Category Archives: News 2017

Dec 31, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

Dec 31, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Wednesday’s Doings

“The county dump truck with plow broke down on Johnson Creek near Ice Hole about two days ago. The crew arranged to have [locals] with backhoe and experience to help get it to a location suitable to load it onto the low-boy trailer. Today they all gathered for the big occasion. The crew pulled the dump truck to town and part of the way up the “Imel hill”, backed up the trailer, then used the county grader to push the truck onto the trailer.” – LI
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Winter Water Advice

To help prevent frozen water, avoid parking over buried water lines, allow the natural snow cover to insulate the ground. Driving over the lines will also push the frost deeper and can result in frozen pipes. Also, don’t plow the snow over where water lines are buried, and avoid covering up water shut off valves.
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Be Predator Aware

Reports of coyote, bobcat and fox activity and tracks in and around the village. Keep an eye on small dogs and cats and please don’t leave pet food outdoors. Unsecured garbage is also an attractant.
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Yellow Pine Tavern

Christmas Day Potluck at the Tavern.

Watch all of your favorite sports on our Big Screen TV at the Yellow Pine Tavern. Featuring Football. Open 9am to 8pm (or later on game nights.) Juke box is up and going!
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The Corner

The Corner is closed for the season. Stop by if you need wood permits. We will reopen after we have the baby.
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YPFD News:

Winter Fire Safety Tips

Keep your chimney clean to prevent flue fires. Make sure your smoke detector is working. Never leave a portable electric heater unattended. Fire extinguishers should be charged, visible and easily accessible.

There are YPFD T-shirts, as well as YPFD patches and stickers for sale at the Tavern now.

Training will resume in the spring.
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VYPA News:

Next meeting June 2018
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Diamond (Kennedy) Fuel & Feed

208-382-4430

Did you know that Diamond Fuel & Feed carries pet food? Arnolds will deliver to Yellow Pine. Give them a call to set up an account. They carry Diamond brand dog food. Current dog food prices: Maintenance is $29.99 for a 50# bag. Performance is $39.95 for a 50# bag. Senior is $37.99 for a 35# bag. Farm Cat is $13.99 for a 20# bag.
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Winter Propane Tips

Keep the snow cleared around propane lines and pipes leading from your tank to the house. The weight of snow can cause leaks that can result in fire. Make sure you have a CO detector with working batteries.
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook
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Local Observations:

Monday (Dec 25) snowed all night, 3″ new, 9″ total on the ground. Warmer this morning than it was all day yesterday. Nuthatches and chickadees visiting. Still snowing steady at lunch time. Hear a jay calling early afternoon. Very light snow falling mid-afternoon (until around 4pm) and quiet, high 30 degrees. A few breaks in the clouds at sundown. Clearing some towards morning and cold.

Tuesday (Dec 26) overnight low of 5 degrees, increasing clouds at sunrise. Lots of bird activity this morning; nuthatches, jays, chickadees and a female hairy woodpecker. Mostly sunny early afternoon, a few icicles dripping but still below freezing, high 31 degrees. Heard a couple of ravens to the southwest. Mostly clear at sundown. Skiff of snow fell before midnight.

Wednesday (Dec 27) overnight low of 11 degrees, overcast this morning. We have 9″ of snow on the ground. Red-breasted nuthatches visiting. Above freezing after lunch time. Road grader came all the way into Yellow Pine. Looks like it was helping a dump truck up the hill on main street. Jays and chickadees have joined the nutcrackers at the feeders. Cloudy afternoon, was a little breezy just before dark, high 39 degrees. A few flakes of snow fell before midnight, but no trace.

Thursday (Dec 28) overnight low of 23 degrees, overcast this morning. Nuthatches and a female hairy woodpecker at the feeder today. Overcast early afternoon and a few flakes of snow drifting down for a short while, no trace. Blustery late afternoon, warmer and trees dumping snow loads, icicles dripping and the old snow is very soft, high 40 degrees. Still above freezing at midnight and calmer.

Friday (Dec 29) probably rained a little early this morning, seems to have been a steady 35 degrees all night. The wind yesterday melted an inch of snow, now measuring 8″ old snow. Nuthatches are busy this morning, joined by chickadees and a junco. Misty drizzles on and off mid-day, very light fog, very damp air, high 40 degrees. Not raining at sundown, some color to the clouds from the setting sun. More rain in the middle of the night and trace of snow before morning.

Saturday (Dec 30) overnight low of 30 degrees, partly clear this morning. About 7″ of old snow on the ground. Chickadees and nuthatches visiting, pine squirrel calling to the south. Snowmobile traffic on the main road. Light snow flurries on and off mid-day to early afternoon, then mostly clear by late afternoon, high 40 degrees. The sun is setting later, light outside longer. Clouds came and went, cold and quiet.

Sunday (Dec 31) overnight low of 6 degrees, clear sky this morning. Still have about 7″ of old snow on the ground. Nuthatches, chickadees and a junco visiting, pine squirrel getting its share of bird feed. Sunny today, still below freezing but south facing icicles are dripping. Quiet sunny afternoon, hardly any traffic, high 32 degrees.
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Letter to Share:

Commissioner Cruickshank’s December Newsletter

From the Desk of Commissioner Cruickshank, Dec 31, 2017

Monday December 4th
Today was a commissioner meeting day. To review the minutes of the meeting please go to the Valley County website at Valley County Idaho Official Site then click on the commissioners section. Once there click on the meeting minutes and look for the date of the minutes you are looking for. Please be advised the minutes are only added to the website once approved during a following commissioner meeting so it may be a week or two later.
http://www.co.valley.id.us/

Tuesday December 5th
Today I worked on emails, sent a message to the Bureau of Reclamation requesting a phone conversation about Firewise on their lands around Lake Cascade and visited with a Marine Deputy about the Waterways Committee duties.

Wednesday December 6th
I replied to an email request on how the Western Interstate Region (WIR) conferences are selected from a person in Wyoming. I provided dates to meet with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation Director who is requesting to meet. I reviewed the Lease for the Juvenile Detention facility to the City of McCall, discussed some issues concerning the West Central Mountain Economic Development (WCMEDC) with one of their Board Members to keep informed.
I participated in a National Forest Counties and Schools Coalition conference call to discuss ongoing efforts of the Secure Rural Schools program for future funding which congress has not reauthorized.

Thursday December 7th
I reviewed an email from the 4th District Magistrate Administration on a review of a prior appointment for a Judge placement. This was to determine if the Magistrate Commission needed to meet to discuss the duties and if they were being done correctly.

Monday December 11th
Commissioner day today. Please see the minutes on the Valley County website.
http://www.co.valley.id.us/
I visited with the Executive Director of the WCMEDC to discuss potential woody bio-mass projects that could assist with various firewise and forest management in our region.

Tuesday December 12th
I viewed several Payette National Forest Coalition video’s that help showcase their efforts of Forest Restoration.
I participated in a Idaho Association of Counties (IAC) Board of Directors Conference call. During this call the new Executive Director explained some of his vision for the future of IAC and discussed upcoming legislation for the 2018 Idaho Legislative Session.

Wednesday December 13th
I reviewed a draft of a purchasing policy for Valley County.
I met with the Payette Lakes Water and Sewer District employees to discuss septage disposal from pumper trucks, collection sewage from septic tanks and porta potties. The concern is the volume of septage collected and who can effectively handle in large quantities.
I had a phone conversation with the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) on Firewising the lands around Lake Cascade that the BOR manages and a discussion on Agricultural Easements.

Thursday December 14th
I hosted the National Association of Counties (NACo) Western Region Call today. We heard from NACo staff on recent meetings with other organizations to help support NACo efforts with forest management, wild horses and burros and autonomous vehicles. We also had an update on the recent efforts of tax reform and what that means to counties. The message here is NACo continues to work on counties behalf to lessen the burden on the taxpayer in multiple ways. We also heard from a commissioner in Ventura California who thanked all the surrounding states for their support while they fight the devastating wildfires in California. Many states send additional firefighters and support equipment to assist.
I then attended a portion of the Big Creek/Yellow Pine meeting which had already started. Discussions were held on the Davis Ranch Road after reviewing a Forest Service slide show of the route. Then I saw the beginning of a presentation on trails in the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River on a variety of potential uses. I had to leave early to attend my next meeting.
My next event was the Leadership Group of the McCall Area Chamber of Commerce. Commissioner Willey, Myself and the Valley County Planning and Zoning Administrator spoke on county government and how different processes work. Multiple questions were asked and hopefully answered to the group. This years leadership group consisted of folks from Meadows Valley to Cascade from various businesses and organizations.

Sunday December 17th
I reviewed a letter concerning the access using Sugar Creek Road to the Cinnabar Mine property. This letter is to show that this is a needed route to access private property in a safe manner.

Monday December 18th
I missed the commissioner meeting today due to being ill. However Commissioner Willey came by so I could sign Christmas cards for the Valley County employees. I really appreciate my fellow commissioner doing this for me.
http://www.co.valley.id.us/

Tuesday December 19th
I provided a email to say Valley County Commissioners approved signing the Sugar Creek Road letter to support access for private property.
I visited with the Chairman of the Snowmobile Advisory Committee to discuss the upcoming snowmobile grooming season.
I replied to the McCall/Donnelly School Superintendent that the Secure Rural School funding has not been reauthorized and hoping that congress will do something by January 2018. I also requested that he insure schools across the country were supporting the efforts by calling their respective congressional offices. The Secure Rural Schools is so important to counties like ours as it helps with county road maintenance and educating our school students. As a recap the Secure Rural Schools funding is a program to supplement the dollars not received from National Forest Timber Harvest. Historically counties with National Forests received 25% of the proceeds from timber harvest sales. In Valley County in years prior to 2000 Valley County received approximately 3 million dollars in funds from Timber Harvest. Once collected then we split the funding with 30% going to the school districts and 70% retained for county road maintenance. Over the years congress supplied the Secure Rural Schools funds to help offset the lack of timber harvest. As the years went by congress has steadily reduced their commitment and now Valley County in the past few years only received approximately 1.5 million with a different formula as some stays with the Forest Service to be used in a grant process, some provided to the county for Search and Rescue on the National Forest and then the rest is split using the 70/30 formula.

Wednesday December 20th
I participated in a NFCSC conference call to again discuss recent efforts of reauthorizing the Secure Rural Schools program. Currently congress will need to vote to fund the government so SRS is not a priority for congress even though we feel it is a priority as without the funding the counties and schools will be losing many funds and will impact services across the nation.
I received a call from the Valley County Clerk and the manager of Lakeshore Disposal to discuss the repairs needs for the Recycle Baler as it is broke down.

Thursday December 21st
I reviewed the upcoming claims to be paid on Monday at our Commissioner meeting. The claims are sent out via email prior to the commissioner meetings when we pay bills so if there is any concerns we see we can ask about them.

Monday December 25th
I trust everyone had a great Christmas with family and friends.

Tuesday December 26th
Commissioner day today. Please find the minutes once approved, probably after our meetings in January on the Valley County website.
http://www.co.valley.id.us/
This afternoon was an appreciation for Anne the Building Department Supervisor who is retiring the end of December. I want to wish Anne well in her retirement as she has done a great job for Valley County as the Building Official.

Well other than a few phone calls and email reviews here at the end of December it winds down 2017. It has been another year full of decision making, disasters, helping where we can, finding solutions and working to the best of our abilities for the citizens we represent.

Thanks to all who take the time to read through my months work.

A new year will be here soon so Happy New Year everyone. See you in 2018.

Thanks again to everyone,
Gordon
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Scam Alerts:

Phone scams continue to victimize eastern Idaho

Dec 27, 2017 Local News 8

Idaho Falls, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – Bonneville County residents are continuing to fall victim to a recurring phone scam.

The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office said the scam involves a call from someone claiming to be a deputy or some sort of law enforcement official. They tell the victim they’re investigating some sort of crime or court issue and that a warrant is being issued in the victim’s name. Victims are told they’ll be taken to jail if they don’t pay money to the caller in one of a variety of ways.

Typically, the caller asks the victim to send money via Western Union, Green Dot money cards, or even I-Tunes or other gift cards. Those cards can be purchased locally and loaded with money.

The callers appear to be fairly sophisticated. According to reports, they often have a variety of accents and have used the internet to mask their true phone numbers on caller-ID. They can even make their number appear to be originating from a legitimate Sheriff’s Office phone number. In some cases, when the number is not masked, victims have called it back to find an answering machine or voice mail indicating it is the “Sheriff’s Department” or some other entity.

Regardless of the entity, the real Sheriff’s Office says no Idaho law enforcement entity or court collects money in that fashion. If you have a legitimate issue with law enforcement or the courts, you will likely be contacted in person by an officer. While legitimate officers may contact you by phone on occasion, they will never require payment of money over the phone, ask you to wire transfer funds, or entice you to obtain a money or gift card.

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Phone scam targets new Idaho area code

by Alexis Goree Wednesday, December 27th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Phone scams have been the talk of the season. For scammers, it’s the idea of whats new and how they can target. It’s as easy as sitting at a computer, typing in a number and placing the call.

Ever heard of call id spoofing? It’s where a person can call your cell phone and put any number they want on your caller ID.

“We see people using caller ID spoofing for scams. It’s perfectly legal and I think the idea behind it is that somebody may think of it as a funny prank to pull, but scam artists exploit it, “ says Dale Dixon, Chief Innovation Officer, Better Business Bureau.

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Watch out for these holiday scams

Local News 8 – Dec 30, 2017

Boise, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – Better Business Bureau Serving the Northwest is warning you to look out for common scams that occur during this time of year.

Holiday season scams include online purchase scams, look-alike websites, fake shipping notifications and free gift card scams.

Last year from October to the end of December, more than 500 US victims reported an online purchase scam to BBB Scam Tracker. Victims reported more than 200 look-alike website scams, 300 phishing scams and over 150 gift card scams.

The BBB said to look out for the following:

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Idaho News:

Saturday celebration to close out Valley County, Cascade centennial

The Star-News December 28, 2017

A celebration will be held Saturday to close out the centennial year for Valley County and the City of Cascade.

The fun will start at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at The Roxy Theatre, where video will be shown of this year’s centennial celebrations and events.

The event will move at 7 p.m. to Lake Cascade State Park’s Van Wyck Unit for hot dogs, hot drinks, s’mores, and music.

At 7:30 p.m., there will be the lighting of 100 Chinese lanterns at Van Wyck, the same even that kicked off the centennial celebration.

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Baler breakdown stalls Valley County recycling

County announces plastic no longer accepted

By Tom Grote for The Star-News December 28, 2017

Valley County residents are being asked to hold onto their recyclable items while repairs are made to a baler that prepares the materials for shipping.

Also, plastic will no longer be accepted at the county’s three recycling centers because the operators of the incinerator where the plastic had been taken will no longer accept it, officials said.

The baler is located on East Lake Fork Road and is owned by Valley County but operated by Lake Shore Disposal, the county’s contract waste hauler.

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BSU study says short-term rentals are a double-edged sword

By Phil Janquart for The Star-News The Star-News December 28, 2017

A new report says short-term rentals in McCall are critical to local tourism but create nuisances and reduce available housing.

Graduate students from Boise State University’s Master’s of Public Administration program presented their findings recently to the McCall City Council.

There are an estimated 453 short-term rentals in McCall and surrounding areas, according to the report.

Benefits resulting from short-term rentals include additional tourism dollars for local businesses such as restaurants, bars, museums and recreation.

Also, the city collects 7 percent in sales taxes from short-term rentals, with proceeds split between tourism grants and street projects.

However, the 44-page report points to noise, parking, trash and appearance as pervasive problems as cited by public officials.

Their proliferation also has caused a decrease in long-term rentals and a reduction of affordable housing for seasonal and permanent residents, the BSU report said.

The short-term rentals also have spurred rising purchase and rental prices and created “unfair” competition with traditional lodging such as hotels and bed-and-breakfasts, the report said.

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Snow brings boost to McCall just in time

Dean Johnson, KTVB December 27, 2017

McCall, Idaho – The city of McCall is breathing a collective sigh of relief thanks to a nearly foot of new snow over the past week.

“A week ago, we were a little nervous,” Blake Hanks with Home Town Sports said. “The impact the snow has on this place is a hundred percent.”

Snow helps to bring in millions of dollars to the local economy each year from snowmobiling, to cross country skiing, to alpine skiing.

“Having plenty of the white stuff is what drives our economy. It brings millions of dollars a year and thousands of people up each year and we’re a recreation tourism economy any way you paint it.

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Mountain snowpack measures only half of average

Gretchen Parsons, KTVB December 29, 2017

Boise – Just by looking outside, it’s clear we have a lot less snow in southern Idaho compared to this time last year.

Friday, officials got the first reading of just how much snow has fallen and the water content in it.

Snowpack measured at Mores Creek Summit was just half of what’s average for this time of year.

Farmers, skiers and irrigators are hoping that more winter storms are on the way.

“We measured 25 inches of depth and a year ago the depth was 52 inches, so it’s a lot less than a year ago,” says Ron Abramovich, a USDA hydrologist.

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Land Board approves cottage site leasing plan for coming years, anticipates most to be auctioned

Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review Dec 19, 2017

Idaho’s state Land Board voted unanimously this morning to approve a cottage site leasing plan for the next three years, which anticipates many of the remaining state-owned cottage sites at Payette and Priest lakes will be auctioned off. The new plan, which covers 176 leases that will expire over the next seven years, includes provisions for appraisals and leases for those who aren’t yet involved in auctions; once current leases expire, the new ones would be shorter term, running through 2024. At that point, Lands Department official Mike Murphy told the board, there will be some cottage site lessees who have not gone through a voluntary auction process to obtain the land under their cabins, but there “might be a very small number.”

Associations representing lessees have been pleased with the proposed process, Murphy said. “Quite frankly, the Priest Lake folks were thrilled. We went up to their association meeting in Spokane and they fully supported what we’re proposing today,” he said.

State Lands Director Tom Schultz said, “It’s truly a success story in my mind.”

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said, “Few things have been as contentious, and the fact that we’ve been able to resolve this in this way is remarkable in my view.”

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CDC: Widespread influenza activity in Idaho

Tami Tremblay, KTVB December 27, 2017

Boise – Idaho has been labeled by the CDC as having widespread seasonal influenza activity. This comes one year after the deadliest flue season on record for the state.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is urging everyone to get a flu shot because it’s not too late. The flu season typically runs from October through May.

Seven people have died so far in Idaho from the flu, and many others are ending up in the doctor’s office with symptoms right now.

Chris Smith, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare PIO, says the good news is this season’s flu shot targets the strains that are showing up.

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Developer buys building back from state for nearly $1M less than he was paid in 2013

Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review Dec 19, 2017

An eastern Idaho real estate investor is almost $1 million richer, thanks to the state Land Board’s changing policies on real estate investments.

In 2013, Gary Voigt of Idaho Falls sold an eastern Idaho office building to the state for $6.1 million. On Dec. 6, he bought it back for $5.3 million.

State officials say the transaction still was a good deal for the state endowment, because while the endowment owned the Idaho Falls building – which is leased to Battelle Energy Alliance LLC, the contractor that operates the Idaho National Laboratory – the endowment collected $2.9 million in rent, at more than a half-million dollars a year.

“We are actually to the good about $2.1 million,” said state Lands Director Tom Schultz.

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72-year-old man found alive in snow after missing for a night

by KBOI News Staff Tuesday, December 26th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — A 72-year-old man was found laying in the desert snow south of Boise on Tuesday after he didn’t return home the night before.

The man survived and is getting medical treatment.

Deputies determined that the man went to do some target shooting around the Pleasant Valley and Tenmile Creek roads. He stepped into a hole and fell over while setting up his target.

Unable to move, the man spent the night and the next morning laying in the snow.

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Snowmobiler dug out OK from avalanche near Idaho-Utah border

12/27/17 AP

Pocatello, Idaho — Authorities say a snowmobiler was rescued by others after being buried by an avalanche along the Idaho-Utah border.

The Utah Avalanche Center in Salt Lake City told the Idaho State Journal the Tuesday incident happened in the Franklin Basin area in Utah just south of the Idaho state line.

The person wasn’t immediately identified, but was not reported to have been seriously injured after being dug out of the snow by fellow snowmobilers.

Avalanche warnings had been issued in recent days for the mountainous backcountry of southeast Idaho and northern Utah including the Bear River Range, western Uintas and the Wasatch range including Ogden, Provo, Salt Lake City and Park City.

The center says skiers have triggered several avalanches in northern Utah, but no injuries have been reported.

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Season in Review

Joel Tannenholz Sage Winds Newsletter Autumn 2017

Typical of fall, the pattern was active, with passing weather systems bringing showery periods and changing temperatures.

September’s temperatures were split between summer and fall.

It was drier than normal in eastern Oregon, but wetter than normal in central and southwest Idaho, especially in the mountains.

A very warm high pressure ridge kept temperatures above normal for the first two weeks of September. But smoke from numerous fires plagued the region, preventing daytime temperatures from climbing even higher.

Summer weather ended abruptly on the 14th following a cold front from British Columbia. The change was made even more dramatic by west to northwest winds gusting into the 40 to 45 mph range at Baker City Oregon and through Idaho’s Snake River Valley.

A second cold front, this time from the Gulf of Alaska, crossed our area on the 18th. It was followed by a low pressure trough which was responsible for most of the rain during an otherwise dry month, along with unseasonably cool temperatures. The trough hung over the region through the 24th.

A high pressure ridge returned temperatures to near or slightly above normal at most locations from the 26th through the 29th, although the Magic Valley remained cool.

On the 29th and 30th another low pressure trough from the Gulf of Alaska brought cooler air and generally light precipitation. One exception was McCall, where .6 inch of rain fell on the 30th.

October’s temperatures averaged below or much below normal.

It was wetter than normal in northern Harney County, Baker County, and the central Idaho mountains, but drier than normal elsewhere.

Late September’s low pressure trough continued to reside over the northern Intermountain Region through the 5th, keeping our area cool, but providing little if any precipitation.

After one day of seasonable weather on the 6th, a series of low pressure troughs from the Gulf of Alaska kept temperatures cool through the 14th.

By the 16th the storm track had moved north into Canada, leaving our area under relatively warm southwest flow aloft through the 19th. Most of the region experienced the last summerlike weather of the year on the 18th and 19th, ahead of a Pacific cold front. High temperatures were in the 70s at lower elevations. Rome Oregon warmed to 80 degrees on the 18th.

The cold front crossed eastern Oregon and southwest Idaho on the 19th, and high temperatures on the 20th were as much as 20 degrees lower.

The radical temperature contrast across the front caused strong gusty winds at many locations. Ahead of the front in Oregon, Baker City recorded a gust of 41 mph from the south on the 19th, and a gust of 44 mph from the south was measured at Rome. As the front crossed southern Idaho on the 20th, Jerome experienced a gust of 50 mph from the southwest. Strong winds followed the front as well. A gust of 50 mph from the northwest was reported at Mountain Home, and gusts exceeding 40 mph were common elsewhere.

From a quarter to a half inch of rain fell at several places. McCall measured over two-thirds of an inch of precipitation, falling mainly as snow from the 20th through the 22nd.

After a frosty morning and a cool day on the 21st, temperatures warmed to above normal from the 22nd through the 29th under a ridge of high pressure.

By the 30th the ridge had shifted to off the west coast, putting our area under northwest flow aloft. This allowed cooler air from British Columbia to spread south across the northern Intermountain Region, lowering temperatures to near normal.

In contrast to the cool October, most of November was warmer than normal.

It was wetter than normal across much of our area, notably along the Snake River and in the southern half of Malheur County Oregon, areas which ordinarily receive the least precipitation.

The only notable cool spell was initiated on the 3rd by a low pressure trough from British Columbia, which was responsible for the coolest weather since last winter.

Temperatures remained below normal through the 8th.

Most locations received light to moderate precipitation during that period, mainly in the form of rain at lower elevations. Moderate to heavy snow fell over the mountains. Snow totals were not reported, but the McCall airport measured a storm total of 1.4 inches of water equivalent by the time precipitation ended on the 5th.

Warmer more seasonable weather returned on the 9th. A weak high pressure ridge over the western U.S. and a persistent low pressure trough off the northwest coast kept us under southwest flow aloft, maintaining near normal or slightly above normal temperatures through the 20th.

Weather disturbances moving inland weakened as they traversed the ridge, but they retained enough moisture for light to moderate amounts of rain, mainly on the 9th and 10th, and again from the 15th through the 17th. A few places received heavier amounts, including Ontario with .72 inch, and Jerome with .80 inch.

On the 21st a very strong and unseasonably warm high pressure ridge built over the Desert Southwest and northwest Mexico, creating a source of warm air for the northern Intermountain Region. Average daily temperature departures from normal ranged from +6 to +20 degrees around the region from the 20th through the 28th. But in eastern Oregon at both Baker and Rome, temperatures on the 23rd averaged 28 degrees above normal, with highs of 70 and 71 respectively.

Moist weather systems moving through the north portion of the ridge generated nearly daily showers as far south as northern Nevada. Precipitation was generally light, but the west central Idaho mountains received heavier amounts as the moist air was lifted over the higher terrain.
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Mining News:

Ask Midas: What Makes Midas Different?

December 20, 2017

Midas Gold Idaho wants to keep the community informed about the work we are doing at the Stibnite Gold Project site. The Ask Midas blog series gives the experts in our company a chance to answer some of the community’s most frequently asked questions and help clear up any misconceptions around the project.

In the summers, I spend a lot of time up at the Stibnite Gold Project site giving tours to community members and telling them about our plans for the future. As I talk to people about the past, I often get asked what makes Midas Gold different than the companies that have come before it. Let me explain.

Why is mining today different than historical mining?

Mining practices have greatly improved today compared to past decades—especially compared to the early to mid-1900s when major mining activity occurred at Stibnite. Mining, environmental technology and practices have evolved, engineering controls have been developed, federal and state regulatory programs and financial assurance requirements have been adopted and successfully implemented since the early 1990s to ensure comprehensive bonding for mining’s impacts. Societal values have also changed and, at Midas Gold, we are very aware of our potential impact on the environment and have taken extensive and comprehensive measures to address those potential impacts. Historic mining activities focused on profit or, in the case of Stibnite, focused on providing critical and strategic metals for the United States and its allies during World War II and the Korean War, with little regard for impacts to the environment. The Stibnite Gold Project was designed from the start with ultimate closure in mind, and with restoration and reclamation as primary design standards.

It is important to note that, since the implementation of more stringent environmental standards and bonding requirements over the past several decades, there have been no new mines developed in the U.S. that required Federal CERCLA status funding for clean-up.

If you have a question you would like us to answer, please email it to community@midasgoldcorp.com

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Idaho mining strike continues as negotiations falter

12/25/17 AP

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho — Negotiations to resolve an Idaho mining strike have stalled after beginning in March, mining company officials said.

Negotiators from the Hecla Mining Co. and the United Steelworkers Union have met 21 times since about 250 union members went on strike from the Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, the Coeur d’Alene Press reported .

Despite the meetings and a federal mediator, progress has not been made since mid-October, said Luke Russell, vice president of external affairs for the mining company.

“Hecla feels the talks are deadlocked,” Russell said.

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Public Lands:

Boise National Forest

Looking for a seasonal job with the Boise National Forest?

The Boise National Forest will soon be filling Temporary Seasonal (1039hrs) positions for the 2018 Summer Field Season.

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Critter News:

From Cascade Vet Clinic


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Keeping Pets Safe

* If possible, keep pets indoors.
* Routinely check outdoor water dishes to make sure they don’t freeze.
* Keep food dishes well stocked; it takes lots of energy to stay warm.
* Keep antifreeze where pets cannot access it.
* Protect paws from salt and other anti-icing chemicals, or wipe paws with damp towel to remove these irritating compounds.
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Dog stranded on cliff on Oregon coast rescued

KGW December 27, 2017

Cannon Beach, Ore. — Thanks to social media, a drone, and lots of caring people, a dog stranded overnight on a cliff on the Oregon coast is back home safe.

The dog, named Felix, was walking with his owners on a trail in Ecola State Park on Christmas Day when he disappeared.

The owners posted on Facebook that they needed help to find him, and the message eventually got back to Cannon Beach Fire Chief Matt Benedict, who just happened to be a drone operator.

On Tuesday, Benedict went out with the drone to search the cliffside for Felix.

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Livestock owners concerned about wolves in Boise foothills

12/27/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Federal officials say there have been no reports of livestock kills associated with a seven-member wolf pack that roamed in the Boise foothills last spring.

Idaho Wildlife Services Director Todd Grimm says the agency warned livestock producers in the area. He said Wednesday the current whereabouts of the pack is unclear.

Idaho Cattle Association Executive Vice President Cameron Mulrony tells the Capital Press in a story on Tuesday that just having wolves in the area can cause cattle to put on less weight and cost ranchers money.

Jennifer Struthers of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game says there are usually several wolf sightings each winter in the foothills when elk and deer migrate to lower elevations.

She says it’s not clear where the wolves go in the summer.

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Suspect cited in Gros Ventre wolf poaching

Dec 26, 2017 Local News 8

Jackson, Wyo. (KIFI/KIDK) – Wyoming Game and Fish personnel used a tip from a sportsman to hunt down a suspect who appeared to be pursuing a wolf in a closed area. The person said he noticed the suspicious activity in the upper Gros Ventre drainage northeast of Jackson.

North Jackson Game Warden Jon Stephens located the suspect vehicle several hours later. The driver said he was varmint hunting in the area. Two red foxes were found in the back of his truck, but Stephens noticed additional blood markings around the truck bed.

Stephens asked to look through several boxes in the back of the truck and discovered a recently killed wolf stuffed in the bottom of one of them.

When asked what was in the bottom of the box, the individual responded “You got me, I shot a wolf in the closed area.” The individual stated they had planned to wait a day then try checking it in, saying it was taken in a different area.

The dead animal was seized. The suspect received several citations including taking a wolf in a closed area, failure to tag the animal, and shooting from a public roadway.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third week of Dec, 2017
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Wolf Education International

Newsletter Dec 25-31, 2017

Wolves Kill 154 Cows In Just One Northwest Minnesota County

Wolves Habituated to Human Environment. Does It Lead To Attacks?

Lapland reindeer go high-tech with tracking sensors to protect them from wolves

Midwest farmers say wolves are a growing problem, urge Washington to act

Coyotes: Kill or Koexist?

Washington spent $15,000 to shoot wolf, much more to avoid it

Bad POW deer season blamed on wolves, logging

Wolves knocking on Colorado boundaries
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Wildlife officials kill mountain lion that attacked pet dog

12/28/17 AP

Pocatello, Idaho — Wildlife officials have killed a mountain lion in eastern Idaho after it killed a dog near Pocatello.

The Idaho State Journal reports a woman found her dog apparently mauled by a mountain lion Wednesday morning

Southeast Regional Fish and Game office Regional Supervisor Mark Gamblin says wildlife officers confirmed the attack.

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Dead cougar found in luggage at airport

AP Dec 27, 2017

Las Vegas, NV (AP) – Police say a traveler’s trip home hit a snag in Las Vegas after security screeners found a dead cougar with a hunting tag in his luggage.

No crime was committed, but Las Vegas police Lt. David Gordon told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Transportation Security Administration agents held the man at McCarran International Airport late Tuesday to confirm the validity of the Utah state hunting and fishing game tag.

The man’s name and destination were not made public.

Airport spokeswoman Melissa Nunnery says the man ended up shipping the cougar carcass home, but not on the airplane.

Gordon says it’s not a crime to transport legally possessed game on an airline flight. But he says airlines can refuse to transport certain items.

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Elk rescued from frozen water at Palisades

Local News 8 – Dec 29, 2017

Palisades, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – About 40 people helped get a dozen elk out of water in the Palisades around 8 a.m. Friday morning.

Dusty Jones of Alpine, Wyoming tells Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3 he was driving to work when he saw people on the ice with about 10 head of elk in the water.

They had a large stick, a chain saw and cut a path in the ice for the elk.

The water was about eight to 10 feet deep. There is usually no water in that area because it is usually drained out.

The people on the ice lassoed a couple of the calf’s to pull them out of the water first.

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Appeal seeking Idaho horse herd sterilization is dismissed

By Keith Ridler – 12/26/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — A federal appeals court has dismissed an effort to allow the sterilization of a herd of wild horses in Idaho.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month granted a request by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to stop the effort.

Documents filed by BLM seeking the dismissal of its own appeal didn’t include a reason.

“This case threatened to set a dangerous precedent for the sterilization of wild horses throughout the West,” said Nick Lawton, an attorney representing American Wild Horse Campaign and other groups.

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Llama dies in Weiser barn fire

KTVB December 28, 2017


(Photo: Weiser Area Rural Fire District)

Weiser, Idaho — A llama perished when a barn burned down in Weiser early Wednesday morning, although other animals were rescued from the flames.

According to the Weiser Area Rural Fire District, the fire was called in off of Pioneer Road at 4:34 a.m.

… Fire investigators determined the fire was started by a heat lamp left on to keep the animals inside warm.

Rescuers were able to safely remove goats, sheep, llamas, cows and ducks from the barn before it was engulfed, officials say. No humans were hurt in the fire.

full story:
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Eagle barn destroyed in late-night fire

KTVB December 28, 2017


(Photo: Eagle Fire)

Eagle, Idaho — A barn north of Eagle is a total loss after it caught fire late Wednesday night.

