River Run Crowds

With only a few days left until the Sun Valley Resort closes Baldy for the season, the city of Ketchum has begun to consider lifting various rules designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, such as crowd limitations and mask requirements. Read below for more details.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 349 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total to 182,531. Of those, an estimated 102,245 have recovered.

The state's coronavirus-related death toll rose by six today to 1,980.

Blaine County gained seven confirmed and two probable cases today, leaving local totals at 2,069 confirmed and 224 probable. The South Central Public Health District continues to monitor 40 cases in Blaine County.

A total of 326,633 Idahoans are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A further 170,969 state residents have received the first dose of a two dose vaccine and await their second. In Blaine County, those numbers are 7,180 and 3,983, respectively.

Keep reading for the latest on Ketchum’s COVID-19 restrictions, the Warm Springs Ranch property development, Douglas fir beetles on Baldy and more news from Wednesday, April 7.

• Prompted by Mayor Neil Bradshaw, the Ketchum City Council has begun considering when and how to start rolling back some of the restrictions enacted to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The debate will continue in subsequent meetings, but rule changes could mean repealing mask-wearing, social distancing, gathering limits and other requirements.

Greg Foley has the details.

• Also during this week’s meeting, the Ketchum City Council approved plans to develop a new 35-lot residential subdivision on the Warm Springs Ranch property. Doing so initiated an option for the city to buy 64 of the 78 acres of the property from owner Bob Brennan.

Read the full story here.

• The Sawtooth National Forest received $1.1 million last week from the National Park and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund to support five major infrastructural improvement projects. The projects include replacing the Redfish Lake Bridge, repairing the Warm Springs Bridge, maintenance work on the Bald Mountain Lookout, and improvements to recreational sites and trails.

Emily Jones reports.

• The spring snowmelt brings an annual, unwelcome guest to Bald Mountain: Douglas fir beetles. The beetles bore deep into old tree stands, damaging and weakening forests. To address the problem, various groups of students from around the area have been deploying pheromone packets on the mountain to repel the beetles.

Click here for details.

For more local and regional news, pick up a free copy of today’s Idaho Mountain Express, or visit mtexpress.com at any time.

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