairview Elementary School in Idaho Falls and found the building filled with smoke.

Crews discovered a smoldering fire in a classroom in Yoda’s 30-gallon enclosure and saved the tortoise.

Bonneville School District Superintendent Charles Shackett says a heating pad meant to keep Yoda warm caused the problem. The hand-sized tortoise is fine and back home with his owner, a teacher.

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Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
December 22, 2016
Issue No. 814

Table Of Contents

* Study Uses Epidemiological Model To Track How Salmon-Eating Sea Lions In Columbia River Transmit Behavior

* Corp Issues Draft Letter, EA Outlining Cost-Share With States To Battle Invasive Mussels; Comments Due Jan. 12

* Montana’s Extensive Testing Of Water Bodies In Two Weeks Found No New Detections Of Invasive Mussels

* Council Approves Master Plan For Snake River Steelhead Kelt Reconditioning Facility At Nez Perce Hatchery

* Study Identifies Steelhead Kelt ‘Consecutive’ Or ‘Skip’ Spawners; Aids Management, Could Raise Return Rates

* Year-End Assessment Matches 2016 Water Supply, Stream Flow, and Fish Conditions With Juvenile Migration

* NMFS Seeks Comments For EIS On Upper Willamette Basin Salmon/Steelhead Hatchery Programs, Genetic Management Plans

* Council FW Committee Identifies More Than $500,000 In Project Cost Savings To Free Up For Others

* DOE Awards OSU $40 Million To Build World’s ‘Premier’ Wave Energy Test Facility In Newport

* Council Ready To Roll-Out Interactive Mapping Tool For Columbia Basin Salmon/Steelhead

* Study: Best Written Scientific Papers, Narrative Style, About Climate Change More Influential

Fun Critter Stuff:

[h/t RE]
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Two bears frolic in the sea

USA TODAY Dec 9, 2016 Kamchatka, Russia

These two bears played for an hour – hugging and cuddling each other in the water.

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Toronto Zoo Giant Panda vs. Snowman

Toronto Zoo Keepers made giant panda Da Mao a snowman for enrichment!

Watch as he plays with, or rather disassembles, their creation.


Fish & Game News:

News Releases


The Winter Solstice

from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

In 2016, the winter solstice date is December 21. This is the astronomical start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Enjoy our solstice facts, folklore, and more!

Winter solstice is the day with the fewest hours of sunlight during the whole year. In the Northern Hemisphere, it always occurs around December 21 or 22. (In the Southern Hemisphere, it is around June 20 or 21.)

In 2016, the winter solstice occur[ed]: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 3:44 am MST

The word solstice comes from the Latin words for “sun” and “to stand still.” In the Northern Hemisphere, as summer advances to winter, the points on the horizon where the Sun rises and sets advance southward each day; the high point in the Sun’s daily path across the sky, which occurs at local noon, also moves southward each day.

At the winter solstice, the Sun’s path has reached its southernmost position. The next day, the path will advance northward. However, a few days before and after the winter solstice, the change is so slight that the Sun’s path seems to stay the same, or stand still. The Sun is directly overhead at “high-noon” on Winter Solstice at the latitude called the Tropic of Capricorn.

more info:
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The Star of Bethlehem

from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

What is the Star of Bethlehem?

Every holiday season, planetariums present their “Star of Wonder” show, which offers astronomical explanations for the most famous star of all—the Star of Bethlehem.

The show suggests that the star was either a comet, a conjunction of bright planets, or maybe a supernova.

Or perhaps it was Jupiter alone in the constellation Aries, according to a newer thesis that got New York Times headlines a few years ago.

… In the below painting, Adoration of the Magi, the Star of Bethlehem is shown as a comet. The painter, Giotto di Bondon, saw Halley’s Comet in 1301.

more info:
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Star of Bethlehem

from Wikipedia

The Star of Bethlehem, also called the Christmas Star,[1] revealed the birth of Jesus to the Biblical Magi, and later led them to Bethlehem, according to Christian tradition. The star appears only in the nativity story of the Gospel of Matthew, where astrologers from the east are inspired by the star to travel to Jerusalem.[2] There they meet King Herod of Judea, and ask where the king of the Jews had been born. Herod, following a verse from the Book of Micah interpreted as a prophecy, directs them to Bethlehem, to the south of Jerusalem. The star leads them to Jesus’ home in the town, where they worship him and give him gifts. The wise men are then given a divine warning not to return to Herod so they return home by a different route.[3]

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Christmas Traditions

from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

What do you know about the origin of Christmas and Christmas traditions? Find out how people started decorating Christmas trees, saying things like “Jiminy Christmas,” and giving gifts on Christmas.

The exact circumstances of the beginning of Christmas as we know it remain obscure. The oldest existing record of a feast to celebrate the birth of Christ is in the Roman almanac called the Chronographer of 354 or the Philocalian Calendar.

This Almanac noted that a festival commemorating Christ’s birth was observed by the church in Rome in the year 336. Chronographers of the third century were the ones who reckoned December 25, around the winter solstice, as the most likely day of Christ’s birth.

Many historians believe that the church stirred up interest in a festival at this time of year to counter the pagan festivals surrounding the solstice, but no historical document proves Rome’s involvement. The record shows that such a festival was adopted throughout the Christian world by the year 458. The word Christmas comes from “Christ’s Mass.”

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Why Is Christmas Celebrated on the 25th December?

From the Old Farmer’s Almanac

Merry Christmas! What is the real meaning of Christmas? Enjoy our everything-Christmas page with Christmas dates, customs, folklore, and beautiful quotes—perfect for a Christmas card!

Christmas Day is an annual Christian festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Specifically, the meaning of Christmas comes in the remembrance and celebration of God’s presence in our world through Jesus, God made flesh.

Today’s rich mosaic of Christmas customs dates back through the ages. Evergreen branches were used to symbolize life in ancient solstice festivals, as they stayed green in winter. This tradition was absorbed by Christians, who interpreted the evergreens as the Paradise tree and began decorating them with apples.

The candles and lights associated with Christmas, meant to symbolize guiding beacons for the Christ child, may have evolved from the Yule log, which was lit to entice the Sun to return as part of the jol (Yule) festival in pagan Scandinavia.

more info (and recipes):
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When Does Chanukah Start in 2016?

Saturday, December 24

from the Old Farmer’s Almanac

Chanukah is the 8-day festival of light. See when Chanukah falls—plus, history, customs, and a few traditional recipes.

Chanukah is the eight-day festival of light which starts each year on the 25th of Jewish month of Kislev. This date changes every year, because it is primarily based on the lunar cycle, not our civil calendar, and can range from early November until the 26th December.

This festival commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors defeated the occupying mighty Greek armies. This celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and of spirituality over materiality.

more info (and recipes):


Xmas Humor:


[h/t SMc]


[h/t JMc
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Cledus T. Judd – “Tree’s on Fire”


Pilots Christmas Poem

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and out on the ramp,
Not an airplane was stirring, not Acztec, not Champ.
The fuel trucks nestled, all snug in their spots,
While north wind was gusting to 49 knots.

The aircraft were fastened to tiedowns with care
In hopes that come morning, they’d all still be there.
And I at the fuel desk, duties caught up,
Had just settled down with coffee in cup

When over the radio, came such a clatter
I turned down the squelch to see what was the matter.
A voice clearly heard over static and snow
Asked for clearance to land at the airport below.

He made his transmissions both lively and quick
And I’m sure that the call sign he used was “Saint Nick.”
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Sure that it was only Horizon’s late Dash.

I peered at the sky seeking Nav lights on sled
I saw only one at the front it was red!
He called his position, and I heard him say,
“St. Nicholas here, inbound on my sleigh!”

He flew the approach, on glideslope he came,
As as he passed fixes, he called them by name
“Now Ringo! Now Tolga! Now FAF Bacon!
On Comet! On Cupid!” (what pills was he takin’?)

The last of those fixes were bound to confuse,
So the Tower called me to deliver their views
The message they gave was both urgent and dour
“When Santa Claus lands, HE WILL PLEASE CALL THE TOWER!”

He landed like silk, with the sled runners sparking,
With “Exit at Charlie,” and “Taxi to parking.”
He stepped from the sleigh, but before he could talk,
I had run out to give him my very last chock.

He was dressed all in fur, which was covered with frost
And his beard was all blackened from chimney exhaust.
His breath smelled like peppermint, gone slightly stale
And he smoked on a pipe (but he didn’t inhale).

He had a broad face, his armpits were smelly,
His boots were as black as a cropduster’s belly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old fool,
And, smiling, informed me he needed some “fuel”.

A wink of his eye and a turn on his toes,
He left for the washroom to powder his nose.
As he departed I wondered and saw
That my challenge was finding a fuel called . . . straw.

I thought for a while about passing this test
Then remembered a ‘plane had arrived from out West
Just full of supplies for a stable quite near
The freight warehouse must contain straw for the deer!

So I went to the warehouse and warnings unheeded
Found and brought back what the nine reindeer needed.
When I got to the sleigh Santa beamed with relief,
Then went for a phone for a flight-service brief.

And I thought, as he silently wrote in his log,
That with Rudolph, he could land in a one-eighth-mile fog.
He finished his preflight, from front to the rear,
Then on with his headset. I heard him yell “Clear!”

And laying gloved finger upon his push-talk,
He called up the tower for clearance and squawk.
“Straight out on three-zero,” the tower called forth,
“And watch for a Cessna inbound from the North.”

I heard him exclaim, as he climbed in the night,

“Happy Christmas to all! I have traffic in sight.”

[h/t BF]


Dec 18, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times

Dec 18, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Winter Storm Warning

Village News:

Xmas Potluck

There will be a potluck on Christmas Day at The Corner at 5pm.
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Yellow Pine Community Christmas Tree

Lights put up by Matt, photo shared by Kathy


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Memorial stone for Judy Tschopp Wiley

If you would like to contribute, please send donation to Marjie Fields at: 3706 N E Thompson St., Portland, OR 97212
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Received a report from one of the locals (several days ago) … Two bobcats were seen crossing the EFSF road in the area of the Devil’s Bathubs.
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Wolf Video

Video of a wolf near the confluence of the Secesh and the South Fork. – Scott Amos

posted on the Yellow Pine Facebook Group page:
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Snow Plowing

Thank you to the industrious local folks with plow blades on their trucks (and backhoe) for keeping local streets passable.
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Reminder – Water bills are due in January. The annual fee has been increased by $30/year to cover expenses related to the water filtration plant.

Local Observations:

Snow December 12, 2016


Monday (Dec 12) snow started again around 4am and by 930am we had 5.5″ new snow, total snow on the board 16″, overcast and still snowing big flakes. Break in the snow storm for a couple hours after lunch. Then breezy and snow blowing out of the trees. Snowing off and on later in the afternoon and early evening. Clouds breaking up and bright moon after dark. Cold night!

Tuesday (Dec 13) hard freeze, low of 1F, warming to 10F and partly clear this morning, 14″ of snow on the flat. Hazy and filtered sun by 1030am. Quiet cold day, high of 27F, very little traffic. Streets are snow covered but passable. After dark bright but fuzzy moon rising (hazy clouds.)

Wednesday (Dec 14) hard freeze, low of 6F, warmed to 11F and overcast this morning, 13.5″ of snow on the flat. Snow started at 2pm and snowed all afternoon. Heavier snow after dark and snowed half the night. Then it warmed up and turned to rain by morning.

Thursday (Dec 15) right at 32 degrees this morning and raining. Wet heavy snow to shovel, close to 5″ of new snow and 15.5″ total on the flat. Messy!! Light misty rain and low foggy clouds all morning. Shoveled paths are getting slick. Temps hovered just above freezing all afternoon, misty sprinkles off and on, and foggy. After midnight fog gone, and filtered moonlight.

Friday (Dec 16) snow early morning, half inch by 930am, 14.5″ total snow on the ground. Temperature hovered around 23 degrees for most of the day, along with a chilly breeze. Neighbor plowing local streets. Snowmobile traffic. Getting colder, stronger breeze and mostly clear before dark. Clear sky and below zero by midnight.

Saturday (Dec 17) very cold, low of -14, high thin clouds cover the sky this morning. Overcast and zero by lunch time. Very cold day, not much sun, high of 8.5F. Clouds started thinning and then clear by sundown. Temp dropping fast, back to zero at dark. Very cold night, a few thin clouds after midnight, then clearing.

Sunday (Dec 18) very cold night, low of -13, clear sky, temp rose to -9 by 4am. Cold and sunny morning, then high thin clouds moving in. Airplane flying over the village at 110pm. Partly cloudy then clearing in the afternoon and cold! Temps dropping fast and down to 4 degrees just before dark.

Scam Alerts!

Your Amazon order wasn’t shipped? It’s a scam!

Tanya Rivera, KING December 14, 2016

Count me as one of the many millions of people who have ordered a few (wink, wink) items from for the holiday.  So, if you get an email that tells you there is something wrong with your order and it can’t be shipped, you’re likely to want to fix the issue quickly. Scammers are counting on it.

Lechelle Yates from the Better Business Bureau says the Amazon shipping scam can easily fool you. First is the email with the subject line: Your order cannot be shipped. The body of the email tells you to click a link to confirm your information.

“The landing page looks really good. It could easily fool you. The page wants your full name and address. But worse, it wants your credit card information including your CVV, your three digit security code on the back. ”

The scammers are so good, the next page is the real So, you need to know the tip-offs:

Subject line: Your order cannot be shipped

Check the sender’s name. Usually it’s a company versus Amazon.

“Never, never, never click the link that is provided in an email. Always go to the website directly.” In this case, when you go to and log into your account, click the ORDERS tab.  If you aren’t prompted to update your billing info, then the email you got is not from Amazon.

If you do get this bogus email, wants to know about it. You can report an issue or verify if the email you received is real.

(© 2016 WFMY)
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Jury duty scam hitting Ada County again

KTVB December 14, 2016

BOISE – The jury duty scam is circulating in Ada County again.

The Ada County Jury Commissioner’s Office has received reports people are being threatened with an arrest warrant for failure to appear for jury duty.

Someone claiming to be an officer calls saying there is a contempt of court warrant of $500 owed, plus a failure to appear warrant of $500.

One person was tricked into buying a thousand dollar gift card and mailing it out.

Ada County will never call or email people about this type of situation.

If you receive a call like this hang up immediately and call Boise Police and the Better Business Bureau.

Copyright 2016 KTVB
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Yahoo’s billion account breach: 5 things you should do to stay safe

The massive data breach can be an opportunity to do some cleanup and implement security recommendations

By Lucian Constantin – PC World Dec 15, 2016

Internet giant Yahoo announced a massive data breach Wednesday that affected over one billion accounts, making it by far the largest data breach in history. This follows the disclosure in September of a different breach that affected more than 500 million of the company’s customers.

What stands out with this new security compromise is that it occurred over three years ago, in August 2013, and that hackers walked away with password hashes that can be easily cracked.

If you’re a Yahoo user you should consider your password compromised and should take all the necessary steps to secure your account. You should follow all of Yahoo’s recommendations, but here are a few more that you should have in mind:

1. Don’t save emails you don’t need
2. Check your email forwarding and reply-to settings
3. Two-factor authentication everywhere
4. Never reuse passwords
5. Phishing follows breaches

full story w/more details:

Idaho News:

Tuesday deadline noted to pay Valley, Adams property taxes

The Star-News Dec 15, 2016

The deadline for the first half of the year’s property taxes for Valley and Adams counties will be Tuesday.

Payments will be accepted through 5 p.m. Tuesday at the county courthouses in Cascade and Council. The treasurer offices in both counties are staffed Mondays through Friday, including the lunch hour.

Late charge begin on Wednesday and interest begins on Jan. 1, so mailed payments must be postmarked by Tuesday.

Valley County property owners can also pay their taxes through the Access Idaho program which accepts credit cards or electronic checks. For more information, contact the treasurer’s office at 382-7110 or

Credit card payments are available in Adams County and will be accepted until midnight on Tuesday. Contact the staff at (208) 253-4263 extension 6 or

Payments also can be left in the payment drop box just outside the main courthouse entrance in Council.

source The Star-News:
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Valley County, city of Cascade, to kick off centennials Jan. 1

The Star-News Dec 15, 2016

Valley County and the city of Cascade will kick off their year-long centennial celebrations on Sunday, Jan. 1, in Cascade.

The party will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 1 outdoors at the Van Wyck Unit of Lake Cascade State Park.

There will be s’mores, bonfires, and ideas to take home to implement throughout the year-long celebration.

One hundred Chinese Lanterns will be released into the winter night sky to help celebrate the centennials.

source The Star-News:
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Toward Darker Skies

Cascade to air restrictions on outdoor lighting

BY MAX SILVERSON for The Star-News Dec 15, 2016

Porch lights that allow light to shine into the sky are among the things that would be banned in a proposal to be heard Monday by the city of Cascade.

The City of Cascade Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on a “dark sky” ordinance starting at 6 p.m. Monday at Cascade City Hall.

The ordinance is being proposed to protect the city from light pollution and will limit the height and type of lighting allowed, P&Z Chair Lori Hunter said.

Included are restrictions on the lighting of flagpoles with shielding to limit the spread of light and intensity of the lights.

All outdoor lighting would be required to be hooded or shielded downward so as not to produce glare or cast light on any adjacent property, according to the proposal. No lights can be mounted more than 30 feet in the air, under the proposal.

Light on flags will be limited in their brightness, but the proposed ordinance asks that flags be taken down at night to avoid the need for lighting.

Sensor-activated lights would be allowed and are set to turn off within five minutes of activation. They must also not be triggered by activity off the property where they are located, under the proposal.

The proposal is similar to dark-sky ordinances now in place in Valley County and the City of McCall, Hunter said.

full story The Star-News:
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Valley County tweaks dark-sky provisions

Changes would affect flag poles, streetlights

BY MAX SILVERSON for The Star-News Dec 15, 2016

Changes to the existing outdoor lighting ordinance for areas outside city limits in Valley County were recommended for approval last week by the Valley County Planning and Zoning Commission.

The tweaks to the county’s “dark sky” law are intended to reduce nighttime light pollution and make the county more compliant with international dark-sky standards, according to a staff report on the proposed revisions.

The recommendations will now go to Valley County commissioners for final approval. No hearing date has been set.

The new rules would limit the skyward lighting of flagpoles to a maximum output of 1,300 lumens, or between the brightness of a 75-watt and 100-watt incandescent bulb. However, the proposed ordinance encourages residents to take flags down at sunset to avoid the need for lighting.

The type of bulbs allowed would also be affected. LED lighting color would be mandated not to exceed 3,000 on the Kelvin scale, which is equivalent to slightly more than a 100-watt incandescent bulb.

Additionally, streetlights would be required to have bulbs that are either high-pressure or low-pressure sodium, LED or metal halide.

All streetlights and canopy lights, such as service station lighting, would need to be fully shielded to ensure light is not visible from the street or adjacent properties, according to the proposal.

The county plans to begin an educational process to make residents in the county aware of the dark-sky ordinance, Valley County P&Z Administrator Cynda Herrick said.

full story The Star-News:
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Idaho snowplow driver dies after getting pulled into blades

12/14/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — Authorities say a rotary snowplow operator with the Idaho Transportation Department has died after getting pulled into the machine’s blades.

