Friday, January 30, 2015

Idaho wolf population remains well above federal recovery levels; livestock depredations down

During their scheduled meeting in Boise on Jan. 21, the Fish and Game Commission was updated on the status of Idaho’s wolf population. Staff Biologist Jim Hayden’s report offered three key messages: Idaho’s wolf population is well above all standards for a recovered population; wolf monitoring was intensified and expanded in 2014; needs and expectations for predation management vary widely across the state.

To better monitor wolf populations, Fish and Game hired additional trappers and technicians in the summer of 2014, intensified winter collaring efforts for 2015 and hired an expert wolf tracking pilot from Alaska to help locate uncollared packs. GPS collars are now being used in place of radio collars. This will provide more detailed real-time data. Personnel deployed 40 remote cameras to locate and document pack size, and field personnel collected more than 1200 DNA samples to compare with that from harvested wolves.

Monitoring efforts in 2013 documented 659 wolves in 107 packs, and no dramatic changes are expected for the 2014 report. These numbers and supporting data suggest the wolf population has decreased and the number of wolves in documented packs has decreased. Wolf-related depredations have also decreased resulting in the lowest number recorded since 2008. Data on breeding pairs continue to be collected but so far, 22 breeding pair have been documented in the 30 packs that have been examined. (More comprehensive data will be included in the annual report due March 31).

Predation management needs and expectations vary across Idaho, with highly variable base productivity of ungulates across game management units. Different GMUs provide various combinations of food sources for predators. In addition to elk, predators seek out white-tailed deer, moose, sheep, beaver, and in the case of bears; forbs and berries. Combinations of predator species also vary across the state among wolves, bears and lions, affecting deer and elk in different ways. Predation limitations were identified as high in four zones, moderate in seven zones and low in 18 zones. 

To learn more about wolf management in Idaho, go to

Friday, January 23, 2015

New firearm created from Idaho-only parts, products

Thirteen Idaho recreation-technology companies joined to create a complete, functioning firearm made only from parts and products manufactured in Idaho. Nightforce Optics of Orofino is among the companies that participated.

The project was organized by tactical Export Strategies organized the project. The firearm will be on display at the 2015 Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas, NV, this week, at the Sands Expo Center in the Idaho Commerce booth (booth 2943).

In addition to Nightforce Optics, who supplied the firearm’s scope and scope mounts, participating companies include: ATK Blackhawk in Lewiston, who supplied the stock, pistol grip, bi-pod, and sling; Seekins Precision of Lewiston, who supplied the lower receiver; Am-Tac Precision of Garden City, who supplied the upper receiver and bolt assembly; ‌Forward Moving Training Center of Boise, who supplied a training donation; and ‌Gem-Tech of Boise, who supplied the suppressor.

Also Hooker Tactical of Arco, who supplied the scope camera for training; Kryptek Outdoor Group of Eagle, who supplied the gun case; ‌Lone Wolf Distributors of Priest River, who supplied the trigger kit, custom engraving, and miscellaneous parts; ‌MCM Firearms of Nampa, who supplied the custom Kryptek camo skin; MGM Targets of Caldwell, who supplied the switchview scope lever; Primary Weapon Systems of Boise, who supplied the barrel and enhanced buffer tube; and Unique AR’s of McCall, who supplied the hand guard and custom cutting of IGC logo, and the paint design.

After being displayed at the SHOT Show, the firearm will be donated to the 2015 Governor’s Cup, a 501(c)(3) that provides scholarship money to Idaho students pursuing post-secondary education within Idaho.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Spam e-mail: Good for a laugh

By Andrea Dell

If you were to judge people solely on the contents of their spam e-mail, you’d find most human beings to be depraved perverts with extraordinary financial problems, despite them having a knack for receiving exorbitant monetary donations from random foreigners.

Do the people who send these out actually expect them to work?

Some are more convincing than others, I admit. For example, this week alone I’ve received almost $1,000 in Amazon eRewards. And my PayPal account has been restricted. Again.

At the Tribune, we even get fake classifieds. They all share a theme, and that theme changes every few months. Once, it was terriers. Another time it was motorcycles. Right now, these pseudo advertisers want to post ads seeking either a nanny, or a caregiver for an elderly relative.

On Friday, my RussianBrides login was updated. I was recently warned that my $100 in “Walgreens ePoints” is expiring soon. Several people have run background checks on me in the last few days. And Jasmine thinks my profile picture is cute, and she wants to chat.

I also have several irons in the fire that are 100 percent guaranteed to make me an instant zillionaire. This isn’t counting all cash flow I’ll enjoy from the zero percent interest loans I qualify for on a daily basis.

My excellent and special friend, “Mr Gomez Lan,” wrote to tell me he’s arrived in Atlanta with my ATM card worth $4.4 million, which he has been instructed by “ups DIPLOMATIC COURIER SERVICE” to deliver to me.

What? You doubt Gomez? Of course he’s for real! He assured me that “Airport authority demanded for all the legal back up to prove to them that the fund is in no way related with drug or fraudulent Activities.” The “Airport authority” wouldn’t let him contact me if he were lying! He just needs $150 from me, to get that crucial “yellow tag” placed on the ATM card. Those stiffs at “Airport authority” must have the “Yellow Tag of lading papers for airport delivery clearance,” before they’ll let him leave the airport.

