Idaho Falls Citizen Journalism

Sports & Recreation

MISSOULA, Mont. - UPDATE: Evacuations ordered, pre-evacuation notices issued in Granite County. 

The Granite County Sheriff's Office confirms evacuations have been ordered for homes in the Brewster Creek area due to activity from a lightning-sparked 800-acre fire. Pre-evacuation notices are being given for the Lower Rock Creek area.

Granite County says all traffic for nonresidents on Rock Creek Road south of Clinton will be turned away.

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"Snowpocalypse 2017" may feel like a distant memory, but anglers and businesses that cater to them are still feeling the effects. 

The swollen rivers resulting from the melting snow made the migration from the Pacific Ocean to Idaho difficult for Chinook salmon. This year's salmon return is less than half of the 10-year average. 

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Editor’s note: Research, tenacious advocates and $16 billion have lifted Columbia salmon from the brink of extinction. But the Northwest has yet to figure out a sustainable long-term plan to save the fish that provide spiritual sustenance for tribes, food for the table, and hundreds of millions of dollars in business and ecological benefits. This is part of a special series of reports exploring whether salmon can ultimately survive.

Just one of the three pods of endangered southern resident killer whales has shown up this year in the Salish Sea near the San Juan Islands northwest of Seattle, their summer home as long as researchers have followed them since 1976.

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Salmon, ID – The Salmon-Challis National Forest has contracted for road maintenance work (Magnesium-Chloride application) to portions of the Salmon River Road. The portion of the Salmon River Road includes the section between the Spring Creek and Corn Creek. The crews are expected to move to the area on the 10th of July. Tentatively, the Salmon River Road will be treated between July 11th and 12th. Expect heavy truck traffic and equipment working the roads during these periods. Short delays are possible. Roads may be very wet and slippery during the application process so please use caution as you travel through the project area. Slow speeds will minimize the amount of mud that vehicles pick up. These investments in priority road maintenance activities would not be possible without utilizing collected fees from the public and Forest users. The schedule is tentative and weather dependent. For more detailed information as the dates approach please call the Public Lands Center in Salmon at 208-756-5100.

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An environmental group and the U.S. Forest Service have agreed to a deal to help fish in the Salmon River. In 2016, the Western Watersheds Project sued the Forest Service in U.S. District Court in Boise, saying cattle grazing was hurting salmon, steelhead, and bull trout in the upper East Fork of the Salmon River. The group claimed the Service was violating the Endangered Species Act because grazing on two allotments were hurting spawning habitat. The 100 square miles in question are in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and the new White Clouds Wilderness. The agreement, which resolves the lawsuit, says no domestic livestock can use the land this year and in 2018. The Forest Service will also reassess the future of grazing on the areas in question. Western Watersheds says this will allow the riverbank and vegetation to heal and help more fish survive.

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RIGGINS, ID - LOWER SALMON - The Idaho County Sheriff’s Office today received a report of a person finding a medical item belonging to a missing Boise man.  According to a press release, the item was located yesterday approximately five miles north of Riggins on the bank of the Salmon River. The family of 54-year-old John “Randy” French confirmed the item belongs to him.

"The Idaho County Sheriff’s Office is now focusing search efforts in the area between the Lake Creek Bridge (MP 6 Salmon River Rd.) and Fiddle Creek (Hwy 95 MP 200.5)," officials say.

Many family and friends of French have responded to the area to assist in the search and are hopeful he will be located soon.

French, who was driving a 2004 maroon Chevrolet Avalanche pickup, left Boise on June 29th to go fishing in the Riggins area and was due home on July 1st.  The last place he was known to have been seen was in the Salmon Rapids Lodge Parking lot on the 29th.

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RIGGINS — Idaho County Sheriff’s Office requests the public’s assistance in finding a Boise man who never returned from a fishing trip. John “Randy” French, 54, of Boise left June 29 for a fishing trip in the Riggins area. He was due home July 1 but never arrived, according to a news release. The release states the last place he was known to be was in the Salmon Rapids Lodge parking lot in Riggins on the night of June 29. French is driving a Maroon 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche pickup with Idaho license plate 9435D, a specialty salmon plate.
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The weather is predicted to be hot and dry throughout the holiday weekend in both the Salmon-Challis and Caribou-Targhee national forests. Fires can start quickly and will burn vegetation that appears green but is drying out, a Salmon-Challis National Forest news release said.

The Salmon-Challis National Forest news release reported that visitors should stay on designated routes and avoid closed trails and roads once they reach the forest.

Many areas in the national forests do not have cellphone service. Visitors should come in groups of at least two to three people, and tell someone where they are going, Pence said.

Motor Vehicle Use maps are available at local National Forest Ranger District offices. Maps for the Caribou-Targhee National Forest can be downloaded at, and maps for the Salmon-Challis National Forest can be downloaded at

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