Officials say 62-year-old Byran Bidegain died Tuesday morning on State Highway 21 at the Mores Creek Summit.

Boise County Deputy Coroner Mike Johnson tells KIVI-TV ( that the death has been ruled an accident.


Weather News:

The Fall 2016 Edition of the Sage Winds Newsletter



Public Lands:

Boise National Forest to submit grant proposals to Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation

Boise, Idaho, December 12, 2016– The Idaho City Ranger District is applying for grant funding from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation to help with trail improvements and maintenance, as well as improve recreation sites.

Applications will request funding through the Department’s Off-Road Motor Vehicle (ORMV), Motor Bike (MBR) and Recreation Trails Program (RTP).

* MBR/ ORMV funds would be used to maintain trails in the Idaho City Area. The routes are 163, 286, 288 and 690. This grant proposes to address signage, brushing and heavy tread maintenance needs. Due to the recent Pioneer Fire these trails need tread maintenance and additional removal of hazard trees within the trail’s corridor.

* Idaho City Ranger District and Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation are collaborating on an RTP grant that would fund trail maintenance in the Pioneer Fire area around the IDPR Yurts and winter Park and Ski trail system where the trail damaged by the fire. Funds would be used to repair and replace signage, remove hazard trees, heavy brushing, repair trail tread damage and heavy tread maintenance on the trail system. These trails are a year-round recreation destination for the Treasure Valley.

All grant proposals will improve visitor experiences and remove some public health and safety hazards caused by the Pioneer Fire. If received, grant implementation will begin in late summer 2017.

Comments or requests for more information should be submitted to Megan Impson, Idaho City Ranger District, P.O. BOX 129 Idaho City ID 83631, or by calling 208-392-3733.
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Rainbow Point and Amanita Campground Forest Health and Safety Improvement Project (Rainbow-Amanita) Update

USDA Forest Service 12/14/2016

The Forest Service is seeking public input (scoping comments) for the proposed Rainbow Point and Amanita Campground Safety and Forest Health Improvement Project (Rainbow-Amanita Project) on lands managed by the Cascade Ranger District of the Boise National Forest.

Project Description

The Rainbow-Amanita Project is an estimated 25 acres located approximately 5 miles west of Donnelly, Idaho along West Mountain Road in Valley County. Within the campground there is widespread root disease involving subalpine fir, mountain pine beetle infestations within the lodgepole pine, and western spruce budworm affecting the spruce stands.

The purpose of this project is to remove hazards from dead and dying trees and to improve and maintain forest health and resilience through thinning and planting. For a more detailed description of the proposed project, please review the proposed action report (PAR) on the Project webpage:

How to Comment

The Forest Service is contacting interested persons, groups, and agencies to make them aware of the project and to gather pertinent feedback. Please make your comments as specific as possible to help us identify and address issues.

Electronic, written, hand-delivered, and facsimile comments concerning this project will be accepted. Comments may be submitted through the Rainbow-Amanita Project. To submit comments using the web form, select “Comment on Project” under “Get Connected” on the right panel of the project’s webpage.

Email comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Adobe (.pdf), and Word (.doc) to: Please put “Rainbow-Amanita Project” in the subject line of e-mail comments. Comments must have an identifiable name attached or verification of identity will be required. A scanned signature may serve as verification on electronic comments.

Written comments may be submitted to: Boise National Forest, Cascade Ranger District, PO Box 696, Cascade, ID 83638 Attention: Will Smith, or by fax at 208-382-7461. Office hours for submitting hand-delivered comments are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection in the Public Comment Reading Room on the project webpage and will be released in their entirety, if requested, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

When to Comment

To be most helpful, please submit your scoping comments by January 5, 2017.

Only those who subscribe to the mailing list, submit comments, or notify the Forest that they would like to remain on the mailing list for this project will receive future correspondences on this project. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, without an associated name and address, receiving further correspondences concerning this project will not be possible.

For further information on the project, please contact Will Smith, Team Leader, at or by phone at 208-382-7461.
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Public safety and forest health prompt actions at Lake Cascade campgrounds

News Release: 12-15-2016

Boise, Idaho, December 15, 2016 – The Cascade Ranger District will be removing a large number of trees suffering from serious bug and disease (root rot) infestation in two popular campgrounds around Lake Cascade late winter or early spring 2017, changing the campgrounds from shady to an open canopy condition.

A 2016 spring assessment of the Rainbow Point and Amanita campgrounds identified that the forest health problem had dramatically increased. Forest employees have been removing hazard trees from the area for several years but the scale of the problem has increased beyond what maintenance crews can handle. “The high density of the forest in this area have made the existing trees more susceptible to insects and disease,” said Cascade District Ranger Jake Strohmeyer. “The current situation is very hazardous and the potential for trees to fall pose a significant risk to visitors using the sites.”

Forestry experts are working on a treatment that will bring in heavy equipment to safely remove the shade tolerant Grand and subalpine firs as well as older spruce that are deteriorating. The campgrounds will be replanted with larch, a species more tolerant to insects and disease that will thrive in the open forest conditions created by removing the dead and dying trees.

“People familiar with the campgrounds will encounter a much different place than what they remember when they return this year,” said Strohmeyer. “However, it will be a much safer place for people to camp and enjoy the outdoors.” The Forest Service is expecting to have this work completed in time for the 2017 camping season. The status of both campgrounds will be posted on e
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Pioneer Fire Closure reduced, opening Bear Creek area to winter recreation

News Release: 12/16/2016

Boise, Idaho, December 16, 2016 — The Boise National Forest has reduced the Pioneer Fire Closure Area, opening the Bear Creek area, northeast of Idaho City. National Forest Systems (NFS) Roads 312, 348, 348J and NFS trail 565 (Crooked Pike Loop Trail) have been opened increasing opportunities for winter recreationists. This reduced closure area opens access to popular groomed snowmobile routes.

All other area and trail closures on the Lowman and Idaho City Ranger Districts listed in Version #10 remain closed including NFS Road 362. Please refer to the attached closure order and map for specifics.

While immediate threat hazard trees have been removed along priority roads and snowmobile routes, public health and safety threats still exist. Burned trees will continue to fall as snow loads increase and avalanche danger may be higher in burned areas. Anyone accessing or recreating in these areas should always plan ahead and proceed with caution.

Recovery and restoration work is ongoing in the Pioneer Fire area and temporary closures may be put in place for public safety. Visitors should look for posted warning signs and be aware of their surroundings and current weather conditions.

For all closures within the Boise National Forest visit:

Linda Steinhaus
Public Affairs
Boise National Forest




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Murphy Water System Special Use Authorization Update

USDA Forest Service 12/16/2016

The Forest Service is seeking scoping comments for the proposed issuance of a special use authorization for the Murphy Water System on the McCall Ranger District of the Payette National Forest. The enclosed scoping document provides more detailed information about the project. The scoping document is also available on the project’s webpage at

The Forest Service is contacting interested individuals, groups, and agencies to make them aware of the project and to gather pertinent feedback. To be most helpful, please submit your scoping comments by January 16, 2017, and make your comments as specific as possible. Keith Lannom, Forest Supervisor, is the Responsible Official for this project.

To assist the Forest Service in meeting its goals of reducing our carbon footprint and to achieve a sustainable operation, we are transitioning to a web-based electronic comment system that allows all interested parties to receive project materials (scoping documents, updates, draft and final National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA] documents, and decisions) by e-mail. This new system gives you direct control over which mailing lists you are subscribed to and immediate electronic access to project documents as they are posted online. It’s easy, it’s good for the environment, and it gives “on-demand” access to projects.

To subscribe to this new system, go online to the project website listed above. On the project website, you will see a box titled “Get Connected” on the right hand side of the page. Click on “Subscribe to Email Updates.” When you click on that item, you will be prompted to provide your e-mail address and select a password in the GovDelivery program. When you have logged in, you will be able to manage your account by subscribing to projects by Forest, District, project type, or project purpose. You will also be able to change your e-mail address and password. If you no longer wish to follow the project(s), simply delete your subscription. Once you are subscribed, you will receive all project information via e-mail, unless you request hard copies.

To submit comments using the webform, select “Comment/Object on Project”, under “Get Connected”, on the right panel of the project website.

Only those who subscribe to the GovDelivery mailing list or submit comments will receive future correspondence on this project. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, without an associated name and address, receiving further correspondences concerning these projects will not be possible.

Webform submission is preferred but written, facsimile, hand-delivered, verbal, and electronic comments concerning these projects will be accepted. Comments for the project may be submitted to the McCall District Office at 102 West Lake McCall, ID 83638 or by fax to 208-634-0433. Hand delivered comment letters may be delivered during regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding holidays. Comments may also be submitted electronically via email to or through the project web page listed above.

Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection and will be released in their entirety if requested pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. Comments received in response to this request will also be available for public inspection on the “Public Comment Reading Room” on the project webpage

For further information on this project, please contact Rebecca Havens, Lands Special Uses Program Manager, at 208-634-0416 or by email

Lisa J. Klinger
District Ranger

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Four Summit Challenge Event Multi-Year Special Use Authorization Update

USDA Forest Service 12/16/2016

The Forest Service is seeking scoping comments for the Four Summit Challenge Multiyear Special Use Authorization on the Cascade District of the Boise National Forest and the Krassel Ranger District of the Payette National Forest in Valley County, Idaho. The enclosed scoping document provides more detailed information about the project. The scoping document is also available on the project’s webpage at

The Forest Service is contacting interested individuals, groups, and agencies to make them aware of the project and to gather pertinent feedback. To be most helpful, please submit your scoping comments by January 16, 2017, and make your comments as specific as possible.

To assist the Forest Service in meeting its goals of reducing our carbon footprint and to achieve a sustainable operation, we are transitioning to a web-based electronic comment system that allows all interested parties to receive project materials (scoping documents, updates, draft and final National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA] documents, and decisions) by e-mail. This new system gives you direct control over which mailing lists you are subscribed to and immediate electronic access to project documents as they are posted online. It’s easy, it’s good for the environment, and it gives “on-demand” access to projects.

To subscribe to this new system, go online to the project website listed above. On the project website, you will see a box titled “Get Connected” on the right hand side of the page. Click on “Subscribe to Email Updates.” When you click on that item, you will be prompted to provide your e-mail address and select a password in the GovDelivery program. When you have logged in, you will be able to manage your account by subscribing to projects by Forest, District, project type, or project purpose. You will also be able to change your e-mail address and password. If you no longer wish to follow the project(s), simply delete your subscription. Once you are subscribed, you will receive all project information via e-mail, unless you request hard copies.

To submit comments using the web form select “Comment/Object on Project” under “Get Connected” on the right panel of the project website.

Only those who subscribe to the GovDelivery mailing list or submit comments will receive future correspondence on this project. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, without an associated name and address, receiving further correspondences concerning these projects will not be possible.

Webform submission is preferred but written, facsimile, hand-delivered, verbal, and electronic comments concerning these projects will be accepted. Comments for the project may be submitted to the Krassel District Office at 500 North Mission Street, Bldg. 1, McCall, Idaho 83638 or by fax to 208-634-0634. Hand delivered comment letters may be delivered during regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding holidays. Comments may also be submitted electronically via email to or through the project web page listed above.

Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection and will be released in their entirety if requested pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. Comments received in response to this request will also be available for public inspection on the “Public Comment Reading Room” on the project webpage

For further information on this project, please contact Joshua Simpson, Recreation, Wilderness, and Trails Program Manager, 208-634-0616,

Keith Lannom
Forest Supervisor

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Senior Pass Price Skyrocketing 

12/14/2016 Western Slope No Fee Coalition

On Tuesday December 6, in the lame duck session of Congress, the House passed by unanimous consent a bill (HR 4680) that will eliminate the $10 lifetime Senior Pass (formerly Golden Age Pass) which has been available to citizens and permanent residents age 62 and older since 1965.

In the early hours of Saturday morning December 10, in a nearly empty Senate chamber – most members having already left for the holidays – the Senate approved the House bill by unanimous consent

The bill is now on its way to the President. He is nearly certain to sign it.

The lifetime pass will track with the price of the annual America the Beautiful Pass. That price is currently $80 but can be changed at any time by the federal land management agencies, without further legislation.

For those who prefer an installment plan, a new “Senior Annual” pass will also be established at a price of $20, good for one year from the date of purchase. Four consecutive Senior Annual passes can be exchanged for a lifetime pass.

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Public lands: what’s at stake in Trump administration

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 15, 2016

President-elect Trump has been sending mixed signals on how his policies will treat treasured public lands. His son, Donald Trump Jr.,  said the Trump administration will be a good steward.  But  some Republicans are champing at the bit to seize federal public lands and turn them over to states or private interests. This will cast a particularly intense spotlight on Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Montana, Trump’s choice to serve as his Interior secretary.

Here’s a brief outline from Utah-based Associated Press writers of issues to watch in the coming months.


Letter to Share:

Flyfishing 2017 And Shooting School

Deadwood Outfitters 12/14/2016

2017 Shooting School

2017 Flyfishing Adventure

Tom & Dawn Carter
Deadwood Outfitters

Critter News:

Keep the Kitties Warm

The Star-News December 15, 2016

Photo for The Star-News by Gary Ertter

Twelve Meadows Valley middle school students delivered 20 hand made fleece “kitty blankies” and five hand-made or machine-sewn cat hammocks to MCPAWS Regional Animal Shelter last Friday as part of their “Pay It Forward” community service project. The students raised $222 during the Dec. 7 Fundraiser Night held at MV school by selling baked goods, holding a cake walk, hosting a donation jar, and selling hand-made beaded bracelets. In photo, Owen Sherman is sitting in the chair. Sitting on the floor, from left, are Emma Blanthorn, Joshua Ford, Will Richards, and Logan Brusso. Sitting, second row, is teacher Cindi Feeley, Sadie Berry, Jadyn Ford, Leylani Vargas Mendez, Alexandra Mendoza Martinez, MCPAWS Adoptions Assistant Christa Brown, Nate Olson and Alex Sherman. Not pictured is Joe Edwards.

source The Star-News:
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Trapped dog rescued from Nampa irrigation box

KTVB December 16, 2016

(photo Nampa Police)

NAMPA — Zeta the yellow lab is home for the holidays after spending days trapped in an underground irrigation box in Nampa.

According to Nampa Police, a resident called dispatchers after her children spotted the dog through the drainage system’s grate. The woman said she had heard a dog barking and crying for two days, but figured the animal was at a neighbor’s house.

It wasn’t until her kids followed the sound of Zeta’s cries that she realized the dog’s plight.

Animal Control Officers Kimberly Mink and Shelly Duff teamed up with the Nampa Fire Department to get Zeta out. Police say she likely ran into a culvert and got lost in the drain system before ending up in the irrigation box.

continued w/more photos:
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Escaped wolf from eastern Idaho tourist attraction killed

12/13/16 AP

REXBURG, Idaho — A wolf that escaped a tourist attraction in southeastern Idaho has been shot and killed by its owner.

An Idaho Fish and Game official tells the Standard Journal that the owner of Yellowstone Bear World tracked the wolf in the snow and shot it about an hour after it got out of the enclosure Saturday morning.

Yellowstone Bear World also has bears and allows visitors to drive vehicles through the large enclosures.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Second week of December 2016
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Wolf Education International

Newsletter Dec 12, 2016

Sen. Baldwin: Delist grey wolves now

Wolf Hunting Bill Makes It’s Way Through Michigan Legislature

Michigan Senator Pushes for Wolf Bill

Oregon Biologists Begin Wolf Count

Farmers stage Grimm protest against big bad wolves in Hanover
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Grizzly bear experts ponder delisting at Missoula meeting

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 14, 2016

A conservation strategy for managing recovered grizzly bear populations has been the main focus of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee is holding its final meeting of 2016 Tuesday and today in Missoula.

“From a single grizzly sighted in the Big Hole basin where bears haven’t been for decades, to 750-plus grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem getting a conservation strategy nearly completed, to numerous bear encounters in the flatlands east of the Rocky Mountain Front, the committee has digested a lot of ursus arctos horribilis information this year,:  reports Rob Chaney of the Missoulian.

That may provide the final push toward removing the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem population from federal Endangered Species Act protection at this meeting.  Stay tuned.

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Bobcat fishing for salmon inside Olympic National Park

Published on Dec 15, 2016

An Olympic National Park ranger shot a viral video of a bobcat fishing for salmon in the Hoh rainforest. Video by Ranger Lee Snook

story at Idaho Statesman:
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Idaho Racing Commission broke law distributing funds


BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Racing Commission broke the law when it distributed funds collected from now-defunct historical horse racing betting terminals, state auditors said.

Legislative auditors said in a report released Tuesday that the commission gave two horse breeder associations about $286,000 in late 2015. However, the commission was supposed to give nearly $72,000 of that money to public schools.

Furthermore, the commission did not have authority at the time to distribute the money, the auditors wrote in the report. That’s because the law legalizing historical horse racing had been repealed earlier that year, which stripped the commission of its authority to distribute the funds, they said.

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Wild turkeys cause power outages in Oregon town

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 12, 2016

A flock of wild turkeys, long considered menaces to one Oregon town, have sparked new ire after causing power outages in the eastern part of Medford.

The Mail Tribune reports that wild turkeys flying into Pacific Power Lines have caused four morning outages in the last month, each time cutting off power for more than 1,600 residents and businesses.

Pacific Power spokesman Monte Mendenhall says the outages are definitely caused by the turkeys, though it’s unclear how the utility will resolve the issue.

Unlike in rural areas, it is illegal to shoot or hunt within Medford’s city limits. And trapping turkeys is thought to be difficult and time consuming.

State wildlife biologists say the power outages are a new symptom of the old problem of people feeding turkeys, allowing them to establish urban flocks.

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Cascade Audubon Christmas Bird Count to be held on Dec. 31

The Star-News December 15, 2016

A Christmas Bird Count and New Year’s Eve Party for birders will be held in Cascade on Saturday, Dec. 21.

Participants should attend a briefing starting at 8 a.m. Dec, 31 at The Ashley Inn. Partners will be assigned and instructions will be issued.

At noon, the group will break for a chili potluck lunch. Contact Shauna Arnold at or 634-6906 for questions or to volunteer.

That night, a New Year’s Even Party will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Cascade Cultural Arts Center, located at 106 Pine St. in downtown Cascade.

Those attending will play birding games and there will be activities and door prizes. Hot drinks will be provided, but those attending should bring an appetizer,

The Christmas Bird Count s a long-standing program of the National Audubon Society, with over 100 years of citizen science involvement.

source The Star-News:
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Birds fluff up and take winter cold in stride

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Dec 14, 2016

For being light a fragile, birds are incredible at surviving cold that drives humans indoors.

Birds are warm blooded, which means their bodies maintain a constant temperature, often around 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Since they can’t just throw a log on the fire, birds have several ways of coping with bitter-cold temperatures.

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Check out the Audubon Guide to Winter Bird-Feeding

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Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
December 16, 2016
Issue No. 813

Table Of Contents

* NOAA Releases Proposed Changes To Columbia Basin Mitchell Act Hatchery Programs

* EIS Scoping Meetings On Basin Salmon/Steelhead End; Next Step Developing Alternatives For Evaluation

* Will Federal Funds Arrive In Time To Help NW States Stymie Mussel Spread During 2017 Boating Season?

