Thursday, March 31, 2011

Orofino LoggerXross coming May 14

The exciting Orofino LoggerXross event is scheduled for Saturday, May 14 at Orofino City Park.

Due to trademark issues with the term Endurocross, the group that is organizing this year’s event elected to call it the Orofino LoggerXcross. “We felt like honoring our community and workers, since our mission is to put on a community oriented race; a race that is for the community,” said organizer Jim Willis.

The Orofino LoggerXcross will carry on the tradition of motorbike racing in the Orofino City Park’s fairground arena. Track designers for this year’s event are very excited as they work to create a layout that will provide an incredible show for spectators while giving riders a thrilling set of obstacles and challenges.

Professional rider confirmations have already come in. Everything is in motion for the creation of another spectacular event. “We have had an uproar of support from the community, and are very excited for this event. We have great hopes to put on this race, and have so many people working hard for it. We are ready to make it happen!” said organizer Kim Bonnalie.

Organizers meet every Thursday at at Camas Financial Services, located at 230 Johnson Avenue in Orofino. Anyone who can help in any way is invited to attend.

This year six VIP seats will be donated to the Orofino Chamber of Commerce auction, which takes place May 6.

Rider sign-ups begin at on race day. The entry fees are as follows: $20 for 50cc/65cc, $30 for amateur classes, and $50 for pro classes.

The cost of admission for adults is $10. Kids ages six to 12 pay $5, and ages five and under are admitted free of charge.

This year the race is offering sponsorships with five levels ranging from $100 to $1,000. Orofino’s DEBCO Construction is the title sponsor. A limited number of spots are available. One hundred percent of sponsorship money goes to the riders.

A limited number of vendor spots will be available. These are for non-profit groups.

To reserve a sponsorship spot, call Misti Tolman at (208) 553-2740. Rider inquiries can be directed to Jim Engle at (208) 816-6253. For vendor opportunities, call Dana Losey at (208) 553-3335. For advertisement questions, volunteer opportunities, or general inquires, call Kim Bonnalie at (208) 819-5475.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Orofino Junior High building hits the market

The Orofino Junior High School building closed last spring after celebrating its 100th anniversary and countless hours of controversy concerning the closing of the school went on the market for sale this week with bids being due April 25 at the Clearwater Realty.

The school district is also putting up for bids property on Ahsahka Road known as the ‘old forest service building.’

Bid documents and detailed specifications are available from Clearwater Realty at 233 Johnson Ave., in Orofino between the hours of and Monday through Friday until April 22.

Bids must be submitted on or before April 25 at the realty or the school district office. Bids after that time will not be considered. At the stated time and place bids will be publicly opened and read aloud.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Passover dinner to be held in Orofino

A Passover (Seder) dinner will be held on Sunday, April 10 at at First Baptist Church in Orofino.  All are welcome to attend, both the Christian and Jewish communities, however, the church can accommodate only 100 people.  If you haven’t been to such an event you won’t want to miss this opportunity to do so.

The Seder is like a family dinner where the family gathers around the table to worship God and follows a prescribed order of service to celebrate the miraculous events of the first Passover.  Thus, the Seder plate will be presented to help tell the story of Passover, the most important Biblical holiday for Christians.  There are several interesting items on this plate, all which have ceremonial significance.

Passover is both a holiday of remembrance and a holiday of prophecy, as in all Biblical holidays. For the Jewish people it is the annual celebration of God delivering Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 12).   For the Christian it clearly pictures the redemption Jesus provided for our sin.

The last meal Jesus ate with His disciples in the Upper Room was a Passover meal, and First Baptist Church is providing this beautiful opportunity to recreate this same historical, New Testament setting related in 1 Corinthians 5:7.

This special event is called “Messiah in the Passover,” and conducted by Carole Bahm from Chosen People Ministries, a worldwide ministry that presents a powerful visual message designed to give participants a deeper understanding both of Passover, and of the Communion Table.

Being proficient in French, Ms. Bahm has ministered in Quebec, Paris, and in Toronto, and in her earlier years, received a missionary appointment to Belgium with United World Missions. She now serves in Florida where 90% of the residents are Jewish.

To RSVP and to purchase tickets, please call pastor Hale Anderson at 476-5412.  The last day to reserve your seat is Wednesday, April 6.

