Category Archives: News 2018

April 15, 2018 The Yellow Pine Times

April 15, 2018 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

First Swallows of Spring

A sharp-eyed neighbor reported 3 or 4 tree swallows on Tuesday April 10th. A good reminder to get our bird houses checked and ready before nesting season.

For folks interested in building nesting houses for tree swallows, the following link from Birds and Blooms has plans and tips for a bluebird house made from a cedar fence board, Tree swallows use the same sized box and hole. Make sure to score the inside of the box all the way to the floor so the babies can climb up to be fed.
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Village Council Meeting

Minutes April 7, 2018 Yellow Pine Village Council

Present: Deb Filler, Chrm.; Joel Fields, Treas.; Kathy Hall, MAL.; Lynnea Imel, VChrm. Absent: Lorrine Munn, Sec.

Yellow Pine residents: Steve Holloway, Margie Fields, Bill McIntosh, Matt Huber

Deb Filler reviewed roadside work done since 2014 when the community created a list of road and roadside locations that needed improvements. The work done last summer (2017) has proven to be effective in controlling run-off water and preventing flooding of roads and private property. All work paid for with Village funds was on public property; some residents participated in the improvements and paid for work on their properties.

Considerable improvements are still needed:

(1) Yellow Pine Ave. between the Community Hall and Imel property the water leaves the roadside ditch area and runs on the road surface. This has resulted in the drivable area of the road is now narrower than originally created. This has restricted vehicle travel, resulting in cars having to stop and allow on-coming traffic to pass through. Equipment will be needed to re-establish the roadside ditches.

(2) Abstein street work was done in the past near McIntosh and Fields properties but work is needed to taper the road to channel water to the roadsides. Also planning and installation of “belted” diversions is needed so water is not allowed to run on the road and to the bridge. Joel emphasized that water on both sides of the wood-decked bridge runs onto the bridge causing damage. Water on the north side of the bridge (Fields & Saleen properties) is flowing on the road from the Fodor’s trailer above Greenway property. Water on the south side of the bridge (front of Bork property) is year-round. This needs investigation for the cause. It was agreed that this area needs work and will cost a considerable amount of money for equipment and materials.

Deb commented that the bridge has been inspected by an engineer representing Valley County and the County has the bridge replacement on a list for replacement. There is no definite year for that work.

Lynn reviewed information Willie Sullivan had presented at a recent meeting with Midas Gold. At that meeting he had suggested that Midas could possibly help with projects around Yellow Pine, such as the roads on each side of the bridge.

Deb commented that the community has spent almost $8,000 since we started concentrating on roadside maintenance. The community now has an aging population that is physically unable to maintain the ditches as previously done. Kathy asked how much money is in the General Fund to pay other expenses such as insurance, electricity, snow removal, dust abatement, so we would know how much is available for ditch maintenance. Joel responded that he feels reserving $3,000 would be wise leaving about $650 for use on ditches/roads.

Kathy suggested that because we do not have money to commence work on expensive roadside projects, the council should pursue ways maintain the ditches already cleared and work on the project list when possible. The designated “Ditch Day” last year had not been effective; the designated “Ditch Day” should be eliminated. The community should make an effort to ask for workers and equipment, using the the money as wisely as possible, to clean silt traps and culverts where residents are unable to do the work to maintain good water flow. Postponing maintenance work will result in past problems returning. The community has been supportive in the past because they have been involved in the planning.

Council members agreed that volunteer maintenance will be emphasized along with an effort to accumulate money to pay for work. This will be presented at the June meeting. We will post notices asking for workers and equipment to commit to help. Joel suggested that we need a person to guide workers how to do some of the work.

Lynn suggested that the County may provide culverts as they have in the past.

Lynn will suggest (at the June meeting) that lighting the flag at the Veterans’ Memorial could be discontinued during the winter months to save money.

Meeting adjourned 3:40

Margie Fields: suggested that the toilet construction fund surplus could be put in the general fund and Y.P. Water Co. could contribute since they’ve had trucks impacting the roads.

Steve Holloway suggested that prices at the Harmonica/Music Festival be increased to raise money for general fund, but the harmonica fund needs $12,000 maintained annually.
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April 14, 2018

Hi All,

We want to update you on Yellow Pine’s ditch and run-off status.

Background:

As you may remember, back in 2014 we started the project to control the spring run-off. After several ice years, the situation had become critical. We engaged ditch experts and an engineer. Each of the ditches and eroded areas were reviewed. The experts and engineer made recommendations to solve our run-off issues. A detailed plan was developed, reviewed and approved by the Villagers, and work began that year.

• The largest, and most critical part of the plan was done in 2014 and 2015. Approximately $7000.00 of village funds was spent. The results were everything we hoped for.

• In the fall of 2017 less than $800.00 of village funds was spent. This work eliminated the large “skating rink” at the intersection of Yellow Pine Ave. and School St.; resolved the flooding onto the property between Connie L.’s and Sarge’s place; and completely did away with the swamp behind the Community Hall and the standing water in the basement of the hall.

• Maintenance and “Ditch Day”: The first two years were a big success. In the following years, volunteer help tapered off. It is now to the point that there was zero participation in “Ditch Day” 2017. This is something we must face if we are to maintain the good works for the $8000.00 we spent. Many of us are now at a place in life where strenuous, physical labor is not possible.

Current Issue:

On April 7, 2018, the Village Council met to discuss the work remaining in the 2014 plan, the needed maintenance, and the funding available to meet our needs. It was determined that since the major work needed to resolve erosion and flooding had been completed, and funding is limited, we should focus the funds we have on maintaining what was done. The needed maintenance tasks have been identified and detailed (see page 2) for the areas of work that have been completed.

We need your help:

We would like you to look over the maintenance tasks and come up with ideas on who might have the ability to do some or all of the work; what equipment could be used to complete the work; what knowledge is needed for the tasks to be successful; what criteria would indicate a task could be bypassed in a given year; and how can we raise more funds for the village to keep maintenance work done and finish the 2014 plan.

We would like to you bring your ideas to the June 9, 2018 Village Association meeting or email them to me at fillerd2 @ live.com.

Thanks for your help,
Deb Filler
Chairman Village of Yellow Pine Association

[Page 2]

Tasks to Maintain Non-private Property Run-off Work

Upper Stibnite Road Issue: Clean needle cast from ditch each year before snowfall. Clean silt trap at Stibnite Rd-Profile St intersection. Clean out end of culvert if needed.

Profile Street: cleaning the ditch from the upper culvert to the culvert at Kehne’s driveway. Move material to uphill side of to repair berm and direct run-off. Clean ditch along Profile St. Clean silt traps above and below each culvert. Clean out end of culvert if needed.

Behne Ave: clean ditch along Behne; clean silt traps; clean out end of culvert if needed.

Lower Yellow Pine Ave: Clean ditch along both sides of YP Ave (from YP Ave. Hill to School St); clean silt trap at all culverts (both ends). Clean out end of culvert if needed.

Un-named Alley (alley between YP & Behne from Ellison to Pioneer): Clean ditch; remove silt from ditch at south end. Clean out end of culvert if needed.

Community Hall Ditch: Clean ditch along south side of property.

Abstein Rd: Clean shallow ditch along east side of road; clean silt trap at culvert; clean out end of culvert if needed. Repair any berm damage at the Doe St. intersection to direct run-off into pasture.

Definitions:

Clean Needle Cast – is the act of removing the needles that have fallen from the trees into the ditch.

Clean Culvert – is the act of removing debris and sediment from the pipe extending under and beyond the edges of the roadbed.

Clean Silt Trap – is the act of emptying sediment from a hole above the upper end of a culvert or just below the lower end of a culvert allowing sediment to accumulate outside of the culvert.

Clean Ditch – is the act of removing existing sediment from a ditch allowing for water to be free-flowing.

Repair Berm – is the act of adding soil/rock materials to fill any break that allows water to run where it shouldn’t be running.
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Long Island Iced Tea Party

Saturday, April 21st at 3pm, Filler’s front yard. Join us as we celebrate 10 years in Yellow Pine! Everyone is invited. Snacks are welcome.
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Blow-down Update

The Cascade Ranger District (BNF) is responsible for burning the slash piles from the blow-down cleanup. Last word is they will be burning either this spring or late fall. Will update when more info becomes available.
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Yellow Pine Tavern

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

The Corner is open for Breakfast and Dinner with prior arrangements. Typically breakfast is served between 5 and 6 am with dinner between 6 and 7 pm. The Corner Store is open as well, just call for grocery needs, fresh produce, eggs, meat etc.
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Be Predator Aware

Bears are coming out of hibernation. No recent reports of coyotes, foxes, raccoons, bobcats or cougars hanging around. The elk are close to homes, so wolves might be around. Please don’t leave pet food and garbage outdoors.
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2018 H-Fest

Next Festival Meeting April 19th 1pm at the Community Hall.

Next meeting will be May 17th.

The 2018 festival T-shirt contest is now open! All entries must include the year (2018) and the festival name “Yellow Pine Festival” in the design Entries must be received by Friday, May 18th, 2018. The prize for the winning design is $100! Multiple designs by the same artist can be sent in.

Hint: these shirts are screen prints, simpler designs stand out better. Submit your entry by email to Marj Fields at fieldsmarjie @ yahoo.com
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YPFD News:

Fire Safety Tips for Winter/Spring

Keep your chimney clean to prevent flue fires, YPFD chimney brushes are available for local use, check with Cecil to borrow them. Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide 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 and fire siren testing will resume in the spring.
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VYPA News:

Next meeting June 2018
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Local Propane Suppliers

Amerigas Phone: (208) 634-8181
Ed Staub & Sons Phone: (208) 634-3833
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Diamond Fuel & Feed (208) 382-4430

Our local birds love black oil sunflower seeds. Diamond has 40 pound bags of sunflower seeds for $22.59 (plus tax) and Arnold’s charges 5 cents a pound to haul it to Yellow Pine.
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook (updated more often than emails)
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Local Observations:

Monday (Apr 9) Low flying large airplane at 232am. Overnight low of 28 degrees, skiff of new snow on the ground this morning, mostly clear sky and light chilly breezes. Lots of birds this morning, clarks nutcrackers, steller jays, robins, red-breasted nuthatches, chickadees, juncos and a red-shafted flicker. Warm sunshine and light breezes mid day, increasing clouds, high of 55 degrees. First Colombian ground squirrel sighting. Cow elk wearing a collar wandered down our street just before dark.

Tuesday (Apr 10) overnight low of 29 degrees, overcast and sprinkles of rain this morning. First Tree Swallow sighting! Robins chirping and flicker calling, jays and nutcrackers sounding off. Red-breasted nuthatches visiting, colombian ground squirrel nosing around. First chipmunk sighting early afternoon, flicker still calling. Cloudy afternoon, a few drops of rain around 330pm, high of 58 degrees. Female hairy woodpecker visited. Lots of robins chirping at dusk. Sprinkles of rain turned to showers, then hard rain after midnight, then snow in the middle of the night.

Wednesday (Apr 11) snowed about an inch during the night, overnight low of 32 degrees, partly cloudy this morning and melting. Lots of robins calling this morning. Cloudy by early afternoon, high of 52 degrees. Male downy woodpecker and several red-breasted nuthatches visiting. Later a female hairy woodpecker stopped by. Evening sprinkles of rain. Leaves are coming out on gooseberry bushes, buds on lilacs slightly swelled and turning pink.

Thursday (Apr 12) snowed over an inch after 8am, low clouds – socked in to the valley floor, steady snow and light breezes this morning. Lots of juncos flitting around in the snow on the ground, lots of red-breasted nuthatches and one white-breasted visiting. Didn’t hear any robins, but the local pine squirrel is busy. Still snowing lightly at lunch time. Male downy woodpecker visiting, later a female hairy woodpecker. Flaking snow most of the day, but melting, plus this morning’s snow also melted, high of 38 degrees. Finally quit snowing and breaks in the clouds around sunset. Snowed a skiff during the night.

Friday (Apr 13) skiff of snow from last night melting in the sun this morning and mostly clear, overnight low of 26 degrees. Lots of birds! Swallows swooping, a eurasian collared dove, a couple of stellar jays, a red-shafted flicker, lots of dark-eyed juncos, several red-breasted nuthatches and a white-breasted, a clarks nutcracker and perhaps a female cassins finch. Clouds moving in after lunch time, partly clear and rather breezy. A female hairy woodpecker visited, heard a flicker calling from the woods. Overcast by late afternoon, high of 50 degrees. Elk out on the golf course early in the evening, then they wandered up into the neighborhood, going in and out of yards. There were several cows and and quite a few yearlings, the old skinny one with the collar was with them. Robins chirping just at dark.

Saturday (Apr 14) overnight low of 32 degrees, skiff of snow, then light rain this morning, low overcast and ridges socked in. A few robins chirping, a jay calling, red-breasted nuthatches and dark-eyed juncos visiting, possible olive-sided flycatcher? After lunch a jay and 2 collared doves visited. Cloudy afternoon, not a lot of sun getting through the clouds, light breezes, high of 53 degrees. Juncos, nuthatches and a chickadee were afternoon visitors, heard a flicker calling. Quiet afternoon and evening, and cloudy.

Sunday (Apr 15) overnight low of 33 degrees, rain showers on and off after 7am. Nearly all of the old snow is gone except where it piled up sliding off north facing roofs. Heard a pine siskin this morning and the local pine squirrel was calling from over by the school. A few red-breasted nuthatches visiting, not a lot of birds this morning. Thinner clouds after lunch time and filtered sun. Early afternoon a female hairy woodpecker and 2 colombian ground squirrels visited, robin chirping off in the distance, and flicker calling. Warm cloudy afternoon, high of 59 degrees. Drops of rain on and off after sundown. Elk “migrating” through the neighborhood just before dark and a couple of robins calling.
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RIP:

Nancee Riggs of Riggins, Idaho passed away last Thursday, they had a memorial for her yesterday afternoon in Riggins.
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Idaho News:

Valley County Gun Club plans shooting range near Horsethief Reservoir

By Max Silverson for The Star-News April 12, 2018

Valley County might be the last county in Idaho without a gun range, but that is about to change.

The Valley County Gun Club plans to build a shooting range near Horsethief Reservoir off of Warm Lake Road.

The facility would sit on 44 acres leased from the Idaho Department of Lands and include a trap shooting range, rifle ranges, a dedicated .22 caliber range and a tactical range, club President Dale Allen said.

The facility is located about a mile away from the nearest dwelling, Allen said. The Valley County Gun Club was founded last summer 2017 and has grown to 105 members.

Valley County sheriff’s deputies, McCall Police and Idaho Department of Fish and Game officers are planning to use the facility for training, he said.

Construction is expected to begin this summer with completion in August.

continued:
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Workshop on wildland fires to be held April 24 in McCall

The Star-News April 12, 2018

Valley County will host a two-day interactive workshop focusing on how to address wildland fire issues beginning Tuesday, April 24, at 8 a.m. at the Quaker Hill Camp and Conference Center in McCall.

The Valley County Fire Working Group Cooperative’s “Living with Fire in Valley County” course will include presentations and learning exercises. A field trip will be held on Wednesday, April 25, at 9 a.m.

Cost is free, but registration is required. Lunch and snacks will be provided both days. For more information or to register, visit https://tinyurl.com/ybfcbs4z.

The Quaker Hill Conference Center is located at 1440 Warren Wagon Road.

source:
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McCall fire district chief to leave in June

No reason given for Mark Billmire’s departure

By Tom Grote for The Star-News April 12, 2018

McCall Rural Fire District Chief Mark Billmire has been relieved of his duties and will leave the fire district when his current contract expires in June.

Billmire, 62, who has been fire chief since 2012, was informed of the action by fire district commissioners on March 20.

Last week, the commissioners passed a resolution not to renew his three-year contract when it expires on June 17.

continued:
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Eight Idahoans become ill with E. coli after eating contaminated romaine lettuce

by KBOI News Staff Friday, April 13th 2018

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Eight Idahoans have become sick with E. coli infections after they ate contaminated romaine lettuce linked in a national outbreak.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says all eight of the Idahoans reported eating romaine lettuce in the 10 days prior to becoming ill.

Three of those people were hospitalized and two have developed kidney failure.

The state says the romaine lettuce came from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region. No grower, supplier, distributor or brand has been identified.

source with additional info:
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Idaho Power customers could see bill decrease

Residential customers could start seeing savings on their bill by June 1.

KTVB April 13, 2018

Boise – Your power bill could soon be going down.

In its annual power cost adjustment, Idaho Power proposed a little more than a $1 decrease per month for residential households.

In total, that’s a $22 million decrease for all Idaho Power customers.

Idaho Power says the decrease is thanks to power supply costs being lower than anticipated last year.

continued:
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Gun show ban lifted at Expo Idaho by county officials

4/13/18 AP

Boise, Idaho — Officials will allow gun shows again at the Boise-area fairgrounds after a ban was imposed following two accidental shootings.

Ada County commissioners on Tuesday adopted a new set of rules allowing the gun shows to return to Expo Idaho and aiming to make the events safer, the Idaho Statesman reported .

The commission banned the events in January 2016 after four people were injured in separate shootings in 2013 and 2015.

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Radioactive sludge barrel ruptures at Idaho nuclear site

by Keith Ridler Associated Press Thursday, April 12th 2018

Boise, Idaho (AP) – A barrel containing radioactive sludge ruptured at an Idaho nuclear facility, federal officials said Thursday, resulting in no injuries and no risk to the public but possibly slowing progress in shipping waste out of the state.

The U.S. Department of Energy said the 55-gallon (208-liter) barrel ruptured late Wednesday at the 890-square-mile (2,305-square-kilometer) site that includes the Idaho National Laboratory, one of the nation’s top federal nuclear research labs.

The rupture triggered a fire alarm, and three Idaho National Laboratory firefighters extinguished the smoldering barrel and pulled it away from a dozen other barrels nearby.

When the firefighters left the building, emergency workers detected a small amount of radioactive material on their skin, said department spokeswoman Danielle Miller.

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Scam Alert:

Jury duty scam targets Treasure Valley residents

by KBOI News Staff Monday, April 9th 2018

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Residents in the Treasure Valley have been targeted with demands for bond money to avoid arrest on fictitious warrants in recent months.

The scam is known as the “Jury Duty Scam.” The scammers impersonate officers of the court or law enforcement telling targets that jury duty was missed and they have a warrant for their arrest and must pay bond to avoid it.

Targets are told that the bond can be paid by purchasing pre-paid money by providing a credit card number to the scam artist. Payments range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

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Mining News:

East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River is Endangered

Midas Gold has a Plan to Restore it

Midas Gold April 9, 2018

Donnelly, ID –The East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River is in desperate need of repair and it is about to be named one of the most endangered rivers in the country by an environmental group. The river has been impacted for more than a century and the water quality and fish habitat in its headwaters are degraded. Midas Gold, a modern, Idaho-based mining company, has a plan to restore the river’s ecosystem and fix these long-standing issues as part of the proposed Stibnite Gold Project.

The East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River suffers from elevated metal levels, salmon have been blocked from their native spawning grounds by an abandoned mine pit and hundreds of tons of sediment wash into the river each year, impacting water quality and fish habitat. These problems were caused by more than a century of mining-related activity, most of which took place before environmental regulations existed. Mother Nature has compounded the problem by numerous forest fires.

“We have already developed the right plan and our team is in place to fix the problems left behind by historical mining operations,” said Laurel Sayer, CEO of Midas Gold Idaho. “The Stibnite Gold Project has been designed from the outset to use mining as a tool for restoration. Our plan will allow us to repair and enhance more than 12 miles of the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River and tributaries leading into it and get salmon and trout back to its headwaters for the first time in more than 80 years.”

Federal agencies used taxpayer dollars, alongside private funding, for limited clean-up of some of the issues in the area over 20 years ago. However, many significant issues still remain. Full restoration of the site is expected to cost tens of millions of dollars and, through its plan, Midas Gold is prepared to make that investment.

Under Midas Gold’s Plan of Restoration and Operations, salmon will be reconnected to their native spawning grounds for the first time in 80 years. Currently, fish are blocked from swimming upstream by the steep walls of an abandoned mining pit that cuts across the river. Midas Gold proposes to reconnect salmon to their spawning grounds before mining even begins. At first, fish will be reconnected through a temporary 0.8-mile tunnel. Using proven science, the fifteen-foot-wide passage is designed with smart lighting to mimic night and day and a flow pattern that gives fish resting pools. Midas Gold will then rebuild the channel of the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River by backfilling the Yellow Pine Pit, beginning in year seven of operations, and reconstructing the natural flow of the river, providing permanent fish passage to the headwaters and spawning beds.

Another important site restoration effort is planned by Midas Gold before it begins mining. Hundreds of tons of sediment enter the river each year from Blowout Creek, where an earthen dam failed in the 1960s. Elevated sediment levels can clog fish gills, make it hard for them to see their food and reduce their ability to fight diseases. Excessive sediment also chokes off the oxygen supply to the gravel beds, reducing productivity of the salmon spawning habitat. Midas Gold will address the river sedimentation problem by initially installing a rock drain at the site of the failed dam and rebuild the stream channel to prevent excessive sediment from entering the river, while raising the water level in the wetlands above to restore full functional value.

Currently, one of the tributaries to the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River passes by 10.5 million tons of spent ore and tailings left behind by past miners. These tailings have the potential to elevate concentrations of metals that can leach out and make their way into the river or groundwater. During the first years of operations, Midas Gold will reprocess and store the historic tailings in an engineered and state-of-the-art lined facility in order to prevent metals leaching from these rocks and reuse the spent ore for construction purposes.

Every element of Midas Gold’s Plan of Restorations and Operations was designed to address the threats facing the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River, restore the river’s ecosystem and make sure it recovers in the future.

“The river is facing many threats, however, the biggest threat to the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River is inaction,” said Sayer. “Doing nothing will continue to let fish habitat and water quality deteriorate and keep salmon blocked from their native spawning grounds. At Midas Gold, we’ve already developed a comprehensive plan to finally restore the river’s ecosystem and do much of that during the very early years of the project. As Idahoans, we are acutely aware of why restoring the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River is more critical than ever.”

To learn more about the problems facing the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River and Midas Gold’s plan to fix them, please visit
http://midasgoldidaho.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/EFSFSR-White-Paper.pdf

The Stibnite Gold Project is currently being permitted and reviewed under the National Environmental Policy Act. Midas Gold must obtain more than 50 permits from state and federal agencies and the company must set aside all of the funds needed for restoration before their project is allowed to move forward. Currently, the Stibnite Gold Project is under review by the U.S. Forest Service and a draft environmental impact statement is expected to be available for public comment in late 2018.

source:

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Public Lands:

Payette forest to set controlled burns to reduce wildfire risk

The Payette National Forest will be setting controlled fires this spring to help prevent outbreaks of uncontrolled fires in the future.

The burns could be set anytime from now to early June, depending on the weather, a news release said.

The controlled fires reduce surface fuels, increase height of the canopy, reduce small tree densities, and promote fire resilient trees, the release said.

Here is a listing of proposed controlled burns. All acreages cited are approximate.

Council Ranger District

• 10,000 acres in Mill Creek, two miles east of Council-from Fort Hall Ridge southward to Cottonwood Creek.

• 400 acres in the Cuprum Fuels reduction project 30 miles northwest of Council.

• 800 acres on the Weiser river eight miles north of Council and one mile south of Evergreen Forest on the east side of U.S. 95.

New Meadows Ranger District

• 1,600 acres in the Lost Creek-Boulder Creek project area six miles northwest of Lost Valley Reservoir.

• 500 acres in the Rapid River project area 17 miles northwest of New Meadows.

• 300 acres in the Meadows Slope project area four miles northwest of McCall.

McCall Ranger District

• 200 acres in the Bear Basin area three miles northwest of McCall.

Krassel Ranger District

• 2,000 acres within the Bald Hill project area north of Yellow Pine.

• 2,200 acres in the Four Mile project area along the South Fork of the Salmon River near Reed Ranch about 18 miles east of McCall.

Trail heads and roads that lead into the areas to be burned will be posted with caution signs and a map of the prescribed burn locations. Fire personnel will work to keep the amount of smoke to a minimum.

Residual smoke may be visible for up to two weeks following ignition, but most of the smoke from the fires should be gone within two days.

Contacts are Dustin Doane (McCall and New Meadows, 208-347-0336), Justin Pappani (Krassel, 208-634-0623) and Dave LaChapelle (Council and Weiser, 2087-549-4228).

Visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5709/ for updates.

source:
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Volunteer Station Assistant Sought for Big Creek Work Station For Summer 2018

Contact: Brian Harris (208) 634-0784 cell: (208) 634-6945
April 9, 2018

McCall, Idaho – The Payette National Forest/Krassel Ranger District is seeking a volunteer station assistant to staff the Big Creek work station for the summer of 2018. The volunteer will be responsible for visitor contacts, road patrols, shuttling work crews, taking radio check-ins, station upkeep, airstrip monitoring, irrigation and pasture rotation for livestock. The station sits adjacent to the Big Creek airstrip that is a popular airstrip for backcountry aviation.

“This is a unique opportunity for a person or married couple to experience the back county of Idaho while providing a valued service to Forest visitors and to the Forest Service,” said Patrick Brown, Krassel Ranger District Wilderness Management Assistant. Housing will be provided in a one- bedroom apartment with propane appliances and wood heat. Electrical, telephone and internet services are not available at the station. Groceries and US Mail are brought in once a week by a backcountry air charter service.

The volunteer assignment begins in early June and runs through the end of September. The volunteer works 5 days per week and receives a $28 per day stipend to assist in paying for food and personal supplies. The Big Creek work station is located 80 mile east of McCall and serves as the gateway to the 2.3 million acre Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area. Access to the station is by rough dirt road that is generally open in late June. The volunteer will be flown into the station in early June as necessary pending the condition of the road.

If interested, please send resume to Patrick Brown, pjbrown@fs.fed.us
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BLM using cattle to decrease wildfire risk

The BLM is experimenting with cattle grazing to provide fire fuel breaks.

Dean Johnson April 13, 2018 KTVB

Boise – Ranchers and the Bureau of Land Management are teaming up to help prevent another catastrophic fire on the Owyhee Front like the Soda Fire in the summer of 2015. It’s well known the two sides have not always seen eye-to-eye when it comes to grazing on public lands, but this new effort could prove to be beneficial for all.

The Targeted Grazing Project is a three- to five-year experiment taking place in the Soda Fire Burn Scar on the Owyhee Front to see if cattle grazing can be used to provide fuel breaks for firefighters.

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USDA Intermountain Region Newsletter

Volume 2 Issue 7 April 11, 2018

link:
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Popular national parks to raise fees to $35, not $70

AP Apr 12, 2018

Washington (AP) – The Interior Department is increasing fees at the most popular national parks to $35 per vehicle, backing down from an earlier plan that would have forced visitors to pay $70 per vehicle to visit the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and other iconic parks.

A plan announced Thursday would boost fees at 17 popular parks by $5, up from the current $30 but far below the figure Interior proposed last fall.

The plan by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke drew widespread opposition from lawmakers and governors of both parties, who said the higher fees could exclude many Americans from enjoying national parks. The agency received more than 109,000 comments on the plan, most of them opposed.

The fee increases apply to Yellowstone, Zion, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain and Grand Teton parks, among others.

source:
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Yellowstone superintendent has questions about fee proposal

4/11/18 AP

Cody, Wyo. — Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk says he’s looking forward to learning more about Wyoming’s initiative to collect a fee at Yellowstone to fund wildlife conservation efforts in the states surrounding the park.

Wenk tells the Powell Tribune he has many questions about the resolution and he’s concerned about adding to the overall cost park visitors must pay.

The Wyoming Legislature this year approved a resolution that seeks an agreement with U.S. Interior Department and National Park Service on collecting a fee at Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

Proponents say the idea is to generate money for Wyoming, Montana and Idaho to deal with issues like wildlife collisions, disease and migration routes.

The Wyoming resolution doesn’t specify how the fee would be assessed or what the amount would be.

source:
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RIP:

Patrick McManus

Born: August 25, 1933, Sandpoint, ID
Died: April 11, 2018, Spokane, WA
— —

An Evening with Patrick McManus

Outdoor Idaho

We interview the acclaimed outdoor humorist who lived near Sandpoint, Idaho, where he got most of his material; and we also feature the one-man play created by McManus and actor Tim Behrens, as they bring to life some of McManus’ favorite outdoor stories.

link:
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Critter News:

Pet Talk – Mammary tumors in dogs

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt Apr 13, 2018 – IME

Mammary gland tumors, or breast tumors, can be malignant or benign, and usually occur in older female dogs. In fact, they are the most common tumors found in female dogs. They are usually found in unsprayed dogs, or dogs spayed later in their lives. The risk of developing mammary tumors is directly related to the number of heat cycles the dog has experienced. If the dog is spayed before its first heat cycle, the risk is almost zero. If your female pet goes two heat cycles, the risk increases to 26 percent.

Dogs have 10 mammary glands. The glands closest to the rear legs are most commonly affected. Tumors are firm and often irregular to the touch. They are rarely painful. They can be single or multiple in number.

If your vet finds a lump on your dog’s mammary tissue, a fine needle aspirate will be recommended. Cells of the tumor will be sent to a pathologist to see if they are malignant or benign. Similar aspirations of nearby lymph nodes may help determine if metastasis has occurred. If the fine needle aspirates are inconclusive, a surgical biopsy to remove the mass will be recommended. This is commonly called a “lumpectomy” and recommended when only one small well-defined tumor is present. A partial mastectomy (removal of one to three glands), or chain mastectomy, is done when multiple glands are affected on one side.

continued:
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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Second week of April, 2018
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Several wolves attacking cattle in eastern Oregon

by KBOI News Staff Monday, April 9th 2018


(Baker County Sheriff Facebook)

Oxbow, Ore., (KBOI) — Several calves have died and others are missing after they were reportedly attacked by wolves in eastern Oregon.

The Baker County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were called out to Highway 86 near Four Mile Canyon on Friday and were told that witnesses spotted wolves harassing cattle earlier in the day.

The owner of the cattle found a deceased calf and two critically injured. On Saturday, another cow and calf were found injured.

continued:
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Oregon rancher approved to kill 2 wolves; advocates alarmed

4/10/18 AP

Baker City, Ore. — Oregon wildlife officials will allow a cattle rancher in remote northeastern Oregon to kill any two wolves — including a pregnant one — from a new pack that’s been attacking calves.

The wolves in the new pack, dubbed the Pine Creek Pack, killed three calves and injured four more over a two-day period, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said Tuesday. The pack roams along the Idaho state line and has eight members, including a breeding male and female and five yearlings.

The female is believed to be pregnant and could give birth in as little as a week, the agency said.

continued:
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Wolves continue comeback in Oregon after eradication

By Gillian Flaccus – 4/12/18 AP

Portland, Ore. — Biologists in Oregon counted 124 wolves in their annual tally, an 11 percent increase over last year’s numbers, and hailed the results Thursday as evidence that wolves are regaining their foothold in the state after being wiped out by bounty hunters more than 70 years ago.

Wolf advocates, however, blasted the report by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and said the report exaggerates the success of wolf recovery at a critical juncture when state officials are considering how to manage the species going forward.

They also criticized the agency for allowing ranchers to kill wolves to prevent attacks on livestock, including a kill order that was issued this week for up to any two wolves from a new pack that includes a heavily pregnant female.

continued:
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Wyoming counts at least 347 wolves in the state

4/11/18 AP

Cheyenne, Wyo. — Wyoming is estimated to have at least 347 wolves roaming within its borders after the state regained management of the animals and allowed limited hunting of wolves, according to an annual report by state wildlife managers.

The number of wolves counted by state game managers at the end of 2017 is down from about 380 estimated the year before.

State Game and Fish Department officials say the wolf population level continues to be healthy and exceeds all criteria established to show that the species is recovered.

continued:
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2 Mexican wolves found dead in New Mexico

4/13/18 AP

Albuquerque, N.M. — Federal wildlife managers say two endangered Mexican gray wolves have died, bringing the total of dead in the last few months to four.

The animals were found dead in New Mexico in March. Authorities did not release any details about the circumstances or where the wolves were found but confirmed their deaths are under investigation.

The deaths come after two of the animals were discovered dead in Arizona in February. They were the first to be reported this year.

continued:
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Idaho to hold public meetings on possible grizzly bear hunt

By Keith Ridler – 4/11/18 AP

Boise, Idaho — Idaho officials have scheduled two public meetings as part of a process to potentially open a grizzly bear hunting season this fall that would allow the killing of one male.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is gathering comments to draft regulations that the Fish and Game Commission will consider in May.