* Early Fish Forecast: Lower Returns Than Last Year Expected For Spring/Summer Chinook, Sockeye

* Study: Barged Snake River Fall Chinook Juveniles Stray More Than In-River Fish When Return As Adults

* Oregon, Idaho Differ On Clean Water Act Interpretations Regarding Snake River¡¯s Hells Canyon Complex

* Recovery Plan Aims To Make Oregon Coast Coho First ESA-Listed West Coast Salmonid To Be Eligible For Delisting

* NOAA Climate Prediction: Columbia Basin States Looking At Cold, Wet Winter

* “Columbia River Basin Restoration Act” Passes Congress, Aims To Reduce Toxic Contaminants

* Lawsuits Filed Over Klamath River Basin Operations That Plaintiffs Say Allowed For Parasite To Kill Coho

* UW Study Looks At How Much Of Individual Glacier¡¯s Retreat Due To Climate Change
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Falling fish knocks out power in Seattle

Seattle Post-Intelligencer Dec 16, 2016

SEATTLE (AP) — Utility officials say a falling fish knocked out power to nearly 200 customers in Seattle.

Seattle City Light says a witness reported seeing a bird drop the fish. It was presumably one of the eagles or ospreys that hunt in the nearby Duwamish River.

A crew investigating the outage walked the power lines and found what workers described as an electrocuted salmon.

Power was out for about two and a half hours.

City Light says birds often cause power outages — 162 of them in the city last year, including two by bald eagles. Raccoons are another common culprit. But spokeswoman Connie McDougall says this is the first time she’s heard of a fish knocking out power.


Fun Critter Stuff:


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Moose Loses an Antler

National Geographic Mar 8, 2016

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Buck Drops Both Antlers at Once

Eastmans’ Hunting Journals Feb 5, 2016

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YP Weather Moose December 12, 2012 by Local Color Photography

Fish & Game News:

News Releases


The Christmas Cat of Iceland – a giant terrifying cat that gobbles up children if they’re bad

At Christmas time in Iceland, families give warm clothing to each member of their household.

According to legend, there is a frightening Christmas Cat who stalks the snowy countryside and gobbles up anyone not equipped for the cold and wintery weather.

Families in Iceland work together to ensure nobody will “go to the Christmas Cat”.

This terrifying Christmas Cat is also referred to as the Yule Cat.

The idea is that families gift each other new and warm clothes for the winter, and make the Yule cat an offering of some warm weather gear. If not, the Yule cat will gobble you up like some fishy treats.

The message is passed down to children, who are taught to work hard, and if they don’t/are bad children – the Christmas Cat will eat them.

Terrifying … but effective!

There is a beloved poem about the Yule Cat by Johannes ur Kotlum which describes the huge cat’s sharp teeth and glaring yellow eyes along with the belief that one must work hard for Christmas to avoid being punished by the Yule Cat.

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What is a Polar Vortex?

The Attack of Arctic Air

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Why does the U.S. get hit with Arctic air? The media calls it the “polar vortex.” Here’s everything you need to know – in one short page.

The Arctic Oscillation (AO) is the blasting polar jet stream that circles the Arctic air mass. If it is strong, it keeps all that cold where it belongs—up in the Arctic Circle, making life interesting for the Canadians and Siberians. If it is weak, it lets all the frigid air escape south, and we get hit with a blast of winter misery.

… Winds are controlled by air pressure. If the low-pressure areas, particularly the Atlantic’s Icelandic Low or the Pacific’s Aleutian Low, are strong, they make strong winds, a positive AO.

The Arctic air stays pinned to the north and most of the US stays cozy warm. If the low-pressure areas are weak, the winds are too weak and the cold air escapes. The jet stream veers south, bringing storms and the frozen Arctic air follows right behind. Brrrr!

… These miserable invasions of cold air have a lot of names: Siberian Express, Alberta Express, Saskatchewan screamer, Manitoba mauler and Ontario scary-o. Scientists have climate names which analyze the air pressure and explain where and why the cold air will drop. The positive Pacific North American Oscillation (PNA) makes the jet stream drop into the Great Plains and Midwest. The negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) makes the jet stream drop in the Great Lakes and East.

continued w/more info:

Winter Poem:

Stopping by woods on a snowy evening

by Robert Frost


Seasonal Humor:

Christmas Cat

by Sue Teague
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by Alexander Vasilyevich Maskaev
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Put Another Log On The Fire ~ Hillbilly Hank ~ The Muppet Show

[h/t BG]
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Stuck in the Smoke Hole of our Tipi

Uploaded on Dec 17, 2009

Shoshoni Elder Oldhands posts his Original Aboriginal Christmas Song, as a gift to you.



“A good many things go around in the dark besides Santa Claus.”

– Herbert Hoover, 1935


Dec 11, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times

Dec 11, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Local Roads

A big THANK YOU to the “person” in the white club-cab for plowing our local streets today (Sunday.)
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Xmas Pot-luck

December 25 – Christmas Day Potluck at The Corner 5pm.
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Water Bills are coming out this month, due in January 2017.

Local Observations:

Monday (Dec 5) clear sky and cold (1F) this morning. 6″ of snow on the flat. Sunny morning, cloudy afternoon. Cold day (high of 26F.) Jupiter is up in the sky to the south west right after sundown.

Tuesday (Dec 6) overcast and not quite as cold (15F), fine light snow falling by daylight, a scant 1/4″ new snow and total snow measures 5.5″ on the board this morning. Squirrel tracks in the fresh snow, no birds around. Snow quit falling after sunrise. Cloudy chilly day, snow flurry in the afternoon, then clouds breaking up and clearing before dark, light cold breeze. Quiet day, very little traffic. Another snow flurry after dark brought a trace. Temperature dropping.

Wednesday (Dec 7) clearing early morning, cold (4F), light dusting of snow from last evening, 5.5″ of snow on the flat. Sunny all morning, but didn’t warm up to freezing. Clouds in the early afternoon. Clearing off before dark and temps dropping to single digits by early evening. Clear and below zero before midnight.

Thursday (Dec 8) low of -7 during the night, some high thin clouds came in and only -1 before sunrise. This morning 5″ snow measured on the flat (pre-storm). Slow to warm up, increasing clouds. Barely made it to 20 degrees before temps dropping. Snow started before 4pm. Low flying helicopter at 440pm. Snow most of the evening and off and on during the night. Temperature rising.

Friday (Dec 9) warmed up during the night to 24 by morning, 1.5″ new snow, 6″ total snow on the flat. Small flock of birds calling in the forest. Steady snow all day. (High 25F) By 5pm there was 2.25″ new snow (since morning) and 8.25″ total snow on the flat. Internet out for a short time around 1035pm. Snow stacking up and getting rather deep by midnight.

Saturday (Dec 10) power dimmed a couple times around 6am, temps rising during the night. New snow 7.5″, total snow on the flat 13″ and cloudy this morning (trying to rain.) A couple of sprinkles of rain/snow mix during the day, clouds breaking up and above freezing. Snow sliding off roofs and bombing out of trees. Temps dropping after dark, clouds breaking up, bright moon.

Sunday (Dec 11) cold night (low of 14F) but rising to 18F by morning, light snow falling, a trace this morning and 11″ total snow on the board (settled from yesterday’s warmth.) Light snow falling all morning, a trace new so far. White truck w/snowplow clearing locals streets. Snowed all afternoon, by 5pm 3/4″ accumulated. Cold light breeze blowing.


Rick Boyd

8-15-1954 to 12-1-2016


Rockslide, age 62, of Marsing, Idaho (formerly of Yellow Pine) passed away in the early morning hours of December 1, 2016 after a month long battle with cancer. Survived by his loving wife Tracy Jo.

He requested no services.
— —

Buddy Bowman


We say Goodbye to my Friend and Partner Buddy Bowman. Thank you Buddy for the Great Start to Another Chapter of our Backcountry Bar “The Yellow Pine Tavern”. May we do you Proud with our Ongoing Efforts. We plan to keep on Going. Thank you Marine for Showing us the Way!


Valley County Info:

Valley County Road Department Snow Removal Policy

Snowplows operate on a schedule designed to keep the roads open for the majority of its users. Plowing starts at approximately 2 a.m., with a special emphasis on having the School Bus Routes open by 6:30 a.m. Other principal routes are the next priority. Plows will not be sent out after normal work hours until there is a 4” accumulation of dry fluffy snow or 2” of heavy wet snow. Unless Emergency plowing is required, the county crews will plow no more than a 12 hour shift due to safety policies. During large, continuous storms, the county crews will resume plowing the next morning following a minimum 8 hour rest period. Afternoon plowing will only take place when it is necessary to clear school bus routes, this will only consist of the school bus routes. Roads are to be closed for public travel when, in the judgment of the Road Superintendent, it is unsafe for the public to travel on the roads. When conditions are such that schools should be closed, the schools and bus service will be notified prior to 6:00 a.m.

Depending on the severity or timing of snow storms, we cannot guarantee when snow removal may occur in your area.

Loose snow will be removed from the road surface to road right of ways. In residential areas, some driveways will receive snow. County crew will not clear driveways or other private roads. Residents should keep vehicles, garbage cans and other items out of the road and out of the road right of way to facilitate snow plowing and storage. County will not be liable for vehicle damage, mailboxes, broken fences, trees and other items located in the road right of way. In between storms, clean up is completed by widening the roadways, winging the banks back and cutting the snow floor.

Please do not push snow from your drive way into the roadway or across the roadway as this causes traffic hazards. Pushing snow across the road, leaving or blowing snow on the road and similar activities is a violation of Idaho State Code Section 18-3907 which reads in part “Obstruction of Highways – Any person who obstructs, injures or damages any public road, street, or highway, either by placing obstruction therein or by digging in, or in any other manner injures or obstructs any public road, street of highway, is guilty of a misdemeanor”.

Thank you for your cooperation and working with Valley County Road & Bridge to keep our roadways open and safe this winter.

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Valley County Idaho ~ Code Of The New West

Old West values like integrity, self-reliance and accountability guided their decisions, actions and interactions. Their survival depended upon their ability to cooperate with their neighbors — an attitude of collective responsibility to society and finding non-partisan solutions to environmental problems and other important issues. In keeping with that spirit, we offer this information to help the citizens of Valley County who wish to follow in the footsteps of those rugged individuals by living in the rural areas of Valley County.

Introduction: It is important to become aware of the realities of living in rural Idaho. It is also important for you to know that life in the country is different from life in the city. You need to be prepared.

As you look for a place to make your home, look at the community and its people. County and small town governments are not able to provide the same level of service that city governments provide. However, the County does have a complete set of ordinances, such as: building codes, land use codes, lighting standards, and even rules on how to place your culverts. You should think about transportation, communication, education, health care, employment and public services that are so essential to our modern way of life. To that end, we are providing you with the following information to help you make an educated informed decision before you purchase property or build a home in our county.

Click here to read Document:

Idaho News:

Dec. 20 deadline noted for Valley, Adams property taxes

The Star-News Dec 8, 2016

The deadline for the first half of the year’s property taxes for Valley and Adams counties will be Tuesday, Dec. 20.

Payments will be accepted through 5 p.m. Dec. 20 at the county courthouses in Cascade and Council. The treasurer offices in both counties are staffed Mondays through Friday, including the lunch hour.

Late charge begin on Wednesday, Dec. 21, and interest begins on Jan. 1, so mailed payments must be postmarked by Dec. 20.

Valley County property owners can also pay their taxes through the Access Idaho program which accepts credit cards or electronic checks. For more information, contact the treasurer’s office at 382-7110 or

Credit card payments are available in Adams County and will be accepted until midnight on Dec. 20. Contact the staff at (208) 253-4263 extension 6 or

Payments also can be left in the payment drop box just outside the main courthouse entrance in Council.

source The Star-News:
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Valley County ponders hauling trash to Adams County

Proposed landfill would save money over trucking to Mountain Home

BY MAX SILVERSON for The Star-News Dec 8, 2016

Valley County is considering hauling its trash to a landfill near Council to save money.

The proposal would create a new landfill on 200 acres near the current Goodrich landfill in Adams County.

The new site would have enough capacity to receive trash for at least the next 50 years, Valley County Commissioner Elt Hasbrouck said.

The county now spends about $430,000 per year to haul trash from the county’s transfer station on Spink Lane near Donnelly to a landfill near Mountain Home, Hasbrouck said.

“If we take it to Adams County it’s almost half the distance,” he said. “Our charge per load should go from that $1,100, somewhere down to $500 or 600 per load.”

Initial construction costs for the new landfill are estimated at about $1 million and would be financed by a combination of counties interested in hauling trash to the site.

Monitoring wells, construction of five-acre cells to store the trash as well as access roads must be completed before hauling can begin.

Valley and Adams counties would contribute $250,000 each, with Idaho County contributing $500,000 to the construction of the new site, under the proposal.

It is unclear where Valley County’s $250,000 contribution would come.

Hasbrouck suggested using an $80,000 surplus in the county’s Solid Waste Fund. The rest would come from a fund of federal money paid to the county to compensate for lack of property taxes from federal land in the county.

There is more than $430,000 in that fund, Hasbrouck said.

The cost of building the Goodrich landfill will quickly be recovered in savings from hauling, he said.

“If we can spend $250,000 to save $200,000 the following year, the choice is pretty easy,” Hasbrouck said.

full story The Star-News:
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Tamarack Resort homeowners pay taxes on ski area facilities

Nonessential parcels will be auctioned by Valley County

BY MAX SILVERSON for The Star-News Dec 8, 2016

Homeowners at Tamarack Resort have paid $650,000 in past-due property taxes for parts of the resort important for operation of the ski area.

The Tamarack Municipal Association made the payment on Nov. 30, Valley County Treasurer Glenna Young said.

However, the homeowners did not pay past-due taxes for parcels that are not considered vital for operation of the resort. Those parcels were seized by Valley County on Monday and will be sold at auction in February.

The 15 parcels retained by the homeowners include the Canoe Grill, Seven Devils Pub, Sports Dome, Wildhorse Youth Activity Center, offices and base facilities as well as undeveloped lots near the base area, Tamarack Resort General Manager Brad Larsen said.

Those properties will be needed as the homeowners return to operating the ski area for the first time in three years, Larsen said. The ski area is scheduled to open on Friday.

The taxes paid by the homeowners were for 2011 and 2012. Paying those back taxes avoided seizure by the county, but $690,000 in taxes are still due for years after 2012, Young said

The remaining 18 parcels of land belonging to TMA were seized on Monday during a hearing by Valley County commissioners.

These parcels include the Blue Mountain Subdivision, 14 hotel units in the Lodge at Osprey Meadows, the former medical clinic, the former Crane Creek Market as well as the water and sewer infrastructure.

All seized parcels will be sold at auction on Feb. 13. Delinquent taxes for those 18 parcels total over $13 million, Young said.

full story The Star-News:
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Tamarack Resort opening today [Friday]

KTVB December 09, 2016

With more than a foot of fresh snow expected in the mountains, skiers and snowboarders can start getting excited.

Tamarack Resort will open the mountain top-to-bottom today.

The resort says they have knee-deep powder at the summit, and these photos prove it.

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Brundage Mountain to open Easy Street Saturday, more trails later

The Star-News Dec 8, 2016

Skiers and riders can hit the slopes at Brundage Mountain this weekend thanks to a combination of natural snow and snowmaking equipment.

A foot of fresh snow has fallen in the Brundage base area over the past seven days and low temperatures have been friendly to the resort’s enhanced snowmaking efforts, a news release said.

The Easy Street lift is set to run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. starting Saturday. Brundage will open additional lifts and runs as soon as conditions permit.

“Our snowmaking efforts have been the key to getting Easy Street ready,” resort spokesperson April Whitney said.

“We’ve also laid down a great base at the bottom terminals of the Bear and Centennial chairs,” Whitney said.

Easy Street lift tickets are free for all ages again this season. Smoky’s Bar & Grill will open Saturday along with regular rental, retail and ski school operations.

source The Star-News:
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Idaho projected to see $139M surplus


BOISE, Idaho — Idaho could be on track to finish the fiscal year with $139 million in surplus tax revenue if a new forecast released Thursday holds true.

The state’s legislative budget office released the projection for the year ending next June 30, estimating that Idaho should take in nearly $3.44 billion in state taxes and fees.

The amount is $92 million more than what lawmakers initially estimated and would make for a surplus of $139 million.

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New director wants upgrades at Idaho ag research stations

12/5/16 AP

MOSCOW, Idaho — Upgrading aging infrastructure at nine research and extension centers around the state is a main goal, the new director of the University of Idaho’s Agricultural Experiment Station said.

Mark McGuire told the Capital Press ( that some of that infrastructure dates back to the 1960s and 1970s and needs upgrading so researchers have modern facilities and equipment.

“We’re trying to revitalize all of the college’s infrastructure,” he said, noting the college will try to get state, federal and private money to pay for the upgrades.

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NASA highlights Idaho lake in out-of-this-world image

This bright blue lake, with its tight swirl of a light-toned sediment, caught the eye of an astronaut on the International Space Station. Situated on the Idaho-Utah border, Bear Lake is one of the bigger lakes in the Rocky Mountains.

The two swirls near the center of the 30 kilometer (19 mile) long lake are rotating in the deepest water—perhaps from outflow from Swan Creek or Fish Haven Creek. North Eden Creek has laid down a little delta at its mouth. Two center-pivot irrigation fields sit on the delta, one of the few flat places in this mountainous landscape.

The more diffuse swirls at the north end of the lake (lower right) likely formed from sediment entering from North Eden Creek. This sediment is carried north along the shoreline by lake currents, joining with sediment eroded from the white beaches.


Public Lands News:

Pioneer Fire Recovery and Restoration Update


The December 2016 Pioneer Fire Recovery and Restoration Update is attached for your review.

To assist the Forest Service in meeting its goals of reducing our carbon footprint and to achieve a sustainable operation, we are transitioning to a web-based electronic system that allows interested parties to receive project materials and Forest information by email. This system gives you direct control over which mailing lists you are subscribed to. It’s easy, it’s good for the environment, and it gives “on-demand” access to Forest information and projects. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the “Subscriber Preference Page” link at the bottom of this message and following the instructions on

For additional information regarding the attached Pioneer Fire Recovery and Restoration Update, please contact Venetia Gempler, Public Affairs Officer, by phone phone at 208-373-4105 or by email vgempler @

Melissa Yenko
Boise National Forest
Forest Environmental Coordinator

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Fuel breaks to limit rangeland fires proposed in 3 states

By KEITH RIDLER –  12/7/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — A proposed fuel break system in southwest Idaho, southeast Oregon and northern Nevada will limit the size of destructive rangeland wildfires and protect habitat for sage grouse, say officials with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The agency on Tuesday released a plan called the Tri-State Fuel Break Project, which would create gaps in combustible vegetation along existing roads on public lands in the three states by reducing fuel next to the roads, using either machines or chemical treatments, and maintained with a long-term schedule.

Fuel breaks would be developed on about 5,600 square miles in Idaho and Oregon that could be tied in with fuel breaks in Nevada. The agency said it has identified about 1,600 miles of roads that could be part of the fuel break system.

