NACHES -- Winter logging will bring some trail restrictions to snowmobilers using Gold Creek (Forest Service Road 1705) Sno-Park and groomed trail off State Route 410 near Whistlin' Jack Lodge and Resort.
After midnight Monday, snowmobilers will have trail access from 3 p.m. Thursdays to early Friday and then after 3 p.m. Friday through the weekend. Logging operations will then begin again early Mondays.
The Gold Spring Timber Sale area has specific timelines for harvesting timber.
"After talking to local businesses over concerns of the closure affecting their business, I talked with the purchaser who agreed to work their operations around crucial times for business," said Nate Standish, Naches District Timber Sale administrator, in a news release.
The administrator anticipates the restrictions will remain for the rest of the winter.
Idaho senate panel backs hunting as a right
BOISE -- An Idaho Senate committee thinks hunting, fishing and trapping be a constitutional right in Idaho.
The Senate Resources Committee on Wednesday approved an amendment to the Constitution that would preserve these traditional outdoor activities in Idaho's founding document.
Sen. Jeff Siddoway of Terreton says he's fearful radical groups could try to ban hunting activities if something like this isn't passed.
Some lawmakers raised concerns such an amendment could undermine the Department of Fish and Game's ability to manage hunting, fishing and trapping through reasonable regulations and fees.
An attorney general's opinion agreed there was some ambiguity in this regard.
But Sen. Lee Heider, the Twin Falls Republican sponsoring the measure, said that wasn't his intent.
The measure must get two-thirds Senate and House support before it goes on November's ballot.
Idaho parks pass plan passes House committee
BOISE -- The Department of Parks and Recreation's effort to boost annual revenue with an affordable annual pass got off to a good start when a House committee recommended it be quickly approved by the full chamber.
The House Resources Committee on Tuesday unanimously backed the new Idaho State Parks Passport, which would allow people registering their vehicles to voluntarily add a $10 sticker to their car entitling them to entry into Idaho's 30 state parks.
Director Nancy Merrill said she hopes the idea, borrowed from Michigan, will boost her agency's finances at a time when Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter wants parks to support themselves.
There now is a similar annual Idaho parks pass, but it now costs $40 and raises only $800,000.
Restoration project set for Idaho's Silver Creek
KETCHUM, Idaho -- The Nature Conservancy has entered into an agreement with a central Idaho rancher to restore a large pond that feeds into Silver Creek, a nationally renowned fly-fishing destination.
Spokesman Matt Miller said the restoration will remove sediment from Kilpatrick Pond that, due to its shallowness, has high water temperatures unsuitable for fish. Water from the pond flows into Silver Creek.
"The pond is very large, so it's definitely a more involved project," Miller told the Idaho Mountain Express.
He said the conservation organization is partnering with Picabo rancher Nick Purdy in the project that aims to restore the stream to a more natural path. The pond covers about three-quarters of a mile.
Sturgeon retention to close for season
VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Sturgeon retention in the Bonneville pool of the Columbia River will be closed beginning Feb. 18.
Washington and Oregon officials agreed Wednesday on the closure date.
Through Sunday, the kept catch is 831 from a guideline of 2,000 sturgeon.
John North of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said the catch is expected to be about 1,100 through Feb. 17.
At a public meeting in December in The Dalles, the states were asked to save some of the catch guideline for a summer fishing period. The bite is best in the lower portion of the pool during the winter. Fishing improves in the upper pool later in the year.
North said the 900 fish expected to be available after the Feb. 18 closure should be enough to allow for six days of sturgeon retention.
The states are toying with three two-day seasons beginning in mid-June, he said.