Firefighters were called out to the blaze off Homer Road and Haven Drive at about 10:35 p.m.

Eagle Fire Battalion Chief Nevil Humphreys said the barn was already engulfed in flames when crews arrived.

… Several chickens inside the barn died in the fire, but no people were hurt, Humphreys said.

full story:
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Idaho short-eared owl study expanding to 8 western states

12/28/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Researchers observing a possible decline in short-eared owls are expanding their study from Idaho to eight western states.

Boise State Public Radio reported Thursday that researchers believe there has been a 60 percent decline in the owl’s population in the West over the last 40 to 50 years.

Research Biologist Rob Miller says Boise State has been studying the owls in Idaho with several partner agencies and citizen scientists since 2015 and has expanded their efforts to Utah.

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Fish & Game News:

Become a Master Naturalist

By Jennifer Bruns, Regional Conservation Educator
Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Anyone who enjoys and appreciates Idaho’s outdoors can be an Idaho Master Naturalist; teachers, hunters, nature guides, farmers, retired professionals, and …you! The Idaho Master Naturalist Program aims to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to actively work toward stewardship of Idaho’s natural environment.

A certified Master Naturalist completes 40 hours of hands-on, experiential classroom and field training about Idaho ecology, plants, animals and natural systems. Participants also complete 40 hours of volunteer work for local conservation agencies; hours can be divided between agencies such as IDFG, US Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers, Idaho State Parks and more.

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F&G News Releases

https://idfg.idaho.gov/press
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Fun Critter Stuff:

Pet ‘booze’ lets you toast to the new year with your furry friends

By Jean-Sun Ahn Dec 29, 2017

When you’re sipping a glass of red or some bubbly, ever feel like your pet is missing out on the enjoyment? You may not get the straightforward answer you were hoping for, but thanks to Pet Winery, your cat or dog can enjoy some “Meowsling” or a “Dog-tini.”

No, there isn’t any alcohol in these drinks, but they are formulated to be a healthy and fun treat for your pet. The wines are made with filtered water, salmon oil, organic catnip and a splash of organic food coloring.

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Elephants Munch On Old Christmas Trees

Elephants at Berlin’s Tierpark zoo were munching on a special holiday treat on Thursday. The pachiderms were fed leftover Christmas trees as a healthy addition to their usual diet.


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Seasonal History:

New Year’s Eve in 1864 Idaho Territory


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Passing of the Saloon

Four years before the national prohibition of liquor, Idaho became a prohibition state on January 1, 1916. The Idaho Statesman seemed to treat it with good humor, lamenting that it “Would deprive many men of the only home they ever had.” (See image)

But there also seemed an element in the paper, as there was in society in general, that had mixed opinions about it. On May 19, 1916, the Statesman reported on an alarming increase in dandelion wine in Boise: “Many owners of dandelion infested lawns have marveled lately at the number of children and grownups who asked permission to help extricate the little golden nuisances ‘for a medicine that mother makes,’ and have been enthusiastically granted permission.

“It has now been learned the manufacture of dandelion wine has been carried on in many Boise hoes in large quantities this spring.”

State Chemist Jackson (no first name given) tested some of momma’s medicine and found it came in at 12.6 percent alcohol. He opined that perhaps it should be called “Dandy Lion” wine, because of its alcohol content.

The newspaper extolled the wine’s virtues as a liver medicine, but cautioned that “many a strict prohibition mother is probably making the wine, never dreaming that she is a lawbreaker.”

With those warnings out of the way, the paper proceeded to go give a complete recipe for making the wine.

Speaking of Idaho history posts are copyright © 2018 by Rick Just. Sharing is encouraged.


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Seasonal Humor:

WinterDogSkiPatrol-a
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Tips & Advice:

Fire prevention in the winter months

Tami Tremblay, KTVB December 28, 2017

Boise – This time of year firefighters see a big increase in the amount of house fires they respond to because more of us are using additional heating sources.

Boise Fire Department Deputy Chief Romeo Gervais says the first thing we need to remember to protect ourselves from fire is placement of heating devices.

“At a minimum keep about three feet of clearance around those space heaters, whether it’s hay or your blanket that’s in the bedroom,” said Gervais. “Heaters do heat up, so if those devices overheat or get too close to combustibles they could ignite those.”

He also says make sure heating devices can’t be knocked over by animals or children because that could lead to trouble as well. Also, make sure they have safety features like tip-over protection and overheat shutoffs.

Gervais says check smoke detectors and make sure they’re working, and have a carbon monoxide detector outside of every bedroom. If you have a chimney, have it inspected at least once a year.

He says it’s also always a good idea to have a home safety plan so in case a fire does break out everyone knows what to do and where to meet outside.

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Prepare for the unexpected when driving this winter

Dean Johnson, KTVB December 28, 2017

Boise – Whether you’re heading home from Christmas break or somewhere new for New Year’s Eve, it’s important you’re prepared for any type of weather you may encounter. Ada County Emergency Management advises before heading out anywhere this winter you pack an emergency kit to protect you from the unexpected.

“You never know, your three-hour trip might turn into an eight-hour trip,” St. Luke’s Disaster Preparedness Officer Lisa Spanberger said.

One of the first steps to being prepared is to plan ahead, check road conditions and, most importantly, tell people where you’re going.

“Notify people ahead of time what your travel plans are, that is the biggest thing. Even if it’s just too short trips,” Myla Jeffries with Ada County Emergency Management said.

In areas with a lot of wide open spaces, like Idaho, help is not always close-by.

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Advertisements

Dec 24, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

Dec 24, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Winter Water Advice

To help prevent frozen water, avoid parking over buried water lines, allow the natural snow cover to insulate the ground. Driving over the lines will also push the frost deeper and can result in frozen pipes. Also, don’t plow the snow over where water lines are buried, and avoid covering up water shut off valves.
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YP Transfer Station

Report on Monday Dec 18th that the dumpsters were only a quarter full.
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Be Predator Aware

Recent reports of Coyote and Fox activity and tracks in and around the village. Keep an eye on small dogs and cats and please don’t leave pet food outdoors. Unsecured garbage is also an attractant.
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Yellow Pine Tavern

Christmas Day Potluck 4pm at the Tavern.

Watch all of your favorite sports on our Big Screen TV at the Yellow Pine Tavern. Featuring Football. Open 9am to 8pm (or later on game nights)

Juke box is up and going!
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The Corner

The Corner is closed for the season. Stop by if you need wood permits. We will reopen after we have the baby.
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YPFD News:

Winter Fire Safety Tips

Keep your chimney clean to prevent flue fires. Make sure your smoke detector is working. Never leave a portable electric heater unattended. Fire extinguishers should be charged, visible and easily accessible.

There are YPFD T-shirts, as well as YPFD patches and stickers for sale at the Tavern now.

Training will resume in the spring.
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VYPA News:

Next meeting June 2018
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Diamond (Kennedy) Fuel & Feed

208-382-4430

Did you know that Diamond Fuel & Feed carries pet food? Arnolds will deliver to Yellow Pine. Give them a call to set up an account. They carry Diamond brand dog food. Current dog food prices: Maintenance is $29.99 for a 50# bag. Performance is $39.95 for a 50# bag. Senior is $37.99 for a 35# bag. Farm Cat is $13.99 for a 20# bag.
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Winter Propane Tips

Keep the snow cleared around propane lines and pipes leading from your tank to the house. The weight of snow can cause leaks that can result in fire. Make sure you have a CO detector with working batteries.
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook
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Local Observations:

Monday (Dec 18) a skiff of snow fell before morning and warmed up, snow depth 5.75″ and “softer” (not squeaky.) Trees dumping snow out in the forest. Red-breasted nuthatches visiting. Cloudy all day, chilly damp breeze, warmer than it has been for a while, high of 39 degrees. A little bit of snow melted off the roofs, icicles crashing down. Cloudy and above freezing all night.

Tuesday (Dec 19) probably stayed above freezing, 36 degrees at 1030am and light rain starting to fall, light breeze. Currently 5″ of soft mushy snow on the ground. Light rain turned to rain/snow mix for a bit then back to rain after lunch time. Stopped raining mid-afternoon and quite breezy, trees waving, flags flapping almost straight out, high of 41 degrees. Winter Weather Advisory for storm tonight, started off as rain/snow mix around 9pm, then all snow at 2am, still snowing a little at 6am.

Wednesday (Dec 20) partly clear this morning, low of 25 degrees. 1 3/4″ new snow, 6 1/2″ total snow on the ground (wet, slushy and heavy!) Stellar jays, red-breasted nuthatches and pine squirrel visiting. Snow squall went by mid-afternoon, just a trace of new snow, then clouds breaking up and partly cloudy as the sun set, and temps dropping quickly, high of 32 degrees. Snowed 1/4″ around 11pm, then clearing, stars out and cold.

Thursday (Dec 21) overnight low of 4 degrees, high hazy clouds coming in, obscured the Solstice Sunrise. Jays and nuthatches visiting. Haze went away by noon and almost clear blue sky. Sunny afternoon, but chilly, high of 29 degrees. Quiet and peaceful for the shortest day of the year. Temps dropping with the sun. Clouds came in after dark.

Friday (Dec 22) snowing lightly this morning, 1/4″ new snow, 6″ total snow. Red-breasted nuthatches and steller jays visiting. Snow stopped before lunch time. Cloudy and light cold breezes early afternoon. Didn’t make it to freezing today, high of 30 degrees. Snowing very lightly just before dark. Still snowing at midnight, about 1/2″ new.

Saturday (Dec 23) overnight low of 22 degrees, snowed an inch last night. Partly cloudy and breezy this morning. When the sun breaks thru the clouds it is strong enough to melt icicles, stops when the clouds cover the sun. Nuthatches, jays and pine squirrel visiting. Also dark-eyed juncos and a mountain chickadee! Clearing early afternoon and VERY blue sky, breeze has a bite to it, high of 28 degrees. Clear sky late afternoon and getting cold, sliver of a silver moon high in the sky just after sundown. Very cold night.

Sunday (Dec 24) overnight low of -10 degrees, then hazy clouds this morning -5 degrees, clearing up quickly as the sun rose. Red-breasted nuthatches calling. Cow elk wandered thru the golf course, chickadees, jays and nuthatches at the feeders and a pine squirrel trying to chase the jays. Overcast by lunch time and cold. Female hairy woodpecker visited. Cloudy all afternoon, high of 17 degrees. Cloudy at dark and 15 degrees.
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Fraud Alert:

Don’t fall for this FedEx holiday shipping scam

by ABC7 News Staff Tuesday, December 19th 2017

The week before Christmas is a big one for package delivery scams.

With so many gifts ordered online this year, an email that looks like it’s from a well-known shipping service, like UPS, FedEx or the U.S. Postal Service, doesn’t tend to raise any red flags.

But crooks are counting on that. They’re sending out fake messages with subject lines such as: “Your Order is Ready for Shipment,” “We Could Not Deliver Your Package” or “Please Confirm Delivery.”

In a release on its website, FedEx says it has received reports of fraudulent emails with the subject line “FedEx: Delivery Problems Notification.” These emails can contain links that, when clicked, will connect you to a site loaded with malware that can infect your computer.

FedEx says it does not send unsolicited emails to customers requesting information regarding packages, invoices, account numbers, passwords or personal information.

If you receive such a notice — don’t respond. FedEx says to delete the email immediately or forward it to abuse@fedex.com

source:
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Idaho News:

Pact reconnects snowmobile trails DF Development to allow access across private land

By Tom Grote for The Star-News December 21, 2017

An agreement between the Idaho State Snowmobile Association and the owners of private land west of McCall will reconnect groomed snowmobile trails between McCall and Donnelly, proponents said.

The snowmobile group on Monday signed the agreement with DF Development, the Texas company that purchased 172,000 acres of timbered land in central Idaho in 2016.

“We are delighted that DF Development has allowed snowmobilers to groom trails in this most important area,”association President Gary Cvecich of Stanley said

The agreement allows Valley County to groom key roads on DF Development Land on the north end of Long Valley, Valley County Parks and Recreation Director Larry Laxson said.

The trails to be groomed under the agreement are the Beaver Creek, Blue Bunch Ridge, and the East Fork of the Weiser trails, he said.

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Workshop on government contracts set for Jan. 10

The Star-News December 21, 2017

A free half-day workshop on “Doing Business with the Government” will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 10, at 8:30 a.m. at the Cascade Ranger District office in Cascade.

The introductory course will include how to find government projects that are seeking bids, required licenses and registrations, differences between state and federal contracting and where to go for assistance.

The class will also discuss the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program, Women-Owned Small Business, HUBZone and other business certifications.

Workshop presenters include representatives from the Idaho Department of Transportation, U.S. Small Business Administration, Idaho Procurement Technical Assistance Center and the U.S. Forest Service.

For more information, call 208-334-8567 or email Elizabeth.healas@itd.idaho.gov.

The Cascade Ranger District is located at 540 N. Main St. in Cascade.

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Former Valley County HR director says he was unfairly fired

Ken Arment said he was let go because he reported misconduct

By Max Silverson for The Star-News December 21, 2017

Former Valley County Human Resources Director Ken Arment has filed a lawsuit against the county claiming he was wrongfully fired for raising questions about what he thought to be financial misconduct.

Arment, 59, of Donnelly, is seeking $1 million in damages after being fired in May for reporting what he said was waste and fraud, which is a violation of the Idaho Protection of Public Employees Act, the lawsuit said.

No trial date has been set for the lawsuit, which was filed in Fourth District Court in Cascade.

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Idaho lands nation’s first International Dark Sky Reserve

by Keith Ridler, Associated Press Tuesday, December 19th 2017

Boise, Idaho (AP) — A giant chunk of central Idaho with a dazzling night sky has become the nation’s first International Dark Sky Reserve.

The International Dark-Sky Association late Monday designated the 1,400-square-mile (3,600-square-kilometer) reserve. The area’s night skies are so pristine that interstellar dust clouds are visible in the Milky Way.

Supporters say excess artificial light causes sleeping problems for people and disrupts nocturnal wildlife and that a dark sky can solve those problems, boost home values and draw tourists.

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Idaho lands director to step down in January

12/20/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has announced that Idaho Department of Lands Director Tom Schultz will step down in mid-January.

Otter said Wednesday that Schultz is leaving the state agency in January to become vice president of government affairs and community outreach for Idaho Forest Group — a family owned wood products company.

Schultz has been the land agency’s director since 2011. During his tenure, Schultz has worked to execute the direction of the five-member State Board Land of Commissioners to divest hundreds of cottage sites at Priest Lake and Payette Lake and several agency commercial properties.

The land board, which is made up of Otter, the attorney general, secretary of state, state controller and superintendent of public instruction, will discussion the agency director position at its January 16 meeting. The board provides direction to agency in managing endowment trusts lands in Idaho.

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Idaho tops list of fastest-growing states

12/20/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Federal officials say Idaho had the largest percentage increase in population of any state in the nation in a recent census.

The U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday announced that Idaho’s population from July 2016 to July 2017 increased 2.2 percent to 1.7 million.

The agency says that’s about 37,000 more people living in the state.

Population Estimates Branch Chief Luke Rogers says domestic migration is the main driver in Idaho’s increase.

He says that’s the same for Nevada that had the second fastest percentage increase at 2 percent.

Rogers says Utah landed at No. 3 on the list at 1.9 percent due to more births than deaths in that state.

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Teacher shortage worse in Idaho than other states

12/22/17 AP

Idaho Falls, Idaho — A recent report says about a third of all teachers who are certified in Idaho each year don’t go on to get teaching jobs in the state, and many of those who don’t stay around for long.

The Post Register reports Christina Linder with the State Board of Education announced during a Thursday meeting that the state is steadily losing 10 percent of its teacher population every year.

According to an educator pipeline report, many certified teachers who are not working in an Idaho school likely found jobs in other states that offer higher salaries.

Although the teacher shortage is seen nationwide, the report suggests the problem may be worse in Idaho than in other states.

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Mining News:

Ask Midas: When Will Mining Begin?

November 29, 2017

Midas Gold Idaho wants to keep the community informed about the work we are doing at the Stibnite Gold Project site. The Ask Midas blog series gives the experts in our company a chance to answer some of the community’s most frequently asked questions and help clear up any misconceptions around the project.

I’m Kyle the environmental superintendent for Midas Gold. In this week’s blog, I want to address a question I get asked a lot:

When Will Midas Gold Idaho Begin Mining?

We are still a few years away from mining the Stibnite Gold Project site and a lot still needs to happen before mining can begin. In order for the project to start, we will have to get all of our permits and set aside the money needed for reclamation bonding.

Midas Gold is well into the permitting process. We submitted our Plan of Restoration and Operations, commonly referred to as the PRO, to the U.S. Forest Service in September of 2016. It was declared adequate in December 2016 and, this summer, the agency gathered feedback from the public in order to determine how to evaluate the plan under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Today, the U.S. Forest Service and other cooperating agencies are carefully reviewing and analyzing our plan for the project and possible alternatives. Once they are finished with this review, they will issue a draft plan for public comment and, subsequently, a final plan and Record of Decision. After the company receives a final Record of Decision and necessary permits, and puts up the required reclamation bonding, we will able to begin site restoration and building the project.

If you have a question you would like us to answer, please email it to community @ midasgoldcorp.com.

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Public Lands:

PNF jobs

The Payette National Forest offers many Seasonal/Temporary employment opportunities in and around the communities of Weiser, Council, New Meadows, McCall and Yellow Pine.

Follow our upcoming series of “Upland Job Hunting.” We will be sharing our 2018 Seasonal and Temporary positions across the Forest.

Learn what it takes to be a firefighter, range or biological science technician, work with our timber and recreation programs, road crews and administrative support across the Forest.

Over the next two weeks, we will share position descriptions and what that job may entail; who to contact for questions, how to access USA jobs, resume building advice, and much more.

Stay tuned as many of these positions will be open for a very short window of time starting as early as January 3, 2018.

With over 150 temporary seasonal employees and 2.3 million acres of forest out there, your next summer job may be waiting for you.

For a sneak look at our upcoming temporary job listings for Phase I of the hiring process, visit this link for our Outreach Notice. The phase 2 Outreach Notice will be finalized soon, so stay tuned.


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Golden Duck Plan of Operations Update

USDA Forest Service 12/21/2017

The Forest Service is seeking scoping comments for the proposed Golden Duck Exploration Plan of Operations on the McCall Ranger District of the Payette National Forest. The attached scoping document provides more detailed information about the project. The scoping document is also available on the project webpage at http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=51378.

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 19, 2018, and make your comments as specific as possible.

The project webpage provides you tools to engage this process as you wish. From “Get Connected” on the right hand side of the page, click on “Subscribe to Email Updates” if you wish to receive electronic communication about this project. Use the “Comment/Object on project” link to access a simple webform to submit your comments on this project. The “Public Comment/Objection Reading Room” are the published comments received on this project.

Webform submission of comments through the project webpage is preferred but mailed and hand-delivered comments concerning this project will also be accepted. Comments may be submitted to the McCall District Office 102 West Lake Street McCall, Idaho 83638. Hand delivered comment letters may be delivered to the same address during regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding holidays.

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 Clint Hughes, Geologist at (208) 634-0756.

Sincerely,
Lisa J. Klinger
McCall District Ranger
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Agency pulls some Idaho, Wyoming snowmobile maps after suit

By Keith Ridler – 12/20/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — The U.S. Forest Service has withdrawn snowmobile use maps for two national forests in Idaho and part of another in Wyoming after environmental groups in a lawsuit said the maps violate the federal agency’s regulations and environmental laws.

The Forest Service last week withdrew Over-Snow Vehicle Use Maps for the Payette National Forest and Boise National Forest in Idaho.

The agency also withdrew the map for the Teton Division of the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming.

But the agency in the three separate notices also said that for this winter “there will be no change in over-snow motor vehicle use” for any the forests from the 2016-2017 season as a result of withdrawing the maps. The agency also said new maps would not be completed any sooner than April 1.

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Horseshoe Bend to Garden Valley 34.5kV Distribution Line Project

USDA Forest Service 12/22/2017

The Forest Service in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has completed the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Horseshoe Bend to Garden Valley 34.5kV Distribution Line Project and is seeking public comment on this EA during the 30-day notice and comment period. The Project extends from the Porter Creek area north of Horseshoe Bend to Placerville and from Placerville along Alder Creek Road to Garden Valley, in Boise County, Idaho. The Project Area covers approximately 284 acres within the Porter Creek, West Fork Clear Creek-Clear Creek, Granite Creek, and Alder Creek subwatersheds. The complete EA can be downloaded from the project website located at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=48879. If you would prefer a hard copy of the EA, please contact Terre Pearson-Ramirez, Team Leader, at tramirez@fs.fed.us@fs.fed.us or by phone at 208-382-7400.

Project Description

The purpose of the Federal action is to respond to the ROW application submitted by Idaho Power Company.

Idaho Power Company (IPC) presented a need to increase electrical reliability and resiliency, and to accommodate growth in electrical demand in the Garden Valley and Idaho City areas. IPC proposes to construct approximately 23.6 miles of 34.5-kilovolt (kV) distribution line. One segment (14 miles) would extend from the Porter Creek area north of Horseshoe Bend to Placerville, Idaho. A previous 25 kV powerline existed in this location but the line was removed at some point in the past; the line corridor is still visible on the landscape. The second segment (9.6 miles) would extend from Placerville along Alder Creek Road to Garden Valley, Idaho.

Vegetation and trees within the ROW would be cleared where necessary to facilitate construction. Hazard trees that would interfere with the safe operation of the line would be cleared. Timber removal would require the construction of temporary landing locations where timber could be processed and loaded onto trucks. Residual slash on these landings would be piled and burned by Federal Agency personnel. The single-circuit powerline line would be built overhead on supporting wood structures.

Select locations for authorized service roads to the facilities would be required for continued maintenance and upkeep of the facilities. IPC proposes to utilize existing public roadways for the majority of access, primarily using Porter Creek Road, Alder Creek Road, Hawley Mountain Road, and Granite Creek Road. However, because IPC would need to access each structure location by vehicle during construction and operating and maintenance activities, existing service roads would need to be repaired and maintained. In addition, the construction of short lateral spur roads off the existing access roads would also occur.

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 Horseshoe Bend to Garden Valley 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: comments-intermtn-boise-emmett@fs.fed.us. Please put “Horseshoe Bend to Garden Valley 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 must be submitted to: Boise National Forest, Emmett Ranger District, Attention: Terre Pearson-Ramirez, 1805 Highway 16, Room 5, Emmett, ID 83617 or by fax at 208-365- 7037. The office hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are: 8 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

This project is subject to requirements at 36 CFR 218.7 parts (a) and (b). Instead of a post-decision appeal period, there will be an objection process before the final decision is made (36 CFR 218). In order to be eligible to file an objection, specific written comments related to the project must be submitted during the designated period identified above or other designated public comment period specifically requested per requirements at 36 CFR 218.5 during the environmental analysis process. Individual members of organizations must have submitted their own comments to meet the requirements of eligibility as an individual.

Comments must be received or posted within 30 days of publication of this legal notice in the Idaho Statesman. The Idaho Statesman is the newspaper of record for the legal notices for this project. As identified above, this EA 30 day notice and comment period is considered a designated comment period as defined under 36 CFR 218.

For more information on how the objection process works for projects and activities implementing land and resource management plans, please read the regulations under 36 CFR 218 Subparts A and B on the National Forest Service web site at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2013-title36-vol2/pdf/CFR-2013-title36-vol2-part218.pdf

For further information on the project, please contact Terre Pearson-Ramirez, Team Leader, at tramirez@fs.fed.us or by phone at 208-382-7400.
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Emmett Ranger District of the Boise National Forest Intends to Submit Grant Proposal to Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation

Emmett, Idaho, Dec. 20, 2017

The Emmett Ranger District of the Boise National Forest are applying for grant funding from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation to help developed campsite improvements and maintenance.

The two different applications will request funding through the Idaho Department Recreational Vehicle (RV) programs.

* RV funds would be concentrated on improving Hard Scrabble Campground and Trail Creek Campground. These grant proposals will fund the replacement of campground furniture, parking spurs and tent pads.

These grant proposals will improve the visitor experience, and mitigate public health and safety hazards. If received, the RV grant would be implemented in the fall of 2018.

Comments or requests for more information should be submitted to Everardo Santillan, Emmett Ranger District, 1805 Hwy 16 Room 5, Emmett, Idaho 83617 or by calling 208-365-7011.


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Federal officials launch new rangeland wildfire plan

Dec 22, 2017 KIVI TV

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Federal officials have launched a two-pronged plan to stop a vicious cycle of rangeland wildfires in a wide swath of sagebrush country in the West that supports cattle ranching, recreation and is home to an imperiled bird.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Friday says it will create an Environmental Impact Statement concerning fuel breaks and another on fuels reduction and restoration for Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, California, Utah, and Washington.

The agency says the documents when finished will help speed the approval process for future landscape-scale projects in the Great Basin.

Giant rangeland wildfires in recent decades have destroyed vast areas of sagebrush steppe that support some 350 species of wildlife, including imperiled sage grouse.

The agency is taking public comments through Feb. 20.

source:
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Letter to Share:

Youth Pheasant Hunt

2017GameBird1-a

This is what us guys and gals with the Gamebird foundation work for 7 days a week this time of the year. Got one and missed one. When I see a picture like this I just get a big lump in my throat. God Bless our youth and their parents or mentors.

“Whiskers”
The Gamebird Foundation and IDFG
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Critter News:

Keeping pets safe in cold weather

Michaela Leung Dec 18, 2017 Local News 8

Idaho Falls, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – With the temperatures continuing to drop in the winter months, you have to consider your furry friends.

Animals can be left in the car for short amounts of time because it’s not as dangerous as leaving them in the heat.

… But it’s best to keep your pets inside when the temperatures fall below zero. Even though dogs enjoy the snow, being too cold can be deadly.

“They just go outside, go to the bathroom, play around in the snow, have a good time about 10-15 minutes, then they come back in the house,” says Dr. Stone.

Dogs need to be acclimated to the cold in order to stay outside.

… If you’re keeping your dog outside there are legal requirements, which include a shelter.

full story:
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Giving a pet for a present could be a bad idea

by Brian Morrin Sunday, December 17th 2017

As Christmas is fast approaching, there is one gift you should not give this holiday season.

… At the shelter, you’ll see lots of faces begging you the bring them home, but that requires some homework on your part to make sure everyone has a happy tail wagging ending.

“We have seen several families come in in that past couple of weeks as part of their Christmas shopping and that does concern us generally speaking, dogs are a big commitment, it’s like adding a family member to your home and it’s not always a good idea to make that commitment for somebody else. Here at Meridian Canine Rescue, we believe that dogs are a part of the family and we need to help match up dogs to the right family,” said Jessica Ewing at Meridian Canine Rescue.

Some of the issues you can run into if you’re not careful, the dog might not get along with other pets or kids.

Another concern about getting a new pet around the holidays, there’s a lot going on with family and friends visiting, holiday parties, etc. It’s a good idea to have a more peaceful environment when introducing a new pet into your home.

full story:
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Cougar kills dog near Ketchum

IME Dec 21, 2017

A Labrador retriever was apparently killed by a mountain lion along the Big Wood River near St. Luke’s hospital south of Ketchum last weekend.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game spokesman Kelton Hatch said a report from a conservation officer stated that the dog had been let out by its owner on Saturday night and didn’t return. Its body was found the next day more than 100 yards from the house.

“We think the dog ventured way too far from the house,” Hatch said. “It was down in the river corridor, an area that we assume cats are using for a migration corridor.”

continued:
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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third week of December 2017
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North Cascades grizzly bear recovery work halted

12/19/17 AP

Missoula, Mont. — Work to restore grizzly bears to the North Cascades Ecosystem has been stopped by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s office, a national parks official told a Montana newspaper.

But Zinke spokeswoman Heather Swift told The Associated Press Tuesday that Zinke did not direct a stop work order on the environmental review. Swift didn’t provide further details.

North Cascades National Park Superintendent Karen Taylor-Goodrich told the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee last week that her staff had been asked to halt work on its environmental review, the Missoulian reported .

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Wolverine killed in trap in east-central Idaho

12/20/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Idaho wildlife officials say a trapper reported finding a wolverine dead in a trap in east-central Idaho.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game in a news release Tuesday says the Idaho trapper reported finding the adult female wolverine inadvertently caught in his trap in Lemhi County on Dec. 8.

Idaho has not allowed a hunting or trapping season for wolverines since 1965.

Wolverines were wiped out across most of the U.S. by the 1930s. In the Lower 48 states, an estimated 250 to 300 wolverines survive in remote areas of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon and Washington state.

Fish and Game spokesman Roger Phillips says the trapped wolverine will be mounted for educational purposes and kept at the agency’s office in Salmon.

source:
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Moose found with arrow in head, Idaho Fish and Game seek help

by KBOI News Staff Thursday, December 21st 2017


The moose had an arrow struck in it’s head and was removed. (Courtesy Idaho Fish and Game)

A calf bull moose had an arrow sticking out of its head Wednesday near Rexburg.

The moose was sedated and the arrow was removed.

There were signs of other arrow shots to the head.

Idaho Fish and Game responded to the calls and located the moose near the Teton Lakes Golf Course.

Officers are asking the public’s help for information relating to the abuse.

Anyone who might have helpful information can call the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) Hotline at 1-800-632-5999 or District Conservation Officer Andrew Sorenson at 208-390-0632.

source:
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Reward being offered for information on who killed/ skinned elk, and left it behind

by Kelsey Anderson Monday, December 18th 2017

Ontario, Oregon — A reward is being offered for information leading to the person, or people, responsible for killing an elk, and leaving it behind.

An Oregon State Fish and Wildlife Officer says the elk was found in the Owyhee Canal, near Malheur Butte, off Foothill Drive, outside of Ontario. The elk was skinned, and intact, expect the front shoulders were found nearby. The head and lower legs were also removed. There was a long rope attached to the animal’s neck, and a short rope holding the rear legs together.

If you think you may know who is responsible, call the ‘Turn-In-Poachers’ (TIP) program at 1-800-452-7888. Callers can remain anonymous. You can also call Trooper Anthony Spencer, with Oregon State Police, at 541-889-6469, ex. 4772.

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Record-breaking largescale sucker fish caught in Lake Cascade

by KBOI News Staff Tuesday, December 19th 2017


Dave Gassel with his record Largescale Sucker from Cascade Reservoir 2017 (Photo Courtesy Idaho Fish and Game)

Dave Gassel of Meridian caught a 9.04-pound largescale sucker that broke the Idaho weight record at Lake Cascade.

The previous record was 8.42 pounds also caught at Lake Cascade.

Idaho Fish and Game say these fish like to hang out in deeper parts of water so they can pick up a variety of food found on the bottom of lakes and rivers. They eat algae, insects, clams, and snails.

60 species of suckers can be found in the U.S. and Canada. In Idaho they can be found in most rivers and reservoirs that are connected to the Snake River except for above Shoshone Falls. Spokane, Pend Oreille, and Kootenai River systems also are home to these fish.

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The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
http://www.cbbulletin.com
December 22, 2017
Issue No. 856
Table of Contents

* River Ops Review 2017: Big Spring Runoff Led To Huge Flows, Involuntary Spill, Elevated Gas Levels, Quicker Fish Migration
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439974.aspx

* River Ops Review 2017: Overall Hydrosystem Survival For Chinook/Steelhead Smolts Below Average
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439973.aspx

* River Ops Review 2017: Simultaneous High Runoff, Dissolved Gas, Generator Outage Created Challenges At Dworshak
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439972.aspx

* River Ops Review 2017: Kootenai River Sturgeon Show Positive Response To Libby Dam Water Pulses, Habitat Work
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439971.aspx

* NOAA Predicts La Nina Conditions Will Persist Through The Winter; Colder, Wetter
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439970.aspx

* Chum Operations At Bonneville Dam Transition From Spawning To Incubation Flows
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439969.aspx

* 2017 Snowpack Made It A Good Year For Sturgeon In Portions Of The Snake River
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439968.aspx

* Study: Warming Seas Double Snowfall On Alaska Peaks Since Industrial Age, Affects Pacific Northwest
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439967.aspx

* Corps Extends Willamette Reservoir Storage Reallocation Study Review Period
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439966.aspx

* EPA, Oregon DEQ Announce ‘Milestones’ And ‘Progress’ On Portland Harbor Superfund Cleanup
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439965.aspx

* UW Study Investigates ‘Designer Flows’ From Dams That Balance ‘Human And Ecosytem Needs’
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439964.aspx
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Fish & Game News:

Open House to discuss grants for Horsethief Reservoir

By Joe Kozfkay, Regional Fisheries Manager
Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Camping upgrades may soon be coming to Horsethief Reservoir, and the public is invited to an open house to learn more about and discuss the proposed upgrades.

The open house will be held on December 28th from 2 to 5 pm at Fish and Game’s Nampa Regional office, located at 3101 S. Powerline Road, Nampa, ID, 83686. For those unable to attend, written comments may be sent to the the same address.

