Friday, July 29, 2011

briefs


Campgrounds to close for tree work

The U.S. Forest Service is busy cutting "hazard" trees in developed campgrounds in the northern part of the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

Hazard trees are dead and dying trees that pose a threat to campground users and facilities (toilets, picnic tables, etc.) in campgrounds. Most have been killed by mountain pine beetle infestations.

Due to the nature of the work to be completed, partial or complete campground closures may occur intermittently and without notice.

The following campgrounds could see a full closure while trees are being felled: Wallace Lake, Bighorn Crags, Horse Creek Hot Springs, Iron Lake and Yellowjacket Lake. Crews will also need to do some work to a lesser extent at Middle Fork Peak, Lost Spring, Williams Lake and McDonald Flat campgrounds.

Hazard tree work has been completed for now at Upper and Lower Bear Valley, Big Eight Mile, Cougar Point, Meadow Lake, Twin Creek and Corn Creek campgrounds and Long Tom picnic area.

Prescribed burn planned

The BLM will conduct a 20-acre prescribed fire north of Wendell on the Shoshone Wildlife Tract. The burn will occur between July 28 and Aug. 15, depending on favorable weather. As soon as all conditions are appropriate, the burn is expected to take only one day.

The Shoshone Wildlife Tract is managed cooperatively by the BLM, Idaho Department of Fish and Game and adjacent landowners. The BLM hopes to reseed the area after the burn with plant species that will promote a better habitat for wildlife.

There may be residual smoke that settles in the Tuttle area in the afternoon, but it is not expected to linger. Anyone with questions can contact South Idaho Interagency Fire Center at 800-974-2373.

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F&G seeks comments on ORVs

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is seeking public comment on a proposal to apply motorized rule restrictions to trophy species hunts.

The department is proposing to apply motorized restrictions to trophy hunts in game management units where restrictions already apply to big game hunts.

Motorized vehicle restrictions were adopted to resolve many hunters' concerns about off-road travel.

Typically, these rules restrict the use of any vehicle while hunting, including ATVs, ORVs and motorcycles, to established roads open to a full-sized automobile. Hunters may use any motorized vehicle to retrieve downed game or to set up camp, if travel in the area is allowed by the land owner or manager.

Motorized vehicle restrictions can be applied to any big game hunt, including trophy species (moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat), but the restrictions have not been applied to trophy species hunts. This has lead to situations in which other big game hunters, such as elk, deer and bear hunters, were restricted in an area while trophy hunters, at the same time, could use motorized vehicles.

A comment form is available on the Fish and Game website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/public/.

Women veterans to convene

Registration is going on now for the 2011 annual Women Veterans Conference scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Doubletree Riverside Hotel in Boise. Sponsored by the Idaho State Division of Veterans Services, the conference is free and is open to all women who have served in the military or are currently on active duty in the National Guard or Reserve.

The daylong conference will feature workshops on veterans benefits, women's health issues, the GI Bill and education, and other topics of interest to women veterans. Lunch will be provided at no cost. There also will be a silent auction, door prizes and vendors as well as time for networking.

The keynote speaker is Betty Mosley Brown, associate director for the VA Center for Women Veterans in Washington, D.C.

Registration is required. For more information or to register, call Gina Stamper at 208-246-8761 or email her at gina.stamper@veterans.idaho.gov, or visit veterans.idaho.gov.

AAA: Be careful driving with dogs

A survey conducted by the American Automotive Association shows that fewer than 2 in 10 drivers uses a pet restraint when driving a family pet, even though studies show that an unrestrained dog can pose a hazard while driving.

The survey, conducted with the help of pet product company Kurgo, showed that 29 percent of respondents admitted to being distracted by a dog in a vehicle. Fifty-two percent admitted to petting dogs while driving, and 23 percent have had to use their arms or hands to restrict a dog's movement while braking.

AAA reports that in the event of a crash, an unrestrained dog poses even more of a hazard. An unrestrained 10-pound dog in a crash at 30 mph will exert 300 pounds of pressure, while an unrestrained 80-pound dog at the same speed will exert about 2,400 pounds of pressure.

"Imagine the devastation that can cause to your pet or anyone in its path," Carlson said.




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