Branch Library Hours

Halfway  541-742-5279

Tue    1 to 4pm

Thur   4 to 7pm

Fri     9am to noon

        1 to 4pm

Sat    9am to noon

Richland  541-893-6088

Mon    10am to 2pm

Tue      8am to noon

Fri       10am to 2pm

Sat       9am to noon

Water Safety

    If you are going to spend time on the water, the Baker County Sheriff's Office would like to remind boat operators and passengers to pack extra supplies and be prepared for water-related outings. Weather can change drastically in a matter of hours, and water rescues are especially dangerous at night due to decreased visibility and often high winds on the reservoir.

     Be sure to make friends and family members aware of your plans, including departure times and specific travel routes or destinations. This will significantly decrease rescue time if something happens. Plan ahead, be prepared, and enjoy your boating activities.

Idaho Power Campgrounds - Currently Closed

     Winter camping fees go into effect November 1 at Idaho Power parks in Hells Canyon. Fees range from $5 for a tent space to $8 for an RV space. Discounts are available for seniors and veterans.

     For a full rate schedule, maps, and other park information, visit the Parks link at the Idaho Power website.

     You may now make in-season campsite reservations on-line as much as nine months in advance. There is a $10 fee for reserving on-line, and they may be made for visits scheduled between the first Friday in April through the last Sunday in October. A phone reservation option is also available for $15; call 1-844-472-7275.

     Smaller overnight campsites are not included in the reservation system. In Hells Canyon, Carter's Landing and Moonshine Mine remain available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Snow Pack Information

    As of March 27, the Schneider Meadows SnoTel site, elevation 5400 feet, is reporting a snow depth of 57" with a total precipitation accumulation of 26.2" since October.

     Check the recent weather and snow pack reports from Schneider Meadows SnoTel site and the Sparta Butte RAWS site for updates. More information is also available from the Wallowa Avalanche Center.  The WWNF also has snowmobile trail maps and condition reports available on their website.

 

Brownlee Reservoir Update

     As of March 27, Brownlee Reservoir is at 2038 feet, 39 feet below full pool level of 2077. This depth allows access to Woodhead and Moonshine Mine boat ramps, but not Farewell Bend or Hewitt/Holcomb.

     For current reservoir elevation information, check the Idaho Power website.

Kirkwood Creek Bridge Closure

   Hikers need to be aware that the bridge located at the Kirkwood Historic Ranch about 5.5 miles south of the National Recreation Trail #102 trailhead at Upper Pittsburg Landing is closed until further notice. Decayed wood supports and undermined concrete abutments were found during a routine inspection last fall. A new bridge is in process, but will most likely be built after the 2020 field season.

   An alternative crossing for hikers may be available at the footbridge near the mouth of the creek, approximately 300 feet downstream of the closed bridge. This is a small bridge, not suitable for stock use, and high water flows during the spring may submerge the deck at times.

   For more information, contact the Forest Service offices in Joseph (541-426-5546) or Riggins (208-628-3916), or visit the website.

New Antlerless Elk Damage Tags

ODFW has announced that a new general season tag will replace 19 controlled hunts and the need to obtain specific landowner damage tags from local ODFW offices. Hunters will need permission to hunt on private land to use this tag, because the majority of land included is privately owned. No application is necessary, and this general season tag is available as long as the hunter has not purchased another tag, such as archery. The season runs August 1 to November 30 in Pine and Eagle valleys. For more information, call the ODFW Baker City Field Office at 541-523-5832, or visit the website.

ODFW Electronic Licensing System

     ODFW launched a new electronic licensing system on December 1, 2018, with the sale of 2019 licenses and tags. The system allows hunters and anglers to carry their documents electronically on their smart phone or tablet and tag fish and wildlife with a mobile app that will even work off-line. An FAQ about the system is available at the ODFW website.

 

Toxic Algae Advisory

     A health advisory has been issued for 15 river miles of Brownlee Reservoir on the Snake River from the Canyon Creek/Swede's Landing area to Idaho Power's Woodhead Park. People are urged to use caution when recreating in or near the water. High levels of toxin-producing cyanobacteria (toxic algae) can be harmful to people, pets, and livestock. Those with liver or kidney damage are at an increased risk of illness.

     During this time, the public is advised to avoid swimming, wading, or other activities, and ensure children and animals are not exposed to the water. Do not drink or cook with river water. Boiling and filtering the water can actually increase the risk. Wash hands thoroughly after handling fish caught in water experiencing a toxic algae bloom. Thoroughly wash and clean any fish caught in contaminated water and dispose of any internal organs before consumption. Filet the fish and remove all of the fat, skin, and organs before cooking. Clean with potable water as soon as possible if water contacts skin or pet fur.

     Symptoms of toxic algae exposure include rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and/or wheezing. More severe symptoms affecting the liver and nervous system may result from ingesting water. If symptoms persist, contact your healthcare provider.

 

Photos courtesy of Hells Canyon Journal, Baker County Library Historical Archives,

Anna Brisk, Phil Wreden, Cindy Thayer, and Timothy Bishop of Base Camp Baker

News and event information courtesy of Hells Canyon Journal

 

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