For the second year in a row, Idaho Parks and Recreation’s RV grant monies are being pursued to fund camping area improvements. During 2017, IDFG was fortunate to be awarded two grants. Obtained funds are being utilized to develop high-quality host sites and for the purchase and installation of fire rings and picnic tables at some sites. “Host site development is necessary for us to attract and retain quality camp hosts throughout the camping season, Fish and Game recreation site maintenance foreman Dennis Hardy noted. “The fire pits and picnic tables will enhance the camping experience for visitors, while addressing the issue of fire safety at Horsethief.”

For 2018, staff is developing a grant application with the hopes of renovating the entire Kings Point camping area, one of the largest and most popular at Horsethief. Funds would be used to grade, delineate, and asphalt roads and parking areas, as well as delineate and improve campsites by installing hardened borders, crushed gravel, and picnic tables. Improvements are intended to increase user enjoyment, reduce conflict and resource damage, as well as facilitate more year-round use of this area.

Individuals with disabilities may request open house meeting accommodations by contacting Teri Mattulat at the Fish and Game Nampa office (208-465-8465) or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-3529 (TDD).

source:
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2017 survey shows perch populations remain strong in Lake Cascade

By Paul Janssen, Fisheries Regional Biologist
Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Lots of large perch remain, but fewer smaller sizes could affect the fishery in the future

Since 2012, Fish and Game fisheries staff in McCall has annually conducted fall fishery surveys on Lake Cascade. We sample all fish populations in the lake, which helps manage all game fish in the reservoir.

So what did we find in our 2017 survey?

Lots of big perch

The perch population looks healthy. All ages of fish are present in the lake, and there’s still a large number of perch over 12 inches. Of all the perch we caught in nets 59 percent were over 12 inches.

continued:
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Pheasant Miscount means fewer birds stocked on WMAs

By Evin Oneale, Regional Conservation Educator
Monday, December 18, 2017

Along with Christmas trees, you can add ring-necked pheasants to the list of hard to find items this Christmas season.

A simple miscount by the supplier of birds destined for stocking on Fish and Game’s four regional Wildlife Management Area (WMAs) means fewer birds have and will be stocked in the final weeks of the pheasant hunting season.

“Our supplier recently discovered that they were short by about 800 birds,” Fish and Game wildlife biologist Tyler Archibald noted. “And only one of the 58 other bird farms contacted had any surplus birds available.”

Those 400 pheasants have been added to the stocking schedule and will make up more than half the original pheasant shortfall.

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Idaho Fish and Game gather and sort wings for research

by KBOI News Staff Tuesday, December 19th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Buckets around the state can be found in areas where bird hunting is a popular activity. What are they for? Science.

Every year Idaho Fish and Game gathers the wings and brings them to the Magic Valley Region for the annual Wing-B.

Wings are sorted to identify species, gender and maturity. This provides information to managers about the upland bird nesting and population.

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F&G News Releases

https://idfg.idaho.gov/press
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Fun Critter Stuff:

Festive pets waiting for Santa Paws

Check out this great gallery of pets anxiously awaiting Santa Paws!

KBOI photo gallery
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Reindeer wrangler catches a deer loose in Kohl’s store

by Nathan Edwards, WKEF/WRGT Monday, December 18th 2017


Reindeer Wrangler catches a deer loose in Troy Kohl’s (WKEF/WRGT)

Troy, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) – Christmas shoppers got a wild surprise over the weekend when a deer ran through a Kohl’s in Troy, Ohio.

The man who wrangled it says he wanted to keep customers safe.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Rudolph emerged to do some last minute shopping at Kohl’s.

“We were at the jewelry counter when we heard a commotion at the front door,” Bill Krimm said.

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Holy cow! Wandering bovine returned to Philly nativity scene

by The Associated Press Thursday, December 14th 2017

A cow that escaped twice from a nativity scene in Philadelphia is back in place.

The cow, nicknamed “Stormy,” wandered away from the nativity scene at Old First Reformed Church of Christ Thursday and ended up on Interstate 95.

Philadelphia police eventually boxed in the cow with their cruisers before walking it off the interstate and returning it to the church.

However, WPVI-TV reported it was not long before the cow took off again despite efforts by the Rev. Michael Caine to stop the animal.

The bovine was found on the fourth floor of a parking garage before it was taken back to the nativity.

source w/photos and video:
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Seasonal Humor:

XmasGoodHay-a

XmasTreeCat-a
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Tips & Advice:

Safety tips for lighting up your home for the holidays

Local News 8 – Dec 16, 2017

Conquering the task of stringing up holiday lights can be a challenge, but for many it’s the key in making the season merry and bright.

Rocky Mountain Power reminds you how to stay safe while tackling the feat of lighting up your holiday season.

* Look up. When placing outside holiday lights on a house or in trees, locate any overhead power lines, and keep all objects such as ladders and extension poles more than 10 feet away.
* Replace any worn or frayed cords on strings of lights. Plug in lights before stringing them to identify any damaged bulbs.
* Don’t forget to power down. Unplug lights before hanging them, and again when you are out of the house and when you go to sleep.
* Don’t attach too many light strings together and avoid plugging them into just one outlet. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for recommended maximum number of strings per outlet.
* Keep lights away from anything flammable, including draperies.
* Keep lights off metal railings, banisters and aluminum siding. The metal can become energized if the wire has a short circuit.
* Make sure rooftop decorations are secure and don’t block vents or vent pipes.

Additionally, Rocky Mountain Power said using LED holiday lights will save money on energy costs. They use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescent lights and are cool to the touch.

source:
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Getting your home ready for the cold

by Haley Kramer Tuesday, December 19th 2017

Eagle, Idaho (KBOI) — We’re expecting some freezing temperatures here in the Treasure Valley and when that goes on for several days it can cause some major problems for homeowners.

Kasey Whiting, Project Manager at Perfect Plumbing shared a few tips and tricks you should know to get your home winter ready and make sure it doesn’t freeze along with the freezing temperatures.

… He says there are five areas in your home that cause problems when the temperatures drop: Hoses, foundation vents, open garage doors and windows, outside plumbing and furnace care while away.

full story:
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Are your Christmas presents ‘spying’ on you?

by Jennifer Gonsoulin Friday, December 22nd 2017 (WBMA)

Sales of gadgets are way up this year: from drones, to the latest phones, smart watches, and the digital assistants like the Amazon Echo.

And, for every high tech gift under your tree, hackers are finding ways to use them to spy on you, and steal your personal information.

This is the part of the tech world consumers don’t often want to think about. But, it’s extremely important to understand what’s happening in this virtual world. Large corporations record personal conversations, cameras are hacked, and devices even capture how often you flush the toilet.

Now, the FBI is issuing a warning. Feds say toys that connect to the Internet could be inviting hackers into your home. They say the only way to prevent a hack is to get rid of the toy. But, you can minimize the risk by taking a few steps.

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Dec 17, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

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

Village News:

Santa’s Yellow Pine Elves to Meet Dec 23

Thank you to those that got goodies to [Nik]! We will be stuffing the Christmas bags on Saturday the 23rd at the Yellow Pine Tavern. Stop by anytime.
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Be Predator Aware

Reports of Coyote, Fox and Bobcat tracks in and around the village lately. Keep an eye on small dogs and cats and please don’t leave pet food outdoors. Unsecured garbage is also an attractant.
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Yellow Pine Tavern

Watch all of your favorite sports on our Big Screen TV at the Yellow Pine Tavern. Featuring Football. Open 9am to 8pm (or later on game nights)

Christmas potluck will be at the Tavern. Look for further updates on the time and what the Tavern will be providing.
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The Corner

The Corner is closed for the season. Stop by if you need wood permits. We will reopen after we have the baby.
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YPFD News:

There are YPFD T-shirts, as well as YPFD patches and stickers for sale at the Tavern now.

Training will resume in the spring.
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VYPA News:

Next meeting June 2018
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Diamond (Kennedy) Fuel & Feed

208-382-4430

Did you know you can order antifreeze from Diamond? “Full strength or 50/50 diluted. Prestone Prime is our best value brand. We also carry Chevron brands. We carry many other automotive lubes and additives, so don’t hesitate to ask.”
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook
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Local Observations:

Monday (Dec 11) overnight low of 10 degrees, we still have 3″ of old snow (and hoarfrost) on the ground. Almost clear sky this morning, a couple of thin wispy clouds. Light traffic this morning. Red-breasted nuthatches visiting, fresh elk tracks along the road. Early afternoon it was warm enough to make icicles on the south side drip (no icicles on the north side) and some trees dumping a little more snow out in the forest, high 38 degrees. Clear evening, temps dropping after sundown.

Tuesday (Dec 12) overnight low of 9 degrees, mostly clear and frosty, still have 3″ of old snow topped by a thick layer of hoarfrost. Red-breasted nuthatches visiting. Heavy equipment working to the east. High haze and filtered sunshine by lunch time. Weak sunshine today, not as warm as yesterday, high 35 degrees. High thin clouds all afternoon, coloring for the sunset. Thicker clouds during the night.

Wednesday (Dec 13) started snowing around 730am, by 1030am 1.5″ new snow, 4.5″ total snow, overcast with light snow still falling. Heard clarks nutcrackers, red-breasted nuthatches and probably a hairy woodpecker. Fog band just below the ridges. Tapered off and stopped snowing shortly after lunch time (just a trace), a couple of small breaks in the clouds, ridges clear. Pine squirrel visited. A little breezy mid-afternoon, a few breaks in the clouds for a short time, then back to overcast and calm before dark. Chilly day, not much melting, high of 33 degrees. A few stars out around 830pm.

Thursday (Dec 14) overnight low of 10 degrees, mostly clear sky this morning. Fox tracks all over the neighborhood. Red-breasted nuthatches visiting. A few high hazy wisps during the day, mostly sunny and stronger sunshine, high 35 degrees, icicles dripping and growing. High thin clouds colored by the sunset. Clear and twinkly stars before midnight.

Friday (Dec 15) overnight low of 11 degrees, overcast sky this morning, still have 4.5″ of snow on the ground, icicles much longer. Fresh fox tracks in the neighborhood again, pine squirrel and red-breasted nuthatches visiting. Idaho Power truck in the village before lunch time. Cloudy cool afternoon, high 32 degrees. Steller jay and nuthatches calling, otherwise very quiet. Snowing after dark. An inch of snow by midnight, still snowing.

Saturday (Dec 16) snowed until around 4am, 1.5″ new snow, 6″ total snow on the ground, a few cracks in the cloud cover this morning. Red-breasted nuthatches and a pine squirrel visiting. Some cracks in the cloud cover before lunch time, hit or miss if the sun peeked through, icicles growing, high 35 degrees. Clearing before dark, just a few clouds turning red in the sunset. Some stars out at 830pm.

Sunday (Dec 17) overnight low of 3 degrees, then clouds moved in and up to 17 degrees by 1030am. Nuthatches visiting today, and heard a hairy woodpecker in the neighborhood. Cloudy and cold all day, never made it above freezing, no icicle drips or snow melted, high 29 degrees. Quiet day, light traffic. Cloudy afternoon and evening. Trying to snow just before dark.
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Holiday News:

USPS announces holiday shipping deadlines

by Ashley Hoak Monday, December 11th 2017

The U.S. Postal Service is preparing to deliver more than 15 billion pieces of mail throughout the holiday season.

Soon, post offices will be flooded with people shipping gifts.

But, if you’re waiting until the last minute to send something special, here are a few domestic shipping deadlines to ensure your gifts arrive by Christmas:

* December 16 – First Class Packages
* December 19 – First Class Mail (Including Greeting Cards)
* December 20 – Priority Mail
* December 22 – Priority Mail Express

And if you’re not a packing pro, the post office also offers pre-paid boxes to help ship items with ease.

The U.S. Postal Service also says in the two weeks leading up to Christmas, it plans to deliver 200 million packages per week.

source:
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U.S. Postal Service sees record mail volume in Idaho

Stephanie Hale-Lopez Dec 13, 2017 KIVI TV

Boise, ID – The U.S. Postal Service is in the midst of its busiest time of year — the holiday season. But this year is even busier than normal — record-setting, in fact.

From cards to packages, it seems as though every post office in the country is busier than Santa’s workshop.

“Every year, we’re like, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of parcels,’” said Boise Postmaster, Dan Corral. “…but here again, we are in 2017, and we’re looking at breaking another record for how many parcels we’re going to deliver here in Idaho.”

So far this year, postal carriers in the Gem State have delivered two million packages, with more coming in every day.

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Idaho News:

Search and Rescue seeks grant for ATV rescue vehicle

The Star-News December 14, 2017

Valley County Search and Rescue is seeking comments on a proposed grant application to purchase a four-season all-terrain vehicle with Camoplast tracks.

The grant is available through the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.

The all-terrain vehicle would be used to search in remote areas, for insertion of search personnel and extraction of lost or injured backcountry travelers and transportation of equipment. It would also be used in public events such as the McCall Winter Carnival and backcountry events such as the McCall Trail Classic.

The Camoplast tracks would help reduce environmental damage in winter rescue or equipment transport during the snow and spring runoff seasons.

Written comments may be submitted via email to vcsar@valleycountysar.org

source:
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Report: Cascade PD evidence room ‘disorganized’

$5,000 planned audit cost ballooned to $26,000

By Max Silverson for The Star-News December 14, 2017

The evidence room of the now-disbanded Cascade Police Department was found in shambles from years of mismanagement and neglect, a consultant’s study said.

The Cascade City Council on Monday reviewed the report by Custer Agency Inc. of Boise.

The firm was hired to conduct an audit of the evidence room after agency was disbanded Oct. 1 and police protection for the city was contracted with the Valley County Sheriff’s Office.

“Upon initial inspection, agents noted that the evidence room was very full and disorganized,” the report said. “It was estimated that 90 percent of the evidence present should have already been destroyed or returned.”

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McCall outdoor preschool unique to Idaho

Tami Tremblay, KTVB December 13, 2017

McCall – A lot of us avoid being outside when it’s cold and we try to keep kids inside where it’s warm, but in McCall you will find little ones in the woods even when it’s bitterly cold, raining or windy.

Roots Forest School operates outdoors September through May. It’s the only outdoor preschool in the state.

“I don’t really want to be outside all day (in the winter) but the kids seem to love it,” said Heidi Summerfield, who sends her daughter to the Roots Forest School.

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McCall man discovers suspected meteorite near Donnelly

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

Brandon Firkins was cleaning up debris around his rental home near Donnelly last March when he saw a stone sticking up from the ground. When he went to kick it loose, what happened next came as a shock.

“It didn’t move, Firkins said. “I went down on both hands.”

When he picked it up, the rock was about the size of a football but was made of dense material weighing 24 pounds. The surface turned crimson when wet and parts of the surface were pitted with holes.

Firkins, a metal fabricator, turned a 13,000-degree gas torch on the rock to no effect. He then slammed it with a sledgehammer, but instead of cracking, the rock absorbed the impact.

He took the rock to the Payette National Forest office in McCall, where geologist Clint Hughes gave him a surprising evaluation.

Hughes said rock could be meteorite, the term for a space rock that has entered the Earth’s atmosphere and crashed to the ground, Payette Public Affairs Office Brian Harris said.

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New Meadows man injured in accident at Evergreen sawmill

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

A New Meadows man was injured last week in an accident at the Evergreen Forest/Tamarack Mill near New Meadows.

Jared Abarr, 30, lost part of his left arm in the accident, which happened about 12:30 a.m. last Thursday, Evergreen Human Resource Manager Larry Burke said.

Abarr was removing a board from a conveyor when his coat became caught and he was pulled into the mechanism, Burke said.

The conveyor was immediately shut down and first aid was administered to Abarr by other employees, Burke said.

He was taken by ambulance to St. Luke’s McCall and transferred by air ambulance to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, according to a report from the Adams County Sheriff’s Office.

Abarr was released from St. Alphonsus on Monday and was expected to return to work, Burke said. The sawmill was shut down for the rest of Abarr’s shift after the accident, he said.

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More officers on the road will be watching for drunk drivers

by KBOI News Staff Wednesday, December 13th 2017

Starting today additional officers across Idaho will be on the lookout for drunk drivers.

They will be on the focused on drunk driving violations through the end of the year.

The Idaho Transportation Department and law enforcement across the state are partnering together to remind drivers that buzzed driving is drunk driving.

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Tentative deal approves $216 million for Idaho utility

By Keith Ridler – 12/14/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Idaho officials have reached a tentative agreement approving a utility company’s $216.5 million in relicensing expenses for a three-dam hydroelectric project on the Snake River on the Idaho-Oregon border.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday said it’s taking public comments through Jan. 5 on the proposed agreement with Boise-based Idaho Power involving the Hells Canyon Complex.

“It represents a compromise for both sides,” said commission spokesman Matt Evans. “It’s less than Idaho Power initially requested.”

The proposed agreement, which Evans said could be approved in February at the earliest, doesn’t call for a rate increase. That would take a separate request from Idaho Power also requiring the state commission’s approval.

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Idaho hay prices low until dairy market rebounds

12/17/17 AP

Burley, Idaho — Experts say hay prices are down in Idaho due to low milk prices that are depressing the market.

Steve Hines is the University of Idaho Extension educator for Jerome County.

The Capital Press reports that he says Idaho has carried over a lot of hay in recent years.

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Mining News:

Forest Service Explains CuMo Exploration Project at Public Meeting

Boise County Connection December 12, 2017 by Janet Juroch


Photo by Janet Juroch

Garden Valley – The recent meeting presentation in Garden Valley involving the Exploration Project of CuMo Mining and the Forest Service was well attended. In the Crouch Community Hall, stations were set up by various Forest Service departments to offer a place for questions to be answered by specialists in the fields of botany, geology, fisheries and more. CuMo mining is still in its exploration stages which may take years to complete.

Once there is a decision to have a mine, then the exploration project would turn into evaluating a mine. This requires a lot of information to determine an actual mine, according to Forest Service Minerals Program Manager, Rick Wells. The Forest Service has the job to make sure that the drilling information of a viable mine is determined. As Wells sees it, “This is to make sure that the mine will not get to a point that they say it is not good enough economically and the whole project pulls out.”

Copper and copper oxide is on top of a deposit which is a clue to consider further exploration for molybdenum. “As they drill into the rock they are looking at so many things,” says Wells, “and CuMo has to know what they need to get out of the samples to make sure the mine is cost effective.”

CuMo is doing this exploration for the mine to move forward. The core drilling goes down up to 2,000 feet. The plan allows for 256 drill holes and 122 drill pads in the project area. Wells explains that the mine will need to show confidence to investors that the return on investment is worth it and after a market analysis is done.

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Public Lands

Cascade Ranger District of the Boise National Forest Intends to Submit Grant Proposal to Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation

Cascade, Idaho, Dec. 12, 2017

The Cascade Ranger District of the Boise National Forest is applying for Recreational Vehicle (RV) grant funding from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.

The project will improve the existing campground road within Ice Hole Campground, build a worm rail fence between the campground and Johnson Creek, gravel discrete campsite pads, and install new campsite furniture and tent pads.

This grant proposal will improve the visitor experience, mitigate public health and safety hazards and prevent resource damage. If received, implementation of the RV grant would be implemented in the fall of 2018.

Comments or requests for more information should be submitted to Jake Strohmeyer, Cascade Ranger District and P.O. Box 696, Cascade, ID 83611 or by calling 208-382-7400.


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The Forest Service is Withdrawing the Over-Snow Vehicle Use Map for the Boise National Forest

Boise, Idaho, December 14, 2017

The Forest Service is withdrawing the Over-Snow Vehicle Use Map (OSVUM) for the Boise National Forest that was published on February 11, 2016 under 36 CFR § 212 Subpart C, effective immediately. The OSVUM shall have no further force or effect.

The Forest Service is withdrawing the OSVUM to allow time to further review issues raised in the August 29, 2017 Notice of Intent to Sue (NOI) submitted by WildEarth Guardians, Winter Wildlands Alliance, and The Wilderness Society. A new over-snow vehicle use map for the Boise National Forest will not be issued by the Forest Service until this review is complete and the Forest Service has responded to the NOI, and in any case no sooner than April 1, 2018. Before issuing a new OSVUM, the Forest Service will also complete applicable requirements under 36 CFR §212 Subpart C for making designations for over-snow vehicle use. Over-snow vehicles are defined as motor vehicles designed for use over snow that run on tracks and/or a ski or skis while in use over snow. 36 CFR § 212.1. In the interim, Orders have been issued by the Forest Service that reinstate the closures and restrictions on over-snow vehicle use on the Boise National Forest that were in effect pursuant to the Forest Plan prior to publication of the OSVUM on February 11, 2016, in accordance with 36 CFR § 261 Subpart B.

What does this mean for over snow travel this season? There will be no change in over-snow motor vehicle use on the Boise National Forest from the 2016-2017 season as a result of withdrawing the OSVUM. The Orders issued by the Forest Service are accompanied by maps showing the areas where over-snow vehicle use is allowed, prohibited or restricted. Additional short-term Orders may be issued for resource protection or public health and safety during the season in accordance 36 CFR §§ 261 Subpart B and 220.6(d)(1). Members of the public are encouraged to stop by a Forest Service office to obtain a free copy of the Orders and Maps.

For more information regarding over snow vehicle use on the Boise National Forest, please contact Danelle Highfill, Boise National Forest Recreation Program Manager at 208-373-4142.

0402-00-33+Boise+NF+WinterTravelRestrictionsSCAN.pdf
0402-00-54+Boise+NF+WinterTravelRestrictions+SCAN.pdf
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The Forest Service is Withdrawing the Over-Snow Vehicle Use Map for the Payette National Forest

Date: December 14, 2017
Contact: Brian Harris, Public Affairs Officer, 208-634-0784 office, 208-634-6945 cell.

McCall, ID – The Forest Service is withdrawing the Over-Snow Vehicle Use Map (OSVUM) for the Payette National Forest that was published on January 13, 2017 under 36 CFR § 212 Subpart C, effective immediately. The OSVUM shall have no further force or effect.

The Forest Service is withdrawing the OSVUM to allow time to further review issues raised in the August 29, 2017 Notice of Intent to Sue (NOI) submitted by WildEarth Guardians, Winter Wildlands Alliance, and The Wilderness Society. A new over-snow vehicle use map for the Payette National Forest will not be issued by the Forest Service until this review is complete and the Forest Service has responded to the NOI, and in any case no sooner than April 1, 2018.

Before issuing a new OSVUM, the Forest Service will also complete applicable requirements under 36 CFR §212 Subpart C for making designations for over-snow vehicle use. Over-snow vehicles are defined as motor vehicles designed for use over snow that run on tracks and/or a ski or skis while in use over snow. 36 CFR § 212.1.

In the interim, Orders have been issued by the Forest Service that reinstate the closures and restrictions on over-snow vehicle use on the Payette National Forest that were in effect pursuant to the Forest Plan prior to publication of the OSVUM on January 13, 2017, in accordance with 36 CFR § 261 Subpart B.

What does this mean for over snow travel this season? There will be no change in over-snow motor vehicle use on the Payette National Forest from the 2016-2017 season as a result of withdrawing the OSVUM. The Orders issued by the Forest Service are accompanied by maps showing the areas where over-snow vehicle use is allowed, prohibited or restricted. Additional short-term Orders may be issued for resource protection or public health and safety during the season in accordance 36 CFR §§ 261 Subpart B and 220.6(d)(1). Members of the public are encouraged to stop by a Forest Service office to obtain a free copy of the Orders and Maps.

For more information regarding over snow vehicle use on the Payette National Forest, please contact Brian Harris, Payette National Forest Public Affairs Officer at 208-634-6945.

Brian Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Payette National Forest
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Workshop on government contracts set for Jan. 10 in Cascade

A free half-day workshop on “Doing Business with the Government” will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 10, at 8:30 a.m. at the Cascade Ranger District office in Cascade.

The introductory course will include how to find government projects that are seeking bids, required licenses and registrations, differences between state and federal contracting and where to go for assistance.

The class will also discuss the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program, Women-Owned Small Business, HUBZone and other business certifications.

Workshop presenters include representatives from the Idaho Department of Transportation, U.S. Small Business Administration, Idaho Procurement Technical Assistance Center and the U.S. Forest Service.

For more information, call 208-334-8567 or email Elizabeth.healas@itd.idaho.gov.

The Cascade Ranger District is located at 540 N. Main St. in Cascade.

Posted at The Star-News December 14, 2017
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McCall, New Meadows districts seek grants for recreation

The McCall and New Meadows Ranger Districts on the Payette National Forest will apply state for recreation grants to support trail and campground projects as well as winter recreation.

The Payette is submitting two grant proposals for trails work. The first will be to cover the second phase of rerouting the Jackson Creek Trail, located off the Warren Wagon Road near McCall.

The proposal calls for rerouting the trail out of wetland areas, and for continuing general enhancements of the trail.

The second grant proposal is to fund replacement of the Jenkins Crossing Bridge, located on the Jackson Creek Trail.

The funding would cover the purchase of a prefabricated bridge, as well as costs associated with the bridge installation.

A grant proposal for making improvements to the Lake Fork Campground is being submitted.

The campground’s current restroom facilities are in need of full replacement and the grant proposal is to fund the cost of two accessible concrete restrooms.

Other enhancements to the campground would include a new entrance information kiosk, campsite markers and parking barriers.

Another grant proposal would fund equipment to be used by volunteer campground hosts, including pressure washers for the cleaning of restrooms and other facilities at recreation sites.

Other funds requested would support the work of seasonal employees who provide assistance to snowmobiliers and backcountry skiers. The employees provide safety information to the public, as well as assist in maintaining winter travel routes and signs.

Posted at The Star-News December 14, 2017
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Idaho City Ranger District of the Boise National Forest Intend to Submit Grant Proposals to Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation

Idaho City, Idaho, Dec. 11, 2017

The Idaho City Ranger District of the Boise National Forest 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 used by recreational users.

The different applications will request funding through the Departments 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 584, 683 and 167. These trails receive heavy summer usage from motor bike enthusiasts, and are also used in the Idaho City 100 Enduro Race. This grant proposes to address culvert placements, signage, brushing and heavy tread maintenance needs.

• RTP grant funds would be used for the construction of two bridges on the Crooked River Trail that was severely burned by the 2016 Pioneer Fire. The project would replace bridges over Edna Creek and Lamar Creek, restoring use to a trail that is a favorite recreation destination for the Treasure Valley.

• RTP grant funds would also be used to replace the recently destroyed Park and Ski toilet at Banner Ridge. The new toilet facility at Banner Ridge would restore a convenience to winter and summer recreationalists alike.

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

Comments or requests for more information should be submitted to Megan Impson, Idaho City Ranger District, P.O. BOX 129 Idaho City ID 83631, or by calling 208-392-3733.
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Middle Fork landscape project to cover 50,000 acres on Payette

The Middle Fork Weiser River Landscape Restoration Project can now begin following the authorization by the Payette National Forest.

The project area encompasses nearly 50,000 acres on the Council Ranger District. It is the third project of as many as eight the Payette will be conducting under the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program with the assistance of the Payette Forest Coalition.

Forest restoration activities include:

• Timber and biomass harvest to reduce fuel loading.

• Road reconstruction, realignment, and decommissioning.

• Culvert removal to enhance habitat.

• Thinning of trees and controlled fires to restore healthy conditions and help protect communities from wildfires.

• Improved developed and dispersed recreation areas.

• Improving and realigning existing trails, and developing new trails.

A fourth project, the 67,000 acre Huckleberry Landscape Restoration Project, is under analysis now, and a fifth project is in initial planning stages.

“We look forward to adding to the accomplishments that we have already achieved in returning our forests to a healthy condition that can thrive into the future,” Payette Supervisor Keith Lannom said.

“These restoration and collaborative projects are truly producing significant results on the ground and with our local economies,” Lannom said.

Other projects on the Payette National Forest include:

• Mill Creek-Council Mountain Landscape Restoration Project, 50,000 acres, in the final phases of implementation.

• Lost Creek-Boulder Creek Landscape Restoration Project, 80,000 acres, under implementation now.

Posted at The Star-News December 14, 2017
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National Park Service to limit fee-free days in 2018

Staff Writer Posted: Dec 14, 2017 Local News 8

The National Park Service announced it will offer four days without entrance fees in 2018. Last year, 10 days were offered without cost.

The 2018 fee-free days will be:

• January 15 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
• April 21 – First Day of National Park Week
• September 22 – National Public Lands Day
• November 11 – Veterans Day

Eliminated from the fee-free list were Presidents’ Day, 3 National Park Week weekends in April and one of two Veterans Day weekend days.

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USFS Regional Intermountain News

December 13, 2017

link:
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Letter to Share:

Merry Christmas from Mystic Farm!

Dec 13, 2017

“Saving Idaho Wildlife – One Orphan at a Time!”

Merry Christmas from Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue! Mystic Farm provides care for injured and orphaned fawns in preparation for release back into the wild – where they belong! We continue to have extraordinary success with both rehabilitation and release.

This last season, the number of orphans that came through our door was record breaking. The more babes – the higher the cost to operate the rescue. Unfortunately, due to medical issues and limited volunteers, we will not be holding our annual “Grow More Spots” fundraiser. Though the board will be looking at alternatives, we count on that event to cover the majority of our funding. Honestly, fundraising is the one part of Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue that I dislike. But, the reality is that it has to be done. The thought of “considering the alternative” is not even open for discussion. We will save each and every warranted rescue babe that needs saving – opposition or lack of funds be damned!

Thank you for your past and continued support. Without generous tax deductible contributions like yours, we could not continue to provide the care to the animals coming through Mystic Farm. You are the backbone of our rescue operation. Know that by donating, you will be a part of giving wildlife a second chance. Sincere thanks – and the fawns thank you!

Name: _______________ Email: ______________

Address: _____________________ Zip: ________

Donation Amount: $___

Please print and return this portion with your donation to:

Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc.
710 Sanctuary Hills
Sagle, ID 83860

*Donations also accepted via PayPal: mysticfarmrescue@yahoo.com or on the website: http://www.mystic-farm.com

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Critter News:


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Pet Talk

Dec 15, 2017 Dr. Karsten Fostvedt – IME

What are anal sacs? The anal sacs are two small pouches on animals under the skin near the anus at the 4 and 8 o’clock positions. These sacs hold a thick, foul-smelling fluid produced by the glands of the anal sacs. This fluid is used by wolves and wildcats to mark their territories. Skunks use the glands to scare away potential predators. Domestic dogs and cats don’t use these glands to mark territory, but they are still present and can often become blocked or impacted. When this occurs, the dog or cat licks at its anus incessantly, or scooches on the ground to try to express the sac by itself.

Normal emptying of the anal sacs occurs with defecation. Dogs and cats can also empty their anal sacs voluntarily, which they do when they are frightened. Failure of the anal sacs to empty during defecation can occur when animals eat low-fiber diets. Often, the anal sacs can become infected and painful, and even abscess a bloody pustular oozing next to the rectum. Any impaction, swelling or abscess of the anal sacs will cause pain and redness and swelling to the perirectal area.

Your veterinarian will perform a rectal examination using a gloved finger to assess the size of the anal sacs. Sometimes tumors of the anal sacs occur and can be felt in a rectal exam. These tumors can spread to abdominal lymph nodes, causing widespread cancer.

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Reward for information on slain wolves grows to $20,000

Steve Bertel Dec 11, 2017 KIVI TV

Spokane, WA. – The reward for information regarding the killing of two wolves in northeastern Washington state has now grown to $20,000.

The Center for Biological Diversity and Cascadia Wildlands on Monday said they had doubled a previously-announced reward by Conservation Northwest for information leading to a conviction in the killing of the wolves.

Over the weekend, officials for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that two wolves that were being monitored had been found shot to death.

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Wolf News

Pinedale Online!

12/13/17: Wolf ruling impacts grizzly delisting
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking public comment on a federal appeals court ruling that may impact the agency’s final rule delisting grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The deadline for comments is January 8, 2018. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking public comment on a federal appeals court ruling that may impact the agency’s final rule delisting grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The deadline for comments is January 8, 2018. The only obligation at issue here is for the Service to contend with the implications of massive range loss for the species’ endangered or threatened status within its current environment…… (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

12/13/17: Colorado wolf reintroduction
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Rocky Mountain Wolf Project is trying to build public support for reintroducing wolves to western Colorado. Environmental groups supporting the project include Defenders of Wildlife, Western Watersheds Project, Natural Resources Defense Council, Wild Earth Guardians, National Wolfwatchers Coalition, Colorado Sierra Club, and the Center for Biological Diversity….. (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

12/10/17: Wolf News Roundup – Dec. 10, 2017
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Wolf news from Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and the Great Lakes, and on an environmental group lawsuit related to the Mexican wolf recovery plan, and report on Ontario caribou threatened by wolves. The wolf population on Isle Royale has declined to just one wolf, the last of a severely inbred population. The National Park Service is moving forward with plans to reintroduce wolves back onto the island….. (Click on the link above for the complete story.)
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Wolf Education International

Newsletter second week December 2017

Shepherds and environmentalists clash as ‘rogue wolf’ rampages through German forest

Should Finland’s Wolves Be Hunted or Protected?

Norway’s Proposed Wolf Hunt
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Wolverine

Outdoor Idaho

If you’ve ever seen a wolverine in the wild, you’re one lucky person! Here’s our story on wolverines and snowmobilers near McCall. Trapping wolverines is not for the faint of heart. From our “Working for Wildlife” show, airing tonight, Sunday, at 7 p.m.