Tickets for the meal cost $5/single, $7.50/couple, and $10 per family.  The church is located at 291 118th Street, Orofino. A love offering will be taken for Chosen Peoples Ministries.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pierce-Weippe Chamber Profile: Whiskey Creek Artisans

Roger and Amy Smith began spending time in Clearwater County after passing through on their honeymoon in 2001. They absolutely loved everything the county had to offer and hoped to eventually move to the area. In 2004 they purchased property in the Grangemont area and had a “ten-year” plan. The ten-year plan changed to a three year plan as they were more than ready to leave the big city of Boise behind.

Whiskey Creek Artisans was started out of their home in 2008 and then expanded and moved to the current location in the Burns building, 217 College Ave., in downtown Orofino (above Augie’s Deli).

Roger has been in the wholesale jewelry trade business for over 35 years, starting as an apprentice out of high school, learning all aspects of the jewelry business from the ground up. Roger was also interested in the process of creating custom jewelry so he taught himself the “lost wax” casting process from reading books and lots of trial and error.

Roger now enjoys sharing his experiences and knowledge with others and hopes to be able to expand the business enough to offer an apprenticeship.

Amy is an independent contractor for a health insurance provider out of Boise, but helps out when and where she can. She creates gourd art and other items for the gift shop. Amy is always on the search for affordable jewelry and gift options to offer to customers.

Roger and Amy both value the one-on-one interaction they have with their jewelry and gift shop customers. They also appreciate being involved in the community and hope to become more involved as time goes on.

When Roger and Amy are not at the jewelry shop they are most often enjoying the outdoors. In their free time they love hunting, fishing, hiking and camping throughout Clearwater County - accompanied by their black lab, Zip.

You can contact Whiskey Creek Artisans by calling 208-476-5026, emailing, or stop by their shop and say hello.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

ExxonMobil submits plan to move equipment on U.S. 95, I-90

BOISE - Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil is proposing to transport 60 oversized loads on U.S. 95 and Interstate 90, the Idaho Transportation Department announced.

Mammoet, the contract hauler for ExxonMobil, submitted a travel plan to the transportation department. Engineers from the department have just started analyzing the plan. The department does not have an estimate of when it will complete the analysis. The travel plan must be approved by the department before an over-legal permit could be issued to allow the loads to be transported.

The largest shipment proposed is 24 feet wide, 15-feet-10-inches-tall and 207 feet in length, including the transport truck and trailer. The heaviest load proposed weighs 165,347 pounds, not including the transport truck and trailer.

Each shipment would move between and , and take three nights. Traffic delays would be limited to 15 minutes. The proposed schedule is:

First night - Port of Lewiston to approximately the Latah/Benewah county line.

Second night - Latah/Benewah county line to three miles east of Coeur d'Alene, stopping at milepost 18.3 in a pullout on the side of I-90.

Third night - Milepost 18.3 to the Idaho/Montana state line.

Motorists using U.S. 95 would be guided around the shipments by a pilot car or wait at designated pullouts. Vehicles on I-90 will be guided around the loads by pilot car. Two Idaho State Police vehicles would accompany the oversized loads for traffic management and emergency services coordination.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

U.S. Senator Risch taps local gourmet food business for holiday luncheon needs

A little bit of Clearwater County has made it to Washington D.C. for two years in a row, to help sweeten the holiday palates of U.S. Senators in Congress.

For the second year in a row, "Tastes of Idaho", located at 143 Johnson Avenue, in downtown Orofino, was a supplier to U.S. Senator James E. Risch (R) - Idaho, for Christmas-time political entertaining.

Forty (40) "Gold Mountain" brand huckleberry pancake mixes were ordered in 2009, and 40 Idaho-shaped baskets in 2010, according to Sandy Dell, owner of Tastes of Idaho.

Both were used and "very much appreciated" as part of holiday gift luncheons for fellow senators and dignitaries, according to Christin Parras with Senator Risch's office in Washington DC.

"We really appreciate Senator Risch's efforts to include rural Idaho small businesses for his holiday gift giving," Dell said.

For more information, contact Dell at (888) 231-1699, or stop by the store to see a close-up photo of Senator Risch holding the Idaho basket with genuine Idaho spuds neatly layered inside.