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Neighbors oppose Idaho plan to log 40-acre cedar grove

12/6/16 AP

SPOKANE, Wash. — A 40-acre grove of cedar trees could be logged next summer to generate extra revenue, Idaho officials say, but they’re facing opposition from nearby residents.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game thinks it could raise several hundred thousand dollars by selling timber from the trees near Lake Pend Oreille in northern Idaho, The Spokesman-Review reported (

That money would stay in the region and could be tapped for other projects, the agency’s Coeur d’Alene manager, Chip Corsi, said.

But about 50 people who live near the grove have signed a petition asking Fish and Game to reconsider cutting down the cedars, which range from 80 to 120 years old.

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US Sen. Jim Risch proposes new wilderness area in Idaho

12/9/16 AP

SPOKANE, Wash. — U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican, has introduced a bill that would protect the state’s portion of the craggy, scenic Scotchman Peaks.

The Spokesman-Review reports that Risch has proposed legislation that would designate about 14,000 acres of Idaho’s land as a federal wilderness area, which would limit development to preserve the land’s natural character and ecological function.

The proposed wilderness area includes the 7,009-foot Scotchman Peak, which has a popular hiking trail and a summit overlooking the Clark Fork River delta. The entire Scotchman Peaks region is about 88,000 acres and includes federal land in Montana that would require separate legislation.

The nonprofit Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, Bonner County leadership and the local Chamber of Commerce support the legislation.

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Family following GPS directions stuck overnight in mountains

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review December 9, 2016

A Portland family spent Thursday night in their snowbound car in southern Oregon after following their GPS’s directions.

The Daily Courier reports that a husband, wife, 9-year-old child and their dog became snowbound after driving on Happy Camp Road up near Page Mountain Sno-Park, 20 miles southeast of Cave Junction.

The route through Happy Camp is the most direct way to get to Willow Creek, where the family said they were headed, said Lt. Travis Snyder of the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office.

But the route is not advised in the winter because it isn’t plowed past the Sno-Park, he said.

Motorists are advised to be careful with GPS navigation in remote areas. Snyder says drivers should also consult standard maps and avoid lightly traveled roads.


Letter to Share:

Wintering Hummingbirds in Boise

Dec 5, 2016

There have been reports of Anna’s Hummingbirds seen in Boise recently.

BSU is doing a study and wants your sightings.

“We’re studying overwintering Anna’s Hummingbirds in Idaho. Help us by sharing any hummingbird sightings from October-mid March!”

Contact us at IBO @ or 208-426-2223

link to lots of great info:
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Who Was Anna?

The Anna’s Hummingbird is the only hummingbird that stays through the winter in the West and Northwest.

This tiny hummingbird sports a bronzy-green back and pale gray belly, all washed in green. When direct sunlight catches the throat and head feathers of the male, an iridescent flash of brilliant rosy-red gleams from the bird.

Evidently, the “Anna” after whom this hummingbird was named was as lovely as the bird. The French Princess Anna de Belle Massena was married to Prince Victor Massena, an amateur ornithologist who had an impressive collection of bird specimens. Perhaps it was this collection that first attracted John James Audubon to the prince and princess. But it was Anna herself who charmed Audubon when he visited them in Paris. He described her as a “beautiful young woman, not more than twenty, extremely graceful and polite.” She was also admired by naturalist René-Primevère Lesson, and he’s the man who honored Anna by naming the hummingbird after her.

Hummingbirds are found only in the Americas, so it’s unlikely that Princess Anna ever saw one on the wing. Nevertheless, her beauty remains immortalized in the name of this little green gem, the Anna’s Hummingbird.

Michael Stein – BirdNote

Critter News:

Idaho sanctuary prepares orphaned bear cubs for the wild

By CHADD CRIPE – 12/10/16 AP

MCCALL, Idaho — Janell Carr first met Mr. Cinnamon when the black bear cub was eating out of her bird feeder in Cascade. She and her husband eventually startled the bear, who climbed 80 feet up a tree in their yard and took a nap.

Later that weekend, neighbors found Mr. Cinnamon in their kitchen sink. They left an upstairs window open — and the cub climbed the deck to get there.

Carr saw the bear again, walking through her yard while she was sitting on the deck.

“I didn’t know if I should feed him or pet him or be afraid,” she said. “He was a little guy. Everybody had seen and heard of him.”

So the neighbors called Idaho Fish and Game, which trapped the bear and sent him to rehab — at the Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary outside McCall. Snowdon rehabs all kinds of animals and releases them back into the wild but has become known for its bear cubs.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

First week of December 2016
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California extends protections for rebounding gray wolf

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review December 8, 2016

The California gray wolves will keep their endangered species protections even once the rebounding animal hits a population of at least 50, state wildlife officials said Wednesday.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife published its plan for managing wolves late Tuesday, setting its policy for the species that is making a comeback to the state after it was killed off in the 1920s.

“Wolves returning to the state was inevitable,” said Charlton Bonham, director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in a statement. “It’s an exciting ecological story, and this plan represents the path forward to manage wolves.”

The plan marks a shift in course, dropping language from an earlier draft that directed officials to remove wolves from the list of animals protected once they reached the critical mass.

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Wolf Education International

Newsletter December 6, 2016

Wisconsin Wolf Detection Maps
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Volunteers sought for McCall Christmas Bird Count Dec 18

The Star-News Dec 8, 2016

Volunteers are needed to help with the McCall Christmas Bird Count on Sunday, Dec. 18.

Those interested in taking part should gather at 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 18 at the McCall Resource Management Complex at 555 Deinhard Lane.

New participants will be paired with those who have previously taken part to areas around McCall and New Meadows to count as many different species of birds as possible.

“The idea is to get a pretty good snapshot of the number bird species and individuals that are in the McCall area on that day,” said Matt Dresser of McCall, who will compile the results for the sponsoring National Audubon Society.

Participants should bring binoculars and may attend for a full day or partial day. Some areas may be covered on skis or snowshoes, while other counters can watch feeders, count from cars or on foot, Dresser said.

The Christmas Bird Count dates to 1900, when many observers and scientists were becoming worried about declining bird populations, according an Audubon Society history.

Ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, an early officer in the then-nascent Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition, a “Christmas Bird Census,” that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them.

The data collected by observers over the past century allow Audubon researchers, conservation biologists, wildlife agencies and others study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America, the history said.

For questions, contact Dresser at mattdresser @ or (208) 718-1434.

source The Star-News:
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The South Hills Crossbill Is Evolving in a Seriously Bizarre Way

Matt Simon Science 09.29.16

A closeup of a male’s beak photo by Craig Benkman

IN THE PINE forests of Idaho, a bird called the South Hills crossbill is waging one seriously bizarre evolutionary war.

Over the last 5,000 years or so, the crossbill—so named because the two halves of its bill cross over each other instead of aligning—has menaced the lodgepole pine, developing an ever-bigger beak to break into the tree’s cones and steal its seeds. In response, the tree has evolved ever-thicker cone scales. And the South Hills crossbill evolves a bigger bill. And the tree responds. And on and on through the millennia.

That’s not the weird bit. Species evolving together like this is known as coevolution. Happens all the time. The weird bit is that the South Hills crossbill may have speciated without geographic isolation—which is sort of problematic for traditional evolutionary theory. Because while the South Hills crossbill was diverging from other crossbills, it did so while those other crossbills were freely flying through its territory, according to a study published today in Molecular Ecology. That adds to a growing body of evidence that in certain fascinating cases, you may not need geographic isolation to get a new species, challenging what was long gospel among many evolutionary biologists. Gasp—I know.

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Utah sheriff lost part of hand in Idaho hunting accident

12/8/16 AP

SALT LAKE CITY — Police documents say a northern Utah sheriff lost part of his left hand, including at least three fingers, in an Idaho hunting accident.

The Logan Herald-Journal reports ( the documents shed light on the October accident that happened when Cache County Sheriff Chad Jensen’s shotgun accidently discharged during a goose hunting trip near Soda Springs, Idaho.

The report from the Caribou County Sheriff’s Office says Jensen was in a camouflaged hunting pit with his daughter when the gun went off.

Jensen told an investigator he wasn’t sure what happened, but the weapon may have gotten caught on an ammunition canister when Jensen reached up to close the lid of the pit.

He was flown to Salt Lake City for surgery in stable condition.

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Hunters: Don’t eat geese tainted by toxic Butte pit mine

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review December 9, 2016

Freeze them, don’t eat them, Montana wildlife officials are telling hunters who have killed snow geese in the Butte and Dillon areas recently.

The meat of snow geese and possibly of other waterfowl that may have landed in the contaminated water of the old open Berkeley Pit mine may be contaminated with heavy metals.

Hundreds and maybe thousands of birds died shortly after landing in the toxic stew of the “lake” within the pit.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials are asking hunters to freeze the geese until investigators can determine how the water affected the birds.

Tens of thousands of snow geese landed in the 700-acre Berkeley Pit in Butte during a snowstorm on Nov. 28. Mine officials have worked to haze the birds off the water and prevent others from landing at the Superfund site.

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Idaho utility seeks to negate Oregon fish passage law

By KEITH RIDLER –  12/11/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — Federal authorities should negate an Oregon law requiring fish passage as part of relicensing for a hydroelectric project on the Snake River where it forms the border between Idaho and Oregon, a utility company says.

Boise-based Idaho Power in a notice made public last week asks the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to exempt the three-dam Hells Canyon Complex from the Oregon statute.

The company in the 28-page filing said the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution that has to do with federal authority over states pre-empts the Oregon law.

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Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
December 9, 2016
Issue No. 812

Table Of Contents

* River Operations In Review: NOAA Report Shows McNary Dam To Bonneville Dam A Tough Stretch For Juvenile Migrants

* River Operations In Review: Will Early Runoff In Columbia River Basin Be The New Normal?

* War On Invasive Mussels: Montana Governor Declares Statewide Natural Resources Emergency

* Washington, Oregon Fish And Wildlife Commissions On Parallel Course With Columbia River Harvest Reform

* Nez Perce Helping To Purchase Easement To Provide Habitat For Spawning Salmon At Important Cultural Site

* Research: Even Sockeye Evolved In Pacific’s Northern Edge Have Ability To Manage Heat Stress

* Average U.S. Temperature In Autumn Warmest On Record, Precipitation Above Average In Much Of PNW

* USFWS Announces $900,000 For NW States In Wolf Livestock Demonstration Project Grants

* Study Treats Migrating Salmon With Anxiety Medication, Says Limits Fear Of The Unknown Downstream

* New Technique Can Help Researchers Forecast Appearance Of Harmful Algal Blooms

* California Fish And Game Releases Final Wolf Management Plan

Fun Critter Stuff:


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Kittens Discovering Mirrors for the First Time

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I used to live in a room full of mirrors;
all I could see was me.
I take my spirit and I crash my mirrors,
now the whole world is here for me to see.

– Jimi Hendrix


Fish & Game News:

News Releases
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Idaho Fish and Game to try for fee hike once again

DEC. 7, 2016  By Kimberlee Kruesi Associated Press

BOISE – Officials with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are once again preparing to push a plan to raise hunting and fishing fees despite facing years of resistance from state lawmakers.

Director Virgil Moore announced earlier this week that his department has had to cut services because of a lack of funding over the past 12 years. The agency relies on revenue from licenses, tags and permits to cover operational costs.

Moore says his plan involves raising resident fees in 2018. However, a person can lock in the currently lower prices by buying a license in 2017 and each subsequent year.

Previous versions have stalled in the Statehouse after key lawmakers disagreed over the best method for the department to increase revenue.



Remembering Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941

Tips & Advice:

Boot Cleats Review

Ice season is coming and I thought I would “review” the various types of cleats we have tried in Yellow Pine over the years. – rrS


The first kind we tried were rubber slip-ons with metal buttons on the bottom (sort of like in the image above.) I think they were meant for icy flat sidewalks, not for our rough country. Did not work well and wore out quickly.

Rating: 5 bums down


Shoe/boot chains are pretty good on rough ice, but not on inclines or smooth ice. The rubber that holds them will degrade with time. Also the chains sometimes come apart with rough use. Better than nothing.

Rating 3 bums down

Coiled Wire

The wires do a little better than the chains on smooth ice and inclines, but again the rubber degrades and the wires go sproing. Also they tend to make your feet hurt on long walks. Worth a try for the price if you don’t walk long distances, easy to put on and take off.

Rating 2 bums down

Hexhead Cleats

We have been using “Stabilicers” for the last 3 winters. They are rugged and grip rough and smooth ice, great on inclines and the solid sole doesn’t hurt our feet on long walks. The only drawback I have found is that the ankle straps on the smaller size are almost too short to wrap around a thick boot (and the hook side of the Velcro will leave scratches on my boots.) They are expensive, but so is a trip out with a broken leg or arm. Recommended.

Rating 0 bums down


Some folks have used actual crampons and apparently they work well too (but they are hard on indoor floors!) We have not tried them yet.

Rating 0 bums down


St. Nicholas Day

from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

When does St. Nicholas come? Many countries in Europe celebrate the Feast of Sinterklaas, or St. Nicholas, on the eve of December 6. After dinner, families hunt for their presents, following clues in funny, anonymous poems. In Belgium and the Netherlands, a fellow dressed as St. Nicholas would arrive by ship on December 6 and ride a white horse (or a donkey) through the towns, handing out gifts.They also eat candies and cookies, especially spicy crispy ginger-cookie figures formed in a traditional wooden mold.

Other traditions equate St. Nicholas with Santa Claus, which means that St. Nicholas comes on the night of December 24, leaving presents for children to open on December 25.

continued w/more info and recipe:
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Saint Nicholas
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St. Nicholas Arrives In Holland (1963)

(no sound)
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The Darkest Time Of The Year

The Old Farmer’s Almanac ~ By  Bob Berman

These are our darkest afternoons. But, surprise! For most of us, Thursday, December 8, will bring the turnaround. It’s a major winter milestone: the day of our earliest sunset.

This puzzles people, but in fact it’s a reliable yearly sequence. First comes earliest sunset, this week. Then there’s the solstice half a month later, the day with the fewest minutes of daylight. Finally, another two weeks later, in early January, we get our murkiest morning—the latest sunrise.

So we’re now slam bang at the low point of afternoon sunshine. And since far more people are awake and aware of things at 4:30 PM than they are at 6 in the morning, in a very real sense you can forget about the solstice and the “official” shortest day of the year. So far as what most folks actually experience, NOW is the darkest time of the year.

Of course, the degree of darkness varies, depending on how far north you live. As for the time the clock reads at sunset—this also depends on how far east or west your home sits, relative to your standard time zone.

For example, here in the mountains of upstate New York, my time zone is Eastern, which is set for longitude 75 degrees, a line that passes through the dairy farm regions of Oneonta and Herkimer, New York.

Those living east of that line experience progressively earlier sunsets.

Drive just an hour east from where you are right now, and the Sun sets ten minutes earlier. That’s because going east around the Earth’s curve makes your western horizon rise up to block the Sun sooner.

Go a mere 35 miles east, and the sun sets five minutes earlier.

In my region, which is the rural Northeastern US, the very earliest sunsets happen for those who indeed live both north AND east—namely, along the upper coast of Maine.

It all reflects the reality that tropical sunsets hardly vary throughout the year, while polar sunsets change wildly through the seasons. If you lived right smack on the equator, like in Quito, Ecuador, your minutes of daylight would never budge throughout the year, not even by one second. By contrast, our northern friends in Minnesota and especially Alaska experience the most radically short days in December.

But wherever you live, after December 8, before winter even starts, afternoons will start getting brighter!


Dec 4, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times

Dec 4, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Christmas Potluck

We are going to have the Christmas day potluck at The Corner.  It will be at 5pm. – H
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The annual rate has gone up by $30 to $150 per year for residential connections. Water bills are due in January.

Local Observations:

Monday (Nov 28) overnight snow put down 2.5″ by this morning, mostly cloudy and occasional flakes of snow. Patches of blue sky to the south, socked in to the north. Patchy sunshine and flaking snow on and off all day, short afternoon snow flurry, but no accumulation. More snow melted than gained. Chilly quiet day. Power off/on at 406pm. Light snow falling after dark.

Tuesday (Nov 29) hard freeze, snowing by daylight, 1/4″ new snow by 9am (total snow on the ground about 1.5″), overcast and light snow falling this morning. Intermittent light snow during the day. Cloudy evening, temperature dropping.

Wednesday (Nov 30) very hard freeze, a little dusting of snow before sunrise, cold and cloudy morning. Flaking snow off and on. Low helicopter at 1035am. Steady light snow at lunchtime, snowed all day until way after dark. Cold all day, never got above freezing.

Thursday (Dec 1) snowing early this morning, 1.5″ new snow, 3″ total snow on the board, cloudy and light snow falling. Fire siren test at noon. Snow off and on all day and quiet. One starling hanging around the chickens. Breaks in the clouds before dark.

Friday (Dec 2) very cold this morning (low of 8 degrees) clear sky. Strong sun made icicles drip and melted a little snow, but the high was only 32 degrees. Clouds came in and overcast by late afternoon. One starling still hanging with the hens. Very quiet day. Breezy night.

Saturday (Dec 3) not as cold, but below freezing. Yesterday’s sun and last night’s wind took an inch of snow away, now 2″ of snow on the flat. Helicopter over the village at 1115am. Cloudy all day, slight breeze in the afternoon, sucker holes in the clouds off and on. Diesel fumes hanging in the air before dark. Cloudy, started snowing in the middle of the night.

Sunday (Dec 4) 2″ of new snow by morning (4″ total on the flat) cloudy and steady snow this morning. Steady snow all day, big flakes stacking up, at least another couple of inches. Snow stopped and a little breezy before dark.


Rick Boyd

Rockslide passed away on December 1, 2016.


No info yet on services.
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Kathy Chaloupka

September 3, 1953 ~ October 6, 2016


Kathy Sue Miller Chaloupka, age 63 of Boise, Idaho passed from this life after a long battle with cancer on October 6, 2016. Kathy was born in Elkhart, Indiana in 1953 to Clayborne and Vera Miller who with her brother James Allen Miller have preceded her in death.  She is mourned and greatly missed by: her husband James Chaloupka; brother Larry R.(Susan) Miller of Knoxville, Tennessee; sister Karen Fitzsimmons of Denver, Colorado; Aunt Shirley Plass of Valinda, California and numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, friends and coworkers.

Kathy was a talented artist, a quilter, a tole painter, a carpenter and a rug sculptor. She loved traveling to the Oregon coast and hiking.  She was a dedicated, long time employee and supervisor at the Sate of Idaho Insurance Department.

There was a celebration of her life on October 15th, from 1-3pm at Louie’s Restaurant that is located at 2500 East Fairview Avenue in Meridian, Idaho.  In lieu of flowers, we encourage you to send a donation to your favorite charity.

Letter to Share:

Commissioner Cruickshank’s November Newsletter

December 4, 2016

From the desk of Commissioner Cruickshank

Wednesday November 2nd
Today the Payette National Forest cut the National Christmas Tree which will now begin the journey to our Nations Capitol. With the tree being cut within view of the Little Ski Hill Lodge right outside of McCall many people joined in to watch it happen.

Thursday November 3rd
I participated in an Idaho Association of Counties (IAC) conference call to discuss updates to the By-Laws for IAC.

Monday November 7th
A commissioner day today. To view the minutes of our meetings once approved they are on our Valley County website at Valley County, Idaho Official Site

Tuesday November 8th
Election day. After voting I started picking up campaign signs as they had been up long enough.