The first meeting is set for Tuesday at the College of Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls, and the second on April 19 at the Riverside Hotel in Boise.

continued:
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Wyoming mule deer migrates almost 250 miles

By Christine Peterson – 4/10/18 AP

Casper, Wyo. — The longest recorded migratory mule deer herd in the world travels about 150 miles (241 kilometers) from the Red Desert in southwest Wyoming to a place called the Hoback.

Discovered in 2012, the route garnered national attention and inspired countless discussions about its protection. It was an example of something infinitely impressive: the longest mule deer migration trekking unnoticed in Wyoming’s backyard.

Longest until now, anyway.

continued:
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Officials say lightning likely killed more than 100 geese

4/11/18 AP

Idaho Falls, Idaho — A lightning storm likely killed more than 100 geese in Idaho Falls, wildlife officials said.

About 50 geese were found dead in a parking lot and another 60 were found dead on the roof of a nearby warehouse, KIFI-TV reported .

The dead birds include snow geese and Ross’s Geese.

continued:
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Howdy’s Fishing Derby to be held April 28-29

The Star-News April 12, 2018

Anglers of all ages can throw in their poles in search of the big one during the 24th annual Fishing Derby on Saturday and Sunday, April 28-29, on Lake Cascade.

There will be $900 in cash prizes and lots of giveaways. The final weigh-in will be Sunday, April 29, at 3 p.m.

Registration is free for ages 13 years and under. Cost is $8 for adults. For more information, call 208-382-6712 or visit Howdy’s in Cascade or Old Town Market in McCall.

source:
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The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
http://www.cbbulletin.com
April 13, 2018
Issue No. 868
Table of Contents

* Ocean Salmon Fishing Season Off Northwest Coast To Reflect Low Chinook, Coho Returns
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440520.aspx

* Low Bonneville Dam Passage For Spring Chinook Results In One More Fishing Day In Lower Columbia, Upriver Concerns Expressed
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440519.aspx

* North Pacific Reaching Carrying Capacity For Salmon? Study Says High Numbers Of Pinks, Chum May Be Hurting Chinook
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440518.aspx

* Study Details Challenges For Northwest Salmon, Trout As Region’s Rivers Face Warming Temperatures
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440517.aspx

* Court Ordered Spring Spill For Fish Begins On Four Lower Columbia River Dams
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440516.aspx

* Above Normal Precipitation, Lower Temperatures Has Water Supply Forecasts Far Above Normal For Much Of Basin
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440515.aspx

* House Natural Resources Committee Passes Bill Requiring Congressional Authorization For Certain Changes At Columbia/Snake Dams
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440514.aspx

* Oregon Report Says State Now Has More Than 124 Wolves, 12 Packs Documented
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440513.aspx

* Research: Extreme Climate Variability In West May Be Destabilizing West Coast Marine, Freshwater Ecosystems
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440512.aspx

* Deschutes River Alliance Counters Motions To Dismiss Clean Water Case
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440511.aspx

* Where And Why Does Restoration Happen? California Study Looks At Sociopolitical Influences
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440510.aspx
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Fish & Game News:

Idaho Fish and Game explains why surveying is important

By Katie Keleher Apr 11, 2018 Local News 8

Idaho Falls, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – Idaho Fish and Game took the time to give people a behind the scenes look at what they do each day. Some of the areas they focused on included surveying fisheries and big game species.

“A lot of what we do is we do things aerially out of helicopters or we do things on snowmobiles,” said Jim White, regional supervisor for Idaho Fish and Game.

They use a variety of methods and tools when sampling different populations, including electrofishing and shooting nets out of helicopters. Fish and Game says it’s important to keep track of these species.

continued:
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The many ways deer can get into trouble

By Vicky Osborn, Television/Radio Specialist
Thursday, April 12, 2018

When it happens, most people say, “I can’t believe our fence did that.” Yet, items around our homes we don’t see as dangerous – fences, loose wire and bailing string – can harm deer and other wildlife.

Idaho Fish and Game officers recently responded to a yearling deer whose head and rear leg were caught in a loose piece of hog panel.

The wire hog panel prevented the deer from eating and scraped the hair off its neck. The officers who released the deer believe it will recover from this injury and learn to live with it, like many other deer injured in urban settings.

Idaho Fish and Game receives hundreds of calls every year from concerned citizens who report similar situations. The most common problems involve loose wire, unkempt fences and wrought ironed fence spires. Some deer, like this next one from Salmon, are lucky to be found and released.

continued:
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F&G News Releases

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

Tiger reported on NY streets found to be other animal

by The Associated Press Thursday, April 12th 2018

New York (AP) — A false report of a tiger in the streets of New York has caused a social media frenzy.

WNBC says the New York Police Department got a call around 8:30 a.m. Thursday about a tiger in Harlem.

People on Twitter described a notification from the Citizen app that said police were responding to unconfirmed reports of a loose tiger running around the street.

Shortly thereafter, police confirmed that there was indeed a wild-animal sighting.

It was a raccoon.

source:
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Seasonal Humor:

SpringGarden
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Advertisements

April 8, 2018 The Yellow Pine Times

April 8, 2018 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Spring!

20180408Buttercup-a

First buttercup photo – LI
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Village Council Meeting

Saturday, April 7, 3pm at Community Hall, there was a meeting of the Council to discuss ditch work and funding.
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Long Island Iced Tea Party

Saturday, April 21st at 3pm, Filler’s front yard. Join us as we celebrate 10 years in Yellow Pine! Everyone is invited. Snacks are welcome.
— — — —

Blow-down Update

The Cascade Ranger District (BNF) is responsible for burning the slash piles from the blow-down cleanup. Last word is they will be burning either this spring or late fall. Will update when more info becomes available.
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Yellow Pine Tavern

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

The Corner is open for Breakfast and Dinner with prior arrangements. Typically breakfast is served between 5 and 6 am with dinner between 6 and 7 pm. The Corner Store is open as well, just call for grocery needs, fresh produce, eggs, meat etc.
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Winter Water Advice

It may feel like spring but the ground is still frozen down deep. 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

Bears are coming out of hibernation. No recent reports of coyotes, foxes, raccoons, bobcats or cougars hanging around. The elk are close to homes, so wolves might be around. Please don’t leave pet food outdoors.
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2018 Fest

Next H-Fest Meeting April 19th

The 2018 festival T-shirt contest is now open! All entries must include the year (2018) and the festival name “Yellow Pine Festival” in the design Entries must be received by Friday, May 18th, 2018. The prize for the winning design is $100! Multiple designs by the same artist can be sent in.

Hint: these shirts are screen prints, simpler designs stand out better. Submit your entry by email to Marj Fields at fieldsmarjie @ yahoo.com
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YPFD News:

Fire Safety Tips for Winter/Spring

Keep your chimney clean to prevent flue fires, YPFD chimney brushes are available for local use, check with Cecil to borrow them. Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide 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 and fire siren testing will resume in the spring.
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VYPA News:

Next meeting June 2018
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Winter/Spring Propane Tips

Keep the snow cleared around propane lines and pipes leading from your tank to the house. The weight of snow sliding off roofs can cause leaks that can result in fire. Make sure you have a CO detector with working batteries.

Amerigas Phone: (208) 634-8181
Ed Staub & Sons Phone: (208) 634-3833
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Diamond Fuel & Feed (208) 382-4430

Our local birds love black oil sunflower seeds. Diamond has 40 pound bags of sunflower seeds for $22.59 (plus tax) and Arnold’s charges 5 cents a pound to haul it to Yellow Pine.
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook (updated more often than emails)
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Local Observations:

Monday (Apr 2) nearly 1/2″ rain during the night and snow squall this morning, then clearing and breezy. Overnight low of 28 degrees, about 2″ of old snow (ranges from 0-6″), a lot of open ground. A small flock of juncos twittering around. Snow flurries on and off mid-day, cold strong breezes and not very warm, high of 35 degrees. A few red-breasted nuthatches and a couple of chickadees visited, the local pine squirrel was packing pine cones from one stash to another. Heard a clarks nutcracker out in the forest. Partly cloudy at sundown, cold breezes. Several elk in the neighbor’s pasture right before dark.

Tuesday (Apr 3) overnight low of 12 degrees, thin overcast and chilly light breezes this morning, patchy snow in the yard (lots more in the shade) estimate 1″ average now. Birds galore this morning: chickadees, juncos, red-breasted nuthatches, stellar jay, red-shafted flicker and a robin calling. Later heard a clark’s nutcracker out in the forest. Early afternoon filtered sunshine and high wispy hazy clouds, with gusty strong chilly breezes, high of 45 degrees. At sundown thicker overcast but calmer. Elk out on the golf course just before full dark.

Wednesday (Apr 4) overcast this morning with a few flakes of snow falling. Lots more open ground, patchy snow remains in the open, deeper snow in the shade. Local streets are mostly bare except in shady spots. Not many birds this morning, heard a clarks nutcracker and a steller jay, a few red-breasted nuthatches visiting. Cloudy mid-day and light breezes, high of 48 degrees. A few red-breasted nuthatches visiting and a pine squirrel sounding off in the neighborhood. Robins chirping at dusk. Cow elk out by hole #14 just at dark.

Thursday (Apr 5) overcast this morning, brief sprinkle of rain. Most of the yard is bare, piles of snow remain in the shade, estimate about 1″ of old snow, lots of bare ground. Robins calling this morning, also a few chickadees and a couple of nuthatches. After lunch a steller jay visited, also the local pine squirrel and half dozen juncos in the yard. Very light sprinkles of rain on and off early afternoon, not enough to get wet, high of 50 degrees. Later a white-breasted nuthatch visited. Local pine squirrel busy hiding pine cones that have melted out of the snow. Light sprinkles of rain late afternoon, barely enough to drip off the roof once in a while. Lots of robins calling at dusk, woodpecker drumming on the power pole and still sprinkling lightly. Probably sprinkled on and off until around midnight or so.

Friday (Apr 6) early morning showers, low clouds socked in the ridges this morning, overnight low of 37 degrees. Lots of robins and juncos this morning, raven, steller jay and red-shafted flicker calling, woodpecker drumming on the power pole, a few red-breasted nuthatches visiting. At lunch time 3 jays and a nutcracker were here, then a large hawk swooped in for an attack and all the birds (and chickens) fled. Warm mostly cloudy afternoon, high of 61 degrees. Partly cloudy at sundown, robins calling. Cloudy at midnight.

Saturday (Apr 7) light misty rain after dawn, overnight low of 38 degrees, overcast and a few drop of rain this morning. Can hear the river roaring, gauges on Johnson Creek and South Fork show a spike in the flow during the night. Robins and a chickadee calling, a few red-breasted nuthatches visiting. Light rain showers at noon. Male downy woodpecker, steller jays, nuthatches and chickadees visiting. After lunch time, breezy and blowing rain, dark and cloudy, top of VanMeter socked in. Rained on and off most of the early afternoon, high of 50 degrees. Hard rain and hail just before 8pm, then more showers into the night, finishing with snow before 7am (melted.)

Sunday (Apr 8) overnight low of 32 degrees, low misty clouds sitting down on the mountains this morning. Total of 0.79″ of rain (and melted snow) in the gauge. Patches and traces of old snow remain in the shade, river rising during the night, but still below spring run-off. Robins chirping and a flicker calling this morning, red-breasted nuthatches and chickadees visiting. Early afternoon sprinkle of rain, high of 45 degrees. First sighting of a golden mantel ground squirrel, and the pine squirrel was hauling pine cones across the street. Red-shafted northern flicker on the ant pile. Steady rain late afternoon then rain/snow mix before sundown (not sticking), clouds down to the valley floor.

20180408JohnsonCrk-a
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Letter to Share:

Commissioner Cruickshank’s March Newsletter

April 5, 2018

From the desk of Commissioner Cruickshank

Thursday March 1st through Thursday March 7th I was attending the National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference in Washington D.C. Please see the attached document I created for the Idaho Association of Counties (IAC) of my activities while attending the conference.
Link:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KKwbZXme6_leXpetdnUlJmoqmKlboi2c/view

Friday March 9th
I reviewed Judge applications to fill a vacant position in the 4th Judicial District. This position is in Ada County.

Mid morning I participated in an IAC Legislative Committee conference call to be updated on the Idaho Legislative Session.

Sunday March 11th
I created the report of my activities of attending the NACo Legislative Conference.

Monday March 12th
Today was a regular commissioners meeting day. Please utilize the Valley County website at Valley County Idaho Official Site then click on the Commissioners section where you will find the minutes of our Commissioner meetings once they are approved.
http://www.co.valley.id.us/

This afternoon I created cover letters to send to the Cascade and McCall/Donnelly schools as we had received the Timber Dollar funding from harvest off the National Forest. This was only the actual timber harvest receipts of the 25% approved shortly after the National Forests were created.

Tuesday March 13th
I reviewed old records from the commissioners room that had been in boxes for several years. I discovered copied documents from the late 1800’s to current issues the county is working on.

Yesterday the commissioners were told there was some unclaimed funding of small amounts at the State Treasurer’s office. Today I signed the documents to release those funds to Valley County.

Wednesday March 14th
I registered for an upcoming Wildfire Workshop Valley County is assisting with.

I participated in a National Forest Counties and Schools Coalition (NFCSC) conference call to be updated on the efforts to reauthorized the Secure Rural Schools funding which has not been reauthorized by Congress.

I received a Biography of the new Forest Service Chief and sent it out to folks whom I thought were interested.

Thursday March 15th
I sent emails to NACo on Opioid Litigation efforts and to let the NACo staff know of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Directors requesting to attend the upcoming NACo Western Interstate Region Annual Conference being held in Blaine County (Sun Valley), Idaho this year.

I participated in a Cooperating Agency conference call on the Stibnite Mine Project. These calls are held with the Cooperating agencies to discuss reports and data in reviewing the Stibnite Mine Plan of Operations submittal to the Forest Service.

I received a call from a fellow Magistrate Commission member wanting to discuss a concern they had with the selection process used for interviewing Judge applicants.

I sent a thank you email to all the folks from Idaho who attended the NACo Legislative Conference.

This afternoon I participated in the 4th Magistrate Judicial District conference call to discuss the interview selection process and confirm our choices to be interviewed.

Friday March 16th
I worked on emails and sent replies concerning the upcoming WIR Annual Conference.

Saturday March 17th
I worked part of the day on emails and responding to some prior request for information.

Monday March 19th
Commissioner meeting day. Please check the Valley County website for the minutes of this meeting.
http://www.co.valley.id.us/

This afternoon I received a call from a Gem County Commissioner requesting information on Snow Grooming costs and how Valley County created the Warming Hut on West Mountain.

Tuesday March 20th
I visited with our Information Technology director on the installation of electronic door safety and employee access cards, time clocks and efficiency of the entire county with new technology.

Wednesday March 21st
I received a call from the Executive Director of NACo to discuss Secure Rural Schools and Payment in Lieu of Taxes funding hopefully included in the Omnibus spending bill being considered by Congress. NACo has done an outstanding job keeping the information needed to congressional offices along with the efforts of counties and school districts. All people working this issue helps explain the need of the funding and impacts if not funded.

I received a call from the Assessor to discuss some additional resources they are requesting for their office. This item will be placed on a future commissioners agenda for consideration by the full board as I alone can’t make any decisions of this nature. The Assessor was just insuring I was aware of the request before it was presented to the board.

Thursday March 22nd
This morning I attended the Big Creek/Yellow Pine Collaborative meeting to discuss restoration concerns and solutions. One of the projects is a re-route of a section of the East Fork Road to eliminate the large slide section that has boulders sliding into the roadway blocking the road and creating sediment into the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River.

This afternoon I attended a Big Payette Lake Water Quality meeting in McCall to listen to a presentation on the monitoring work by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Monitoring of the water quality will continue in the future.

I heard the SRS and PILT funding were included in the Omnibus Spending Package. Later today I had a confirmation that the SRS is funded for 2017 and 2018 however the 2016 payment will not be paid. The SRS funding will provide approximately 1 million in funds to help fill the gap of funds for the Road Department but still falls short of the revenue needs to sustain the road maintenance. The PILT payment is only approved for one year.

Also included in the Omnibus package was a Fire Fix to assist the Forest Service with Fire Funding instead of Fire Borrowing and an increase in the Forest Management by Federal Agencies.

Friday March 23rd
From the Big Ck/YP meeting I had some follow up calls to discuss the Smith Creek Road and related bridge installation needs to better understand what would be required to bring this route back to a full size vehicle width for safety, recreation and private property mine access.

Late morning I attended a meeting, with Lakeshore staff, Commissioners, an engineer and other interested folks, at the Valley County Lake Fork site to look at where and how a new Recycle Facility may fit into the Valley County Recycle program. Preliminary options will be coming in the next few months to review.

Monday March 26th
Commissioner meeting today. Please find the minutes on the Valley County website once approved.
http://www.co.valley.id.us/

Tuesday March 27th
I participated in a WIR Conference call to discuss the recent Omnibus Spending package and review the draft conference agenda for May in Blaine County, Idaho.

I sent out an explanation of the SRS funding as it is reduced each year by 5% of what we had received in prior payments.

Wednesday March 28th
I drove to Boise to attend the Judge Interviews tomorrow.

Thursday March 29th
I attended the Judge Interviews at the Ada County Courthouse. 5 applicants were interviewed and a selection was made from the interview process.

I drove home from Boise.

Well that completes another month of commissioner duties that I was involved with.

Thanks for taking the time to read my newsletter.

Gordon
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Idaho News:

Several power outages after storm in SW Idaho

The outages are scattered from Weiser to western Elmore County.

KTVB April 7, 2018

Idaho Power crews were responding to several power outages in Ada, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Valley, Payette and Washington counties Saturday evening.

… Two outages hit Valley County between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Twenty-five customers in McCall lost power; estimated restoration time was 7:30 p.m.. Another 20 customers lost power just southwest of Lake Cascade. Idaho Power is expecting service there to be back on by 11:00 p.m.

full story:
[Note: We did not lose power in Yellow Pine, but we did have some wind, heavy rain and hail just before 8pm. Rain (and melted snow) 24 hour total 0.79″.]
— — —

Tornado warning and hail rocks Bonneville County

Apr 08, 2018 Local News 8


Courtesy: Tyler Anderson

Bonneville, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – Some crazy weather Saturday, including a tornado warning earlier that night. A funnel cloud is what caused all the commotion in Bonneville County. That led to a tornado warning, then later a thunderstorm warning with some severe weather.

The storm caused quite a bit of chaos and damage Saturday night. The storm hit several geese who were flying; we have footage of the geese being shot by lightning and hitting the ground. There were about 50 dead geese near the KIFI/KIDK news station parking lot By 7:30 p.m., Idaho Fish and Game picked them up and cleaned the lot.

continued:
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Election forums scheduled in Cascade, McCall

The Star-News April 5, 2018

Election forums are scheduled this month in Cascade and McCall for voters to meet candidates running in the May 15 primary election.

The Cascade forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, at the Valley County Courthouse. All Republican candidates for Valley County office and seats from District 8 in the Idaho Legislature are invited to attend.

The forum will be held during the regular meeting of the Valley County Republican Central Committee, but the general public is welcome to attend.

The McCall forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 30, in the downstairs Community Room of Idaho First Bank, 475. E. Deinhard Lane. The forum is sponsored by The Star-News.

Candidates in contested races in the May 15 primary have been invited to attend, including Valley County commissioner, Valley County treasurer and the Idaho Senate seat from District 8.

Candidates will present remarks, and written questions will be accepted from the audience.

Representatives of the City of McCall also have been invited to present information and answer questions on the reauthorization of the city’s 3 percent local-option tourism tax that will also be on the May 15 ballot in McCall.

source:
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First aid, CPR to be taught in Donnelly April 17-18

The Star-News April 5, 2018

The Donnelly Fire Station will be the site of CPR/AED and First Aid classes later this month.

The CPR/AED course will be on Tuesday, April 17, and the First Aid class will be on Wednesday, April 18. Both sessions will start at 6 p.m.

Cost is $20, and space is limited. To register, call 208-325-8619.

The Donnelly Fire Station is located at 244 W. Roseberry.

source:
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State approves $300,000 loan to repair Goose Lake Dam

The Star-News April 5, 2018

The Idaho Water Resource Board has approved a loan to the Goose Lake Reservoir Company for $300,000 over 20 years. The company operates the 4,600-acre-foot reservoir near Brundage Mountain and McCall.

Last July, the board approved a $20,000 loan to the company to complete a structural evaluation of the dam and spillway.

The study found that the spillway retaining walls have significant cracking and deterioration and recommended that they be replaced.

The stored water serves ranchers who irrigate about 4,600 acres in Meadows Valley. The dam was built in 1920 and was raised in 1951 and 1972 to increase reservoir capacity.

source:
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Black Canyon hydroelectric project on hold

Steve Bertel Apr 3, 2018 KIVI TV


U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Emmett, ID – Plans to construct a new third hydroelectric power plant at Black Canyon Diversion Dam along the Payette River near Emmett have been placed on hold — due to a new business case analysis that shows construction costs are greater than the benefits of additional power generation, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials said.

“Early indications were: this was a financially-feasible project that would boost power generation by upgrading an existing Reclamation facility,” said Project Manager David Denton. “But using current energy prices, it’s apparent that the project should be placed on hold until energy prices rebound.”

Although the third hydroelectric unit project is on hold, some construction will still take place at the facility over the next few years. The Bureau of Reclamation plans to move forward with the design and relocation of a new power switchyard and upgrades to control systems at the dam.

“The switchyard and control systems are a top priority because they pose a clear safety risk to employees and facility equipment,” said Snake River Area Office Manager Roland Springer.

Black Canyon Diversion Dam is a multi-purpose facility that provides water for irrigation, hydropower, and recreation. It was constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation back in 1924 as part of the Payette Division of the Boise Project.

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Pipeline break spills diesel fuel in south-central Idaho

4/6/18 AP

Buhl, Idaho — A pipeline in south-central Idaho near Buhl ruptured and spilled diesel fuel that contaminated soil and a pond used for watering livestock.

San Antonio, Texas, based Andeavor in a statement Friday says about 160 barrels of diesel fuel spilled from its Northwest Products Pipeline.

The company tells The Times-News that it turned the 8-inch diameter pipeline off on Wednesday after a local resident reported a smell of diesel and it’s working to clean up the area.

Company spokesman Brad Shafer says the company is trying to determine the cause of the leak. He says the pipeline is being repaired and will start operating after it receives approval from government regulators.

The fuel was being moved through the pipeline from Wyoming and Utah to Boise and Washington state.

source:
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Fines paid by US agency over nuke waste surpass $3.5M

By Keith Ridler – 4/5/18 AP

Boise, Idaho — Fines paid by the U.S. Department of Energy to Idaho for missing a deadline to get radioactive liquid waste out of underground storage tanks have surpassed $3.5 million and the money could be used for enhanced monitoring of a huge aquifer beneath the site, officials say.

The federal agency started paying the fines in 2015 for violating a 1992 agreement involving 900,000 gallons of waste sitting above the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer at the department’s isolated desert site in eastern Idaho that includes Idaho National Laboratory, the nation’s top federal nuclear research lab.

Officials say contamination from the 890-square-mile (2,305-square-kilometer) site reached the aquifer through injection wells, unlined pits and accidental spills, mainly during the Cold War era before regulations to protect the environment were put in place.

The U.S. Geological Survey last year released a report saying monitoring of existing wells found the aquifer to be as free of radioactive contamination and other pollutants as it has been in more than six decades of monitoring.

Federal and state officials are currently discussing spending about $2.2 million of the money generated by fines for monitoring wells in the aquifer that’s used by cities for drinking water and farmers for irrigation.

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Late-season flu resurgence adds to historic death toll

“In the last few weeks there have been eight flu-related deaths across the state of Idaho, seven of those happening in the Ada County region.”

Joe Parris KTVB April 6, 2018

Boise — The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says a string of late-season flu-related deaths has helped make this flu season one of the deadliest in decades.

Health and Welfare Influenza Surveillance Coordinator Randi Pederson said local residents should not panic, but do need to take the flu seriously.

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Small earthquake rattles eastern Idaho, no damage reported

by Associated Press Saturday, April 7th 2018

Soda Springs, Idaho (AP) – A small earthquake occurred in eastern Idaho but there are no reports of damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the 3.4-magnitude earthquake occurred at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday about 9 miles (14 kilometers) east of Soda Springs.

The Caribou County Sheriff’s Office says there are no reports of damage.

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Mining News:

Ask Midas: Can Midas Fix the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River?

April 4

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.

The Stibnite Gold Project sits near the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River. This river is in desperate need of repair and is one of our main focuses during restoration. When people hear about our project, they often ask me if mining can really be used to help the environment. The simple answer is yes. This week, I get to explain how our project will allow us to rehabilitate the river and other waterways on site.

Can Midas Gold Fix the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River?

Yes, we have the right team and plan in place to fix the problems left behind by historical mining operations. Our Stibnite Gold Project was designed to use mining as a tool for restoration. Our plan will allow us to enhance almost 13-miles of the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River and tributaries leading into it. We will be able to return historically significant Chinook salmon to their native spawning grounds for the first time in 80 years. We will reprocess tailings and reuse and properly store the spent ore that has been left in the area in order to prevent the leaching of any more metals from these rocks. And the best part is, many of these solutions will happen very early in the project’s life.

Midas Gold is operating in a completely different regulatory environment from past operators. The United States has changed how mining takes place, mining companies cannot just walk away from projects and leave the land and water in disrepair. Once our project is successfully permitted, we will be required to set aside all the money needed for reclamation prior to the start of any mining or construction. This ensures that, even if the unexpected happens, the funds will be there so restoration can move forward and the issues facing the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River can finally be addressed.

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

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Public Lands:

Prescribe Fire: Promoting Fire-Adapted Communities and Creating Resilient Landscapes

April 2, 2018 Payette National Forest

McCall, ID – The Payette National Forest will be conducting multiple prescribed fires this spring. Depending on weather conditions burns could take place anytime from March to early June. These prescribed fires reduce surface fuels, increase height of the canopy, reduce small tree densities, and promote fire resilient trees, thereby improving our ability to protect communities from wildfire. Additionally, these fires improve wildlife habitat, promote long-term ecosystem integrity and sustainability by reducing the risk of high-severity wildland fire.

The Council Ranger District plans to apply fire to approximately 10,000 acres in Mill Creek (2 miles east of Council-from Fort Hall Ridge southward to Cottonwood Creek); 400 acres in the Cuprum Fuels reduction project, (30 miles northwest of Council); 800 acres on the Weiser river (8 miles north of Council and 1 mile south of Tamarack Mill on the eastside of Highway 95).

The New Meadows Ranger District plans to burn 1,600 acres in the Lost Creek-Boulder Creek project area (6 miles northwest of Lost Valley Reservoir); 500 acres in the Rapid River project area. (17 miles northwest of New Meadows); and 300 acres in the Meadows Slope project area. (4 miles northwest of McCall).

The McCall Ranger District plans to burn 200 acres in the Bear Basin area. (3 miles northwest of McCall).

The Krassel Ranger District plans to apply fire to approximately 2,000 acres within the Bald Hill project area (North of Yellow Pine); 2,200 acres in the Four Mile project area along the South Fork of the Salmon River near Reed Ranch (Approximately 18 miles east of McCall).

Trail heads and roads that lead into these areas will be posted with caution signs and a map of the prescribed burn locations. Fire personnel will work closely with the Idaho/Montana Airshed Group, the National Weather Service, and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to insure that smoke impacts are minimized. The decision to ignite on any given day will depend on favorable weather conditions and the need to reduce smoke effects as much as possible. Smoke from these prescribed fires will be much less than what would be expected from a wildfire. If smoke concentrations approach air quality standards fire ignition may be delayed until air quality improves. Residual smoke may be visible for up to 2 weeks following ignition, but most of the smoke from the fires is anticipated to dissipate 1-2 days after ignition.

Individuals may call Dustin Doane (McCall and New Meadows RDs; 347-0336), Justin Pappani (Krassel RD; 634-0623), or Dave LaChapelle (Council and Weiser RDs; 549-4228) with any concerns they may have about the planned prescribed fires. The public may also call the Weiser, Council, New Meadows, McCall or Krassel Ranger Districts for more information. Prescribed fire is an important component of natural resource management and part of the comprehensive fire management program on the Payette National Forest. Council RD: 253-0100; Krassel RD: 634-0974; McCall RD: 634-0400; New Meadows RD: 347-0300; Weiser RD: 549-4200.

For the most current information about prescribed burning projects please visit the Payette RX incident on inciweb at:
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5709/

Brian Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Payette National Forest
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Boise National Forest SOPA Update

USDA Forest Service April 2, 2018

The Boise National Forest’s “Schedule of Proposed Actions” (SOPA) for April 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018 is now available on the Boise National Forest Schedule of Proposed Actions webpage. The Forest Service produces the SOPA every three months to keep the public informed about projects that the Forest is currently working on or planning to analyze in the near future.

The SOPA has been standardized across all National Forests from a national database to track key project planning information. The reports for the Boise and all other National Forests are currently available at http://www.fs.fed.us/sopa or through the Boise National Forest website at
http://www.fs.fed.us/sopa/forest-level.php?110402.

The Forest Service automatically posts the SOPA four times a year in January, April, July, and October.

If you have questions about a specific project please contact the project leader listed in the SOPA. If you have general questions about the SOPA, please feel free contact me.

Sincerely,
Melissa Yenko
Forest Environmental Coordinator
Boise National Forest
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Payette National Forest April 2018 – June 2018 Schedule of Proposed Actions (SOPA)

USDA Forest Service April 5, 2018

You are subscribed to Payette National Forest SOPA for USDA Forest Service. This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

Here is the link to the Payette NF SOPA web page: Payette NF Schedule of Proposed Actions
https://www.fs.fed.us/sopa/forest-level.php?110412

sopa-110412-2018-04.pdf
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Agency expands Sawtooth Forest through ranch acquisition

4/6/18 AP

Ketchum, Idaho — The U.S. Forest Service has expanded the Sawtooth National Forest through the acquisition of a ranch in central Idaho.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that 368 acres of the Goat Falls Ranch adjacent to the forest and southwest of the town of Stanley were acquired last month.

The federal agency also acquired water rights to a creek that provides habitat for Chinook salmon and steelhead trout.

Sawtooth Ranger Kirk Flannigan says the property is mostly pasture land, but it does contain some wetlands and lodgepole pine forest. He says the agency’s land purchase will allow the property to remain undeveloped.

The agency says the property was acquired through a partnership with the Western Rivers Conservancy, which purchased the ranch in February 2017.

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BLM begins targeted grazing effort to reduce cheatgrass along Owyhee Front

Date: April 2, 2018
Contact: Michael Williamson mwilliamson@blm.gov (208) 384-3393
Steve Stuebner (Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission) (208) 484-0295

Boise, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management has begun implementing an experimental targeted grazing project aimed at reducing fuels and associated fire risk and protecting rehabilitation efforts within the Soda Fire zone. Participating local ranchers will be grazing livestock along 36 miles of Owyhee Front roadways from approximately Marsing to Murphy from now through June.

This targeted grazing effort is part of the larger Soda Fuel Breaks project designed to reduce fuels, specifically annual grasses such as cheatgrass. The purpose of this is to provide firefighters a better opportunity to prevent wildfires from burning a landscape that is still recovering three years after the 443-square-mile wildfire.

“We’ve made important gains in rehabilitating the area burned in the Soda Fire with the help of many partners,” said BLM Boise District Manager Lara Douglas. “Targeted grazing allows us to experiment with a new tool to protect those gains, while at the same time supporting traditional land uses.”

The Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission (IRRC) is partnering with the BLM to raise awareness of the targeted grazing efforts with both the local community and visiting recreational users who may see livestock on roads.

“We are pleased to see the targeted grazing project moving forward,” said Gretchen Hyde, executive director of the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission. “Ranchers are excited about helping the BLM achieve their objectives with the fuel breaks. We feel it makes sense to graze off the cheatgrass in a timely manner, when it’s palatable to livestock and before it becomes a fire hazard.”

IRRC officials have contacted off-road vehicle recreation groups to give them a heads-up that cattle will be grazing along the Owyhee Front this spring as part of the experimental project. The BLM has posted road signs in the project area to inform and educate recreation users and the general public about the project.

The goal of this targeted grazing project is to reduce vegetation to a height of 2 inches or less for 200 feet on both sides of the selected roads by late June, prior to peak fire season. Should a fire come through the area later, flame lengths will be greatly reduced, making fire suppression much safer and more effective.

“Fuel breaks are a tremendous asset for firefighting in the Owyhees,” said Acting BLM Owyhee Field Manager Lance Okeson. “By creating a solid anchor point with an extensive fire break at the foot of the Owyhees, we go a long way toward protecting multiple-use sage-steppe habitat for wildlife, which we’ve worked so hard to restore after the Soda Fire.”

