Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fraser meets to solve elk problem

By Norma Brand

A meeting was held at the Fraser Community Center on Saturday, March 24 to find a solution to the elk problem rather than hunting them. Jeff Huber organized the meeting and Randy Hollibaugh assisted him during the discussion. A large group of Fraser and hilltop residents attended and participated in the meeting.

Two officers from the Department of Idaho Fish and Game were on hand to help with the discussion. The focus of the meeting was to put an end to the killing of pregnant elk cows.

The elk herd in the Fraser area has been a problem for the farmers. They gravitate to the wheat fields for food and cause damage to the crops. This meeting was focused on finding another solution to the problem rather than issuing tags for a “Depredation Hunt.” The tags for a hunt are issued by the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game. Just because a hunt is set up, the Dept. of Fish and Game only issues a few tags at a time to see what effect that has on the damage that is done.

The elk herds have moved out of the canyons and onto the open fields for food and to keep away from the predators, to put it precisely, the wolves that have been reintroduced to the area.

The elk population in Idaho has continued to decline and this group is looking for ways to rebuild the herds and help the farmers as well.

One of the solutions was to form a group of volunteers to haze the elk when they become a problem. By keeping the herd on the move they won’t congregate in one area and cause so much damage.

It’s always a thrill to see a herd of elk, and we as a community need to make every effort to protect them as well as help out the farmers. We all live together, so let’s work toward a solution that benefits everyone

If you would like more information on this you can contact Jeff Huber at 208-435-4177.

Friday, March 23, 2012

To all students and parents of Orofino High School

By Bob Alverson, Orofino High School Principal

As we approach spring break and warmer weather, I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of our school dress code.

1. For health and safety reason, shoes must be worn at all times at school.

2. Hats/head coverings, including bandanas are not allowed at school.

3. Strapless tops, bare midriffs, spaghetti straps thinner than three fingers wide, short skirts/shorts shorter that mid thigh are not allowed at school.

4. No undergarments are to be seen.

5. Pajamas or pajama pants are not to be worn at school.

6. Garments with offensive language or suggestions, and garments that advertise the use of controlled substances, including alcohol and tobacco will not be allowed.

7. Jewelry that is extreme will not be worn (spiked or sharp or long chains). Students who wear objectionable clothing will be asked to change into something presentable or will be sent home for a change of clothing.

Also, we are seeing an increase in PDA, (public displays of affection). This includes kissing or hugging longer than three seconds and will result in the students being written up with a subsequent detention and is considered a minor offence. This is not allowed on school grounds or in the school building.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Gentle Event celebrates a grand opening

By Alannah Allbrett

Gentle Event is a new store opening in downtown Orofino. The store is a collection of dealers displaying their unique wares in an indoor mall setting. Each vendor has a customized booth or wall space to display items ranging from fine art to antiques, crafts, toys, and photography. One may also find unusual items such as hand-sewn fabric bowls, stone candle holders, jalapeño jam, custom walking sticks, birdhouses, and glass insulators, to name a few.

Gentle Event is located at 249 Johnson Avenue (at the corner of First Street). It opens for business March 21, and an open house celebration is scheduled for Saturday, March 24. [NOTE: The date listed in the printed Clearwater Tribune was incorrect.]

Owner, Jeannie Hodges laughingly said, “The hours for the open house are from 9 a.m. that morning to whenever.” A barbeque lunch is scheduled from 11 p.m. to 3 p.m. Free hot dogs, soda, cake, and coffee will be served. Pansies will be given to visitors as well. Jeannie said, “It’s just a chance for everyone to see what is in the store.”

Jeannie, former owner of Simply Amazing, has a background in art and photography. After suffering a debilitating automobile accident almost two years ago, that left her without the use of her right arm, Jeannie wanted to get involved again in a business that would serve the community.

Jeannie wanted to provide a place for people to sell items which they create. Some of her own artwork, posters, and cards from her former store are once again available.

The name Gentle Event, Jeannie says, was derived from a scientific term – when two opposing forces come together, creating a reconciling principle, or gentle event. She said it kind of sounds like her life, after experiencing the loss of her husband Jim Hodges in 2008, and her accident, Jeannie wanted to give something back to the community after all the help she’s received. This store represents a new start, not only for her, but a place where community art can flourish.

