Friday, February 18, 2011

Briefs


Girls on the Run seeks coaches

Girls on the Run of the Wood River Valley is looking for volunteer mentors for girls in grades three through eight. The spring season will begin March 7, with new coach training scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 26. Volunteers of all ages and athletic abilities are invited.

After-school programs meet twice a week for 10 weeks while training to complete a 5k event. Coaches receive training to facilitate the self-esteem-building curriculum and help girls experience self-discovery, perseverance and growth. They don't need to be runners.

Anyone interested should contact Mary Fauth at mary@girlsontherunwrv.org or at 788-7863.

Committee to review forest projects

The Central Idaho Resource Advisory Committee will meet Friday, Feb. 25, to review and approve natural resource projects for fiscal years 2011 and 2012. The meeting will start at 10 a.m. at the Salmon-Challis National Forest office on U.S. Highway 93 in Challis.

The 15-member RAC works closely with the Forest Service to recommend projects that benefit forest health, fish and wildlife, soils or watersheds, help maintain roads, trails or infrastructure, or control noxious weeds on the Salmon-Challis National Forest or adjacent lands.

According to RAC coordinator Kent Fuellenbach, the proposed projects currently before it total nearly $1.8 million for 2011 and $1.2 million for 2012.

The deadline for submitting projects for 2011 has passed. However, the RAC has not yet set a deadline for 2012 projects. Members of the public are welcome to make proposals to the committee. The RAC will vote on some projects during the February meeting, and additional meetings will be held in March and April.

For more information on the RAC, contact Kent Fuellenbach at (208) 756-5145 or kfuellenbach@fs.fed.us.

Flag bill hits snag

A bill sponsored by state Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, hit a bump in its road to law Wednesday. The bill would allow government buildings to fly a flag commemorating prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action alongside or below the American flag.

If flown on one mast, the flag would be hoisted below the American flag but above the flag of the state of Idaho, an order that prompted opposition from Sen. Mitch Toryanski, R-Boise. Stennett asked the Senate to hold the bill for reconsideration.

Though flying a flag is not prohibited by state statute, it is not specifically allowed. Stennett said she supported the bill as a way to commemorate Spc. Bowe Bergdahl, a Hailey native who was captured in Afghanistan in 2009. The bill cleared the Senate State Affairs Committee on Tuesday and went to the Senate floor Wednesday.

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ORVs allowed—for the moment

A U.S. Forest Service official said negotiations are underway to determine if changes need to be made to Off Road Vehicles routes on the Salmon-Challis National Forest. Forest Supervisor Frank Guzman said a Feb. 4 decision by the U.S. District Court in Idaho does not immediately affect motor vehicle use on the forest.

The ruling, issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush, stated that the Forest Service violated both the National Environmental Policy Act and the service's 2005 Travel Management Rule when designating motorized routes on the forest in summer 2009. The decision stated that the agency failed to recognize the impacts of "micro-routes"—those shorter than a half mile.

Before ruling on a remedy, Bush gave the parties in the suit time to work on an agreement for developing a plan for the 1,380 miles of motorized routes in the area.

"We are committed to meet with representatives of Idaho Conservation League and The Wilderness Society to seek agreement on appropriate remedies," Guzman said.

State seeks partners for jobs program

The Idaho Department of Labor is seeking partners for its 2011 Idaho Youth Corps summer employment program.

The department has $250,000 to support the program, which requires matching resources from federal, state or local government and private employers.

More than 830 young people, primarily from disadvantaged backgrounds, were able to participate in 2009 because the state received $2.9 million in federal economic stimulus funds. Without that cash infusion in 2010, the number of participants dropped to just 136 when the department was able to set aside only about $250,000.

Idaho Youth Corps participants are assigned jobs ranging from outdoor conservation projects to indoor office work for government agencies, schools, libraries, land managers, nonprofits and other organizations, and are paid the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

Potential partners must be identified by March 18.

Agencies and organizations interested in providing a work site for the 2011 Idaho Youth Corps program or seeking more information should contact Ben Phillips at (208) 332-3570, ext. 3398 or at www.ben.phillips@labor.idaho.gov.




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