For more information, contact Lance Okeson, Acting Owyhee Field Manager Lance Okeson at (208) 896-5913.
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BLM seeks volunteers for trash cleanup

Date: April 3, 2018
Contact: Michael Williamson mwilliamson@blm.gov (208) 384-3393

Boise, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management is organizing a large-scale trash cleanup of the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA), and is calling for volunteers who would like to help. The event, part of the NCA’s 25th Anniversary celebration, will take place on April 21 from 8 a.m.- noon, beginning at the Boise Wild Horse Corrals located at 12466 Pleasant Valley Road, south of the Boise Airport.

“Unfortunately, trash and illegal dumping is a problem on our public lands and the National Conservation Area is no different,” said NCA Manager Amanda Hoffman. “We are hoping to make this Idaho’s largest cleanup event ever and make a significant dent in the amount of trash we see out there. We’re strongly encouraged by the enthusiasm we’ve already received.”

This effort is part of a shared conservation stewardship that includes partnerships with the Idaho Army National Guard, the Birds of Prey NCA Partnership and Idaho Power.

Volunteers will be broken into groups and directed to locations within the NCA, where they can expect to encounter trash that includes everything from simple litter to discarded appliances. Please consider the following:

• The event will take place, rain or shine.
• You will need to provide your own transportation.
• Wear appropriate outdoor work clothes including boots, long-sleeved shirts, long pants and work gloves.
• Bring water and any food you feel you may need.
• While this is a family-friendly activity, minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Those interested in participating are strongly encouraged to sign up by April 18 to help with logistical planning, though we encourage anybody to show up on the day of the event. Sign up at https://goo.gl/forms/OhR5l1F4bFpTxIdG2.

To find the Boise Wild Horse Corrals, turn south on to Pleasant Valley Road from its intersection with Gowen Road, just south of the Boise Airport. Drive 4.3 miles and there will be a BLM sign and entrance road on the west (right) side.

For more information, contact BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner Jared Fluckiger at (208) 384-3342.
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Interior backing away from steep fee hikes at national parks

by Matthew Daly, Associated Press Tuesday, April 3rd 2018

The Interior Department is backing down from a plan to impose steep fee increases at popular national parks in the face of widespread opposition from elected officials and the public.

The plan would nearly triple entrance fees at 17 of the nation’s most popular parks, including the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone and Zion, forcing visitors to pay $70 per vehicle during the peak summer season.

While plans are still being finalized, a spokeswoman for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said officials have “taken the public’s suggestions seriously and have amended the plan to reflect those” comments.

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Critter News:

Pet Talk – Spring flowers can poison your pets

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt 4/6/2018 IME

Spring is here and many spring bulbs are ready to break through the ground. Many of these spring ornamental plants can be dangerous if ingested by our pets. As Easter approaches, all vets receive calls regarding cats ingesting lilies. Lilies are beautiful flowers, but are also highly toxic to cats. Ingestion of even small amounts of lilies may cause drooling, vomiting, poor appetite and potentially fatal kidney disease. All parts of the lily plant are toxic, even the water from the vase of water the lilies are in. If a cat does ingest lily stems, leaves, flowers, pollen or water, seek veterinary help immediately to avoid kidney damage to your cat. Unlike cats, dogs ingesting lilies only experience mild stomach upsets.

Asiatic lilies, wood lilies, Japanese show lilies, day lilies, tiger lilies, Easter lilies and star gazer lilies are all considered dangerous to cats.

Tulips and hyacinths contain toxins that are concentrated in their bulbs, so make sure your dog is not digging up the bulbs in your garden and chewing on them. The toxins in these bulbs cause severe irritation to the tissues of the mouth and esophagus. Typical signs include profuse drooling, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Supportive care by your veterinarian is usually curative.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

March 28, 2018
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Keeping tabs on wild wolves

By Mike Koshmrl – 4/4/18 AP

Jackson, Wyo. — Ken Mills didn’t seem fazed to have a deep-sleeping wolf riding shotgun.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologist was on his 29th phone call since waking, and he relayed details of a record 11 wolves captured in a single day. The seat of his pickup was still wet from snow that melted off a sedated and dangerously cold young female lobo he trucked around much of the afternoon to warm up. Catching up with a Cody colleague, Mills was stoked on the day’s success. The canine seatmate didn’t warrant mention.

“It’s been awesome this year,” Mills said. “Everybody’s killing it. I’m running out of collars.”

It was Feb. 22, and Mills was on the tail end of a routine long week of running around the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to capture, collar and track as many wolves as possible. It was a whirlwind, with Mills waking at the Whiskey Mountain Conservation Camp and driving to Dubois, into the Buffalo Valley, then Bryan Flats and the Upper Hoback, before reversing course to Jackson. Wolves were yielded at every stop.

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Court orders US wildlife managers to revisit wolf rule

4/2/18 AP

Albuquerque, N.M. — U.S. wildlife managers will have to revisit a contentious rule that governs management of Mexican gray wolves roaming the American Southwest.

The revision was ordered Monday by a federal judge in Arizona who determined that the rule adopted in 2015 fails to further the conservation of the endangered predators.

The current rule will remain in effect until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues a revamped version or addresses deficiencies outlined in the court order.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing the order.

Environmentalists had argued the rule arbitrarily limited the population, banned the animals from suitable habitat and loosened provisions against killing them in the wild.

A survey done over the winter showed there were at least 114 wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico.

source:
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Wolf Education International

4/5/2018

Teaching Children About Hands On Methods of Protecting Species

Meta-Analysis of Coyote Diet Reveals Differences by Geographical Region

All That is Protected Does Not Thrive
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Rexburg woman wins first place in Elk Calling Championship

By Michaela Leung Apr 02, 2018 Local News 8

Rexburg, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – There’s a new champ in town. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation just named its first place winner in the women’s division of the World Elk Calling Championship. She’s from Rexburg, and she says she was surprised by her win.

“It was really exciting, it was a good time. What’s wonderful is that there was a lot of support and a lot of people that were congratulating me and it was really just neat to be able to meet people that were there at the competition as well and be supported by everybody there and be cheered on,” said Marisa Pagano.

She says she credits her win to her coach. Her husband won first place in the men’s division this year. He says he’s very proud of his wife.

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Moose stomps man’s foot in Alaska after he kicks her

by The Associated Press Friday, April 6th 2018

Anchorage, Alaska (AP) — A man was injured north of Anchorage after a moose that he had just kicked stomped his foot in return, state officials said.

KTVA-TV reported the man escaped major injuries in the encounter Thursday with the moose and her calf.

“It sounds like the moose were on a trail and in this case, it sounds like the guy was trying to go through them,” State Department of Fish and Game spokesman Ken Marsh said. “That’s never a good idea.”

The two moose left the area after the man had his foot stomped, said Alaska Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters.

“I am not a biologist, but as a lifelong Alaskan I would advise people not to go around kicking moose,” Peters said.

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Wyoming wildlife center finds itself caring for 19 baby owls

Apr 4, 2018 AP

Jackson, Wyo. (AP) – A Wyoming wildlife rehabilitation center may want to consider turning away any storks that show up for a while.

The Teton Raptor Center in Jackson Hole recently took in 19 owlets from the three separate clutches within 24 hours. All the baby owls were from Idaho.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports that the nonprofit center had never before housed more than 18 injured, orphaned or ill birds of prey at one time, and it suddenly had a total of 27 raptors on its hands.

All the baby owls came from neighboring Idaho.

Staff at the center plan to transplant the owlets into eight or nine other known barn owl nests in the region. Barn owls are a particularly good species for fostering parentless young.

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Idaho men pull ‘monster’ sturgeon from Snake River

Steve Carroll – who also goes by nickname “Sturgeon Steve” – posted a video on YouTube showing the amazing encounter.

KTVB April 4, 2018

Two Idaho men have quite a fish tale to tell, after they pulled in an big sturgeon while kayak fishing on the Snake River.

Steve Carroll – who also goes by nickname “Sturgeon Steve” – posted a video on YouTube showing the amazing encounter.

Last Saturday, the Caldwell man and his fishing partner, Bryce Thompson of Twin Falls, were kayaking on the river about five miles downstream from Glenns Ferry when they spotted the big fish.

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The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
http://www.cbbulletin.com
April 6, 2018
Issue No. 867
Table of Contents

* Appeals Court Rules In Favor Of More Spill For Juvenile Salmon, Steelhead At Columbia/Snake Dams
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440480.aspx

* New Court-Ordered Spill Regime Based On Dissolved Gas Caps Begins This Week
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440479.aspx

* Study: Extirpation Chances Remain High For ESA-Listed Bull Trout In Upper Columbia River Basin
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440478.aspx

* Surprising Parties, U.S. District Judge Dismisses US V. Oregon Case Guiding Basin Fisheries
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440477.aspx

* Scientists Review Basin Fish/Wildlife Program, Offer Recommendations For Improving
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440476.aspx

* NOAA Fisheries Model Estimates Cost Of 2017 Salmon Fisheries Closure; Millions In Lost Income, Hundreds Of Jobs
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440475.aspx

* PGE, Warm Springs Tribe Move To Dismiss Deschutes River Clean Water Case
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440474.aspx

* Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Side With Oregon On Issue Of Fish Passage At Hells Canyon Dams
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440473.aspx

* Basin Snowpack Showing A Line Dividing ‘Haves’ To The North, ‘Have-Nots’ To The South
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440472.aspx

* Council Sends ‘State Of The Columbia River Basin’ To Congress; Region Spent $621 Million On Fish/Wildlife In 2016
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440471.aspx

* IDFG Considering Changes To Payette Lake Management; Add More Kokanee Or Reduce Lake Trout?
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440470.aspx

* Dworshak Dam Outflows Rise To Meet Flood Control Management Requirements
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440469.aspx

* New Hydro Project On Hold At Idaho’s Black Canyon Dam Due To Low Energy Prices
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440468.aspx

* Alaska Announces Reduced Harvest Limit For Struggling Southeast Alaska Chinook
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440467.aspx

* Long-Term Study Shows Cutthroat Trout Thrive With Logging That Follows Oregon Forest Practices Act
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440466.aspx

* Oregon Begins Cormorant Harassment On Oregon Coast To Protect Juvenile Salmon
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440465.aspx
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Fish & Game News:

Trap Education Effort Partners with Rattlesnake Avoidance Training for Dogs

By Evin Oneale, Regional Conservation Educator
Monday, April 2, 2018

Hunters and other dog enthusiasts now have another reason to attend the 23rd annual Premier Rattlesnake Avoidance Training for Dogs event. Idaho Fish and Game officers will be holding a trap awareness seminar as part of the day’s events.

To register or just learn more about the training day, visit http://www.snakeavoidance.org, or contact event organizer Heidi Funke at hfunke3dk@gmail.com or by phone at 208-463-2304.

The combined event will be held at Veterans’ Memorial Park – State Street and Veterans’ Parkway in Boise – on Sunday, June 10th from 10:00am to 2:00pm. While the cost of the rattlesnake avoidance training is $50 for pre-registered dogs, the trap awareness seminar is free, with no appointment required.

The trap awareness seminar is designed for anyone who regularly takes their dogs to the Boise foothills, other outlying areas and even the greenbelt. “Most dog owners are unfamiliar with traps of any kind,” Fish and Game conservation officer Kurt Stieglitz noted. “This seminar will provide them with some very practical tools related to trapping, including the steps to take if a pet dog ever ends up in a trap.”

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F&G News Releases

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

Goats rescued after daunting climb on Pennsylvania Turnpike bridge

by Chris White Thursday, April 5th 2018


Courtesy: Pennsylvania Turnpike / Facebook

New Castle, Pa. (WSYX/WTTE) — Road crews had to make an unusual rescue Tuesday after two goats wandered onto a Turnpike bridge in western Pennsylvania.

On Facebook, Pennsylvania Turnpike officials said the two goats wandered on to the Mahoning River Bridge from a local farm near New Castle.

Officials said state police, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) workers and Turnpike employees worked together to help save the goats. Crews used a PennDOT crane to help get the goats back home.

“Thank you to all of the PennDOT and PA Turnpike employees who jumped into action to save the day,” said Pennsylvania Turnpike officials after a successful rescue.

source w/more photos:
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Tips & Advice:

BBB: Be mindful of what you share on Facebook

KIVI TV Apr 2, 2018

In light of the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal, Better Business Bureau is reminding consumers to be mindful of what they share online. According to BBB’s Veronica Craker, personality quizzes on the social media site could be gathering your personal information. While they may seem like innocent games, taking quizzes could reveal more about yourself than you intended to.

“These quizzes ask seemingly silly or useless questions, but hackers can use that information to penetrate your social accounts and gain access to your personal information or the information of your friends and family,” Craker said.

So how can you tell which quizzes are harmless and which are phishing for personal information? Craker says it’s best to only participate in online quizzes that are managed by a reputable company, someone you’re aware of who is simply offering the quiz for fun.

“A couple of other red flags are quizzes that ask common bank security questions. If they are asking the month you were born or your high school mascot, that could be someone digging for personal information. And, be careful if a quiz is asking you to download anything or they are forcing you to click on blind links,” Craker added.

To be sure your information is locked up from Facebook hackers, keep the following in mind:

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How do political campaigns obtain your info?

In Idaho, the state’s voter registration system is public, which means names, addresses, phone numbers, and political affiliation can be obtained by anyone for political use.

Dean Johnson April 5, 2018 KTVB

Boise – Campaigns for Decision 2018 are ramping up with Election Day just a little over a month away. Campaigning is now taking many forms, it’s not just signs in yards and TV and radio ads, but much more personal with text messages and phone calls.

One viewer, who reached out to KTVB and did not want to be identified, says he felt a little uncomfortable after receiving a political text message from state treasurer candidate Vicky McIntyre. It also got him wondering how the campaign received his information.

McIntyre’s campaign manager Justin Collins says they obtained the man’s information legally from absentee voter information from the elections office.

“Registered voters give up their information, their public information, like first and last name, physical address. Optional, they can provide a phone number. They can also mark if that phone number is a cell or a home phone,” said Collins.

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Seasonal Humor:

WinterBearSki-a
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April 1, 2018 The Yellow Pine Times

April 1, 2018 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Easter

April 1st, the Easter Potluck at The Corner at 2pm.

20180401Easter1-a
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Yellow Pine and Payette Forest Service Meeting March 23, 2018 at 1PM

Location Community Hall Yellow Pine, Idaho

Representatives of Forest Service were Anthony Botello, Justin Popani and presentation was by Laurel Ingram, Krassel field Tech. Yellow Pine was represented by 14 residents.

Meeting was pertaining to the 2009 Bald Hill NEPA project of proscribed burns to reduce the fuel load around Yellow Pine area. The project covers 5-27 years. Three of the burns have already been done in 2011, 2014 and 2015. This year’s burn covers the area above the Abstein division taking in Quartz Creek and Boulder Creek.

Timing is targeted for April or May depending on moisture content of fuels and weather. Yellow Pine Times will post the actual date. Maps are posted at the Post Office and Tavern, also the dates will be posted there. There will be aerial ignition by helicopter and on the ground by drip torch. Burning is slated for 1-3 days 1300 acres will be covered, some of the areas are rock cliffs and unburnable. Actually, only about 60 per cent will be having fire the rest is buffer.

Concern was voiced by residents about Boulder Creek which is our water supply. Laurel indicated a buffer will be in effect of 300 feet from the Creek. Hoses and sprinklers will be in place. A hand crew will form a break in the ground fuel along the border with private property. A wet duff layer will be in place which is why the burn is done in the Spring, and the area soaked by the sprinklers ahead of time. The fire will be held out of the drainage.

A hand crew of at least 15 will be on the border of Abstein division and a fire engine. Contingency resources will be on scene as needed. Temporaries will be coming on board in April to cover it. Depending on the conditions 20-50 fire fighters could be on the ground. They should be self-sufficient but the F.S. will talk to our fire chief before the burn.

Land owners in the edge of the burn will be contacted if the fire engine will need to use the roads. Those folks with breathing issues may want to be out of town during the burn. Give Laurel your contact information and she will notify you of the burn dates personally. Or any issues or questions please contact Laurel.

Laurel Ingram
lenelson@flfed.us
208 634-0622

Submitted by:
Lorinne N. Munn
Secretary Yellow Pine Association

Note: See map below. It is the area inside the red line north east of the village (not all of the pink). The description of the area (from the original email) is:

“We are planning on burning the block of the Bald Hill Project that is directly to the north of Yellow Pine this spring. This block starts to the west of Boulder creek and ends on the ridge past Quartz creek. It comes down to the FS boundary on the south near Yellow Pine and this time of year we will most likely be using snow as the northern boundary.”

Map link:
(click on image for larger size)
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Spring Sightings

[March 29] “I saw robins on the South Fork last week and today they’re here claiming territory. An owl hooted this morning from the hillside below Golden Gate hill and I spotted a rufous-sided towhee just a few minutes ago. At the rate the nuthatches and juncos are eating black sunflower seeds they should be the size of robins by summer. The suet feeder has lots of “Camp Robbers”, Stellar jays, juncos and nuthatches. No sign of buttercups or violets yet. So far this is a great transition into Spring with no flooding of the roadside ditches.” – LI
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Transfer Station

A report March 24 that the dumpsters had been emptied recently. Easy to get in and out in 2 wheel drive. However, the road from Yellow Pine to the dump is rutty, slushy and rough.
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Long Island Iced Tea Party

Saturday, April 21st at 3pm, Filler’s front yard. Join us as we celebrate 10 years in Yellow Pine! Everyone is invited. Snacks are welcome.
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Blow-down Update

The Cascade Ranger District (BNF) is responsible for burning the slash piles from the blow-down cleanup. Last word is they will be burning either this spring or late fall. Will update when more info becomes available.
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Yellow Pine Tavern

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

The Corner is open for Breakfast and Dinner with prior arrangements. Typically breakfast is served between 5 and 6 am with dinner between 6 and 7 pm. The Corner Store is open as well, just call for grocery needs, fresh produce, eggs, meat etc.
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Winter Water Advice

It may feel like spring but the ground is still frozen down deep. 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

Bears will be coming out of hibernation soon. No recent reports of coyotes, foxes, raccoons, bobcats or cougars hanging around. The elk are close to homes, so wolves might be around. Please don’t leave pet food outdoors.
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2018 Fest

Next H-Fest Meeting April 19th

The 2018 festival T-shirt contest is now open! All entries must include the year (2018) and the festival name “Yellow Pine Festival” in the design Entries must be received by Friday, May 18th, 2018. The prize for the winning design is $100! Multiple designs by the same artist can be sent in.

Hint: these shirts are screen prints, simpler designs stand out better. Submit your entry by email to Marj Fields at fieldsmarjie @ yahoo.com
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YPFD News:

Fire Safety Tips for Winter/Spring

Keep your chimney clean to prevent flue fires, YPFD chimney brushes are available for local use, check with Cecil to borrow them. Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide 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 and fire siren testing will resume in the spring.
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VYPA News:

Next meeting June 2018
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Winter/Spring Propane Tips

Keep the snow cleared around propane lines and pipes leading from your tank to the house. The weight of snow sliding off roofs can cause leaks that can result in fire. Make sure you have a CO detector with working batteries.

Amerigas Phone: (208) 634-8181
Ed Staub & Sons Phone: (208) 634-3833
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Diamond (Kennedy) Fuel & Feed

We carry most varieties of Diamond Brand Dog Food. We even have a new line by Diamond called Professional Plus which is a grain-free formula. It is only $29.99 per bag. We have FREE samples in the office if anyone is in the area they can swing by and pick up several samples. They make great day trip servings too when on the go. 208-382-4430
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook (updated more often than emails)
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Local Observations:

Monday (Mar 26) overnight low of 19 degrees, partly cloudy this morning, about 8″ of old crusty snow on the flat, bare ground under trees and near buildings, rocks, etc. Heard a red-winged blackbird and a few steller jays calling, chickadees and red-breasted nuthatches visiting. High haze and puffy clouds gave us filtered sunshine early afternoon, high of 43 degrees. Pileated woodpecker and clarks nutcrackers calling from the forest, a female hairy woodpecker and a red-shafted northern flicker stopped by, also the resident pine squirrel visited. Partly cloudy at sunset. Elk on the golf course at dusk and a robin calling in the distance.

Tuesday (Mar 27) overcast this morning, about 8″ of crusty old snow on the flat, large open areas under the trees. Several clarks nutcrackers calling, female hairy woodpecker, chickadees and red-breasted nuthatches visiting. Cloudy quiet day, light breezes and snow melting, high of 50 degrees. Evening sprinkles of rain, just enough to dampen the roof. Breaks in the clouds and fat moon around 9pm. Short burst of hail at 315am.

Wednesday (Mar 28) overnight low of 31 degrees, partly cloudy this morning, a few hailstones on the ground, average of 7″ of old snow on the flat (larger open areas around buildings and under trees.) Fresh elk tracks down the side of the road. A few clarks nutcrackers calling, lots of juncos, a stellar jay, red-breasted nuthatches and a few chickadees visiting. By early afternoon the sky was almost clear, warm and sunny (and quite breezy), high of 52 degrees. High thin clouds came in late afternoon, then clearing by sundown. Elk coming up from the river and robins chirping just before dark. High thin clouds after dark, fuzzy fat lop-sided moon above Golden Gate.

Thursday (Mar 29) overnight low of 24 degrees, mostly clear sky this morning w/warm sunshine, light breezes. Snow depth ranges from 0″ to 12″ on the flat (average 6″) lots more bare ground on local streets. Red-breasted nuthatches at the feeders. Later a stellar jay stopped by to sample the sunflower seeds. Warm day, mostly cloudy afternoon, lots more open ground in the forest (there are less birds coming our feeders), high of 53 degrees. Heard a couple robins at dusk. Got a report of a rufous-sided towhee sighting, and an owl hooting this morning to the east.

Friday (Mar 30) overnight low of 28 degrees, overcast this morning. Lots more open ground, patches of “green” snow, average 5″ old snow remaining in the open. Robins calling this morning, a stellar jay and only one red-breasted nuthatch. Cloudy quiet morning. A rather large flock of clarks nutcrackers out in the forest early afternoon. Warm and cloudy, filtered sun melting snow, high of 56 degrees. Small buds growing on the lilac bush, moss is greening up where it is bare. Robins calling at dusk. Fat hazy moon shining just above the ridge at 930pm.

Saturday (Mar 31) overnight low of 26 degrees, mostly high thin clouds this morning. Even more open ground, 4″ of old snow (average) where it remains. Heard a woodpecker drumming, a few red-breasted nuthatches and a robin calling, female hairy woodpecker visiting. Only a few juncos still around and not many chickadees. Overcast by early afternoon, light breezes, high of 55 degrees. No wildflowers emerging yet, mosses are greening up. More robins showing up this afternoon, calling at dusk. Thin clouds and fuzzy “blue” moon after midnight.

Sunday (Apr 1) overnight low of 24 degrees, mostly clear sky and warm sun this morning. A lot of snow went away yesterday, 0-6″ of old snow, lots of bare ground. Heard a pileated woodpecker, a red-shafted northern flicker flew by, robins calling, a few red-breasted nuthatches and a chickadee visiting, steller jays calling. Blustery breezes and cloudy before lunch time. A lot more snow melted today, the local streets are pretty much bare too, high of 53 degrees. The local pine squirrel stopped by. Late afternoon thicker clouds, blustery and feels like it will rain soon.
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RIP:

Jerimy Slade (Boo) Edde Cowger

BooCowgerobit

On March 17, 2018, Jerimy left this world to be with our heavenly Father.

He was born on Oct. 31, 1992, to Jerry and Kristina Cowger in Nampa.

At the time of his death he worked for Sunroc Construction – A Clye Company as the foreman of a rock crusher. He loved his job.

He loved life and was a friend to all he met. He loved riding his dirt bike, camping with his friends, fishing with his kids and just spending time with all of us.

He always had a smile on his face and a good word for everyone. He had the most wonderful laugh and we will miss it so much. He was always joking and so light-hearted.

He touched so many lives in a lot of different ways and always was such a loyal friend.

He was the best husband, father, and son we could ask for, his love for his family and friends never wavered.

He will continue to live every day through his wife Alisha Cowger of Eagle, his three sons Ryder, Cross, and Jaxson Peterson and his daughter Emalynn Cowger of Eagle.

He is also survived by his mother Kristina Cowger of Cascade, his sister Tonya Holcomb (Matt) of Jacksonville, Fla., his brother Chris Cowger (Pavline) of Melba, and too many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and friends to mention.

He is proceeded in death by his father, Jerry Cowger, two brothers Jerry Lee Cowger, Eddie Cowger, his maternal grandparents Raymond and Pat Edde, and paternal grandparents Richard Cowger and Wanda Cowger Kusmachef.

He was loved. So, so loved.

The Memorial Service for Jerimy will be April 7 at 2 p.m. at The Legion Hall in Cascade with a potluck afterwards.

source: The Star-News
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Idaho News:

Congress approves county funds for two years

Valley County roads to get $1 million in reprieve

By Tom Grote for The Star-News March 29, 2018

Valley County will get a $2 million boost for its road maintenance and construction following a one-time renewal of federal funding by Congress.

The money was part of an omnibus bill passed by Congress last Friday that changes the way the U.S. Forest Service is funded for fighting wildfires.

Tucked into the omnibus bill was a two-year extension of the Secure Rural Schools program, which will provide rural counties approximately $200 million per year.

The passage comes as welcome news for the Valley County Road Department, which had received at least $1 million per year from the program. However, the Congress let the program expire in 2016 and the funds were lost that year.

Under the new authorization, Valley County will receive just over $1 million, or 5 percent less than its last payment of $1.14 million authorized in 2015, Valley County Commission Chair Gordon Cruickshank said.

Those funds should arrive within six weeks, Cruickshank said.

The second payment, which will be 5 percent less than the first payment, will arrive in early 2019, he said.

Valley County Road Superintendent Jeff McFadden was unavailable to comment on how the new funds will be spent.

“I am happy that we will receive some funding for a brief amount of time,” Cruickshank said.

The fact that the reauthorization is only for two years casts uncertainty over future road funding, he said

“It provides no stability into the future and makes it difficult to look at road improvements as Valley County grows,” Cruickshank said.

“With the Treasure Valley growing we all know they will come to the mountains to play so it will impact our county road system,” he said.

continued:
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Valley County imposes weight limits for large trucks

The Star-News March 29, 2018

Weight limits for large trucks have been imposed on most paved Valley County roads, the Valley County Road Department has announced.

The roads affected are marked with signs noting weight limits of 14,000 pounds per axle. Those roads include Farm to Market Road, Elo Road, West Lake Fork Road, East Lake Fork Road, Norwood Road, Mission Street, and Johnson Lane.

Other roads posted for weight limits include Heinrich Lane, Samson Trail, Rogers Lane, Paddy Flat Road, West Roseberry Road and East Roseberry Road, Scheline Lane, Lakeshore Drive, Cabarton Road and Gold Dust Road.

“These load limits will minimize damage from heavier vehicle loads using these routes during the freeze-thaw cycle,” Valley County Road Department Superintendent Jeff McFadden said.

The limits will be lifted when the roads have been determined to be stable after the spring thaw, McFadden said.

Call the road department at 208-382-7195 with questions.

source:
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Use changes planned for Van Wyck, Crown Point campgrounds

The Star-News March 29, 2018

Changes are coming to the ways customers will use the Van Wyck and Crown Point units of Lake Cascade State Park, the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation said.

The Crown Point Unit and associated campground will be moving to a reservation-based use system from its current first-come, first-served model.

Additionally, the Van Wyck Unit and associated campground will have designated, numbered campsites, and designated day use areas.

The changes are being made to accommodate increased use, the parks department said.

The changes will include limitations to the number of people per site as well as limits to the type, size, and amount of equipment the sites will accommodate.

“Lake Cascade State Park has become an increasingly popular place to enjoy Idaho’s beautiful outdoor offerings,” Lake Cascade State Park Manager Theresa Perry said.

“Our goal with these changes is to provide a better experience for visitors, while being proactive in managing the resources within the park,” Perry said.

Crown Point visitors can begin making reservations on May 1, for stays after May 24. Reservations for stays within Idaho’s state parks can be made toll-free by phone at 1-888-922-6743 or online at http://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov.

Campsites within Van Wyck have already been designated and numbered in preparation for the 2018 season.

“We are creating appropriate, sustainable areas for use that will mitigate potential conflicts, caused by dispersed use,” Perry said.

Van Wyck will continue to be a first-come, first served camping area.

source:
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St. Luke’s in McCall reopens after testing unknown substance

A vial containing white powder was found in the hospital’s waiting area on Tuesday.

KTVB Updated March 28, 2018

McCall – St. Luke’s in McCall has been reopened after a scare involving an unknown powder discovered inside the hospital.

The waiting area of St. Luke’s McCall Medical Center was shut down Tuesday after an unknown substance was found there.

McCall Chief of Police Justin Williams said two hospital patrons spotted a metal vial on the floor of the waiting area around 2:30 p.m. It was given to a staff member, who opened it and found that it contained white powder.

Williams said the hospital took “universal precautions” after the substance was found. Staff and patrons were moved out of the waiting area, and the air vents were purged and shut off.

The staff member who opened the container was quarantined and treated for exposure, but is OK, officials say.Williams said there were still patients in ER and in rooms as of around 8 p.m.

A hazardous materials team from Boise arrived Tuesday night and was testing the powder to determine what it is.

A St. Luke’s spokeswoman said Wednesday morning officials had determined the substance was not dangerous, and the hospital returned to normal operations by 11 p.m. Tuesday.

source:
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This was Texas billionaires’ role in revising Idaho trespass law

By Rocky Barker and Cynthia Sewell Idaho Statesman March 28, 2018

The two controversial Texas brothers who have bought thousands of acres of Idaho forest land weren’t listed as a part of the coalition that successfully carried a trespassing bill to the governor’s desk.

The Wilks brothers were involved. But they weren’t the driving force, said House Speaker Scott Bedke.

“To attribute this trespassing bill to the Wilks brothers is not completely accurate,” Bedke said.

The bill updates three different sections of Idaho trespass law. It revises private property notice requirements and increases trespassing penalties. Law enforcement and sportsmen’s groups have lingering questions about the measure, and lawmakers are waiting to see whether Gov. Butch Otter will veto the bill before they end the session this week.

Critics sought the entire session to pin the bill on Dan and Farris Wilks, the Texas billionaires who have angered hunters, ATV riders, campers and local officials in central Idaho after they closed off 172,000 acres of forest they bought in 2016. The land was already private property for years, but hunters and others had enjoyed access to it and the network of roads running through it under previous owners Boise Cascade and Potlatch Corp.

Initially, the Wilkses closed down logging, hunting and canceled leases with Valley County to main roads that provided access to snowmobile trails on public lands. They later worked out a deal with the county and Idaho snowmobilers that reopened some access. And the brothers made news again earlier this month when they put 54,000 acres in Idaho up for sale.

But a 2017 video showing a run-in between a security guard and a Valley County recreationalist on the public Clear Creek Road reinforced the view that the brothers were not good neighbors.

Rep. Terry Gestrin, R-Donnelly, was a strong supporter of the trespassing bill. He said his constituents aren’t happy with the Wilkses, and if the bill was seen as solely protecting them, he couldn’t have supported it.

“I didn’t appreciate what the Wilkses did either,” Gestrin said. “I told Justin (Wilks, Farris’ son) this isn’t Texas.”

But it is private land, and farmers, ranchers and other large landowners have complained for years about the mixed-up and toothless set of rules and laws around trespassing. Bedke said many of his neighbors have been trying to get him to address the problem for several years.

continued:
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Idaho’s noxious weed growth starting early this year

Steve Bertel Mar 29, 2018

Boise, ID – Idaho noxious weed officials are warning Idahoans that the state’s generally mild winter — coupled with recent warming temperatures — means conditions are prime for an early and aggressive emergence of Idaho’s 67 different species of invasive and damaging noxious weeds.

Prime culprits found throughout Idaho include Poison hemlock, Canada thistle, Whitetop, Scotch thistle and Rush skeletonweed. They can usually be found along in pastures, hayfields, yards, or along ditch banks.

“We are already getting reports that various species of noxious weeds are starting to pop up through the ground. That means now is the perfect time for landowners and residents to take action to prevent noxious weeds from getting a head start on our native vegetation — leaving us to try to catch up later in the year,” said Roger Batt, Statewide Coordinator for the Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign.

continued:
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Idaho hydrologist discusses snow survey and how it will affect our streams

by KBOI News Staff Friday, March 30th 2018

video report:
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Rathdrum becomes first Monarch USA city in Idaho

3/26/18 AP

Rathdrum, Idaho — Officials in the northern Idaho city of Rathdrum are hoping a new designation will attract a new kind of tourists: Monarch butterflies.

The city is the first in the state to receive the Monarch City USA designation from the nonprofit group by the same name based in Maple Valley, Washington.

