Here is a Blaine County Recreation District trail update for Friday, July 14, 2023:
Last night, 17 volunteers and 2 Wood River Trails Coalition staff worked on the flood damaged Fox Creek Trail. The crew made tread and drainage improvements to the trail including the armoring of eroded creek crossings.
Last weekend the Idaho Trails Association and the Wood River Trails Coalition hosted a weekend overnight work event on Prairie Creek Trail #134, working from the end of Prairie Creek Road and up the trail for approximately 4 miles to near Prairie Lake. The all-women crew of volunteers cut-out 62 trees, brushed back encroaching vegetation from the trail for 2.5 miles (up to the trail’s intersection with the Norton-Miner Canyon Trail #135) along with completing other trail-tread and drainage maintenance tasks. The last half mile or so of the trail below Prairie Lake is not yet cut-out, so trail users can expect some trees down as they approach the lake.
WRTC motorcyclist volunteers have been hard at work cutting out the Warfield-South Fork Trail #151, most recently working on it from its intersection with the Red Warrior-Warfield Connector Trail #120 down to the northeast and to Warm Springs Creek. They cut-out about 35 trees to get to an area impacted by avalanche debris. After cutting that out they encountered another huge slide path, which they plan to work on with the KRD Trail crew.
Whit Henry’s Galena Grinder takes place tomorrow, Saturday, July 15 at Galena Lodge. Here is a link to a recent story about the race by Idaho Mountain Express reporter Mark Dee: Galena Grinder returns July 15.
-A band is high in Greenhorn Gulch and may be in the vicinity of Greenhorn or other nearby trails.
-Sheep are in Poison Flat and may be in the vicinity of Lick Gulch/Poison Flat Trail or other trails northwest of the Deer Creek and west of Greenhorn.
When encountering sheep guard dogs, it’s important to remain calm and non-threatening. Guard dogs are raised with the sheep and consider them their family. If approached by guard dogs, speak calmly and avoid aggressive movements. Leash pets and show that you pose no harm to the flock. The dogs will likely lose interest and let you pass.
Here are some links to articles and blog posts about the subject:
Last summer, I provided my take on best practices when encountering bands of sheep and sheep guard dogs: BCRD Trails Blog – Sheep and dog days of summer
Here is a link to a web page with videos produced by the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission about how best to interact with bands of sheep and their guard dogs: Share and Care – Getting Along with Sheep Guard Dogs
Reporter Tony Evans wrote an article that covers the subject of how best to interact with sheep guard dogs. That article appeared in the May 1, 2021, edition of the Idaho Mountain Express newspaper. Here is a link to it:
Tony covered the topic of the annual migration of the sheep in an earlier Idaho Mountain Express article. It appeared in 2020. It covers other aspects of the movements and management of the sheep. Here is a link to that article: Sheep bands start northern migrations
Once the dogs settle down, you should move along. Do not try to befriend the dogs in any way. For additional information on this subject watch this video from the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission:
Here is a link to the latest Sawtooth National Recreation Trail Report:
Also from the SNRA this week:
Wilderness rangers report that, in general, patchy snow is holding on high passes and most creek crossings are passable.
SNRA partners, the Sawtooth Society and the Sawtooth Interpretive and Historical Association are hosting events this weekend. The Sawtooth Society is hosting volunteer trail work opportunities, while the Sawtooth Interpretive and Historical Assoc. is hosting daily programs at the Redfish Visitors Center as well as a summer lecture series.
If you are headed to Sawtooth Lake, Alpine Lake or on the Alice-Toxaway Loop, or other popular alpine lakes, remember that the lakes are fragile, and the landscape includes little natural soil. To minimize human impact in these high-use places, use a wag-bag/restop-bag to pack everything out, including human waste. Our high alpine lakes are naturally nutrient poor, which is part of the reason they are crystal clear. The increase of nutrients from human and dog waste impacts the environment and water quality. If you can’t pack out poop, it must be buried in 6-8 inches of soil (you’re going to have to take a walk to find enough soil) and toilet paper must be packed out as it is considered litter.
Warm Springs bridge out
Warm Springs Road is closed to vehicles west of Rooks Creek with crews at work replacing a washed-out bridge. The tentative completion date is July 20.
Closures on Hwy 21 between Mores Creek Summit and Lowman are underway. For info about the construction project call the Idaho Dept. of Transportation at (208) 398-3263 or email them at info@SH21construction.org.
Idaho Fish and Game and Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation will host community conversations in July in Ketchum and Hailey to address human-wildlife conflicts and provide personal safety information and tools to help keep people safe around wildlife. Pre-registration is required. Participants, aged 18 and above, will receive a complimentary canister of bear spray. The events are from 6 to 8 p.m. The dates and locations are as follows: Hailey, Community Campus, Minnie Moore Room on July 19; and Ketchum, Rotary Park on July 27. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chair to the Ketchum event. For pre-registration or more details, contact the Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359.