Many friends helped Jeannie get the building refurbished. Rene Matney, Jim Bentle, Joseph Watkins and others, pitched in to help paint and replace flooring. Flooring came from Hills Flooring in Orofino.

Come on out and see the beautiful new store. Regular store hours will be Wednesday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. And on Saturdays, the store is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Vendor rental space is priced reasonably from $10 to $35 per month, with no commissions from sales taken by the owner. Sellers are able to set their own prices and manage their own merchandise. For information call Jeannie Hodges at 476-5700.

Friday, March 16, 2012

SSgt. Taylor appreciates response to letter

Dear Editor:
  Recently I submitted a letter to the editor titled Hope Defines Us: So Persist.  It is not often in life that we really feel that we have made an impact, but I am thankful for your outpouring of support in response to this message. America is not a cliché, it is real because of people like you.
  I want to publicly thank the following people for their kind words: Moscow resident Randy Hayes for your amazing support, the students of Twin Falls High School, the President of the University of Idaho, the Latah County Sheriff’s Office, the Moscow Police Department, the Long Beach California Police Department, and the Los Angeles California Police Department. Additionally, I want to thank all those who continue to share the message that America still exists as long as there is hope in you. In the coming months I will be heading home and I have one more message for you.
  It is clear that many of you come from struggling families and are in struggling communities.  Regardless of that adversity we must always remember that we are what we repeatedly do and I need you to think about that.
  It doesn’t matter if you are from a poor or rich family, wear nice or dirty clothes, and live in a bad or good neighborhood. All that matters is that you believe inside of you that you were meant for something more, that you are worth something more, and if you have to be the only one believing that then so be it. Be a ruggedly determined doer to heck with what everyone else thinks.
  I am passionate about this because I was that kid who was bounced around in high school. I came out of an abusive home and lived with people who had a troubled past. I was lucky enough to work at the local Benedicts Athletic Center just to pay rent at the friend’s homes I was staying at. I almost gave up, I almost gave in. I knew though that I may have to work harder and longer, but I could be successful.
  For me, that determination was founded in proving someone wrong. Many of you likewise are trying to prove a seemingly apathetic world wrong so I will share more of my story. When I was younger my efforts to get an education were challenged frequently and on one occasion because of my social status I was told “You are trash, you will always be trash, and the sooner you realize that the better off you will be.”
  As you can imagine that impacted me a lot, and I could have accepted it and gave up and gave in, but I made a decision because it was mine alone to make. I decided right then and there that I would prove that statement wrong. I would believe I was worth more even if it meant being the first to achieve what had never been done before in my family’s history, be a college graduate. I believed there was Hope in America and my life proves that to be true, as I began in the arms of a 15 year old mother and have achieved so much despite the opposition. You can do the same regardless of where you are at in life. You don’t need a politician to tell you what you already know to be true inside you, that you are capable.
  I believe in you, so while you look around and wonder where you fit in everyone else’s popularity totem pole also look inside and make a decision to put yourself at the top of your totem pole. Choose to be more by doing more. Choose to put education and learning first in whatever sphere you are engaged in and have faith that every little step towards that impossible goal will become a triumph at the end of your journey.
  Be a Thomas Edison, break a thousand light bulbs until you make one that works because in that day the triumph of the journey will be the prize not the end point. America is not the land that gives you something for nothing. America is the place that if you want it you can go get it with hard work and nothing can stop you. There is still hope in America if you have hope in you.
SSgt David S. Taylor, Helmand Province, Afghanistan

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Forest reps meet with commissioners

By Alannah Allbrett

The U.S. Forest Service travel plan proposal, to close over 200 miles of trails for motorized vehicles, is being challenged by Clearwater County Commissioners who filed an appeal with the forest service Feb. 22. County Commissioner Stan Leach said an appeal is designed to stop an action, and it’s the first time since he became a commissioner in 2003, that they have had the need to do that. “Typically, we want them to do more than they are doing, not less,” said Leach.

Explaining how the forest service process works, Leach said “When a travel plan is enacted, that’s the direction the forest is going to take for the life of the plan. You can challenge their decision or identify a certain portion of it as flawed. There may be certain things they didn’t envision when the 1987 plan was adopted,” said Leach, and that’s why the county is filing an appeal.