The Coeur d’Alene Press reports monarch cities plant milkweed and nectar plants within their boundaries to attract and aid the iconic orange and black butterflies. A small Monarch City sign featuring the butterfly will soon be posted at the city’s entrance.

Data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show that nearly a billion monarch butterflies have vanished since 1990. The milkweed and nectar plants they rely on are decreasing across the country.

Rathdrum city administrator Leon Duce said city officials sought the designation after looking into whether milkweed is a noxious weed. Duce says they learned the plant category includes many flowering and native wildflowers.

source:
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Lucky Peak Nursery seed sale to improve wildlife habitat

Alex Merritt Mar 31, 2018 KIVI TV

Boise, (ID) – With the change of seasons, comes new plant life. Treasure Valley residents were invited to take home surplus seeds today from the Boise National Forest’s Lucky Peak Nursery.

The surplus seedling sale offered native plants like sagebrush, ponderosa pine, and Douglas fir seedlings.

The goal of the seed sale is to encourage homeowners to enhance forests on their properties while improving wildlife habitat.

Haley Smith, the Lucky Peak Nursery Manager, says many people are using the seeds to grow windbreaks especially people who were impacted by fires.

Each year, the lucky peak nursery produces more than 3 million trees and shrubs.

These seedlings are used for public land reforestation in the intermountain west disturbed by wildfires and timber harvests.

source:
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Mining News:

Ask Midas: Why Are There Metals in the River?

March 22

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.

At Midas Gold, we keep a very close eye on the water quality of the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River. As soon as we started exploring the site, we began an extensive baseline study to find out the existing water quality conditions and today, we continue to regularly monitor stream conditions. A few years ago, we also commissioned a multi-year study by the U.S. Geological Survey to evaluate the water quality in the area and they found high levels of antimony and arsenic in various waterways. Metals like these can be dangerous. So why are they in the water? This week, I get to explain in our Ask Midas series.

Why Are There Metals in the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River?

The Stibnite Gold Project is located in a mineral-rich region of Idaho. There is a lot of naturally occurring stibnite (an antimony mineral) at our site, that gives the project its name. This natural high concentration of minerals means it is common for metals to be present in the waterways. However, the situation is made worse because of how past mining operators left the region.

On our site, Meadow Creek, a main tributary of the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River, flows by approximately 10.5 million tons of spent ore and tailings deposited directly in the valley, without a liner, that was left behind by past miners. These old tailings and rocks have elevated concentrations of metals and, when they interact with surface water or the water table, metals can leach out and make their way into the river or groundwater. This, along with exposure to naturally high concentrations of metals in the mineralized zones near the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River, is why levels of arsenic and antimony are present in the river downstream of the site.

Through our Plan of Restoration and Operations, we have a plan to fix this issue.

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

source:
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Plan to block new gold mining near Yellowstone moves ahead

AP Mar 29, 2018

Helena, Mont. (AP) – U.S. government officials are moving forward with a plan to block new gold mining claims for 20 years on more than 30,000 acres of public lands north of Yellowstone National Park.

The U.S. Forest Service released a draft environmental assessment on Thursday for the proposed withdrawal of lands in the Absaroka mountains from new claims for gold and other “locatable” minerals, such as silver, platinum and uranium.

The proposal has been in the works since November 2016. The Forest Service must complete a final environmental analysis and make a recommendation before U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke can make a final decision, which is expected by November.

Forest Service officials say the purpose of the plan is to protect and preserve the forested, mountainous areas for wildlife and recreation just north of the nation’s first national park.

source:
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Public Lands:

Budget deal includes wildfire disaster fund to end ‘fire borrowing’

March 22, 2018 By Matthew Daly AP

Washington (AP) — A spending bill slated for a vote in Congress includes a bipartisan plan to create a wildfire disaster fund to help combat increasingly severe wildfires that have devastated the West in recent years.

The bill sets aside more than $20 billion over 10 years to allow the Forest Service and other federal agencies end a practice of raiding non-fire-related accounts to pay for wildfire costs, which approached $3 billion last year.

Western lawmakers have long complained that the current funding mechanism — tied to a 10-year average for wildfires — makes budgeting difficult, even as fires burn longer and hotter each year.

The new plan sets aside $2 billion per year — outside the regular budget — so officials don’t have to tap money meant for prevention programs to fight wildfires.

continued:
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Using drones to help fight wildfires

The Bureau of Land Management expects to use drones more every year for fighting wildfires.

Tami Tremblay March 30, 2018 KTVB

Boise – Although snow still sits on the foothills, the next wildfire season will be here before we know it. The federal government wants to use drones to help fire crews.

The Department of Interior has around 300 drones and the Bureau of Land Management has 120 of them. KTVB went to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise to see some of the drones.

“Just be getting up 400 feet above the crew and looking down, that aerial perspective is unique and provides a great amount of information, especially in forested areas where you can’t see the canopy,” said Gil Dustin, who is the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Manager for the BLM. “We have an infrared camera, we have a mapping camera, and we have just the GoPro.”

This will be the third fire season to use the technology. According to the Department of Interior, last year there were 707 drone missions on 71 wildfires. Dustin says they are a big help for crews on the ground.

continued:
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BLM to conduct prescribed burn in southwest Idaho

Date: March 26, 2018
Contact: Jared Jablonski jjablonski@blm.gov (208) 384-3210

Boise, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management will soon conduct the Pole Creek Jackpot Prescribed Burn, located approximately 35 miles southeast of Jordan Valley, Oregon, on the western flanks of Juniper Mountain. Expected to take place during the first two weeks of April, ignitions will occur for two to three days with subsequent mop-up and patrol continuing for several days after.

This 2,500-acre burn will target piles of heavy, dead fuels that have accumulated from previous western juniper thinning projects, but not the surrounding live vegetation. This is part of an effort to protect the sage-steppe landscape that supports traditional land uses and serves as important habitat for wildlife.

The exact timing of this burn is subject to weather, fuel and ground conditions.

For more information, contact the BLM Boise District at (208) 384-3210.
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USDA Forest Service Intermountain Region

Newsletter Volume 2 Issue 6 March 28, 2018

link:
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Letter to Share:

Free Kid’s Day

Annual Free Kid’s Day Hunting and Shooting at Little Canyon Shooting Preserve at the Peck, Idaho Ranch. Watch for Directions Signs From Hwy 12 to the Ranch on the Free Day:

Saturday, April 7th 2018

Check in time 9 AM To 1 PM – hunting, shooting all day!

Shoot at a 22 rifle range, practice on the clay shooting range, practice on the archery range with life size targets, and then go to the open fields where 3 pheasants will be released for each hunter. Each youth will be assigned a safety advisor and will hunt with a dog and handler. After each youth has been through once, if there is still daylight they may be able to go through again. The 22 small bore rifle range, clays, and archery ranges will be open all day or as long as we have shooters. There will also be tours of the bird hatchery.

There will be a complimentary lunch, and ammunition will be provided by vista outdoors in Lewiston. We have shotguns available for the younger hunters or you may bring your own. Remember, members and local sportsman will work dogs for the hunters and each youth will be assigned a safety advisor.

Requirements

Idaho Residents: Hunters safety certificate and Idaho hunting license.

Non-residents: Hunter safety certificate and 502 class non-resident shooting preserve license (available on-site).

RSVP To Let Us Know if You Plan to Attend: Call or email –

1-208-486-6235 lcs @ cpcinternet.com littlecanyonshooting.com

1-208-883-3423 jhag1 @ frontier.com The Gamebird Foundation

Help us find kids who are our future hunters and leaders and will help preserve our great American outdoor tradition.

Jim Hagedorn
Executive Director
The Gamebird Foundation
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Critter News:

Cascade vet clinic to hold pet vaccinations April 7

The Star-News March 29, 2018

Cascade Veterinary Clinic will host a pet vaccination clinic on Saturday, April 7, at 10 a.m.

No appointments are necessary. Available shots will include rabies vaccinations as well as canine and feline specific immunizations. Costs range from $15 to $20 per shot. Cascade dog licenses will also be available.

For more information, contact veterinarian Keith Ruble at 208-382-4590. Cascade Veterinary Clinic is located at 935 S. Idaho 55.

source:

[Note: The Yellow Pine Vet Clinic will probably be the 2nd Wednesday in June. Will let folks know when we have a definite date.]
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Riggins woman sells flowers to aid MCPAWS shelter

The Star-News March 29, 2018

A Riggins woman is selling daffodils and tulips from her garden to benefit MCPAWS Regional Animal Shelter in McCall.

Frances Ford will bring the flowers to the MCPAWS Thrift Store in downtown McCall. Cost is $1 for each daffodil and $1.50 for each tulip.

“Idaho County does not contribute to MCPAWS, yet the shelter will include our pets in their rescue and neutering programs,” Ford said of her project, which is called “Beauty for The Beasts.”

“I know it’s a bit spendy, but they’re organically grown flowers from Riggins to benefit dogs and cats who need medical care,” she said.

To place a direct order, contact Ford at 208-469-0088, francie.ford2 @ gmail.com

source:
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Health agency reports case of plague in Santa Fe County dog

3/30/18 AP

Santa Fe, N.M. — State health officials report a case of plague in a dog from Santa Fe County, making it the first diagnosed case of plague in New Mexico this year.

The Department of Health says it’s checking the home of the dog’s owner for risks to others and sending personnel around the neighborhood to inform residents and provide information on reducing risks.

Plague is a bacterial disease of wildlife and is generally transmitted to humans and pets through the bites of infected fleas. Pet animals also can be exposed after eating an infected animal. Plague can be transmitted to humans by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, wildlife and pets.

The department says New Mexico had four human cases of plague in 2017 and that those people all survived the illness.

source:
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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

March 28, 2018
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20 years later, Mexican wolf program frustrates all sides

By Susan Montoya Bryan – 3/28/18 AP

Albuquerque, N.M. — On the edge of the Mogollon Rim in eastern Arizona, snow covered the ground and blizzard conditions were setting in as biologists prepared to open the gates to a trio of pens, releasing three packs of Mexican gray wolves that would soon have the distinction of being the first of their kind to roam the wild in decades.

Thursday marks the 20th anniversary of that release and a major milestone for an effort that started decades earlier when the predators were first declared an endangered species.

In the months following the 1998 release, five of the 11 wolves were poached and the remaining animals had to be captured and paired with new mates before being released again. The wild population has struggled to gain significant ground, and only recently reached a high of 114 wolves.

The costly effort to return Mexican wolves to the American Southwest and Mexico has been fraught with frustration, as ranchers push back over livestock kills by the predators and environmentalists warn of returning to the brink of extinction if more wolves aren’t released into the wild.

continued:
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Wolf Education International

Newsletter March 27, 2018

Meeting Scott Walter of the Wisconsin DNR

Congressional Bid To Remove Wisconsin Wolves From Endangered Species List Falls Flat

Washington’s wolf population surge slows, worrying advocates
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Montana only state without grizzly hunting plan this year

AP Mar 26, 2018

Bozeman, Mont. (AP) – While Idaho and Wyoming pursue plans to allow grizzly bear hunting outside Yellowstone National Park, Montana wildlife officials say they don’t regret deciding against holding a hunt this year.

This past week, Idaho opened public comment on a proposal for a hunt of one male grizzly. Wyoming has released a proposal to sell 24 grizzly tags.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department officials decided against proposing a hunt in February.

Agency spokesman Greg Lemon tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that each state made decisions they felt were best for their state.

Critics are worried that the proposed hunts threaten the newly delisted grizzly population, which is estimated at more than 700 in the Yellowstone area.

Several environmental groups and Native Americans have sued to restore federal protections for the bears.

source:
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Wildlife officials report waking bears in western Montana

3/28/18 AP

Missoula, Mont. — Wildlife officials say grizzly bears are beginning to wake up and depart from their winter dens across western Montana.

The Missoulian reports that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department officials have sighted bear tracks, noted activity on radio collars and received a few eyewitness reports since the beginning of March.

Department bear management specialist Tim Manley says the state’s above-average snowpack this year is forcing the bears to enter the valley floors in search of food.

Department bear manager Jamie Jonkel says black bears are also on the move with sightings reported north of Missoula in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area.

source:
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Deer rescued from hydroelectric power plant in Nevada

3/30/18 AP

Verdi, Nev. — Eight deer have been rescued alive from a hydroelectric power plant in northern Nevada.

Firefighters and others rescued the deer Thursday after they were swept down a canal and got trapped inside the power plant in Verdi, a community along the Nevada-California border.

The deer suffered from hypothermia. Two other deer died in the water.

The Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District says bystanders and others put blankets and towels over the deer in an effort to help them warm up. Some of the deer received fluids through IVs and others got stitches for some cuts.

Officials say they don’t know how the deer ended up in the canal, but they say it is possible the animals floated up to a mile before they reached the plant.

source:
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Fish & Game News:

F&G to host McCall hunter education field day April 7

The Star-News March 29, 2018

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will host a Hunter Education Field Day on Saturday, April 7, at 8 a.m. at the Best Western Plus McCall Lodge and Suites.

This is the companion class to the online course, and students must bring their certificate of online completion to participate. The class will cover wildlife identification, laws, rules and regulations as well as field course and state exam information.

Students must dress for outdoor activities. No open-toed shoes or personal firearms are allowed.

Participants must be at least 9 years old, although the class is recommended for ages 14 years and older. Those under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to sign in.

For more information or to register, contact the McCall Fish and Game Office at 208-634-8137.

source:
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Payette Lake’s fishing is at a crossroads, which way do anglers want it to go?

Lake trout are eating all the kokanee and shrinking in the process

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Specialist
Friday, March 30, 2018

Managing a large sterile lake with big, long-lived predators and a fluctuating prey species poses a big challenge for fisheries managers, and Payette Lake at McCall is the latest case where managers are asking anglers what they would like to see in the future.

The issue essentially breaks down to Payette Lake’s lake trout population, which also happens to drive the population of its primary prey species, kokanee salmon. Balancing those two populations is critical to maintaining viable fisheries for each, and that balance comes at a cost, but more on that later.

Payette lake is currently dominated by lake trout, which isn’t a bad thing, but they’ve created problems, as Fish and Game Regional Fish Manager Dale Allen explains.

“Based on past stocking strategies for lake trout in Payette Lake during the 1980s, they are now overly abundant. This increase has reduced the kokanee, which is their favorite and most-important food.”

The lack of kokanee is affecting the future size and population of lake trout, which are “now smaller and much thinner than they were just a few years back,” Allen said.

There are a couple of options: Add more kokanee, or remove some lake trout, but both have challenges.

continued:
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F&G News Releases

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

Animals enjoy egg hunt at ZSL London Zoo

photo gallery:
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Seasonal Humor:

EasterEggHunters-a
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Tips & Advice:

How you’re tracked online — and what you can do about it

by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer Sunday, April 1st 2018

Though Facebook gets the attention because of a recent privacy gaffe, the social network is far from alone in collecting massive amounts of data on you to help marketers sell you stuff.

Google, for one, also does extensive tracking to power its advertising engines. And many other websites and apps run ads sold by Facebook and Google and exchange data with them. Beyond that, plenty of services including Uber and Amazon keep detailed histories on you.

Here are some of the ways to block or minimize such tracking — but they come with trade-offs.

continued:
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March 25, 2018 The Yellow Pine Times

March 25, 2018 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

USFS Rx Fire Meeting in Yellow Pine

There was a meeting on Friday March 23 at the Community Hall to discuss with the PNF their plans for Rx Fire north of the village. Local concerns about our drinking water drainage were expressed. They will not burn within 300 feet of the creek.

If anyone took notes during the meeting please share! Will share info when it becomes available.

See map below. It is the area inside the red line north east of the village (not all of the pink) they plan to treat. The description of the area (from the original email) is:

“We are planning on burning the block of the Bald Hill Project that is directly to the north of Yellow Pine this spring. This block starts to the west of Boulder creek and ends on the ridge past Quartz creek. It comes down to the FS boundary on the south near Yellow Pine and this time of year we will most likely be using snow as the northern boundary.”

Map
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“Bowling Alley” – Again

March 23 8am report: “The bowling alley is blocked by an extra large boulder this morning, Midas is on the way down with their big loader to move it. I am heading down to start work on clearing the rest but as of now no traffic can come in or out.” – Matt

The guys must have gotten the road open as the mail truck made it in on time Friday, Ray said he had a good trip.
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Transfer Station

A report March 24 that the dumpsters had been emptied recently. Easy to get in and out in 2 wheel drive. However, the road from Yellow Pine to the dump is rutty, slushy and rough.
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Easter

April 1st, the Easter Potluck will be held at The Corner.
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Long Island Iced Tea Party

Saturday, April 21st at 3pm, Filler’s front yard. Join us as we celebrate 10 years in Yellow Pine! Everyone is invited. Snacks are welcome.
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Blow-down Update

The Cascade Ranger District (BNF) is responsible for burning the slash piles from the blow-down cleanup. Last word is they will be burning either this spring or late fall. Will update when more info becomes available.
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Yellow Pine Tavern

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

The Corner is open for Breakfast and Dinner with prior arrangements. Typically breakfast is served between 5 and 6 am with dinner between 6 and 7 pm. The Corner Store is open as well, just call for grocery needs, fresh produce, eggs, meat etc.
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Winter Water Advice

It may feel like spring but the ground is still frozen down deep. 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

Bears will be coming out of hibernation soon. No recent reports of coyotes, foxes, raccoons, bobcats or cougars hanging around. Please don’t leave pet food outdoors.
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H-Fest Meeting March 28

March 28 Festival meeting at 1pm at the Yellow Pine Tavern. Everyone welcome this is a preliminary meeting so please come if you are in town.

Our next meeting will be April 19th with both Dawn and Lorinne attending so hope to get everything together at that meeting.

2018 Fest

The 2018 festival T-shirt contest is now open! All entries must include the year (2018) and the festival name “Yellow Pine Festival” in the design Entries must be received by Friday, May 18th, 2018. The prize for the winning design is $100! Multiple designs by the same artist can be sent in.

Hint: these shirts are screen prints, simpler designs stand out better. Submit your entry by email to Marj Fields at fieldsmarjie @ yahoo.com
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YPFD News:

Fire Safety Tips for Winter

Keep your chimney clean to prevent flue fires, YPFD chimney brushes are available for local use, check with Cecil to borrow them. Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide 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 and fire siren testing will resume in the spring.
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VYPA News:

Next meeting June 2018
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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 sliding off roofs can cause leaks that can result in fire. Make sure you have a CO detector with working batteries.

Amerigas Phone: (208) 634-8181
Ed Staub & Sons Phone: (208) 634-3833
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Diamond (Kennedy) Fuel & Feed

We carry most varieties of Diamond Brand Dog Food. We even have a new line by Diamond called Professional Plus which is a grain-free formula. It is only $29.99 per bag. We have FREE samples in the office if anyone is in the area they can swing by and pick up several samples. They make great day trip servings too when on the go. 208-382-4430
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook (updated more often than emails)
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Local Observations:

Monday (Mar 19) overnight low of 16 degrees, a few flakes of new snow, 10″ total snow on the flat. Chickadees, nuthatches, juncos and the resident pine squirrel visiting. Snow flurries off and on with bouts of sunshine during the afternoon, high of 44 degrees. A few cow elk were on the golf course at sunset. Light snowfall after midnight.

Tuesday (Mar 20) light snow during the night, 1/4″ new snow this morning, 10″ total snow, overcast and flaking snow. Juncos, nuthatches and chickadees visiting, a raven flying and calling to the southwest. Light snow fell all morning, no accumulation. Clarks nutcracker and two female hairy woodpeckers joined the smaller birds after lunch. Sunshine peeking through sucker holes in the cloud cover during the early afternoon, high of 46 degrees. Mostly cloudy at sunset. Stars out before midnight.

Wednesday (Mar 21) overnight low of 29 degrees, cloudy this morning and above freezing. Snow is difficult to measure, average 10″ old crusty snow with layers of ice. Lots of juncos running around, red-breasted nuthatches hanging upside down, chickadees flitting around, female downy and female hairy woodpeckers visiting and later a white-breasted nuthatch. Raven calling while flying over the village. Mail truck made it in on time, reports the EFSF road is getting pretty rough. Breezy cloudy afternoon, high of 48 degrees, blustery and dark clouds at sundown.

Thursday (Mar 22) started raining early this morning, overnight low of 34 degrees, average 10″ old snow on the flat. Clouds sitting down on the tops of the ridges, and mid-level fog belting the mountains. Juncos, chickadees, red-breasted nuthatches and a female hairy woodpecker visiting, later a male and a female downy. Steady light rain all morning and into the early afternoon. Snow ‘skeeters are out. Local streets are really mushy and slushy, staying in the ruts is a bit tricky. Stopped raining late afternoon and cloudy, high of 44 degrees. Cow elk on the golf course after sundown. Sprinkling after dark. Hard rain pounded down for a while.

Friday (Mar 23) a skiff of snow fell early morning, overnight low of 28 degrees, still the same old 10″ snow on the flat, broken cloud cover with sun shine and strong gusty breezes. Raven calling and flying over the village, chickadees, red-breasted nuthatches, female hairy woodpecker and juncos visiting. A mix of sunshine, dark clouds and little snow flurries mid-day. Blustery early afternoon, fast moving clouds and some sunshine, high of 44 degrees. Overcast late afternoon, flaking snow on and off. Elk out on the golf course at sundown. A few flakes of snow falling at dark. Probably didn’t snow much during the night, a few flakes on the deck after midnight.

Saturday (Mar 24) overnight low of 26 degrees, passing snowstorm this morning gave us 1/4″ new snow (10″ average old snow), ridges were socked in then started breaking up before 11am and some sunshine. Female hairy woodpecker, chickadees, juncos and red-breasted nuthatches visiting, later our local pine squirrel stopped by. Early afternoon it was partly cloudy and breezy, melting the little bit of new snow from this morning, high of 42 degrees. At dusk it was mostly clear and down to freezing.

Sunday (Mar 25) overnight low of 20 degrees, partly clear sky this morning, same old 10″ of snow on the flat but bare ground under trees, near buildings and patches on south facing hills. White-breasted and red-breasted nuthatches, a few chickadees, a female hairy woodpecker and a stellar jay visiting. The fat local pine squirrel showed up later. Sunny or filtered sun after lunch time and light breezes, high of 44 degrees. Around a dozen elk out by the crossroads this afternoon. Very nice sunny afternoon and quiet. Snow flurry before sundown. Elk on the golf course after sunset.
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Idaho News:

Valley County imposes weight limits for large trucks

The Star-News March 22, 2018

Weight limits for large trucks have been imposed on most paved Valley County roads, the Valley County Road Department has announced.

The roads affected are marked with signs noting weight limits of 14,000 pounds per axle. Those roads include Farm to Market Road, Elo Road, West Lake Fork Road, East Lake Fork Road, Norwood Road, Mission Street, and Johnson Lane.

Other roads posted for weight limits include Heinrich Lane, Samson Trail, Rogers Lane, Paddy Flat Road, West Roseberry Road and East Roseberry Road, Scheline Lane, Lakeshore Drive, Cabarton Road and Gold Dust Road.

“These load limits will minimize damage from heavier vehicle loads using these routes during the freeze-thaw cycle,” Valley County Road Department Superintendent Jeff McFadden said.

The limits will be lifted when the roads have been determined to be stable after the spring thaw, McFadden said.

Call the road department at 208-382-7195 with questions.

source:
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Former Valley coroner agrees to plead guilty

Hess charged with improper use of county vehicles

By Tom Grote for The Star-News March 22, 2018

Former Valley County Coroner Nathan Hess has agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of using county vehicles for personal gain.

Hess, of Donnelly, has signed a plea agreement that includes jail time, fines and community service. No date has been set for a hearing to have Hess enter his plea.

The plea agreement is on file with the Valley County Clerk’s office in Cascade.

The plea bargain was negotiated by Caldwell attorney Matthew Faulks, who was appointed as a special prosecutor in the case.

Valley County Prosecuting Attorney Carol Brockmann disqualified herself from the case because the county is a party to a lawsuit that also involves Hess.

Hess used his county-issued vehicle to take a body to a funeral home in Boise on Jan 16, 2017, for which he was paid $400, according to the charges.

Hess also used the county vehicle for his personal use between November 2016 and April 2017, court records said. Hess served as coroner between 2014 and May 2017, when he resigned.

The charges are punishable with up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine for each charge.

continued:
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Cascade Medical Center installs sophisticated digital X-ray device

By Max Silverson for The Star-News March 22, 2018

The installation of a new digital X-ray means that the Cascade Medical Center has more advanced equipment than much larger hospitals in Boise.

“This hospital is as state-of-the-art now as any large facility,” Kevin Lenz of Turn-Key Medical Inc., a Meridian-based medical imaging company said. “This is the best equipment that’s out there.”

The new X-ray room and portable X-ray machine are both fully digital integrated systems that work faster, deliver less radiation and are less traumatic for patients, CMC Radiologic Technologist Kate Thier said.

continued:
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Wreck on U.S. 95 near NM sends two to hospital

The Star-News March 22, 2018

Two people were hurt and traffic was blocked for four hours last Thursday when a semi-truck and pickup collided on U.S. 95 west of New Meadows, the Idaho State Police Reported.

The accident happened about 4 p.m. March 15 near the Evergreen Forest sawmill, the ISP said.

William McMonigle, 73, of Mountain Home, was driving a 2007 Peterbilt semi southbound, and Carl Nichols, 76, of Council, was driving a 2009 Ford F150 pickup northbound, the report said.

McMonigle’s vehicle crossed over the center line and sideswiped the vehicle driven by Nichols. The Nichols vehicle then left the roadway and went down an embankment.

Carl Nichols was transported by ground ambulance to St. Luke’s Medical Center in McCall, where he was later released, a hospital spokesperson said.

Nora Nichols, 73, of Council, was a passenger in the Nichols vehicle. Nichols was transported by air ambulance to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, where she was scheduled to be discharged on Monday, a hospital spokesperson said.

Carl Nichols and Nola Nichols were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. McMonigle was wearing his seat belt, the ISP said.
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Idaho 55 Wreck

A two-car collision happened about 2 p.m. Saturday on Idaho 55 near the Brundage Mountain Resort turnoff west of McCall, the Idaho State Police reported. A vehicle driven by Matthew Vuturo, 42, of Boise, crossed the center of the road and struck a vehicle head-on driven by Jaclyn Truppi, 38, of Pollock. No one was injured but the northbound lanes of the highway were closed for about 2-1/2 hours, an ISP report said.
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Idaho 55 Wreck Injures Woman

Rescuers from the Cascade Rural Fire Protection District come to the assistance of Deidra Heiner, 26, of Jerome, after her car crashed last Friday on Idaho 55 near Smiths Ferry. Shown are first responders D.J. Bixler, Chief Steve Hull, Caleb Bruce and Brad Sayers. The wreck happened about 9:25 a.m. Friday when Heiner’s 2003 Mazda Protege left the roadway, struck a snowbank and rolled, landing off the right shoulder, an Idaho State Police report said. Heiner was taken by ground ambulance to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise where she was later discharged, a hospital spokesperson said.

source:
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Moon, Gestrin unopposed in District 8 election

Thayn to face opponents in primary, general elections

By Tom Grote for The Star-News March 22, 2018

Two of the three members of the District 8 delegation to the Idaho Legislature will run unopposed for re-election.

No one filed candidacy papers by the state deadline to challenge Rep. Terry Gestrin, R-Donnelly, and Rep. Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley.

That means Gestrin, owner of Long Valley Farm Service, is assured of winning a fifth two-year term in the Idaho House of Representatives

Moon, the owner of an engineering and surveying company, is assured of winning a second term in the House.

District 8 includes Valley, Boise, Gem, Custer and Lemhi counties.

Two candidates have filed to oppose Sen. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett. Marla Lawson of Lowman will face Thayn in the May 15 Republican primary.

Conservative Party member Kirsten Faith Richardson of Letha will be on the general election ballot on Nov. 6. Thayn, a teacher and farmer, is seeking his fourth two-year term in the Idaho Senate.

continued:
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More people moving to Idaho’s ‘urban’ counties

The Idaho Department of Labor says Idaho’s population is continuing to shift from rural to urban counties.

KTVB March 22, 2018

Boise – More people are moving to Idaho’s most populous counties, according to a report Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to the report, six urban counties – Ada, Canyon, Kootenai, Bonneville, Bannock and Twin Falls – had a combined population of 1,116,173, accounting for 75 percent of the growth in the state’s population and 65 percent of overall population.

The Idaho Department of Labor noted the continued “steady shift of Idaho’s population from rural to urban counties” between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017.

The state’s total population was estimated at 1,716,943.

continued:
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Scam Alert:

What personal information are you sharing through social media quizzes?

By Tristan Lewis Mar 22, 2018 Local News 8

Idaho Falls, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – With the recent Cambridge Analytica data breach that obtained personal information from more than 50 million Facebook users, are you being careful about what you put out and do online?

Have you ever scrolled through Facebook and saw a quiz about what fruit best matches your personality? It might seem innocent enough, but clicking on that link could actually have you give out more personal info than you thought.

“One thing that we learned with these Facebook quizzes is that this is a hackers real way to get to you and what they’re doing is that they’re luring you into these quizzes and they’re getting information into your personal information,” Jeremy Johnson, The Eastern Idaho Marketplace Manager of the Better Business Bureau, said. “They’re also getting your friends information and who you’re friends with.”

What some of these hackers do is send whatever quiz you just took to your friends so then that they take the quiz and then steal their information as well.

continued:
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Mining News:

Summer Internship Sustaining Our Skies

We Can’t Stop Staring at the Stars.

March 21 Midas Gold

Those of us who call Idaho home have the luxury of studying the night sky in all its glory. It is an experience we can’t take for granted. Therefore, we are thrilled to announce an opening for a summer intern to help us study sustainable practices for industry to use in reducing light footprints, so everyone can enjoy the night sky.

Internship Objective:

Produce a white paper with findings and suggestions on the application of “dark skies” technology and best practices as appropriate for a remote industrial setting.

Background on Midas Gold:

Midas Gold Idaho is an Idaho-based company currently in the permitting process for the Stibnite Gold Project (Project) in Valley County, Idaho.

The Project is in an area that has seen mining activity off-and-on over the last 100 years and has many legacies from mining that occurred decades ago. Midas Gold incorporated reclamation of the legacies remaining on site into the plan for the Stibnite Gold Project. The company’s philosophy is that modern mining can leave the site better than it is today. This vision is unique and this project can lead the way in bringing a more sustainable standard to the industry.

Work Description:

As a part of the company’s commitment to sustainable development and evaluating ideas on how to minimize the footprint of operations, Midas Gold is looking for a graduate-level student to prepare a white paper on the potential for applying modern technology and best practices in industrial lighting applications to reduce light footprints.

Research to include:

* What technology is used today in industrial settings to control light footprints?
* What are the best practices in industry? Are any companies currently applying advanced technologies or practices to reduce industrial light footprints?
* What predictions are there about the future of this technology? What might be possible soon?
* What regulations exist that constrict or inform lighting practices in industry (MSHA, OSHA etc)?
* Are there regulatory guidelines or standards that may prohibit implementing modern technology or practices?
* Proposal for implementing a Dark Skies Initiative for industrial settings to adopt best practices or receive certification

Title: Dark Skies Internship
Timing: June through August
Location: Boise or Valley County
Compensation: $24 hour, approximately 15 hours a week for three months. Flexible start time.
Contact: Mckinsey Lyon at mlyon@midasgoldinc.com

source:
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Montana: miner violates “bad actor” law with past pollution

By Matthew Brown – 3/20/18 AP

Billings, Mont. — Montana officials singled out a mining company president as an industry “bad actor” on Tuesday, and said the company could have to reimburse taxpayers more than $35 million for past pollution cleanups if it wants to pursue two new mines in the state.

Hecla Mining Inc. and its president, Phillips Baker, Jr., who’s also chairman of the National Mining Association, were deemed in violation of a law that targets individuals and companies that abandon polluted sites. The alleged violations were first reported by The Associated Press.

A Hecla executive said the company intends to challenge the allegations.

Baker, who’s been a director at Hecla since 2001, was an executive for Pegasus Gold Corp., which went bankrupt in 1998 and left government agencies with a massive cleanup bill at its Montana mines, Montana Department of Environmental Quality Director Tom Livers told AP.

The Pegasus mines polluted surrounding waterways with cyanide, arsenic and other contaminants, prompting water treatment measures that may need to continue into perpetuity.

continued:
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Public Lands:

Southwest Idaho spring prescribed fire burning planned

Contact: Venetia Gempler (208) 373-4105
Email: vgempler@fs.fed.us

Boise, Idaho, March 19, 2018 — Southwest Idaho interagency fire managers anticipate favorable spring weather conditions for planned low-intensity prescribed fires. Prescribed fires are designed to reduce hazardous vegetation (fuels), large wildfire potential to communities, and improve wildlife habitat.