Tonight I went to the courthouse to watch the results come in. Thank you to all my supporters and the folks who voted for me as I won my re-election by 132 votes. Valley County had a great turnout with 82 percent voting today.

Wednesday November 9th
Several municipal agencies work to support transportation grants. To support the grants I signed for Valley County a document along with Cascade, Donnelly, McCall and New Meadows Mayors with a list of our wishes for transportation projects in the coming years.

This afternoon I participated in a National Forest Counties and Schools Coalition conference call to discuss potential legislation that could provide Secure Rural Schools funding for our Schools and Roads.

Thursday November 10th
I attended a Federal Court proceeding today to settle a lawsuit filed by a former employee which we were successful in doing.

Tonight I stopped by the Snow Advisory meeting held in Cascade on my way home.

Friday November 11th
I received a phone call asking if I had heard anything on Salvage Harvest of Timber from the Pioneer Fire. At this time there had not been any news of harvest other than along roadways.

Veterans Day today. I attended the event held in McCall to honor our Veterans for our freedom.

I met with a Tamarack Homeowners Board member to discuss the Tax Deed Process for the parcels that have not paid taxes for the last several years.

Tonight I attended an Event at Mile High Sports that thank everyone for their support of all types of recreation in our region.

Monday November 14th
Commissioner day today. Please see the Valley County website for the minutes.

Tuesday November 15th
This morning I met with an individual to discuss the intent of Congressman Labrador’s legislation to allow management of National Forests by using State of Idaho Forestry Division. Concerns were on if this allowed selling of Public Lands which there was never any intent to do so only management in a responsible manner to utilize the natural resource and provide funding for our schools and road maintenance.

This afternoon I met with an individual to discuss the recent election and how it will effect Valley County.

Wednesday November 16th
This morning was an Americas Best Communities meeting to review the projects and see where they are in process to meet the requirements the ABC Team created when we applied for this contest.

Tonight I provided the opening remarks to the Multi-Hazard Workshop held in McCall. This workshop focused primarily on Flood Plain Insurance however the Fire Departments and Fire Wise officials were on hand to discuss other hazards.

Thursday November 17th
Today my fellow commissioners and I attended the West Central Mountains Leadership training held at Jug Mountain Golf Clubhouse to discuss with this years Leadership Class the county perspective of what happens in the commissioner arena of local government.

Tonight I provided the opening remarks to the Multi-Hazard Workshop held in Cascade on the same topics as McCall.

Friday November 18th
I started my day attending the Big CK/YP meeting held in Cascade.

I stepped out for an hour to attend a training on new electronic filing for the court system called Odyssey which will change how court records are filed in the future. By the middle of 2017 all Idaho courts should be on this system as it has been working in a few other counties as a pilot program.

I then returned to the Big CK/YP meeting for the remainder of that meeting.

Monday November 21st
Commissioner day today. Please see the minutes on the Valley County website.

Tuesday November 22nd
Catching up on emails and a few phone calls on the Bio-Mass Study Valley County is having done.

Wednesday November 23rd
Reviewed documents on the Payette National Forest Travel Management lawsuit in an attempt to settle the issue of access which has been closed to several areas in the Big Creek and Yellow Pine areas. Responded back to our attorney with comments after the review.

Received a call from a citizen concerned about how the McCall Hospital District is able to tax when St Lukes is now running the hospital. Explained the vote of 86 percent voting in favor to continue with the tax when this was looked at originally.

Thursday November 24th
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope all had a great time with family and friends today.

Friday November 25th
I met with an engineer with CH2M Hill to discuss the YMCA Camp at Horsethief and the Horsethief Campground as the Idaho Fish and Game is looking for someone to manage the site.

Monday November 28th
Commissioner day. Please see the minutes once approved on the Valley County website.

Tuesday November 29th
Drove to Boise for an early morning meeting tomorrow.

Wednesday November 30th
I attended the Associated Taxpayers conference held at the Boise Center on the Grove. Speakers presented on how Idaho Compares to surrounding states, Idaho Economic Development, Local Government’s role in Taxes, an Idaho CEO Perspective with Bob Miller with Albertsons and the Presidential Transition. Idaho Lt. Governor Little provided the opening remarks this morning and Idaho Governor Otter spoke during our luncheon.

Late afternoon I attended the Idaho Association of Counties (IAC) Legislative Committee meeting to review potential legislation submitted by Counties in Idaho and set priorities on how to proceed.

I hope my newsletter provides a snapshot of the activities I participate in to represent he great folks of Valley County and Idaho.

Well that wraps up another month of activities for me. I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as it will have come and gone before my next newsletter.

Thanks for reading. See you next year.

Idaho News:

Capitol Christmas Tree Arrives

The Star-News December 1, 2016


Photo by Choose Outdoors

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is shown being erected on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Monday. The tree safely completed its cross-country trip from McCall, where it was cut on Nov. 1, to the nation’s capital. The tree will be decorated this week with lights and decorations made by Idaho school students. A formal tree lighting will begin at 3 p.m. Mountain time on Tuesday.

source The Star-News:
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Valley, Cascade officers give out turkeys instead of tickets

The Star-News December 1, 2016

Motorists stopped for minor traffic offenses over the Thanksgiving weekend got a surprise from officers. Instead of a ticket, they got a turkey.

Deputies from the Valley County Sheriff’s Department and officers of the Cascade Police Department were authorized to give out turkeys instead of tickets at their discretion, Valley County Sheriff Patti Bolen said.

The Tamarack Environmental Protection Association donated 33 turkeys to the sheriff’s office, Bolen said.

The decision was made to share the turkeys with Cascade police and to allow officers to hand them out to those stopped for minor traffic offenses.

The deputies enjoyed the change from their normal routine, and the motorists especially appreciated the gesture, Bolen said.

The sheriff’s office plans to repeat the giveaway next year, she said.

Officers will not be giving away turkeys during Christmas, but Bolen said there were plans underway to do something similar.

source The Star-News:
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Idaho governor says he won’t propose tax cut for 2017

11/30/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter says that he has no plans to introduce a tax cut proposal to the Idaho Legislature in 2017.

Speaking Wednesday at the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho annual conference in Boise, Otter said he plans to focus on education as his top priority during the upcoming legislative session. However, Otter added he’s open to considering tax cut proposals that make it through the GOP-dominated Legislature.

The Spokesman-Review reports that Idaho is currently in the middle of implementing a five-year plan to boost teacher pay. The third installment is estimated to cost $58 million next year.

Otter won’t unveil his final plans until his annual State of the State speech on Jan. 9.

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Idaho Dept. of Lands auctions off seven commercial properties, including Affordable Storage

By Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review Dec 1, 2016

At a public auction today in Meridian, the Idaho Department of Lands auctioned off seven commercial properties owned by the state endowment for $17.3 million; two others didn’t sell. Three buildings in downtown Boise sold together as a package for $6.6 million, more than $2 million higher than the appraised price. The three were the Sherm Perry building, location of the 10 Barrel brewpub, 826 W. Bannock Street; the Garro building, 816 W. Bannock Street; and the Garro building parking lot at 822 W. Bannock Street.

The Affordable Storage property at 448-450 S. Maple Grove Road in Boise sold for $4.7 million, $1,690,000 more than its appraised price. A former bank building kitty-corner across from the state Capitol at the corner of 8th and State Streets sold for $1.5 million, $645,000 above its appraised price.

An office known as Central Washington Place, at 602 N. Fifth Street in downtown Boise, sold for its appraised price of $4,185,000, with no competitive bidding.

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Man gets probation for sparking east Idaho wildfire

12/3/16 AP

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — An Ammon man has been sentenced to probation for starting a wildfire near Idaho Falls.

The Post Register reports that 20-year-old Kristian Lopez on Friday was sentenced to a suspended sentence of 180 days in jail. Lopez was also ordered to pay $1,000 in fines and to serve community service.

Lopez in September pleaded guilty to misdemeanor malicious injury to property by setting fire to the forest, prairie lands or by unextinguished campfire.

Lopez was shooting off bottle rockets when he sparked the so-called “Henry’s Creek Fire” on Aug. 21. He told investigators that he and his friends tried to extinguish the blaze but were unsuccessful. He called 911 to report the fire before leaving the scene.

The wildfire consumed an estimated 81 square miles.


Public Lands News:

How to stay safe in Pioneer Fire burn scar

Morgan Boydston, KTVB November 30, 2016

BOISE NATIONAL FOREST — This fresh snow is getting many Idahoans excited about those winter activities we love so much, and this weekend looks like a great time to head up to the mountains.

But there are some things you need to know if you’re planning on going where the Pioneer Fire burned.

With more snow in the forecast, Idaho City District Ranger Brant Peterson is warning folks to be extremely cautious when out recreating in the area – mainly because of burned trees. Snow could pile up and because the trees are weaker, they could easily break and topple over, hitting the road, hitting your car, or hitting you.

“Recreating in the winter – and especially post-fire – means that there’s other hazards that exist,” Petersen said.

Boise National Forest has reduced those hazards, but says by no means have they eliminated them- especially when it comes to fallen trees.

“They could fall on a route that you came in on, and coming back out could be much more challenging,” Petersen added.


Boise National Forest Area Closure Pioneer Fire – Version #10 – September 30, 2016 – Map 1
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Draft plan released for new wilderness areas

Few changes proposed in management

Greg Moore  Nov 30, 2016 IME

Following creation of wilderness areas in the White Cloud and Boulder mountains in August 2015, the public now has the chance to provide input on how those areas should be managed.

The Sawtooth National Forest and the BLM are seeking public comments by Jan. 5 and will host public meetings on the recently released plan next week in Ketchum and Stanley. Following the comment period, the agencies will develop a revised plan and environmental assessment, expected for release with a second public comment period next summer.

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Sexual harassment also rampant at Forest Service

By MATTHEW DALY –  12/1/16 AP

WASHINGTON — Two months after learning about rampant sexual harassment, bullying and other misconduct at the National Park Service, a House oversight panel is hearing testimony about similar problems at the Forest Service.

A longtime employee at California’s Eldorado National Forest said Thursday that the agency’s “system is rigged against women for reporting sexual harassment or assault,” adding that male supervisors who harass or assault women are rarely disciplined.

Denice Rice, a fire prevention technician, told the House Oversight Committee that a supervisor who harassed and assaulted her was allowed to retire with full benefits, then rehired as a contractor and even selected to give a motivational speech.

Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, called the treatment of Rice “offensive” and said it echoed problems uncovered at the park service, especially among firefighters.


Letter to Share:


Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue 11/29/2016

Don’t forget to pick up or order your raffle tickets for the event! And, please feel free to print out some of these flyers and post around.


Dory McIsaac
mysticfarmrescue @

Critter News:

IDFG relocates moose after it wanders through Lewiston

KREM November 28, 2016

Wildlife officials captured a moose on the loose in Lewiston, Idaho early Monday morning.

The call came in at 8 a.m. on Preston and 8th Street that a young bull moose was roaming through the neighborhood.

Idaho Fish and Game officials shot the moose with a sedative and loaded him into a truck.

continued w/photos and video:
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Elk and deer killed, left to rot

KTVB November 29, 2016

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Fish and Game would like to speak to whoever left the carcasses of an elk and two mule deer to waste earlier this month.

The first case – a spike elk discovered near Arrowrock Reservoir’s Irish Creek boat ramp – likely happened around Nov. 1, officials say. Hunters apparently cut the elk in two, but left half of it behind in a field.

Fish and Game conservation officer Ben Cadwallader said the culprit may have tried to take more of the meat before giving up.

“It appears that attempts were made to pack portions of the other elk half away from the kill site,” he explained in a press release. “Yet one whole front quarter was found – apparently discarded – just off the trail, as though the person became injured or perhaps exhausted.”

continued (WARNING – dead critter photos):
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Horse rescued after fall from cliff in Idaho

11/30/16 AP

POCATELLO, Idaho — Idaho authorities teamed up with a construction company to help rescue a horse that fell off a cliff and became stranded on a ledge.

The Idaho State Journal reports that the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office deputies and search and rescue personnel were called to the Blackrock Canyon area south of Pocatello on Tuesday morning. They found a draft horse stranded on a ledge there and estimated it weighed 1,700 to 1,800 pounds.

FM Construction owner Kevin Fay helped the rescuers by using his backhoe to dump rocks and gravel into a nearby crevice. Once the crevice was filled, the horse could climb out on its own.

The horse was uninjured aside from some bumps and scratches even though it fell about 12 feet off the cliff.

Fay says “he was a lucky horse.”

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Reward offered after grizzly bear killed in E. Idaho

12/1/16 AP

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — A grizzly bear has been killed in eastern Idaho and a $6,000 reward is being offered for information leading to whoever is responsible.

Officials with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in a statement Wednesday say the bear was killed on or about Oct. 21 in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Fremont County.

Authorities have released few details, including what caused the bear’s death.

Grizzly bears are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act.

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Lion at Zoo Boise diagnosed with cancer

12/1/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — Officials at Zoo Boise say one of the three lions in the African Plains Exhibit is being treated for cancer and the prognosis is unclear.

Officials announced Thursday that Jabari, a 14-year-old male, will not be outside in the public exhibit most days as he’s treated for lymphoma.

Zoo officials say the two female lions will continue to be in the public exhibit.

Jabari came to Zoo Boise in 2008.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Final week of November 2016
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Wolf Education International

Newsletter Nov 29, 2016

Madrid to double farmers’ compensation fund for wolf attacks

Wolf, Dog, Hybrid Track Determinations
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Yellowstone park looks at large bison cull to trim herds

11/30/16 AP

BILLINGS, Mont. — Yellowstone National Park biologists say more than 900 wild bison would need to be killed or removed this winter to begin reducing the size of herds that spill into neighboring Montana.

The park has an estimated 5,500 bison, the highest number since at least 2000.

Park officials meet Thursday with state, tribal and U.S. Agriculture Department representatives to discuss options for managing the animals.

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Saying yes to young hunters IDFG, private landowners join in program to offer opportunities to youngsters

Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune Nov 24, 2016

POTLATCH, Idaho — It became clear Axle was on point when the rustling of brush and tall grass he bounded into fell suddenly silent.

Jay Roach of Genesee parted and peered into the dense vegetation to find his 2-year-old German shorthair pointer.

“OK, here he is,” Roach said quietly of the dog, which was locked in a ridgid pose, signaling it had a pheasant located and pinned.

Roach directed Hannah and Sam Barnes to approach.

The 16-year-old girl and her 11-year-old brother, both of Potlatch, were among a small group of kids hunting Saturday at the Palouse River Upland Bird Area, an Access Yes! site managed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. The site features 925 acres of beautiful bird habitat along the Palouse River just east of the Washington-Idaho state line that was seeded with human-raised pheasant chicks during the spring and summer, and more recently with 200 pen-raised adult roosters.

As Hannah Barnes stepped into the tangle of brush, the pheasant rocketed from its hiding spot. Barnes shouldered her shotgun, fired and missed.


[Note: the above article was sent to share on Nov 30 with the following note.]

Hi All, here is a very fine article by Eric Barker on the youth pheasant hunt we put on over on the Palouse River Access Yes area.  I have the very fine pictures that he took and added in the paper.  They are pretty large to email.  I can make prints for any one.  This comes about with all you folks that have helped raise birds and contributed funds to help with the project.  The Gamebird Foundation is a 501c3 Nonprofit.  Tax deductible. Donation.

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Governor issues emergency declaration for invasive mussels

12/1/16 AP

HELENA, Mont. — Gov. Steve Bullock has declared a natural resource emergency after aquatic invasive mussels were detected in Montana waters for the first time.

The Independent Record reports ( ) that a rapid response team will be developed in response to Bullock’s executive order Wednesday. The team is comprised of three agencies — the Montana Invasive Species Advisory Council, Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

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The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
December 2, 2016
Issue No. 811

Table Of Contents

* ‘We Are Facing An Imminent Threat’: Organizations To Hold ‘Call To Action’ Emergency Meeting On Invasive Mussels

* Washington, Oregon Fish/Wildlife Commissions Considering Next Moves On Lower River Gillnetting

* Irrigators Petition Trump Transition Team For ‘God Squad’ Intervention In Salmon/Steelhead BiOp Remand

* Nez Perce Tribe Seeking Next Step For Steelhead Kelt Facility To Capture, Recondition Spawned Fish

* Study Looks At Ways To Reduce Hatchery Steelhead Adaptation To Captivity, Increase Post-Release Survival

* EPA Calls Corps’ Draft EIS For Longview Export Coal Terminal ‘Inadequate,’ Suggests Revising Before Final Released

* Washington, Oregon U.S. Senators Urge Obama To Permanently Ban Oil, Gas Drilling Off West Coast

* Research Links Human-Caused Ocean Acidification To Dissolving Shells Of Pteropods, Key Part Of Marine Food Chain

* USFWS Issues Final Policy On Mitigating Impacts Of Development To Protect Wildlife, Habitats

* Research: Carrot Better Than Stick When Addressing Environmental Threats To Marine Ecosystems

* Study: Freshwater Systems Under Ice Show Surprisingly Active Animal, Plant Productivity

* Oregon Chapter American Fisheries Society To Hold Annual Meeting In Bend

Crazy Critter Stuff:

Coworker perfectly pranked by bear costume

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Oregon woman pranks husband with picture of son and coyote

Erin Robinson, KREM December 02, 2016

SEASIDE, Oregon — Kayla Eby said her family loves to play pranks. In fact, one prank she recently pulled on her husband has gone viral.

Eby currently lives in Seaside, Oregon, but is originally from the Coeur d’Alene area.

In a phone interview Friday, Eby said she is a member of an online Photoshop group and saw a string of comments about people pranking their spouses.

“I bring home lost, stray animals all the time,” Eby said.

Eby used her habit as the basis of her prank. She texted an altered photo of her son next to a coyote to her husband, telling him she brought home a stray dog.

Eby’s husband was a little shocked, to say the least.


Fish & Game News:

News Releases
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Hunting and fishing licenses available online again in Idaho

By KEITH RIDLER –  11/29/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — Online sales of hunting and fishing licenses resumed Tuesday following a three-month shutdown due to a computer breach at the vendor that handles those sales, Idaho officials announced.

Idaho Fish and Game officials said additional security features include requiring online buyers to create an account with a password.

Dallas-based Active Network reported a computer breach in late August with the possibility that millions of records in Idaho, Oregon and Washington, including Social Security numbers, might have been compromised.

“We worked with them to patch the vulnerabilities,” said Michael Pearson, chief of administration for the Idaho agency. “Fish and Game had to modify the website to put additional security measures in place.”




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Bad Snow Day



Nov 27, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times

Nov 27, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

The Thanksgiving pot-luck was held at The Corner on Thursday Nov 24th at 5pm.
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The Board voted to add an additional $30 annually to both the residential and business water assessments. This will bring the annual cost of service for residential customers to $150 and for business customers to $165. The users who chose to pay the Construction Fee in installments are paying an additional $130 annually. That amount will not change.

The changes will be implemented for this billing cycle. Your 2016 bill will be mailed out in December and is due by January 31, 2015.

Local Observations:

Monday (Nov 21) light freeze this morning, mostly cloudy (a few patches of blue overhead) bands of low foggy clouds on the ridges. Pot holes full of water from rain last night. The sun is coming up south of Golden Gate peak this time of year. Partly sunny during the day, but cool. High thin clouds in the afternoon, filtered sun. Sounds of heavy equipment to the east late afternoon.