In an attempt to hear the issues and see if some things can be solved easily, Forest Service Supervisor Rick Brazell met last week with Clearwater County’s three commissioners, the county’s Prosecuting Attorney, E. Clayne Tyler, Sheriff Chris Goetz, and Alan Deyo (who has filed a separate appeal as a private citizen). Representatives from Idaho County were included in the meeting via a telephone conference call. Idaho County has filed a joint appeal to protect their interests in the trail system.

Both counties are heavily dependent upon recreational and tourism dollars, which include the use of motorcycles on the many backcountry trails. Leach pointed out that motorcycle riders are chiefly the ones maintaining those trails in useable condition. “If those trails are closed,” said Leach, “all that goes away.” Ironically, if a trail falls into disuse and is no longer maintained, then it eventually gets pulled off of forest service maps – from lack of use. It’s a “Catch 22” situation.

When asked how the county can survive with these kinds of land use restrictions, Leach said, “We’ll always survive, but each tool helps our economy. By doing this, they are taking away one more tool when we are trying to get our economy going. Things like this just restrict us and make it a lot harder to do our jobs. We would love nothing more than to be able to pay our own way.”

Leach characterized the meeting as a respectful one and noted that “Brazell does not have a lot of wiggle room. He has to listen to all 20 appeals (from both sides of the issue) and then send his findings along to Region I headquarters in Missoula, MT. I have a lot of respect for him; there is not a whole lot he is going to be able to do. They will notify us of their decision. We are in a kind of ‘wait and see mode’ right now,” said Leach.

If trails are closed, the only course remaining for Clearwater County is to consider filing a legal suit.

Five Idaho counties propose a land trust to keep afloat

By Alannah Allbrett

Like every other business, counties need money to operate. County budgets must provide necessary services such as law enforcement, road maintenance, and waste disposal. Traditionally, lands in each county were subject to a property tax to provide for those needs. The State of Idaho, which does not collect a property tax, utilizes a system of “Endowment Lands” as they are called in Idaho. These lands are managed to produce revenue. Those revenues have played a consistent role in the funding of public schools in Idaho.

In the past, counties received operating money from the Secure Rural Schools Act (SRS), (originally the Craig-Wyden Bill). Idaho received 31 million dollars of SRS money – last year’s total statewide. Clearwater County’s share of those funds was roughly equal to one half of our Road and Bridge budget.

That act expired, however, and when it was reauthorized four years ago, it had a time limit on it. It was geared to ramp-down with decreasing payments to the counties – weaning them from dependence upon federal money. Clearwater County Commissioner, Stan Leach said the final check to the county is expected any day now.
Leach, said the original intent of the bill was for the counties to diversify their economies and get the forest service timber sales to support the tax base. But with federal controls on timber, the main source of revenue dried up in Clearwater County. “The timber side of it never happened” said Leach. “When the bill expired four years ago, we, of course, asked for it to be reauthorized.”

Leach said that having federal lands within the county is both a blessing and a curse. “People can enjoy the outdoors, but there is also no way to raise revenue to pay for services as federal ground is not subject to property tax.”

Currently, Clearwater County is preparing a Road and Bridge budget based upon half the money they had available last year. “We absolutely have to figure out some way to generate revenue for these services,” he said. “You can’t raise enough in property taxes to fund county functions on public land.”

There are almost 2.5 million surface acres and approximately 3 million mineral acres of endowment land in Idaho. As a pilot program, commissioners from five northern counties are asking Congress to set aside 200,000 forested acres as a trust to benefit rural counties. Fifty-three percent of Clearwater County land is owned by the federal government, 14 percent by the state, and another one percent is owned by the Nez Perce Tribe.

Representing Clearwater County, Stan Leach joined with John Cantamessa (Shoshone County), Dan Dinning (Boundary County), Skip Brandt (Idaho County), and Gordon Cruickshank (Valley County) in the five Idaho counties most affected by SRS payments drying up, in formulating what they call the Community Forest Trust Proposal. The proposal, an alternative to the federal transfer payments, is a partnership with the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) to “better utilize some federal lands to meet the needs of local communities and county governments,” said Leach.