Weather and conditions permitting, prescribed burns are scheduled to start in March and continue through June. Approximately 2,500 acres are planned for ignition in 10 project areas within the Boise National Forest.

Public and firefighter safety is always the first priority in all public land fire operations. Fire managers develop burn plans that account for safety, specific fuel and weather prescriptions and smoke management. All controlled burns are closely evaluated and are only approved when favorable conditions are present.

Prescribed burns may affect people sensitive to smoke and may impact access to burn areas and travel routes. Fire officials strongly advise forest visitors and homeowners to prepare and plan activities around the proposed dates and locations of burns and to use extreme caution near prescribed fire areas. Please be aware of firefighters and equipment in the area and on roadways, comply with posted notices and drive slowly in areas with decreased visibility.

Information and signs will be posted on roads that access burn areas in advance of ignitions and remain in place through burn completion.

The http://www.rxfire.com website is updated with information regarding southwest Idaho burn planned within Idaho Department of Lands, Bureau of Land Management and Payette and Boise National Forests.

The Boise National Forest prescribed fire hotline: (208) 373-4208.

Planned Boise National Forest spring prescribed burns include:

Idaho City Ranger District

* Alder Ridge (100 acres): located 1 mile north of Placerville, Idaho. This is a landscape burn (ground fire) using hand ignition to reduce fuel in the wildland urban interface.

* Amber (300 acres): located 2 miles east of Idaho City, Idaho. This is a modified tree well burn.

* Buckskin (200 acres): located approximately 3 miles east of Idaho City, Idaho.

* Little Ophir (100 acres): located 4 miles west of Pioneerville, Idaho. A landscape burn using hand ignition to reduce fuel in the wildland urban interface area.

* Mores South-Granite Creek (200 acres): located 3 miles east of Idaho City, Idaho. This is a landscape burn (ground fire) using hand ignition to reduce fuel in the wildland urban interface.

Cascade Ranger District

* Horsethief (360 acres): located about 1 mile east/northeast of Horsethief Reservoir. This burn involves helicopter and hand ignition to reduce fuels over the area and is within the wildland urban interface.

* Westside Restoration Unit 39 and 40 (consist of 25 acres each): This project is located on National Forest System (NFS) road 435 along West Mountain. It is approximately 10 miles west of Cascade, Idaho. This will be hand ignition to reduce fuels within the wildland urban interface

* Crawford (120 acres): located approximately 4 miles east of Cascade, Idaho adjacent to the Crawford Guard Station off NFS road 22 northeast of Davis reservoir and is within the wildland urban interface.

Mountain Home Ranger District

* Cottonwood II Rx (1000 acres): This project is located about 17 miles NE of Boise, Idaho along NFS roads 203 and 377.

Emmett Ranger District

* Lodgepole Springs Underburn (2424 acres): located approximately 14 miles north of Crouch, this will be a restoration under burn in the Silver Creek drainage north of NFS road 671.


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Boise smokejumpers prepare ahead of fire season

by Sarah Jacobsen Friday, March 23rd 2018

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — “I actually had a whole other career in GIS mapping but I wanted something a little more physically challenging, but also mentally challenging,” says smokejumper Heidi Esh.

Smoke jumping – when you think of it, you may immediately imagine parachuting out of planes into wildfires.

“It’s definitely not an entry level position,” says smokejumper Gabriel O’Keefe. “Hot shot crews are definitely one of the biggest that we recruit from.”

These men and women are the first on the scene of remote wildfires.

continued:
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2017 CuMo Exploration Project Supplemental Information Report Errata is Now Available

Dear Interested Party,

This email is to inform you that the Boise National Forest recently completed an errata to the 2017 CuMo Exploration Project Supplemental Information Report (SIR). The SIR errata is now available on the 2018 CuMo Exploration Project webpage (https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52875) under the Assessment Tab. The errata corrected an error on page 10, replaced Figure 3 with the correct figure, added errata information on the title page and added an errata signature block on pg. 24. Changes are highlighted in yellow for ease of locating.

For additional information regarding the corrections made to the 2017 CuMo SIR , please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,
Melissa Yenko
Forest Environmental Coordinator
Boise National Forest
Phone: 208-373-4245
Email: myenko@fs.fed.us
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BLM extends scoping period for Silver City Travel Management Plan

Date: March 23, 2018
Contact: Michael Williamson 208-384-3393

Boise, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management is extending the public scoping period for the Silver City Travel Management Plan (TMP) environmental assessment an additional two weeks to April 13, 2018. This extension is in response to the project website being inaccessible by some users for short periods of time due to technical difficulties.

“This TMP effort is an example of working with our partners and the public to promote multiple-use activities on public lands, so it is important for us to allow enough time for comments,” said Acting BLM Owyhee Field Manager Lance Okeson.

The BLM encourages the public to use this scoping period to identify issues that may influence the environmental analyses or the range of alternatives to be analyzed. The public will also have an opportunity to provide comments on the environmental assessment prior to a decision being issued.

Detailed information on the Silver City TMP can be found at https://go.usa.gov/xnsD2

Scoping issues are being accepted through the following means:

* Email: oma_trans_wild@blm.gov
* Fax: 208-896-5940
* Surface mail: BLM Owyhee Field Office, 20 First Ave West, Marsing ID, 83639

Those who provide feedback about issues are advised that before including their personal identifying information (address, email, and phone number) they should be aware that the entire statement – including their personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While those providing feedback can ask in their response to withhold this information from public review, the BLM cannot guarantee that they will be able to do so.

For more information, contact the BLM Owyhee Field Office at 208-896-5912.
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BLM Advisory Council to meet in April

Date: March 20, 2018
Contact: Michael Williamson 208-384-3393

Boise, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management today announced it will hold a meeting of the Boise District Resource Advisory Council, demonstrating that partnerships and inclusion are vital to managing sustainable, working public lands. The public is welcome to attend the meeting which will occur on April 4, 2018 at 3948 Development Ave., Boise, ID, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Planned agenda items at the meeting will be the Wild Horse and Burro program, travel management planning, Fire program, Soda Fire rehabilitation, Tri-State and Soda fuel break projects, user conflicts and other field office updates.

“The RAC represents diverse public interests and provides invaluable input for managing our public lands,” said District Manager Lara Douglas. “Their feedback helps us make more informed decisions, resulting in better projects on the ground.”

A half-hour comment period, during which the public may address the RAC, will begin at 11 a.m. Depending on the number of people wishing to comment and time available, the amount of time for individual oral comments may be limited.

Resource Advisory Councils are critical in assisting the BLM in continuing to be a good neighbor in the communities we serve. The 15-member RAC provides advice and recommendations to the BLM on resource and land management issues within the BLM Boise District.

For more information about the upcoming RAC meeting, please contact Mike Williamson at (208) 384-3393 or mwilliamson@blm.gov
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Secretary Perdue Applauds Fire Funding Fix in Omnibus

Press Release No. 0064.18
Contact: USDA Press
Email: press@oc.usda.gov

(Washington, D.C., March 23, 2018) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today expressed his appreciation for the work of Congress to find a bipartisan fix for the way the U.S. Forest Service is funded for fighting wildfires. Secretary Perdue had advocated for the change since taking office in April 2017. Congress included the solution in the FY 2018 Omnibus Spending Package, which has been signed into law by President Donald J. Trump.

“The fire funding fix, which has been sought for decades, is an important inclusion in the omnibus spending bill and I commend Congress for addressing the issue,” said Secretary Perdue. “Improving the way we fund wildfire suppression will help us better manage our forests. If we ensure that we have adequate resources for forest management, we can mitigate the frequency of wildfires and severity of future fire seasons. I thank Congressional leaders, with whom I’ve frequently discussed this issue.”

The solution included in the omnibus provides a new funding structure from FY2020 through FY2027. Beginning in FY2020, $2.25 billion of new budget authority is available to USDA and the Department of the Interior. The budget authority increases by $100 million each year, ending at $2.95 billion in new budget authority by FY2027. For the duration of the 8-year fix, the fire suppression account will be funded at the FY 2015 President’s Budget request – $1.011 billion. If funding in the cap is used, the Secretary of Agriculture must submit a report to Congress documenting aspects of fire season, such as decision-making and cost drivers, that led to the expenditures. The omnibus includes a 2-year extension of Secure Rural Schools, providing provide rural counties approximately $200 million more per year. It also provides Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act Reauthorization. The legislation also includes seven important forest management reforms, including:

continued:
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Letters to Share:

Real Good Project done

3/19/2018

Hi all, real good project done yesterday. We had 15 folks turn out for grain bagging for pheasants and other birds yesterday. We dumped grain from small paper bags into tote bags to take and help with getting ground grain for the baby chicks, we will start getting day old baby pheasant chicks in April. We ended up with around 4 to 5 ton to go to feed birds. Great bunch of folks, the youngest was about 10 years old and the oldest was about 87. The rest was in between. We had pizza and donuts for breakfast and lunch. We all are looking forward for the fall grain season to start. Baby pheasant chicks are next. Get the brooders and the setting hens lines up. Those mom hens make the best brooders going.

Don’t forget the Free Day for Kids on April 7 at the Little Canyon Shooting Down at Peck Idaho.

“Whiskers”
The Gamebird Foundation
208-883-3423
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Free Kid’s Day

Annual Free Kid’s Day Hunting and Shooting at Little Canyon Shooting Preserve at the Peck, Idaho Ranch. Watch for Directions Signs From Hwy 12 to the Ranch on the Free Day:

Saturday, April 7th 2018

Check in time 9am To 1pm – hunting, shooting all day!

Shoot at a 22 rifle range, practice on the clay shooting range, practice on the archery range with life size targets, and then go to the open fields where 3 pheasants will be released for each hunter. Each youth will be assigned a safety advisor and will hunt with a dog and handler. After each youth has been through once, if there is still daylight they may be able to go through again. The 22 small bore rifle range, clays, and archery ranges will be open all day or as long as we have shooters. There will also be tours of the bird hatchery.

There will be a complimentary lunch, and ammunition will be provided by vista outdoors in Lewiston. We have shotguns available for the younger hunters or you may bring your own. Remember, members and local sportsman will work dogs for the hunters and each youth will be assigned a safety advisor.

Requirements

Idaho Residents: Hunters safety certificate and Idaho hunting license.

Non-residents: Hunter safety certificate and 502 class non-resident shooting preserve license (available on-site).

RSVP To let us know if you plan to attend

Call or email:

1-208-486-6235 lcs @ cpcinternet.com LittleCanyonShooting.com

1-208-883-3423 jhag1 @ frontier.com The Gamebird Foundation

Help us find kids who are our future hunters and leaders and will help preserve our great American outdoor tradition.
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Critter News:

AmeriGas to give away propane to benefit MCPAWS

The Star-News March 22, 2018

AmeriGas is donating three 500 gallon propane prizes to benefit MCPAWS Regional Animal Shelter.

Tickets are on sale now for $10 each at the shelter, MCPAWS Thrift Store, and AmeriGas in McCall. Each ticket will be entered for a chance to win one of three grand prizes. All proceeds will benefit the cats and dogs at MCPAWS.

“This is such a fun and creative way to provide a donation to MCPAWS and also help the three lucky winners save a great deal of money on propane!” said Kattie Kingsley, Development Director at MCPAWS.

Tickets will be on sale until June 1 and the drawing will be held at the 20th Annual Bark! in the Park on Saturday, June 16 at Ponderosa State Park.

source:
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Pet Talk – Essential oils and cats

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt March 23, 2018 – IME

Essential oils are volatile organic compounds of plants that contribute to fragrances. They are extracted from plants by cold pressing and sometimes distillation. These oils can be utilized in so many ways. They are used in insecticides, personal care products, flavorings, aromatherapies and herbal remedies.

Cats are especially sensitive to the toxic effects of essential oils. These oils can be absorbed from the skin and oral cavity, and then metabolized by the liver. Unfortunately, cats lack an essential enzyme in their liver that destroys and eliminates essential oils, which then become toxins to the cats. The higher the concentration of the essential oil, the greater the risk to the cat. Dogs have the liver enzyme to destroy these essential oils, so they do not accumulate in the body and cause toxic problems.

Essential oils that commonly cause poisoning in cats are cinnamon oil, peppermint oil, pennyroyal oil, eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, clove oil, citrus oil, birch oil and wintergreen oil. Symptoms of exposure to these oils include drooling, vomiting, tremors, incoordination and respiratory distress.

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Wolf Education International

Newsletter 3/19/2018

2 Mexican wolves found dead in Arizona

Washington Wolf Population Increases Only 6 Percent After 14 Wolves Killed in 2017

Campus officer shoots, wounds coyote at Cal State L.A. after it bites small boy, officials say
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Idaho moves ahead with possible grizzly bear hunting season

By Keith Ridler – 3/22/18 AP

Boise, Idaho — Idaho officials have started the process of opening a grizzly bear hunting season this fall that would allow the killing of one male grizzly.

The Fish and Game Commission in a 7-0 vote Thursday directed the Department of Fish and Game to gather public comments on the possible hunt.

The department will use those comments to draft a possible grizzly bear hunting season for the commission to consider in May.

“There would be a lot of interest in the possibility of a grizzly season,” Commissioner Derick Attebury said after the meeting. Attebury represents the portion of eastern Idaho where the hunt would occur

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Grizzly bears spotted along Rocky Mountain Front

3/20/18 AP

Great Falls, Mont. — State wildlife officials say grizzly bears have begun leaving their dens along the Rocky Mountain Front.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks bear management specialist Mike Madel said Tuesday that based on reported sightings and footprints, he estimates four or five bears are out.

Madel says the bears are out a little later than last year.

When bears first emerge they usually spend several days or weeks near their dens before moving down in elevation to search for food near rivers and streams.

People who live on ranches and in communities along the Rocky Mountain Front should take the normal precautions such as securely storing garbage and taking down bird feeders while recreationists are cautioned to carry bear spray.

source:
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The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
http://www.cbbulletin.com
March 23, 2018 Issue No. 866
Table of Contents

* Ninth Circuit Hears Arguments On More Spill For Juvenile Salmon/Steelhead At Columbia/Snake Dams
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440399.aspx

* Independent Science Board Reviews Two NOAA Experimental Spill Test Designs
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440398.aspx

* NW Power/Conservation Council Gets Numbers Rundown On Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Returns
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440397.aspx

* Corps Awards $321 Million Contract To Design, Build, Install 14 Turbines At McNary Dam
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440396.aspx

* Council Staff Lays Out High Priorities For Fish And Wildlife Efforts In 2018
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440395.aspx

* Washington Wolf Population Increases For Ninth Straight Year; 122 Wolves, 22 Packs
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440394.aspx

* Study: Climate Change Will Be Main Cause Of Heat Waves In West By Late 2020s
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440393.aspx

* Researchers Say California Sea Lion Breeding Shifting North, Reasons Not Known
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440392.aspx

* Seattle Corps Awards $112 Million Contract For Nation’s Largest Trap-Haul Fish Passage Facility
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440391.aspx
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Fish & Game News:

New changes to 2018 big game rules: sheep, goat, Unit 10A deer hunt, Weiser River elk zone, and units 26 and 27 controlled deer hunts

Commission set new rules for the upcoming fall season

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Specialist
Friday, March 23, 2018

Fish and Game Commission at the March 22 meeting made several changes that big game hunters should be aware of for the upcoming fall seasons, including:

* Eliminated the two tags in mountain goat controlled hunt 6005 in Unit 10-3 because the goats appear to have moved out of the hunt area.

* Eliminated bighorn sheep hunt 7007 in Unit 46-2, which would have offered two tags, and extended hunt 7006 in Hunt Area 46-1 to close Oct. 8 instead of Sept. 14. Biologists are concerned that a disease event may have reduced the number of harvestable rams, so an adjustment in tags was needed.

* Removed the use of second deer tags in Unit 10A and shortened the white-tailed deer season in Unit 10A by moving the closing date from Dec. 1 to Nov. 20. Hunters are concerned about the number of mature white-tailed bucks in the unit.

* Removed the cap on the Weiser River Elk Zone A-tag so there is no limit on the number of those tags available to hunters. The zone is currently above the department’s objectives for total elk population.

* Reduced the number of tags available to nonresident hunters for the November unlimited controlled hunts in Units 26 and 27 down to 10 percent of the five-year average for total participation in each hunt. Controlled Hunt Area 26 (controlled hunt number 1016) will have 13 nonresident tags and Controlled Hunt Area 27 (controlled hunt number 1017) will have 51 nonresident tags.

The Fish and Game Commission has heard complaints about crowding at airstrips, and these hunts had a very high percentage of nonresident hunters. These controlled hunts will remain unlimited for resident hunters. Hunt Area 27 hunt is first-choice-only for both resident and nonresident applicants.

source:
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F&G News Releases

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

Caution! Swan Is Aggressive!


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Seasonal Humor:

WinterDriving-a
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March 18, 2018 The Yellow Pine Times

March 18, 2018 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

USFS Spring Prescribed Fire Near Yellow Pine Meeting

Community Meeting Yellow Pine Community Hall Friday, March 23, 1pm. The Payette National Forest will be implementing a prescribed fire project just north of Yellow Pine in the spring of 2018.

Come and hear about the plan, ask questions and make sure you are on our contact list. If you are unable to attend please feel free to call or email me with your questions or concerns. Laurel Ingram, Fuels Tech, Krassel Ranger District, Phone: 208-634-0622 email: lenelson@fs.fed.us

We are planning on burning the block of the Bald Hill Project that is directly to the north of Yellow Pine this spring. This block starts to the west of Boulder creek and ends on the ridge past Quartz creek. It comes down to the FS boundary on the south near Yellow Pine and this time of year we will most likely be using snow as the northern boundary.

Note: “The meeting will be held at the Community Hall and I would like to remind everyone that it is cold in the Community Hall and everyone should dress appropriately. Maybe even bring their own blanket. We will have hot coffee and hot tea to help warm our insides.” – KH
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“Bowling Alley”

Got a report The Bowling Alley was blocked by large boulders last Wednesday morning, March 14th. The Nez Perce folks called Matt around 7am and he went out with his skid steer and opened it up.

The mail truck was a little late on Wednesday, going slow dodging rocks on the lower SF road and quite a few on the EFSF road in the Caton Creek area. Driver said the “bowling alley” had been cleared by the time he came along.
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St. Patrick’s Day

St Patrick’s Day Potluck at the Tavern. Cold and snowy outside. Warm and good food and friends inside.

20170317StPaddyYPTavern-a

photo gallery on Facebook:
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Yellow Pine Tavern

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

The Corner is open for Breakfast and Dinner with prior arrangements. Typically breakfast is served between 5 and 6 am with dinner between 6 and 7 pm. The Corner Store is open as well, just call for grocery needs, fresh produce, eggs, meat etc.
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Blow-down Update

The Cascade Ranger District (BNF) is responsible for burning the slash piles from the blow-down cleanup. Last word is they will be burning either this spring or late fall. Will update when more info becomes available.
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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

Coyote howling by the school/museum early Friday morning, March 16th. Reports of raccoons around the upper end of the village. Foxes were roaming around the village March 3rd and 5th. A report of wolves howling March 2nd. Keep an eye on small dogs and cats and please don’t leave pet food outdoors.
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H-Fest Meeting March 28

March 28 Festival meeting at 1pm at the Yellow Pine Tavern. Everyone welcome this is a preliminary meeting so please come if you are in town.

Our next meeting will be April 19th with both Dawn and Lorinne attending so hope to get everything together at that meeting.

2018 Fest

The 2018 festival T-shirt contest is now open! All entries must include the year (2018) and the festival name “Yellow Pine Festival” in the design Entries must be received by Friday, May 18th, 2018. The prize for the winning design is $100! Multiple designs by the same artist can be sent in.

Hint: these shirts are screen prints, simpler designs stand out better. Submit your entry by email to Marj Fields at fieldsmarjie @ yahoo.com
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YPFD News:

Fire Safety Tips for Winter

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 and fire siren testing will resume in the spring.
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VYPA News:

Next meeting June 2018
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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 sliding off roofs can cause leaks that can result in fire. Make sure you have a CO detector with working batteries.

Amerigas Phone: (208) 634-8181
Ed Staub & Sons Phone: (208) 634-3833
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Diamond (Kennedy) Fuel & Feed

We carry most varieties of Diamond Brand Dog Food. We even have a new line by Diamond called Professional Plus which is a grain-free formula. It is only $29.99 per bag. We have FREE samples in the office if anyone is in the area they can swing by and pick up several samples. They make great day trip servings too when on the go. 208-382-4430
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook (updated more often than emails)
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Local Observations:

Monday (Mar 12) overnight low of 17 degrees, very blue clear sky this morning, measured 12″ of old snow on the flat. Quite a variety of birds this morning, red-breasted nuthatches, mountain chickadees, dark-eyed juncos, a stellar jay, a clarks nutcracker, a hairy woodpecker, (later a male downy) and could hear a flicker off in the distance. Two pine squirrels visited, but tried to avoid each other. Sunny warm day, high of 56 degrees. Clear warm evening, paths are muddy and streets are breaking up. Lots of stars out before midnight.

Tuesday (Mar 13) overnight low of 19 degrees, mostly clear sky and light breezes this morning. The snow is difficult to measure, very hard and crusty with several layers of ice, average 11″ of snow in the open, bare ground wherever the sun can reflect off a rock, tree or building. The usual red-breasted nuthatches and chickadees were joined by a white-breasted nuthatch, and pretty sure I heard a red-winged blackbird call. Later, saw a few dark-eyed juncos, then a clarks nutcracker was calling from the trees and a steller jay visited. High thin clouds coming in by lunch time. Mostly cloudy afternoon and very warm, high of 62 degrees. Streets are “breaking up” and mushy, the back Stibnite road is messy. Warm cloudy evening, still light enough to see at 8pm. Rain started some time after 2am (probably around 3am) and at 520am the rain was pounding down hard. Skiff of snow had fallen by daylight.

Wednesday (Mar 14) probably stayed above freezing all night, a trace of snow and very wet this morning (over 1/2″ rain) the clouds are down to the valley floor, ridges socked in and sprinkling. Measured about 11″ of old snow. Tree wells are much larger, seeing more bare ground in the forest. Male downy woodpecker visiting with the nuthatches, chickadees and juncos. Then a clarks nutcracker and a stellar jay showed up. Quit raining after lunch time. Mail truck was a little late, rocks coming down on the EFSF road, local equipment went out to clear rocks. Cloudy afternoon, a few thin spots and breaks once in a while, high of 46 degrees. Mostly cloudy at dark. An inch of snow fell during the night/early morning.

Thursday (Mar 15) overnight low of 31 degrees, 1″ new snow, 12″ total snow on the flat, overcast and flaking on and off this morning, ridges socked in. Juncos, nuthatches and chickadees visiting. Later a male downy woodpecker and a clarks nutcracker came by. Snow showers on and off late afternoon, high of 40 degrees. Elk in the lower end of the village just before full dark. Coyotes howling by the school/museum after midnight, mostly clear and breezy.

Friday (Mar 16) overnight low of 16 degrees, overcast and light breezes this morning, 11″ hard crusty snow on the flat. Pine squirrel yelling from the fence, juncos, nuthatches and chickadees visiting. Cloudy day, rather breezy at times. Snow flurries on and off in the late afternoon, sticking then melting then snowing again, high of 43 degrees. Cloudy and below freezing before midnight.

Saturday (Mar 17) snowed 2″ before 7am, overnight low of 23 degrees, measured 13″ of snow on the flat. Pine squirrel, nuthatches, juncos, chickadees and a female hairy woodpecker visited. Heard a pileated woodpecker whooping it up out in the forest. Light snowfall all morning and into the early afternoon, above freezing and melting, high of 39 degrees. Flaking snow all evening and probably most of the night.

Sunday (Mar 18) snowed 1″ before 7am, overnight low of 28 degrees, measured 14″ of snow on the flat. Two ravens flying and calling over the village this morning, chickadees, nuthatches and juncos visiting. Flakes of snow falling this morning, then steady snow by early afternoon but no accumulation, high of 39 degrees. Female hairy woodpecker hiding on the backside of the porch post, watching a loose dog wandering around the block. Clouds breaking up before sundown and bits of blue sky and rosy colors to the sunset.
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Idaho News:

Payette Land trust will work to conserve lands up for sale

By Tom Grote for The Star-News March 15, 2018

The Payette Land Trust hopes whoever buys large chunks of timber land in central Idaho that have been offered for sale will consider conservation policies on those lands.

Billionaire brothers Farris and Dan Wilks of Cisco, Texas, have listed for sale six parcels totaling 54,000 from among the 172,000 acres the brothers bought in 2016.

The parcels range in size from 853 acres near Cascade to 31,000 acres near McCall with prices ranging from $2.1 million to $61 million.

The land trust does not have the money to buy those parcels but will work with other conservation groups to seek various ways to protect those parcels from development, land trust Executive Director Craig Utter said.

“The PLT believes open landscapes can be utilized by wildlife, recreationists, farmers, ranchers, and loggers together,” Utter said. “This is key to the area’s unique historical beauty and culture.”

… To learn more, contact Utter at craigutter@payettelandtrust.org or go to http://Payettelandtrust.org

full story:
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Five candidates file for Valley commissioner’s seat Seat to be open when Bill Willey steps down

By Max Silverson for The Star-News March 15, 2018

Five candidates will seek the seat on the Valley County commission to be vacated by Bill Willey.

Candidate filings for the District 3 seat, which generally represents the Donnelly area, ended last Friday.

Three Republicans – Lonnie King, Cecila Tyler and Ken Arment – will seek the Republican nomination in the May 15 primary.

Also filing were Democrat Dave Bingaman and independent Ed Allen. They will not be on the primary ballot but will face the winner of the Republican primary in the Nov. 6 general election.

Willey announced earlier that he will not seek re-election to the seat that he has held since 2011.

continued:
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Seven candidates file for Valley treasurer’s seat

Incumbent Glenna Young will not seek new term

By Max Silverson for The Star-News March 15, 2018

Seven candidates have filed to seek the office of Valley County Treasurer to replace retiring treasurer Glenna Young.

Six of the seven candidates are Republicans and will face off in the May 15 primary. They are Amanda Hall, Ashlie Gifford, Gabe Stayton, Rhonda Komula, Jennifer Morgan and Gabrielle Knapp.

The seventh candidate, Gregory Price, filed as an independent and will appear on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

The filing periods for candidates ended last Friday. Young previously announced she will not seek a new term for the office that she has held since 2002.

continued:
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McCall to seek extension of tourism local-option tax

May 15 vote would renew 3% tax for 10 years

By Tom Grote for The Star-News March 15, 2018

McCall voters will decide on May 15 whether to renew the city’s 3 percent local-option tax on lodging to support tourism.

The McCall City Council last week voted to put the measure on the ballot and will seek a 10-year extension.

The tax was first approved by voters in 2005 and was renewed it in 2011. The tax is expected to raise more than $450,000 this year.

The language of how the funds would be used has been revised for the May 15 ballot.

The new language makes it clear that any grants made from the fund must provide a “considerable” contribution to all citizens.

No private group can use the funds unless it has a direct public purpose, under the new language.

The council also added affordable housing to the list of uses allowed for the tax.

continued:
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Fremont County searchers rescue two snowmobilers stranded on ice

By Lindsay Kerr Mar 16, 2018 Local News 8

Fremont County, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – Fremont County Search and Rescue was called to the Island Park Reservoir around 9 p.m. Thursday after a call was placed that two people were stranded on ice.

A 32-year-old male and a 24-year-old female from Idaho Falls were riding a snowmobile in the area of Buttermilk Loop Road, north of Lakeside Lodge.

According to Fremont County search and rescue, the two were riding along the south shoreline of Island Park Reservoir inlet when the ice broke and their snowmobile sank.

continued:
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Today’s snowfall replenishes recent melt in higher elevations

by Nathan Larsen Saturday, March 17th 2018


Snow Water Equivalent Percent of Normal

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Recent snowfall helping to bring snow depth levels up to early March numbers in some locations. Looking at snowpack percentages for our local basins, particularly in Southwest Idaho, we’ve seen some improvement from the beginning of the month. Here in the Boise Basin, we were roughly 70% of normal around March 1st, we’re now trending around 82% of normal. Those calculations won’t include data from today’s snowfall reported in the Boise Mountains which will improve these numbers in Sunday’s calculations.

Some areas have reported 10 or more inches of new snowfall in the past 24 hours. One of those locations is Mores Creek Summit, a site that is maintained by USGS Natural Resources Conservation Services. This particular site went from 75 inches of snow at the summit March 4, 2018, to 62 inches just prior to our storm this weekend. Heavy snow over the past 24 hours has brought the site back up to 75 inches. Other areas like Bogus Basin have reported heavy snow, which is all great news considering any additional snowfall will likely be considered for carryover calculations into the next water year.

Even with all the snow reported today, more is falling tonight in our mountain areas and will likely continue through Sunday afternoon. A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for our mountain locations for additional snowfall of 3-6 inches, mainly through noon on Sunday.

Looking ahead into next week, more storms are lined up to bring additional snow showers to the higher elevations beginning on Wednesday.

source:
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Idaho History:

Historic VA surgeon’s quarters example of preserving Boise’s foundation

Since last summer, the once-abandoned building has been serving local veterans, while also serving as a reminder of the importance of conservation.

Morgan Boydston March 16, 2018 KTVB

Boise — Amid growth and building booms stand pieces of Boise’s past that preservationists yearn to hold onto.

One of those artifacts is Building Four, also known as the Surgeon’s Quarters, at the Boise VA Medical Center. Built in 1864, Preservation Idaho and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently restored the once-abandoned building. Since last summer, it’s been serving local veterans, while also serving as a reminder of the importance of conservation.

… Bertram says surgeons, doctors and their families called this historic building home from the 1860’s to the 1990’s. Fort Boise, originally called “Camp Boise” was officially founded in 1863 and became the Boise Barracks in 1879, resulting in the complex growing extensively. In 1912, the Army moved out of the Barracks but the post continued to be used.

A brief background from Preservation Idaho states during World War I the local Red Cross and women’s clubs successfully campaigned to designate the Barracks as a hospital/rehabilitation center for wounded veterans. In 1920 the United States Public Health Service remodeled the barracks building for a hospital, Preservation Idaho says, beginning an evolution of the Boise Barracks from a military training facility to a medical center, which resulted in major modifications of the historic buildings and construction of new facilities.

full story w/photos:
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Mining News:

Stibnite Gold Plan of Operations EIS Update

USDA Forest Service March 16, 2018

Dear Interested Party,

An errata to the Scoping and Issues Summary Report published in February 2018 for the Stibnite Gold Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is now available on the project website, under supporting information, at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50516.

This errata document contains information regarding seven public comment letters received during the 2017 Scoping Period for the Stibnite Gold Project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that were inadvertently omitted from the January 2018 Scoping and Issue Summary Report. This errata document is being issued to demonstrate how all public comments received during the scoping period are included in the 2018 Scoping and Issue Summary Report documentation. These letters included frequently raised issues that have been accounted for in the 2018 Scoping and Issue Summary Report summary of comments.

Sincerely,
Keith Lannom
Forest Supervisor
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Public Lands:

Seedlings available for reforestation and habitat improvement

Contact: Public Affairs Officer Venetia Gempler (208) 373-4105

Boise, Idaho – March 15, 2017 — Landowners who want trees to create windbreaks, improve wildlife habitat, and enhance forests on their property are encouraged to come to the Boise National Forest Lucky Peak Nursery’s annual surplus seedling sale.

This year limited quantities of bitterbrush, big sagebrush, ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir seedlings six to 10 inches tall will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The minimum quantity for purchase is 50 seedlings for $30.00. A bundle of 50 seedlings will easily fit into a standard grocery bag.

The Lucky Peak Nursery’s annual surplus seedling sale begins Saturday, March 31, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Seedlings will not be available Sunday, April 1. After the first Saturday, the seedling sale will continue through the end of April, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., while supplies last.

Each year, the Lucky Peak Nursery produces over 3 million trees and shrubs. These seedlings are used for public land reforestation in the intermountain west disturbed by wildfire, timber harvests or other events. When the Nursery has produced more seedlings than needed the surplus becomes available to rural landowners for conservation plantings.

The seedlings are best suited for landowners with property in rural areas. They are not intended for homeowners in urban areas to plant in their backyards. Landowners who purchase the seedlings can expect the majority of them to grow and thrive if planted correctly. Written planting instructions and technical assistance will be available at the Lucky Peak Nursery.

The Lucky Peak Nursery is located 16 miles northeast of Boise on Highway 21. For more information about the annual seedling sale, call (208) 343-1977.


