Branch Library Hours
Fri 9am-12pm, 1-4pm
Mon 10-11:40am, 12-1:40pm
Tue 8-9:40am, 10-11:40am
Fri 10-11:40am, 12-1:40pm
Sat 9-10am, 10:20-11:40am
Idaho Power Campgrounds
Campgrounds remain open in Autumn, but often are booked up, so it's a good idea to make a reservation online to ensure you have a spot when you arrive. Camp hosts have gone for the season, and anyone planning to visit after mid-October should be aware that drinking water faucets and fish cleaning stations may be closed for winter, depending on the weather. Visit the Idaho Power recreation updates page for the most current information.
Camping fees at Idaho Power parks in Hells Canyon range from $10 for a tent space to $16 for an RV space. Discounts are available for campers over 60 and active duty military and veterans, but only if paying by credit card in advance or at the park. Discounts are not available for cash payments. For a full rate schedule, maps, and other park information, visit the Parks link at the Idaho Power website.
In-season campsite reservations may be made on-line as much as nine months in advance. There is a fee for reserving on-line, and reservations 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.
Idaho DEQ has issued a health advisory for waters near the Big Bar camping area on Hells Canyon Reservoir and the Woodhead Park area in Brownlee Reservoir. Recent samples indicate high concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria, commonly known as a toxic algae bloom, which can be harmful to people, pets, and livestock. Visitors are urged to use caution when recreating in or near the reservoirs: avoid swimming, wading, or other activities. Keep children, pets, and livestock from the water. Do not drink or cook with water containing a bloom. Boiling and filtering the water can actually increase risk. Wash hands thoroughly after handling fish caught in water experiencing a bloom. Any fish caught should be cleaned and washed thoroughly in uncontaminated water, and any internal organs disposed of before consumption. For more information, visit the Idaho DEQ website.
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.
Brownlee Reservoir Update
As of October 19, Brownlee Reservoir is at 2043 feet, 34 feet below full pool level of 2077. All area boat ramps except Spring Recreation and Steck Park outside Huntington are accessible. For current reservoir elevation information, check the Idaho Power website.
Wallowa-Whitman Offices Closed
The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest announced that offices are once again closed to the public due to the increase in COVID infections in area communities. Forest Service employees will continue to staff offices around the region and customer service will be provided virtually by telephone at the following numbers: Baker City, 541-523-6391; La Grande, 541-962-8500; Joseph, 541-426-5546; and Hells Canyon Creek Visitor Center, 541-785-3395. In-office services will resume when deemed safe to do so.
Public Use Restrictions Reduced to Phase A in National Forests
As of Friday, September 17, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has reduced the public use restrictions to Phase A. Under this phase, chainsaws may be operated between 8pm and 1pm, with a one-hour fire watch required after saw operations cease. Smoking is allowed only in enclosed vehicles, buildings, or cleared areas. Off-road/off-trail vehicle travel or travel on roads not cleared of standing grass or other flammable material is not allowed. Safe campfire principles while recreating in dispersed and developed campsites is encouraged: campfires should be in fire pits surrounded by dirt, rock, or commercial rings, and in areas not conducive to rapid fire spread; they must be attended at all times and completely extinguished prior to leaving the area; and people with campfires should carry a shovel or similar tool and have one gallon of water in their possession in order to completely extinguish the fire.
While fire danger is significantly less than earlier this summer, conditions are still prime for human-caused wildfires. Forest Service staff ask everyone to be extremely careful when spending time on public lands.
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's electronic licensing 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.
Kirkwood Creek Bridge Closure
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. A new bridge is in process, but has yet to be finished and open.
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.