U.S. Senator James E Risch (R-Idaho), holds up an Idaho-shaped basket purchased from Tastes of Idaho in Orofino, for his 2010 holiday entertaining in Congress. The baskets were layered with genuine Idaho 'bakers', which are highly treasured in the eastern U.S.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Elk poacher pleads guilty to felony charge

By Evin Oneale, IDFG

Nearly one and one-half years after poaching two bull elk near Idaho City, a former Meridian man will pay thousands of dollars in fines and restitution to the residents of Idaho.

In October 2009, and accompanied by his seven-year-old son, Gary A. Parrott, 37, poached the two trophy six-point bulls outside of Idaho City before the elk hunting season. While he took the time to remove and transport the antlers from both animals to his vehicle, Parrott made only a feeble effort to care for the elk meat. By the time he returned more than 24 hours later, both animals had spoiled and were abandoned.

Eyewitness accounts, a website and other scraps of information helped Fish and Game conservation officer Rob Brazie piece the poaching case together. When two of the eyewitnesses picked Parrott out of a photo lineup, Brazie obtained a search warrant, which was executed on Parrott's Meridian home in June, 2010. There Brazie and other officers found photos of both elk taken in the field, the antlers from both animals, and a small amount of elk meat. DNA testing positively linked the antlers and meat with samples from both carcasses collected months earlier.

Faced with this evidence, Parrott confessed to the poaching, and was charged with the unlawful possession of two bull elk, hunting elk without the proper tag and littering. One of the elk racks met the legal definition of a trophy animal, upgrading the unlawful possession charge to a felony.
  Shortly after the search warrant was served, Parrott relocated to Great Falls, Montana. He soon found himself in the county jail on the felony charge and was extradited to Idaho where he negotiated a plea agreement with Boise County prosecutors. Under the agreement, Parrott entered a guilty plea on the felony charge, with the other charges dismissed.

On March 10, Fourth Judicial District Judge Patrick Owens sentenced Parrott to:
·   A $5,000 fine ($2,500 suspended).
·   A $2,750 civil penalty.
·   Five years of supervised probation.
·   A 10-year hunting and fishing privilege suspension.

"This is one of the worst poaching cases I've investigated in my 20 years as a conservation officer," Brazie noted after the sentencing. "Stealing from all of us by poaching two trophy bull elk is bad enough, but to do so in the presence of his young son, that's unconscionable."

Anyone with information about any suspected poaching incident are encouraged to contact Citizens against Poaching at 1-800-632-5999, 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward. In addition to the CAP hotline, people may also contact their local Fish and Game office with information. In the local area, contact the Nampa Fish and Game office at 465-8465.

Evin Oneale is the conservation educator in the Southwest Region.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Interior announces proposed settlement of gray wolf lawsuit

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reached an agreement with the majority of plaintiffs, including Defenders of Wildlife, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and eight other conservation organizations, to settle ongoing litigation over a Federal District Court’s 2010 decision to reinstate Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains

If approved by the court, the settlement offers a path for the Service to return management of the recovered wolf populations in Idaho and Montana to the States while the Service considers options for delisting gray wolves across the Rocky Mountain region, where population levels have returned to biologically recovered levels.

Under the terms of the settlement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has agreed to address the delisting of wolves in the region in the future as a distinct population segment, rather than on a state-by-state basis.  The parties are requesting that the court allow the 2009 delisting to be reinstated in Montana and Idaho on an interim basis, in accordance with approved state management plans, until a full delisting can be completed for the northern Rocky Mountain wolf population.  The parties are agreeing that they allow these steps to move forward, up to and including a potential delisting of Rocky Mountain wolves, without resorting to further litigation. 

Separate negotiations are ongoing between the Service and the State of Wyoming in an effort to reach agreement on a management plan for wolves in that state.  If a mutually acceptable management plan for wolves in Wyoming can be developed, then the Service will be able to proceed with delisting proceedings addressing wolves throughout the northern Rocky Mountains.

The delisting provided for under this agreement does not extend to the small wolf populations in eastern Oregon and Washington, or to Utah, where there are not believed to be any resident wolves. FWS intends to address the longer term status of wolves in Oregon, Washington, and Utah when it issues a new rule addressing status of wolves across the Northern Rocky Mountain region.  FWS will work with state officials in Oregon, Washington and Utah in the meantime to address any wolf management issues and retains the option to consider reclassifying wolves from "endangered" to "threatened" in those states in order to provide more management flexibility.

The Service and the plaintiffs have agreed to take other actions that will clarify implementation of the ESA and ensure that a recovered wolf population continues to be sustainably managed under approved state management plans.