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Mountain Home Ranger District temporarily closes roads for upcoming tree planting

Boise, Idaho, March 16, 2018 — As part of the ongoing reforestation effort for the 2013 Elk Complex fires, the Mountain Home Ranger District will temporarily close National Forest System (NFS) roads to plow them in preparation for spring planting of various conifer species, primarily ponderosa pine.

The roads are closed to motorized use (wheeled vehicles and snowmobiles) to provide for public safety, prevent road damage and to protect wintering wildlife during the Elk Reforestation effort on roads typically inaccessible during this time of year.

The Elk wildfire burned hot and consumed most of the trees so planting is needed to accelerate the establishment of ponderosa pine. Other areas within the Elk wildfire are expected to be planted for several more years.

NFS Roads affected include 128G, 128H, 137, 159, 159A, 159A2, 159A3, 159C, 159C1, 159C2, 159H and 169. The closures are in effect beginning March 19 until April 30, 2018, unless rescinded earlier by the Forest Supervisor.

Any violation of this order is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, and/or imprisonment for not more than six months.

For specific details and a map visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/boise/alerts-notices

For more information, contact the Mountain Home Ranger District at 208-587-7961.

map link:
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Fire lookouts eyed for National Register of Historic Places

by Associated Press Thursday, March 15th 2018

Boise, Idaho (AP) – Federal officials are taking public comments on the possible listing in the National Register of Historic Places of two Idaho fire lookouts.

The National Park Service is considering the Gardiner Peak Lookout in the Nez Perce National Forest and the Salmon Mountain Lookout in the Bitterroot National Forest.

Both lookouts are in Idaho County in north-central Idaho.

The Gardiner Peak Lookout was built in 1953 at an elevation of 6,597 feet (2010 meters) and is regularly staffed for fire detection during the wildfire season.

The Salmon Mountain Lookout built in 1949 at an elevation of 8,943 feet (2725 meters) is also staffed for fire detection.

The National Park Service is taking comments on the nominations through March 29.

source:
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Critter News:

Cascade vet clinic to hold pet vaccinations April 7

Cascade Veterinary Clinic will host a pet vaccination clinic on Saturday, April 7, at 10 a.m.

No appointments are necessary. Available shots will include rabies vaccinations as well as canine and feline specific immunizations. Costs range from $15 to $20 per shot. Cascade dog licenses will also be available.

For more information, contact veterinarian Keith Ruble at 208-382-4590. Cascade Veterinary Clinic is located at 935 S. Idaho 55.
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City of Donnelly to host pet vaccination clinic March 24

The City of Donnelly will host its annual Pet Clinic on Saturday, March 24, at 11 a.m. at the Donnelly Community Center.

North Fork Veterinary Services will provide vaccinations at a reduced price as well as a brief pet exam with every vaccination. Donnelly City dog tags will also be available during this event.

For more information, including vaccination prices, visit http://cityofdonnelly.org. The Donnelly Community Center is located at 169 Halferty.

source: The Star-News March 15, 2018

[Note: The Yellow Pine vet clinic will probably be on the 2nd Wednesday of June, details will be posted when available.]
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From Cascade Veterinary Clinic

Top 10 Dog Toxins

Chocolate
Mouse and Rat Poisons (rodenticides)
Anti-inflammatory medications
Xylitol (sugar-free gum & more)
Grapes & Raisins
Antidepressant Medications
Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol)
Vitamin D Overdose
Stimulant Medications (e.g., for ADD/ADHD)
Fertilizers

Top 10 Cat Toxins

Lilies (Lilium species)
Spot-on flea/tick medication for dogs
Household Cleaners
Antidepressant Medications
Essential Oils
Anti-inflammatory Medications
Mouse & Rat Poisons (rodenticides)
Stimulant Medications (e.g., for ADD/ADHD)
Onions & Garlic
Vitamin D Overdose

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these items or any other questionable substance, call Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian for assistance. Accurate and timely identification of the suspected substance is very important. Having the container, package, or label in hand will save valuable time and may save the life of your pet.
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Essential Oils and Cats

Kia Benson, DVM Associate Veterinarian, Clinical Toxicology Published on January 12, 2018

Essential oils are volatile, organic constituents of plants that contribute to fragrance and taste. They are extracted from plants via distillation or cold pressing. Essential oils are utilized in a variety of ways: as insecticides, in aromatherapies, personal care products (e.g., antibacterials), flavorings, herbal remedies and liquid potpourri.

Essential oils can pose a toxic risk to household pets, especially to cats. They are rapidly absorbed both orally and across the skin, and are then metabolized in the liver. Cats lack an essential enzyme in their liver and as such have difficulty metabolizing and eliminating certain toxins like essential oils. Cats are also very sensitive to phenols and phenolic compounds, which can be found in some essential oils. The higher the concentration of the essential oil (i.e. 100%), the greater the risk to the cat.

Essential oils that are known to cause poisoning in cats include oil of wintergreen, oil of sweet birch, citrus oil (d-limonene), pine oils, Ylang Ylang oil, peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, pennyroyal oil, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, and tea tree oil. Symptoms that develop depend on the type of oil involved in the exposure and can include drooling, vomiting, tremors, ataxia (wobbliness), respiratory distress, low heart rate, low body temperature, and liver failure.

Diffuser Types and Health Hazards

Until recently, the use of essential oils for aromatherapy was restricted to such devices as candles, liquid potpourri products, room sprays, passive diffusers, or applying it to skin like perfume.

Passive diffusers work by evaporating the oil, producing a pleasant smell. Types include: 1) reed diffusers, where the reeds soak up the oil and disperse its fragrance into the air; 2) heat diffusers like plug-in/electric oil diffusers, candle burners, or table top warmers that use heat to evaporate the oil, 3) non-motorized, personal evaporative diffusers (necklace pendants, bracelets, etc.) that use room air currents to diffuse the aroma, and 4) motorized diffusers that use a fan to blow air through a filter or pad that has been permeated with an essential oil.

Unless the oil in a passive diffuser gets onto a cat’s skin or is ingested in some way (e.g. the diffuser tips over onto or near the cat, or the cat ingests a personal diffuser), the main hazard to cats from essential oils dispersed through passive diffusers is respiratory irritation.

Inhalation of strong odors or fragrances can cause some cats to develop a watery nose or eyes, a burning sensation in the nose/throat, nausea leading to drooling and/or vomiting, and difficulty breathing. Difficulty breathing in a cat is evidenced by labored breathing, fast breathing, panting, coughing, or wheezing. NONE of these signs are normal in cats. A coughing episode in a cat can be mistaken by owners for the cat trying to vomit up a hairball. However, in this case the cat crouches low to the ground, with little to no abdominal movement that is more typical of vomiting. No hairball is produced.

Cats suffering such symptoms need to be moved immediately into fresh air, and require emergency veterinary treatment should their symptoms not quickly resolve once they are in fresh air. Cats with pre-existing respiratory issues such as asthma, airborne allergies, or cats exposed to second hand smoke from their human companions, are at greater risk for developing severe respiratory irritation than cats without such conditions.

Recently, active essential oil diffusers have hit the market. The active diffusers differ from passive ones in that actual microdroplets or particles of oil are emitted into the air in addition to the pleasant aroma of the oil. Nebulizing diffusers (pressurized high-speed air stream and an atomizing nozzle) and ultrasonic diffusers (electric current causes an instrument to emit a vibration) fall into this category.

The droplets dispersed by these new diffusers may be small, but they still pose a risk to cats. Depending on how close the cat is to the dispenser, the essential oil microdroplets may collect on the cat’s fur if it is the same room as the active diffuser. The oil can be either absorbed directly through the skin, or ingested when the cat grooms itself.

Drooling, vomiting, tremors, ataxia (wobbliness), respiratory distress, low heart rate, low body temperature, and liver failure can potentially develop depending on the type of essential oil that was used and the dose that the cat was exposed to.

Like oil and water, essential oils and cats really do not mix. Owners should be cautious using essential oils and diffusers in their homes in order to protect their cat(s) from a toxic risk. Most importantly, concentrated essential oils should never be directly applied to cats.

[h/t Cascade Vet Clinic]
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Pet Talk – What is osteomyelitis?

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt March 16, 2018 – IME

Osteomyelitis is infection of a bone. Infection most commonly arises from external sources of contamination, such as puncture wounds, openings in skin over a fracture or any shearing wounds that expose bone to gravel, dirt or bacteria. Osteomyelitis can also occur as a consequence of contamination at surgery for orthopedic procedures. Very rarely, infection to bones can spread via the bloodstream.

Both bacteria and fungi can infect bones. Bacteria commonly involved include staph, strep and E. coli. There are a number of fungal agents that infect bones. The most common one that we see in Idaho is valley fever, also known as coccidioidomycosis. These fungi enter through the nose and lungs and then spread to the bones.

Some cases of osteomyelitis develop suddenly after an acute injury to the bones. The bones are swollen, painful and painful to the touch. Lameness and fever are common. Chronic osteomyelitis develops months to years after an injury, surgery or previous illness. The affected leg is often lame and painful. Sometimes the infection breaks through the skin and causes a draining sore, full of pus.

continued:
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Opioid epidemic impacts veterinarians

Your pet’s health may be impacted by the opioid crisis in the United States.

Tami Tremblay March 16, 2018 KTVB

Eagle, ID – We have a big opioid abuse problem in the United States. According to the DEA, 64,000 people died just last year from drug overdoses. This epidemic and the crackdown on these prescription drugs is also impacting veterinarians.

The reason surrounds the crackdown on opioid production. The government decreased it in 2016 by around 20 to 70 percent, depending on the drug. The thing is some of those drugs are also used for pets, such as morphine, hydrocodone and fentanyl, for pain control.

Dr. Matthew Woodington, out of Eagle, says it’s getting harder for veterinarians to get their hands on these medications for their patients.

“We’re having to turn to other things, other medications, that are either not as safe or substantially more expensive,” said Dr. Woodington. “As the supply goes down, the cost always goes up.”

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Giving comfort to old and dying dogs, MACU pays it forward to Furever Haus

by Brent Hunsaker Wednesday, March 14th 2018

Nampa, Idaho (KBOI) — Old and sick dogs are usually the first to be put down. They have little to no chance of being adopted.

But in Nampa, there’s an alternative to the pound and it is unique in Idaho.

It’s a 501(c)3 non-profit called Furever Haus. Think of it as both a retirement home for old dogs and a hospice for dying dogs.

Kimberly Coonis, the founder of Furever Haus, said “our goal is just to make them happy.”

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10 wolves killed in northern Idaho to boost elk numbers

Associated Press By Keith Ridler March 14, 2018

Boise, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials have killed 10 wolves in northern Idaho at the request of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to boost elk numbers, and state officials say more might be killed this winter.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services said Wednesday that workers used a helicopter in the Clearwater National Forest in late February and early March to kill the wolves.

“At the request of Idaho, we did remove wolves in that region,” said agency spokeswoman Tanya Espinosa.

Idaho officials say the area’s elk population in what’s called the Lolo zone has plummeted in the last 25 years from about 16,000 to about 2,000, and that wolves are to blame along with black bears, mountain lions and a habitat transition to more forests.

continued:
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Wolf population continues to grow in Washington

3/16/18 AP

Spokane, Wash. — The population of wolves in Washington state continued to grow in 2017.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s annual survey found at least 122 wolves living in Washington last year. The survey found 22 wolf packs and 14 successful breeding pairs.

The agency said Friday that the 2016 survey documented 115 wolves, 20 packs, and 10 breeding pairs.

All of the known wolf packs are located east of the Cascade Mountains.

… According the 2017 survey, 15 of the 22 known packs are located in Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties in the northeast corner of the state.

full story:
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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

First Week of March, 2018
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US, states agree to collaborate on Mexican wolf recovery

3/15/18 AP

Albuquerque, N.M. — The U.S. government and state officials have signed an agreement that furthers their intentions to work together to recover an endangered wolf that once roamed the American Southwest.

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish announced the agreement with Arizona and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday. The agreement is aimed at getting Mexican gray wolves to the point where they can eventually be removed from the endangered species list.

As part of the effort, a field team that includes members from the states’ wildlife management agencies will provide input to determine the timing, location and the circumstances for releasing wolves into the wild in Arizona and New Mexico.

New Mexico Game and Fish Director Alexandra Sandoval called the new agreement an act of good faith.

source:
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2 Mexican wolves found dead in Arizona

3/16/18 AP

Albuquerque, N.M. — Federal wildlife managers are investigating the deaths of two endangered Mexican gray wolves.

The animals were found dead in Arizona in February. Authorities did not release any details about the circumstances or the locations where the animals were found.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesman John Bradley said Thursday the carcasses were sent to a lab in Oregon for examination.

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Fading wolf population to be restored at Lake Superior park

By John Flesher – 3/16/18 AP

Traverse City, Mich. — Federal officials announced a tentative plan Friday to relocate 20-30 gray wolves to Isle Royale National Park in Michigan over three years to replenish a population that has nearly died out because of inbreeding and disease.

The National Park Service said it would make a final decision after giving the public a month to react to its proposal for rescuing the predator species that has roamed the Lake Superior wilderness park for about 70 years. The wolves have helped to maintain the ecosystem by culling a moose herd that otherwise would overeat the island’s vegetation, while delighting tourists with their eerie howls and occasional appearances on backwoods hiking trails.

But their numbers have plummeted in recent years as a warming climate formed fewer ice bridges for mainland wolves to reach the park 15 miles (25 kilometers) offshore and refresh the gene pool. Only two remained this winter — a father and daughter that apparently have not bred.

source:
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Wolf Education International

March 13, 2018 Newsletter

Recent Mauling Death of an Eight-Day-Old Baby by Wolf Hybrid

French farms don’t like wolves crammed down their throats either

Montana’s Valley County tackles wolf problem head on…

Trapper who shot wolf in eastern Oregon sentenced to probation, fined

THE CANOVIS PROJECT: studying internal et external factors that may influence livestock guarding dogs’ efficiency against wolf predation. Preliminary results and discussion.
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3rd lawsuit filed over Colorado’s predator reduction studies

3/14/18 AP

Grand Junction, Colo. — Activist groups have filed a third lawsuit in connection to Colorado Parks and Wildlife research projects that aim to determine whether reducing predators could help mule deer numbers.

The Daily Sentinel reports that the suit filed last week targets the research’s primary funding source — the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — which authorized more than $3.4 million in funding.

The state division’s study includes removing five to 15 mountain lions and 10 to 25 bears a year for three years in the Roan Plateau near Rifle. In the Upper Arkansas River Valley, officials are focusing on lion reductions only but plan to continue removing the cats for nine years.

The Center for Biological Diversity, the Humane Society of the United States and WildEarth Guardians filed the suit.

source:
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The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
http://www.cbbulletin.com
March 16, 2018
Issue No. 865
Table of Contents

* Corps Report: Pinniped Predation Consumed 4.7 Percent Of Salmonids In 2017 In Bonneville Dam Tailwater
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440368.aspx

* Corps Decides Not To Cull Estuary Cormorants In 2018, Will Continue Hazing, Egg Removal
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440367.aspx

* Conservation Groups Sue Federal Agencies Over ESA-Listed Willamette Salmon, Steelhead
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440366.aspx

* West Coast Ocean Conditions Returning To Normal (Cooler), Salmon Returns Will Remain Depressed A Few Years
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440365.aspx

* Pacific Fishery Council Develops Options For Ocean Salmon Fishing, Notes Likely Lower Coho, Chinook Columbia River Returns
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440364.aspx

* No Recreational Columbia River Smelt Fishing This Year, Eulachon Run Continues To Decline
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440363.aspx

* After Two Years Of Wrangling, Briefing Arguments Begin In District Court On Deschutes River Clean Water Case
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440362.aspx

* New Study Shows Dramatic Decline In Snowpack In Western States, Down 15 To 30 Percent
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440361.aspx

* 1.75 Million Juvenile Fish Evacuated Last Year To Leaburg Hatchery Due To Gorge Fire Now Headed To Other Hatcheries
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440360.aspx

* Tentative Schedule For Amending Four-State Columbia River Basin Fish And Wildlife Program Outlined
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440359.aspx

* Harvest Managers Make Some Tweaks To Treaty Sturgeon Fishing, Non-Treaty Gillnetting
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440358.aspx

* Council Approves Cost-Savings Funding For Lamprey Restoration/Hatchery And Screen Projects
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440357.aspx

* Interior Department Releases Report On Fight Against Invasive Mussels
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440356.aspx

* Corps Seeks Comments On Estuary Habitat Project Using Dredge Spoils
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440355.aspx

* Washington Governor Signs Executive Order To Protect Orcas, Chinook Salmon
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440354.aspx
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Fish & Game News:

See drawing results for spring controlled bear hunts

Hunters can immediately buy their tags on the new license vending system

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Specialist
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

New this year is the ability for hunters to check their controlled hunt results, and if successful, buy their tags at huntfishidaho.net as part of the transition to the new licensing system.

This is a change from prior years where draw results were available on Fish and Game’s website. In order to take advantage of the new site, hunters have to set up an account with an email address and personal log-in name and password, if they have not already done so.

“We take security of personal information very seriously, and while the personal log-in might be a slight inconvenience, it is a necessary step towards protecting customer data,” F&G Administration Bureau Chief Michael Pearson said.

The new site will also allow hunters whose names were drawn to buy the tag online, which will be mailed to them after purchase.

continued:
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F&G News Releases

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

Gorilla at Philadelphia Zoo takes stand against dirty hands

by The Associated Press Saturday, March 17th 2018

Philadelphia (AP) — A male gorilla at the Philadelphia Zoo is taking a stand against dirty hands by opting to walk on two legs.

Apparently, 18-year-old Louis is a clean freak.

When Louis has his hands full of tomatoes or other snacks, he walks upright like a human to keep food and hands clean, rather than the typical gorilla stance of leaning forward on his knuckles.

Michael Stern, curator of primates and small mammals, says workers had to install a fire hose over a mud puddle in the yard. The nearly 500-pound, 6-foot-tall primate crosses it like a tight rope to avoid getting dirty.

Stern says it’s “pretty unusual” for gorillas to walk around upright. In the wild, Western lowland gorillas like Louis might do it for a few seconds to reach food or wade into swamps.

source:
link to video on Facebook:
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Seasonal Humor:


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March 11, 2018 The Yellow Pine Times

March 11, 2018 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

March 11

“Spring ahead” Daylight Savings Time Change was today March 11. Sunrise was before 10am and sunset after 7pm.
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Yellow Pine Tavern

Our Annual St Patrick’s Day Potluck at the Yellow Pine Tavern March 17th at 4pm. Corn Beef and Cabbage provided by the Tavern.

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

The Corner is closed for the season.
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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 raccoons around the upper end of the village. Foxes were roaming around the village March 3rd and 5th. A report of wolves howling March 2nd. Keep an eye on small dogs and cats and please don’t leave pet food outdoors.
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2018 Fest

The 2018 festival T-shirt contest is now open! All entries must include the year (2018) and the festival name “Yellow Pine Festival” in the design Entries must be received by Friday, May 18th, 2018. The prize for the winning design is $100! Multiple designs by the same artist can be sent in.

Hint: these shirts are screen prints, simpler designs stand out better. Submit your entry by email to Marj Fields at fieldsmarjie @ yahoo.com
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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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Winter Propane Tips

Keep the snow cleared around propane lines and pipes leading from your tank to the house. The weight of snow sliding off roofs can cause leaks that can result in fire. Make sure you have a CO detector with working batteries.

Amerigas Phone: (208) 634-8181
Ed Staub & Sons Phone: (208) 634-3833
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Diamond (Kennedy) Fuel & Feed

We carry most varieties of Diamond Brand Dog Food. We even have a new line by Diamond called Professional Plus which is a grain-free formula. It is only $29.99 per bag. We have FREE samples in the office if anyone is in the area they can swing by and pick up several samples. They make great day trip servings too when on the go. 208-382-4430
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook
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Local Observations:

Monday (Mar 5) overnight low of 14 degrees and 3/4″ new snow, average 16″ total snow down here on the flat. Cloudy this morning, a couple of flakes of snow drifted down. Fresh fox tracks in the neighborhood. Two pine squirrels chasing each other around and around and up and down a big pine tree, scolding and “growling” at each other. Nuthatches and chickadees busy at the feeders. Snow flurries and breezy off and on after lunch time, high of 34 degrees. Breaks in the clouds and bits of sunshine, then cloudy again by sundown. Clearing during the night and cold.

Tuesday (Mar 6) overnight low of 7 degrees, trace of new snow, average 16″ total snow, very blue sky. Nuthatches and chickadees visiting this morning. Clear sky and strong sun mid-day, icicles dripping like crazy, high of 47 degrees. Hairy woodpeckers visiting. Sunset is after 6pm, clear sky and temps dropping.

Wednesday (Mar 7) overnight low of 6 degrees, measured 15″ of snow on the flat (average.) Clear sky, very blue over VanMeter. Chickadees, red-breasted nuthatches and a female hairy woodpecker visited, the pine squirrel showed up later (dashing down the fence “plowing” snow), and later the male downy woodpecker. Some high haze coming in by lunch time, strong sunshine, icicle dripping like crazy and warm, high of 52 degrees. Cloudy by late afternoon, and still above freezing. Paths are half ice (slick) and half mud with standing water. Below freezing at midnight, puddles frozen.

Thursday (Mar 8) warmed up above freezing during the early morning and snowed a skiff before 9am, then cloudy and light breezes. Paths are slick with the snow hiding the ice. Red-breasted nuthatches, chickadees and a small flock of dark-eyed juncos visiting. Both female and male hairy woodpeckers came by. Quite a snow storm after lunch for about an hour and a half, large snowflakes and clouds down to the valley floor, melting on contact, high of 39 degrees. Cloudy afternoon, then misty sprinkles at sundown. Light rain on and off all night, turning to snow early morning.

Friday (Mar 9) overnight low of 32 degrees, light snow falling this morning (trace), measured an average of 14″ of snow on the flat. Slushy and wet this morning, slush and water on icy paths. Lots of little nuthatches and chickadees, a few dark-eyed juncos and one “suicidal” squirrel. Heard a clarks nutcracker (or a jay imitating one) and a female hairy woodpecker visited. Light snow all morning, then rain/snow mix early afternoon, high of 45 degrees. Breaks in the clouds and brief bits of sunshine in the afternoon. Colorful sunset (and still above freezing.)

Saturday (Mar 10) overnight low of 20 degrees, mostly clear sky this morning, average 13″ snow on the flat. Paths getting slicker as the sun touched the ice. Male downy woodpecker, the crazy squirrel and lots of nuthatches and chickadees this morning, heard a steller jay calling from the trees. Warm afternoon, paths melted and muddy, a few spots on some streets are starting to “break up”, high of 52 degrees. Most steep roofs have slid their snowloads. Clear sky at sunset and calm. Lots of stars out at 1030pm.

Sunday (Mar 11) overnight low of 23 degrees, overcast this morning, average 13″ old snow. Small flock of dark-eyed juncos, several red-breasted nuthatches and a few mountain chickadees visiting this morning. Also a clark’s nutcracker, a stellar jay, a male downy woodpecker and the local pine squirrel stopped by for snacks. Breaks in the clouds at lunch time and warm, high of 52 degrees. Partly sunny afternoon. Mostly clear at sundown.
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RIP:

Reneé Grotjohn

Reneé Grotjohn, 70, of McCall, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018.

Reneé was born Oct. 1, 1947 in Omak, Wash, to Pauline and Norman Adkins. She was the middle sibling of their five children.

She was raised in the Boise valley on the family farm that originated in 1910 and she attended Boise High School.

In 1964 she married Bland “Sonny” Yelton in Yellow Pine on The Dude Ranch, where her family owned and operated the Circle B grocery store. Into their union was born three children, Robin, Tiffany and Sonya.

In 1985, Reneé married Vernon Grotjohn Sr. and with him brought his three children Bonnie, Becky and Vernon Jr.

Reneé is survived by her husband, Vernon, her sisters Oleta (Paul) McDonald of Arizona, Christine Alvarado of New Mexico, her son Robin (Kim) Yelton of Caldwell, her daughters Tiffany (Brad) Bowen of Mountain Home, Sonya Yelton of Meridian, Bonnie Allen of Chino Hills, Calif., Becky (Ed) Giroux of San Bernardino, and son Vernon Jr. (Caroline) Grotjohn of Lewiston, her 16 grandchildren: Stephanie Bowen, Christopher Yelton, Blake Bowen, Mykala Yelton, Jennifer Bingham, Christopher Bingham, Jennifer Hernandez, Christie Savage, Jeffery Allan, Stephanie Carr, Heather Fisher, Brandon Trenton, JR Grotjohn, Denise Whitman, Brian Giroux, Katie Valenzuela and many great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Reneé was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Harold Adkins and her sister LaDonna Chandler Rodgers.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to: MCPAWS Regional Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 1375, McCall, ID 83638-1375

There will be a celebration of Reneé’s life on Sunday, March 11 at 2 p.m. at Lardo’s located at 600 West Lake Street, McCall.

If desired, you may leave a note or message and sign Renee’s online guest register at http://mccallfunerals.com

Arrangements in care of McCall Funeral Home, McCall.

excerpted from: The Star-News March 8th
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Idaho News:

Texas brothers put 54,000 acres of land up for sale

Parcels are part of 172,000 acres bought in 2016

By Tom Grote for The Star-News March 8, 2018

The Texas brothers who bought 172,000 acres of forest land in southern Idaho, including Valley County and Meadows Valley, have put 54,000 of those acres up for sale.

2018wilksMap-a
Map courtesy Country Homes of America.com Map shows the boundaries of McCall Red Ridge Ranch, a 31,000-acre parcel south and west of McCall offered by the Wilks brothers of Texas for $61 million.

The parcels are listed on the Country Homes of America website and are offered by Wilks Ranch Brokers.

Farris and Dan Wilks of Cisco, Texas, have listed six tracts of forest, mountain and riverfront property. They are:

• McCall Red Ridge Ranch: 31,000 acres south and west of McCall. Asking price – $61 million.

• Paddy Flat Summit Ranch, 1,980 acres southeast of Lake Fork. Asking price, $2.9 million

• Clear Creek Mountain Ranch, 4,100 acres south of Cascade. Asking price – $5.6 million.

• Big Creek Ranch, 853 acres with three miles of river frontage near Cascade. Asking price, $2.1 million.

• Salmon River Ranch, 4,664 acres near White Bird with nine miles of Salmon River frontage in Idaho County. Asking price: $4 million.

• Boise Ridge Mountain Ranch, 11,300 acres between Horseshoe Bend and Idaho City. Asking price – $10.3 million.

Once owned by Boise Cascade and later Potlatch Corp., the lands had been historically open to public access but were closed after the Wilks brothers’ purchase.

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Jet boat race fundraiser to be held March 17 in Riggins

The Star-News March 8, 2018

The Salmon River Jet Boat Fundraiser will kick into gear on Saturday, March 17, at 6 p.m. at the Riggins Community Center.

The event will include a spaghetti dinner and a full bar as well as silent and live auctions and drawings. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Salmon River Schools.

For more information, contact Glenna at 208-315-2309. The Riggins Community Center is located at 121 Lodge St.

source:
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Idaho House spikes rural schools network bill

Associated Press March 7, 2018

Boise, Idaho (AP) — A bill backed by Idaho’s top schools chief to develop a new rural schools network has once again failed to clear the Legislature. For the third year in a row, state lawmakers on Wednesday blocked a proposal to form a three-year pilot project in which rural schools would collaborate and share resources. The pilot project would cost $300,000 annually, which would come out of the state superintendent’s office.

Republican Rep. Wendy Horman, who leads efforts on writing the state’s education budget in the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, reiterated her prior concerns that the bill created an additional layer of bureaucracy. Republican Rep. Paul Amador, R-Coeur d’Alene, the bill’s sponsor, countered the legislation will help schools run more efficiently.

Ultimately, House members voted 48-20 to block the bill from moving forward. Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra has unsuccessfully attempted to pass similar proposals since taking over the office in 2015.

source:
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Snowpack levels continue to rise. More storms.

by Roland Steadham, Chief Meteorologist Wednesday, March 7th 2018


On average, most of the basins you see above are up about 5 points compared to one week ago.

The recent round of snow we had last week and through the weekend has given our snowpack levels another good shot. On average, most of the basins you see above are up about 5 points compared to one week ago. This puts us in a very comfortable spot as we approach the runoff season. Plus, don’t forget our reservoir levels are running at 75-85% full and this is before the start of the spring melt.

We also have more rain showers and mountain snow on the way. A weak storm is going to move into the northwest and send little surges of moisture in our direction. This will bring a few showers to the valley on Thursday along with a better chance of showers on Friday. The mountains aren’t going to be hit very hard but we could see several inches of new snow at the ski resorts between now and the end of the day Friday.

Drier air will move in this weekend and this will give us partly cloudy skies on Saturday and Sunday. High temperatures will be right where they should be this time of the year…in the mid 50’s. We’ll keep it dry through the first of next week with highs also in the 50’s.

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5 types of apples, once thought extinct, are rediscovered

3/5/18 AP

Lewiston, Idaho — Five types of apples, once thought to be extinct, have been rediscovered in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

The Lewiston Tribune newspaper reported Monday that “apple detective” David Benscoter located the trees growing near a butte in the rolling hills of the vast Palouse agricultural area.

Benscoter worked with apple experts at the Temperate Orchard Conservancy in Oregon and Fedco Seeds in Maine to positively identify the apple types. They were compared to written descriptions from old books and antique watercolor paintings.

The newly rediscovered apples include the Shackleford, Saxon Priest, Kittageskee, Ewalt and McAffee varietals. An estimated 17,000 named apple varieties are thought to have originated in North America, but Benscoter says only about 4,000 still exist today.

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Scam Alert:

BBB: Online shopping scams are now the riskiest type of fraud

by Alexis Goree Tuesday, March 6th 2018

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — The Better Business Bureau says online shopping scams now top its list of riskiest types of fraud.

These scams jumped from number four on the list in 2016 to number one last year.

“Well this is the place where people are losing all their money. Because they’re purchasing things online and the website looks authentic and maybe it looks like one you’ve used before, maybe it’s an advertisement you see pop up on social media,” said Veronica Craker, Content & Communication Director with the Better Business Bureau.

The most common scam purchases of 2017 were related to pets, cosmetics, clothing, electronics and automobiles.

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Mining News:

Ask Midas: Why Is Sediment in the River a Problem?

March 7 Midas Gold Mckinsey Lyon

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.

At Midas Gold, we are very concerned about the amount of sediment in the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River. We do regular road maintenance, including public roads, to try and keep dirt and dust from entering the river and have been reforesting areas of our site to help stabilize soils in the region – to date we’ve planted more than 50,000 trees. But why are we so concerned about sediment? This week, I get to tell you in our Ask Midas series.

Why do we need to be worried about sediment in the river?

High amounts of sediment can degrade aquatic habitat and have a detrimental effect on fish. Elevated sediment can clog fishes’ gills, make it difficult for them to see their food and even reduces their ability to fight diseases. The failed dam at Blowout Creek is the single largest source of sedimentation on the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River. Hundreds of tons of sediment are dumped into the river each year at this spot. In fact, in the spring, the problem is so bad the river looks like chocolate milk because it is so thick with sediment. Unless something is done, sediment in the river will continue to have a negative impact on the fish, plants and overall health of the river. Our plan of restoration and operations allows us to fix the problem at Blowout Creek, as well as make many other changes that would positively benefit the river, including reconnecting salmon with their native spawning grounds. Without private investment the sedimentation problem will only continue to get worse.

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

source:
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Letter to Share:

Good Neighbor program aids forests

By The State Board of Land Commissioners

Picture the size of Idaho’s largest city, then multiply it more than 160 times.

The U.S. Forest Service has identified an area that large – approximately 8.84 million acres of national forests spread across Idaho – that is at high risk of mortality from insect and disease infestation and wildfire.

That sobering picture is part of the reason diverse interests including the timber industry, conservation interests, and multiple levels of government are getting behind a process for increasing the pace and scale of forest and watershed restoration work on federal lands in Idaho.

Good Neighbor Authority is a federal law that enables the State of Idaho and the Forest Service to work together on federal land management projects that involve removing dead trees and other fuels, conducting prescribed burns, planting new trees, and carrying out other on-the-ground activities that reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires.

As members of the State Board of Land Commissioners, we wholeheartedly support Good Neighbor Authority because it is improving the health of Idaho’s national forests, strengthening the economies of local timber communities and supporting Idaho’s forest products industry.

Good Neighbor Authority is a great tool for chipping away at the enormous amount of work needed to ensure our public lands keep providing benefits for generations to come.

The Forest Service spends less taxpayer money by using streamlined State of Idaho contracting processes to carry out its federal forest plans. Additional Idaho Department of Lands foresters and staff help implement the projects, which are vetted through federal environmental review processes and are supported by local collaborative groups

The Forest Service maintains oversight and decision-making authority, but the federal agency has been a great partner in efficiently administering this program.