I’m not sure how an ATM card is going to fit in an ATM with a “Yellow Tag of lading papers” on it, but I’ll worry about that when the time comes.

Did I mention that Sarah Smith from the United Kingdom wants to give me half of her 25 million Euro inheritance? We just have to get married, and then it’s all mine.

Also, every dying Christian who has ever lived, ever, is going to leave me a pretty nice chunk of change, provided I help them spend their vast millions on a worthy cause of my own choosing.

I did find one of those a tiny bit suspicious, I must say. The woman who e-mailed me wrote, “With God, all things are possible.” She then warned me we couldn’t talk over the phone, because she didn’t want her in-laws, who are apparently always in the room with her, no matter what (must make for awkward bathroom breaks), to hear her going behind their backs.

So, with God, all things are possible, except scheming in front of your in-laws? I think not, dearie.

Best of all, a New Yorker named Mrs. Wendy Louis is going to entrust a “huge” sum of money to me. She didn’t want to say why in the e-mail, though (and who can blame her), but I’m sure it’s because I’m the most trustworthy acceptor of random millions presently living on planet Earth. I value your faith in me, Mrs. Wendy Louis of New York City.

Of course, before I can deposit these untold millions, I will have to spend 600 years verifying and re-verifying my account information with every bank, credit card account, and online service I’ve ever used—and, apparently, a few I haven’t. Better get cracking.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Local Boy Scouts earn Eagle Scout rank

Pictured here during the Eagle Scout Board of Review (l to r) are: Lito Ilagan, Kevin Zywina, Nikki McCarthy, Eagle Scout- Dalton Chatfield, District Eagle Scout Counselor-Paul Driver, Eagle Scout- Kenny Miller, John Vaage, and Hayden George.

By Bonnie Miller

Dalton Chatfield and Kenny Miller from Boy Scout Troop #536 on Dec. 27 had their Eagle Scout Board of Review and became Eagle Scouts.

Becoming an Eagle Scout is a tremendous accomplishment. The Eagle Scout rank may be earned by a Boy Scout who has been a Life Scout for at least six months and earns a minimum of 21 merit badges (12 merit badges being required).

This Scout must also fulfill certain requirements of leadership, service and outdoor skills. Earning the Eagle Scout rank is the highest advancement rank in Scouting.

Boy Scouts of America was established by Baden-Powell in Britain 1908. W.D. Boyce later founded the Boy Scout Association (BAS) on Feb. 8, 1910, in America. In 2013, 56,841 Scouts earned the Eagle Scout rank in America.

Dalton and Kenny would like to thank their fellow Scouts in Troop #536 for all of their help with the Eagle Scout projects; as well as their parents, grandparents, family members, friends, Scoutmaster- John Chatfield, Assistant Scoutmasters Travis Jensen and Dale Mclean, Eagle Scout Coach Brian Palmer, Will Crockett and Orofino Builders Supply, Superintendent Bob Vian, Justin Howard, Harold Kerley, Tama Naden, Corporal Mike Gladhart (Marine Deputy of the Orofino Sheriff’s Department), Don Beck and Wes Baker with Idaho Fish and Game, Juelie Traska with Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, and the United States Coast Guard for their donations and funding of these Eagle Scout projects.

Dalton and Kenny would also like to thank the Orofino community and surrounding towns for supporting all activities and programs throughout this year with their Troop #536. Your generosity is very much appreciated.

Dalton and Kenny invite you to see and use their Eagle Scout Projects. Dalton completed the three new outdoor garbage can holders at the Orofino Elementary School and Kenny completed the Life Jacket Loaner Station at Deyo Reservoir.

Friday, January 2, 2015

County anxiously awaits to see if SRS will slip through Congress one more year

By Elizabeth Morgan

Several articles have appeared in the media lately regarding the chances of reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools Act (SRS) by Congress this next year. The issue was at a standstill when Congress broke for the holidays and will resume in January.

The Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program was created in 2000 to help counties fund the services they could no longer afford because of lost tax revenue. Thirty-five of 44 Idaho counties receive SRS payments, and Idaho ranks third in the country in total SRS dollars. But the program was always intended as a safety measure until Congress could find a more permanent solution.

The White House threatened a veto on the last bill from House Republicans calling for an increase in logging across all national forests. Opponents said it would jeopardize the habitat of endangered species, increase lawsuits and limit the president’s ability to create national monuments.

Hopefully, the break will allow both sides to entertain proposals somewhere in the middle that will provide a viable solution.

Clearwater County Commissioner Don Ebert said, “The county wouldn’t feel the impact immediately. Primarily, county roads and the Sheriff’s Office would be affected if some compensation isn’t made. There are a lot of counties in Idaho that will be in a bad way if it doesn’t come through.”

Ebert hopes to have an answer within the next month, “However, I will not be surprised if it should take longer,” he said.

The county will receive Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funds for this year.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) reported earlier this month that lawmakers appointed $372 million for PILT in its end-of-year spending package for 2015.

“Because National Forest counties are entitled to more PILT funding, the two programs are closely linked,” wrote Brian Namey with NACo. “Without securing full SRS funding before PILT payments are disbursed in mid-2015, there will be a significant impact on the funds available for all counties with federal lands.”