Additional background information on the settlement is available at or

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Local police to conduct training exercise at OHS

Orofino Police Department on Friday, April 15, in conjunction with various other law enforcement, medical, fire, state agencies, and the school district will conduct an exercise at Orofino High School at

The purpose of the exercise is to take a proactive approach to prepare for an active shooter situation within the school system or any other facility. This exercise will also give each agency an opportunity to work together and learn each others’ capabilities.

Clearwater Valley Hospital and St. Joseph Regional Medical Center will also participate, in order to better prepare for large amounts of casualties. Patients being transported to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center will be transported by LifeFlight and Back Country Medic helicopters. Role players will be employed to act as the injured and will be transported to these hospitals.

The high school area will be closed to public access during the period of this exercise. Residents surrounding the high school will be permitted to go to and from their homes. Gunfire may be heard coming from inside and outside of the school.

Written notice of the event will be distributed to the surrounding residents of the school as a reminder a week prior to the exercise. Parents interested in observing the exercise are asked to express their interest by sending an e-mail to the address below. Safety officers will be employed in and around the school for those involved in the exercise, and for the surrounding residents.

Questions regarding the exercise may be directed to Cpl. Eric Dodge at the Orofino Police Department at 208-476-5551 or by e-mail to

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bugling Bull Game Calls dominates at World Championships

Pictured at the World Elk Calling Championship (l to r) are: back row, Ron Dube, MC for the contest, Dirk Durham, Corey Jacobsen, Misty Jacobsen and Fred McClanahan Jr., contest coordinator; front row, Greg Hubbell, Jr., Colton Crawford, and Michael Hatten (natural voice division winner).

Bugling Bull Game Calls winning tradition was kept alive during the 2011 Leopold/RMEF World Elk Calling Championships held March 4 and 5 in Reno, NV, where they swept 1st place honors in all five divisions.

Professional Division – Corey Jacobsen, of Boise won the Professional Division. The OHS graduate is a 7-time World Champion and shares his elk hunting expertise at seminars throughout the northwest, as well as through his website, Ty Cary, Bugling Bull Team Member from Eugene, OR placed 5th in the pro division.

Men’s Open Division – Dirk Durham, of Moscow took top honors in the Men's Open Division. Dirk is also an OHS graduate and currently works for Nightforce Optics in Orofino. This was Dirk's 3rd win in the Men's Open Division.

Women’s Division - Misty Jacobsen, of Sandpoint won her 10th Elk Calling title, this time in the Women's Division. Another graduate of Orofino High School, Misty has competed 16 out of the last 18 years, entering in the youth division and then the women’s division. The bugling paid off in the fall of 2010 as Misty harvested a 7x7 elk.

Youth Division – 16 year old Greg Hubbell, Jr. of Belmont, CA placed 1st in the Youth Division. Greg has been entering calling contest for many years and has taken top honors in elk, turkey, goose and many other calling contests. Austin Durham, the 13-year old son of Dirk Durham, also placed 3rd in the youth division.

Pee Wee Division – Colton Crawford of McMinnville, OR won the Pee Wee Division of the Championships. Colton not only wins on stage but also in the woods, calling in a nice bull for his Dad last hunting season using Bugling Bull Game Calls.

Bugling Bull Game Call LLC is owned by Rockie and Rena Jacobsen of Kamiah, formerly of Orofino. Pictures of all the winners can be found on their web site

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fish & Game lifts kokanee limits below Dworshak Reservoir

With many dead and dying kokanee that have been flushed through Dworshak Dam, the bag and possession limits will be removed for kokanee in the North Fork Clearwater River and Clearwater River downstream of the North Fork in Clearwater County, effective March 12 through May 15. 

While anglers can take home as many kokanee as they can carry, the fish may only be taken by rod and reel, dip net or by hand. A valid Idaho fishing license is required. It is the Department’s intent to allow the public to harvest these fish using techniques that will not impact ongoing fisheries. 

Kokanee, which are a popular target of anglers fishing at Dworshak Reservoir, tend to congregate near the dam during winter months. When mountain snowpacks are abundant and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dumps water to make room from spring runoff, the fish are susceptible to being washed downstream. At this point, the number of kokanee being flushed is not expected to have a large influence on next year’s fishery.   

