Coalition sues Forest Service
The Western Slope No-Fee Coalition has filed suit against the U.S. Forest Service, saying that the agency illegally allows concessionaires to charge fees that the agency itself cannot levy.
According to a news release from the organization, recreation fees on federal land are governed by federal law, which only authorizes fees for campgrounds and day use sites that meet certain requirements. However, by allowing concessionaires to manage some sites, the agency is able to charge new fees both on sites that do not meet those requirements and without a public commenting process before the fees are issued.
The five places named in the suit are located in Oregon’s Mt. Hood National Forest, the Coronado National Forest in Arizona, the Tonto National Forest in Arizona, the Ochoco National Forest in Oregon and the Pike National Forest in Colorado.
Backwoods to honor Bruce Weber
To honor former store Manager Bruce Weber and to help his widow, Colleen, Backwoods Mountain Sports in Ketchum will hold the Bruce Weber sample/employee yard sale in the upstairs Backwoods parking lot on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the Beast Feast barbecue and beer fest following.
A store employee for 22 years, Weber died suddenly on Aug. 22.
“It is hard to explain how shocked and saddened all the Backwoods Mountain Sports employees were to hear this news,” store owner Andy Munter said.
About 25 of the many reps with whom Bruce spoke to order equipment have sent samples for this sale, including from Marmot, Horny Toad, Patagonia, Black Diamond and Camelback.
There will also be a silent auction for artwork from Tina Cole and Renee Kuross, as well as for a beautiful wooden bowl from John Beehler.
The Beast Feast barbecue is appropriately named because Bruce loved to hunt. Donations will be accepted for the food and beverages, and all the proceeds will go to Colleen to assist her through the coming year. Separate donations to the Bruce Weber Fund at Zions Bank will also be appreciated.
Bat activity prompts warning
CALDWELL (AP)—Health officials in southwestern Idaho are warning residents to avoid contact with bats after reports of unusual daytime activity and increased numbers bats testing positive for rabies.
David Loper with Southwest District Health says most bats are harmless, but it's best to avoid them if possible. Any bat that behaves abnormally is more likely to have rabies, including those that are active during the day, are unable to fly or are in a place where bats are not often seen.
Rabies is a viral disease that affects the nervous system of people and animals and is often fatal.
Anyone who is bitten or scratched by a bat should wash the affected area with soap and water and seek medical treatment. If you awake to find a bat in your room, you should consider yourself potentially exposed.
Library to screen sheep trailing film
Wood River Valley residents interested in sheep trailing may want to set aside Thursday evening to watch “Sweetgrass” at the Community Library in Ketchum.
The 101-minute, 2009 documentary will be screened at 6 p.m. The screening will include an introduction and question-and-answer session with Diane and John Peavey, owners of Flat Top Sheep Ranch near Carey.
The movie follows the last modern-day cowboys to lead their flocks of sheep 150 miles into Montana’s Absaroka-Beartooth mountains for summer pasture.
The film was a New Yorker movies’ pick, a New York Times critics’ pick and a Village Voice film pick in 2010. In 2009, the film won an award for artistic excellence at the Big Sky Film Festival in Missoula, Mont.
Sun Valley reschedules meetings
The Sun Valley City Council has rescheduled its regular meetings in October, November and December. The council has also added one special City Council meeting on Oct. 2.
City Council meetings are held at Sun Valley City Hall. The new meeting schedule is as follows:
Special meeting, Tuesday Oct. 2, at 2 p.m.
Regular meeting, Thursday, Oct. 18, at 1 p.m.
Regular meeting, Thursday Nov. 1, at 1 p.m.
Regular meeting Thursday, Dec. 6, at 1 p.m.
The Nov. 15 and Dec. 20 meetings have been canceled.
In a recent city news release, Interim Executive Assistant to the Mayor Virginia Egger said the date changes are to accommodate the timely review and payment of bills.
“Before, payables were approved by the department heads, then by the city administrator, and finally by the City Council,” Egger said Monday. “Under that process, the council was sometimes pre-approving payment before the actual bills themselves were received. … Now, the City Council will be able to review and approve a whole month of payables at each meeting.”
For more information, call Deputy City Clerk Julia Kinsey-Lovey at 622-4438.
Idaho 2011 median income fell
The slow economic recovery continued to have an impact on Idaho households in 2011, with median household income falling for the third straight year.
New U.S. Census Bureau estimates released Thursday, Sept. 20, put median household income in Idaho at $43,341, down 0.3 percent from 2010. Since the recession started in 2008, median household income has dropped 8.9 percent.
The share of Idahoans living in poverty last year rose to 16.5 percent from 15.7 percent in 2010, and the households receiving food stamps rose from 72,000, or 12.5 percent of all households, to more than 78,000, or 13.5 percent, in 2011.