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SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - The costs of fighting U.S. wildfires topped $2 billion in 2017, breaking records and underscoring the need to address a U.S. Forest Service budget that mostly goes to fires, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Thursday.

“Forest Service spending on fire suppression in recent years has gone from 15 percent of the budget to 55 percent – or maybe even more – which means we have to keep borrowing from funds that are intended for forest management,” Perdue said in a written statement.

The Forest Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, could be spending that money on logging, prescribed burns or insect treatments, measures designed to reduce the fuel load of forests primed to burn, he said.

Off Site Article: 

Winter was not kind to Boise in 2016-17. And, according to the 2018 edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac, we might be in for another harsh winter season in 2017-18.

Last winter, we had the sixth-coldest December recorded and the 11th-ranked January. Boise saw a total of 38.8 inches of snow in December, January and February — the 10th snowiest winter since record collecting began in the late 1800s.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac says that the Intermountain region of the United States, “will be colder than normal, especially in the south” and that there will be “above average snowfall.” December is predicted to average 28 degrees, down 5 from the normal temperature for the month. January and February are predicted to be warmer than average at 31 and 35 degrees, respectively.

Leslie Shumate's picture

9-6-17 LMS

There are 15 trees on city property that are currently affected by Tree Blight. Most of them are on Main Street and some are in Veteran’s Memorial Park.

Mayor Leo Marshall reported to the September 6 meeting of the Salmon City Council that three local tree services were contacted. The city has received one tree pruning bid. Horticulturist Shane Parmer’s bid was for $5,250.

City Clerk Mary Benton told the council that according to her research if the branches are trimmed in the wrong place it can kill the tree. She said that is why a tree specialist is needed.

Councilmen Ken Hill and Jim Baker thought the price was too high. Councilman Jim Bockelman said the council referred the problem to the city staff and this is the result of the staff’s work although he agreed the cost was high. Councilman Rob Jackson said the total comes out to $350 a tree. Councilman Neal James made a motion to accept the $5,250 bid and get the trees trimmed.

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While we are still engulfed in smoke... we have our first Winter Storm Watch. Snow in higher elevations, and Lost Trail Pass.

The STORMTracker Weather Team says much colder air, rain, and snow are on the way by week's end.

A potent storm system will swing into the Northern Rockies on Thursday and Friday, creating widespread rain and mountain snow.

Rawlins says this will be one of the strongest storm systems to affect the state in several months.

You should start to see changes in the sky as early as Wednesday.

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Leslie Shumate's picture

In a report to the September 11 meeting of the Lemhi County Commissioners Salmon Bureau of Land Management Field Manager Linda Price described conditions along Morgan Bar which have drawn BLM attention.

Price said some car bodies have been discovered in the water at a spot next to private land along the river bank near the Morgan Bar Recreation site. Some of the river bank at that point is being held in place by tires and Price said it is her intention that the car bodies and tires are going to be removed. Fears have been expressed that removing the debris will cause flooding on land that is currently protected by the obstructions. She said causing flooding is not her intention.

Price said she has been consulting with hydrologists and riparian experts as to what the results might be when the cars and tires are removed. She is awaiting a report from the hydrologist to see how high the berm will have to be to protect the orchard and house in that area. Aerial photography shows the majority of an alternate channel is on BLM land. She is expecting the work to be done during next year’s low water season.

Off Site Article: 
Leslie Shumate's picture

The Lemhi County Library District Board has informed the city it would like to begin official discussions concerning the purchase of the property beneath the old Salmon Public Library Building. The city owns the property on which the library was built and has a $1 per year lease agreement with the district.

A letter to the city dated August 2, 2017, states the Library District is in a position to purchase the ground without the need for any levies or additional tax burden on the people of Lemhi County.

The Salmon City Council immediately asked City Attorney Fred Snook to research the legalities of such a transaction.

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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.

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