Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New briefs


Trout Unlimited to meet Nov. 3

Art Talsma, director of restoration and stewardship at The Nature Conservancy, will speak about Idaho trout fisheries during a Trout Unlimited meeting at the Roosevelt Grille in Ketchum on Thursday, Nov. 3, at 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Talsma will talk about what is at risk with local fisheries and about water conservation at Silver Creek. He will address restoration projects on Crystal Creek, Spring Creek and along the Big Wood River on the Heart Rock Ranch. The Heart Rock Ranch restoration project is one of the largest projects underway in Idaho.

Senators defend spuds

Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, both Republicans, are joining Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Mark Udall, D-Colo., to introduce an amendment to the Senate agriculture appropriations bill to prevent the Department of Agriculture from requiring schools to cut the amount of potatoes served in school meals.

According to a press release from the Idaho senators, the proposed rule would cost the federal government $6.8 billion over five years.

Earlier this year, the USDA proposed a rule that would limit the servings of starchy vegetables, including white potatoes, to a total of one cup per week in the National School Lunch Program. The senators' amendment would require USDA to strike its proposed federal nutrition standard in school meals.

"For less than 5 cents per potato, school meal programs can meet nutrition requirements on several fronts," Crapo said. "With only 110 calories, a potato contains more potassium than an equivalent sized banana and more fiber than a serving of broccoli."

The amendment could be up for a vote as early as this week. Similar language was inserted to the House agriculture appropriations bill by Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, which would essentially bar USDA from implementing the new rule.

St. Luke's presents health talk

Dr. Thomas Archie, a family medicine doctor, will lead an open-forum Brown Bag talk today, Oct. 19, from 12:15-1:15 p.m. at St. Luke's Clinic in Hailey.

Archie will address any medical issues, drawing from his expertise in traditional Western medicine, meridian-based medical acupuncture and science-based functional medicine.

All Brown Bag lectures are free and no pre-registration is required. Call St. Luke's Center for Community Health for information on this or other educational programs, 727-8733.

Holding makes list of top landowners

Sun Valley Co. owner Earl Holding has secured the No. 20 spot on a list of America's top 100 landowners of this year.

The 2011 Land Report 100 was published in the fall issue of The Land Report, a quarterly magazine about landowners and land ownership.

Edging out Holding on the list were the J.R. Simplot heirs, who came in at No. 19. Simplot built his fortune in Idaho.

The No. 1 slot belongs this year to John Malone, chair of Liberty Media, who owns 2.2 million acres of land. Another media mogul, Ted Turner, took the No. 2 position.

For the complete list, log on to http://www.landreport.com/americas-100-largest-landowners/.

Comment on power line closes soon

Public comments on the BLM's draft environmental impact statement for a proposed Gateway West transmission line project in Wyoming and Idaho are due by Friday, Oct. 28.

The BLM has stated that public input will help it identify any additional concerns to be addressed in the final EIS.

The project, proposed by Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power, would result in the construction of nearly 1,100 miles of high-voltage transmission lines across southern Wyoming and southern Idaho. One possible alternative route crosses portions of northern Nevada.

To submit comments and to review the draft EIS and related documents, including detailed maps, visit the project website at: www.wy.blm.gov/nepa/cfodocs/gateway_west.

Land Trust hires director

The Wood River Land Trust has promoted employee Daphne Muehle to be its new development director.

For the past 12 years, Muehle worked with the Peninsula Open Space Trust in Menlo Park, Calif. She held various positions there, including director of major gifts, director of development, director of annual giving and congressional liaison.

As congressional liaison she managed ongoing efforts to receive $15 million in appropriations from the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and then successfully lobbied Congress to transfer 3,939 acres of the property from the Peninsula Open Space Trust to the National Park Service for inclusion in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

"I'm thrilled with this great opportunity to work for Wood River Land Trust as it allows me to meet interesting people who care deeply for the community and saving its natural resources," Muehle said.

HAM radio class set for November

The Wood River Amateur Radio Club will hold a licensing class over two evenings, Monday, Nov. 7 and Wednesday, Nov. 9, at Zaney's in Hailey from 6:30-9 p.m. Testing to obtain a Technician Level FCC License will take place the following Thursday, Nov. 17.

Cost for the class is $50 and includes FCC testing and licensing fees. The cost for first responders (fire, rescue and law enforcement) is $25.

The club operates two linked repeaters, one on Bald Mountain and the other on Galena Summit. The radio repeaters allow for users to communicate from Twin Falls to north of Stanley, and radio coverage throughout the local backcountry, including most of the SNRA, is excellent.

For more information about the club and HAM Radio, visit www.wrarc.org or contact Joe Yelda at 721-0690 or via e-mail at jpyelda@yahoo.com.

OHV maps now available

Motor vehicle-use maps for the Sawtooth National Forest are now available at Idaho Department of Fish and Game offices in McCall, Nampa, Boise and Jerome as big game hunting seasons kick into gear.

"The Forest Service and Idaho Fish and Game did a special reprint of the motor vehicle-use maps because they have been in high demand," said Fish and Game spokesman Mike Keckler. "The hard-copy maps are the best source of information available about what trails and roads are open to off-highway vehicles during hunting season."

The maps also are available at national forest ranger district offices and online on the Sawtooth website, http://www.fs.usda.gov/Sawtooth. For locations of Fish and Game offices, visit the department's website, http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/about/offices/.




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