Tuesday (Nov 22) hard freeze this morning, mostly clear. Elk tracks frozen in mud along the road. Sounds of heavy equipment to the east before sun rise. Power blipped off and on at 1101am. Increasing clouds and chilly day. Internet out for a while around 8pm. Quiet evening.

Wednesday (Nov 23) light freeze this morning, low clouds almost to the valley floor, snowing lightly. Huge flock of geese calling and circling over the village. Snow falling most of the day, from fat flakes coming down hard to small flakes lazily swirling down. By evening we had an inch of snow on the measuring board. Quiet all day, hardly any traffic.

Thursday (Nov 24 – Happy Thanksgiving) hard freeze this morning, about an inch of snow on the ground and mostly cloudy. By noon it had warmed up enough to start melting snow on the roof. Mostly clear (some haze) weak sunshine. Thicker haze early afternoon, overcast by late afternoon. Most of the snow has melted.

Friday (Nov 25) light freeze this morning, patchy snow on the ground, overcast and light chilly breeze. Cloudy gray day, light chilly breezes and very quiet. No critters or birds around. Did not warm up much, but a little more snow went away (evaporated?) Overcast and above freezing at dark.

Saturday (Nov 26) clear, dry and cold this morning, thin patches of old snow on the ground. Clouds moved in and overcast by early afternoon. Pine squirrel running around on neighbor’s roof. Pretty quiet day, not much traffic.

Sunday (Nov 27) overcast, dry and cold this morning (thin layer of frost), patches of old snow remain in the shady places. A little snow fell before lunch time, no accumulation. Dark clouds and chilly day. Occasional flake of snow in the afternoon until just before dark, then steady snow starting to stick by 5pm.


Jerine Brown


Jerine Eloise Brown


Jerine was born August 14, 1920 in Saskatchewan, Canada to Hugh Maurice Bartlett and Tinterella Henderson Bartlett. She had 2 brothers.

She is a direct descendant of Josiah Bartlett who was the third signer of the Declaration of Independence and was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Jerine moved to Boise and studied nursing at Saint Alphonsus Hospital.

She met William Weber Brown, a pilot in the Army Air Corp, as a “blind date” at a “USO” dance at Gowen Field. They were married September 5, 1943 in Harvard Nebraska. While Bill was in the military and servicing in World War II, they traveled throughout the states and abroad but then settled back in Meridian, Idaho.

She worked as a registered nurse at St Alphonsus Hospital and continued to her college degree. Jerine graduated with a Nurse Practitioner degree, one of the few in Idaho, and started her new career at the Boise State University Medical Center.

Upon retiring they built a cabin in Yellow Pine, Idaho. She loved spending summers there, socializing, playing bridge and dancing with Bill in “downtown” Yellow Pine.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Bill and her 2 brothers Lorraine Bartlett and John Bartlett.

Jerine is survived by her sister-in-law Mercedes Bartlett, her 3 sons: Michael Brown (wife Rosella), Patrick Brown (wife Kay) and Scott Brown (wife Cathy Mae); six Grandchildren, William, Russell, Teresa, Aaron, Jason and Drew; and 10 Great Grandchildren.

Jerine loved to play cards especially bridge, socialize with friends and neighbors and spending time with her family.

She enjoyed a full and rich life and will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

Graveside services will be held Monday, November 28th at 1:00 P.M. at the Terrace Lawn Cemetery in Meridian, Idaho.

Published in Idaho Statesman on Nov. 23, 2016
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Lois Fry, violinist and long-time performer, dies

Friends remember versatile talent, devotion to students

BY TOM GROTE for The Star-News November 23, 2016

Lois Fry, a fixture on the McCall music scene for decades, died on Friday [Nov 18th].


Fry, a violin player, was known for her work with both the McCall Folklore Society and McCall Music Society.

But she was most admired for the breadth of her talent, her willingness to play anywhere and anytime, and for her dedication to her violin students.

Information on memorial services was not available for Fry, who was in her mid-70s.

“Lois played all kinds of music – classical, folk, jazz, rock, country – like an expert skier gliding from packed to powder,” said Jim Cockey of Boise, a classical music composer who previously lived in McCall.

“I think to her, there was no difference; it was all music, and music came from the soul, and the soul knows no boundaries,” Cockey said.

Fry served as concertmaster of the McCall Chamber Orchestra and as fiddler in numerous groups in the area.

She was a regular in the annual music festival now known as the Summer Music Festival at Roseberry, playing in more local groups than anyone else, according to friends.

She was a board member on both the McCall Music Society and the McCall Folklore Society.

Fry “was a kind lady who would always put on a huge smile for you no matter how she was feeling,” folklore society board member Jim Bates said. “She was a wealth of information and experience so valuable to the folklore society.”

Fry never hesitated to share her love of music, said Bob Burns of McCall, who frequently played with Fry over the years.

“She had the unique musical ability of being able to play around a melody with spontaneous harmony that produced beautiful results,” Burns said.

“Her pitch was perfect, and one should never question it and risk facing her wrath,” he said.

full story The Star-News:
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Lois Fry August 7, 2005 in Yellow Pine

[Note: Lois Fry’s talent will be missed at the Yellow Pine Music Festival.]

Letters to Share:

Valdez Gravel pit and reclamation


Valley County has been working with Midas Gold as they need material to fill their requirement for their operations to continue. The use of the gravel will be on county roads to help reduce the sediment to Johnson Creek and the East Fork.

So we are working together on this project with the intent to crush one more time adjacent to the Valdez Pit on the Boise National Forest. Our plan is to crush what we can afford to do and stockpile any additional material on Donna Valdez’s property and reclaim the Valdez site and the BNF site.

We understand that there needs to be a good reclamation plan to complete this work and not come back to this site.

We are also looking at where we could possibly find some suitable material near the Johnson Creek Road somewhere upstream so we have a more permanent site to have gravel in the future for maintenance. As you are well aware the East Fork Road is much better after we placed the gravel from the Valdez pit on it than the wash board sandy material we had prior.

If no sources are found then that means all material would need to be trucked into the area so that just increases the trucking cost and reduces the amount of work we can accomplish.

Gordon Cruickshank
Valley County Commissioner
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Photo Valdez Gravel Pit July 24, 2016


photo credit – TM
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Program in Idaho to work Toward Zero Deaths on Highways

Received Nov 23, 2016 from Valley County Commissioner Gordon Cruickshank

I thought I would share two awards Valley County, Idaho officials received this week.

The Idaho Transportation Department recognizes counties who work to reduce the traffic fatalities in their county. Valley County Sheriff, Patti Bolen and the Valley County Commissioners all received the award for not having any traffic fatalities in Valley County during 2015. We would also point out that to date we have not had one in Valley County in 2016.

Attached are two photos which show the folks with Sheriff Bolen and Valley County Commissioners. Commissioner Cruickshank in the middle (pink shirt), on my right is Commissioner Willey and on my left is Commissioner Hasbrouck.


Sheriff Bolen was the first female in Idaho to become a Sheriff and is currently President of the Idaho Sheriff’s Association.



Idaho News:

Albertsons Customers Give Back

The Star-News November 23, 2016


Photo for The Star-News by Gary Ertter

Ashlee Robinson and Miles Klind of McCall on Monday helped load frozen turkeys and other Thanksgiving meal fixings donated by Albertsons customers to food banks in Valley County and New Meadows. A total of 270 dinners were provided as part of $13,497 in Turkey Bucks donated by customers as they checked out, store Manager Lance Armstrong said.

source The Star-News:
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Foundation grants more than $14,000 in Valley, Adams

The Star-News November 23, 2016

The Idaho Community Foundation’s Southwestern Regional Grants Panel has selected 91 southwestern Idaho and central Idaho nonprofits, educational organizations and governmental entities to receive nearly $236,000 through its competitive grant cycle.

Of that total, more than $14,000 will be distributed to seven nonprofits in Adams and Valley counties.

Money for the grants comes from several foundation funds that were established by donors to benefit southwest and central Idaho.

This year’s local grant recipients are:

Valley County

• Cascade Food Pantry, Inc. – $1,000 to purchase foods or spices for the educational food demonstration program that will be part of the regular food distribution, which will include recipes, instruction and materials necessary for successful home cooking.

• Donnelly Rural Fire Protection Association, Inc. – $2,500 to purchase adult and infant CPR manikins, Automatic External Defibrillator trainers and Heartsaver instructor manuals.

• McCall Arts and Humanities Council – $1,946 to purchase new equipment to continue Kaleidoscope, an annual free children’s art festival.

• McCall Senior Citizens, Inc. – $2,325 to purchase a new refrigerator and freezer for the food pantry and an outdoor grill for the kitchen.

• Payette Lakes Community Association, Inc. – $2,000 to purchase the equipment and license to provide students with two Camp Invention projects during winter and spring months and to assist with the cost of teachers to implement the projects.

• Payette Lakes Ski Club – $2,500 for program costs associated with the seven-week learn-to-ski after-school program for area youth

Adams County.

• Idaho Mountain Samba – $2,000 to support a one week samba music and dance residency for Meadows Valley School District.

source The Star-News:
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Brundage Mountain Resort gets snow, will pray for more

The Star-News November 23, 2016

Mother Nature dropped two to four inches of fresh snow on Brundage Mountain Monday night, “fueling the stoke” for the upcoming ski season.

Brundage received two inches in the base area and four inches at mid-mountain and above.

The ski resort needs more snow to be able to offer free skiing on Easy Street as part of this weekend’s events.

No natural snow has fallen at The Activity Barn, the site of Friday’s community-wide Pray for Snow Party. But that won’t stop snow lovers from #OptingOutside.

Live music, bonfires and a raffle will be held at the tubing hill Friday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Snowmaking efforts are underway, but so far there’s not enough snow to open snow tubing.

Snow is in the forecast even at the 5,000 foot level and crews are standing by to build tubing lanes if Mother Nature gets with the program.

Prospects look brighter for Saturday’s event at Brundage Mountain, where the forecast is calling for snow today. Temperatures look more favorable for snowmaking this week at the 6,000 foot level where Brundage Mountain’s base sits.

full story The Star-News:
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Tamarack clears brush to improve skiing on three parts of mountain for ’16-17 season

Nov 22, 2016 chadd Cripe Idaho Statesman

Crews spent time over the summer clearing brush to create better skiing opportunities on the mountain. The improvements focused on the Bentwoods, tree skiing between Adrenaline and Funnel; Reasons to Quit, tree skiing between Tango and the top of the Tamarack Express lift; and La Bamba Cliffs, an expert area within Wildwood that requires a hike to reach. “They were places on the mountain that could be improved fairly quickly and at a reasonable cost,” General Manager Brad Larsen said. “They were some areas that we wanted to ski better.”

The Tamarack Municipal Association, a group of homeowners, has assumed control of the resort. That averted the potential for key assets to be lost in an auction because of back taxes owed by previous owners.

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Idaho man hit by car, falls 50 feet into icy river, survives

By ANDREW SELSKY – 11/21/16 AP

An Idaho man not only survived being hit by a car on an icy interstate highway bridge but also a 50-foot-fall into a river and a swim through its frigid waters with a badly broken leg, authorities said.

Steven Arrasmith, 34, said the image in his mind of his 7-month-old son drove him to keep swimming for shore through the strong current in the Snake River in the dark.

He finally reached an island near the Oregon-Idaho border and awaited rescuers, unable to pull his legs and feet out of the water because of his broken left leg.


Public Lands News:

Two of best snowshoe hikes in Idaho City area survived Pioneer Fire

By chadd Cripe Idaho Statesman Nov 22, 2016

Some of the best snowshoeing with easy access from Boise is in the Park N’ Ski system north of Idaho City — an area hit hard by the Pioneer Fire.

But the Boise National Forest and State Parks and Recreation have come through on their commitment to try to save as much of the winter recreation season as possible in that area.

Snowshoers will be able to hike to Banner Ridge and Stargaze Yurt — two great viewpoints. The trails won’t be groomed but they will be marked with blue blazes.

“Banner Ridge will be the best hike,” said Leo Hennessy, the non-motorized trail coordinator for Parks and Recreation and an avid snowshoer. “It’s about equal between that and going up to Stargaze Yurt. If you’ve never been there, that is a good place to go. You get a really big, overall perspective of the entire area. The views are actually better than they were (last year) because of the trees. I think (the fire) is actually going to enhance the whole area over a period of years because we were getting pretty thick forest in the whole Park N’ Ski area. It will be more open. But there will be some sticks for a few years and trail-maintenance issues.”

Read more here:
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Hailey, land trust aim to increase public access along river

Associated Press, KTVB November 25, 2016

HAILEY – Officials in the central Idaho city of Hailey have voted to accept conservation easements that will nearly double the length of public access west of town along the Big Wood River.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that the Hailey City Council voted unanimously Monday to accept 153 acres of conservation easements held by the Wood River Land Trust.

The Land Trust plans to raise about $500,000 to buy the property. Land Trust Director of Conservation Keri York says the trust is required by law to transfer the easements to the city or some other entity before purchasing the property.

If the plan goes through, it would create a nearly continuous series of nature trails between the Bullion Bridge and Colorado Gulch Bridge.

Copyright 2016 KTVB
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Idaho group renews push for Craters Monument status upgrade

Associated Press, KTVB November 25, 2016

ARCO, Idaho — An Idaho group wants state lawmakers to sign off on its efforts to get national park status for a national monument near Arco.

The Capital Press reports that Nov. 8 ballot measure shows that Butte County residents support making Craters of the Moon National Monument into a National Park. President Calvin Coolidge created the monument under the Antiquities Act in 1924.

The Idaho Farm Bureau Federation says it will continue fighting the status change, which it fears will enable the federal government to place new restrictions on agricultural producers.

The Coalition to Change the Name secured the endorsement of leaders from nearby cities, five contiguous counties, the Idaho Association of counties and the Idaho Senate in 2015. The issue died in the state House of Representatives without a vote.

Copyright 2016 KTVB
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Massive project proposed to remove juniper trees in Idaho

By KEITH RIDLER – 11/22/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — Federal officials are proposing one of the largest ever projects to remove juniper trees to protect habitat for imperiled sage grouse and might also benefit cattle ranchers.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Monday announced it’s taking public comments through Jan. 3 on the plan to eliminate the trees from 940 square miles in Owyhee County in southwest Idaho.

“For juniper, these numbers are unprecedented,” said Karen Launchbaugh, director of the University of Idaho’s Rangeland Center. “This is bold.”

Launchbaugh said the sheer scale of the project could give scientists new insights into how to deal with vast juniper forests across the West that have sprung up in the last century. The project must first go through an analysis that includes an environmental impact statement.

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Long-Term Vegetation Change in Utah’s Henry Mountains

A Study in Repeat Photography

Charles E. Kay, Ph.D. June 2015


An extensive search was conducted of archival and other sources to locate as many historical photographs as possible for the Henry Mountains in south-central Utah. Those images were then taken into the field, the original camera stations relocated, and modern pictures made of the historical scenes to evaluate long-term vegetation change and land management activities. In all, 626 repeat-photosets were compiled – 608 by the author and 18 by Earl Hindley. As might be expected, most photosets contained more than one vegetation type. Grasslands were depicted in 152 photosets, sagebrush in 99, pinyon-juniper in 293, mountain brush in 72, aspen in 37, conifers in 145, blackbrush in 71, and woody riparian species in 142. In addition, all photosets were evaluated for plant cover and whether or not the sites showed accelerated soil erosion.

In general, grasslands, sagebrush and aspen have declined, while blackbrush, mountain brush, pinyon-juniper, and conifers increased. Utah’s rangelands are generally in much better condition today than they were during the early 1900s because plant cover has increased and soil erosion has declined. Repeat photos also show that woody riparian vegetation has significantly increased whether or not livestock have been excluded. Contrary to popular perception, coniferous trees and forests are more abundant today than at any point in the past. In fact, the overriding problem on most Utah rangelands has been a major increase in woody plants which, in turn, has dramatically reduced forage production for both livestock and wildlife. As conifers, including pinyon-juniper, have increased so have forest fuels setting the stage for large-scale, high-intensity crown fires, a type of fire behavior that seldom, if ever, occurred in the past. As judged by stand age and forest conditions seen in early photographs, large stand-clearing fires are outside the normal range of historical variability. Historically, frequent, low-intensity surface fires, most likely set by Native Americans, kept most conifers from increasing.

full paper:

Letter to Share:

Mystic Farm Raffle Tickets


VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! We have a few dates set up to sell raffle tickets for the annual GROW MORE SPOTS fundraiser. This will be in Ponderay and Sandpoint on the following dates: Saturday, Nov. 26th – North 40, Saturday, Dec. 3rd.- Super 1, and Friday, Dec. 23rd.- Super 1. Let me know if this is something you would like to help out with. Thanks!

If you would like some raffle tickets, let me know and I can get them to you. Or, you can pick them up at Bradley Insurance in Ponderay…or at the places mentioned above. These make great stocking stuffers! The raffle is for the following items:

* 1/2  Pig: Gourmet Senna Gray – Mangalista Pork – Cut and Wrapped
* Ruger LCP  .380 Caliber
* Basket of ‘Everything Star Wars’

Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc.
208 241-7081

Critter News:

MCPAWS Giving Trees to provide supplies for shelter animals

The Star-News November 23, 2016

Deck the halls with paper towels and tennis balls! The MCPAWS Giving Trees are coming to a store near you.

Giving Trees allow the community to play Santa, helping MCPAWS Regional Animal Shelter stock its shelves with necessary supplies and goodies for the cats and dogs at the shelter.

Each year hundreds of dollars of much-needed supplies are donated through the Giving Trees. This volunteer-run event helps MCPAWS offsets some of the cost of running the animal shelter by stocking the shelves with supplies which they would ordinarily need to purchase.

Trees will be set up Friday at Ridley’s Family Market in McCall, May Hardware in McCall, McCall Pet Outfitters and C&M Lumber in New Meadows.

Browsers should check the tree for the wish list ornaments. Wish lists vary by store, and include items such as laundry detergent, paper towels, dog and cat treats, toys, and more. Items donated will be picked up and brought to MCPAWS.

source The Star-News:
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More than 1,000 gather to mourn slain police dog in Boise

11/23/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — There were whines, tears and even barks in Boise’s Taco Bell Arena where as many as 1,500 people gathered to mourn a police dog that was killed in the line of duty.

At least 30 police dogs from departments across the state gathered Tuesday at a memorial service for 6-year-old K-9 Police Officer Jardo, who was shot Nov. 11 working with officers to apprehend a suspect, The Idaho Statesman reported. He died five days after he was injured.

“For the canines here, it’s OK to whine, it’s OK to bark. I think that’s only appropriate today,” said Boise Police Chief Bill Bones at the memorial.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Fourth week of November 2016
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Wolf News Roundup

by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online! November 10, 2016

Long-distance wolf
A two-year old wolf originating in northeastern Washington traveled about 700 miles before being killed by federal officials while it was in the act of attacking domestic sheep. Read about the wolf’s journey in the links below.

Vancouver Island
Bold wolves have been approaching people walking with their dogs on leashes in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island. Global News reports of a recent encounter when a jogger was able to fend off the wolf by throwing rocks and yelling at the animal during the reported 15-minute encounter. Two similar encounters were reported by hikers on the same day.

