As flowers pop and streams begin to sing, we have a few updates to share with you. The appeal period has passed for the US 12 federal lawsuit, the EPA has released new rules for suction dredging, the IDFG has released wolf mortality statistics, the comment deadline for wolverine listing is approaching, and the Moscow Renaissance Fair is just around the corner.
The appeal period for Idaho Rivers United vs. US Forest Service has passed, meaning federal Judge Lynn B. Winmill’s decision stands firm. The agency has jurisdiction to regulate megaloads with the Wild & Scenic river corridor and we expect them to take the appropriate measures to protect and enhance those outstanding values. We will keep you up to date as the situation develops.
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued new rules governing recreational suction dredge mining for Idaho’s waterways. Permits will no longer be issued for recreational mining in rivers/streams that offer critical habitat for threatened and/or endangered species like Chinook salmon, steelhead or bull trout. Much of the Clearwater Basin, as well as the Salmon River, provide such habitat. The new rules also forbid any recreational dredging within the Nez Perce Reservation.
According to the Idaho Fish & Game Department, there are approximately 525-wolves in the state. By the end of 2012, the state estimated there were 683 wolves, but according to the agency’s website, an additional 156 have been killed so far in 2013, bringing the number to 527. Since federal delisting in spring 2011, approximately 700 wolves have been killed by hunters and trappers in Idaho, not counting the wolves slaughtered by ranchers and Wildlife Services. When combined with mortality rates in Montana via hunting and trapping, an approximate 1,100 wolves have been killed.
FOC is joining up with the University of Idaho Ecology & Conservation Biology Club for a program on the potential listing of the wolverine under the Endangered Species Act. The presentation will be on Tuesday April 16, 7-9pm, in the Whitewater Room of the Idaho Commons. We will be giving a similar presentation in Coeur d’ Alene with the Kootenai Environmental Alliance on Thursday April 18, 12pm at the Iron Horse Restaurant. The US Fish & Wildlife Service is taking public comments for potential listing until May 6.
We are looking for a couple dozen volunteers to assist with selling huckleberry and savory salmon crepes at our food booth for the 40th Annual Moscow Renaissance Fair. On Saturday May 4 and Sunday May 5, we will have three-hour shifts available for those interested in helping us raise money to protect Clearwater Country. The booth opens at 9am and closes at 6pm. Call (208) 882-9755 if interested in lending a hand!
Wilder by the minute,