Another advantage of Good Neighbor Authority: it eventually will pay for itself.

Industry contributions combined with funds from the federal government and the State provided the seed money to get Good Neighbor Authority started in Idaho, but income from the projects themselves is expected to be funding the program within five years.

Good Neighbor Authority agreements are in place with four national forests and include 11 projects on federal lands across Idaho. Timber harvesting already has started on two of the projects.

The projects will produce enough timber to support 1,300 direct forest industry jobs and 300 indirect jobs, provide $68.5 million in additional wages, and contribute $118 million to Idaho’s economy. Federal agencies are eager to line up more Good Neighbor Authority projects with help from the State.

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee of the Idaho Legislature has approved a budget request from the Department of Lands to expand our ability to use Good Neighbor Authority in Idaho. With final legislative approval, we will add to the number of projects already in progress and expand our work to include rangelands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Idaho is demonstrating that we prefer action to waiting for further legislative fixes to the tangle of laws and budget challenges that inhibit federal land management agencies.

Good Neighbor Authority is gaining momentum in Idaho because it is working. We hope the rest of the West follows Idaho’s lead by focusing efforts on how we can work together to improve the lives of our citizens and the health of our lands right now.

(The State Board of Land Commissioners is comprised of Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, Secretary of State Lawerence Denney, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra, and State Controller Brandon Woolf.)

source: The Star-News March 8th
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Public Lands:

Warmer weather conditions prompts road closures for public safety

Contact: Public Affairs Officer Venetia Gempler (208) 373-4105

Boise, Idaho, March 9, 2018– The Boise National Forest is temporarily closing National Forest System (NFS) road 384 (Granite-Rabbit Creek road) and NFS road 327 (Edna Creek-Crooked River) for public safety until May 18, 2018, unless rescinded by the Forest Supervisor.

Overall, NFS roads may appear firm and packed in the morning, but as temperatures warm throughout the day the snow, ice and road base thaws. The Idaho City Ranger District learned of the unsafe conditions when motorists were getting their vehicles stuck.

“It is common this time of year to close the roads due to the unpredictable weather conditions,” said Brant Petersen, Idaho City District Ranger. “We are concerned about visitor safety and resource damage and this is our way of protecting motorists from getting into dangerous situations.”

As the snow recedes, forest officials expect to have some damage to roads and trails. Visitors should be cautious and check the Boise National Forest’s webpage for current closure orders and maps. For specific details on this closure visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/boise/alerts-notices

link to map:



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BLM removes over 60 pounds of nails from Sand Dunes

Sands expose illegal pallet burning dangers

Local News 8 March 9, 2018

St. Anthony, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – As BLM Recreation Planner Ben Cisna headed out to begin seasonal preparations for the St. Anthony Sand Dunes, he didn’t expect to spend his entire day trying to remove thousands of sharp nails protruding from the sand.

“I pulled up to the area to complete some sign maintenance, and I noticed thousands of dark lines in the sand,” said Cisna. “I didn’t know what it was at first, but as I got closer I realized it was nails.”

Shifting sands and melting snow exposed the remnants of pallet burning and other illegal activities on the dunes.

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US Forest Service head resigns amid misconduct investigation

CNN Mar 8, 2018

The head of the US Forest Service has resigned amid reports that the agency was looking into misconduct allegations against him.

“Many of you have seen the news reports which included the stories from women who told of their experiences with sexual harassment in the Forest Service. I admire their courage,” Tony Tooke wrote in an email to employees.

The email later adds, “In some of these news reports, you may have seen references to my own behavior in the past. This naturally raised questions about my record and prompted an investigation, which I requested and fully support, and with which I have cooperated.”

Tooke added: “I have been forthright during the review, but I cannot combat every inaccuracy that is reported in the news media. What I can control, however, are decisions I make today and the choice of a path for the future that is best for our employees, the Forest Service and the US Department of Agriculture. I must also think about what is best for my family. Therefore, I have decided that what is needed right now is for me to step down as Forest Service Chief and make way for a new leader that can ensure future success for all employees and the agency.”

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Link to PBS story:
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Critter News:

Good girl! Ada County Court dog helps comfort victims

by Lauren Clark Wednesday, March 7th 2018

Boise, Idaho (KBOI). — For many victims, the task of testifying in court can be overwhelming.

“The criminal justice system can be extraordinarily traumatic for people as they go through the process,” said Ada County Prosecutor Jan Bennetts. “The foreign environment, a big courtroom for children, it can be daunting and intimidating”

But for some, that intimidation begins to melt away, the moment a furry four legged employee walks through the door.

Sunday is a yellow Labrador mix, who has an important job at the court house. She’s a comfort dog, offering her sweet eyes, warm golden fur, and wet nose to calm down vulnerable victims of any age.

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Dog Owners Warn Of Suffocation Danger From Chip Bags

Kate Streit Mar 7, 2018

Most dog owners will tell you that their pet will do anything to get her paws on some human food. What you may not realize, however, is that your dog’s relentless pursuit of treats can be dangerous if she sticks her head inside chip bags.

A woman named Christina Young took to Facebook on February 26 to share the story of how her pit bull, Petey, suffocated to death after getting his head stuck in a chip bag. Young is deeply saddened by the loss of her beloved pooch and is sharing her story in the hopes that it will help other dog owners from suffering from the same tragic accident:

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Pet Talk – Ringworm

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt March 9, 2018 IME

Ringworm is a fungal skin infection of dogs, cats and humans that targets the growing hairs of the surface of the skin. Its medical name is dermatophytosis. The common name is called ringworm because the lesions often have a ring or round shape in dogs, cats and people.

Dermatophytes are fungal organisms that can be contagious from any mammal to another. The transfer happens in cat to cat, dog to dog, human to human, and cat or dog to human, and vice versa.

Hair loss is the common sign, but is variable. Dandruff and crusty and scaling skin lesions can also occur. Itchiness is usually not present, unless secondary bacterial infections are present.

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Imported guard dogs deployed as part of US wolf-sheep study

by Keith Ridler, Associated Press Saturday, March 10th 2018

Boise, Idaho (AP) — Federal scientists are trying to decide if it’s time to let the big dogs out.

Nearly 120 dogs from three large breeds perfected over centuries in Europe and Asia to be gentle around sheep and children but vicious when confronting wolves recently underwent a study to see how they’d react to their old nemesis on a new continent.

The dogs were gathered as puppies in Portugal, Bulgaria and Turkey and sent to the American West, where they spent four years guarding sheep.

“When we were first looking at doing this, a lot of people wanted to know: What dog do I use in dealing with wolves and grizzly bears?” said Julie Young, a Utah-based research biologist with the U.S. Agriculture Department’s National Wildlife Research Center.

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Trapper who shot Oregon wolf sentenced to probation, fined

3/9/18 AP

Portland, Ore. — A trapper who shot a gray wolf after finding it caught in one of his traps has been sentenced to two years on probation and 100 hours of community service.

Union County Judge Thomas Powers also suspended David Sanders’ hunting and trapping license for three years and fined him $7,500. Sanders, 58, pleaded guilty Feb. 26 to one count of unlawful taking of wildlife. He received his penalty that day, court records show.

The shooting occurred in December at a trapping site west of Elgin in the Umatilla National Forest.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

First week of March 2018
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Wolf Education International

3/7/3017 Newsletter

Hungry wolves push into village, attack resident’s dog

List of World-Wide Wolf Attacks
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Here, Kitty, Kitty!

Idaho Mountain Express March 9, 2018

A bobcat stands guard next to a fence near Ketchum earlier this week. Bobcats, which live in Idaho year-round, typically weigh between 15 and 30 pounds. They prey mostly on mice, voles, rabbits and other small animals. Bobcat sightings tend to go up after a spike in rabbit or rodent populations, as bobcats’ reproduction varies depending on prey availability.

photo:
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Senate unanimously passes roadkill bill, sends to governor’s desk

Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review March 7, 2018

The Senate has voted unanimously in favor of HB 549, Rep. Mike Moyle’s roadkill bill, sending the measure to the governor’s desk. The bill writes into state law current Idaho Fish & Game rules that allow the salvage of certain road-killed animals, with conditions, and adds an additional provision: That motorists or passers-by can humanely dispatch a badly injured animal they’ve struck, to put it out of its misery.

Currently, only a law enforcement officer can legally dispatch the animal.

Moyle’s bill has drawn support from sportsmen’s groups, motorists and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Late on Tuesday, the Senate voted 35-0 in favor of the House-passed bill. Sen. Lee Heider, R-Twin Falls, the bill’s Senate sponsor, told senators, “I hope that none of us have to do this in the near future, but if you do, rest assured that you’ll be in accordance with state law.”

source:
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Wyoming proposes hunt of up to 24 grizzlies this fall

3/9/18 AP

Cheyenne, Wyo. — The first grizzly bear hunting in the lower 48 states in more than 40 years could happen in Wyoming this fall.

Yellowstone-region grizzlies haven’t been hunted since they were put on the federal endangered species list in 1975. Wyoming officials released a plan Friday that would allow up to 24 grizzlies to be killed this fall.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission will vote on the plan May 23.

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Officials report refuge elk are faring well in mild winter

AP Mar 10, 2018

Jackson, Wyo. (AP) – Officials say elk on the eastern Wyoming refuge are distributed more widely than usual and are living off forage this winter.

The Jackson Hole News and Guide reports the National Elk Refuge has not provided supplemental alfalfa feed as the mild winter has left plenty of natural grasses in the area.

Refuge biologist Eric Cole says no calves have been found dead on the refuge, and the death rates this year are among the lowest in decades.

About 50 adult elk have been found dead, but nearly all were infected with scabies, a disease that can leave the animals vulnerable to hypothermia.

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Salmonella outbreak linked to guinea pigs

9 people have been infected in 8 states

Erin Gabriel – CNN Mar 09, 2018

A multistate outbreak of salmonella has been linked to pet guinea pigs, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nine people have been infected in eight states, and one person has been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.

A continuing investigation by the CDC, several states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has found evidence that contact with pet guinea pigs is the likely source of the salmonella outbreak.

The illnesses started on dates ranging from July 17, 2015, to Dec. 15, 2017.

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Fish & Game News:

Shed hunt responsibly to protect big game animals

Even with a milder winter, animals still need to conserve energy

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

As the winter months pass and spring approaches, many people suffering from cabin fever head to Idaho’s hills in search of the antlers big game animals have dropped.

Antler hunting, more commonly known as shed hunting, is a fun activity and a reason to get back in the hills. All a person needs is sharp eye and a willingness to endure the ever-changing weather of Idaho.

But it’s important to remember that while we’re having an early case of spring fever, animals are still trying to get through winter. Although this winter has been relatively mild and adult survival will likely be high, young animals, especially fawns, might still be struggling to get through their first winter.

“Wintering big game animals are very susceptible to any kind of disturbance whether it is from passing motorists, domestic dogs or shed hunters in late winter and early spring,” said Daryl Meints, Fish and Game’s deer and elk coordinator. “There’s growing concern over shed hunters putting additional stress on wintering big game in many areas of the state.”

Deer and elk typically rely on their fat reserves to survive winter, and what little nutrients they can gain – if any – from dried vegetation before spring green up occurs and their bodies transition to that fresh, nutritious feed.

Any extra movement an animal makes costs it energy and depletes those fat reserves, which can lead to sickness and oftentimes death, especially for fawns and calves.

“Some animals may be pushed over the edge unintentionally by the very people who want to see them during the fall hunting seasons,” Meints said.

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2017 total deer and elk harvest above average, but mule deer was down

Elk and overall deer harvest exceeded the 10-year average

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Specialist
Monday, March 5, 2018

Hunters took more elk and white-tailed deer in 2017 than in 2016, but mule deer harvest was down. With a much milder winter so far, Fish and Game biologists expect the drop in mule deer harvest to be short lived as herds recover from last year’s difficult winter across Central and Southern Idaho.

The 2017 elk harvest was about 17.5 percent above the 10-year average, and despite the dip in the mule deer harvest, 2017’s overall deer harvest was still slightly above the 10-year average.


Glenna Gomez/Idaho Fish and Game

Elk harvest

Elk hunters are enjoying some of the best hunting in recent history. Harvest was up by 1,242 elk in 2017 over 2016, which was largely an increase in cow harvest. The bull harvest dropped 341 animals between 2016 and 2017.

Fish and Game increased cow hunting opportunities to reduce herds that are causing damage to private lands in parts of the state.

Idaho’s elk harvest has exceeded 20,000 elk for four straight years, which hasn’t happened since the mid 1990s.

Idaho’s elk herds have grown in recent years thanks in part to mild winters, but elk don’t typically suffer the same fate as mule deer when winter turns colder and snowier.

“Elk are much hardier animals and less susceptible to environmental conditions,” Fish and Game Deer and Elk Coordinator Daryl Meints said. “It has to be a tough winter to kill elk.”

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Got an opinion? Fish and Game wants to hear it

Comments are currently being taken for proposed big game rules, waterfowl seasons and rules, and statewide fish management plan

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Specialist
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Fish and Game officials are updating rules, regulations and management plans for fish and wildlife, and people can weigh in by going to the survey and comment page.

Comments are currently being taken for proposed big game rules, waterfowl seasons and rules, and statewide fish management plan.

Deadlines to comment are:

Fisheries management plan: March 12
Proposed big game rules: March 20
Waterfowl rules and seasons: March 24

source w/links:
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F&G News Releases

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

Milky eagle-owl

Milky eagle-owl baby found its new home at the World Center for Birds of Prey. The little ball of fluff was flown in from Zoo Atlanta in Georgia, where it hatched. (Courtesy of Erin E. Katzner)

photo gallery:
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Meet Oliver. A baby Verreaux’s eagle-owl who will steal your heart

by KBOI News Staff Wednesday, March 7th 2018

link to video:
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Cute Owls video

Video link on Facebook
[h/t MC]
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Tips & Advice:

Tax credit includes those who did not pay taxes

Hopefully everyone who earned less than $53,930 in 2017 knows about this. The IRS estimates millions who qualified the Earned Income Tax Credit didn’t take advantage it, mostly due to people who paid no income tax in the year. They don’t file a tax return thinking there is no need to because they owed no tax. Even if you had no income tax deducted from your pay, you can qualify and may get a check from the IRS.

First what is an earned income tax credit versus a tax deduction? A tax deduction is used to reduce the amount of income that is used to determine the income tax you owe. A tax credit is used to reduce the tax owed.

If the credit is larger than what you paid in taxes, including paying nothing, you will get the excess amount. So if your credit is $500 and if your tax due was $750 before the credit, you would only have to pay $250 ($750 minus $500). If you paid $100 in taxes you would get a check in the mail for $400. If you paid nothing, you would get $500 in the mail.

The earned income tax credit is for working people with low and moderate incomes. To qualify, taxpayers must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if they don’t owe any tax or aren’t required to file. Here are some things taxpayers should know about the EITC:

• Taxpayers who worked and earned less than $53,930 may qualify.

• Taxpayers must file a federal income tax return claiming the credit. This is true even if a taxpayer isn’t otherwise required to file a tax return.

• Taxpayers who are married and file a separate return don’t qualify for the EITC.

• Filers must have a Social Security number valid for employment for themselves, their spouse if they’re married, and any qualifying child listed on their tax return.

• Taxpayers must have earned income. This may include earnings from working for someone else as an employee or being self-employed.

• Filers may be married or single, and with or without qualifying children to qualify. For a child to qualify, they must have lived with the taxpayer for more than six months in 2017. In addition, the child must meet the age, residency, relationship and joint return rules to qualify. Filers who don’t have children must also meet the age, residency and dependency rules.

• U.S. armed forces members serving in a combat zone have special rules that apply.

Many who qualify for the tax credit can file a return for free.

The Cascade and McCall public libraries allow anyone in the county, not just citizens of the city limits, to use their computers for a limited time to file a return for no charge. The steps how to file the return are provided. The McCall Public Library will provide.

The Donnelly Community Library also provides free computer time to file your income tax returns. School staffers advise to not come Wednesday or Thursday after school as about 20 kids will be there for an after-school program. You can come it just will be noisy.

The libraries provide no tax assistance, only help in getting online to file the free return if you qualify. Each library could use some volunteers to help people with tax filing help. The amount of time would be up to the volunteer.

Dennis Marguet, Cascade

source: The Star-News March 8th
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Seasonal Humor:

TimeChageEat-a
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March 4, 2018 The Yellow Pine Times

March 4, 2018 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Village News:

Snow Storms

Monday morning’s storm dumped nearly 4.5″ of new snow on Yellow Pine. Had a report that the mail truck driver had a heck of a time getting here, the roads had not been plowed. He said the snow was so deep on the South Fork that he was pushing snow with his bumper. (He indicated thigh deep snow.) He said he was having trouble getting up the hill and had decided to turn around and go back to Cascade, when a crew for Midas Gold came along, headed in to Stibnite with a bigger truck, so he decided to let them break trail and came on in with our mail.

Friday morning’s storm dumped 6″ of new snow on Yellow Pine, for a total of 18″ on the ground down here on the flat. Mail truck made it in on time, the roads had been plowed.

P1000347-20180302
Friday morning looking towards the University of Yellow Pine – 3/2/2018
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March 11

“Spring ahead” Daylight Savings Time Change begins March 11. Move clocks forward at 2am Sunday morning.
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Yellow Pine Tavern

Our Annual St Patrick’s Day Potluck at the Yellow Pine Tavern March 17th at 4pm. Corn Beef and Cabbage provided by the Tavern.

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

The Corner is closed for the season.
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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

Foxes were back in the village March 3rd. A report of wolves howling March 2nd. Keep an eye on small dogs and cats and please don’t leave pet food outdoors.
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2018 Fest

The 2018 festival T-shirt contest is now open! All entries must include the year (2018) and the festival name “Yellow Pine Festival” in the design Entries must be received by Friday, May 18th, 2018. The prize for the winning design is $100! Multiple designs by the same artist can be sent in.

Hint: these shirts are screen prints, simpler designs stand out better. Submit your entry by email to Marj Fields at fieldsmarjie @ yahoo.com
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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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Winter Propane Tips

Keep the snow cleared around propane lines and pipes leading from your tank to the house. The weight of snow sliding off roofs can cause leaks that can result in fire. Make sure you have a CO detector with working batteries.

Amerigas Phone: (208) 634-8181
Ed Staub & Sons Phone: (208) 634-3833
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Diamond (Kennedy) Fuel & Feed

We carry most varieties of Diamond Brand Dog Food. We even have a new line by Diamond called Professional Plus which is a grain-free formula. It is only $29.99 per bag. We have FREE samples in the office if anyone is in the area they can swing by and pick up several samples. They make great day trip servings too when on the go. 208-382-4430
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook
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Local Observations:

Monday (Feb 26) snow storm most of the night, measured 4.25″ new snow and an average of 15.5″ total snow on the ground, overnight low of 20 degrees. Red-breasted nuthatches, chickadees and male downy woodpecker visiting this morning. Neighbor is out plowing local streets. Male and female hairy woodpeckers visited, the local vocal pine squirrel was sounding off from the trees. Thinner clouds, filtered sun and gusty breezes early afternoon, high of 33 degrees. Partly cloudy at sundown and chilly breezes. Bright moon casting shadows after dark and temps dropping to single digits before midnight.

Tuesday (Feb 27) overnight low of -11 degrees, mostly clear sky this morning (some high haze), measured an average of 14″ snow on the flat. The red-breasted nuthatches are fluffed up to twice their normal size. A male downy and a male and a female hairy woodpeckers visiting. High hazy clouds and filtered sun by lunch time, then overcast by early afternoon, high of 31 degrees. Clearing towards evening and temps dropping with the sun. Bright moon and a few clouds by dinner time, then cloudy by midnight.

Wednesday (Feb 28) no precip yesterday, average of 13″ of snow on the flat, getting some impressive icicles. Mostly cloudy this morning, 25F at 10am. Several red-breasted and a couple of white-breasted nuthatches at the feeders along with some mountain chickadees. Male downy and female hairy woodpeckers visiting today. Cloudy breezy afternoon, above freezing, icicles growing, high of 36 degrees. Overcast night, filtered moonlight.

Thursday (Mar 1) overnight low of 21 degrees, cloudy and breezy this morning, no new precip yet, measured an average of 13″ of old snow on the flat. Red-breasted nuthatches and mountain chickadees at the feeders. Female hairy and male downy woodpeckers and the resident pine squirrel visiting after lunch. Light snow flurries this afternoon and above freezing, icicles growing, high of 38 degrees, about 1/2″ new snow by 6pm. Steady snow after dark, a little over an inch by midnight. Snowed hard during the night, then again early morning.

Friday (Mar 2) a break in the snow between 730am and 830am, then flat out snowed hard for 30 minutes (almost another inch) wind blowing, then slacked off to flaking by 9am. Overnight low of 27 degrees, 6″ new snow, 18″ total snow. Male and female hairy and male downy woodpeckers, red-breasted nuthatches and chickadees visiting. Warming up enough to make the snow stick to the shovel by 10am. Light snow flurries on and off during the day, trace accumulation, high of 31 degrees. Breaks in the clouds then clearing by dark and temps dropping.

Saturday (Mar 3) overnight low of -1 degree, high thin clouds this morning. Fresh fox tracks in the neighborhood, average of 17″ of snow on the flat. Mountain chickadees and red-breasted nuthatches visiting. High clouds and filtered sun, didn’t warm up much today, high of 26 degrees. Female hairy and male downy woodpecker, white-breasted nuthatch, and the local pine squirrel visited. Light snow flurries late afternoon, and again at sundown. Breaks in the clouds after dark, a few stars out.

Sunday (Mar 4) overnight low of 7 degrees, mostly cloudy this morning and a few flakes of snow falling. Average of 16″ of snow on the flat (settling not melting!) Red-breasted nuthatches and chickadees visiting, later the female hairy woodpecker stopped by and heard a Steller jay calling from the trees. Snow flurries on and off during the early afternoon (1/2″), high of 36 degrees. Clouds breaking up and mostly clear by sundown.
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Letter to Share:

Commissioner Cruickshank’s February Newsletter

Feb 28, 2018

From the desk of Commissioner Cruickshank,

Thursday Feb. 1st
Today I participated in a conference call to discuss the Midas Gold Stibnite Project with other agencies who are reviewing technical reports for stream flow assessment. Valley County is involved as a Cooperating Agency which allows Valley County to hear the discussions on how the Stibnite Project will operate and protect the environment.

Saturday Feb. 3rd
I reviewed proposed legislation to establish a levy rate for county road maintenance. This proposed legislation is intended to help counties who have been receiving Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funding to offset the 25% Timber Receipts counties were to receive from National Forest timber harvest.

I reviewed proposed legislation concerning Industrial Timber Lands that is coming forward due to some re-assessments of large timber lands in Northern Idaho. This legislation while not appearing to impact Valley County does create concerns of how timber land assessment may change in the future.

Monday Feb. 4th
I attended the Idaho Association of Counties (IAC) Board of Directors meeting in Boise from 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM. From 3:00 PM until 5:30 PM I attended an IAC Legislative Committee meeting also in Boise. Tonight I attended a Retirement Reception for the IAC Executive Director held at the Riverside Hotel in Garden City.

Tuesday Feb. 5th
This morning started the IAC Mid Winter Conference held at the Riverside Hotel in Garden City. My morning started with the IAC Transportation Committee where we heard from the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council on bridges past their normal life and being weight restricted. Potential funding sources were discussed however not enough funding is available to keep up with the failing bridges. We also heard of some funding to assist with Safe Routes for Schools.

Idaho Senator, Bert Brackett who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee spoke on the Surplus Eliminator funding in Idaho which helps the Idaho Transportation Department and Local Jurisdictions with some of the maintenance needs. Primarily this funding was approved to assist with the major damage from last winters damage to roads from flooding and slides. The funding is expected to continue if all goes well. Senator Brackett is who proposed the Road Levy legislation to assist the rural counties who have been receiving SRS funds.

Senator Crapo staff member Casey Attebery spoke on Senator Crapo’s work in Congress to re-authorize SRS, passing a Federal Highway Funding bill as it will expire in 2020, review of President Trump’s Infrastructure Proposal of 1.5 Trillion over ten years and how a portion is dedicated to rural areas and then he spoke on the effort to reduce the timeline for Regulatory Agencies to review projects. Last he spoke on the short term Continuing Resolutions which doesn’t solve the long term funding needs for the government.

Then we heard a presentation on the Port of Lewiston and how this inland port provides commodities to Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. However with less container ship traffic coming into Portland the Lewiston Port is not being used to its potential. We did learn that 5 small cruise ships do come into Lewiston from Portland which seems to be a new revenue source for Idaho.

Next came our Opening General Session where we heard more on how the new IAC Executive Director wants to communicate with the membership. With the Legislative Session there is several ways IAC is providing information to the membership. Those include the Bill Tracker on the IAC website at idcounties.org, a weekly Legislative Bulletin which provides past week information and what to expect next week, Legislative Alerts of specific legislation to contact your legislators and Conference Calls dealing with specific issues of a county office or department. We also learned that the cost to introduce a bill whether it moved on or not cost approximately $2,200.00.

Next during the General Session we heard from a Media Panel on their thoughts of the Idaho Legislature and upcoming Elections. Top issues they see are Taxes and Health Care, seeing a limit on how often a failed bond can be run, campaign finance requirements and forgone (which is taxes not collected) amounts. Then they spoke on the relationship between State and Local Government. While they see the State complaining about the Federal Government overreach they turn around and place controls on Local Governments. They see Governor Otter’s position in the last year as working on Education and Transportation which will possibly be his legacy while in office.

In the upcoming elections they see a Momentous Race with the number of “R’s” and the two “D’s” running for the seat. Labrador’s and Little’s positions are somewhat known while Alquist is considered an outsider and his positions are unknown. Having a contested Governor’s race will take some of the attention away from other races. They also expect to see many turnovers in the State Legislators races which could see changes in leadership positions. They expect to see the session end sooner as elections will impact them wanting to leave early.

The last item they spoke on was the media wanting to get it right. Legislators want to hear from local folks and they would appreciate hearing what is happening so the media has it right.

Next was a session by Idaho Counties Risk Management Program to speak on items they see happening around the state and what concerns them.

This afternoon the General Session continued with a review of the legislation IAC proposed and other legislation that is being introduced that could impact or help counties.

Wednesday Feb. 7th
My morning started at the State Capitol where I had a chance to meet with Representative Kauffman and Gestrin at different times to discuss legislation. I also was able to speak to Senators Hagadorn, Winder and Siddoway on various topics of legislation while in the Capitol.

Next was an IAC Public Lands meeting. First off was a presentation to invite folks to the Idaho Forest Restoration Partnership (IFRP) Conference in Coeur d’ Alene in March. IFRP is a group of Coalition and Collaborative members who meet to network about their respective groups and projects.

I was invited to speak on the efforts to reauthorize the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding. Neither SRS or PILT has been reauthorized currently however the PILT funding we are told is in the President’s Budget. Until we see actual bills including the funding it is unknown when this will happen if at all.

The Idaho Office of Species Conservation spoke on the Sage Grouse issue as regulations are placing more restrictions on rangeland utilization. Secretary Zinke is requiring the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to come back to the States and work with them to create a better plan.

Congressman Labrador’s staff spoke on the increase of new administration changes which see better wages, companies coming back to the United States, Forest Management discussions, Timber reform in the Farm Bill and National Monument approval after State and Congress agreement.

Senator Crapo’s staff spoke on the Senator’s involvement with the collaborative process and seeing lawsuits prevailing with the assistance of the collaborative members.

Congressman Simpson’s staff spoke on Wildfire Disaster Funding and working to get the PILT funding through his position in Appropriations.

Blaine County, Idaho presented on the upcoming National Association of Counties (NACo) Western Interstate Region (WIR) Conference being held in Sun Valley on May 22nd through the 25th. It has been many years since Idaho has hosted a WIR Conference.

This afternoon I went back to the State Capitol to attend the House Natural Resource Committee meeting to hear Representative Gestrin present a Joint Memorial concerning the Stibnite Mine Project proposed by Midas Gold. This Memorial is an effort to encourage the administration to move the process along to get the permitting of the mine completed.

Mid Afternoon was another General Session where the membership completed reviewing proposed legislation. Spoke on topics that are concerning to counties that could be an impact for many and had a general roundtable of discussion.

I returned phone calls on an upcoming Wild Fire meeting to look at Cohesive Strategy for our region. This is an attempt to get the right people at the table to insure our Wildland Urban Interface is being treated correctly to help prevent fire from reaching homes.

Tonight I attended a IAC Legislative Reception where IAC hosted State Elected Officials to visit with the IAC Conference attendees. Just another way provided to interact with legislators and county government.

Thursday Feb. 8th
At 7:00 AM I listened in on the NACo Central Region Conference Call. Their discussion was on assessment of Big Box Stores and how the Big Box Stores feel their assessment is too high as the only business that can operate is their type. When a store closes there is a huge decrease in value on the facility, to be able to sell, the price is dropped by a large amount. This creates a tax shift to other taxpayers which is the reason for the discussion.

This morning at the IAC Conference I attending a portion of the IAC Commissioners meeting. We discussed a future conference which will be held in Moscow in June and counties assisting Blaine County with funding for the WIR Conference in May.

The IAC Executive Director spoke on his working to attend more of the District meetings, respond to members needs, hearing your concerns with legislation, understanding the diverse opinions in the legislature, Public Defense concerns and solutions, transportation funding for the future,
unifying and working together, IAC hosting regional meetings after the legislative session is over to discuss new legislation, Surplus Eliminator funding and Public Defense Commission Rules and Guidelines with impacts to counties.

I then had to step out to host the NACo Western Region Conference call where we had the NACo Transportation Associate Legislative Director spoke on President Trump’s proposed Infrastructure Package in the State of the Union address. This is where the 1.5 Trillion in spending over ten years is up from the 1 Trillion proposed during the campaign. The Federal Contribution still remains at 200 Billion over ten years. Changes include the Federal Agencies providing 20% and Local Government providing 80%. In prior work is was the other way around with the Feds at 80% and Local 20%. 25% of the proposed funding over the ten years is to be used for Rural Infrastructure however no ideas were provided on what it could be used for. The other 75% is said to be used for existing programs. As the Senate and House will be working the proposal over expect to see changes.
There is discussion on Regulation Streamlining which could help move projects along and not have them stalled waiting for approval.

NACo’s WIR Liaison spoke to the Payment in Lieu of Taxes with discussions of raising the Budget Cap we could see Appropriations funding PILT. This will also be a topic of discussion in the Farm Bill which is up for renewal. A Farm Bill Summit is being created to garner support from Rural Counties to discuss the Farm Bill in April.

After arriving home I returned calls from requests to see if a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director has been appointed. I sent out an email request to a BLM contact to learn if this appointment has been made.

Friday Feb 9th
After learning that the BLM Director position has not been appointed and an Acting Director is in place I provided this information to the person requesting.

This afternoon I participated in the NACo Executive Board Conference call. Discussed today were who was invited to speak at the Legislative Conference in March, Hill Briefings at the Capitol, The Whitehouse inviting county commissioners from specific states to meet with the Administration, The Continuing Resolution which funded the Government until March 23rd, the hope to see an Omnibus Bill of 300 Billion soon to settle the funding issue, Children’s Health Initiative Program continuing for 4 years, disappointed that SRS funding wasn’t voted on as NACo staff and others worked hard to get it included, heard a potential of 6 Billion for Opioid and Health preventative programs, counties are investing in infrastructure, working with FEMA, addressing Rural Poverty and Health.
We also discussed the financial wellbeing of NACo, working together with other organizations as we did on Tax Reform to provide strength, attending upcoming conferences and seminars and the continued effort to push for SRS and PILT funding to Congress.
In the Northeast United States the Spotted Lantern Fly is destroying Fruit crops and primarily the Grape Industry.
I spoke on Valley County hosting the Iditarod Qualifier Race this past month and the Department of Interior looking to move their offices west with Denver being the major spot so their folks are closer to the Public Lands they manage.

This evening I had a call returned from NACo Executive Director to discuss potential Congressional and Federal staff invitees for the WIR Conference in May held in Blaine County, Idaho.

Monday Feb 12th
Commissioner day today. Please go to the Valley County website at Valley County Idaho Official Site and click on the commissioners section then click on Agendas and Minutes to read about our meetings. Please understand that it takes a few meetings before the minutes are approved and posted to the website.
http://www.co.valley.id.us/

Tuesday Feb. 13th
Today I was in Meridian to attend a Cooperating Agency Meeting on the Stibnite Mine Project by Midas Gold. Today many agencies met to discuss technical reports on the proposed operation of the mine, including how the materials will be processed, regeneration of Cyanide use on site to reduce traffic, storm water management for tailings piles, producing Lime onsite which reduces traffic, access routes for mine supplies, mine haul routes within the project, power line routes for Idaho Power, Public Access around the project while in production and alternative facility locations.

