Lemhi County Citizen Journalism

Sports & Recreation

Our national forests are at risk from beetles, wildfire — and the U.S. Congress. While forests have evolved with fire and insects, it’s not clear they’ll survive attacks from misguided politicians.

One thing about busy fire seasons is we all breathe the smoke. It’s unhealthy and miserable. But we shouldn’t let it blind us. And politicians shouldn’t use it as an excuse to sell snake oil.

We know that fire is a fact of life in Idaho. When it’s hot and dry, forests burn. It doesn’t mean we should walk away. But it also doesn’t mean we should undermine protections for clean water, wildlife and public involvement.

Off Site Article: 

Getting a fishing or hunting license is a rite of passage for thousands of Idaho boys and girls. While it seems like a small thing (a combined hunting and fishing license in Idaho costs $33.50 according to Fish and Game), those licenses, tags and permits are more than just a piece of paper. Not only do they provide the user with an entrée into Idaho’s unmatched natural beauty, they provide millions of dollars to the state to maintain that beauty for generations to come.

For instance: In 2015, for the first time in nearly 40 years, a chinook salmon fishing harvest season was opened on the Upper Salmon River, opening 184 miles of salmon fishing for Idaho’s anglers.

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Off Site Article: 

 

BOISE, Idaho — Tourists heading to central Idaho will be in the dark if local officials get their way. The first International Dark Sky Reserve in the United States would fill a chunk of the state’s sparsely populated region that contains night skies so pristine that interstellar dust clouds are visible in the Milky Way. “We know the night sky has inspired people for many thousands of years,” said John Barentine, program manager at the Tucson, Arizona-based International Dark-Sky Association. “When they are in a space where they can see it, it’s often a very profound experience.”

Supporters say excess artificial light causes sleeping problems for people and disrupts nocturnal wildlife and that a dark sky can solve those problems, boost home values and draw tourists. Opposition to dark sky measures elsewhere in the U.S. have come from the outdoor advertising industry and those against additional government regulations. Researchers say 80 percent of North Americans live in areas where light pollution blots out the night sky. Central Idaho contains one of the few places in the contiguous United States large enough and dark enough to attain reserve status, Barentine said. Only 11 such reserves exist in the world.

Off Site Article: 

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Spotted knapweed is one of the invasive weeds the consortium focuses on during weed control projects. 

In the Frank Church–River of No Return Wilderness, staff from the Nez Perce Bio-Control Center coordinated with the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests and private ranches along the Salmon River to host workshops about biological control. At these workshops, landowners were taught about the purpose and use of biological control, and given weevils to distribute back on their ranches in the Wild and Scenic Salmon River corridor and adjacent to the wilderness boundary. Landowners were taught best methods for deploying the insects and given an explanation of how and why the weevils are such an effective tool against invasive weeds.

 

Off Site Article: 

IDFG will do its best to keep hunters informed about what fires are affecting early season hunts. What follows is general information on a large-scale basis; see idfg.idaho.gov/fire for more detailed info.

There is major fire activity in Units 12, 17, 16A, 19 and 20, as well as in 8 and 18. People heading to the Clearwater area, especially the Lochsa/Selway areas, should check with the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests about fires and fire closures. Information is online at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/nezperceclearwater/home/?cid=fsm91_055753.

Off Site Article: 

“Hang on!” I yelled as I punched the hole in Allison Ranch Rapid at 28,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) in late June, knowing very well my boat was about to go over.

I’d boated thousands of river miles, from Canada to Colombia and across the Western United States. I’d been in boats that had flipped, but before now, I had never unintentionally flipped one of my own...

Off Site Article: 

Idaho's largest wildfire is burning entirely within a rugged central Idaho wilderness area and being allowed to play its natural role.

Officials on Wednesday say the 110-square-mile wildfire in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness is burning grass and brush in lower areas and ponderosa pine and Douglas fir at higher elevations.

Officials say they have plans in place to protect bridges, a ranch, a guard station and other high-value sites that could be threatened.

The backcountry Chamberlain Airstrip remains closed due to the lightning-caused fire.

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