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Garden City Police officer cited for hunting mule deer on private property

by KBOI News Staff Monday, December 11th 2017

Garden City, Idaho (KBOI) — A Garden City Police officer was cited earlier this fall for the illegal killing of a mule deer.

The department said Monday that officer Tysend Faulkner mistakenly shot a mule deer Oct. 27 while he hunted with a white tail deer tag on private property near White Bird in northern Idaho.

Idaho Fish and Game cited the officer with three citations.

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Yellowstone rams catch disease causing unsightly mouth sores

Associated Press, KTVB December 12, 2017

Bozeman, Mont. – Yellowstone park officials say multiple bighorn rams in the park have caught a viral disease that causes unsightly mouth sores.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the park’s videographer snapped images in November of rams with the mouth sores.

Officials confirmed the videographer’s pictures on Monday, saying the rams have sore mouth disease, a condition widespread among wild bighorn sheep in the Rocky Mountains. It is also common in domestic sheep and goats.

Officials say animals usually recover but death can occur in severe outbreaks, particularly among lambs that can’t feed because of the mouth sores.

The disease can be transmitted to people if a person directly touches an infected sheep.

Yellowstone biologists are monitoring the infected animals.

source w/photos:
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9th Annual Youth Ice Fishing Day

A fun day of ice fishing for the whole family!

Horsethief Reservoir January 20, 2018 10am-3pm.

Please read through our helpful hints so you will be prepared for a fun filled day on the ice.

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Recovery plans for Snake River salmon, steelhead released

By Keith Ridler – 12/12/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Authorities have released recovery plans for federally protected Snake River chinook salmon and steelhead with the goal of making sure each species is self-sustaining in the wild.

The plans released Tuesday by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries include spring and summer chinook, fall chinook and steelhead. Authorities listed the three runs as threatened in the 1990s.

Strategies in the 366-page fall chinook plan include reintroducing them above Idaho Power’s Hells Canyon Complex of hydroelectric dams.

The 284-page recovery plan for spring and summer chinook and steelhead include protecting existing tributary habitat and restoring degraded habitat.

Salmon and steelhead are important as both a commercial and sport fishery, and are also important to tribes in the region that hold treaty rights concerning salmon and steelhead.

source:
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The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
http://www.cbbulletin.com
December 15, 2017
Issue No. 855
Table of Contents

* Invasive Northern Pike In Lake Roosevelt Spread At Rapid Pace; Parties Discuss Suppression Plan, Funding Issues
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439953.aspx

* Early Fish Forecasts Show Higher 2018 Spring/Summer Chinook Returns Than This Year; Small Sockeye Increase
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439952.aspx

* Fish Traps, Alternative To Current Commercial Fishing Methods, Being Tested In Lower Columbia
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439951.aspx

* 2018 Spill Plan For Juvenile Fish Submitted To District Court, Expedited Appeal Accepted By Ninth Circuit
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439950.aspx

* Science Panel Hears Research On Sea Lion Consumption Of Spring Chinook Below Bonneville
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439949.aspx

* Lower Number Of Anglers Take Fewer Northern Pikeminnow In 2017 Than In 2016; $1.5 Million In Payouts
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439948.aspx

* NOAA Fisheries Releases Recovery Plans For Snake River Fall Chinook, Snake River Spring Chinook/Steelhead
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439947.aspx

* Montana Leaders, Tribes Urging Action On Mining Pollution From Canada Flowing Into Kootenai River Drainage
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439946.aspx

* Tentative Settlement On Idaho Power’s Hells Canyon Relicensing Expenses Goes To Utility Commission
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439945.aspx

* Portland Harbor On List Of EPA Superfund Sites Targeted For ‘Immediate, Intense’ Attention
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439944.aspx

* WDFW To Test Drone Use For Researching Moose In Northeast Washington
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439943.aspx
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Fish & Game News:

Gift licenses, Super Hunt entries make great stocking stuffers

By Mike Demick, Conservation Information Supervisor
Monday, December 11, 2017

Give the gift of the great outdoors – gift certificates for a fishing license, hunting license, or Super Hunt entry make excellent stocking stuffers.

Fishing and hunting provide a good excuse to get outside, see the beauty of Idaho, and spend precious time with family and friends. For outdoor enthusiasts, there is a fishing or hunting season open throughout the year.

License gift certificates can be purchased at any Idaho Fish and Game office in any dollar amount. Most people buy them for the exact amount of an annual hunting license, fishing license, combination, or sportsman’s package.

Several options and price ranges are available, depending on the age of the recipient and type of license – hunting, fishing or combination. These gift certificates can be only be redeemed for hunting and fishing licenses at Fish and Game offices.

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GPS collars show the hidden lives of deer and elk

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Specialist
Friday, December 8, 2017

Collars provide real time information about where the animals live, travel and sometimes, die


Photo by Roger Phillips/Idaho Fish and Game

The whup, whup, whup of a helicopter grows louder as a herd of deer flees toward a trap. A small army of Fish and Game staff and volunteers hide as the animals run into a hidden net and become entangled.

People rush to the thrashing animals, and within seconds, untangle and calm them by placing a mask over their eyes and carefully pin their legs to their bodies. Then a quick, efficient routine begins as the animals are measured, weighed, health tested, and finally, fitted with a collar.

That scene is repeated dozens of times every winter for deer and elk, and it’s one of several ways Fish and Game captures big game animals and places collars on them to track their whereabouts and learn more about their seasonal movements and habits.

F&G does most of its capture-and-collar work during winter because animals tend to be congregated, easier to spot, and it’s typically gentler on the animals to capture them in cooler weather. It’s labor-intensive, and at times dangerous, but important work for managing big game herds.

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F&G News Releases

https://idfg.idaho.gov/press
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Fun Critter Stuff:

Red-suited man on a sled rescues a deer on frozen pond

by Andrew Selsky, Associated Press Tuesday, December 12th 2017

Salem, Ore. (AP) — Reindeer are supposed to pull Santa Claus’ sleigh, but in Oregon recently, a red-suited man on a sled wound up pushing a deer.

The reverse-reality Christmas-season tale played out when a deer wandered onto a frozen golf course pond in Sunriver, Oregon, on Friday and then lost its footing.

Try as it might, it couldn’t get all its legs underneath him. It skidded and slithered, and its legs buckled.

Along came firefighter Jeff “JJ” Johnston, astride a new ice-rescue sled that was as bright red as the suit he wore, and as the nose on Rudolph the reindeer, which guided Santa’s sleigh one foggy Christmas Eve.

Benjamin O’Keefe, a captain in the fire department of the resort and residential community, had his camera rolling. His video has become a sensation, garnering millions of views and picked up by broadcasters in the United States and overseas.

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Buck busted for breaking and entering in Bellefontaine

by Gabi Warwick, WKEF/WRGT Monday, November 27th 2017

Bellefontaine, Ohio – A buck was busted for breaking and entering in Bellefontaine, according to the police department’s Facebook page.

They said that the buck jumped through a window of a vacant business in the High Point Village Plaza, breaking out the glass, before fleeing the scene. The buck was not injured, but the post does give a description of the suspect “as being brown and white, four legs and 10 points”.

No information was immediately available about other damage to the business.

source w/video:
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Oh, deer: Startled doe scrambles through Mississippi school

by The Associated Press Friday, December 1st 2017

Enterprise, Miss. (AP) — A deer darted through two hallways of a Mississippi school, startling students as they were arriving for the day.

People jumped out of the way and no one was injured.

Enterprise Middle School is in a rural, wooded area about 100 miles (161 kilometers) east of Jackson. Principal Marlon Brannan says it’s unusual to see deer on campus, but this doe was grazing on a playground Wednesday morning.

Brannan says “that deer was moving full-throttle” as it scrambled down two tile hallways, going about 200 feet (61 meters) before sliding out another open door. It ran between two vehicles in the carpool line and escaped to the woods.

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Seasonal Humor:

XmasTreeSquirrel-a

WinterClothes-a
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Tips & Advice:

Time to remember winter driving safety

by Scott Logan Thursday, December 14th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — One common mistake drivers made repeatedly during last winter’s heavy snow is this:

“Quite honestly that’s going be primarily speed,” said Cpl. Kyle Wills with the Boise Police Department. “Too fast for conditions. When there’s snow and ice on the road, or black ice we don’t see, sometimes people just fail to slow down.”

And police say with slick roads, cars don’t stop as fast when brakes are applied so they slide, leading to all kinds of crashes.

So remember in winter, the posted speed limit may be too fast for conditions.

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The rules of the road when you encounter a stopped school bus

Dec 15, 2017 Local News 8

You are approaching a stopped school bus. Do you stop or are you ok to drive by?

The answer varies depending on a number of factors, and Bingham County Sheriff Craig T. Rowland said he’s received several complaints lately about drivers making the wrong choice.

… When you are on a roadway that is less than 4 lanes, you must come to a stop when a school bus has activated its red lights and the stop arm is out.

… However, if it’s a four-lane road, two lanes in each direction, traffic behind the bus must stop, and vehicles approaching the bus from the other direction on the other side of the double yellow lines may proceed past the bus without stopping.

The Idaho Code that deals with overtaking and passing a school bus reads:

49-1422. OVERTAKING AND PASSING SCHOOL BUS. (1) The driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus stopped on the highway shall stop before reaching the school bus when there is in operation on a school bus the visual signals specified in section 49-915, Idaho Code, and the driver of a vehicle shall not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the visual signals are no longer actuated. Oncoming traffic on a highway of more than three (3) lanes is not required to stop upon meeting a school bus when visual signals are actuated. Any person found guilty of violating the provisions of this subsection shall be fined an amount of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500).

(2) Every school bus shall be equipped with visual signals meeting the requirements of section 49-915, Idaho Code, which shall be actuated by the driver of the school bus whenever, but only whenever, the vehicle is stopped on the highway for the purpose of receiving or discharging school children. A school bus driver shall not actuate the special visual signals:

(a) In business districts designated by the department or local authorities;

(b) At intersections or other places where traffic is controlled by traffic control signals or peace officers; or

(c) In designated school bus loading areas where the bus is entirely off the roadway.

(3) Every school bus shall bear upon the front and rear plainly visible signs containing the words “SCHOOL BUS” in letters not less than eight (8) inches in height. When a school bus is being operated upon a highway for purposes other than the actual transportation of children either to or from school all markings thereon indicating “school bus” shall be covered or concealed.

Full story:
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Dec 10, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

Dec 10, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Coyote Alert

Have received reports of coyote activity in and around the village. Please keep pet food indoors and garbage secure.
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Yellow Pine Christmas Bags

Santa’s Yellow Pine Elves, we will be doing Christmas Bags again!! Contact [Nicki] if you are interested in helping out.
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Yellow Pine Tavern

Watch all of your favorite sports on our Big Screen TV at the Yellow Pine Tavern. Featuring Football

Open 9am to 8pm (or later on game nights)

Christmas potluck will be at the Tavern. Look for further updates on the time and what the Tavern will be providing.
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The Corner

The Corner is closed for the season. Stop by if you need wood permits. We will reopen after we have the baby.
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Diamond (Kennedy) Fuel & Feed

208-382-4430

Did you know you can order antifreeze from Diamond? “Full strength or 50/50 diluted. Prestone Prime is our best value brand. We also carry Chevron brands. We carry many other automotive lubes and additives, so don’t hesitate to ask.”
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YPFD News:

There are YPFD T-shirts, as well as YPFD patches and stickers for sale at the Tavern now.

Training will resume in the spring.
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VYPA News:

Next meeting June 2018
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook
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Local Observations:

Monday (Dec 4) some clearing during the night and bright moon, overnight low of 20 degrees. Mostly cloudy this morning and flaking snow. Breaks in the clouds at lunch time, bits of sun or filtered sun, cold breeze and not much melting, high of 32 degrees. Trees are still holding big snow loads and so are the power lines. Thicker clouds later in the afternoon, light breezes with a bite. Quiet day, no wild birds or critters around. Breaks in the clouds and stunning moon rise.
P1000336-20171204Moon
Dec 4th “Super Moon Rise” – rrS

Tuesday (Dec 5) clearing during the night and cold, low of 5 degrees. Clouds coming in this morning after sunrise, cold light breeze. Clouds whipped on by and mostly clear before lunch time. Clear sky all afternoon, but the sun didn’t feel very strong and only a few icicles dripped, high of 30 degrees. Snow still stuck to power lines this evening. Temperatures dropping quickly with the sun. Clear cold night.

Wednesday (Dec 6) overnight low of 1.5 degrees, clear sky this morning, temps rising with the sun, 4 degrees at 1030am and 7 degrees by 1045am. Red-breasted nuthatch visited. Sunny all day, but below freezing and no melting, high of 28 degrees. Fox tracks on Pioneer Street. Clear sky before dark and temps dropping.

Thursday (Dec 7) overnight low of 4 degrees and clear sky this morning, we still have 3 inches of snow on the ground, not melting. Heard a steller jay calling. Sunny day, but not very warm, a few icicles dripping, high of 33 degrees. The trees and power lines are still coated with frozen snow from the last storm. Red-breasted nuthatches calling from the edge of the forest. Reports of coyote activity in and around the village. Mostly clear at dark, temps dropping, colorful sunset.

Friday (Dec 8) overnight low of 8 degrees, clear sky this morning. The hoarfrost has grown a half inch thick on top of 3″ of old snow. Very quiet today, sun had some strength to it and the power lines have lost half their snow loads, more trees dumping snow on their sun-ward sides out in the forest. Icicles growing a little more during the day, high of 36 degrees. We were a few degrees warmer at sundown than yesterday, clear sky. Cold clear night.

Saturday (Dec 9) overnight low of 7 degrees, mostly clear sky this morning (a few wisps of high clouds.) Heard a steller jay calling. Sunrise turned the hoarfrost on the snow into brilliant diamonds. Red-breasted nuthatch visited. High thin hazy clouds over most of the sky after lunch time, filtered sun, but still made it a little above freezing, icicles dripping and growing, high of 34 degrees. Hazy sky at sunset, not as cold as previous evenings. Elk wandering down the road after dark. Thinner clouds, lots of stars.

Sunday (Dec 10) overnight low of 8 degrees, almost clear this morning, a few thin wisps of clouds. We still have 3″ of snow on the ground with a thick layer of hoarfrost. Red-breasted nuthatches visiting. Filtered sun early afternoon, warm enough for icicles to drip, high of 35 degrees. Sounds of heavy equipment (and back up beepers) this afternoon. Hazy sky before sunset.
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RIP:

Nellie Ernestine (Francis) Downend

March 26, 1924 – Nov. 29, 2017

Nellie was born in Emmett on her grandfather, Charley Martin’s homestead to Merlin and Minnie (Gantz) Francis.

Her brother Bud was born in 1927. She attended schools in Emmett, Parma, Boise and graduated from Cascade High in 1942. Nellie was captain of the Cascade basketball team and the drum major for the band. After graduation, she worked in the Bradley Mining Co. office and later was the clerk of the Valley County Ration Board and a member of the Cascade Hospital Board.

Nellie married Robert (Bob) D. Downend in 1945, the same year he was inducted into the U.S. Army. When Bob was in basic training, she worked in the finance office at the Camp Roberts Army Base and then worked for an attorney in San Luis Obispo.

Bob served in Japan and was discharged in 1947. They then worked at Banks One for her Dad where their son Danny was born that same year. In 1948 they moved to Garden Valley where Bob worked for Bedal & Smith Logging.

In 1951 they moved back to Cascade and purchased the Utah Oil Service Station and Wholesale Distributorship. Their daughter, Bobbie Kay, was born that same year. They worked together running the business until 1976.

In 1977 Nellie went to work at the Valley County Courthouse where she microfilmed county records and went on to serve as bailiff of the ourt. In 1990 they retired. Nellie loved living in Cascade where she was involved in many community activities.

The Cascade Chamber of Commerce honored her as “Cascade Woman of the Year” in 1960. She served as Noble Grand of the Rebekah Lodge, Worthy Matron of the Valley Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star, president of the Cascade School PTA, Guardian of Job’s Daughters, and den mother for the Boy Scouts.

Nellie was the chairman of the Cascade High School reunions for several years. She served as secretary of the Cascade Hospital Building Committee, which raised funds to help build the hospital.

Bob and Nellie served as co-chairmen of the Cascade Chamber of Commerce crab feed for several years. She was proud of her volunteer work to help build the first three holes on the Cascade golf course.

Nellie enjoyed spending time with her family and friends boating, water skiing, snow skiing, golfing, snowmobiling (when she wasn’t hitting the trees!), walking two miles every day, and hosting happy hour in the backyard.

After retiring, Nellie and Bob traveled in their motor home to Parker, Lake Havasu, and Las Vegas. They made many trips to the Oregon and Washington coasts.

In 1995 they flew to Mazatlan, Mexico with their daughter to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. In 2004 they sold their office and shop and in 2006 they sold their home of 52 years and moved to Boise.

Mom was fun-loving, feisty and a little stubborn, a great cook, a first-rate singer/dancer, and an even better mother and friend. She will never be forgotten. We love you Mom! See you later alligator!

Per her wishes, there will be no services. Nellie and Bob’s ashes will be scattered at a later date in Cascade. Nellie was preceded in death by her husband Bob, brother Bud Francis and her parents.

She is survived by her son Dan (Kitta), daughter Bobbie Kay Downend, grandsons Greg and Jeff and several nieces and nephews.

Published in the Star-News December 7, 2017
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Idaho News:

Dec. 20 deadline noted for Valley, Adams property taxes

The Star-News December 7, 2017

The deadline for the first half of the year’s property taxes for Valley and Adams counties will be Wednesday, 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 Monday through Friday, including the lunch hour.

Late charges begin on Thursday, 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. For more information, contact the treasurer’s office at 382-7110 or treasurer@co.valley.id.us.

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 http://co.adams.id.us.

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

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Valley County allows ‘tiny houses’ to be built

Law sets standards for homes 400 s.f. or less

By Max Silverson for The Star-News December 7, 2017

Valley County commissioners on Monday approved an ordinance that will allow the construction of tiny houses, which are homes of 400 square feet or less.

The new ordinance relaxes current standards for exits, access, ceiling height and handrails for tiny homes attached to foundations.

“There has been overwhelming support and little opposition to it,” Valley County Building Official Anne Guarino said.

Commissioners were initially hesitant to adopt the ordinance, citing concerns that the final version of the rules could change before they are officially adopted into Idaho building codes.

A state law allowing tiny houses is expected to be approved by the 2018 Idaho Legislature, Guarino said.

The wording of the Valley County ordinance guarantees that the local rules will match whatever version is passed at the state level, even if they are changed later, she said.

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Board of Guardians seeks volunteers to serve as advocates

The Star-News December 7, 2017

The Valley County Board of Guardians is looking for board members and volunteers to serve as court-appointed guardians, or advocates, for adults who are disabled or otherwise impaired.

The seven-member board sets policies for accepting referrals as well as for the recruiting, screening and training of volunteer guardians.

Volunteer guardians are appointed by the court, often in an emergency situation, to step in and help adults with disabilities who have been deemed legally incapacitated by the courts and who do not have immediate family members willing or able to help.

The volunteers may be required to make decisions based on the person’s limitations, see to the person’s well-being and to encourage maximum self-reliance and independence.

To learn more about the program, visit the Valley County website at http://co.valley.id.us, then follow the links to Services and then Community Guardian.

Those who are interested in becoming a board member or volunteer guardian may contact one of the board members via the same links.

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UI to host online series on food preservation, safety

The Star-News December 7, 2017

The University of Idaho will host an online series on food preservation and food safety beginning Thursday, Jan. 18, at 1 p.m.

The Preserve @ Home course will cover how to produce high-quality preserved foods as well as the science behind food preservation and food safety.

The class will include online text that can be downloaded and printed, an online discussion board for student interaction and a real-time chat with classmates.

Registration is $35 plus the cost of supplemental materials. The enrollment and payment deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 16. For more information or to register, write to lsant@uidaho.edu

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Provo man arrested, loot recovered from Valley County burglaries

By Max Silverson for The Star-News December 7, 2017

A Provo, Utah, man has been charged in connection with thousands of dollars of stolen goods traced to burglaries in Valley County, the Valley County Sheriff’s Office said.

Karl Gresham, 36, was arrested Sunday morning at the location of a pickup truck and trailer on Round Valley Road, Lt. Jason Speer said.

Gresham was being held in the Valley County Jail on a $30,000 bond on two felony charges of grand theft, one felony charge of burglary and one misdemeanor charge of theft.

He is scheduled to appear on Tuesday in Valley County Magistrate Court in Cascade to determine if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial.

Residents on Round Valley Road called Valley County Dispatch after noticing an out-of-place pickup truck and trailer that had run out of gas in the middle of the road, Speer said,

When sheriff’s deputies showed up, they found the pickup and trailer filled with stolen items.

“Thousands upon thousands of dollars in tools, a motorcycle, and an ATV were found,” Speer said. “The trailer was also stolen.”

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McCall OKs lease of former juvenile center for police

City will pay $32,400 per year to Valley County for unused space

By Phil Janquart for The Star-News December 7, 2017

The McCall Police Department is scheduled to move this summer into the former Valley County Juvenile Detention Center following approval last week of a lease with Valley County.

The McCall City Council last Thursday approved a five-year renewable lease for the former detention center. The city will pay $32,400 per year to lease the 3,000 square-foot space.

The lease will now go to Valley County Commissioners on Monday for final approval.

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Tamarack Resort now open for skiing and snowboarding

by KBOI News Staff Friday, December 8th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — The upper mountain and learning area of Tamarack Resort is now open to skiers and snowboarders.

The resort will be open for seven-days-a-week for the remainder of the winter.

In addition to the 11 runs and three lifts being open, Tamarack’s lodging, dining, rental, retail and lessons are also available to visitors.

Conditions at the resort can be accessed on their online snow report.
http://tamarackidaho.com/winter-home/snow-report

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Tamarack using 1.5 million gallons of water a day to make snow

by Sophia Doumani Saturday, December 9th 2017

Tamarack, Idaho (KBOI) — This winter is much warmer than the last but Tamarack was able to open its slopes again on the same weekend because of 14 snow guns.

These snow guns are water guzzling machines. To put it in perspective, they consume 1,100 gallons of water a minute, 1.5 million gallons a day and approximately 25 million gallons per ski season.

General manager of the Tamarack Resort, Brad Larsen, says the snow guns are considered a “non-consumptive use of water.”

“The water goes back into the water shed once it melts,” Larsen said. “Most of it ends up back in Lake Cascade some way or another.”

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[Idaho] County issues disaster declaration for town without water

12/6/17 AP

Grangeville, Idaho — County officials approved a disaster declaration for a western Idaho town so it can apply for emergency state funding after losing its water wells.

The Lewiston Tribune reports the water wells in the town of White Bird stopped working late last month, causing Idaho County commissioners to approve the declaration on Tuesday.

Town officials say a cause has not been determined for why the wells suddenly quit functioning. Officials say seismic activity may have contributed to the loss.

The town declared a state of emergency, and it began providing water resources to residents at what officials say is an unsustainable cost.

The town has applied for emergency funding from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development agency has committed to helping the town.

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Idaho sells 5 commercial properties, but 5 receive no bids

Associated Press, KTVB December 07, 2017

Boise, Idaho – Five properties Idaho officials offered at an auction sold for above appraised value, but five others didn’t receive any bids.

The auction Wednesday by the Idaho Department of Lands brought in nearly $8.5 million, about $1.6 million above the appraised value.

An office building in Idaho Falls brought in the most at $5.3 million, $125,000 above its appraised value.

An office building in Boise sold for $1.6 million, nearly double its appraised value. Three parking lots in Boise also went for above the appraised value.

The five properties with no bids at or above the appraised value include a commercial building in Idaho Falls and four commercial lots in Meridian.

The Idaho Land Board has been selling commercial real estate following complaints that state-owned businesses unfairly compete with private businesses.

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Christmas tree shortage driving up prices

Morgan Boydston, KTVB December 05, 2017

Meridian, ID – Have you bought your Christmas tree yet? If not, you should probably get on it because they’re going fast!

But just a heads up: you’ll likely have to pay more than you did last year and you might not find exactly what you’re looking for. Why? Because America is facing a Christmas tree shortage.

Customers likely won’t physically see the shortage in trees at any local lots right now, but they will see it reflected in the price tag. It can take up to 10 years to grow a tree, so we can blame the Great Recession for that.

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University of Idaho stinks up evergreens to deter Christmas tree thefts

Lexi Davenport, KREM December 05, 2017

Moscow, Idaho – The University of Idaho’s landscape crew sprayed about 200 trees on campus with a natural repellent of skunk scent, fox urine, and a sticking agent. It’s all to protect the trees from theft and destruction during the holiday season.

The tree-spraying program started back in 1990 and has drastically reduced the number of tree thefts on campus. According to officials, U of I would lose four or five evergreen trees each holiday season. The repellent stays on the trees for about four weeks and does not harm the evergreens or the environment.

U of I officials said the repellent is hard to notice while in colder temperatures outdoors, but it becomes very odorous once indoors. The smell from the repellent can stay in a room and on furniture for a long time, according to officials.

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Idaho launches online voter registration

By Kimberlee Kruesi – 12/5/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Idahoans can now register to vote online for the first time.

Secretary of State Lawerence Denney announced Tuesday that the move will offer convenience to voters and cut down administrative work for county election officials.

“Today, Idahoans can not only find out things like where to vote, whether they are registered to vote, or whether the county has received their absentee ballot, but also register to vote online,” Denney said.

Online registration requires voters, who would have to have a state-issued ID, to fill out an electronic application that is then sent to state elections officials for validation. The Idaho Transportation Department will provide digital copies of voter signatures from state-issued driver’s licenses to become part of the voter registration database.

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Tribal flags could be displayed inside Idaho Capitol

12/5/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Tribal leaders in Idaho say they want tribal flags to be displayed inside the Statehouse as a reminder that five sovereign nations reside in the Gem State.

The Idaho Council on Indian Affairs met Tuesday to discuss the logistics of hanging the flags at the Capitol. Legislative staffers said Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and legislative leaders are supportive of the move.

Ted Howard, chairman of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes, says displaying the flags will help educate the public on the unique standing the tribes have with the United States, as well as serve as a reminder that all of Idaho used to be the tribe’s homeland.

The council hopes to have the flags up and ready before the end of the 2018 legislative session, which begins in January.

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Supermoon Lights Up The Valley

Dec 6, 2017 – IME

The 2017 supermoon sets to the west over the ridge to the north of Warm Springs around sunrise Monday morning, near Ketchum.

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Scam Alerts:

New PayPal phishing scam regards camera purchases

John Matarese Dec 4, 2017 KIVI TV

What would you do if you got an email from PayPal saying it is billing you hundreds of dollars for a camera that you never ordered?

That’s what happened to one woman — and it should be a warning to everyone.

“The email was from PayPal. It just said, ‘Thank you for your purchase,'” she said.

However, Frazee didn’t recall making any purchases.

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Protecting yourself during the season of scams

by Abigail Taylor Thursday, December 7th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Scammers are finding creative ways to steal your cash this holiday season.

They know those credit cards are being swiped left and right, so they’re just waiting to cash in on your generosity.

Already this month in Idaho, there have been several dozen scams reported to the Better Business Bureau.

Here are a couple of the common ones to look out for:

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Mining News:

Ask Midas: Financial Assurance

December 5

Midas Gold Idaho wants to keep the community informed about the work we are doing at the Stibnite Gold Project site. The Ask Midas blog series gives the experts in our company a chance to answer some of the community’s most frequently asked questions and help clear up any misconceptions around the project.

MYTH: Recent news stories claim that mining companies in the U.S. no longer have to provide proof of financial responsibility, also known as financial assurance or bonding, for the cost of environmental cleanup and reclamation.

FACT: Mining companies are still required to provide financial assurance for the cleanup and reclamation of the sites where they work. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was considering adding a new rule that would have required mining companies to provide additional financial assurance over and above what is already required. However, the Agency Administrator for the EPA determined that this would be a duplication of existing federal and state regulations that ensure mining companies prove the necessary funds set aside to reclaim project sites. This ruling aims to reduce unnecessary duplication of laws but does not let industry off the hook for responsible cleanup practices and providing financial assurance to ensure cleanup work is done. Reclamation and bonding is a requirement for all modern mining companies.

Midas Gold will be required by the U.S. Forest Service, and state agencies overseeing our project, to provide financial assurance and set aside millions of dollars to guarantee environmental restoration work is fully funded before we receive a permit.

If you have a question you would like us to answer, please email it to community @ midasgoldcorp.com

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Delay on open pit mine: how the public can help

by Alexis Goree Tuesday, December 5th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Tonight, the Forest Service hosted the first of three open houses for the open pit mine project in the Boise National Forest.

The proposed CuMo project advancement is reliant on the engagement and support of the community after 10 years of analysis and delays. Changed conditions in the Treasure Valley has been one of them.

CuMoCo Mining company has given the Forest Service a proposal to open roads to contract drill pads and exploration drilling for possibly the worlds largest molybdenum project. The deposit is exploring southwest Idaho, 14 miles northwest of Idaho City.

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Public Lands:

Big Creek/Yellow Pine/South Fork Collaborative Meeting

Payette National Forest December 14, 2017; 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM Valley County Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

Melissa B. Hamilton
U of I Valley County Extension Educator
Community Development / Agriculture
208-382-7190

Agenda:
Matrix for EFSFSR Project Area sent to collaborative 10-25-2017.pdf
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McCall and New Meadows Ranger Districts Seek Grants for Recreation Projects

PNF 12/8/2017

McCall, ID – The McCall and New Meadows Ranger Districts on the Payette National Forest will apply for multiple state recreation grants to support trail and campground projects, as well as winter recreation opportunities. These grants are made available annually by the Idaho Department of Parks & Recreation to government entities for the provision of equipment, and the creation and renovation of outdoor recreational facilities.

Trails

The Forest is submitting two grant proposals for trails work. The first will be to cover the second phase of rerouting the Jackson Creek Trail, located off the Warren Wagon Road near McCall. The proposal calls for rerouting the trail out of wetland areas, and for continuing general enhancements of the trail.

The second grant proposal is to fund replacement of the Jenkins Crossing Bridge, located on the Jackson Creek Trail. The funding will cover the purchase of a prefabricated bridge, as well as costs associated with the bridge installation.

Recreation

A grant proposal for making improvements to the McCall District’s Lake Fork Campground is being submitted. The campground’s current restroom facilities are in need of full replacement. The grant proposal is to fund the cost of two American with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible concrete restrooms, as well as other enhancements to the campground such as a new entrance information kiosk, campsite markers and parking barriers.

The McCall Ranger District is submitting a grant proposal to fund the purchase of equipment to be used by volunteer campground hosts who provide services to the many campsites frequented by Forest visitors. Funds are also being requested to purchase pressure washers to facilitate the cleaning of restrooms, and other facilities at recreation sites.

Winter Recreation

The final grant proposal is for the ongoing Over-Snow-Vehicle-Education Project. Funds requested by the district will support the work of seasonal employees who provide assistance to Forest visitors that are snowmobiling on the Forest, or taking advantage of other winter recreation opportunities. These employees provide safety information to the public, as well as assist in maintaining winter travel routes and associated signage.

Brian Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Payette National Forest
p: 208-634-0784
c: 208-634-6945
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Middle Fork Weiser River Landscape Restoration Project Final Record of Decision

Dear Interested Party,

The Middle Fork Weiser River Landscape Restoration Project Final Record of Decision has been signed by Payette National Forest, Forest Supervisor, Keith Lannom on December 5th, 2017. Implementation may begin immediately pursuant to 36 CFR 218.12.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Record of Decision were made available on May 19th, 2017. Three objections were received during the 45-day predecisional objection period. Idaho Conservation League, American Forest Resource Council, and WildEarth Guardians all submitted their respective objections by the July 3, 2017 deadline. An objection resolution meeting was held with all objectors on August 7, 2017. As a result of the resolution meeting, the Forest provided clarification to the road analysis as requested by WildEarth Guardians. This clarification is included in the Final Record of Decision as Attachment 3 – Roads Analysis Clarification for WildEarth Guardians. No changes were made to the Selected Alternative through the objection resolution process. The Final Environmental Impact Statement, Record of Decision, objection letters, objection withdrawal letters, Biological Assessment, Letter of Concurrence from US Fish and Wildlife Service, and all other pertinent project documents are posted on the Project webpage.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=41687.

The Middle Fork Weiser River project area encompasses approximately 50,000 acres on the Council Ranger District of the Payette National Forest. Restoration activities include timber harvest, biomass harvest, road reconstruction, road realignment, temporary road construction, road decommissioning, culvert removal, thinning of sub-merchantable trees, prescribed fire, and other actions. The Project also proposes managing recreation use in the project area, with an emphasis on improving developed and dispersed recreation areas, improving and realigning existing trails, and developing new trail opportunities. Hard copies or CDs of the FEIS and Final ROD and additional information regarding this project can be obtained from: Mark Fox (project lead), 2092 Highway 95, Council, Idaho, 83612, (208)253-0164, mrfox @ fs.fed.us.
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Middle Fork Weiser River Landscape Restoration Project Record of Decision Signed

PNF 12/8/2017

McCall, ID – The Middle Fork Weiser River Landscape Restoration Project final Record of Decision has been signed, and implementation can begin.