Wednesday Feb. 14th
I listened in on a NACo Public Lands Conference call where they discussed PILT funded at 465 Million not the 10 year average of 365 Million, 18 Million needed to reorganize the Federal Agencies, potential long term goal of having one agency to oversee all Public Lands management, establish a Public Land Infrastructure Fund, utilize funding from mineral leasing surplus, raising the Budget Cap will allow more funds for National Defense and Non Defense programs and SRS funding questioned as Forest Management in proposals could not be agreed on.

I received a call from a citizen asking more on the article in the Star News on Valley County looking at a potential Road Levy and how the citizens would be able to hear how this works. We discussed the ongoing collection of data and the Public Meetings that will be held later this year.

Next I participated in an IAC Legislative Committee Conference call to discuss the status of bills in the Idaho Legislature. Many bills are being introduced and some are moving and others need more work or are being held.

This afternoon I participated in a National Forest Counties and Schools Coalition Conference call. Here we also discussed the recent failed attempt to get SRS reauthorized due to the Forest Management not being agreed on. We also learned that some discussion by Congress is we didn’t have a 2016 payment so the counties seem to have lived through no funding. As we all know the only way we are living through this is by cutting services and not doing improvements to the roadways. We also visited about even if Forest Management does get included to increase the harvest volumes it will be a few years before the benefit of the revenue is received.

I returned a call to discuss what is to be expected if a person attends the WIR Conference in Blaine County, Idaho in May. I provided my thoughts and sent them the draft agenda.

Thursday Feb. 15th
I met with a local resident for an hour to discuss some ideas he had concerning Workforce Housing utilizing the Tiny House concept with the ability to expand the foot print in the future as a homeowner creates more equity.

Next I attended the Payette Forest Coalition (PFC) meeting in McCall. A presentation was provided for the next area the PFC is going to work on. This area is North of Highway 55, East of Highway 95, West of Warren Wagon Road and a northern boundary using the South side of the Tee Pee Springs Fire from a few years ago. This area has the highest amount of residential properties the PFC will be working with. It also includes Idaho Department of Lands, DF Development Lands, other private lands and Public Lands Administered by the Forest Service and a small amount of Bureau of Land Management. We also discussed some of the funding opportunities going away and how the PFC can provide comments once a project is announced.

I then stepped out for 25 minutes to participate in a NACo Rural Action Caucus Conference call. Here was discussion on attending the Farm Bill Summit in April, five Opioid Summits being held this year in rural areas, a Rural Action Caucus day while attending the NACo Legislative Conference and the one agency one review to green light a project to move forward.

I then returned to the PFC meeting where they we discussing the invitation of the Chief of the Forest Service attending a PFC Tour this summer, heard an update of the Lost Creek Boulder Creek project lawsuit which was appealed to the Supreme Court, how folks can follow up with speakers and share answers with the PFC group.

Friday Feb, 16th
I met with some members of the Big CK/YP Collaborative to discuss if the value of continuing to meet is meeting the needs for the group. We also discussed if all the trails and routes are being discussed in the matrix created. Some would like to see some additional areas reviewed and added.

I then participated in a NACo Executive Board Conference call. More discussion on events coming together for the Legislative Conference, Hill Briefing meeting potentials, agenda for the committee meetings and the impact of the recent Florida School Shooting.

I sent out a NACo Analysis of the Infrastructure Proposal to some folks to help better understand the proposal as it is seen today.

Saturday Feb. 17th
I reviewed more Technical Reports for the Stibnite Project.

Monday Feb. 19th President’s Day
I sent invites to Congressional Staff to invite them to attend the WIR Conference held in Blaine County, Idaho in May.

I sent comments on HB 536 a Trespass Bill proposed to multiple House Members. In this bill there is confusing areas of current law with posting requirements, using fences to describe private lands when Public Land is fenced for grazing allotments, recognizing a resident that could be or couldn’t be associated with private property and 3 trespass violations, within 10 years, creating a felony. After sending the emails out I received several comments back either agreeing with me and some who supported the bill.

Tuesday Feb. 20th
At 8:00 AM I attended an American Disabilities Act Training in the commissioners room along with other elected officials and supervisors to learn more about how to understand the rules and guidelines for employees who may have some type of disability that could impact their work environment or personal needs.

At 9:00 AM we held started our Commissioners meeting. Please check the Valley County website for the minutes once approved and posted.
http://www.co.valley.id.us/

Wednesday Feb. 20th
I received a phone call to review changes to a Right-of-Way bill proposed to clarify historic Revised Statue 2477 routes and who has the authorization to close these routes.

I attended the IAC Legislative Committee meeting in Boise where we discussed the status of ongoing legislation being introduced, heard by legislative committees or moving forward to full floor voting. To learn more go to idcounties.org and click on the Bill Tracker Link and it will provide an overview of the legislation counties are interested in.

I then attended a Joint Committee session to listen to the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) provide an overview of the workings of IDL and how they manage the State Lands. Last year IDL provided $64,549,022.00 in revenue from timber sales. He also spoke on the Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) provided in the last Farm Bill which allows IDL to work with the Forest Service to manage some of the timber sales on the National Forest. In Idaho there is 8.8 Million acres of timberlands that are at High Risk due to Insect and Disease that needs treated. The GNA allows the Forest Service an opportunity to increase the pace and scale to treat these acres. Proceeds from the sales is expected to create a sustainable program into the future with a small amount being sent back to the counties.

Then the Forest Supervisor from the Nez Perce/Clearwater National Forest spoke on being the first National Forest in Idaho to use the GNA process. With the GNA and good collaborative groups their National Forest has tripled their forest management projects in the last 5 years. By getting everyone around the table they worked through to find solutions. They are also using new technology to map the forest using Lidar imaging which provides clarity to see the landscape without the need to spend as much time on the ground to plan a project.

My next event was attending the Senate Local Government and Tax Committee to hear the presentation on Industrial Timber Land Assessment. Introduced is legislation to correct some misunderstandings on the process to find the market value of large timber lands in North Idaho. Apparently changes to land classification is in question and the large landowners are asking the Legislature to roll back assessments until the concerns are corrected or a solution is found.

Thursday Feb. 22nd
This morning I met with the Chiefs of all the Fire Departments and our Fire Wise Consultant to discuss the Bring It Don’t Burn It Program. McCall Fire will be doing another Fire Prevention Day on May 5th, Cascade Fire is doing some Town Hall meetings and Donnelly has a display on Fire Wise during their Annual BBQ all to increase awareness.

I then attended the Big CK/YP Meeting. Discussion was on access to Crater Lake near the Profile Summit when I arrived, then we moved into a discussion on a possible re-alignment of a portion of the East Fork Road to bypass the large slide area east of the Eiguren Ranch property. After discussion the group wanted to learn more on what the potential costs could be. Valley County is leading this project as it has been discussed for 20 plus years and it may take several years to survey on the ground, find funding, design, create agreements and then hopefully construct the reroute. We then moved into reviewing the Matrix of roads and trails with possible improvements made to allow non-motorized, motorized, ATV and Full size access. Some additional routes will be added and the group will discuss in more detail at the next meeting. Our next discussion was around are we making progress. All at this meeting agreed it looked like we were stalled out in determining what we could provide in restoration opportunities. In today’s meeting we are seeing a positive in continuing to meet and moving forward realizing there is not as much we can do in the East Fork drainage however the overall work of the Big CK/YP Collaborative since we started has created improvements. Now we just need to start seeing those improvements happen on the ground.

Friday Feb. 23rd
My morning was spent on reviewing and responding to some changes in the Right-of-Way proposed legislation. After several corresponding emails I was asked to testify on how this bill helps clarify Historic Routes which I agreed to do.

I also had the opportunity to review and comment on the Department of the Interior draft Reorganization Map for the future management for their authority. I am happy to see the concerns being addressed that the counties, primarily in the West, have requested for many years.

Monday Feb. 26th
First off this morning I received a call concerning Septic Pumping Companies potentially not going to be able to unload at any of the Sewer District facilities in Valley County and may end up hauling the septage to a facility outside of Valley County.

Commissioner Meeting day. Please see the Valley County website for the minutes of the meeting once approved.
http://www.co.valley.id.us/

Tonight I returned a call to the Executive Director of the Idaho Association of Highway Districts looking for information on Warren Wagon Road in Idaho County and if Valley County has had any discussion about maintenance of this area.

Tuesday Feb. 27th
I worked on reviewing and creating documents for my upcoming trip to Washington D.C. where I will be attending a NACo Conference, meeting with the Idaho Delegation offices and other Federal Administrative Offices or People to discuss issues of concern by counties.

I participated in a NACo Transportation conference call to receive an update of the agenda topics that will be discussed at the NACo Conference.

I participated in a NACo Western Interstate Region Board of Directors conference call to discuss meetings and Hill Briefings during the NACo Conference.

Tonight I was invited to a meeting to discuss Solid Waste Trash with some folks in McCall.

Wednesday Feb. 28th

This morning I attended the IAC Legislative Committee meeting in Boise. The status of bills that are moving through the State Legislature were discussed and others that are being introduced. All the reviews are to see how they benefit or impact county government. You can find more information on the IAC website and clicking on the Bill Tracker section.

Well another month has flown by. Some winter came this month and spring is around the corner. Thanks to everyone who reads my newsletter in an attempt to stay informed. Let me know if I can provide more on any topic of interest.

Gordon
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Idaho News:

Willey, Young to step down from Valley County seats

Hasbrouck to seek new term as commissioner

By Max Silverson for The Star-News March 1, 2018

Valley County Commissioner Bill Willey will not seek a new term this year, Willey told The Star-News.

Willey’s announcement comes as the filing period opened for candidates in the May 15 primary election. The filing period opened on Monday and will close March 9.

Willey represents District 3 as the commissioner, which is generally the Donnelly area.

“I have deep gratitude to the voters of Valley County for giving me the chance to serve and to my fellow commissioners, elected officials, county employees, volunteers and all those who are working to make Valley County a better place,” said Willey, who has held the office since 2011.

“It is time to go back to the ranch, spend time with my family and take retirement more seriously this go around,” he said.

District 1 Commissioner Elt Hasbrouck said he will seek a new term in the office he has held since 2012. District 1 generally includes the Cascade area.

Commission Chair Gordon Cruickshank, who generally represents the McCall area from District 1, is not up for re-election this year.

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Fundraiser planned March 10 for Valley sheriff’s captain

The Star-News March 1, 2018

A fundraiser will be held in Cascade on Saturday, March 10, to raise funds for Valley County Sheriff’s Capt. John Coombs, who is battling cancer.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Cascade American Legion Hall. A spaghetti feed will begin at 7 p.m. with an auction at 8 p.m.

Tickets cost $15 per person and can be reserved by calling Rorie Snapp at 208-315-5306.

Coombs was diagnosed last fall with chronic leukemia. Since that time, it was determined that he needed a bone marrow transplant.

He is currently in Seattle, Wash., undergoing the process for the bone marrow procedure from his sister, who was found to be a donor match.

Coombs and his wife, Teri, are staying in an apartment close to the hospital, and the funds raised on March 10 will help pay for rent and travel expenses.

A GoFundMe page also has been set up for Coombs. Donors may go to http://GoFundMe.com and search for “John Coombs.”

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Search and Rescue seeks donations to buy four-season ATV

The Star-News March 1, 2018

The Valley County rescue team is in search of cash donations to purchase a four-season capable all-terrain vehicle with Camso tracks.

The group has already raised $4,000 and must raise another $5,000 by July to secure a matching Idaho Parks and Recreation grant.

The all-terrain vehicle would be used for search responses in remote areas, insertion of search personnel and extraction of lost or injured backcountry travelers as well as transportation of equipment.

The vehicle also would also be used in public events, such as the McCall Winter Carnival, and backcountry events like the Snowmobile Fun Runs.

The Camso tracks would allow for over-the-snow travel during winter rescue or equipment transport. Using these tracks would reduce or eliminate environmental damage during the spring run-off.

Donations are tax-deductible and all donors will receive a search-and-rescue handkerchief imprinted with information on what to do if lost or injured.

With permission, donors who give $1,000 or more will have their names printed in the “Donations Made By” section on the side of the mobile command center.

Donations may be made online at http://valleycountysar.org or mailed to P.O. Box 144, Donnelly, Idaho, 83615. For more information, contact Larry Scarborough at 208-860-8346 or Larry Mangum at 208-315-0991.

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Heavy snow leads M-D, Cascade schools to cancel classes [Last] Monday

By Tom Grote for The Star-News March 1, 2018

Heavy snowfall early Monday led administrators in the McCall-Donnelly and Cascade school districts to cancel classes on Monday. Classes were not canceled in the Meadows Valley School District.

The snow day was declared after the McCall area received almost a foot of snow and Donnelly recorded about 17 inches of new snow, M-D Superintendent Jim Foudy said Monday.

Valley County Road and Bridge Supervisor Jeff McFadden called Foudy to tell him that snow began to drift over county roads almost as soon as county snowplows cleared them.

“It wasn’t safe to run the buses,” said Foudy, who made the decision to close the district’s five schools and keep the 1,200 students at home.

In Cascade, heavy snow and drifting resulting in hazardous driving caused Superintendent Pal Sartori to order the snow day and keep the district’s 230 students at home

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Idaho Adventure: Hap & Florence Points Sleigh Rides

by Nathan Larsen Wednesday, February 28th 2018


Photo Credit: Jim & Sharon Exler

At KBOI 2 Adventure Starts with Weather and this Idaho Adventure is all dependent on winter snowfall.

The Hap & Florence Points Sleigh Rides carry on a 30-year tradition of connecting with Idaho’s wildlife on a horse-drawn sleigh in Donnelly.

Feeding elk on the winter range and allowing adventurers the chance to ride along.

“It’s certainly a unique way for people to interact with a team of horses and sleigh, things that aren’t as common anymore,” said Scott Points, Hap & Florence Points Sleigh Rides.

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Texas billionaires put 54,000 acres of Idaho land up for sale

By Rocky Barker Idaho Statesman March 01, 2018

The Texas billionaires who bought and then closed off access to 172,000 acres of forest land in southern Idaho have put 54,000 of those acres up for sale.

Farris and Dan Wilks made $3.5 billion selling off their successful fracking and oil drilling service business in Cisco, Texas in 2011. They have listed six tracts of forest, mountain and riverfront property in Idaho, including a 31,000-acre parcel south and west of McCall in Valley and Adams counties. They are asking for $61 million for the land called McCall Red Ridge Ranch that runs west from West Mountain Road.

A second, 11,000-acre tract, called Boise Ridge Mountain Ranch, is located between Horseshoe Bend and Idaho City just east of the Bogus Basin ski area in Boise County. They are asking just over $10 million for the thickly timbered steep parcel just over the mountains from Boise.

The Clear Creek Ranch — 35 miles southeast of McCall, just east of Cabarton — has 4,100 acres of land offered at $5.6 million. Also offered: a 1,980-acre parcel southeast of Lake Fork called Paddy Flat Summit Ranch, and an 853-acre property with three miles of river frontage near Cascade called Big Creek Ranch, both in Valley County.

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Vehicle crashes into Payette River

by KBOI News Staff Wednesday, February 28th 2018

Banks, Idaho (KBOI) — A vehicle has crashed into the Payette River south of Banks and a 25-year-old has died at the scene police say.

According to police, Alex Bunch of Boise was driving a 2006 Kia Spectra northbound on State Highway 55 at milepost 75.5. Bunch drove through the southbound lanes before going off the west side of the road, down an embankment, and into the river.

Police say Bunch was wearing a seatbelt, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Idaho State Police says the injury crash was reported at about 10:23 a.m.

source:
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Sheriff: 14-year-old girl run over by snowcat while on back country trip near Brundage

by KBOI News Staff Wednesday, February 28th 2018

McCall, Idaho (KBOI) — A 14-year-old girl on a snowcat back country trip near Brundage Mountain was injured after she was run over by a snowcat.

The Valley County Sheriff’s Office says its office received a 911 call on Monday morning about the accident. The girl was conscious and breathing at the time when the call came in. She was later treated in the field and airlifted from Brundage Reservoir to St. Alphonsus in Boise. It’s unclear the severity of her injuries.

Brundage Mountain says another person on Monday was also injured, but details of that incident were not immediately available.

source:
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Officials identify man killed in Idaho snowmobile crash

Wayne Halverson died when his snowmobile went off a trail and ran into a tree.

Associated Press February 27, 2018

St. Anthony, Idaho – Eastern Idaho officials have identified a North Dakota man killed in a snowmobile crash.

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office in a news release Monday says 32-year-old Wayne Halverson of Wishek died Saturday in Island Park when he went off a trail and ran into a tree.

Officials say other snowmobilers and emergency responders attempted life-saving measures, but Halverson was pronounced dead at about 8:30 p.m.

Halverson is the fourth snowmobiler to die in eastern Idaho this year. The other three deaths were caused by avalanches.

source:
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Snowmobilers rescued after stranded in Dry Creek Drainage

Feb 28, 2018 Local News 8

Island Park, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – Four male snowmobilers from Shelley had an unexpected snowmobile experience in the Centennials Mountain Range’s backcountry northwest of Island Park Tuesday night.

Fremont County Search & Rescue reports the group of snowmobilers, ages ranging from 41 to 52, were riding south of Reas Peak when the four rode down a slope into Dry Creek.

Two were able to climb out, but the other two were not able.

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Whooping cough cases spike across Treasure Valley

Over the past four months, a total of 89 cases of whooping cough – also known as pertussis – have been reported.

KTVB March 1, 2018

Boise — Public health officials are warning of a whooping cough outbreak spreading across Ada and Canyon County.

Over the past four months, a total of 89 cases of whooping cough – also known as pertussis – have been reported. Seventy of those cases were in Ada County, and 19 were in Canyon County.

Whooping cough is an extremely contagious respiratory illness spread by coughing and sneezing, or other close contact with an infected person. The disease is particularly dangerous, and even life-threatening, for babies and young children.

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Idaho Power proposing new customer rate class

Feb 27, 2018 Local News 8

Boise, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – Idaho utility regulators are considering an Idaho Power Company (IPC) proposal to reclassify customers who generate their own electricity.

If approved, it would create new customer classes for residential and small general service customers who generate their own electricity, mostly through rooftop solar.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC) will host a public hearing in Pocatello Monday, March 5 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Pocatello City Council chambers at 911 N. 7th Ave.

The Pocatello hearing will not include any presentation by the company or IPUC staff. It is intended to take comments from Idaho Power customers or interested parties only.

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Mountain snowpack levels improving after parade of storms

by Nathan Larsen Sunday, March 4th 2018


Idaho SNOTEL Current Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) % of Normal – USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Boise, Idaho (KBOI) — Heavy mountain snowfall over the past several weeks is starting to make a dent in our snowpack deficit. Looking at some of the current reading across the state the Weiser, Payette, and Boise basins have all made an improvement in the amount of moisture locked in the snowpack. It wasn’t too long ago when these water basins were closer to values currently seen in the southwest region of the state.

An area low-pressure parked off of the Oregon coast has brought significant moisture to the region over the past 72-hours.

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Mining News:

Geotechnical Drilling Starting at Stibnite

March 1, 2018

As the Stibnite Gold Project continues to move through the permitting process, we want to make sure we are fully ready to move forward with site restoration and mine redevelopment once our plan of restoration and operations is approved. An important part of this process is understanding the structure of the soil and underlying bedrock at the site so that our engineering team and, one day, our construction team, can design our future facilities with a full understanding of the conditions of the site in mind. Geotechnical drilling allows us to collect this critically important information in order to build the safest project possible.

Geotechnical drilling allows us to determine if the ground beneath the surface is appropriate for building on top of. Knowing that information before we start any construction, and early in the design process, allows us to place our facilities in the best spots and reinforce the foundations of buildings and facilities, if necessary. Having this information will allow us to build the best project possible.

Over the next few weeks, we will gather information from more than 50 different locations across the site. Winter may seem like an odd time to launch a drilling program, but it is actually one of the best times of year to do it because it eliminates our disturbance on the environment. Many of the places we need to evaluate are located within wetlands or riparian conservation areas. If we drill during the winter, when we have a sufficient snowpack, we are able to access these areas, collect valuable information, all the while minimizing our disturbance.

Each sample we collect is approximately 2 to 3 inches in diameter and anywhere from 30 to 100 feet deep. We not only evaluate the samples that we pull out of the ground, allowing determination of density, moisture content, grain size distribution, strength, permeability, and consolidation properties, but our team also takes careful measurements as they drill so we can look back and see soil and rock type, geologic unit thickness, groundwater depth and more.

Once we collect our samples, we fill in (technically, known as abandon) each drill hole with a special type of bentonite abandonment clay that seals up the sample site. This is the same type of clay that is used to seal drinking water wells when no longer used. Filling each of the sample sites is an important step because it helps to keep the water in the aquifer from mixing with water on the surface – sometimes these two water sources can have different chemical makeup, so we want to make sure they stay separate, in a natural state.

In order to make sure we can get all of our work done before the temperatures start to warm up, we will have around six more people working at site during the drilling program. This means the village of Yellow Pine may notice a few more faces around town but, for the most part, our team will be up at site collecting the data we need to build the best project possible.

source:
[h/t NP]
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Public Lands:

Draft Minutes – Big Creek Yellow Pine South Fork Collaborative Meeting

Payette National Forest February 22, 2018

link: BC YP SF Meeting February 22 2018 (2).pdf
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Lowman Ranger District reopens Clear Creek Road to snowmobiles

Contact: Venetia Gempler (208) 373-4105
Date: March 2, 2018

Boise, Idaho, March 2, 2018 — The Clear Creek road [National Forest System (NFS) road 582] has been reopened after winter conditions have forced salvage timber operations to halt until the spring. The public safety closure was put in place while logging trucks removed additional hazard trees from within the 2016 Pioneer Fire area.

“Its great news for snowmobilers,” said John Kidd, Lowman District Ranger. “Clear Creek is a popular snowmobile route and with the recent snowfall, conditions should be great!”

Forest visitors should be aware that while the route is open it will not be groomed and as soon as conditions improve the road will once again be closed as salvage operations resume.

Before venturing into a burned area, look for posted warning signs or current closure orders. Be aware of your surroundings as burned areas pose a higher risk to forest visitors. This is the second winter post fire and standing dead trees will continue to fall from increased snow loads. Let someone know where you are going in case of emergency.

For all Boise National Forest closures visit:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/boise/alerts-notices
and checkout the new Boise National Forest interactive closure story map:
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Idaho auctions federal timber in deal with Forest Service

3/3/18 AP

Boise, Idaho — Idaho officials have auctioned timber on federal land as part of an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service intended to increase logging and reduce the severity of wildfires.

The Jasper II West timber sale on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests in northern Idaho is the third timber sale sold by the Idaho Department of Lands under the federal Good Neighbor Authority program.

Stimson Lumber Company on Thursday submitted the winning bid of $1.47 million to log 306 acres north of Priest River. The Idaho Department of Lands says the company will be removing dead and dying timber.

Money from the sale will reimburse the state, and leftover money will be used for restoration projects on the forest.

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USDA Forest Service Intermountain Region Newsletter

Volume 2 Issue 4 February 28, 2018

link:
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Critter News:

Some peanut butters may be harmful for dogs

Andrea Braswell Feb 26, 2018 KIVI TV

Veterinarians have a warning for pet owners about an ingredient in some foods — including peanut butter — that can be toxic to your pet.

It’s a sweetener, called xylitol, that’s found in different brands of peanut butter, and it can make your pet sick, or even kill them. The ingredient can also cause liver failure.

“It’s kind of horrible to think about because it’s common knowledge — everyone gives their dog peanut butter,” Laura Lovely said.

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Pet Talk – Botulism in dogs and cats

By Dr. Karsten Fostvedt Mar 2, 2018 IME

Botulism is caused by a toxin produced by a bacterium called Colstridium botulinum. This organism is present in spoiled and rotting foods, garbage and carrion (dead animal carcasses).

This toxin blocks the release of acetylcholine, the most important nerve receptor in the body of all mammals. Acetylcholine stimulates muscles to react and is released by nerves to all the muscles in mammals’ bodies. The botulism toxin thus prevents the ability of muscles to contract. Subsequent generalized weakness to the muscles of the body results and paralysis ensues. After the animal eats spoiled, contaminated material, vomiting and diarrhea may occur prior to the onset of neurological signs, which typically occur two to four days after ingestion of the botulinum toxin. The animal typically has difficulty standing and using its legs. All muscles of the body may be affected, including the ability to blink, swallow and bark.

A history of eating spoiled foods, garbage or carrion and the presence of compatible clinical signs may cause an initial suspicion of botulism by your vet. Blood and feces can be tested for botulinum toxin, but the toxin is often undetectable. Usually, the diagnosis is made only after other diseases that cause similar clinical signs have been excluded.

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FDA investigation continues into dog food contaminated with euthanasia drug

by Lisa Fletcher/WJLA Wednesday, February 28th 2018

Different lots, different stores, same problem: a lethal drug used to primarily kill cats and dogs, never allowed to be used on animals in the food supply, showing up in what you feed your pets.

Earlier this month, WJLA broke the story that triggered an FDA investigation and millions of cans of pet food being pulled from shelves nationwide.

After seven months of research and lab tests, we found the euthanasia drug, pentobarbital, in multiple varieties of dog food.

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Wolf News Roundup 2/26/2018

by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online! February 25, 2018

Wolves are killing each other in response to lack of elk in the Gros Ventre, while a former Yellowstone wolf biologist is telling the people of Colorado how they need wolves. Minnesota’s moose rise and decline is closely tied to wolf population numbers, and Idaho gets a reprieve from having to destroy data. Those are just a few highlights in recent wolf news. See article summaries and links below.

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KWVR Oregon Wolf Education weekly Wolf Report

Third week of Feb, 2018
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3 cougars euthanized in Oregon following livestock attacks

3/2/18 AP

Corvallis, Ore. — Wildlife officials have euthanized three cougars that killed livestock belonging to multiple Oregon homeowners.

The Corvallis Gazette-Times reported Thursday that the large cats were euthanized earlier this month. Wildlife biologist Nancy Taylor says a resident reported on Feb. 16 that one of her goats had been killed by a cougar. A federal trapper then captured and euthanized an adult and two juvenile cougars.

A nearby resident had called about their property a week earlier after presumably the same cougars killed several sheep.

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Groups, US reach settlement on predator-killing poisons

By Keith Ridler – 3/2/18 AP

Boise, Idaho — U.S. officials have agreed to complete a study on how two predator-killing poisons could be affecting federally protected species as part of the settlement of a lawsuit filed by environmental and animal-welfare groups.

The 10-page agreement filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Montana requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to complete consultations with the Environmental Protection Agency by the end of 2021 on the two poisons used by federal workers on rural Western lands to protect livestock.

The Center for Biological Diversity and the other groups in the lawsuit filed last year in Montana say Fish and Wildlife is violating the Endangered Species Act by not analyzing with the EPA how sodium cyanide and Compound 1080 could harm federally protected species including grizzly bears and Canada lynx.

The groups say the federal agencies in 2011 started but never finished the analysis.

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13th annual Elk Calling Contest at Idaho Sportsman Show

by Brian Morrin Saturday, March 3rd 2018

Ada County, Idaho — Click the video above to see the contestants of all ages compete in this year’s Elk Calling Contest.

link: KBOI
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Refuge encourages motorists to discourage licking

Feb 26, 2018 Local News 8

Jackson, Wyo. (KIFI/KIDK) – The National Elk Refuge has borrowed an electronic signboard from Teton County to warn motorists of approaching bighorn sheep. The sign is located near Miller Butte, where bighorn sheep are frequently seen during the winter.

The animals are looking for more than attention. Bighorn like to lick the sides of cars and trucks to ingest salt and minerals found on the surface. While motorists may be tempted to stop and give the animals space, refuge officials had different advice.

The sign flashes the warning ” IF SHEEP APP’CH KEEP DRIVING SLOWLY PREVENT LICKING.”

Biologists said the best practice is to remove any kind of reward and discourage the animals from congregating near the road. “It’s never good to have animals learn to gather near a road,” said Refuge Biologist Eric Cole. “It only adds to the likelihood of vehicle vs. wildlife collisions.”

Officials said word-of-mouth and the message boards seem to be making a difference.

source:
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Group calls for steelhead fishing ban to protect Idaho fish

by Associated Press Saturday, March 3rd 2018

Lewiston, Idaho (AP) – A conservation group has asked fisheries managers to shut down steelhead fishing in the Columbia and Snake river basins to protect a wild run that returns to Idaho’s Clearwater River.

The Conservation Angler tells The Lewiston Tribune in a story on Saturday that even catch-and-release regulations threaten the survival of B-run steelhead.

Executive Director David Moskowitz in a letter to Idaho Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore says steelhead fishing should be closed to allow the wild fish to spawn.

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Study: Chinook salmon much smaller, younger these days

3/1/18 AP

Seattle — A new study has found that chinook salmon in the Columbia River and the northeastern Pacific from California to western Alaska are not as big as they used to be.

Researchers, in a study published in the journal, Fish and Fisheries, discovered chinook – the biggest and most prized species of salmon in North America – are smaller and younger nowadays.

The big chinook have decreased both in numbers and in size — as much as 10 percent in length, and substantially more in weight, according to data.

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The Columbia Basin Bulletin

Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
http://www.cbbulletin.com
March 2, 2018
Issue No. 864
Table of Contents

* Harvest Managers Predict 23 Percent Decline In 2018 Fall Chinook Run, One-Half Of 10-Year Average
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440294.aspx

* Agreement Guiding Columbia Basin Fisheries Harvests, Hatchery Production For Next 10 Years Approved
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440293.aspx

* Oregon Could Lease Corps’ McKenzie River Leaburg Hatchery To Raise Willamette Spring Chinook, Trophy Trout
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440292.aspx

* Largest Chinook Salmon Show Widespread Decline Along West Coast; Selective Removal A Factor
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440291.aspx

* Bureau Receives 99 Proposals In Competition For Solutions To Stop Spread Of Invasive Mussels
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440290.aspx

* February Snow, Cold Helps Make Up For January; Basin Water Supply Forecast 111 Percent Of Normal
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440289.aspx

* Portland Study Shows Urban Watershed Can Support Healthy Population Of Native Fish
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440288.aspx

* Judge Changes Court Schedule To Allow For Deschutes River Spill Consideration
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440287.aspx

* USGS Study: Rising Seas Put Pacific Coastal Wetlands At Risk Of Extinction, Some By 2050
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440286.aspx

* NOAA Fisheries Initiates Endangered Species Act Review Of Upper Klamath, Trinity River Chinook Salmon
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440285.aspx

* Recruitment Underway For New WDFW Director, Decision Slated For This Summer
http://www.cbbulletin.com/440284.aspx
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Fish & Game News:

Rainbow Trout Stocking Schedule

By Evin Oneale, Regional Conservation Educator
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Personnel from Fish and Game’s Nampa Hatchery will be releasing more than 17,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during March.

link:
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F&G News Releases

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

Brockport, N.Y. Police deal with an unusual suspect: A squirrel

by WHAM Friday, December 29th 2017


It’s a bit hard to tell from this screenshot but, yes, that is a squirrel that’s jumping at a Brockport Police officer (Photo: Brockport Police)

Brockport, N.Y. – The body camera of a Brockport Police officer managed to capture a situation involving a somewhat unusual suspect: A squirrel.

The police department posted the video on Facebook.

According to police, officers were dispatched to a home following a report of a squirrel that had entered a house and was eating cookies.

While the officers were able to safely catch the squirrel and bring it outside, unharmed, the body camera video shows the critter giving police – as the department put it in their social media post – a “warm welcome.”

source:
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Tips & Advice:

Are you prepared for a power outage?

Local News 8 Feb 23, 2018

Are you prepared for a power outage?

They happen unexpectedly and while temperatures are dropping, it can be dangerous.

Rocky Mountain Power said to avoid putting you and your family at risk of hypothermia during a power outage, follow these four steps.

1. Conserve the heat you already have in your home. Take towels or blankets and place them at the base of your door. This way you’re not letting a draft into your home.

2. Consolidate by closing doors in unused areas. The heat from your body can raise the temperature in your home by a couple degrees.

3. Keep moving. This will keep you warm and produce even more body heat.

4. Layer your clothing. Don’t forget hats, gloves and scarves will keep you warm.

If it’s a prolonged power outage, then you need to be concerned with how to keep your food safe.

“If you keep your doors closed on your refrigeration unit, it’ll self-contain up to 12 hours,” said Skylar Oswald, manager of Broulims in Ammon. “Anything above 41 degrees is no longer considered refrigerated and is no longer a food-safe item.”

excerpted from:
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Seasonal Humor:

WinterSkiTrip-a
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