School children in a remote region of southern Russia no longer have to walk six miles to school after video emerged of the students trudging through snow, with one student carrying an axe to fend off wolves. Read about it at the BBC link below.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has confirmed the presence of two gray wolves in western Lassen County. After a wolf-like canid was photographed by trail cameras in Lassen County in fall 2015 and spring 2016, CDFW began operating additional trail cameras in the area and regularly searching for wolf scat and tracks. This summer, photographs, tracks and eyewitness sightings suggested the presence of two canids frequently traveling together.

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Wolves killing dogs

by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online! November 18, 2016

In six towns across central Sweden, villagers held candlelight vigils in tribute to dogs that have been killed by wolves. The dogs killed varied from family pets to hunting or working dogs.

Perhaps Wisconsin dog owners will want to hold vigils of their own, with 40 dogs killed by wolves in that state so far this year.

For details on both these stories, check out the links below.

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Wolf trapper’s job tougher when the catch is a bear

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 23, 2016

Trapping wolves is tricky business in state’s where it’s legal, especially when a black bear is captured by the steel jaws of a leg-hold trap.  Bears are required to be released.

Here’s a bit of the drama involved with tranquilizing and releasing a big bruin, as told by a North Idaho trapper.

“A fellow trapper got a big boar in his wolf trap (Monday) and called Idaho Fish and Game to dart it so it could be released,” said North Idaho trapper Kevin Sawyer.

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Another Montana hunter injured in grizzly bear attack

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 21, 2016

A resident elk hunter was mauled Sunday morning by a female grizzly after surprising the sow and her two cubs on the Rocky Mountain Front of northwestern Montana.

The man was with a group hunting private land on the south fork of Willow Creek west of Choteau, reports Bruce Auchly of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department.

“They had shot at elk, and about 9 a.m., he went into a creek bottom to see if there was a wounded elk when he surprised the grizzly at about 20 yards,” Auchly said.

“The bear attack lasted about 30 seconds and left him with multiple injuries. As other hunters in his party approached the scene the bears left unharmed.”

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Chronic wasting disease found in another deer shot near Yellowstone

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 22, 2016

A Wyoming hunter has killed a buck mule deer in the Shoshone National Forest that tested positive for a fatal neurological disorder.

The Jackson Hole News and Guide reports this is the third hunting area near Yellowstone National Park in which chronic wasting disease has been found.

This recent case is not a surprise, Scott Edberg of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said in a statement.

He said this shows the importance of a management plan and increased surveillance in western Wyoming.

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‘Dead’ deer wakes up in trunk, surprises driver

Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, KARE November 21, 2016

FRIENDSHIP, Wis. — When a 59-year-old man hit a deer last week, he did what many Wisconsin residents would do — he put the body in his trunk to take home for the venison.

But before he could get there, the deer woke up.

Like the Monty Python sketch — “I’m not dead yet!” — the deer was not yet ready to go gently into the night.

The motorist contacted the Adams County Sheriff’s Department around 7:25 p.m. CT Thursday, and when Deputy Brian Loewenhagen arrived on the scene in Easton Township near Grand Marsh, Wis., about 7 miles southeast of the central Wisconsin communities of Adams-Friendship, his dashboard camera recorded the scene.

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Juniper control would benefit sage grouse, ranchers

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 25, 2016

Federal officials are proposing one of the largest ever projects to remove juniper trees to protect habitat for imperiled sage grouse and might also benefit cattle ranchers.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Monday announced it’s taking public comments through Jan. 3 on the plan to eliminate the trees from 940 square miles in Owyhee County in southwest Idaho.

“For juniper, these numbers are unprecedented,” said Karen Launchbaugh, director of the University of Idaho’s Rangeland Center. “This is bold.”

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Scientists go big with first aquatic species map for US West

By KEITH RIDLER – 11/24/16 AP

BOISE, Idaho — It sounds like a big fish story: a plan to create a biodiversity map identifying thousands of aquatic species in every river and stream in the western U.S.

But scientists say they’re steadily reeling in that whopper and by next summer will have the first Aquatic Environmental DNA Atlas available for the public.

Boise-based U.S. Forest Service fisheries biologist Dan Isaak is leading the project and says such a map could help with land management decisions and deciding where to spend limited money and resources.

“It’s kind of the Holy Grail for biologists to know what a true biodiversity map looks like,” he said. “To have that formatted digitally so you can do lots of science with it will be transformative in terms of the quality of information we’ll have to conserve species.”


Crazy Critter Stuff:


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Cat misses dog after being apart for 10 days


Fish & Game News:

News Releases
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North Idaho land deals approved for hunting, fishing access

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 22, 2016

Two Idaho Panhandle land deals totaling 11,000 acres for the benefit of fish, wildlife and public access have been approved by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission.

* The purchase of 1,012 acres of private land near Black Lake, if completed, would add to the Coeur d’Alene River Wildlife Management Area. The land includes five miles of Coeur d’Alene River frontage and 3,800 feet of shoreline on Black Lake about 18 miles east of Harrison. The purchase price is $2.6 million.

* A 10,000-acre conservation easement on a 13,169-acre property known as Clagstone Meadows Ranch, which is owned by Stimson Lumber Company, will provide public access along Lake Pend Oreille. The parcel is the largest contiguous block of privately-owned land in Bonner County, and the conservation easement includes an additional 1,263 acres in two parcels on the lake’s west shore at Cape Horn. Just more than 10,000 acres of this easement will provide for public access in perpetuity. The 2016 Legislature already approved spending authority for the purchase.



Sarah Josepha Hale: Godmother Of Thanksgiving

from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Happy Thanksgiving! While you are being grateful for your food, friends, and family, take a little time to remember Sarah Josepha Hale, who helped make this national day of thanks possible.

… Throughout this period, Hale had written hundreds of letters to governors, ministers, newspaper editors, and every U.S. president with one request: that the last Thursday in November be set aside to “offer to God our tribute of joy and gratitude for the blessings of the year.”

Native American harvest festivals had taken place for centuries in North America, and there had long been colonists’ services to give thanks, but there had never been a Thanksgiving holiday.

In 1863, with the country torn by the Civil War, Hale’s campaign finally got people’s attention. That September, she put her thanksgiving message into an editorial and wrote to President Abraham Lincoln, urging him to make Thanksgiving Day a fixed national festival.

Lincoln liked Hale’s idea. On October 3, 1863, he issued a proclamation declaring the last Thursday of November to be National Thanksgiving Day. He ordered all government offices in Washington closed on that day.

more info and history:




Nov 20, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times

Nov 20, 2016 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

2017 Yellow Pine Calendar

Last chance to order the 2017 Yellow Pine Calendar. The deadline has been extended to Nov 23. Send rrSue an email with your name, mailing address and number of calendars.
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This year the annual Yellow Pine Thanksgiving Day Potluck will be at The Corner on November 24 at 5pm. The Hubers will provide the turkey, please bring a side dish and/or dessert. Please call Heather at (208) 633-3325 to coordinate. The feast will start at 5pm and all are welcome.
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The Corner Winter Hours

Monday: 11am-1pm
Wednesday: 11am-1pm
Friday: 11am-1pm (coffee) 3pm-8pm (dinner)
Saturday: 3pm-8pm
Sunday: 3pm-8pm

– Heather
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Yellow Pine Tavern

Closed for holidays until January 6, 2017.
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Reminder – if possible please pay your 2017 water bill early, it will help with funding the completion of our water project.

Local Observations:

Monday (Nov 14) dark clouds, overcast and no frost this morning. Heard a robin chirping! Light drizzle of rain ended around lunch time, cloudy afternoon. Steady rain late afternoon and a bit blustery. Rained most of the night.

Tuesday (Nov 15) no frost, still raining and thick overcast, sort of foggy (really low clouds) – pot holes full, ground soggy and standing water in places. Helicopter flew over at 1230pm. Still raining, but thinner clouds and can see the top of Golden Gate. Sprinkles mid afternoon, then steady rain before dark and breezy. A break in the rain for a couple of hours after dark, then another shower after midnight. River is up and roaring.

Wednesday (Nov 16) dense fog around 6am. Frosty, slick with frozen rain, a little skiff of snow this morning before sunrise and partly clear sky. Partly sunny and cool most of the day. Pine squirrel packing cones down the fence rails. Below freezing by late afternoon. Quiet day, very little traffic.

Thursday (Nov 17) light snow snow fell early morning, hard freeze, mostly cloudy before sunrise. Mostly sunny all day, chilly and a bit of a breeze. Quiet day. Calm towards evening.

Friday (Nov 18) very hard freeze, heavy frost, some wispy mare’s tails clouds this morning. Overcast by sunrise, still below freezing at noon (frost still on windshields.) Clouds came in before lunch and cloudy cool afternoon. Quiet and no birds or critters around. Around sundown could hear the river roaring.

Saturday (Nov 19) light freeze, cloudy and chilly breeze this morning. Gray and cloudy all day. Day old chunk of ice on the north side of the house didn’t melt. Feels like the humidity is up. Heard a raven calling in the neighborhood early this afternoon. Dark and cloudy late afternoon. Very quiet all day. Rain shower around 2am.

Sunday (Nov 20) rain showers and dark clouds this morning, no frost. Clouds parted enough at noon to see the snow line on VanMeter dropping down below 7000′. Drizzly dark afternoon. Stopped raining at dark.

Photo to Share:


photo by Dave Putman sent Nov 13, 2016

Idaho News:

Permits to cut Christmas trees go on sale Saturday

The Star-News November 17, 2016

The Boise and Payette national forests will begin selling Christmas tree permits on Saturday .

Each $10 permit is good for one tree with a limit of three per family. The maximum height allowed is 12 feet and the non-commercial permits are valid on both forests. The permits include information on areas where the trees may be cut.

As part of the “Every Kid in a Park” program, fourth-graders taking part can receive a free permit. The program is intended to build the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts. The child and parent must visit a Forest Service office in person with a voucher they received at

Permits will be available at local ranger district offices of the Payette and Boise forests. Local vendors include Albertsons in McCall and C&M Lumber in New Meadows.

source The Star-News:
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Fish-Eye Lens: Donnelly Elementary School lets the world view trout tank

By Teri Robinson for The Star-News November 17, 2016

Students in Deirdre Abrams’ fifth-grade class at Donnelly Elementary School love to spend time watching the trout being raised in a classroom tank. Now the world can watch along.

A video camera has been put into the tank to allow streaming of the trout as they swim and grow.

The camera was originally acquired to observe the trout and other organisms living in Boulder Creek, which runs behind the school, Abrams said.

“Because I didn’t want the camera to break due to winter conditions in the creek, I thought it would be great to put it in one of our tanks to be able to observe our trout on the big Smart Board in class,” she said.

For the past four years, Abrams has had live streaming of the fish in her classroom, but recently expanded the program so students and parents can watch at home as well.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to have so much cool technology at my fingertips to enhance learning,” she said.

Using math to calculate volume and water temperature and nonfiction and other reading needed to hatch trout eggs is only one learning benefit for Abrams’ class and their trout tanks.

The trout program began five years ago with a grant from Trout Unlimited.

After they are released into Boulder Creek, the trout are observed by the camera for their behavior as they make that transition from captivity to the wild, Abrams said.

The class receives trout eggs through the Trout Unlimited program supported by Idaho Department Fish and Game, Nez Perce Tribal Fisheries, and the Payette National Forest, at the beginning of the school year and raise them until they are released in the spring.

Abrams’ classroom has two 55-gallon tanks that hold trout. One tank has been planted with freshwater mussels.

“The hypothesis is that the tank housing the mussels will have cleaner and better water quality on average over the year because mussels help to filter the water,” she said.

Caring for living organisms helps her students to be better stewards of their natural surroundings, she said.

Note: To view the trout tank streaming video, do the following:

1. Install VLC player on your computer by using this direct link:
http:// (this is a safe nonprofit media player).

2.  Open VLC player on your computer and pull down the “Media” menu. Click on “Open Network Stream” and enter this link below directly into the blank box:

source The Star-News:
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After years of auctions, Idaho now down to just 51 state-owned cabin sites at Payette Lake

By Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review Nov 15, 2016

Idaho is down to just 51 state-owned cottage sites at Payette Lake after six years of auctions. The state has now sold 262 of its state-owned lake cabin sites at Payette and Priest lakes combined, and has 261 left, state Lands Director Tom Schultz reported to the state Land Board this morning. “So we are just over 50 percent of the way through disposing of the different cottage sites,” Schultz said.

Idaho has been phasing itself out of the business of renting state-owned cabin sites, on which the renters built and owned their own cabins, sometimes for generations, after years of lawsuits and fights over what constitutes fair rent. The state’s plan is to reinvest the proceeds from the sales into higher-earning land investments for the endowment, including timber land.

The state has auctioned off 117 cabin sites at Payette Lake and 145 at Priest Lake; five of those are still closing at Priest Lake after the last auction. That leaves 210 state-owned cabin sites at Priest Lake, and just 51 at Payette Lake.

In 2017, more auctions are planned. So far, the Lands Department has received applications for auction from 14 cottage site lessees at Payette Lake, and 58 at Priest Lake.

Earnings from Idaho’s state endowment largely benefit the state’s public schools; smaller portions go to state institutions including universities, mental hospitals and prisons.

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Central Idaho federal employees back to work with local help

By LUKE RAMSETH – 11/14/16 AP

CHALLIS, Idaho — The fire started early Oct. 4, destroying the Bureau of Land Management office on the edge of town within minutes.

Volunteer firefighters worked the blaze through the night. In the morning, Challis BLM Manager Todd Kuck began calling his 25 employees, saying they no longer had a place to work.

By that afternoon, state and federal investigators had arrived, combing the scene for any evidence of foul play. Reports of a loud bang when the fire began stoked rumors around the town of 1,000.

“There was talk that the Three Percenters had something to do with it,” said Custer County Sheriff Stu Lumpkin, referring to the radical patriot group opposed to federal overreach. The Idaho chapter of the group held a protest rally at the BLM office earlier this year.

Custer County, where 97 percent of land is owned by the federal government, easily could’ve been the latest hotspot for an escalating conflict around the West between land managers and anti-government militants such as Cliven and Ammon Bundy. But the opposite has happened since the fire, residents and officials say. The community has rallied to help their local BLM office, despite often sharp disagreements over who should control the land and how it should be managed.

Investigators soon determined the blaze was due to an electrical problem, to the relief of many.

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State endowment to acquire Maggie Butte timber land from Potlatch east of Kamiah

By Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review Nov 15, 2016

Idaho’s state Land Board voted unanimously today to acquire a nearly 2,400-acre tract of timber land at Maggie Butte, 10 miles east of Kamiah, from Potlatch Corp. for the state’s public school endowment. The $2.5 million to purchase the land comes from the endowment’s land bank, which holds proceeds from sales of state endowment lands including cabin sites.

State Lands Department officials and consultants estimated that the timber land will bring the endowment an annual return, long term, of around 5.5 percent.

“Although Potlatch has conducted many harvests on this property, a silvicultural operation to put this property back into a fully stocked condition would yield fully harvestable timber in 20-40 years,” Ryan Montoya, real estate services manager for the department, told the Land Board. “This factor is recognized in the financial analysis where there are merchantable stands that could yield returns immediately, and thereafter as management continues. Thus, the acquisition reduces the risks involved with the property and also provides for immediate and sustainable income.”


Forest News:

Big Creek Road Plan of Operation Project Update

USDA Forest Service Nov 14, 2016

The Forest Service, Payette National Forest, Krassel Ranger District, has revised the Environmental Assessment and prepared a draft Decision Notice for the Big Creek Roads Plan of Operations. We are proposing to conditionally approve full-size motor vehicle travel on 26.34 miles of existing routes to provide access for 1872 Mining Act mineral activities under a ten-year Plan of Operations. The project is located in the Big Creek area in Valley and Idaho Counties, Idaho, approximately 7 miles north and east of the community of Yellow Pine, Idaho. I am the Responsible Official who will issue a decision for this project.

The environmental assessment was originally released for public comment in May 2016. It has now been revised in response to the comments received. The revised Environmental Assessment, draft Decision Notice, and other information are available for review at the project webpage at
Additional information regarding this project can be obtained from: Krassel Ranger District Office, 500 North Mission Street, Bldg 1, McCall, ID 83638, 208-634-0600. 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.

This proposed project is subject to the objection process pursuant to 36 CFR 218 Subpart B. This project is not related to the Hazardous Fuels Reduction Act. The Payette Forest Supervisor is the reviewing officer.

Eligibility to File Objections

Objections will be accepted only from those who have previously submitted specific written comments regarding the proposed project either during scoping or other designated opportunity for public comment in accordance with § 218.5(a). Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted timely, specific, written comments regarding the proposed project unless based on new information arising after designated opportunities.

Individual members of organizations must have submitted their own comments to meet the requirements of eligibility as an individual. Objections received on behalf of an organization are considered as those of the organization only. If an objection is submitted on behalf of a number of individuals or organizations, each individual or organization listed must meet the eligibility requirement of having previously submitted comments on the project (§ 218.7). Names and addresses of objectors will become part of the public record.

Contents of an Objection

Incorporation of documents by reference in the objection is permitted only as provided for at § 218.8(b). Minimum content requirements of an objection are identified in § 218.8(d) include:

Objector’s name and address with a telephone number if available; with signature or other verification of authorship supplied upon request;

Identification of the lead objector when multiple names are listed, along with verification upon request;

Name of project, name and title of the responsible official, national forest/ranger district where project is located, and

Sufficient narrative description of those aspects of the proposed project objected to, specific issues related to the project, how environmental law, regulation, or policy would be violated, and suggested remedies which would resolve the objection.

Statement demonstrating the connection between prior specific written comments on this project and the content of the objection, unless the objection issue arose after the designated opportunities for comment.

Filing an Objection

Written objections may be submitted to the reviewing officer through the project webpage: Simply click on “Comment/Object on Project” on the right side of the page and fill out the webform with your comments. Written objections, including any attachments, may also be addressed Reviewing Officer, Intermountain Region USFS, 324 25th Street, Ogden, Utah 84401; or fax to 801-625-5277; within 45 days following the publication date of this legal notice in the newspaper of record. The office business hours for those submitting hand-delivered objections are: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Electronic objections can also be submitted in a format such as an email message, pdf, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), and Word (.doc or .docx) to It is the responsibility of Objectors to ensure their objection is received in a timely manner (§ 218.9).

The publication date in the McCall Star News, newspaper of record, is the exclusive means for calculating the time to file an objection to this project. Those wishing to object to this project should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source. We anticipate the legal notice will be published on November 17, 2016.

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 me at 208-634-0601 (

Anthony B. Botello
District Ranger
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Scoping – Ice Hole

USDA Forest Service Nov 14, 2016

The Forest Service is seeking public input (scoping comments) for the proposed Ice Hole Campground Project on the Cascade Ranger District in Valley County, ID.

Project Description

The Ice Hole project proposes to improve the existing campground road in Ice Hole Campground, build a worm rail fence between the campground and Johnson Creek, and gravel discrete campsite pads. For a more detailed description of the proposed project, please review the comprehensive proposed action report on the Project webpage:

How to Comment

The Forest Service is contacting interested persons, groups, and agencies to make them aware of the project and to gather pertinent feedback. To be most useful, please make your comments as specific as possible. Your comments will help us identify and address issues.

