Branch Library Hours

Halfway  541-742-5279

Tue    1-4pm

Thur   3-6pm

Fri     9am-12pm, 1-4pm

Sat    9am-12pm

Richland  541-893-6088

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

     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.

     Visit the Idaho Power recreation updates page for the most current information.

Oxbow Fish Hatchery Closed

Idaho Power's Oxbow Fish Hatchery in Hells Canyon will be closed to the public beginning Wednesday, June 1, while the hatchery's water intake system is upgraded. Pending approval from federal regulators, an extensive remodel and expansion of the hatchery itself will begin later this summer, potentially extending the facility's closure through the summer of 2024.

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.

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.

Health Advisory

     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 SW District Health website.

 

 

Brownlee Reservoir Update

    As of October 4, Brownlee Reservoir is at 2,044 feet, 33 feet below full pool level of 2077. This level allows access to all area boat ramps, but not Spring Recreation or Steck Park. For current reservoir elevation information, check the Idaho Power website.

     A health advisory has been issued for Brownlee Reservoir due to a harmful algae bloom caused by high levels of toxic algae, also known as cyanobacteria. Please use caution in or near the water. See the Southwest District Health Department's advisory for additional information and resources.

 

Road & Forest Closure Update

     After being closed for nearly three weeks due to the Double Creek Fire, the Wallowa Mountain Loop Road/Forest Service 39 Road reopened to the public September 24. Wallowa County Road 727 is also open.

     Still closed are the Lower and Upper Imnaha roads, Dug Bar Road, and Hat Point Road. Highway 350 going to the town in Imnaha is open.

     Temporary area closures remain in effect in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest for the Double Creek Fire, Nebo Fire, and Sturgill Fire (including the Goat Mountain 2 Fire). Closure orders and maps may be found online on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Fire Incident Updates page.

     Fire restrictions remain in place for all National Forest System lands within the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest (see below).

     For complete up-to-date information, go to the Inciweb website and click on Fire Incident Updates.

 

Public Use Restrictions at Phase B

     Wallowa-Whitman National Forest officials have implemented Phase B due to high fire danger, the potential for human-caused fires, and concern for public safety.

     All fires are prohibited except when fueled by liquid petroleum, charcoal contained in a firepan, or contained in a wood stove with a chimney and spark-arresting screen. Fires need to be attended at all times, fully extinguished when not attended, and located in an area free of vegetaion within three feet of the fire.

     Chainsaw use is prohibited without a permit. Generators are only allowed in the center of an area at least 10' in diameter that is cleared of all flammable material, or when fully contained within a pickup truck bed or factory installed in an RV and the exhaust discharge is in the center of a 10' diameter area free of flammable material.

     Smoking is allowed only within enclosed vehicles, buildings, and developed recreation sites. No off-road vehicle travel is allowed.

     For more information and a list of designated recreation sites, visit the WWNF website.

     The Oregon Department of Forestry has also increased public use restrictions on private, state, country, municipal, and tribal lands in seven counties, including Baker. Under the new Regulated Use Closure, open fires are prohibited even at designated campgrounds. Non-industrial use of chainsaws is prohibited, as is internal combustion engine use other than motor vehicles. Smoking is allowed only in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, or at a cleared area. Motor vehicle use, including ATVs, is prohibited except on improved roads. Cutting, grinding, and welding of metal is prohibited, as is mowing of dried and cured grass with power-driven equipment, and any use of fireworks.

     These restrictions will remain in effect until replaced, suspended, or terminated by additional proclamations. For further information, contact the ORegon Department of Forestry at the Baker City Sub-Unit at 541-523-5831. Current fire restrictions can be found at the Blue Mountain Interagency website.

 

WWNF Invasive Plant Treatment

     The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has begun an integrated approach to reduce the risk of invasive species expanding on the forest. This will involve herbicide application, along with manual, mechanical, biological, and cultural treatments.

     Treatment sites will be posted at the time of treatment, and a blue marker dye that will fade over time will be mixed with herbicides to alert people where the product has been applied.

     This program is expected to continue through October. The majority of herbicide treatments will be spot application to individual plants, but some broadcast application will be done along some roadsides and gravel pits.

     For more information, including maps of potential treatment sites, please visit the WWNF website, or call the local Ranger District Office coordinator, Beckjo Wall at 541-426-5535.

 

 

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.