The project area encompasses nearly 50,000 acres on the Council Ranger District. This is the third project of as many as eight the Payette National Forest is and will be conducting under our Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP), with the assistance of the Payette Forest Coalition.

Forest restoration activities for this project include timber and biomass harvest to reduce fuel loading; road reconstruction, realignment, and decommissioning; culvert removal to enhance riparian areas; and thinning of sub-merchantable trees and the use of prescribed fire to restore healthy conditions and help protect communities from wildfires.

The project also has an emphasis on improving developed and dispersed recreation areas, improving and realigning existing trails, and developing new trail opportunities.

The Payette National Forest is actively conducting large scale forest restoration projects that are restoring our Ponderosa pine forests to healthy structure and function. We are improving wildlife habitat, restoring fish connectivity, reducing road sediment, improving floodplain function, restoring upland and riparian vegetation, promoting large tree growth, reducing wildfire risks to local communities, encouraging the use of woody biomass and providing local economic benefits. A fourth project (Huckleberry Landscape Restoration Project, 67,000 acres) is under analysis now, and a fifth project is in initial planning stages.

“We look forward to adding to the accomplishments that we have already achieved in returning our forests to a healthy condition that can thrive into the future,” said Keith Lannom, Payette National Forest Supervisor. “These restoration and collaborative projects are truly producing significant results on the ground and with our local economies.”

Other CFLRP Projects on the Payette National Forest:

* Mill Creek-Council Mountain Landscape Restoration Project, 50,000 acres – in the final phases of implementation.

* Lost Creek-Boulder Creek Landscape Restoration Project, 80,000 acres – under implementation now.

* Huckleberry Landscape Restoration Project, 67,000 acres. Decision expected in the spring of 2019.

For a summary of our CFLRP projects, please watch is video: https://youtu.be/cowXrwSpQwY

Brian Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Payette National Forest
p: 208-634-0784
c: 208-634-6945
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BLM seeks comments on grazing permit renewals near Grand View

Date: December 4, 2017
Contact: Michael Williamson mwilliamson@blm.gov 208-384-3393

Boise, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments on the renewal of thirteen grazing permits in the Battle Creek, East Castle Creek, and Owens grazing allotments. The project seeks to maintain or improve land health and address resource impacts through the renewal of grazing permits and potential development of the Purjue Canyon area to promote education and recreation on lands south of Grand View.

This scoping period allows the public, organizations and other interested parties to identify potential issues which the BLM may opt to include in the environmental analysis. Comments are most helpful if they provide specific actions, resources, or issues to be considered and analyzed. The BLM will accept comments throughout the scoping period (Dec. 4 to Jan. 16, 2018).

“The purpose of this landscape level project is to implement the Secretary of the Interior’s priority of shared conservation stewardship that improves land health while supporting local economies through agriculture and recreational activities,” said BLM Bruneau Field Manager Tanya Thrift. “Our intent in reaching out to the public and our partners during this scoping period is to give everyone a chance to provide issues they feel should be included in the analysis.”

As part of the scoping period, the BLM will host a public meeting on Dec. 18 from 4-7 p.m. at the Boise District Office, 3948 Development Avenue, Boise, Idaho 83705. Resource specialists will be on hand to talk about the process and answer questions.

Maps and information about the renewal process are available at: https://go.usa.gov/xn8X2

Comments can be submitted by any one of the following:

* Email: blm_id_bd_beco@blm.gov
* Fax: 208-384-3205
* Mail: BLM Boise District Office, 3948 S. Development Ave., Boise, ID 83705; Attention: Kavi Koleini.

Please note that before including their personal identifying information (address, email, phone number), commenters should be aware that their entire comment – including their personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While those commenting can ask in their comments to withhold this information from public review, the BLM cannot guarantee that they will be able to do so.

For more information, contact Kavi Koleini at (208) 384-3337 or kkoleini@blm.gov
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Letter to Share:

Game bird last couple weeks report

12/5/2017

Things have been going pretty great over at the youth access hunting area. We did not put out any pheasants over Thanksgiving weekend. Talked to Sonny and they were real shorthanded and talked to Jim Hagedorn and the Game Bird Foundation and we were shorthanded so we took a look and I could see quit a few birds so decided to hold off a week. We dropped 25 birds last Friday evening about 3:00 the First of December. Lots of activity Friday evening as we were enjoying the release with the young folks from the U of I Wildlife Society. Shortly after we released there was two rigs showed up. One a mom and son, the other had 4 men and a women. All Decked out in orange vest. 6 kids came out of the canopy on the pickup, all decked out in orange caps and vests. The whole works had 2 youth shotguns. Mom handled the dog, the 4 guys were mentoring and helping the kids, no guns. With all the shooting the kids got they got one bird. No worry they were back Saturday . 2 boys their dads and the dog. The dads mentored the kids and handled the dog. They got one bird. What proud kids and what proud dads. I wish daylight was longer in the evening so the kids could get out for a hunt after school.

Lots of road hunting from folks with no kids in the rig. I see them on week day mornings when the kids are in school. Don’t know what I can do except to get a load of buckshot so I keep my mouth shut. Folks have been real good about walking in and staying away from the livestock. What a great fall. I have 2 elk tags and 2 deer tags and I haven’t even got the rifle out. I have had one of my best hunting seasons ever this fall watching young people and their folks.

Jim,

As of last night, we have had 26 birds reported as harvested. A few people have called in the band without submitting harvest reports, and we have had 2 birds harvested off the area and called in. 11 different hunters have harvested birds. Multiple hunters have been repeat visitors. Exciting stuff

Nicole Alonso
Farm Bill Coordinator – Region 2
Idaho Department of Fish and Game
(208) 750-4226

God Bless and have a Merry Christmas.

Jim Hagedorn “Whiskers”
The Game Bird Foundation
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Critter News:

Pet Talk – Be careful of antifreeze with your pets

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt Dec 8, 2017 – IME

Antifreeze products contain ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, methanol or a combination of those products. Most automotive antifreeze liquids contain ethylene glycol and pose the greatest risk to pets. Relatively safe antifreeze products contain propylene glycol. Those products are considered GRAS (generally recognized as safe). Propylene glycol is also commonly used in toothpaste and cosmetics. Methanol is present in many windshield washer fluids.

All those compounds can depress the brain and cause “drunken” behavior. Of the three compounds, ethylene glycol is the most serious. It has a sweet taste that is attractive to dogs and cats. When ethylene glycol is ingested, it forms oxalate crystals in the kidneys that cause acute kidney failure and subsequent death without immediate treatment.

Clinical signs can occur within one hour after ingestion. Animals appear drunk and uncoordinated. Anywhere from 12 to 36 hours after ingestion, kidney failure develops with decreased urine production. The kidney damage is often irreversible and fatal. Diagnosis is based on a history of exposure to antifreeze and the clinical signs. Because many ethylene glycol formulations contain a fluorescent dye, the muzzle, paws, urine and vomitus may fluoresce or glow under an ultraviolet light! There are special test kits that can measure ethylene glycol in the blood. A few days later, blood and urine tests can show the typical oxalate crystals in the urine and kidney failure in the blood.

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‘Santa Claws’ helps Idaho spay-and-neuter cause

KTVB December 09, 2017


(Photo: KTVB)

Boise, ID – The annual ‘Santa Claws’ event helps put pet owners in the Christmas spirit, and helps raise money for a group that aims to reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs in Idaho.

Spay and Neuter Idaho Pets, or SNIP, is teaming up with Bark ‘n’ Purr in Vista Village for SNIP Santa Claws on Saturday and Sunday, December 9 and 10.

You can bring your pet to the store between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and take a picture with Santa. The photo costs $20, and the proceeds go to SNIP.

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Idaho fighting order to destroy wilderness wolf, elk data

By Keith Ridler – 12/6/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Idaho officials are challenging a federal court order to destroy information collected from tracking collars placed on elk and wolves obtained illegally by landing a helicopter in a central Idaho wilderness area.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore on Tuesday requested a stay of the judgment in U.S. District Court in Idaho pending the agency’s appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled in January the U.S. Forest Service broke environmental laws nearly two years ago by authorizing Idaho Fish and Game to put collars on about 60 elk by landing helicopters in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, where engines are prohibited.

Idaho also collared four wolves in an action the Forest Service didn’t authorize. Fish and Game blamed miscommunication with a helicopter crew.

Winmill wrote that it was such an extreme case “the only remedy that will directly address the ongoing harm is an order requiring destruction of the data.”

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Wolves in E. Washington do not appear to hurt deer, elk

by Nicholas K. Geranios, Associated Press Friday, December 8th 2017

Spokane, Wash. (AP) — The growing population of wolves in eastern Washington state does not appear to be hurting the populations of deer, elk and other ungulates.

A report issued this week by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife looked at ungulate populations between fiscal 2015 and 2017.

The report concluded that none of the ungulate populations in the assessment appeared to show clear signs of being limited by predation from wolves.

Ungulates include elk, moose, deer and bighorn sheep.

Gray wolves were hunted to extinction in Washington early in the past century. But the animals started migrating into the state in the early 2000s from Idaho and Canada. The first wolf pack was documented by DFW in 2008.

source:
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2018 plan for Mexican wolves calls for fostering of pups

By Susan Montoya Bryan – 12/5/17 AP

Albuquerque, N.M. — Federal wildlife officials have a plan for fostering as many as a dozen captive Mexican gray wolf pups with packs in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico in 2018.

The goal of the proposal unveiled this week by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is to boost genetic diversity among the endangered species over the next year.

Aside from fostering, managers want to remove a female wolf from a pack in Arizona to prevent it from mating with a sibling.

During a temporary stint in captivity, the wolf either would be artificially inseminated or allowed to mate with another captive wolf before being released back into the wild.

Environmentalists are calling for the release of more captive wolves.

The public has until Dec. 26 to comment on the proposal.

source:
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Suburban NY police: Watch out for the ‘coywolf’

Coyote hybrid spotted wandering around suburb

Local News 8 – Dec 06, 2017


The coywolf is larger than most coyotes (pictured). They have different colorings, with more gray in their coats.

Police are warning residents about an usually large coyote-wolf hybrid that’s been spotted around a New York City suburb.

The animal was an eerie sight in the fog near Rockland County condos, WCBS reported.

“It looks larger than your average coyote,” Nyack resident Sean McCormack told WCBS. “Very scary, yeah, very scary.”

“It’s a coywolf — basically, it’s a mixture of a coyote and a wolf,” Clarkstown police Officer Peter Walker told WCBS.

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Wolf Education International

Newsletter Dec 9, 2017

Coywolf — Coyote-Wolf Hybrid — Spotted Roaming In Rockland County

Are we crying wolf? A European tale of farmers vs. nature

Tapeworm could jump to humans with potentially deadly consequences, veterinarian warns
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US to review end of protections for Yellowstone grizzlies

By Matthew Brown – 12/6/17 AP

Billings, Mont. — U.S. officials said Wednesday they’ll review the recent lifting of protections for Yellowstone-area grizzly bears in light of a court ruling that retained protections for gray wolves in the Great Lakes.

About 700 bears in and around Yellowstone National Park lost their threatened species status on July 31, opening the door to future trophy hunts in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

Just a day later, a federal appeals court in Washington D.C. said in the wolf case that wildlife officials needed to give more consideration to how a species’ loss of historical habitat affects its recovery.

Like wolves, grizzly bears have seen a strong recovery over the past several decades in isolated regions of the U.S., but remain absent from the vast majority of their historical range.

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N. Idaho hunter shot by partner who mistook him for an elk

12/6/17 AP

Moscow, Idaho — Authorities say a 60-year-old northern Idaho man is recovering after being shot in the buttocks with a .50-caliber muzzleloader rifle by his hunting partner who mistook him for an elk.

The Latah County Sheriff’s Office tells the Moscow-Pullman Daily News that the Moscow man was shot Monday near Dreary by a 72-year-old Potlatch man.

Officials say the injured man was transported to a hospital and was in stable condition Tuesday.

Names haven’t been released.

source:
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Idaho officials delay possible increase in grazing fees

By Associated Press – 12/5/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — The state’s top elected officials have put off a possible increase in grazing fees on state lands due to potential litigation.

The Idaho Land Board on Tuesday voted 5-0 to delay a decision about grazing fees but didn’t set a timeline.

Secretary of State Lawerence Denney said after the meeting the board likely won’t take up grazing fees again until spring.

In public comments, ranchers mostly were against raising the rates.

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Man Saves Rabbit From Fire in California


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SW Idaho city authorizes police to shoot downtown crows

12/9/17 AP

Nampa, Idaho — Officials in Nampa in southwestern Idaho have authorized the city’s police force to use pellet guns to shoot crows in the downtown area through Sunday night.

Mayor Bob Henry approved the discharging of firearms in the downtown area that is otherwise prohibited.

Officials say the crows feed in fields during the day and return to the city in the evening where it’s warmer, partly because of the street lights.

Officials say the crows create a mess downtown that can cause a health hazard.

Nampa officials are also exploring using a bird repellent hazer that nearby Caldwell used when crows created a problem in that city several years ago.

source:
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The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
http://www.cbbulletin.com
December 8, 2017
Issue No. 854
Table of Contents

* Briefs Filed In Appeals Court To Expedite Challenge To Increased Spill For Juvenile Salmon, Steelhead
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439929.aspx

* Federal Agencies Outline NEPA/EIS Progress Evaluating Columbia/Snake River Uses, Improvements For Fish
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439928.aspx

* Study: As River Warms Through McNary-John Day Pools, Juvenile Salmon Change Food-Source To Non-Native Shad
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439926.aspx

* ESA-Listed Chum Salmon Spawning Below Bonneville, Weather Cooperating For River Operations Aiding Fish
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439925.aspx

* U.S. – Canada Columbia River Treaty Negotiations Expected To Begin In Early 2018
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439924.aspx

* Corps Seeking Public Input On Detroit Dam Fish Passage, Temperature Control Scoping Process
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439923.aspx

* River Managers Reset Annual Guidelines For Zero Nighttime/Weekend Flows At Lower Snake Dams
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439922.aspx

* Idaho Power To Provide More Information To Idaho, Oregon As Part Of Hells Canyon Complex Relicensing
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439921.aspx

* Canadian Science Committee Recommends Listing Fraser River Sockeye As ‘Species At Risk’
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439920.aspx

* Harvest Managers Approve Tribal Hook And Line, Setline Sturgeon Fishing In John Day Pool
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439919.aspx

* Study Takes A Look At Best Landing Nets To Reduce Harm In Catch-Release Fisheries
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439918.aspx

* NASA Looking For Citizen Scientists To Collect Pacific Northwest Snowpack Depth Measurements
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439917.aspx

* IDFG Boise River Survey Finds A Surprise: A Non-Native Freshwater Shrimp >From Mississippi River
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439916.aspx
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Fish & Game News:

F&G open house Tuesday to review hunting rules changes

The Star-News December 7, 2017

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will host an open house to discuss proposed changes to local hunts on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at the McCall Regional Office, 555 Deinhard Lane.

The meeting will feature information as well as allow for comments on the two proposed changes on the 2018-19 upland game, furbearer and turkey regulations.

Fish and Game is proposing a new fall turkey hunt in portions of Units 22, 31 and 32. The department is also seeking public comment on removing the fox trapping and hunting restrictions in Valley and Adams counties.

For more information on the proposals or to provide comments online, visit the Idaho Department of Fish and Game website at
https://idfg.idaho.gov/comment

source:
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Fish and Game to begin helicopter game surveys

The Star-News December 7, 2017

Hunters with late-season deer and elk tags might have some company this month as Idaho Department of Fish and Game survey helicopters will be taking to the air.

“Deer and elk surveys occur during winter, when animals are concentrated and are easier to see and count in open country,” said Regan Berkley, McCall regional wildlife manager for Fish and Game.

Information gathered during these surveys helps to determine male to female ratios as well as hunting season mortality and current calf and fawn survival, Berkley said.

“Biologists will be on the lookout for hunters, and will try to avoid disturbing active hunts,” she said.

source:
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Fish and Game issues advisory on McCall ‘town deer’

The Star-News December 7, 2017

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is warning residents to not feed the “town deer” in McCall and to watch out for them on the roads.

Fish and Game responds to dozens of reports of dead or injured deer each year in McCall and Cascade, with more than 30 reports in McCall alone last year, McCall Regional Wildlife Manager Regan Berkley said.

“These deer died of two primary causes: vehicle-related injuries or starvation because their digestive systems were unable to process the feed they were given,” Berkley said.

Deer do not naturally spend winters in McCall because they do not have access to natural forage,” she said.

“The only reason the town deer stay is because people feed them, year after year,” Berkley said “Feeding in town may actually harm more deer than it saves.”

Deer on the roads are another winter problem. “During winter, we get so much snow that the only places deer can really move around are on roads,” Berkley said. “If you observe a deer crossing the road, expect that more deer are coming right behind it.”

Fish and Game’s options for responding to injured deer are limited because adult deer are not candidates for successful rehabilitation, she said.

Badly injured deer will be euthanized, while those that appear to be able to survive their injuries will be released.

source:
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Fish and Game working a poaching case in the Magic Valley

by Brian Morrin Sunday, December 3rd 2017


(Fish and Game photo)

Rupert, Idaho (KBOI) — Idaho Fish and Game conservation officers served a search warrant early Friday morning at a home in Rupert.

The officers had probable cause to believe there was evidence tied to big game poaching.

These elk skulls were confiscated from the home.

IDFG says it’ll continue to work hard to protect wildlife from those who seek to steal it.

source:
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F&G News Releases

https://idfg.idaho.gov/press
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Fun Critter Stuff:

Squirrel blamed for vandalizing Christmas lights

by The Associated Press Monday, December 4th 2017


(Sea Girt Police Department)

Sea Girt, N.J. (AP) — It was a squirrel that nearly stole Christmas in a New Jersey town.

Sea Girt officials were puzzled when wires to the town’s Christmas tree and display were found torn last week. Workers repaired the damage so the tree could be lit on Friday.

Police kept watch over the display and on Saturday posted a photo on Facebook of the culprit — a squirrel.

Police said the squirrel was “charged with criminal mischief and released on bail.”

source:
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Possum breaks into Okaloosa liquor store, gets drunk

By Annie Blanks Dec 1, 2017 News Herald

Okaloosa Island — An opossum that snuck into a liquor store and apparently helped itself to a few drinks the day after Thanksgiving was brought in to the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge for treatment before it was released Thursday.

Michelle Pettis, a wildlife health technician at the refuge, said the juvenile female opossum was brought in by a Fort Walton Beach police officer Nov. 24. He said a Cash’s Liquor Store employee at the AJ’s on the Bayou location discovered the animal next to a broken and empty bottle of alcohol the morning after Thanksgiving.

“A worker there found the opossum up on a shelf next to a cracked open bottle of liquor with nothing in it,” Pettis said. “Assuming the opossum drank it all, he brought her to us, and we looked over her and she definitely wasn’t fully acting normal.”

Pettis said the opossum appeared disoriented, was excessively salivating and appeared to be pale. The staff quickly pumped the marsupial full of fluids and cared for her as she sobered up.

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Seasonal Humor:

MooseSleighTeam-a
This image from the cover of “Pioneer Life in Ely” by Lee Brownell
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Tips & Advice:

See how fast a Christmas tree goes up in flames

KTVB December 08, 2017


The Christmas tree fire spread quickly in this demonstration. (Photo: BFD)

The Boise Fire Department wants to remind you — with the beauty of a Christmas tree — comes a fire hazard.

Check out this video from the fire department. It shows you just how quickly a Christmas tree can burn!

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Fire Adapted Communities Video

A five minute video explaining how your community can become more resilient when faced with wildfire or other natural disasters.

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Dec 3, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

Dec 3, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Yellow Pine Christmas Bags

Santa’s Yellow Pine Elves, we will be doing Christmas Bags again!! Contact [Nicki] if you are interested in helping out!!
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Yellow Pine Tavern

Watch all of your favorite sports on our Big Screen TV at the Yellow Pine Tavern.

Featuring Football

Open 9am to 8pm (or later on game nights)

Christmas potluck will be at the Tavern. Look for further updates on the time and what the Tavern will be providing.
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The Corner

The Corner is closed for the season. Stop by if you need wood permits. We will reopen after we have the baby.
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Hunter’s Missing Rope

Looking for a 5/8th inch climbing rope that is white with a green stripe that was stretched across the river from the Yellow Pine Campground by the concrete bridge to the other side. of the river. It was removed while we were hunting on the far side. If you or someone know of it’s whereabouts, please leave it at the Yellow Pine Tavern for us. Thank You.
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Diamond (Kennedy) Fuel & Feed

208-382-4430

Did you know you can order pet food from Diamond Fuel & Feed and have it delivered via Arnolds? Give them a call.
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YPFD News:

There are YPFD T-shirts, as well as YPFD patches and stickers for sale at the Tavern now.

Training will resume in the spring.
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Winter Operations 2017-18 for YPFD and Ambulance (Medic-4)

– As always call 9-1-1 to report any Emergencies. Non-Emergency Dispatcher 208-382-5160

– As of December 7, 2017 Jeff and Ann will be out until Spring.

– Cecil Dahlman will be available throughout the winter and should be contacted if needed for FD needs.

– Those that have been trained or oriented to YPFD operations can continue to orientate and train with all the FD equipment and apparatus at their discretion.

– All initial 9-1-1 dispatches will come from Valley County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch center over the Yellow Pine (YLWPIN) frequency. The Yellow Pine Frequency (YLWPIN) is a repeater to and from Thunderbolt Tower (VALLTB). Dispatch does not have a “Yellow Pine Frequency”, due YLWPIN being only a repeater from the Thunderbolt tower so you don’t have to say you’re on the Yellow Pine frequency.

– Dispatch will say Yellow Pine Fire on Thunderbolt or Yellow Pine Medic-4 on Thunderbolt. Fire means they need someone to respond in the Fire Engine or Medic-4 for Ambulance on the Medical side.

– If you want to call Dispatch by landline or cell, please utilize the 9-1-1 landline or 208- 382-5160

– Medic-4 is the second call for assistance; Medic-1 or Medic-2 (Paramedic Ambulances) from Cascade will be the initial dispatch. If Medic-4 is not available or no one answers, please realize help is on the way. You can always confirm with Dispatch by calling 9-1-1 or 208-382-5160

– Someone hopefully acknowledge from Yellow Pine. For those that have been given radios, please carry them and turned on and be monitoring the Yellow Pine Frequency (YLWPIN) Please carry the County radios if you have them. If you need help from Cascade Fire for any reason please ask Dispatch to have them respond. You can always cancel them if they are not needed. Update Dispatch with pertinent information when available.

– If anyone needs a refresher on the radios or more explanation please see me.

– Due to Yellow Pine Radio/Repeater/Tower transmitting issues, Dispatch will also be monitoring the Meadow Creek (FG MDW) Tower as well. The receive side of YLWPIN is excellent. If you are unable to transmit on Yellow Pine (YLWPIN) or Thunderbolt (VALLTB) towers try Meadow Creek (FG MDW). The County is aware of our communications issues and will hopefully have a plan to fix it in the near future.

– All equipment and apparatus is running and filled with water and fuel. If fuel is needed please see Lorinne at the YP Tavern for Un-leaded and Matt at the Corner for Diesel. Both should be able to hold the invoices until we get back.

– The YPFD generator is working and will automatically turn on after a 10 second interruption of power. All FD station electrical outlets and apparatus doors, phones, etc. work during a power failure.

– YP Helispot, 44°57’ 36.92 “N” 115° 29’ 44.26 “W”

*** The Helispot is not officially opened due to pile debris, uneven terrain, stumps etc. and not having the endorsement of the flight services. The plan will be to have the Helispot fully operational by late spring 2018.

– Ambulance availability. Due to Ann and Jeff being out of town the ambulance transport component will be out-of-service. YP has one Emergency Medical Responder in town during the winter. If warranted, the ambulance can be used for a response to the incident. The only approved folks who can transport a patient in the ambulance are a State of Idaho licensed EMT or Paramedic, and hold National Certification, and an Employee of Cascade Fire/EMS. This is an Idaho State Health and Welfare regulation and Law by the State of Idaho. We will be in jeopardy of losing the ambulance from Yellow Pine if a patient is transported anywhere without an Idaho licensed EMT or Paramedic in the back of the ambulance with a patient.

– Once 9-1-1 is activated from YP, Cascade ambulance, (Medic-1 or 2) will immediately be dispatched and a radio call will go out to Medic-4 (YP ambulance) to see if there is an available licensed responder available to respond in the ambulance. If not, Medic-1 or 2 from Cascade Fire/EMS will be en-route regardless.

– If there are any questions, please feel free to contact me; 208-633-1010 or Yellowpinefire@yahoo.com

Thanks, Jeff Forster
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VYPA News:

Next meeting June 2018
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook
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Local Observations:

Monday (Nov 27) rain came down pretty good during the night, ovenright low of 33 degrees. Partly clear and breezy this morning. Heard a Steller’s Jay calling. Scattered sunshine and breezy mid-day, 10 degrees cooler than yesterday, high of 46 degrees. A few flakes of snow around 2pm and partly clear. Backhoe up on Yellow Pine Ave. cleaning the ditches between School St. and Pioneer St. Clearing before dark. Bright stars twinkling.

Tuesday (Nov 28) overnight low of 18 degrees, clear sky this morning, light frost. Some high wispy clouds came in before lunch time. Cloudy afternoon, high of 44 degrees. Fresh elk poop in the driveway. Gusty breezes after dark. Heavy snow fall after 1030pm.

Wednesday (Nov 29) overnight snow piled up 2.5″, the low was 19 degrees (must have cleared off early this morning.) Increasing clouds and warming enough for the trees to drop snow bombs before lunch time. Mail truck was about half hour late. Cloudy afternoon, high of 34 degrees. Fresh elk tracks in the snow on Pioneer street this afternoon. Clearing before dark and temps dropping. Quiet night, could hear someone split a round of wood blocks away.

Thursday (Nov 30) overnight low of 10 degrees, high thin clouds and weak sunshine this morning. Thicker overcast and no sun by early afternoon, didn’t get above freezing today, high around 29 degrees. Heard a pine squirrel sounding off this afternoon, they have been pretty quiet lately. Hazy fat moon around 830pm, then thicker clouds later on hiding the moon.

Friday (Dec 1) cloudy overnight and warmer this morning than all day yesterday. Above freezing by lunch time and melting snow dripping off roofs. Gusty breezes after lunch and more melting, high of 42 degrees. A few breaks in the clouds late afternoon, then overcast before dark. Quiet day, very little traffic. Thick clouds hiding the moon.

Saturday (Dec 2) skiff of snow fell before 6am, overnight low of 28 degrees, high thin clouds this morning. Saw a steller jay fly over the neighborhood and heard red-breasted nuthatches calling. Thicker darker clouds after lunch time and chilly breeze, high of 40 degrees. Light rain in the afternoon, changing to snow after dark.

Sunday (Dec 3) snowed all night, 3″ heavy wet snow on the ground this morning, low of 30 degrees, low clouds and overcast. Light snow falling all morning into the afternoon and evening, less than 1/2″ accumulation by dark, high just under 32 degrees. Thinner clouds before dark, still snowing lightly.
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Letter to Share:

Commissioner Cruickshank’s November Newsletter

Dec 1, 2017

From the Desk of Commissioner Cruickshank,

Wednesday November 1st
This morning I attended my National Association of Counties (NACo) Executive Board orientation to understand the roles of the position at the NACo offices in Washington D C. I then was able to attend a portion of media training for NACo Board members.

This afternoon I was able to attend a meeting at the White House South Auditorium concerning Rural Infrastructure. Secretary Perdue spoke to us on the importance of the infrastructure needs. I was able to request better forest management to happen and to assist in relaxing the hiring process for the Forest Service so they can approve hires at the local level. There was also a discussion on states limiting local government with budget caps which limits the ability to improve infrastructure in some cases.

Late afternoon I was able to attend the afternoon session of the NACo Finance Budget meeting.

Thursday November 2nd
This morning was a continued Finance meeting and a NACo Executive Board meeting where we worked on Strategic Priorities.

I flew home this afternoon.

Friday November 3rd
I stopped by the Idaho Association of Counties office this morning and visited with staff.

This afternoon I had a Deposition for a lawsuit from a prior board I was Chairman of several years ago.

Saturday November 4th
I created the October newsletter.

Sunday November 5th
I forwarded a request to have folks sign onto a letter to support the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program to congressional leadership. SRS provides funding to our county road maintenance and our schools to educate students.

Monday November 6th
Commissioner day today. Please go to Valley County Idaho Official Site our county website and click on the commissioner section. Once there the minutes can be found once they are approved and placed on the website. Please check out the new website design and layout and provide any feedback.
http://www.co.valley.id.us/

Tuesday November 7th
I sent out a reminder of the NACo West Region call I will be hosting on Thursday.

I reviewed and replied to multiple emails today and returned phone calls.

Wednesday November 8th
I attended the Ribbon Cutting for the Northwest Passage apartments in Donnelly. These apartments are an addition for Workforce Housing in our region.

Thursday November 9th
I held the West Region Call this morning.
Later this morning I participated in a Payette National Forest Cooperating Agency call on the Stibnite project.

Monday November 13th
Commissioner day. Please see the minutes once approved on the Valley County website.

Tuesday November 14th
I participated in a NACo Transportation Committee Conference call to discuss current issues with transportation infrastructure at the national level. Topics included fuel tax increases, bonding for improvements, drones and upcoming census for 2020.

I reviewed applications for filling a Judge position in the 4th District.

I signed a support letter for the City of Donnelly grant to update their Transportation Plan.

I discussed our Wild Fire grant program with our consultant and looked at potential extensions for the programs.

Wednesday November 15th
I participated in a NACo Resilient County Conference call. Topics included Disasters now becoming the norm, creating disaster toolkits, flooding, wildfire, new technology to provide information and topics for our next NACo Legislative Conference meeting in March.

Friday November 17th
I reviewed dates of the NACo Legislative Conference and the schedules. I worked on more reviews of Judge applications for the 4th District.

Monday November 20th
Commissioner day. Please see the minutes once approved on the Valley County website.
http://www.co.valley.id.us/

Wednesday November 22nd
I attended the Woody Bio Mass Utilization Partnership (WBUP) in Emmett. Today we decided to place the WBUP in a recess mode as we have come to a point where we need to determine our path forward if there is one.

Friday November 24th
I reviewed a document from my deposition for accuracy.

Monday November 27th
Commissioner day. Please see the Valley County Website for the minutes once approved.
http://www.co.valley.id.us/

Tuesday November 28th
I participated in Interviewing for the Valley County Building Official position that will become vacant as our current Official is retiring the end of December.

Wednesday November 29th
This morning I participated in a NACo Western Interstate Region Leadership call to discuss the upcoming meetings at the NACo Legislative Conference and work on agenda items for the Annual Conference which will be in Sun Valley, Idaho this coming May 2018.

This afternoon I and a fellow commissioner from Adams County met with Bryan who is the Community and Military Affairs representative with Zions Bank. Bryan just wanted to visit with us on where Zions Bank can be of assistance in the areas he is involved with.

Thursday November 30th
Today I participated on the Magistrate Commission proceedings to interview for the Ada County Judge to fill a position that is becoming vacant in the 4th District. Our interviews are held in the Fourth District Administrators office in the Ada County Courthouse.

Well that does it for another month of my duties.

Christmas will have come and gone as will the New Year so Happy Holidays to all and safe travels over the holidays.

Thanks for reading the news.

Gordon
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Idaho News:

Valley County to hear code change Monday to allow ‘tiny houses’ to be built

By Phil Janquart for The Star-News November 30, 2017

Valley County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Monday on an ordinance allowing so-called tiny houses as one solution to the need for affordable housing.

Tiny houses are defined as being 400 or less square feet in floor area, excluding lofts.

The public hearing is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. Monday at the Valley County Courthouse in Cascade.

The proposed rules would loosen standards for exits, access, ceiling height and headroom that are now required for larger homes, she said.

A state law allowing tiny houses is expected to be approved by the 2018 Idaho Legislature, Valley County Building Official Anne Guarino said.

Local jurisdictions are being given the option to adopt the provision early to speed up implementation, Guarino said.

Affordable housing was a motivation in proposing the state law and county ordinance, she said

continued:
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Warning issued over jury duty telephone scam

Caller demands ‘fine’ for missing service date

By Max Silverson for The Star-News November 30, 2017

Dianna Annen of McCall recently got a call late in the evening where the caller told her that her husband had failed to show up for jury duty.

He would be arrested if she didn’t pay the sheriff’s office $1,500 in prepaid Albertsons debit cards, the caller said.

The call was a scam.

It’s not the first time somebody had unsuccessfully tried to scam Annen, 74, over the phone. She told the caller she was going to call the police before doing anything.

More than 200 people in Valley County have received similar calls over the past few weeks, Lt. Jason Speer of the Valley County Sheriff’s Office said.

continued:
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Vehicle hits power pole on Hwy 55

KTVB December 01, 2017


(Photo: Nick Gibler)

Boise County — Highway 55 was closed in both directions for an extended period of time after a vehicle hit a power pole Friday afternoon.

Boise County dispatch says the pole had fallen over both lanes of traffic at milepost 76, about 10 miles north of Horseshoe Bend.

