Idaho Falls Citizen Journalism

Sports & Recreation

While the overall federal budget has plenty of cuts in agency after agency, the forest service plan has more drama, because the White House is seeking about $100 million in funding for capital improvement and maintenance, down from $363 million this year. That’s a 73 percent cut, and could have a huge impact on recreation, according to Rebecca Turner, senior director of programs and policy for American Forests, a nonprofit conservation organization. Turner said roads are used to access the trails leading to “majestic overlooks,” as well as lakes and rivers inside the forests. She said the budget cuts would also lead to camp sites and facilities not being maintained....
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The Aug. 21 solar eclipse is expected to impact eastern Idaho’s highway system more than any event in recent history. The Idaho Transportation Department is taking steps to mitigate danger and inconvenience, spokesman Bruce King said. “The more traffic you have on the state highway system the more potential there is for congestion, and the more congestion there is the more risk of accidents, therefore we want to minimize any impediments to safe travel,” he said. Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world are expected to visit eastern Idaho for eclipse weekend.
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A short fishing season for Chinook salmon starting later this month on the Upper Salmon River above Challis and ways to slow winter elk depredation on local ranchers’ haystacks dominated discussion between Custer County Commissioners and the Department of Fish and Game’s Salmon Region supervisor earlier this week.
 
Salmon
 
Although the run is not strong, local anglers will be able to catch some hatchery-raised Chinook salmon on a stretch of the Salmon River between Challis Bridge south of town and the Sawtooth Hatchery above Stanley, Tom Curet told Commissioners Wayne Butts, Steve Smith and Randy Corgatelli at their regular meeting Monday afternoon, June 12.
 
Hatchery-raised fish can be distinguished from their wild cousins because they have no fatty adipose fin in between the dorsal and tailfins as wild fish do.
 
Anglers will be able to catch up to four hatchery-raised Chinook salmon per day starting Thursday, June 22. The season will be open Thursdays through Sundays weekly and will close after objectives are met, which is expected to be 1,000 hatchery-raised adults and 1,000 hatchery-raised jacks between the Clearwater, Little Salmon and Salmon rivers.
 
Curet expects the local salmon season to last only until the first week of August.
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Record speeds on the Salmon River.

Turns out that Aniol Serrasolses, Tyler Bradt and Todd and Brendan Wells just barely squeaked by in setting the new 24-hour distance paddling record June 3-4 by clocking 287.5 miles on a high-water run linking the Middle Fork, Main and Lower Salmon rivers. Though their record is still pending approval from Guinness, just a few days prior on May 30, a group of rafters set the mark of 282 miles on the same stretch of river. Just two-and-a-half days earlier, Idaho rafters Jon Barker, Ian Faurot and Shane Moser floated the raging waters of the Salmon system 282 miles in a 24-hour time period, besting the previous record of 273.5 miles in 24 hours, set by Andy Corra of Durango, Colo., in 2010 during the Yukon River Quest. They did so by rowing an 18-foot cataraft and taking turns behind the oars...

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CHALLIS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - A Custer County search and rescue team is being credited with saving the life of a rafter. Carla Ponc, 30, of London, England was on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River when she broke her ankle in a fall. She was rock climbing near Big Bend Campground about 1 mile north of Boundary Creek. Using a texting system to a third party, the rafting team contacted Custer County Dispatch by phone at around 11 p.m. Monday.

Because weather made an air rescue difficult, the victim was floated downstream half a mile to a landing zone where should be picked up early Tuesday. But the weather did not clear until late Tuesday afternoon. The rafting party then floated down river another 15 miles to Indian Creek where Ponc could rest in an airstrip cabin. Custer County Search and Rescue organized a team to pick her up at Indian Creek with help from a Middle Fork Aviation fixed wing aircraft. When the team reached the victim, she was in poor condition. She was flown out of Indian Creek to Salmon and taken to Steele Memorial Medical Center by Salmon ambulance. She was listed in good condition at Steele Memorial Wednesday afternoon.

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The storm that brought snow in June to East Idaho is expected to exit the region Wednesday morning but the hazardous conditions it has created on the region’s waterways could continue for the remainder of the week. The National Weather Service urges people to keep small children and pets away from East Idaho’s rivers, streams and reservoirs because of the rising water levels and powerful currents caused by the storm that began hitting the region on Sunday night. From noon Monday until noon Tuesday, Island Park got nearly an inch of rain, while Rexburg, Salmon and Ashton received over an inch. Many other locations including the Pocatello area received over a half-inch of rain during that time frame.

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Hiking the Sawtooths. Camping near Stanley. Rafting the Salmon. With summer just around the corner, these are hot topics for Idahoans planning their next seasonal adventure. We've opened the next question round of our "news experiment" and we want to know what you want to know about summer in the Gem State. Maybe you have questions about backpacking in the Frank Church Wilderness. Or perhaps you're curious how the sand dunes formed. Backyard summer adventures count too! You could help inspire the next story coming out of the KBSX newsroom...

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The USDA report says the solid snowpack that still exists above 8,000 feet is in the central mountains and in most basins, the remaining high-elevation snowpack is more than twice normal. The report states residual streamflow forecasts call for average or greater June to July volumes across Idaho; some of the highest forecasts are 150 percent to 250 percent of average for streams with headwaters in Idaho's central mountains - being South Fork of the Payette, Boise, Middle Fork of the Salmon, Salmon, Big Wood, Little Wood and Big Lost. ...

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