For more information regarding the lifting of the kokanee bag and possession limits, contact Fish and Game’s Lewiston office (208) 799-5010.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Salmon released into Lapwai, Clear Creeks

A half million coho pre-smolt salmon (about 14 months old) were released March 10 in Lapwai Creek and March 11 into Clear Creek near Kooskia.

These coho were extirpated from the Clearwater drainage for many years, but a cooperative effort between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Nez Perce Tribe has rebuilt the population to fishable levels.

 “The thing that is unique about the fish being released…is that they are the first ones to come from eggs taken from fish that returned to these creeks,” said Joan Jewett of FWS.

In the past, the project used Willamette Basin eggs to raise fish, then released them into the Clearwater drainage. Though the adults would return there, December of 2009 is the first time enough of those fish returned that eggs could be taken from them. These eggs were incubated and the fish raised at Eagle Creek hatchery near Estacada, OR, making them the first descendants of Clearwater coho to be released there.

These coho pre-smolts will support both tribal and sport fisheries in the tributaries on the Clearwater River. Chinook salmon will continue to use the mainstem Clearwater.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Adequate water supply forecast even with February’s variable precipitation

Boise, ID, March 4, 2011Idaho’s mountain snowpack will still provide an adequate water supply this season despite weather patterns that pushed winter precipitation to other parts of the country according to hydrologists with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

NRCS measures the mountain snowpack monthly January through June to provide snow runoff predictions and water supply forecasts used in managing Idaho’s water resources. February’s snow survey shows the mountain snowpack ranges from 80% to 125% of average.

Idaho’s central mountains have the lowest snowpack and the Bear River Basin in southeastern Idaho has the highest in the state. The Bear River snowpack is the highest since 1997.

“Above average snowpacks gained from early winter precipitation carried central Idaho through the mid-January to mid-February dry spell,” said Ron Abramovich, NRCS Water Supply Specialist. “More precipitation is needed in this area to boost water supplies.”

According to the water supply report just released for March, overall Idaho’s water supplies should be adequate for most users, but could be tight in the Big Lost, Little Lost and Oakley basins. Spring precipitation would help ensure an adequate water supply for the state.

“Reservoir storage is in good shape with many reservoirs reporting average or better amounts for the end of February,” said Abramovich. “The ones we’re watching are Owyhee, Salmon Falls, and Oakley reservoirs and Bear Lake which are 60-85% of average.”

“The most important streamflow forecast for many of Idaho’s Snake River Plain water users is the Snake River near Heise which is east of Idaho Falls. The forecast for this point is 110% of average streamflow from April through July” Abramovich said.

For the full report on February’s snowpack, precipitation, runoff and water supply predictions for specific basins, please view the March 2011 Water Supply Outlook Report online at and click on the ‘Water Supply’ link.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Deyo Reservoir update: 82+ acres ready

Joe Dupont, Fisheries Manager for the Clearwater Region of Fish and Game gave a presentation on the Deyo Reservoir at the March 7 Pierce-Weippe Chamber meeting at the Weippe Discovery Center. The reservoir is to be located four miles out of Weippe on the former Schmidt Mill site. The land, 82+ acres, was donated by the Deyo family. An additional eight acres has been donated by the Howard Bird family.

Dupont says when the reservoir is completed it will be stocked with 30,000 fish; warm water fish such as bass and bluegill along with cold water trout. There will be year round access. Motorboats will be permitted (no wake). The reservoir will encompass 55 acres and be 33 feet deep at the highest point. There will be wetlands, waterfowl, 60 foot docks along with parking, toilet facilities and fresh water. The dam may be completed this winter with fishing in three years – depending on weather and how long it takes to fill.

Items to be completed before construction starts include obtaining a 404 permit – Corps of Engineers dredge and fill permit, finalizing grants for funding to develop fishing water and finalizing the contract with the low bidder.

Plan is to break ground when weather permits (late June to early July). When completed the project will have an estimated cost of 1.45 million.

The Friends of Deyo Reservoir, a volunteer group in Weippe led by Marge Kuchynka, have worked on this project for many years, obtaining grants, contacting groups, pushing forward at every hurdle, determined to see this through to completion.

How can people help? A volunteer workforce for general clean up is one way. These donated hours can be used as in-kind for grant applications. Kuchynka named several projects that might be done by volunteer labor and asked that anyone interested in assisting with this call her at 435-4362.