Idaho Power is reporting 2,890 customers are without power in the Garden Valley & Lowman areas. Crews are on scene but no word on when power will be restored.

As of 6 p.m., both lanes had reopened.

No word on any injuries.

source:
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It’s all about your elevation: Idaho snow levels, explained (and a cheat sheet)

by Deni Hawkins Friday, December 1st 2017


Deni Hawkins

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — You’ve probably heard Roland Steadham, Nate Larsen or me mention snow levels when talking we’re talking about upcoming storm systems in reference to which areas will see snow, and which areas will see rain.

But what does that number (usually spoken about in terms of thousands of feet of elevation) really mean to you? I’ve found this is one of the tougher concepts to explain on air, because it can be confusing if you’re not familiar with elevations of specific mountainous areas, or even the town you live in.

continued:
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New land-use rules clear path for Bruce Willis’ airport

12/1/17 AP

Ketchum, Idaho — Central Idaho officials have changed land-use rules, clearing the way for actor Bruce Willis to finishing building a private airport.

Camas County commissioners unanimously approved an amendment to the county zoning ordinance making private airports of unrestricted size and operation on AG-80-zoned agricultural land legal, the Idaho Mountain Express reported .

Under the amendment, private airports registered with the Federal Aviation Administration are automatically allowed without any county permits.

It immediately took effect after it was passed Monday.

The move came after Willis’ attorney had threatened to take legal action.

continued:
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Mining News:

Forest Service plans public meetings on Idaho open-pit mine

11/29/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — The U.S. Forest Service is holding public meetings on a proposed open-pit molybdenum mine a Canadian company wants to build in the Boise National Forest in central Idaho.

The agency on Tuesday announced meetings on Dec. 5 in Boise, Dec. 6 in Idaho City and Dec. 7 in Garden Valley.

The agency is accepting comments as it prepares a supplemental environmental assessment for the mine planned by Vancouver, British Columbia-based American CuMo Mining Corp.

A federal court ruling last year ordered the Forest Service to re-evaluate the potential harm an open-pit mine could cause to Sacajawea’s bitterroot.

About 80 percent of the known population of the plant is in the Boise National Forest where the mining company says the largest unmined deposit of molybdenum in the world is also located.

source:
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Forest Service begins public scoping for 2018 CuMo Exploration Project Supplemental EA

Boise, Idaho, — November, 28, 2017 — The Boise National Forest is hosting three public scoping meetings for the preparation of 2018 CuMo Exploration Project Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA). The meetings are an opportunity to visit with Forest resource specialists, learn more about the SEA and provide comments.

The open house style meetings are scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the following locations.

* Dec. 5, 2017 – Best Western Vista Inn at the Airport, 2645 Airport Way, Boise, Idaho
* Dec. 6, 2017 – Ray Robinson Community Hall, 206 W. Commercial St., Idaho City, Idaho
* Dec. 7, 2017 – Crouch Community Hall, 1022 Old Crouch Road, Garden Valley, Idaho

The SEA will focus on the re-evaluation of the Sacajawea bitterroot’s baseline, as well as other resources addressed in the 2015 SEA that were affected by the 2016 Pioneer Fire to determine whether decisions and conclusions reached in the 2015 SEA and Decision Notice/Finding Of No Significant Impact are different or remain the same.

This SEA will only focus on these resource issues because the Court determined that other issues addressed in the 2012 and 2015 lawsuits were properly addressed and there is no significant new information or changes circumstances related to these resources. For more information about this Project visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52875 .

The 2011 DN/FONSI and supporting EA, the 2015 Supplemental DN/FONSI and Supplemental EA, and the complete Aug. 29, 2012, and July 10, 2016, US District Court for the District of Idaho Memorandum Decisions and Orders, for the CuMo Exploration Project are available under the “Supporting tab” on the 2018 CuMo Exploration webpage: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52875
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USDA Forest Service 2018 CuMo Exploration Project Scoping Letter is now Available

On February 11, 2011 Forest Supervisor Seesholtz signed a Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact (DN/FONSI) approving the plan of operations for the CuMo Exploratory Project. A lawsuit was filed on July 27, 2011 challenging this decision. On August 29, 2012 the US District Court for the District of Idaho issued its Memorandum Decision and Order. The Court ordered “that the Defendant Forest Service’s decisions regarding groundwater made in the Environmental Assessment [be] vacated and the matter … remanded to the Forest Service for further proceedings consistent with this opinion …” See Idaho Conservation League, et al., v. United States Forest Service, Case No. 1:11-cv-00341-EJL, 2012 WL 3758161 (D. Idaho, Aug. 29, 2012).

To address the analysis deficiencies identified by the Court, the Forest Service moved forward with the preparation of a supplemental EA to undertake further analysis concerning potential effects of the exploratory project to groundwater and groundwater hydrology.

In addition to updating the groundwater analysis, the Forest Service also updated other aspects of the analysis to address new information or changed circumstances that included analysis of potential effects to Sacajawea’s bitterroot. The status for this plant species changed from a Forest Watch species in 2011 to a R4 sensitive species at the time of release of the SEA for notice and comment in August 2013 and the status was subsequently updated following release of the SEA in 2013 to reflect the 2014 change in the NatureServe ranking of this plant from GNR/S2 (i.e. no global ranking) to G2/S1 (i.e. global ranking as imperiled). In addition, the Grimes Fire and fire control lines in the project area in 2014 had potentially affected the plant. In light of the new ranking of this species, additional information resulting from baseline studies completed in 2011 following issuance of the February 2011 decision, and the potential effects from the fire, as well as the importance of minimizing impacts to pollinator habitat, project mitigation, monitoring and effects disclosures were updated in the SEA.

The supplemental DN/FONSI (SDN/FONSI) addressing the 2011 Court order and other changes summarized above was signed on September 30, 2015. Plaintiffs from the 2011 lawsuit again filed a lawsuit, this time challenging the 2015 supplemental decision in January 2016. The lawsuit challenged the analysis of potential effects of exploration activities to groundwater and Sacajawea’s Bitterroot. The Court issued the memorandum decision and order in this lawsuit on July 11, 2016. The Court’s decision on these two points were as follows:

* Groundwater: The Court upheld the Forest Service’s SDN/FONSI as to the challenges relating to groundwater, and thus denied Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment and granted Defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgement as to the NEPA claims relating to groundwater.
* Sacajawea’s Bitterroot: The Court found that the Forest Service’s analysis and conclusions concerning Sacajawea’s bitterroot to be arbitrary and capricious because it failed to re-examine the baseline LESA population in the Project area following the 2014 Grimes Fire, stating “Instead of compiling and analyzing the updated data it acknowledges is needed to accurately evaluate the Project’s impact on LESA, the Forest Service proposes undertaking the data collection and evaluation as part of the Project itself. This approach improperly postpones the analysis required by NEPA until the Project has already been approved and started.”

… “The Court has afforded the Forest Service substantial deference in reaching this decision. See River Runners, 593 F.3d at 1070. The ruling stated herein does not second guess the Forest Service’s conclusions but, instead, finds error in the Forest Service’s analysis which failed to take a “hard look” at the Project’s impacts on the environment with regard to a known rare and at risk plant. For the reasons stated herein, the Court will vacate the Forest Service’s findings of no significant impact as to LESA. The Forest Service is directed to undertake the proposed re-evaluation of LESA’s baseline forthwith and analyze the results for purposes of determining whether its decisions and conclusions with regard to LESA as stated in the SEA and SDN/FONSI are different or remain the same. The Forest Service may then file an amendment or addendum to the SEA and SDN/FONSI discussing their analysis, reasoning, and decision on that issue.”

Baseline LESA surveys were completed in 2016. However, following completion of the 2016 baseline surveys, the 2016 Pioneer Fire burned additional areas within the PCA. On July 18, 2016, the Pioneer Fire began when hot temperatures, strong winds, and dry conditions, exacerbated by a lack of late-summer monsoonal moisture, fueled the fire’s growth to more than 64,000 acres by August 9, 2016, and 190,000 acres by September 15, 2016. The fire affected 27 drainages within the Idaho City, Lowman, and Emmett Ranger Districts on the Boise National Forest (Forest). The Pioneer Fire burned with varying intensity and left a mosaic of burn patterns on the landscape, ranging from unburned islands to areas where tree crowns were completely consumed.

The 2016 Pioneer Fire burned approximately 1,578 acres (55 percent) of the Project area, primarily in the eastern half of the Project area (Please refer to the CuMo Project: Plant Conservation Area and Fire History Map on the project webpage.). The fire burn severity was variable throughout the Project area, and included areas that were not burned at all or were burned with low, moderate, or high severity. The highest acreage of burn in the Project area was low to moderate severity (49 percent of the Project area); mapping shows that only 2 percent of the Project area was burned with high severity during the Pioneer Fire however field observation and verification indicates that there is less than 2 percent high severity burn in the project area.

As occurred in response to the 2014 Grimes wildfire (Please refer to the CuMo Project: Plant Conservation Area and Fire History Map on the project webpage.), each resource area addressed in the 2015 CuMo Exploratory Project SEA was affected differently. Similar to the updates made in response to the 2014 Grimes fire, updates will be made to address the change in baseline conditions caused by the 2016 Pioneer fire and, as appropriate, updates to the direct, indirect and/or cumulative effects will be made.

The Forest is moving forward with the preparation of a second supplemental EA to address the 2016 Court order requiring the re-evaluation of the LESA’s baseline to determine whether decisions and conclusions with regard to LESA documented in the 2015 SEA and DN/FONSI are different or remain the same in light of the effects resulting from the 2014 Grimes Fire, as well as the 2016 Pioneer Fire (Please refer to the CuMo Project: Plant Conservation Area and Fire History Map on the project webpage.). In addition, the supplement will address changed conditions resulting from the 2016 Pioneer Fire for all resources identified as affected in the 2017 Supplemental Information Report (SIR) completed for this project (https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52875). Based on preliminary conclusions in the 2017 SIR, Alternative B is not expected to change. A full description of Alternative B, including mitigations (Attachment A), monitoring (Attachment A), checklist process (Attachment A), and additional project description details (Attachment B) are available in the 2015 supplemental DN/FONSI available on the Project website.

It is important to note that the supplemental EA will focus on the re-evaluation of the LESA’s baseline, as well as other resources addressed in the 2015 SEA that were affected by the 2016 Pioneer Fire (refer to 2017 SIR), to determine whether decisions and conclusions reached in the 2015 SEA and DN/FONSI are different or remain the same.

This supplement will focus on these only these resource issues because the Court determined that other issues addressed in the 2012 and 2015 lawsuits were properly addressed, the evidence and analysis in the SEA and supporting project record supported the determination that no significant impacts would occur to other resources from proposed management activities, and there is no significant new information or changes circumstances related to these resources. Specifically, the 2012 and 2016 Court Orders concluded that:

* The EA has given appropriate consideration to the great gray owl and taken the requisite “hard look” at the impacts the CuMo Project may have on the species in making its determination that no significant impact would be had to the species and, therefore, no EIS is needed. Accordingly, the Court finds the Forest Service has satisfied it obligations under NEPA in this respect. (2012 Memorandum Decision and Order, pg 23.)
* The Forest Service’s conclusion finding no significant impact on the species [Northern Goshawk] is not arbitrary and capricious as it is based on the hard look given to appropriate study and data concerning the northern goshawk. (2012 Memorandum Decision and Order, pg 25.)
* The EA … concludes the Project alternative “may impact individual wolverines but are not likely to contribute to a trend towards federal listing or cause a loss of viability to the population or species …” … The Court finds this conclusion is well reasoned and explained and not arbitrary and capricious. (2012 Memorandum Decision and Order, pg 27.)
* The Court concludes that the CuMo Project is consistent with the Forest Plan and, in particular, with [Forest Plan standards] MIST08 and MIST09. The Forest Service properly evaluated the Forest Plan as required by NFMA and set forth a plan for approving any encroachments into a RCA [riparian conservation area] that is unavoidable and the monitoring and mitigation efforts to be used in such a case. (2012 Memorandum Decision and Order, pg 44.)
* The Court finds the Forest Service’s conclusions regarding groundwater are not arbitrary or capricious as they are supported by material throughout the SEA and in the administrative record. The record evidences that the Forest Service took a hard look at the Project’s impacts on groundwater in reaching its finding of no significant impact. (2016 Memorandum Decision and Order, pg 33.)
* Plaintiffs fault the Forest Service for not identifying, inventorying, and mapping the surface water features that have been found to be connected to the groundwater in the Project area. (Dkt. 30 at 22.) … Having considered the entire record, the Court finds the Forest Service appropriately considered this issue in reaching its conclusion that mapping would not be useful in the case given the particular makeup of the Project Area. (2016 Memorandum Decision and Order, pgs 33-34.)
* The Court also finds the Forest Service properly addressed DEQ’s concerns about unlined waste pits. (2016 Memorandum Decision and Order, pg 35.)
* Based on the foregoing, the Court finds the Forest Service’s analysis and conclusions concerning groundwater satisfy NEPA. The Forest Service complied with the Court’s prior Order and addressed the concerns stated therein with regard to groundwater. Therefore, the Court upholds the Forest Service’s SDN/FONSI as the NEPA challenges relating to groundwater. (2016 Memorandum Decision and Order, pgs 36-37.)

We are requesting your comments on the proposed updates to the analysis proposed to address the specific concerns identified in the July 10, 2017 Court Order described above, and subsequent changed conditions resulting from the 2016 Pioneer Fire described in the 2017 SIR. To be most useful in the analysis, please submit your comments by January 8, 2018. Written, facsimile, hand-delivered, verbal, and electronic comments concerning this project will be accepted.

Please send written comments to Melissa Yenko, Forest Environmental Coordinator, Boise National Forest; 1249 South Vinnell Way, Suite 200; Boise, Idaho 83709; or by fax at 208-373-4111; or you may hand-deliver your comments to the Boise Forest Supervisor’s Office, located at 1249 South Vinnell Way, Suite 200, Boise, during normal business hours from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays.

Comments may also be submitted through the 2018 CuMo Exploration Project webpage at https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=52875.

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 comments-intermtn-boise@fs.fed.us. Please put “2018 CuMo Exploration 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.

Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection in the “Public Comment Reading Room” (https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//ReadingRoom?Project=52875). Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this project and will be released in their entirety, if requested, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. Only those who submit comments or notify the Forest that they would like to remain on the mailing list for this project through one of the comment options provided above or subscribe to receive email updates 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.

To stay connected to this Project electronically, the Forest Service has transitioned to a web-based electronic public notification system that allows all interested parties to receive project material (scoping documents, updates, draft and final NEPA documents, and decisions) by e-mail. This 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 2018 CuMo Exploration Project webpage: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52875. On the project webpage, 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. 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 specifically request hard copies.

Three open-house style public meetings will held to discuss the 2018 CuMo Exploration Project Supplemental EA scoping effort. The meetings will allow the Forest Service to summarize the approach to the Supplemental EA, as well as provide an opportunity for the public to ask questions, offer opinions, and provide written comment, if desired. The public meetings will occur from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the following locations:

* December 5, 2017 – Best Western Vista Inn at the Airport, 2645 Airport Way, Boise, Idaho
* December 6, 2017 – Ray Robinson Community Hall, 206 W. Commercial St., Idaho City, Idaho
* December 7, 2017 – Crouch Community Hall, 1022 Old Crouch Road, Garden Valley, Idaho

The 2011 DN/FONSI and supporting EA, the 2015 supplemental DN/FONSI and Supplemental EA, and the complete August 29, 2012 and July 10, 2016 US District Court for the District Of Idaho Memorandum Decisions and Orders, for the CuMo Exploration Project are available under the “Supporting Tab” on the 2018 CuMo Exploration Project webpage: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52875.

Thank you for your continued interest in this project. For additional information or hard copies of any of the documents on the website referenced above, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,
Melissa Yenko
Forest Environmental Coordinator
Boise National Forest
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Canadian company announces plan to open mine, refinery in east Idaho

East Idaho News October 16th, 2017

Blackfoot, [ID] — Vancouver, British Columbia based eCobalt has announced plans to develop a cobalt mining operation in Salmon and hydrometallurgical refinery on a railhead in neighboring Blackfoot. The Salmon mine is the only environmentally permitted primary cobalt project in the United States.

With pre-construction activities already underway, the vertically integrated Idaho Cobalt Project is designed to produce cobalt for the rechargeable batteries market. The total capital and reclamation cost is estimated at $288.1 million.

“We are thrilled to announce eCobalt’s massive investment in our community that could create 60-90 full-time, well-paying jobs,” said Blackfoot Mayor Paul Loomis. “The Idaho Cobalt Project is projected to support mining and refining capabilities through 2029. We’re excited to welcome eCobalt to Blackfoot and support their Idaho Community Block Grant application requesting funds to build a new railroad spur here, vital to improving their mine to refinery transport capabilities,” he said.

Refinery jobs will pay in the $60,000-$70,000 range. Approximately 125 jobs will be created at the Salmon mine.

continued:
[h/t Midas]
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Idaho asks federal agency to regulate oil injection wells

By Keith Ridler – 11/28/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Idaho wants the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to take over regulating underground injection wells needed by the state’s oil and natural gas industry to economically dispose of wastewater.

The federal agency in a notice Monday said it will take public comments through Jan. 11 on the plan to transfer a portion of the state’s Underground Injection Control program.

The Idaho Department of Water Resources in August requested the change after failed attempts by the state to get approval from the EPA to regulate what are called class II injection wells.

“The lack of class II injection well permits is the single biggest hindrance to developing this industry in Idaho,” said John Foster, spokesman for Texas-based oil company Alta Mesa.

continued:
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Public Lands:

Pioneer Fire closure area significantly reduced, in time for winter activities

Boise National Forest News Release 11/30/2017

Boise, Idaho, November 30, 2017 — Progress on the Pioneer Fire recovery effort has prompted Forest officials to reopen an area within the 2016 burn, in time for winter recreation. The old closure spanned about 49,000 acres. The Pioneer Winter Timber Salvage Operations closure includes roads and trails within the remaining 3,000 acres as salvage logging continues.

Rock Creek Road and other routes in the 594 road system west and southwest of Lowman, Idaho, remain closed to motorized vehicles. Routes that remain closed include: National Forest System (NFS) roads 594, 594E, 594D, 594D1, 594D2 and 594DA.

Both closures are in place for public safety from hazards associated with salvage logging. Visitors may encounter heavy equipment and logging trucks on NFS roads.

“We’re pleased to be able to reopen more of the Pioneer Fire area,” said Brant Petersen, Idaho City District Ranger. “We have made enough headway on hazardous recovery work to warrant reducing the closure order and reopening public access to popular recreation opportunities this winter.” To learn more about Pioneer Fire implementation efforts and winter recreation opportunities watch this video:

The Idaho State Highway 21 corridor is heavily used by all types of recreationists. Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR), who operate a back country yurt program, will be able to open three of the six Idaho City Backcountry Yurts (Rocky Ridge, Stargaze and Skyline Yurts). For more information:
https://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/activities/yurts

Visitors will be able to park in four IDPR Park N’ Ski areas and have access about 16 miles of non-motorized trails. As more work is completed, additional winter routes will be groomed for snowmobile access. Overall, winter recreationists will experience more open areas and spectacular views. For additional park and ski information visit:
https://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/activities/nordic

Be aware that as in any post fire area the landscape is different. There is a higher degree of hazards that may last over many years. Dead trees will continue to fall and washouts and debris flows may occur after heavy rains.

Visitors should also be prepared for the backcountry and the winter weather conditions. Tell someone where you are going, carry extra food, water and warm clothing. Carry appropriate safety equipment for the outing such as, avalanche equipment, beacons, transceivers and a shovel. To view all forest closures visit:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/boise/alerts-notices
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BLM protects road surface with annual winter closure of Eighth Street

Date: November 27, 2017
Contact: Michael Williamson, (208) 384-3393

Boise, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management would like to remind the public of the annual seasonal road closure of upper Eighth Street in the Boise Foothills to prevent road damage during wet conditions.

This seasonal closure pertains only to full-sized vehicles and is in effect from Dec. 1 to May 15, beginning 2.8 miles up the road from the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center. The route remains open year-round for motorcycles, mountain bikes and all other non-motorized use.

“The purpose of this seasonal road closure has always been to prevent road damage from full-size vehicle use when the road bed is wet and easily rutted,” said David Draheim, BLM outdoor recreation planner. “This goes a long way towards minimizing erosion and road maintenance costs, and preventing other resource damage from occurring.”

Over the last several years there has been an increased cost associated with repairing vandalism to the gate and resource damage from those trying to drive around it.

The BLM appreciates the public’s cooperation in respecting the road closure and helping to protect resources. For more information, please contact the BLM Boise District Office at 208-384-3300.
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BLM set to hire 80 new firefighters

Kaitlin Loukides Nov 28, 2017 Local News 8

Idaho Falls – The Bureau of Land Management Idaho Falls District is now hiring wildland firefighters for the 2018 fire season.

“We are looking for hardworking, physically fit individuals to fight fires across eastern Idaho,” Kris Bruington, Idaho Falls District BLM Fire Operations Supervisor, “We will be filling approximately 80 seasonal positions in eastern Idaho.”

Pay starts at $12.33 with the opportunity for overtime and hazard pay. To qualify you must be 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen and have six months of general experience.

Positions range from engines and hotshots to dispatch. Learn more about wildland fire positions and the Idaho Falls District here.

You can apply through January 30, 2018 by clicking on this link and search for range technician positions. Idaho Falls District has stations in Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Atomic City, Blackfoot, Fort Hall, Malad, American Falls, Dubois, Salmon and Soda Springs.

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USFS Regional Intermountain News

Issue 23 November 29, 2017

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Critter News:

Danger Along the Trail

McCall man warns hikers after dog caught leg in trap

By Max Silverson for The Star-News November 30, 2017

Randy Hickman was taking his dogs for their daily walk earlier this month when he heard a desperate cacophony of barks and yelps. Cora, a small Shih Tzu/Heeler mix, had been caught in a leg-hold trap.

The trap was placed just a few feet from where Hickman had parked his car near the entrance to the Crestline trailhead off of Eastside Drive in McCall.

“I was shocked that someone would put their traps in such a high traffic area,” Hickman said. “People walk their dogs here all the time and it’s a popular spot to get Christmas trees.”

The traps were legally set since the Crestline Trailhead is located on state land, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Hickman was lucky that Cora was mostly unharmed from the experience.

“Thankfully I know how to release these traps,” said Hickman, who works for a beer and wine distributing company and is a member of the rock ‘n’ roll band The Bottom Line.

“If I didn’t, and this happened as it was getting dark, she could have really hurt herself,” he said.

Hickman called the McCall Fish and Game office and was told the trap, along with several others he found nearby, were legally placed.

Trapping is generally allowed on all public lands, but there are exceptions for Valley County for fox, which may only be trapped on national forest and state lands, McCall F&G Conservation Officer Kevin Primrose said.

Traps must be set five feet from the center of a maintained trail and off of roadways, Primrose said.

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Mush!

2018 McCall Winter Carnival to feature Iditarod sled-dog qualifier

By Tom Grote for The Star-News November 30, 2017

A qualifier for the Iditarod sled-dog race in Alaska will be held as part of the 2018 McCall Winter Carnival.

The McCall Ultra Sled Dog Challenge will see up to 12 sled-dog teams and their mushers cover 200 miles of highlands along the west side of Long Valley between McCall and Smiths Ferry.

The race will begin on Monday, Jan. 29, and end on Wednesday, Jan. 31. The teams will earn points toward qualifying for the Iditarod race, a 1,000 mile race between Anchorage and Nome, Alaska, scheduled to start March 3.

The race is the brainchild of Jerry Wortley, a New Meadows resident and pilot who provides supporting flights for the Iditarod race each year.

“Early in Idaho’s history, travel by sled dog was the only way to get around during winter in the backcountry,” Wortley said.

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No. 2 is No. 1 Problem at McCall Golf Course

Workers collected 1,000 pounds of dog poop last year

By Phil Janquart for The Star-News November 30, 2017

There is a poop problem at the McCall Golf Course and it’s becoming increasingly hard to ignore.

On any given day, the seven miles of cart paths used as walking paths during the winter are dotted with biological land mines left by man’s best friend.

And, some of the winter park’s patrons are getting tired of seeing it, much less having to slalom around it.

“We picked up over a 1,000 pounds of it last year,” McCall Golf Course Superintendent Eric McCormick said.

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Mohkave the tame bobcat dies at age 16

Animal would stop traffic at home of owner

By Phil Janquart for The Star-News November 30, 2017

Mohkave, the tame bobcat who turned heads and stopped traffic on Warren Wagon Road in McCall for 16 years, died last week of kidney failure, his owner said.

Mohkavebobcat

The 55-pound bobcat gained near celebrity status, stopping drivers in their tracks as they passed his home and serving as an educational tool for teachers at local schools.

Children and adults in the thousands became acquainted with Mohkave over the years, said his owner, Rob Mayfield. A special part for regular visitors to McCall was a visit to Mohkave, Mayfield said.

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Pet Talk – Bad breath in cats and dogs

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt Dec 1, 2017 – IME

Bad breath is caused by gingivitis or inflammation of the gums that surround the teeth. Gingivitis is a component of periodontal disease, the most common oral disease in dogs and cats. Dogs and cats don’t brush their teeth, or floss, so tartar builds up on the teeth. This tartar is made up of millions of bacteria, which irritate the gums, causing that foul breath you notice when your dog or cat decides to lick you early in the morning or late at night. Because the gingiva lies in close proximity to the teeth and helps maintain the health of the tooth sockets, longstanding and severe gingivitis can increase the risk that teeth will be lost. When the gingiva is inflamed, it often recedes from the tooth, revealing the tooth roots.

The major cause of gingivitis in animals is the accumulation of plaque and tartar on the base of the teeth. Try not brushing your own teeth for a week or two and then you can feel this plaque and tartar forming on your teeth.

In many animals, there are no obvious signs of gingivitis, and the condition may be noticed only when your veterinarian is doing an oral exam on your pet. There may be pain on opening the mouth, loss of appetite or bleeding from the gums. The gums are usually bright red and swollen. A foul odor is always noticed from the mouth.

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Fitness trackers no longer exclusive to humans; new collars measure your pet’s activity

by Mallory Sofastaii Dec 1, 2017 KIVI TV

If you’re thinking of buying a fitness tracker for a friend or family member, you may also want to consider getting one for your dog. More companies are now beginning to unleash fitness trackers for pets.

“Pet trends follow human trends, said LinkAKC Chief Marketing Officer Herbie Calves.

We started taking notice of what we feed our pets, now it’s the amount of activity they’re getting.

LinkAKC, one of the newest pet fitness trackers on the market, tells consumers the right amount of activity for your pet then monitors movement throughout the day.

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FDA warns of commercial dog bone treats after 90 illnesses, 15 dog deaths

by Adrian Mojica, WZTV Monday, November 27th 2017

The Food and Drug Administration is warning dog owners to think twice about stuffing your pet’s stocking with dog bones over the holidays.

The FDA says it received about 68 reports of pet illnesses related to “bone treats” frequently purchased at stores. These include treats described as ham bones, pork femur bones, rib bones, and smokey knuckle bones. The FDA did not list any specific brands of dog treats in its warning.

In total, the FDA says there have been about 90 dogs involved in the reports, and 15 dogs reportedly died after eating a bone treat. Other complications include choking, digestive tract obstruction, cuts to the mouth, vomiting diarrhea, and bleeding from the rectum.

The FDA says owners should also avoid giving dogs chicken bones from the kitchen and be careful they can’t get to turkey or steak bones placed in the trash.

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Idaho State Police issue drug overdose kit for police dogs

11/28/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — Idaho State Police has issued an overdose reversal drug that troopers can administer to police dogs that are in danger of inhaling harmful substances during searches.

Sgt. Ken Yount tells KTVB-TV in a story on Monday that the agency has issued an injectable form of naloxone.

Yount says dogs are trained to sniff out and locate controlled substances.

He says that can include powerful forms of heroin and fentanyl that are up to 100 times stronger than morphine.

He says the rapid, intense sniffing dogs use to locate the drugs could cause them to get a fatal dose.

Each kit for police dogs cost $150. Yount says that so far they haven’t had to use one.

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Boise police K9 dies after cancer battle

KTVB November 27, 2017


(Photo: Boise police)

Boise – A Boise police K9 officer died unexpectedly last week after a battle with cancer, the department announced Monday.

Dasty died Friday, November 24, after being diagnosed earlier this year.

Dasty was handled by a Boise police officer at the Boise Airport and was an explosives detection K9 owned by the TSA. The dog was undergoing treatment and was due for early retirement with his handler in Boise.

“Dasty was a happy dog who loved his job. He would even sit by the car on his days off waiting to go to work,” said Dasty’s handler, Officer Whipps. “Dasty was well loved by his airport colleagues, his family and pretty much anyone who met him.”

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third week of November 2017
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US adopts recovery plan for Mexican wolves, lawsuit planned

By Susan Montoya Bryan – 11/29/17 AP

Albuquerque, N.M. — After decades of legal challenges and political battles that have pitted states against the federal government, U.S. wildlife managers on Wednesday finally adopted a plan to guide the recovery of a wolf that once roamed parts of the American Southwest and northern Mexico.

The plan sets a goal of having an average of 320 Mexican gray wolves in the wild over an eight-year period before the predator can shed its status as an endangered species. In each of the last three years, the population would have to exceed the average to ensure the species doesn’t backslide.

Officials estimate recovery could take another two decades and nearly $180 million, a cost borne largely by breeding facilities that support threatened and endangered species work.

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Environmentalists plan lawsuit over wolf plan

11/29/17 AP

Environmental groups say they intend to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its plan for recovering the endangered Mexican gray wolf in the American Southwest and northern Mexico.

The agency released the plan Wednesday, just a day before a court-ordered deadline. That triggered instant criticism from the same groups that had initially sued in an effort to get the agency to update outdated guidance for restoring the species.

The groups followed up Wednesday afternoon with a notice of intent to sue, accusing federal officials of violating the Endangered Species Act.

The groups contend the plan contains shortcomings that will hinder recovery of the predator and could threaten to lead to the extinction of the wolves.

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Wolf Education International

Newsletter last week November 2017

Wolves’ return to Oregon brings conflict and opportunity

A different look at ranchers’ attitude toward wolves

Anderson: Wolves known to stalk hunter’s kill scene for an easy meal

Final Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, First Revision
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Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary completes second bear enclosure

The Star-News November 30, 2017

Snowdon Animal Sanctuary near McCall has completed its second bear enclosure just in time to welcome its first resident, a small orphaned bear cub.

A $2,500 grant from the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation as well as donations from GoFundMe funded the one-acre bear enclosure, which will supplement a two-acre bear enclosure already in place.

With both enclosures, the sanctuary will be able to separate bears of different sizes as well as help wildlife agencies from neighboring states when not in use by Idaho bears.

Volunteers Tom O’Reilly, John Schott and Scott Pressman as well as Snowdon Board member Jeff Rohlman worked to install the metal paneling.

The paneling helps to make the enclosure escape-resistant for orphaned bear cubs.

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Grizzly numbers hold steady around Yellowstone

By Matthew Brown – 11/30/17 AP

Billings, Mont. — Grizzly bear numbers in and around Yellowstone National Park are holding relatively steady, according to figures released Thursday, as state wildlife officials begin discussions on whether to hold the first public hunts for the animals in decades.

There are an estimated 718 bears in the Yellowstone region that includes portions of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, according to the leader of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team.

That’s up slightly from last year’s tally of 695 bruins, but is not considered a significant increase because of uncertainties around the estimates, said study team leader Frank van Manen with the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Jerome man gets jail, probation for poaching four elk

Laine Harbaugh killed and left four elk in the Pioneers

by Joshua Murdock Dec 1, 2017 IME

A Jerome man charged with one felony and one misdemeanor for killing and wasting four elk without having a tag in November will serve 14 days in county jail and two years of probation after pleading guilty to charges that were amended down to misdemeanors.

Laine Harbaugh originally faced one count of flagrant, unlawful killing or wasting a combination of animals or species within 12 months, a felony, and one count of wasting of wildlife, a misdemeanor, for killing and leaving to rot four elk in hunting Unit 49 of the Pioneer [Mountains] Zone on Nov. 26. Blaine County Prosecutor Jim Thomas said the killing and wasting occurred around Hyndman Peak and the headwaters of the Little Wood River. He said Harbaugh did not possess a big game elk tag at the time he killed the animals.

Thomas said the “flagrant” felony charge was a result of Harbaugh killing the four elk—two elk is the threshold for the charge—and the misdemeanor wasting charge was a result of Harbaugh’s leaving the animals to rot after killing them.

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Ruling preventing Idaho horse herd sterilization is appealed

By Keith Ridler – 11/29/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is appealing a federal court ruling preventing the sterilizing of a herd of wild horses in southwestern Idaho that opponents of the plan fear could set a precedent.

The notice filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Idaho challenges a ruling in September ordering the BLM to revise its 2015 plan.

The plan calls for sterilizing the herd and replenishing it with wild horses captured elsewhere to maintain a herd of 50 to 200 horses.

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Officials plan to cull at least 600 Yellowstone bison

by Associated Press Wednesday, November 29th 2017

Pray, Mont. (AP) — Bison managers expect between 600 and 900 of the animals at Yellowstone National Park to be culled this winter by hunting or slaughter.

