Friday, October 28, 2016

Idaho state road closure information

The Maggie Creek Supervisory Area of the Idaho Department of Lands in Kamiah has historically closed the Brown’s Ridge/Mosquito Creek Loop Roads and the Fidler Road from the end of general elk season to Memorial Day weekend.

These seasonal closures were designed to reduce road damage and maintenance expenses and also to reduce soil erosion and sedimentation from road surfaces. 

Last year, due to significant road improvements performed by the Maggie Creek Supervisory Area, these roads remained open on a trial basis and were closely monitored for moisture related road damage and soil erosion issues. 

Brown’s Ridge/Mosquito Creek Loop Roads and the Fidler Road will remain open again this year, but will be closed should road damage and/or significant erosion occur, or if damage to timber resources or other State property is determined by the Idaho Department of Lands to have occurred. 

The Farmer Road system will be closed from Oct. 1 - May 1 annually, and all other road closures remain in effect, which means that use by unauthorized vehicles wider than 50” is prohibited. 

Cooperation of the public is crucial and much appreciated. Please report any unauthorized use of closed roads and/or damage to State resources. 

For more information, please contact the Kamiah Idaho Department of Lands at 208-935-2141.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Work underway to reduce rockfall risk at site of Idaho 14 Elk River landslide

Crews began work Oct. 24 to address the rockfall risk at the location of a massive landslide on Idaho 14 west of Elk City. The landslide in February loosened tons of rock and debris. Another slide in the same location two months later loosened additional material.

Eventually, it took six months and more than 15,000 truckloads to remove 235,000 cubic yards of mud, rocks and trees. Depending on the density of the material, each cubic yard can equal a ton, meaning the cleanup may have required the removal of more than 470 million lbs.

Crews will perform rock scaling (identifying loose rocks in danger of tumbling down to the roadway and taking proactive steps to bring them down safely) and rock bolting (a process in which a long anchor bolt is drilled into the rock formation, transferring the load from the exterior to the more stable interior of the rock mass.)

During the work the road will be reduced to just one lane, as the lane closest to the hill will be closed to traffic. Flaggers will guide traffic. Drivers should expect up to 15-minute delays as work progresses.

West Company, of Airway Heights, Washington, is the contractor on the work.

To encourage new vegetation to take root on the hillside, help stabilize the area against further erosion, and anchor rocks and debris, crews plan to hydro-seed the area next spring.

To discourage future slides, crews may also install metal mesh netting in particular areas or build a rock catchment.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Johnson’s Mill motorcross race is Saturday

The 55th annual Johnson’s Mill XC race is set for Saturday, Oct. 15, at Johnson’s Mill, about 10 miles outside of Orofino, up Grangemont Road. Sign-up starts at 8 a.m. Riders will make their way through over 40 miles of single track, with live and dead checks.

The entry fees are $40 for pros, $30 for amateurs, and $20 for minis, plus a $5 per rider land permit fee.

Classes in this race include: Pro (with a monetary payback), lightweight, heavyweight, vet (40+), iron man, woman, and mini (bike sizes 50, 65, 85).

A mini riders meeting will be held at 8:45 a.m., with that race to begin at 9 a.m. A “big bikes” meeting is at 10:45 a.m., with that race beginning at 11 a.m.

The Orofino Motorcycle Club, who are hosting the race, invite everyone to come out and enjoy the event. They would also like to remind hunters that there will be racers in the woods that day, so please use extra caution if you’re hunting in the area.

The group also apologizes to hunters for the disruption, and adds that the race will be back to its regular June race date next year.

For more information on the race, including directions to the race site, visit Orofino Motorcycle Club on Facebook. You can also call Jim Engle at 208-816-6253.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Nez Perce Tribe: We are committed to preventing the Clearwater and Lochsa River from becoming an industrial corridor

The Nez Perce Tribe opposes the Clearwater and Lochsa River corridor becoming an industrial corridor, and has repeatedly made this known, according to a news release the Tribe issued last week.

The Tribe peacefully protested mega-load traffic in 2013 and simultaneously pursued a successful action in federal court enjoining mega-load traffic from the wild and scenic corridor of U.S. Highway 12 within the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest. 

The injunction issued by Judge Winmill in 2013 remains in place until the U.S. Forest Service completes an impact study and consults on a government-to-government basis with the Nez Perce Tribe. 

ITD’s recently proposed rule regarding 129,000-pound oversize shipments is, according to the press release, no different from the agency’s position prior to the 2013 federal court injunction.

“It does not alter the reality that the legal issues at stake are federal in nature, are the subject of a federal court lawsuit that resulted in a federal court injunction, and are subject to on-going federal court mediation. At a minimum, ITD’s proposed rule is at this time ineffectual,” states the press release.

ITD made no effort to contact the Nez Perce Tribe or the U.S. Forest Service before unilaterally proposing this rule, states the press release.

The Forest Service, the Tribe, and Idaho Rivers United are engaged in mediation under the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ mediation program.

The Forest Service, the Tribe, and ITD–which was invited into the mediation in 2015–are all bound by confidentiality from disclosing those discussions; however, the Tribe strongly disagrees with ITD’s characterization of the mediation in its FAQ accompanying this rulemaking. 

“The Tribe is committed to continuing to protect the Clearwater-Lochsa river corridor, and to working with the U.S. Forest Service and others regardless, whether ITD chooses to do so or not,” states the press release.

The Tribe will not comment at ITD’s hearing on the proposed rule, but it will submit comments on the proposed rulemaking in writing by Oct. 14.