Electronic, written, hand-delivered, and facsimile comments concerning this project will be accepted. Comments may be submitted through the Ice Hole Project webpage. To submit comments using the web form, select “Comment on Project” under “Get Connected” on the right panel of the project’s webpage.

Email comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Adobe (.pdf), and Word (.doc) to: Please put “Ice Hole Project” in the subject line of e-mail comments. Comments must have an identifiable name attached or verification of identity will be required. A scanned signature may serve as verification on electronic comments.

Written comments may be submitted to: Boise National Forest, Cascade District, 540 North Main Street, Cascade, ID 83615 Attention: Gary Harris, or by fax at 208-382-7480. Office hours for submitting hand-delivered comments are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection in the Public Comment Reading Room on the project webpage and will be released in their entirety, if requested, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

When to Comment

To be most helpful, please submit your scoping comments by December 6, 2016, and make your comments as specific as posiible.

Only those who subscribe to the mailing list, submit comments, or notify the Forest that they would like to remain on the mailing list for this project will receive future correspondences on this project. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, without an associated name and address, receiving further correspondences concerning this project will not be possible.

For further information on the project, please contact Gary Harris, Team Leader, at or by phone at 208-382-7455.

scoping letter and maps:
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Scoping – Three Trappers Underburn Project

USDA Forest Service Nov 15, 2016

The Forest Service is seeking public input (scoping comments) for the proposed Three Trappers Restoration Underburn Project on the Cascade Ranger District in Valley County, ID.

Project Description

The Three Trappers project proposes to implement a series of prescribed burns to restore species composition and stand structure, reducing undesirable species and stand densities, while favoring retention of larger diameter more fire resistant trees throughout the project area. Fuel loads, ladder fuels, and stand densities would be reduced, decreasing the opportunity of crown fire development and improve the resiliency of affected stands should a wildfire ignition occur. In addition, activities occurring within the WUI would create or enhance defensible space for suppression resources should a wildfire threaten adjacent private properties.  Restoring vegetative conditions more reflective of the fire-adapted ecosystem, reducing hazardous fuels, and minimizing risks to public health and safety would allow for safe and effective management of wildfire in the urban environment and meet the intent of several goals identified

For a more detailed description of the proposed project, please review the comprehensive proposed action report on the Project webpage:

How to Comment

The Forest Service is contacting interested persons, groups, and agencies to make them aware of the project and to gather pertinent feedback. To be most useful, please make your comments as specific as possible. Your comments will help us identify and address issues.

Electronic, written, hand-delivered, and facsimile comments concerning this project will be accepted. Comments may be submitted through the Three Trappers Project webpage. To submit comments using the web form, select “Comment on Project” under “Get Connected” on the right panel of the project’s webpage.

Email comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Adobe (.pdf), and Word (.doc) to: Please put “Three Trappers WUI Project” in the subject line of e-mail comments. Comments must have an identifiable name attached or verification of identity will be required. A scanned signature may serve as verification on electronic comments.

Written comments may be submitted to: Boise National Forest, Cascade District, 540 North Main Street, Cascade, ID 83615 Attention: Jim Bishop, or by fax at 208-382-7480. Office hours for submitting hand-delivered comments are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection in the Public Comment Reading Room on the project webpage and will be released in their entirety, if requested, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

When to Comment

To be most helpful, please submit your scoping comments by December 6, 2016.

Only those who subscribe to the mailing list, submit comments, or notify the Forest that they would like to remain on the mailing list for this project will receive future correspondences on this project. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, without an associated name and address, receiving further correspondences concerning this project will not be possible.

For further information on the project, please contact Jim Bishop, Team Leader, at or by phone at 208-382-7400.

scoping letter and maps:
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Scoping – Dollar Creek Project

USDA Forest Service Nov 15, 2016

The Forest Service is seeking public input (scoping comments) for the proposed Dollar Creek Road Obliteration Project on the Cascade Ranger District in Valley County, ID

Project Description

The Cascade Ranger District propose to decommission by full obliteration up to 52 miles of non-system routes in the Dollar Creek subwatershed and a small portion of the Goat Creek subwatershed. The majority of these roads were built in the 1960s-early 1970s and are narrow, partially re-vegetated logging roads no longer passible to full-sized vehicles.

The route decommissioning would include ripping the roadbed to a depth of at least 12 inches and relocating the fill from the outer side of the roadbed. The fill material would be placed in the angle formed by the road cut and roadbed, leaving a cross-section and profile that approximates the contour of the surrounding slope angle. The project would be done under contract with an excavator. For a more detailed description of the proposed project, please review the proposed action report (PAR) on the Project webpage:

How to Comment

The Forest Service is contacting interested persons, groups, and agencies to make them aware of the project and to gather pertinent feedback. To be most useful, please make your comments as specific as possible. Your comments will help us identify and address issues.

Electronic, written, hand-delivered, and facsimile comments concerning this project will be accepted. Comments may be submitted through the Dollar Creek webpage. To submit comments using the web form, select “Comment on Project” under “Get Connected” on the right panel of the project’s webpage.

Email comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Adobe (.pdf), and Word (.doc) to: Please put “Dollar Creek” in the subject line of e-mail comments. Comments must have an identifiable name attached or verification of identity will be required. A scanned signature may serve as verification on electronic comments.

Written comments may be submitted to: Boise National Forest, Cascade Ranger District P.O. Box 696, Cascade, ID 83611 Attention: Dave Mays, or by fax at 208-382-7480. Office hours for submitting hand-delivered comments are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection in the Public Comment Reading Room on the project webpage and will be released in their entirety, if requested, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

When to Comment

To be most helpful, please submit your scoping comments by December 6, 2016, and make your comments as specific as possible.

For further information on the project, please contact Dave Mays, Team Leader, at or by phone at 208-382-7420.

scoping letter and maps:
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Scoping – Lodgepole Springs Underburn

USDA Forest Service Nov 15, 2016

The Forest Service is seeking public input (scoping comments) for the proposed Lodgepole Springs Restoration Project on lands managed by the Emmett Ranger District of the Boise National Forest.

Project Description

The Lodgepole Springs Restoration Project is an estimated 2,424 acres located approximately 14 miles north of Crouch, Idaho along Forest Road 671 in Valley County. The project, as proposed, consists of a low to moderate intensity prescribed fire that would reduce the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire and improve forest health and resiliency.

Limited hand-line construction, roads, and natural barriers would be used as control lines in the project area and fire ignition would occur by hand or with the use of a helicopter.

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

How to Comment

The Forest Service is contacting interested persons, groups, and agencies to make them aware of the project and to gather pertinent feedback. Please make your comments as specific as possible to help us identify and address issues.

Electronic, written, hand-delivered, and facsimile comments concerning this project will be accepted. Comments may be submitted through the Lodgepole Springs Project. To submit comments using the web form, select “Comment on Project” under “Get Connected” on the right panel of the project’s webpage.

Email comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Adobe (.pdf), and Word (.doc) to: Please put “Lodgepole Springs Project” in the subject line of e-mail comments. Comments must have an identifiable name attached or verification of identity will be required. A scanned signature may serve as verification on electronic comments.

Written comments may be submitted to: Boise National Forest, Emmett Ranger District, 1805 Highway 16 room 5, Emmett ID 83617 Attention: Justin Yankey, or by fax at 208-365-7037. Office hours for submitting hand-delivered comments are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection in the Public Comment Reading Room on the project webpage and will be released in their entirety, if requested, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

When to Comment

To be most helpful, please submit your scoping comments by December 6, 2016.

Only those who subscribe to the mailing list, submit comments, or notify the Forest that they would like to remain on the mailing list for this project will receive future correspondences on this project. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, without an associated name and address, receiving further correspondences concerning this project will not be possible.

For further information on the project, please contact Justin Yankey, Team Leader, at or by phone at 208-365-7015.

scoping letter and maps:
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Idaho City Ranger District temporarily closes roads in Coulter Timber Sale area

BNF News Release: Nov 18, 2016

The Boise National Forest is temporarily closing roads within the Coulter Timber Sale area near Pioneerville for public safety while logging operations are occurring. Activities will including logging truck traffic, tree felling and skidding.

National Forest System (NFS) roads NFS 380 and 380H will be closed effective Monday November, 21 and continue until Dec. 31, 2016, or closure order is rescinded. Forest roads are likely to be blocked by equipment and downed logs. Signs will be posted and no vehicles will be allowed to pass.

All motorists traveling along State Highways and forest roads near the sale area should proceed with caution as heavy traffic and large trucks will be traveling to their destinations.

Forest visitors are welcome to purchase a Christmas tree permit and harvest a tree beginning next week. Please remember gathering a tree from within the Pioneer wildfire burned area is prohibited. Obtain a tree permit and map complete with instructions at a Boise NF Forest office or vendor.

Burned Area Emergency Response work is ongoing in the Pioneer Fire area and temporary closures may be put in place for public safety. Visitors should look for posted warning signs and be aware of their surroundings. For all current closures within the Boise National Forest visit:

View Closure Order – 0402-03-69

View Map

Linda Steinhaus
Public Affairs
Boise National Forest

Critter News:

Officials weigh removing grizzlies from endangered list

Associated Press, KTVB November 16, 2016

CODY, Wyo. — State and federal wildlife managers are considering removing Endangered Species Act protections from grizzly bears living in Yellowstone National Park.

Officials are meeting in Cody on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss post-delisting management plans. The member agencies of the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee had hoped to approve a final draft of the post-delisting management plant, but officials say it’s unclear that will happen.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed lifting the federal protections for the Yellowstone bears in March. Grizzly bears were first listed as threatened in 1975 when the Yellowstone population was estimated to have as few as 136 bears. Recent estimates say the population has now climbed above 700.

Delisting the Yellowstone bears would give more management responsibility to Montana, Wyoming and Idaho and open the door for potential hunting seasons.

Copyright 2016 KTVB
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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third Week of November 2016
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Wolf Education International

Newsletter 11/14/2016

In Khyber Agency, Pakistan Wolf Kills Child Injures Two Others

Wolves stalk man and his dogs in ‘freaky’ close encounter

Livestock Guarding Dogs: from the Transhumance to Pre-Zygotic Selection

Wisconsin Politicians Send Letter to Congress Seeking Wolf Delisting
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Wild Turkeys: Marvel or Menace?

Which one it is depends entirely on your perspective

By Dawn Starin on August 8, 2016 Scientific American

Fanning their tail feathers and gobbling softly, the gang struts through the grove of oak trees, across the garden, hops over the fence and heads down the slope. While these wild turkeys roaming urban/suburban neighborhoods often bring a smile to my face during my visits to California, many of the state’s residents are not as charmed by these creatures as I am.

Attitudes toward these feathered creatures run the gamut from love to hate, novelty to nuisance. Wild, free-ranging, urban/suburban-dwelling turkeys have their passionate defenders who argue that these handsome creatures with their comical antics enhance the landscape and bring a bit of wildness into the creeping concrete backdrop. Others abhor the mess and aggressive dramas created by these ugly hooligan nuisance birds.

YouTube features scores of videos showing people oohing and aahing over wild turkeys—or being chased by them. Local magazines and newspaper articles, either praising or denigrating the turkeys, elicit a range of readers’ comments. Some detail the type of food turkeys should be given, some demand the turkeys be left alone and appreciated, and some offer suggestions that verge on violent, bloody, “final” solutions. These highly adaptable creatures are creating heated debate as they expand out of their wooded range and strut into human-inhabited areas.

A wild, four-foot-high, 20 – 30 pound, adult tom turkey, North America’s largest ground nesting bird, is not at all like his domestic, slow-moving, artificially-fattened, meek and mild culinary counterpart. They’re fast, reaching a running speed of 25 miles per hour – just a bit less than Usain Bolt’s top speed. And though they only fly for short distances, their flight speed can reach 60 miles per hour. With upward curving, sharp-pointed, bony spurs on its legs up to two inches long (so sharp they were once used by Native Americans as arrow tips) a tom turkey can be a fearsome assailant, particularly during the breeding season. In fact, so formidable are they that Benjamin Franklin felt that they would “not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”In short, these gobblers are not to be messed with.

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Gray jay chosen as Canada’s national bird

11/17/16 AP

TORONTO — The Royal Canadian Geographic Society said its choice for Canada’s national bird epitomizes the best of the country’s national traits: smart, hardy and friendly.

The Society said earlier this week that the gray jay, also known as the whiskey jack, was the winner of a two-year search for a fitting avian Canadian representative.

The gray jay, once known as the Canada jay and the “wisakedjak” of folklore in indigenous cultures, is found in the boreal forests of Canadian provinces and territories but nowhere else on the planet.

The robin-sized cousin of the raven and crow has the same brain-to-body ratio as dolphins and chimpanzees and is lauded for its friendliness and intelligence. The gray jay spends its entire life in the Canadian woods.

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Gray JayPerisoreus canadensis

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Boaters have big responsibility to be clean of invasives

By Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 20, 2016

Nobody want’s to be regulated, or required to stop at a boat inspection station.  But the risks and consequences of bringing invasive species into Northwest waterways are extreme.

If you’ve been out of state with your boat, get it inspected and make sure it’s CLEAN.

Officials from four Northwest states and three Canadian provinces came together this week to discuss a troubling new development: discovery of the tiny larva of invasive mussels in Montana, the first such discovery in the Northwest region.

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‘Holy cow, it’s a shark!’ – video shows attack in Columbia River

John Tierney, KGW 8:53 AM. MST November 17, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. — Josh Robb was crabbing on the Columbia River west of Astoria on Saturday when his father-in-law saw an injured seal and blood in the water. Then they noticed something else swimming nearby trying to get at the seal.

Robb pulled out a camera and started recording the action about 15 yards away.

“Finally you could see the fin come out of the water. I said, ‘holy cow, it’s a shark!’” Robb said.

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The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
November 18, 2016
Issue No. 810

* Are Lower Columbia River Harvest Reforms (The Kitzhaber Plan) Working? Oregon Considers Next Steps

* Council Hears Report On Best Ways To Pass Salmonids Above High Head Dams; Part Of Evaluating Re-Introduction Above Grand Coulee

* Invasive Mussels Found In Montana Waters: Council Talks Regional Forum, Federal Funding To Combat Spread To Columbia Basin

* Hundreds Turn Out For Lewiston Scoping Meeting Regarding Federal Agencies’ Draft EIS For Snake River Dams; Due 2020

* Council’s ‘Cost-Savings’ Workgroup Earmarks Some FW Project Cost Savings For Hatchery Repairs

* EPA Partially Approves State Standards For Toxic Pollutants In Washington Waters, Adds Own Federal Standards

* Hydro/Fish Managers Mull Possible Changes To Chum Flow Operations To Protect Redds Downstream From Bonneville Dam

* Bonneville Power Releases Initial Rate Proposal for 2018, 2019; 3.5 Percent Wholesale, 1.1 Percent Transmission

* October Brought Wet Records For Much Of Northwest, Above Average Precipitation Expected To Continue Through Feb.

* Corps Investigation Loss Of 200 Adult Steelhead Below Dworshak; Likely Caused By Hitting Structure During Upgrade

* Removing Trees In Western North America Causes Cooling In Siberia? Study Shows Die-Offs Ricochet Globally

Fun Critter Stuff:

Wild turkeys spotted in Boise’s North End

KTVB November 16, 2016

Photo Sarah Ahrens

BOISE – Thanksgiving is just a week away and it’s already starting to feel like it.

Sarah Ahrens sent us these photos of wild turkeys in Boise’s North End.

She spotted them at Ridenbaugh and 14th streets.

source w/more photos:
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‘Terrible Tom’ the wild turkey causes reporter to lose her head

Uploaded on Oct 7, 2011

After hearing neighbors’ stories of wild turkeys chasing down joggers and other residents in an Arden area neighborhood, News10 producer Duffy Kelly went out for a first-hand look.

Duffy said she “didn’t want to take the ‘Terrible Tom’ stories at face value,” so on Thursday she went to the neighborhood and tried to walk past one of the birds.

Duffy had her camera rolling for her unexpected turkey run.

Neighbors told Duffy the turkeys have been in the area for years and usually scurry away when folks walk by. They say only recently two turkeys broke off from the flock and are intent on standing guard in their own empty lot.

Some people are carrying sticks to frighten off the turkeys, but neighbors say they don’t want any harm to come to them.

They just want friendlier neighbors.


Fish & Game News:

News Releases
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After Fish & Game hack, state of Idaho buying cybersecurity insurance

By Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review Nov 11, 2016

After this year’s major breach of state Fish and Game data held by a vendor, the state of Idaho has decided to purchase a $25 million cybersecurity insurance policy, the Legislative Council heard this morning. The policy, with an annual premium of roughly $570,000 and a $1 million deductible per incident, will start in December.

Cathy Holland-Smith, legislative budget director, said the cost in remainder of the current fiscal year, $330,000, will be covered by the existing budgets, but the state Department of Administration will have a request for the full $570,000 in its budget request for next year.

Bob Geddes, department director, said the premium for the current year will come from the existing state risk management fund, which has enough to cover it. But if there were a breach during the current fiscal year, a supplemental budget request likely would be needed to cover the $1 million deductible. Geddes said his department coordinated with a state cybersecurity task force and state agencies on the plan to get the insurance policy; all agencies have been supportive.

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14 former Idaho Fish & Game commissioners send letter to legislative leaders, pressing for new Senate resources chair

By Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review Nov 17, 2016

Fourteen former Idaho Fish & Game commissioners sent a letter today to Idaho legislative leaders from both houses and both parties, asking that Sen. Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, be replaced as chairman of the Senate Resources Committee. The former commissioners say a dispute over reappointment of commissioners, “efforts to change the method of allocating controlled hunt permits,” differences over handling of a fee increase proposal and related issues prompted their request.

“We, as former Fish and Game commissioners, feel strongly and are dedicated to the 1938 Citizen’s Initiative Policy Statement as codified in Title 36 to preserve, protect, perpetuate and manage all wildlife declared the property of the state of Idaho and the Commission’s role to Administer such policy,” the letter says. “It is within this spirit we respectfully request Senator Bair be replaced as Chairman of the Senate Resources and Environment Committee. Because of Senator Bair’s influence as Chairman and his demonstrated bias, we do not feel he can maintain the objectivity to fairly provide oversight of the Fish and Game Department and manage the Commissioner confirmation process.  We fear if the chemistry of the Committee is not changed, this issue will not heal or repair itself; the problem-solving process envisioned in Citizen’s Initiative #1 will remain elusive.”



Turkey Trivia

from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Here is some fun trivia about turkeys, the all-American birds.

* There are several theories about how turkeys got their name. One story claims the Christopher Columbus heard some birds say “tuka, tuka”, and his interpreter came up with the name tukki, which means “big bird” in hebrew.

* Ben Franklin thought the turkey would be a better national symbol than the bald eagle. According to the Franklin Institute, he wrote in a letter to his daughter:

“For my own part, I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; he is a bird of bad moral character; he does not get his living honestly…like those among men who live by sharping and robbing…he is generally poor, and often very lousy. Besides, he is a rank coward; the little king-bird, not bigger than a sparrow, attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district…For in truth, the turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America. Eagles have been found in all countries, but the turkey was peculiar to ours…”

* The average person in the United States will eat 15 pounds of turkey this year.