Federal, state and tribal officials met in Montana on Tuesday to work out the details for a winter management plan for the bison herds, agreeing the population should be decreased or stabilized, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported .

There are nearly 5,000 bison in the two park herds, park officials estimated. The removal of 600 bison would keep the population relatively stable, according to park biologists.

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Goat on the loose for over a month finally caught

Local News 8 – Nov 30, 2017

Blackfoot, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – The Blackfoot Police Department has finally caught a goat that has been on the loose since Oct. 27.

According to officials, the department received several calls about the loose goat in the area of Old West Bridge and Frontage Road.

Over one month later, the goat has been apprehended, and officials report the goat has been placed in a permanent home.

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Ada Co. commissioner charged with game tag violation

Morgan Boydston, KTVB November 28, 2017

Boise County — Ada County Commissioner Rick Visser is charged with misdemeanor failing to validate a game tag.

According to court records, Visser was charged in late April in Ada County and the case was then moved to Boise County. The commissioner tells KTVB he was hunting in Horseshoe Bend, which is in Boise County, at the time of the citation. He says the citation was for allegedly not validating his turkey tag immediately upon kill.

Under Idaho Statute 36-409 (Fish and Game – Licenses to hunt, fish and trap), as soon as a person kills any wildlife for which a tag is required, a tag belonging to that person must be validated and attached to said wildlife in a manner provided by commission rule.

Court records show Visser’s trial is set for Jan. 9 in Boise County. He’s due back in court next month for a motion hearing.

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The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
http://www.cbbulletin.com
December 1, 2017
Issue No. 853
Table of Contents

* Judge Floats Idea Of Suspending Work On 2018 BiOp For Salmon/Steelhead Due To Lack Of Completed EIS
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439901.aspx

* Judge Denies Irrigators’ Motion For Hearing On 2015 Spill/Transportation, Spread The Risk
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439900.aspx

* NOAA Invites Comments On Lethal Removal Of Sea Lions At Willamette Falls; Threat To Listed Winter Steelhead
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439899.aspx

* New Approach In Idaho Underway To Better Direct Salmon Habitat Restoration, Measure Results
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439898.aspx

* Columbia River Harvest: US V. Oregon EIS Completed, Preferred Alternative Extends Current Agreement
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439897.aspx

* Recovery Of West Coast Marine Mammals Dramatically Increasing Consumption Of Chinook Salmon
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439896.aspx

* Study Brings Attention To How Timing Of Fishing Seasons Impacts Spawning, Life History Patterns
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439895.aspx

* South Santiam’s Foster Dam Gets Improvements To Aid Juvenile Salmon Passage
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439894.aspx

* Idaho’s Dworshak Reservoir Held At Lower Elevation As Hedge Against High Winter Inflows
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439893.aspx

* Washington Energy Site Council Denies Permit For Huge Oil Terminal On Columbia River
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439892.aspx

* Wild Fish Conservancy Sues Cooke Aquaculture Over Atlantic Salmon Fish Farm Escape
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439891.aspx

* Senate Passes Bill To Improve Conditions At Columbia River Tribal Fishing Sites
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439890.aspx
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Fish & Game News:

Fish and Game issues advisory on McCall ‘town deer’

The Star-News November 30, 2017

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is warning residents to not feed the “town deer” in McCall and to watch out for them on the roads.

Fish and Game responds to dozens of reports of dead or injured deer each year in McCall and Cascade, with more than 30 in McCall alone last year, McCall Regional Wildlife Manager Regan Berkley said.

“These deer died of two primary causes: vehicle-related injuries or starvation because their digestive systems were unable to process the feed they were given,” Berkley said.

Deer do not naturally spend winters in McCall because they do not have access to natural forage,”she said.

“The only reason the town deer stay is because people feed them, year after year,” Berkley said “Feeding in town may actually harm more deer than it saves.”

Deer on the roads are another winter problem. “During winter, we get so much snow that the only places deer can really move around are on roads,” Berkley said. “If you observe a deer crossing the road, expect that more deer are coming right behind it.”

Fish and Game’s options for responding to injured deer are limited because adult deer are not candidates for successful rehabilitation, she said.

Badly injured deer will be euthanized, while those that appear to be able to survive their injuries will be released.

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Fish and Game to begin helicopter game surveys

The Star-News November 30, 2017

Hunters with late-season deer and elk tags might have some company during December as Idaho Department of Fish and Game survey helicopters will be taking to the air.

“Deer and elk surveys occur during winter, when animals are concentrated and are easier to see and count in open country,” said Regan Berkley, McCall regional wildlife manager for Fish and Game.

Information gathered during these surveys helps to determine male to female ratios as well as hunting season mortality and current calf and fawn survival, Berkley said.

“Biologists will be on the lookout for hunters, and will try to avoid disturbing active hunts,” she said.

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Fish and Game: Poachers are ‘stealing the natural resources of Idaho’

by Sophia Doumani Friday, December 1st 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — It’s a small percentage of poachers that can make a big difference for law-abiding hunters this season.

Chief of enforcement for Idaho Fish and Game, Matt O’Connell, says there is a 10 percent violation rate. Of those, about 5 percent are considered to be serious violations.

“The small minority of violators out there who are doing the more serious violations can directly input big game populations, fish populations, and cause the limits to be affected for other sportsmen who are trying to be honest and do the right thing,” O’Connell said.

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Attract wintering birds, support outdoor education

By Mike Demick, Conservation Information Supervisor
Monday, November 27, 2017

Stock up on winter bird seed and find that special holiday gift for the outdoor person on your list at the Fish and Game Morrison Knudsen (MK) Nature Center’s Holiday Bird Seed Sale December 1 and 2.

Backyard bird lovers can purchase locally-preferred bird seed, as well as feeding supplies, books, apparel, jewelry, children’s gifts and nature-themed holiday gifts. Nature center staff will be available to help with seed selection and for education.

The sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Family-friendly activities are planned for Saturday, December 2 including kid’s take home crafts from 11 to 2 p.m. and live bird presentations at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 and 1:30 p.m.

The nature center is located behind Fish and Game headquarters at 600 S. Walnut in Boise.

Proceeds will help fund the nature center’s educational programs. The sale is presented by MK Nature Center and Wild Birds Unlimited.

For questions, contact Sue Dudley at 208-287-2900

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Boise River survey finds a surprising species: a non-native freshwater shrimp

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Specialist
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Shrimp was likely dumped from an aquarium or escaped a pond

Finding strange, non-native creatures living in the Boise River has nearly become a tradition, or at least, a recurring incident, and Idaho Fish and Game would like to see it end.

In a recent case, Fish and Game crews surveying the Boise River near Warm Springs Golf Course discovered a freshwater shrimp commonly known as “grass” or “ghost” shrimp that are native to the lower Mississippi River. They are typically sold in pet shops for aquariums, and they likely came from someone dumping an aquarium, or somehow escaped a private pond.

“That’s my best guess,” said Regional Fish Biologist John Cassinelli. “Those are the most likely explanations for how they got there.”

The first shrimp was found in a slow, placid stretch of the river while crews were introducing a mild electrical current, which stuns fish and other aquatic creatures so biologists can gauge populations.

The strange find piqued the biologists’ curiosity whether there might be more shrimp. They returned later and found several others – including an egg-carrying female – lurking beneath a cutback in the same, slow section of the river.

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F&G News Releases

https://idfg.idaho.gov/press
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Fun Critter Stuff:

Big cheetah-like feline captured in Pennsylvania

by The Associated Press Saturday, November 11th 2017


This Nov. 7, 2017 photo shows an African Serval cat rescued from the streets of Reading, Pa., by the Animal Rescue League of Berks County. Police captured the big African cat, resembling a cheetah, running loose through the streets. The cat was transported to a big cat rescue facility that can give it the special diet and extensive exercise it needs. ( Tim Leedy/Reading Eagle via AP)

Reading, Pa. (AP) — Police captured a big African cat, resembling a cheetah, running loose through the streets of a Pennsylvania city.

Reports about the spotted feline started coming in on Nov. 3 in Reading, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of Philadelphia. When officers tracked it down, they initially thought they’d found a cheetah.

The Animal Rescue League of Berks County says they got a call from the city’s police department about the big cat on Saturday.

When staff responded, they found a cat called an African serval. The cats are illegal to own in Pennsylvania without a license, and the state’s game commission says no one in Berks County has such a license.

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Lost Kitty

Lost cat, no collar and not very friendly – please share and let’s find this poor baby’s owner.

(via Cascade Vet Clinic FB page)

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LionThinHerd-a
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Tips & Advice:

Fire dept: Do not plug space heaters into power strips

by KATU Staff Wednesday, November 29th 2017


Photo: Umatilla County Fire District #1

As the weather gets colder and space heaters come out of the basement, a local fire department is asking you to remember a key tip.

The Umatilla County Fire District #1 wants to remind space heater users that you should never plug a heater into a power strip.

“These units are not designed to handle the high current flow needed for a space heater and can overheat or even catch fire due to the added energy flow,” the department says in a Facebook post.

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25,000 bugs could be living in your fresh Christmas tree

Jermaine Ong Nov 27, 2017 KGTV

It’s bad enough there could be a Christmas tree shortage this holiday season, but if you do get that fresh tree, you may be bringing home thousands of unexpected guests.

Pest control company Safer Brand says as many as 25,000 bugs could live in one Christmas tree.

According to the company, most of the bugs aren’t dangerous and will eventually die. The common bugs that survive are aphids, spiders and bark beetles.

Safer Brand suggests customers inspect trees for potential bug nests before buying.

The company also says if you do buy a tree, leave it in a garage for a few days and shake it out before bringing it inside your home.

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How to prevent being a victim of package theft this Christmas

by Abigail Taylor Tuesday, November 28th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — It is like hitting the jackpot for an opportunistic thief: the thousands of packages left on doorsteps during the holiday season.

While online shopping has made buying Christmas presents a breeze for many, it’s also made it really easy for criminals to cash in on what’s inside.

… Here are some practical things you can do so you’re not a victim:

1. Track your package. That way you know when to expect its arrival.

2. Be careful leaving notes. Include delivery instructions online rather than a note on the door because that just shows you’re not home.

3. Pick up your package instead. You can grab it from the post office or shipping center.

4. Ship it somewhere else. Have it sent to your work or a friend’s house who will be home.

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Nov 26, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

Nov 26, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Note: Thank you for your 2018 Yellow Pine Calendar orders. Folks will be notified when they are mailed.

Village News:

Thanksgiving in Yellow Pine

The annual Thanksgiving Day pot-luck was held at The Corner this year.
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Yellow Pine Tavern

Watch all of your favorite sports on our Big Screen TV at the Yellow Pine Tavern.

Featuring Football

Open 9am to 8pm (or later on game nights)

Christmas potluck will be at the Tavern. Look for further updates on the time and what the Tavern will be providing.

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The Corner

The Corner is closed for the season. Stop by if you need wood permits. We will reopen after we have the baby.

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Hunter’s Missing Rope

Looking for a 5/8th inch climbing rope that is white with a green stripe that was stretched across the river from the Yellow Pine Campground by the concrete bridge to the other side. of the river. It was removed while we were hunting on the far side. If you or someone know of it’s whereabouts, please leave it at the Yellow Pine Tavern for us. Thank You.
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Diamond (Kennedy) Fuel & Feed

208-382-4430

Did you know you can order pet food from Diamond Fuel & Feed and have it delivered to Yellow Pine via Arnolds? Give them a call.
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Bear Aware

It is probably safe to put bird feeders back out. Bears in our area usually hibernate by Halloween per our local F&G office.
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YPFD News:

There are YPFD T-shirts, as well as YPFD patches and stickers for sale at the Tavern now.

Training will resume in the spring.
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VYPA News:

Next meeting June 2018
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Fall Rx Burns planned

BNF:
Cascade Ranger District: Slash piles will be ignited in the following locations: Warm Lake, Yellow pine, Landmark and Crawford. It will be pile burning for two days.

PNF:
The Krassel Ranger District plans to ignite 1,600 acres in the Fourmile drainage, and 2,000 acres in the Bald Hill project area.
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook
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Local Observations:

Monday (Nov 20) rain by daylight, overcast and above freezing. Still have about 1.5″ of old snow on the ground this morning and bare patches under trees are growing. Fresh fox tracks in the neighborhood. Rain/snow mix then all snow then back to rain mid-day, clouds so low it looks foggy. No birds or wild critters around, very quiet day, high of 37 degrees. Drizzled all afternoon and evening, still sprinkling at dark. Foggy like the clouds were right down on us after 1030pm.

Tuesday (Nov 21) overnight low of 30 degrees, overcast and light fog along the river this morning. Rather low airplane went over at 1030am. Fog thickening and light rain after lunch. Misty droplets and thicker fog later in the afternoon, high of 40 degrees. Misting and foggy at dark. Probably rained all night.

Wednesday (Nov 22) it warmed up during the night to 40 degrees, fog and light misty rain this morning. The snow is going away again except in the shady spots where it’s icy. Spied a stellar jay flying over the neighborhood. Fog and misty drizzle until lunch time. Mail truck was a little late, moving rocks on the South Fork road. Break in the rain early afternoon, cracks in the clouds, high of 48 degrees. Cloudy and foggy this evening. Heard a pileated call just before dark. Around midnight the fog was “sweating” droplets of moisture (not exactly rain) and there was a clear spot overhead with Orion’s Belt twinkling.

Thursday (Nov 23) early morning passing shower, stayed above freezing overnight, low of 34 degrees. Mostly cloudy this morning, rising sun peeking thru breaks in the clouds, light fog along the river and belts of fog drifting across the flanks of the mountains. Mostly cloudy, breezy and warm for this time of year, “snow eater” winds gusty at times, high of 55 degrees. Started sprinkling late in the afternoon, hard rain after dark. Rained all night.

Friday (Nov 24) stayed above freezing, overnight low of 36 degrees. Most of our old snow is gone except in the shade. Wet month, so far over 5″ of water. Nice weather today, partly sunny and mild with very light breezes, high of 48 degrees. Clearing and temps dropping with the sun.

Saturday (Nov 25) overnight low of 22 degrees, frosty and mostly cloudy this morning. Heard a hairy woodpecker cheeping. Some traffic today including an airplane around 1030am. Overcast, damp and a chilly breeze this afternoon, high of 40 degrees. Quiet, cool, cloudy evening. Warm breezy night.

Sunday (Nov 26) warmed up during the night, cloudy and stayed above freezing. A few sprinkles on and off before and after lunch time and blustery. Steady rain this afternoon and a bit breezy, high of 56 degrees. Still raining after dark and above freezing.
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Weather Notes:

Boise set a record high temperature for Thanksgiving this year. Here is the Yellow Pine water data to see how we compared to past Thanksgivings.

YP Thanksgiving Day High/Low Temps

11-25 2010 25F / 6F
11-24 2011 41F / 29F
11-22 2012 38F / 19F
11-28 2013 41F / 17F
11-27 2014 41F / 34F
11-26 2015 33F / -2F
11-24 2016 38F / 26F
11-23 2017 55F / 36F
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Idaho News:

Cascade’s beloved ‘pie lady’ passes away

Dean Johnson, KTVB November 21, 2017


Dorothy Jean Grimaud was nicknamed the pie lady of Cascade. She was well-known for her pies. (Photo: KTVB)

Valley County has lost a legend. She was known around the state as the “pie lady,” but around Cascade, Mrs. G was known for decades as a neighbor who cared about her community and those who live there. Mrs. G passed away Monday morning from natural causes.

Whether it was reading at the local school or just being the stand-in grandma, Mrs. G did everything to support Valley County.

“She’s touched a lot of people’s hearts,” Yvette Davis, one of Mrs. G’s closest friends said.

The “pie lady” even had her own parking spot at the local American Legion Post; every week she would make a pie that would be auctioned off on Friday at the post with the proceeds going to the Coats for Kids campaign.

continued:
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Valley County sends lake rules back to drawing board

Changes on speed, age limits draws protests

By Max Silverson for The Star-News November 22, 2017

A once-approved ordinance revamping boating laws on Valley County lakes was sent back to the drawing board on Monday by Valley County commissioners.

Commissioners took no action on the proposed ordinance following a public hearing on proposed changes that would remove rules governing speed limits, operator age restrictions and protections for swimmers and kayakers on Payette Lake.

More than 15 people spoke on Monday in opposition to the proposed changes. A total of 76 emails and letters in opposition also were received, Valley County Clerk Doug Miller said.

continued:
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Two wrecks on Idaho 55 send four to hospital

The Star-News November 22, 2017

Two auto accidents in the same area of U.S. 95 west of New Meadows last week sent four people to the hospital.

Last Thursday about 3:07 p.m., a one-vehicle accident was reported about two miles south of the Evergreen Forest sawmill on U.S. 95. No other details of the accident were available.

Taken by ambulance to St. Luke’s McCall were Preston Hall, 44; Bobby Angel, 23; and Bobby and Roger Cole, 29, all of New Meadows.

Hall was transferred to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, where he was released on Monday, a hospital spokesperson said.

Angel and Cole were treated at the McCall hospital and released, a hospital spokesperson said.

Last Friday at about 11:21 a.m., a car rolled over at about the same location, the sheriff’s office said.

Jessica Cason, 19, of Meridian, was taken by ambulance to St. Luke’s McCall, where she was treated and released.

No other details of the accident were available.

source:
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Update On Fatality Crash On U.S. Highway 95 South of Council

11/23/2017 Idaho State Police News Release

On Wednesday, November 22, 2017, at approximately 8:10 p.m., the Idaho State Police investigated a three-vehicle fatality crash on U.S. Highway 95 at milepost 126.2, south of Council.

A 2014 Dodge Ram 2500 was driving northbound on U.S. Highway 95 when it went to pass a vehicle in front of it. The driver sideswiped a vehicle traveling southbound, a 2006 GMC Yukon with a utility trailer, sending it off the off the west shoulder of the road about 30 feet. All five occupants of the Yukon were uninjured.

The driver of the Dodge Ram 2500 continued traveling northbound, collide head-on with a pickup that was headed southbound. The pickup caught on fire upon impact. The driver of the Dodge Ram 2500 and the two occupants of the pickup succumbed to their injuries on scene.

No names are being released at this time due to next of kin notifications are still in progress. U.S. Highway 95 was blocked in both directions for approximately 7 hours.

source:
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Whooping Cough outbreak in Ada County, health care providers on alert

Stephanie Hale-Lopez Nov 21, 2017

Boise, ID – Within the last 90 days, 14 cases of Pertussis — or Whooping Cough — have been reported in Ada County, prompting the Central District Health Department (CDHD) to issue an alert.

“Whooping cough is out there,” said Sarah Correll, epidemiologist with CDHD. “It’s having a little uptick, and we want to make sure that cases don’t get missed.”

To date, the number of whooping cough cases in Ada County is more than double compared to the same time last year.

St. Luke’s Pediatrician, Dr. Mark Uranga, says if you have a dry, lingering cough, get checked.

continued:
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Study: Idaho’s taxes the lowest in the region

by Associated Press Saturday, November 25th 2017

Boise, Idaho (AP) – A new state study shows Idaho’s overall taxes are the lowest in the region and rank 48th in the nation.

The Spokesman-Review reports the annual Tax Burden Study, which the Idaho State Tax Commission has prepared each year since the 1970s, shows that Idaho’s total state and local tax burden per person ranks 48th among the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and falls 29.6 percent below the U.S. average. It’s the lowest among 11 Western states.

The state’s tax burden relative to income – an important difference because Idaho incomes are much lower than most states -l ranks 37th nationally and 10th among the 11 Western states. It comes in 11 percent below the national average.

Idaho politicians, including Gov. Butch Otter and all three of the leading GOP candidates to succeed him in next year’s election, are calling for cutting Idaho’s personal and corporate income tax rates.

source:
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Hack Alert:

Hackers may be watching your home cameras

How to keep prying eyes away from your family

Nov 22, 2017 KIVI TV

Home video monitors are in almost every home these days.

We have baby cams, nanny cams and video doorbells to catch those holiday package thieves.

… but experts say an unsecured camera can make you more vulnerable.

… “With an unsecured video camera, someone half a world away can watch whatever you are doing in your home, such as grabbing a beer out of your fridge, or even worse,” Garcia said.

Garcia said thieves can target it locally by hacking into your Wi-Fi signal if you live in an apartment building, or via the cloud if your camera system sends a live image to your smartphone.

full story:
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Letter to Share:

Sen Risch Letter to USDA Sec Perdue Re: Wilderness Airstrips

Nov 16, 2017

link to PDF file:
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Public Lands:

Lowman Ranger District temporarily closes Clear Creek Road for public Safety

Contact: Venetia Gempler (208) 373-4105
Date: 11/24/2017

Boise, Idaho, November 24, 2017–The Clear Creek road [National Forest System (NFS) road 582] will be closed for public safety while roadside hazard trees are removed. The road closure begins at Idaho State Highway 21 and continues to the junction of NFS road 510 from Dec. 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018, unless rescinded earlier by the Forest Supervisor.

Local landowners and their guests, who want to access their private property along Clear Creek are exempt from this order. For specific information about this order, follow the link below and scroll down to the Lowman Ranger District.

All motorists are reminded to drive defensively since they may encounter increased traffic from logging trucks in the area and along the Banks to Lowman road (Forest Highway 17).

Forest visitors should be prepared since weather conditions this time of the year can be very unpredictable. Carry extra provisions and let someone know about your travel plans.

Before venturing into a burned area, look for posted warning signs or current closure orders and be aware of your surroundings.

A detailed description of the closure is attached. For this, and all Boise National Forest area closures visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/boise/alerts-notices

Road Closure Map:
Closure Order:
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State attorneys general bash plan to hike national park fees

AP Nov 22, 2017

A group of state attorneys general is urging the National Park Service to scrap its proposed entrance fee hike at 17 popular national parks.

The top government lawyers from 10 states and the District of Columbia sent a letter Wednesday saying they don’t want national parks to be “places only for the wealthy.” All the signers are Democrats except for Arizona’s Mark Brnovich.

The Park Service is accepting public comments on the plan, which would more than double the fee to $70 per vehicle at some of the most-visited parks. They include Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Acadia and Shenandoah.

You can submit comments HERE.

The AGs say the increase is inconsistent with the laws governing the park system. They also question the rationale, saying President Donald Trump has proposed reducing the service’s overall budget.

source:
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Jackson objects to national park fee hike

Nov 22, 2017 – Local News 8

Jackson, Wyo. (KIFI/KIDK) – The Jackson Town Council says it was caught by surprise when it got a look at the National Park Service plan to more than double entrance fees at Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

And, in a letter to Grand Teton National Park Superintendent David Vela, the council said the proposal came after no public process.

The council stated it opposed the proposed rate increase and the associated impacts it would have on the community and access to public lands.

continued:
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Mining News:

Yellowstone mining opponents press Gianforte to join cause

AP Nov 21, 2017

Billings, Mont. (AP) – Opponents of two gold mines proposed near Yellowstone National Park are pressing Montana U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte to sponsor legislation that would withdraw public lands in the area from future mining.

A coalition of businesses and conservation groups on Tuesday said the Republican’s support was crucial to making permanent a temporary mining ban enacted last year on 47 square miles of land outside Yellowstone.

A Yellowstone-area mining ban bill sponsored by Democrat U.S. Sen. Jon Tester is stalled in the Senate in the face of Republican opposition.

Gianforte and Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines have said they support the concept of a permanent ban. But they say there needs to be something for the other side and have criticized lawsuits blocking mines in northwest Montana despite local support.

source:
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Photo and Link to Share:

Idaho Game Bird Foundation

11/21/2017

2017IGFphesant-a

“Take a look at this happy little girl. This is what it is all about and makes the time spent well worth it.”

“Whiskers”
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The Game Bird Foundation is now on Facebook
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Critter News:

Your Pet 2Day: Pets and cold weather

by Bryan Levin Friday, November 24th 2017

video:
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Abandoned pets found in Lake Lowell area

Gretchen Parsons, KTVB November 20, 2017

Boise – Animals, mostly cats, are being found in the Lake Lowell area.

Sadly, a resident who lives nearby says the area has become a increasingly popular disposal site for unwanted pets.

Melissa Blackmer moved to the Lake Lowell area two years ago. She began to notice an unusual amount of stray cats, many of them were surprisingly friendly.

“They are definitely people’s pets, they are friendly, they will often just walk up to you, they are hungry. Feral cats don’t tend to warm up to people,” Blackmer says.

continued:
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Canyon County family reunited with service dog

The family searched for Charlie for several days

Steve Bertel, Anna Silver Nov 22, 2017 KIVI TV

Canyon County – A special dog was found on Tuesday morning after the owners and community members searched for her in Canyon County since Friday.

Charlie is a service dog to Monique Ortuno’s special needs daughter who has autism and sometimes stops breathing at night.

The family recently moved to Idaho from California and were desperate to find her.

Nampa police, animal control, and dozens of volunteers helped look for the dog, even setting a non-lethal trap near the Centennial Golf Course in Nampa where she had been spotted.

continued:
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Trappers ask court to throw out lawsuit over US fur exports

By Matthew Brown – 11/23/17 AP

Billings, Mont. — Fur trappers are asking a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit from wildlife advocates who want to block the export of bobcat pelts from the United States.

Attorneys for trapping organizations said in recent court filings that the lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service infringes on the authority of state and tribal governments to manage their wildlife.

The plaintiffs in the case allege the government’s export program doesn’t protect against the accidental trapping of imperiled species such as Canada lynx.

More than 30,000 bobcat pelts were exported in 2015, the most recent year for which data was available, according to wildlife officials. The pelts typically are used to make fur garments and accessories. Russia, China, Canada and Greece are top destinations, according to a trapping industry representative and government reports.

continued:
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Wildlife Services urges ranchers to report all cattle deaths

11/20/17 AP

Sun Valley, Idaho — USDA Wildlife Services in Idaho is asking ranchers to report all cattle deaths and leave the carcass undisturbed in an effort to preserve evidence and help investigators confirm a wolf depredation.

The Capital Press reports Idaho State Director of USDA Wildlife Services Todd Grimm said during the Idaho Cattle Association’s annual convention that ranchers who come across a dead cow with no outward signs of cause of death shouldn’t assume the cause. The animal’s death could have been caused by a wolf.

Wildlife services has confirmed 750 wolf depredations in cattle in the past 22 years, affecting 400 producers in 32 counties in Idaho. But Grimm says the science indicates for every wolf killing confirmed, there are probably six or seven more.

source:
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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third Week of November 2017
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Wolves’ return to Oregon brings conflict and opportunity

By Gillian Flaccus – 11/23/17 AP

Portland, Ore. — Wolves were once so plentiful in the abundant forests that would become Oregon that the earliest settlers gathered from far and wide to discuss how to kill them.

Those “wolf meetings” in the 1840s, spawned by a common interest, eventually led to the formation of the Oregon territory, the precursor for statehood in 1859.

Today, Oregon’s statehood is secure, but the future of its wolf population once more hangs in the balance. Wolves have returned after decades, and this time, humans are having a much more contentious discussion about what to do with them.

It’s a political debate playing out against the backdrop of a rapidly growing wolf population, a jump in wolf poaching and demands from ranchers and hunters who say the predators are decimating herds and spooking big game.

continued:
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Wolf Education International

Newsletter 11/25/2017

Surge of wolf killings isn’t organized effort

Wolf cub hybrids face the chopping block in Germany

Germany’s wolf population on the rise, new data shows

The Language of Wolves
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NRA, hunting group say grizzly bear hunts needed for safety

By Matthew Brown – 11/25/17 AP

Billings, Mont. — The National Rifle Association and a sport hunting group want to ensure their members can hunt grizzly bears in the three-state region around Yellowstone National Park after the animals lost U.S. protections.

Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are considering limited trophy hunts for grizzlies outside the park in future years after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revoked the species’ threatened status in July.

Conservation groups have sued to restore protections, and now the NRA and Safari Club International have asked U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen to let them intervene in the case.

Several of the groups’ members said in affidavits submitted by their attorneys that hunting would help the region’s economy, allow states to better manage the animals and improve public safety.

continued:
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Black bears back in eastern Nevada after 80-year absence

By Scott Sonner – 11/26/17 AP

Reno, Nev. — More than 500 black bears have returned to parts of their historic range in the Great Basin of Nevada where the species disappeared about 80 years ago, scientists say.

A new study says genetic testing confirms the bears are making their way east from the Sierra ranges north and south of Lake Tahoe along the California line.

In some cases, recent generations have moved hundreds of miles to sites near the Utah line, marking a rare example of large mammals recolonizing areas where they’d been wiped out.

“The recovery of large carnivores is relatively rare globally,” said Jon Beckmann, a conservation scientist for the Wildlife Conservation Society in Bozeman, Montana, who co-authored the new study.

continued:
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Group tracks wildlife movement with cameras in Targhee Pass

11/24/17 AP

Idaho Falls, Idaho — An environmental group is documenting the movement of wildlife through the Targhee Pass on the Idaho-Montana border in an effort to push for the construction of safe wildlife passages.

The Post Register reports the group Yellowstone to Yukon has deployed 14 motion-activated wildlife cameras that have captured more than 5,000 photos of wildlife mostly near U.S. Highway 20.

Program director Kim Trotter says the group hopes to provide the information collected from the cameras to the Idaho Transportation Department in order to identify sites for wildlife overpasses.

Trotter says many different kinds of animals traverse the Targhee Pass area and many of the animals use the same pathways.

Trotter says the group was inspired by similar overpass projects in Wyoming that have reduced the number of car wrecks involving animals.

source:
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Researchers study the genetics of bighorn sheep

By Eric Barker – 11/25/17 AP

Lewiston, Idaho — Bighorn sheep living in decades past along Idaho’s Salmon River from Riggins to its East and Middle forks far upstream were more genetically diverse, and the different groups of sheep there were more connected with each other, compared to sheep populations of today.

A University of Idaho researcher made the determination by analyzing genetic samples taken from wild sheep skulls and horns that are part of the Carrey-Boggan Collection on display at the Jack O’Connor Hunting Heritage and Education Center at Lewiston.

Lisette Waits, a professor and researcher at the university’s College of Natural Resources at Moscow, led a team that compared the genetics of the sheep in the collection with samples taken from contemporary populations. They wanted to know how the genetic makeup of the sheep has changed over the years, particularly in response to severe population declines brought on by things like habitat degradation and disease introduced by domestic sheep.

continued:
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BLM reopens Boise Wild Horse Corral

Date: November 22, 2017
Contact: Michael Williamson 208-384-3393

Boise, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management has reopened the Boise Wild Horse Corral for wild horse and burro adoptions and public visits. The corral had been temporarily closed since May due to an outbreak of strangles, an equine form of distemper.

About 75 percent of the facility’s horses became infected with the highly contagious condition, and all have fully recovered. The BLM has consulted with a local horse veterinarian and has determined that the appropriate wait time has elapsed since the last symptoms were detected, and it is now safe for the corral to reopen and adoptions to resume.

“Our priority was for the safety of our facility’s horses and to take all precautions to prevent the disease from being transmitted to privately-owned horses,” said Raul Trevino, BLM Boise corral manager. “We’ve worked closely with the veterinarian and we believe the disease has run its course. People interested in adopting a horse or burro are now encouraged to call for an appointment.”

For more information on adoptions and events, please contact Raul Trevino at (208) 896-5915 or rtrevino@blm.gov.

The BLM encourages interested individuals to visit BLM.gov to learn more about the program and providing a good home for an unadopted or unsold animal. To contact the Wild Horse and Burro information center, please call 866-4MUSTANGS (866-468-7826) or email wildhorse@blm.gov
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Federal court blocks sheep grazing in eastern Idaho

11/21/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — A federal court has blocked thousands of domestic sheep from being released to graze in eastern Idaho where environmental groups say they jeopardize a small herd of bighorn sheep with deadly viruses.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale on Monday granted the temporary restraining order sought by Western Watersheds Project and WildEarth Guardians in a lawsuit filed last month against the U.S. Forest Service.

The groups contend the grazing of sheep owned by the University of Idaho via permits issued to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sheep Experiment Station risks transmitting diseases to bighorn sheep.

Dale in the 31-page ruling says the environmental groups established the likelihood of irreparable harm to the bighorns.

source:
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Forest Service weighs changes to protections for sage grouse

By Keith Ridler – 11/22/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — The U.S. Forest Service is rethinking protection plans for sage grouse in six Western states after a U.S. court agreed with mining companies that the agency illegally created some safeguards in Nevada.

The agency announced Tuesday that it’s working with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which also is reviewing its plans for the struggling bird following an order by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Forest Service spokesman John Shivik says the coordinated review makes sense two years after federal officials decided the chicken-sized bird shouldn’t receive endangered-species protections. But the government did impose restrictions on land use.

The agency is taking public comments in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming through Jan. 5. It says it will review the input before deciding if changes are needed to its plans.

source:
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Fish & Game News:

There’s still time left to buy a 2017 hunting license, and hunt with it

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Specialist
Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Buying will get you in Price Lock and give you plenty of hunting opportunities in December.

It’s late in the year, and if you haven’t bought your 2017 hunting license, you’re either among the world’s great procrastinators, or haven’t found time to hunt yet. While it might sound silly to buy a 12-month license with weeks left, it’s not as silly as you might think this year.