Leach said several years ago the state was looking into taking over ownership of some of the federal ground, but the public was not in favor of giving up federal lands to the states. “What we are proposing is they don’t have to give up the ground – it would still be under federal ownership, but it would be managed like the IDL ground to benefit the county’s Highway District, the County Road and Bridge, and the local school district.”

“The way we are proposing it, IDL would be the on-the-ground managers; that is what they are doing with the endowment grounds now. They have the people, the knowledge, and the tools to do this. The five of us have been working on this for several months,” said Leach.

Leach said, “We have received support from the Idaho Association of Counties, the National Association of Counties, and we have Senate Joint Memorial 103 currently before the Idaho Legislature which supports this proposal. SJM103 has already passed the senate. Last Wednesday, after receiving supporting testimony from commissioners Leach and Dinning, the House Natural Resources Committee unanimously voted to advance SJM103 to the house floor with a ‘do pass’ recommendation. We feel this may be the best way for us to help the federal government meet its obligations to Idaho’s counties, highway districts, and schools,” said Leach.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Northern Rocky Mountain wolf population report released

The 2011 Interagency Annual Report for the Northern Rocky Mountain Distinct Population Segment (NRM DPS), compiled by cooperating federal, state and tribal agencies, estimates that the NRM population increased to 1,774 wolves and 109 breeding pairs. The NRM area includes all of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, the eastern one-third of Washington and Oregon and a small portion of north central Utah

“These population estimates indicate the credible and professional job Montana and Idaho have done in the first year after they have assumed full management responsibilities, as well as successful cooperative efforts to manage wolves in the remaining portions of the range,” said Steve Guertin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Regional Director of the Mountain-Prairie Region.  “We believe the management plans developed and implemented by the states will maintain a healthy wolf population at or above our recovery goals.”

The Northern Rocky Mountain wolf population is biologically recovered, having exceeded recovery goals for 10 consecutive years. In addition, the population fully occupies nearly all suitable habitat. Wolf packs, especially breeding pairs, typically remain within the three core recovery areas in northwestern Montana/Idaho Panhandle, central Idaho, and the Greater Yellowstone Area, but breeding pairs were again confirmed in eastern Washington and Oregon.

Private and state agencies paid $309,553 in compensation for wolf-damage to livestock in 2011.  Confirmed cattle depredations were essentially the same in 2011 with 193 cattle losses compared to 199 cattle killed by wolves in 2010.  Confirmed sheep depredations declined from 245 sheep killed in 2010 to 162 sheep killed by wolves.

In 2011, 166 “problem” wolves were lethally removed by agency control, which includes legal take in defense of property by private citizens. During the year, Montana removed 64 wolves by agency control and harvested 121 wolves in their hunting season; Idaho removed 63 wolves by agency control and harvested 200 wolves by public hunting; and in Wyoming, 36 wolves were removed by agency control. In Oregon, 2 wolves were removed by agency control, but no wolves were removed in Washington, or Utah.

“Hunters have played a key role for decades in helping to manage and sustain dozens of game populations in North America, and they can do the same for wolves. Combined with efforts to remove wolves found to be predating on livestock, they can help reduce conflicts with humans,” said Guertin. “The reduction of these conflicts is another crucial element in our ability to sustain the wolf’s recovery in the Northern Rocky Mountains.”

The Service delisted wolves in the NRM DPS (except Wyoming) on May 5, 2011.  In October 2011, following approval of a revised wolf management plan by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, the Service proposed to remove the gray wolf population in Wyoming from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.  We expect a final determination regarding this proposal to be made by fall of 2012.

The report is posted online at and is composed of seven Sections: 1) Montana; 2) Wyoming; 3) Idaho; 4) Oregon, 5) Washington, 6) Service overview of dispersal; wolves outside of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming; funding; litigation; and recent publications; and 7) tables and figures of wolf population, wolf pack distribution, and wolf depredations and wolf control.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Happy 100th birthday Clearwater Tribune, Clearwater County’s official newspaper

