Friday, July 8, 2011

Briefs


Colorado Gulch site visit Monday

The Hailey City Council will hold a public tour of private land between Heagle Park and Colorado Gulch on Monday, July 11, at 4:30 p.m.

The council is considering future annexation of about 22 acres on the bench above the river property for a 55-unit housing development, in exchange for public access to the low-lying property in perpetuity.

Developer Jeff Pfaeffle and his partner Grant Stevens were denied annexation of the entire 175 acres, known as Colorado Gulch Preserve, last year. Stevens then made good on a promise to fence the property and keep out trespassers when the city denied the annexation.

The council could support a plan to preserve public access to the riparian area of the property.

"It's a matter of getting the public out there to hear what they have to say," said City Council President Fritz Haemmerle. "We need to see if they want it for open space or not."

For more information call the Hailey Community Development Department at 788-9815.

Road to Hell Roaring Lake closed

The Sawtooth National Recreation Area has closed Hell Roaring Road for one mile from the upper trailhead to enable the trailhead's relocation to a point one mile to the east. The last mile of road will be restored and narrowed to a foot trail, tying in with the trail on the south side of Hell Roaring Creek.

Work should be completed by the end of August. Until then, the Forest Service recommends that people use the lower trailhead to access Hell Roaring Lake.

Oregon passes wolf, livestock bill

A bill creating a livestock compensation and wolf coexistence program passed the Oregon Legislature last week following unanimous approval from the state Senate.

According to a news release from the conservation group Defenders of Wildlife, the program is designed to help ranchers protect livestock, aid wildlife managers in conserving wolves and compensate ranchers for wolf depredation. The effort was developed by ranching organizations in conjunction with Defenders of Wildlife and the Hells Canyon Preservation Council.

Once the bill is signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber, Defenders of Wildlife will end its wolf compensation program in the Northern Rockies. This termination was announced last year.

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BLM seeks pasture for wild horses

As part of its programs to manage and protect wild horses and burros, the BLM is soliciting bids for new long-term pasture facilities that provide a free-roaming environment.

The solicitation is for one or more pasture facilities to accommodate 800 to 5,000 wild horses. Each pasture must be able to provide humane care for a one-year period, with a renewal option under BLM contract for four one-year extensions.

The solicitation is open until Aug. 19, and is 100 percent set aside for small businesses under the North American Industry Classification System.

The BLM's bidding requirements are extensive, and are available at http://www.fedconnect.net. To obtain the solicitation, click on "Search Public Opportunities;" under Search Criteria, select "Reference Number," put in solicitation number L11PS00651 and click "Search." The solicitation form describes what information is required and where to send it.

Trout stocking begins

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will release more than 43,000 catchable-size rainbow trout into rivers and lakes statewide this month.

The fish come from the McCall and Nampa hatcheries. Alturas Lake near Stanley was stocked with 2,900 trout on July 4, but other local waterways have still yet to receive fish.

The schedule includes:

- Capehorn Lake, Stanley—July 11 (500 trout).

- Josephus Lake, Stanley—July 11 (1,000 trout).

- Middle Fork Payette River—July 11 (750 trout), July 25 (750 trout).

- Perkins Lake, Stanley—July 18 (500 trout).

Crapo to discuss debt, deficit

With critical votes on the federal debt and deficit crisis approaching in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Mike Crapo will discuss the federal budget, deficit spending and related issues with Idahoans during a telephone town hall event on Wednesday, July 13. Crapo invites interested constituents to make arrangements to participate in the meeting, which begins at 7 p.m.

To sign up for the iTownhall meeting, visit http://crapo.senate.gov, and click on the iTownhall icon. You will be directed to send an email request with your contact information.

In order to participate in the meeting, all you need is a telephone. Participation is voluntary, and listeners are given an opportunity to ask the Senator about topics regarding federal policies or legislation. To ensure participation, it is best to sign up at least two days prior to the event.

Following the call, an audio file (MP3) of the full call will be posted on the website. A transcript will be posted at a later date.

Gas prices down slightly

Average retail gasoline prices in Idaho have fallen 1.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.62 per gallon Monday. This compares with the national average that has increased 0.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.57 per gallon, according to gasoline price website IdahoGasPrices.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Idaho during the past week, prices Monday were 81.3 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 9.2 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 19.8 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 84.0 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

ITD asks drivers to stop speeding

Excessive speed is a leading cause of motor-vehicle crashes resulting in serious injuries or deaths on state highways, so the Idaho Transportation Department is partnering with Idaho law enforcement agencies to "stop speeding before it stops you."

An aggressive statewide education and enforcement campaign is planned for July 15-26. Law enforcement officers will be watching for drivers speeding on all roads in Idaho.

Speeding is an aggressive driving behavior that contributes to more than one-third of all fatal single-vehicle crashes across the state, according to ITD. One-fifth of all serious injuries are a result of speed-related crashes.

Safety messages will be featured throughout the campaign on billboards, radio, Internet advertising and television. A high-visibility enforcement effort and educational outreach also will be important to this summer's safety effort.

The education and enforcement campaign is funded by a federal grant administered by ITD.




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