First, there’s Fish and Game’s Price Lock, which means if you buy any annual license in 2017, you’re locked into the same prices for all 2018 hunting, fishing and trapping licenses and permits. Otherwise, most resident license and tag prices will increase about 20 percent.

continued:
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Commission keeps rule for prepayment to apply for moose, sheep and goat tags

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Specialist
Monday, November 20, 2017

Commissioners also delay sale of nonresident Sawtooth Elk Zone tags

Idaho Fish and Game commissioners on Nov. 17 rescinded a proposed rule that would allow hunters to forego prepaying moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat tags when applying for those controlled hunts in the spring.

Those hunts will remain under the existing rules, which means residents and nonresidents must pay the application fee and tag fee to apply, as well as have a valid hunting license.

Application fees for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats will increase in 2018 to $16.75 for residents and $41.75 for nonresidents, which was part of the legislation passed in 2017 that included hikes for nearly all resident hunting, fishing and trapping licenses, tags and permits.

continued:
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F&G News Releases

https://idfg.idaho.gov/press
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Fun Critter Stuff:

Bear steals unlucky Michigan hunter’s 6-point buck

Max White Nov 22, 2017

Alcona County, Mich. (WXYZ) – A Michigan hunter had just snagged a nice 6-point buck last week when his trophy was taken away by a bear.

John Wardynski, from Bay City, Michigan, posted the video of the bear taking the buck away on his Facebook page.

continued w/video:
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BearRetriever-a
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Seasonal Humor:

OldElkCar-a
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Nov 19, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times

Nov 19, 2017 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Note: Last chance to order the 2018 Calendar, deadline Monday November 20th 1159pm. Send email with “2018 Calendar” in the subject line, please include name, address and number wanted. We can mail gifts for you! Thanks for your support.
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Village News:

Reports from last Sunday

“Reports of a small cougar around [upper] side of town; locals out for a walk came across about thirty elk close to town.”

– LI
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Hunter’s Missing Rope

Looking for a 5/8th inch climbing rope that is white with a green stripe that was stretched across the river from the Yellow Pine Campground by the concrete bridge to the other side. of the river. It was removed while we were hunting on the far side. If you or someone know of it’s whereabouts, please leave it at the Yellow Pine Tavern for us. Thank You.
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Mail Days M-W-F

Starting November 1st, the mail is being delivered 3 days a week.
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The Corner

The Corner is closed for the season. Stop by if you need wood permits. We will reopen after we have the baby.

Thanksgiving potluck will be held at The Corner 4pm November 23rd. Please call Heather at the Corner 208 633-3325 for items to bring.

– H
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Yellow Pine Tavern

Winter hours currently will be: 9am to 8pm daily

Christmas potluck will be at the Tavern. Look for further updates on the time and what the Tavern will be providing.

– L
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Diamond (Kennedy) Fuel & Feed

208-382-4430

We will now be carrying wood pellets, so if you or someone you know up there burns pellets we will have some in stock by Thursday night. We will also order 1 ton pallets if there is an interest. No delivery to YP at this time, but folks can come pick up themselves.

Also, current price on the wood pellets are $5.99/ 50 lb. bag or $250 for a bulk order of 50 bags (1 ton). The brand is Purcell which is rated just as good if not better than the North Idaho Brand. It is made and sold by the same manufacture. Chris Gurney, the new owner here, said next summer he would be willing to deliver 1 ton bulk orders to YP if there are enough interested. Current prices may change by then of course.
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Bear Aware

It is probably safe to put bird feeders back out. Bears in our area usually hibernate by Halloween per our local F&G office.
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YPFD News:

There are YPFD T-shirts, as well as YPFD patches and stickers for sale at the Tavern now.

Training will resume in the spring.
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VYPA News:

Next meeting June 2018
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Fall Rx Burns planned

BNF:
Cascade Ranger District: Slash piles will be ignited in the following locations: Warm Lake, Yellow pine, Landmark and Crawford. It will be pile burning for two days.

PNF:
The Krassel Ranger District plans to ignite 1,600 acres in the Fourmile drainage, and 2,000 acres in the Bald Hill project area.
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook
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Local Observations:

Monday (Nov 13) overnight low of 25 degrees, frost melting with sunrise. About 2.5″ old snow on the ground, very hard and dense, patches of open ground under the trees. Heard a red-breasted nuthatch. Cloudy before lunch time. Cloudy and breezy early afternoon, “snow-eater” wind, high of 50 degrees. Started to sprinkle just before 5pm, showers on and off continued after dark. Raining pretty good around midnight.

Tuesday (Nov 14) skiff of snow fell early morning, overnight low of 32 degrees. Partly clear and light breeze this morning. Flock of pine-siskins showed up. Mostly cloudy during the day with outbreaks of sunshine once in a while, light chilly breeze, high of 42 degrees. A little bit of “human activity” today. Sky clearing just before dark and temperature dropping quickly.

Wednesday (Nov 15) overnight low of 20 degrees, high thin clouds. Mail truck made it in on time. Dark clouds came in from the south early afternoon and breezy, high of 46 degrees. Rain started just before 9pm and getting windy. Rain pounded down during the night and gusty wind.

Thursday (Nov 16) probably did not get below freezing overnight, rain melted a lot of the snow on the ground, patchy snow cover this morning and rain/snow mix falling for a while, then rain, sometimes snow, then rain, high of 35 degrees. Airplane flew over at 414pm in the storm. Misty drizzle at dark. Heavy snow during the night.

Friday (Nov 17) overnight low of 24 degrees, 4″ of new snow on the ground this morning, partly clear and light breeze. Trees dropping snow bombs out in the forest. Heard little birds calling (not sure if juncos or pine-siskins.) Internet and long distance phone out around 1115am, for less than 15 minutes. Couple of little snow flurries during the day, no accumulation, warm enough to melt some snow, high of 38 degrees. Clearing off at dark and temperature dropping, cold light breeze.

Saturday (Nov 18) overnight low of 14 degrees, 2″ of old snow on the ground this morning, high hazy clouds, filtered sun and slight cold breeze. Watched 2 stellar jays looking through old pine cones for seeds. Partly cloudy and warmed up enough to melt a little snow this afternoon, high of 40 degrees. Clear and temperature dropping fast just before dark.

Sunday (Nov 19) overnight low of 13 degrees, 1-2″ of old snow remaining with a few bare patches, nearly clear sky. Heard a stellar’s jay calling. Sunshine and bright snow, frost starting to melt from the strength of the sun even tho it is still below freezing. Internet connection a little “iffy” around 1230pm. High hazy clouds early afternoon and a very noticeable chilly light breeze, high of 40 degrees. Overcast at dark, dropping below freezing.
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RIP:

Jim Ed Biggers

Biggers, Jim Ed, 58, passed away Saturday, November 11, 2017 at a local hospital. Arrangements have been entrusted to All Valley Cremation, 1538 11th Avenue North in Nampa.

Published in Idaho Statesman on Nov. 14, 2017
[h/t L and B]
Note” “Little” Jimmy Biggers lived in Yellow Pine.
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Scam Alerts:

New Scam, Claiming to Be One of Our Deputies

The Valley County Sheriff’s Office dispatch has received two calls today from McCall citizens, claiming that they are Lt. Jason Speer and there is a warrant out for their arrest for failing to report for jury duty. THIS IS A SCAM!! They then want you to go to the store and get a visa gift card to pay them money. We understand that most people will know it’s a scam, unfortunately there are some that may fall prey to this type of call. It happens a lot.

PLEASE DO NOT SEND MONEY. Please contact the Valley County Sheriff’s Office dispatch at 208-382-5160 if you have any questions.

source: The Valley County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page
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Boise woman targeted by phone scam: ‘I want to get this story out’

by Alexis Goree Tuesday, November 14th 2017

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Loretta Reed believed she was careful when answering calls from strange numbers. But last week she got a call from someone claiming to be her grandson, Evan, and she fell for it.

“As I go back and think about it I said, oh Evan what is wrong, and then out came this story”

He told her he was sick and asked a friend to drive him to get medicine when they got stopped by police and drugs were found in the car. A so-called Sergeant Clark from the Nampa Police Department said she needed $4,000 to bail him out.

“I followed this so-called Sergeant Clark’s instructions to go to my bank, withdraw $4,000 and go to Target and buy eight $500 gift cards.”

continued:
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Idaho News:

School bus slides off road south of Cascade

KTVB November 16, 2017


(Photo: Cascade Fire Protection District)

Cascade, Idaho — Several children suffered minor injuries when their school bus slid off the road Thursday morning.

The incident happened on Thunder City Road in a rural area south of Cascade.

According to the Cascade Fire Protection District, the bus driver drifted too far onto the soft shoulder of the dirt road, causing the bus to slide off into a ditch. It was left tilted at an precarious angle, but did not completely roll.

Twelve children were on board the bus at the time, ranging from elementary-aged students to junior high. No one was seriously hurt, although several students suffered scrapes, scratches or bruises, according to first responders.

The bus was driving slowly when the slide-off occurred, according to the Cascade Fire Protection District. The district sent out a second bus to bring the children to school.

source:
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Three-car crash on Idaho 55 injures California man

The Star-News November 16, 2017

A California man was injured last Thursday in a three-vehicle accident on Idaho 55 near Fairbrother Lane south of McCall, the Idaho State Police reported.

Richard Scott, 69, of Sacramento, Calif., was taken by ambulance to St. Luke’s McCall after the accident, which happened about 8:09 p.m. last Thursday, the ISP reported. Scott’s condition was not available.

Scott was driving north when he lost control of his pickup, crossed the center line, and went into a broad slide.

Kathryn Thier, 35, of McCall, was driving her car south and drove off the left shoulder and into a ditch to avoid colliding with Scott’s vehicle.

Dean Neptune, 24, of Nampa, was driving a commercial box truck behind Thier and struck Scott’s pickup. All occupants were wearing seat belts, the ISP reported.

The section of Idaho 55 where the accident occurred was closed for about two hours until the scene could be cleared. The crash remained under investigation this week.

source:
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Cascade Legion post to host free Thanksgiving Day dinner

The Star-News November 16, 2017

The Cascade American Legion Post 60 and Auxiliary will host a traditional Turkey Day feast on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 23, at 1 p.m.

American Legion members will provide the turkey and the trimmings for the free community event, and local churches and other volunteers will bring assorted pies and desserts.

The dinner will be held at the Cascade American Legion hall, 105 E. Mill St.

continued:
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2018 Winter Carnival theme: There’s ‘Snow’ Place Like Home

The Star-News November 16, 2017

“There’s ‘Snow’ Place Like Home” is the theme of the 2018 McCall Winter Carnival, the McCall Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau announced.

“In deciding this year’s theme we really wanted to capture what makes living in McCall so special,” carnival Chair McKenzie Kraemer said.

“Home means so many things to so many different people and we are excited to see what this theme inspires,” Kraemer said.

Plans for the 2018 carnival, to be held Jan. 26 through Feb. 4, include traditional events like fireworks, the Mardi Gras Parade and snow sculptures along with a few new events.

continued:
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$1,150 grant awarded for blinds at historic NM depot

The Star-News November 16, 2017

The Adams County Historical Society has been awarded a $1,150 matching grant from the Idaho State Historical Society.

The grant funds will be used to purchase UV protection blinds to be installed in the President’s Room of the Pacific and Idaho Northern Railway Depot in New Meadows.

The blinds will help protect photos, documents and woodwork in the room from damaging sunlight while items are being documented cataloged and inventoried.

The same type of blind was previously installed in the Lobby, Ticket Agent’s Office and Ladies Waiting Room for the same reasons. The historical society will match the grant with volunteer time by professionals.

source:
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Idaho History:

Idaho Pen Turkey Flock 1924

Source: Original 1924 Nature Magazine from JTR Collection
courtesy John T. Richards – Idaho History 1860s to 1960s
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Public Lands:

National forests to start selling Christmas tree permits Saturday

The Star-News November 16, 2017

Boise and Payette National Forest vendors will begin selling Christmas tree permits on Saturday.

This year, fourth-graders can receive a free permit through the “Every Kid in a Park” program.

Fourth-graders will receive a voucher for one free Christmas tree permit when they register for the “Every Kid in a Park” initiative at http://EveryKidinaPark.gov.

The fourth-graders and a parent must redeem the voucher at a Forest Service office, as commercial vendors will not accept the vouchers. Free Christmas tree permits cannot be sent electronically or through the mail.

Permits for sale to the general public will be available at the Boise and Payette National Forest offices starting Monday. Cost is $10 and valid until Dec. 25.

Each permit allows one tree to be cut, and there is a limit of three per family. The maximum height of a permitted tree is 12 feet. Permits are valid for use on both forests and are for personal use only.

Christmas tree permits are available at these locations:

• New Meadows Ranger District Office, 3674 Highway 95, New Meadows. 208-347-0300.

• McCall Ranger District Office, 102 W. Lake St., McCall. 208-634-0400.

• Albertsons, 132 E. Lake St., McCall. 208-634-8166.

• C&M Lumber, 3625 Walker Lane, New Meadows. 208-347-3648.

• Cascade Ranger District, 540 N. Main St., Cascade. 208-382-7400.

source:
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Making A Break

Forest Service project near Lake Cascade would help separate wildfires, homes

By Max Silverson For The Star-News November 16, 2017

Wendy Green doesn’t mind that the Forest Service is thinking about cutting trees and shrubs near her home. It would be a small price to pay to save her home in a wildfire.

Green was among those who recently toured an area on the west side of Lake Cascade where work is planned to slow down future wildfires.

The French-Hazard Wildland Urban Interface Project would take place on more than 6,000 acres of the Boise National Forest on the eastern slope of West Mountain between Hurd Creek and Moores Creek along West Mountain Road.

The project would also thin stands throughout the area that have become overgrown with brush and fast-growing fir species, Project Leader Jim Bishop of the Cascade Ranger District said.

The project contains 3,661 acres slated for commercial logging, 1,369 acres scheduled for thinning, 3,800 acres planned for controlled burns and 950 acres where equipment will chew up dense vegetation that could help a wildfire spread.

continued:
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BC YP SR Collaborative meeting December 14th

11/15/2017

The next meeting for the collaborative will be held on December 14th at the EOC 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Melissa B. Hamilton
U of I Valley County Extension Educator
Community Development / Agriculture
208-382-7190
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Pioneer Fire Recovery & Restoration Update

11/16/2017

After a busy summer field season on the Boise National Forest, work continues on the Pioneer Fire area to recover and restore the landscape.

Improving Aquatic Habitat for Bull trout

Two Aquatic Organism Passages (AOPs) have been placed on the Lowman Ranger District’s Clear Creek Road (National Forest System road 582). These AOPs are replacing small culverts on Pole and Big Spruce Creek, opening up more than 3 miles of upstream habitat for bull trout and other aquatic species within the Clear Creek watershed.

Opening access to bull trout spawning habitat provides refuge for small fish to escape predators and protect them from being swept downstream from high flows and/or increased sediment from the burned landscape.

The AOPs, which look like large culverts, are multipurpose bottomless arches with two concrete footer walls sunk below the scour depth of the stream, engineered to replicate natural stream conditions. The structures are designed to safeguard the popular road from damaging debris flows blocking stream flows and minimize the risk from water overflowing on to the road bed.

These AOPs are vitally important for the Boise National Forest’s long term recovery efforts which are part of the Pioneer Fire’s Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) assessment and supports the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s bull trout recovery plan. Learn more about AOPs by watching the video:

Salvage Timber and Roadside Hazard Sales Status

Twelve salvage timber sales sold to reduce hazard trees in heavily used recreation areas are in various stages of operation from beginning to completion.

* Whoopum up and Upper Rock Salvage and Sunset Ski Roadside Hazard sales: completed.

* Upper Rock Creek Salvage and Pikes Fork Roadside Hazard sales: are expect completion mid-November.

* Crooked and Kempner Salvage and Banner Roadside Hazard sales: expected completion this winter barring extreme weather conditions.

* Upper Beaver and Lamar Salvage sales: just started with completion expected in the summer and fall 2018, respectively.

* Clear Creek Roadside Hazard sale: expected to begin mid-November with completion expected in 2018.

Two additional sales were advertised for bid Nov. 3, 2017:

* 393 Roadside Hazard and the Gold Fork West Salvage sales bid openings were scheduled for Nov. 15.

* 393 Roadside Hazard had an oral auction and Gold Fork West had a sealed bid.
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Barber Flat Bridge Open to Full-Size Vehicles

Boise, Idaho, November 17, 2017 Boise National Forest News Release

The Barber Flat Bridge located on the Idaho City Ranger District, National Forest System (NFS) Road 327 is now open to full size vehicles but will have load restrictions.

Recent improvements to the bridge have mitigated concerns, allowing the Forest to open the bridge to full-size vehicles. Load restrictions are posted and may impact heavy loads including logging and gravel transporting vehicles. Brett Barry, Boise National Forest civil engineer said “The structural improvements completed and future instream structure work will ensure the bridge functions for years to come.”

The Barber Flat bridge improvements have been classified into two phases. Phase one, which concluded this fall included new hardware, abutment improvements and additional monitoring. Phase two will begin during the fall of 2018, projected treatments include adding instream structures that divert channel flows which prevent future damage to abutments.

Recreationists are urged to use caution when traveling on NFS Road 376 from Alexander Flats to NFS Road 327. The road is a single lane road with turnouts that is maintained for high clearance vehicles. Winter weather may further impact road conditions in this area.
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2017 CuMo Exploration Project Supplemental Information Report is Now Available

11/17/2017

Dear Interested Party,

This email is to inform you that the recently completed CuMo Exploration Project Supplemental Information Report (SIR) is now available on the New 2018 CuMo Exploration Project webpage (https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52875) under the Assessment Tab.

The new 2018 CuMo Exploration Project webpage will replace the original CuMo webpage. Key documents from the original webpage are being relocated to the new webpage under the Supporting Tab. The original webpage is still available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=21302 but due to this site being unstable most documents have been unpublished and are being relocated.

For additional information regarding the SIR, please contact Rick Wells, Forest Geologist, at 208-373-4136. For questions regarding the project webpages, please contact me directly. Thank you for your continued interest in this project.

Sincerely,
Melissa Yenko
Forest Environmental Coordinator
Boise National Forest
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Idaho Trails Association on a roll; seeks new members to keep momentum

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 126, 2017

A statewide non-profit outdoor service group is looking for more members to achieve its simple goal of keeping Idaho’s nonmotorized trails open and usable.

The Idaho Trails Association is looking for more members to join trail building and maintenance projects next season, said North Idaho resident and long-distance hiker Tom Dabrowski.

Founded in 2010, ITA volunteers have completed 21 projects in 12 parts of the state, he said. A total of 215 volunteers contributed more than 5,175 hours of field work time on 103 miles of trail, sawing more than 1,000 logs off the trails, fixing water bars, cutting back brush and repairing trail treads, he said.

The volunteers coordinate with government trails crews to spread out the work and cover more trails, he said.

continued:
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Last Chance to Comment on National Parks Massive Fee Increase

Western Slope No Fee Coalition 11/17/2017

In late October we alerted you to the National Park Service’s proposal to move to “surge pricing” during the most popular season at 17 popular parks. At those parks, the entrance fee during the most desirable time of year will at least double and nearly triple at some, to $70 per vehicle for a single visit.

Public comments are being taken only until November 23. Before you sit down with your family to give thanks this year, show your support for National Parks that are accessible to everyone by adding your voice to those of your fellow citizens!

Details here.
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USFS Regional Intermountain News

November 16, 2017

link:
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Critter News:

Pet Talk – Lipomas in Dogs

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt Nov. 17, 2017 – IME

Lipomas are benign tumors that originate from fat cells. “Lip” in Latin stands for fat and “oma” stands for tumor. They are the most common tumor seen in dogs and are most common in overweight, middle-age to older dogs. The exact cause of the formation of these tumors is unknown. They are common in all breeds, but especially in Labrador retrievers.

Lipomas are well-defined, oval or round growths that exist and can be easily felt under the skin, or the subcutaneous area of the body. They usually feel soft and smooth, and can be easily moved around under the skin. Most occur on the trunk of the dog, especially under the chest. They can also occur on the legs and neck. They start off small, but can grow as large as an orange. Most lipomas do not cause any clinical signs. They are removed surgically for cosmetic reasons or if they occur in the joints of the dog and are causing gait abnormalities. In rare instances, lipomas can develop in the abdomen, chest or behind the eye. These lipomas can cause serious problems and must be removed surgically.

Lipomas can mimic other, more malignant tumors. Your vet will almost always want to stick a needle into the lipoma, aspirate a sample of cells and confirm that only fat cells are noted under the microscope. Biopsy of the tumor (taking a small sample of the tumor surgically) will also show that the tumor is benign.

continued:
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Want to live longer? Get a dog

Findings also suggest increased social well-being

Victoria Larned – CNN Nov 17, 2017

The benefits that come with owning a dog are clear– physical activity, support, companionship — but owning a dog could literally be saving your life

Dog ownership is associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and death, finds a new Swedish study published Friday in the journal Scientific Reports.

For people living alone, owning a dog can decrease their risk of death by 33% and their risk of cardiovascular related death by 36%, when compared to single individuals without a pet, according to the study. Chances of a heart attack were also found to be 11% lower.

continued:
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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Second week of November 2017
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Environmental group sues for records of wolf killings

By Nicholas K. Geranios – 11/15/17 AP

Spokane, Wash. — An environmental group is suing the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife over its failure to release some public records on wolf deaths in the state.

The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking records about the killing of a wolf from the Smackout Pack this summer and the killing of nearly the entire Profanity Peak pack in 2016.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Thurston County Superior Court.

Bruce Botka, a spokesman for the WDFW in Olympia, says the agency does not comment on the filing of legal complaints and had not reviewed the lawsuit yet with attorneys.

Wolves are listed as endangered by the state in the eastern third of Washington, where they are relatively abundant. They have federal endangered species protection in the western two-thirds of the state.

source:
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Pro-wolf group from out-of-state hounds Washington with lawsuits

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 16, 2017

An Arizona-based environmental group is suing the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for access to some public records on wolf deaths in the state.

The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking records about the killing of a wolf from the Smackout Pack this summer and the killing of several animals in the Profanity Peak pack in 2016.

Lethal removal of some wolves was authorized by the agency director in those cases after preventative measures didn’t stop multiple wolf attacks on livestock. The attacks generally stopped after a few wolves were killed.

continued:
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Online quiz: Can you distinguish wolf from coyote?

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 15, 2017

Oregon has posted an online quiz to help people – especially hunters – bone up on telling the difference between wolves and coyotes.

The quiz found at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website shows photos of the animals at various ages. As users are quizzed on their knowledge, the website offers tips on how to differentiate wolves from coyotes.

More than 16,000 people had taken the quiz in the first week after it was released this fall.

Wolves are still protected in both Oregon and Washington by state or federal rules. Coyotes are not protected and can be hunted.

source:
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Wyoming game managers take public comment on grizzly bears

11/17/17 AP

Jackson, Wyo. — A Wyoming Game and Fish Department public meeting on how to manage grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem drew comments and ideas from hunting guides who perceive there are too many grizzly bears and environmentalists insistent that Jackson Hole should remain a hunting-free sanctuary.

About 100 people attended the meeting Wednesday night when they were asked their thoughts on population monitoring, research, conflict management, information and education and grizzly bear hunting.

The comments and ideas voiced included prohibiting grizzly bear hunting until the Yellowstone region’s bears are connected with the grizzly bear population in northwest Montana; requiring wildlife managers to tell the public where tracked grizzlies are in real time when the bears venture into well-used areas; and requiring that meat from a hunted grizzly bear can’t be wasted, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reported.

continued:
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Landowner uses tractor to ‘totally’ disable elk poacher’s pickup

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 14, 2017


A landowner used a tractor to “disable” a pickup belonging to elk poachers trespassing on his property in Pierce County on Nov. 11, 2017. (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

Public sentiment is clearly behind the landowner who used his tractor to, shall we say, immobilize the pickup of elk poachers who were trespassing.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife police are hesitant to say that’s the proper way to respond. There could be consequences.

But for now, the WDFW report on Facebook is chalking up a lot of fans for the Pierce County man who went out into the night to make sure the poachers didn’t get away.

continued:
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Spokane man, brother cited for trophy elk poaching in Montana

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 16, 2017

A Spokane man and his twin brother have been charged with 16 crimes involved with the illegal killing of eight bull elk in what Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials describe as years of poaching activity on a Fergus County ranch.

James Stephen Page, of Garneill, Mont., and William Thomas Page, of Spokane, Wash., both 32, are accused of illegally harvesting eight bull elk over several years on the 3 Bar Ranch, which is on the west side of the Snowy Mountains, southwest of Lewistown, agency spokesman Bruce Auchly reports today.

The case involves eight felony charges. If convicted, the brothers could lose for life their hunting and fishing privileges in Montana, and possibly other states, and face thousands of dollars in fines.

continued:
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Bald eagles’ annual gathering begins at Lake Coeur d’Alene

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 16, 2017


A bald eagle snatches a spawning kokanee from the Wolf Lodge Bay area of Lake Coeur d’Alene. (Jerry Rolwes)

Kokanee are spawning and dying in North Idaho’s two largest lakes and bald eagles have begun congregating for the annual feast.

Dozens of eagles are congregating at Granite Creek and in the Bayview shoreline area to take advantage of revived kokanee fisheries in Lake Pend Oreille.

Lake Coeur d’Alene is more accessible and better known for the eagles that congregate from November into January to feast on the kokanee — land-locked sockeye salmon — spawning in Wolf Lodge Bay.

The number of eagles varies from year to year, with 31 adult (white-headed) eagles and 6 immatures counted today in the first weekly survey of the eagle season by Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist.

continued:
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Sage grouse policy moving back to square one as decade of collaboration questioned

Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review Nov 13, 2017

Federal scientists and land managers who’ve been crafting strategies to protect a ground-dwelling bird’s habitat across the American West for nearly two decades are going back to the drawing board under a new Trump administration edict to reassess existing plans condemned by ranchers, miners and energy developers.

Here’s more in a report from Associated Press reporter Scott Sonner, who’s covered some of the public meetings related to the review.

continued:
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Idaho Man Lands Near-Record Fish And An Even Better Story From The Boise River

By James Dawson Nov 17, 2017 Boise State Public Radio

It’s a near-miss lunker. Jason Waidelich had the catch of a lifetime on the Boise River this month when he hooked a rainbow trout that weighed a whopping 19.25 pounds.

“My adrenaline was pumping, I couldn’t breathe. It was pure shock,” Waidelich told KTVB. “The only time I’ve ever seen a trout that big is in the aquariums at Cabela’s.”

The 32-inch long monster was just shy of the state record held by Michelle Larsen-Williams, set in 2009. She hooked her 20-pound, 34.25-inch long rainbow on the Snake River in 2009.

Idaho Fish and Game biologist John Cassinelli agrees. “That’s pretty insane from the Boise River.”

continued:
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The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
http://www.cbbulletin.com
November 17, 2017
Issue No. 852
Table of Contents

* IDFG Making Progress On Fixing Water Chemistry Issues Impacting Snake River Sockeye Hatchery Smolt Survival
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439869.aspx

* Colder, Wetter, Snowier Now Forecasted For Upcoming Winter; La Nina Conditions May Hang Around Until April
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439868.aspx

* Council Hears Presentation On How California’s Booming Renewables Affecting BPA Revenues
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439866.aspx

* Council Directs Cost Efficiency Savings To More Funds For Hatchery, Fish Diversion Improvements
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439866.aspx

* Corps Seeks Comment On Willamette Valley Reservoir Storage Reallocation Draft Study
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439865.aspx

* Corps Awards $6.2 Million Contract To ODFW To Operate Bonneville Fish Hatchery
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439864.aspx

* Western Governors Seek Clarification On Interior’s Plans To Prevent Spread Of Invasive Mussels
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439863.aspx

* Montana Supreme Court Upholds Salish-Kootenai Tribes Water Rights Compact
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439861.aspx

* Federal Climate Science Report For U.S. Released, Projects Trends In Temperature, Precipitation, Sea-Level Rise
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439862.aspx

* Petty Nominated For Interior Assistant Secretary Overseeing Bureau Of Reclamation, USGS
http://www.cbbulletin.com/439858.aspx
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Fish & Game News:

Don’t improperly dump your big game carcasses

By Phil Cooper, Wildlife Conservation Educator
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Proper disposal keeps you out of trouble and eliminates problems for others

When you’re done butchering a big-game animal, there’s usually bones, hide and other inedible parts that should be double-bagged, securely tied, and put out with your household waste for garbage collection.

Hunters are required to remove and care for all of the edible meat from hindquarters as far down as the hock, the shoulders as far down as the knee, and meat along the backbone. There is also a lot of meat in the neck and covering the ribs that make good ground or stew meat.

When you take your harvested animal to a professional meat processor, you can deliver the clean carcass and your work is done. Perhaps the best part of paying a professional meat processor is the shop disposes of the bones for you.

When hunters do the processing themselves, there is a pile of bones, hide, and a head that need to be disposed of. If you’re quartering the animal in the field and in a remote area, these will be cleaned up by scavengers in short order.

If you bring an animal out whole and need to dispose of the inedible remains, a transfer station will accept animal carcasses for no charge from residents who live within that county who pay the solid waste disposal fee.

When disposing of game animals, hunters should consider the consequences of their actions. It only takes one improperly dumped and highly visible carcass to generate strong negative reactions from the public.

Unwanted big game carcasses that end up on the side of the road or other visible areas become eyesores and public health issues. They can even be hazardous because they attract dogs and scavengers, which become dangers to drivers who swerve to avoid hitting them.

continued:
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Biologists think they’ve found answers to low survival of sockeye salmon

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Specialist
Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sockeye runs have improved since the 1990s, but biologists want better survival of young fish and more returning adults

Idaho Fish and Game’s sockeye recovery program has overcome many challenges in preserving the species, and scientists are continuing to learn and improve as they transition from staving off extinction to growing Idaho’s sockeye population.

Fish and Game’s Assistant Fisheries Chief Paul Kline said F&G biologists think they’ve answered a nagging question about its relatively new sockeye hatchery in Springfield. The hatchery succeeded in raising lots of young sockeye, but the fish have survived poorly after being released to migrate to the Pacific.

Biologists found differences in water hardness between Springfield Hatchery in Southeast Idaho where the fish are raised from eggs and Redfish Lake Creek near Stanley where they’re released. Differences in water chemistry between the two waters may be adding stress to fish that are already stressed from “smoltification” – a period when they migrate downstream and their bodies transition from freshwater to saltwater.

continued:
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International Effort Slows Invasive Bullfrogs

By Michael Lucid, Wildlife Regional Biologist
Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Northern leopard frog numbers have declined dramatically in the northern portion of their range to the point there is only a single known natural population left in all of British Columbia or northern Idaho.

An international team of biologists has been working hard to prevent the northward movement of invasive bullfrogs toward British Columbia’s Creston Wildlife Management Area where that last leopard frog colony resides. Biologists on both sides of the border are using a promising new technique called ‘electrofrogging’ to remove, then euthanize, bullfrogs from small ponds.

Bullfrogs spread disease, outcompete native amphibians, and eat most anything in their path. Working together to slow the spread of bullfrogs is not only protecting the Creston leopard frog colony but helping prepare Idaho’s Boundary-Smith Creek Wildlife Management Area for a major climate adaptation restoration project which will benefit six climate sensitive Species of Greatest Conservation Need.

continued w/video:
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Idaho agency denies sex discrimination lawsuit allegations

By Keith Ridler – 11/14/17 AP

Boise, Idaho — The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is asking that a federal sex discrimination lawsuit be dismissed and that any recordings made by the former employee not be allowed as evidence.

The 8-page document filed Monday also asks that Fish and Game receive attorney fees.

The lawsuit filed last month in U.S. District Court seeking $100,000 in damages includes an allegation that a male supervisor threatened to strangle the female employee with an extension cord.

Fish and Game denies that ever took place.

The lawsuit also says the woman made recordings to back up some of her claims.

Fish and Game contends those recordings are illegal and should not be allowed as evidence, and the woman’s claim barred as a matter of public policy.

A ruling is pending.

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F&G News Releases

https://idfg.idaho.gov/press
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Fun Critter Stuff:

Badger discovered asleep in cat bed in Linlithgow

BBC News Oct 19, 2017

A sleepy badger was caught napping in a cat bed in a house in Linlithgow.

The badger entered the kitchen through a cat flap and filled up on cat food before going to sleep in the soft bed.

The Scottish SPCA was called to the house at Beecraigs Country Park on Wednesday and an officer was able to persuade the badger to leave of its own accord.

The charity said it was unusual behaviour for badgers, which are usually shy animals, to enter a home.

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Seasonal Humor:

ThanksgivingCard-a
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Tips & Advice:

Space heater safety

Tristan Lewis Nov 03, 2017 Local News 8

Idaho Falls, Idaho – As temperatures begin to drop, many of us are starting to bring out our space heaters.

Home heating fires account for 16% of structure fires in America.

Space heaters are rated for indoor use and should only be operated according to the owner’s manual, and be UL listed with tip-over shut off protection. Use of space heaters should only be temporary and are unsafe for prolonged periods.

All heat sources require at least 3 feet of clear space around them. Keep children, animals and any combustible materials away from heat sources.

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