By Alannah Allbrett
  As the Clearwater Tribune celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, we want to remember other noteworthy things which were going on in the world in 1912. Interspersed in this story are some bits of history which help put our own into perspective.
·  In 1912, the last emperor of China, Hsuan T'ung, was forced to abdicate, and the Republic of China was established on January first. China also adopted the Gregorian calendar that year.
  Newspapers in the west, in 1912, had about as colorful a history as the old west from which they sprang. They included political feuds, bickering between rival editors, and racial comments. They were short on sensitivity and euphemisms were unknown.
·  In 1912, English explorer Robert F Scott, and his expedition, reached the South Pole, only to discover that Roald Amundsen had gotten there before them.
  If someone was ill, the papers did not hesitate to pronounce the victim, “will die,” “will recover,” or (when in doubt) “may die” – not exactly what a person wants to read about themselves when trying to recover from an illness.
·  In 1912, the U.S. Marines invaded Honduras. May 30, they were sent to Nicaragua, and on May 30 they landed in Cuba.
  According to the late historian, Bob Spencer, “As long as it was printable, no epithet was too strong when applied to an opposing editor or rival politician. History is filled,” he said, “with beaten, maimed, or dead editors, although the latter weren’t numerous, since the average gun-toter of the period was a lousier shot than the dime novels of the time would have us believe.”
  Publishers of the time were not expected to be “neutral” on any given issue; they were in fact, allowed to express political and personal opinions. In 1916, then Publisher of the Clearwater Tribune, I.R. Crow, was stumping in the gubernatorial campaign trying to get Moses Alexander elected. Alexander served as the 11th Governor of Idaho from 1915 until 1919. He was Idaho's first and, so far, only Jewish Governor.
·  In 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state, and Arizona was admitted as the 48th.  On Aug 24, the Territory of Alaska was organized.
  The first newspaper to get a toe hold into Clearwater County, in May of 1899, was the Orofino Courier.  It was published by the Greer Brothers using a small Army press which was common in those days because it was relatively easy to move and to set up.
·  In 1912, On April 15, the RMS Titanic sank on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York.
  The paper was located in a little, wooden clapboard building below Canada Hill (behind the former Health and Welfare building) on the corner of Third and Johnson Avenue. The paper was printed with page one being on the right side, where the last page would be positioned today, so one would read it from the back to the front.
·  In 1912, the Summer Olympics were held in Stockholm, Sweden, with the U.S. taking home 63 medals (25 gold, 19 silver, and 19 bronze).
  The Orofino News came along next. It ran from 1903, published by W.M. Chandler. In the same year The Optimist, published by Charles Hoffstetter, came to Orofino. It is unknown how long either of those two newspapers stayed in business. The oldest edition of The Optimist, found in the Clearwater Historical Museum, is dated April 21, 1905.
·  In 1912, The [Boy] Scout Association is incorporated throughout the British Commonwealth by Royal Charter.
  The Orofino Tribune, a democratically slanted paper, came into being in September of 1905. W.C. Foresman was the editor and the publisher; I.R. Crow took over the publication in 1912.
·  In 1912, in the first official Major League game, Guy Zinn was the first batter to step up to the plate and the first to score a run in stadium history. The event did not get much media coverage because the game was played just a few days after the historical sinking of the Titanic.
  The counterpart of the Orofino Tribune, as the name implies, was the more republican slanted paper, the Clearwater Republican which began in March of 1912. Crow retired, and the two papers, which had an intense political rivalry during their publishing histories, merged to create today’s Clearwater Tribune.
·  In 1912, a meteorite, with an estimated mass of 190 kg exploded over the town of Holbrook, AZ causing approximately 16,000 pieces of debris to rain down on the town. The largest stone recovered weighed about 14 pounds.
  In 1923, a fire completely destroyed the Clearwater Tribune office and all of its printed copies from previous years. The paper was then housed in the building immediately south of its present location on  Main St.
·  In 1912, the first Balkan war was going on (1912-1913).
On Monday, Jan 2, Clearwater Tribune Publisher, Marcie Stanton and her husband Darold, were celebrating their thirtieth wedding anniversary. They were notified that a fire had broken out at their print shop on Grangemont Rd.
  The building, housed the WWII era press equipment used for printing the paper. Severe damage to the building and loss of heat needed to operate the pres, forced the Stantons to move the printing process to Lewiston.
  The upside of that move, allowed the Clearwater Tribune to switch simultaneously to the easier-to-hold size of today’s newspapers with 11” wide by 21” tall format.
  Despite two fires and two floods, the Clearwater Tribune has stood the test of time and is the “official paper” of Clearwater County – now with an online edition, a blog, and a presence on Facebook. Visit us online at: