Monday, June 29, 2009

Craig Mountain Wildlife Preserve

What a great place this was. CMWP is located south of Lewiston and encompasses 120K acres. The south boundary is the Salmon River, the west boundary is the Snake River, and the rest is private and agriculture lands. This particular day we did not see any wildlife, however the area is home to bighorn sheep, elk and deer. Plus bear, mountain lion and 3 bachelor wolves.

Above are old cabins at the Zaza stagecoach site. Not much else remains at the site. Below are scenic pictures of the Snake River breaks.

St Joe

Mid June Clinton, the dogs and I went fishing and camping up on the St Joe River, upstream of Avery, ID.
The first night we fished, I caught two cutthroat trout, Clinton caught none.

Thunder, lightning, and rain visited the campsite right as we were near finished cooking dinner.

The next day we drove slowly out and fished a few spots but did not catch anything. According to Clinton, it was to late (noon) in the day to catch fish.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Voyeur on blogspot

Voyeur wedding. What a beautiful wwedding. Ilove other cultures and the elaborate weddings that occur:Click HERE to see pictures of smiles, wonderful fabric, great henna, etc....the pics may change over time so look fast!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Salmon paper

This summer I am taking an Environmental Journalism course for the fun of it. The course has exposed me to the manner in which journalists see and research topics. I have not picked up on the jargon, interviewing tools, or in depth sleuthing required to write a catching article. I also must put my opinion in the paper. Maybe someday I can refine this to be an editorial writer. Any who, below is a paper I just wrote regarding salmon recovery and dams. Pointless, that is what my papers seem to be, pointless.

In the Pacific Northwest, large numbers of steelhead, Chinook, and sockeye salmon historically migrated from the ocean to spawn in headwaters of the Columbia, Salmon, and Snake Rivers. With the installation of hydroelectric projects within the Columbia River basin the salmon and steelhead runs have greatly declined.
Native American Tribes, environmental groups, and fishermen demand something be done to save the salmon and restore the large migrating runs to near historical numbers. Scientists, environmental organizations, and government have agreed that the salmon populations are being impacted by dams but disagree on the how the dams impact the salmon and what needs to be done about it.
When the dams were built, the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) had enough foresight to know that the salmon runs would be impacted and built hatcheries to mitigate for the loss of natural salmon. The success of hatcheries is controversial. Some people such as the Army Corps of Engineers and local fishermen are proud to show that there are salmon in the water regardless of their origin. As Tim Caldwell, a fisherman, was overheard saying while holding a string of large salmon caught this past June near Whitebird, ID, “there is no salmon problem, we slayed them today.” However, Ellen Hamann, a fisheries biologist student at the University of Idaho, replied “if you believe in hatcheries, then that is true.” Fisheries biologists argue that hatcheries are decreasing the genetic diversity of salmon and creating an inferior fish.
Even with the success of hatcheries in producing millions of salmon juveniles, the young fish still need to navigate around dams and endure the environmental conditions created from impoundment of water.
On a recent tour of Lower Granite Dam, a run of the river hydroelectric project on the lower Snake River, the ACOE tour guide dispelled some common misconceptions of the impact of the dam on the salmon population. One such misconception was the turbines acting as a “Quiznart, chopping the juveniles into little pieces. Actually, the turbines are moved by the water passing the blades, not the blades pushing the water.” Another misconception of the turbines is the great pressure placed on the juveniles crushes the salmon. This was dispelled with research using paintball like structures and passing them through the turbines and recovering them. According to the ACOE, there is no negative effect to the juveniles from pressures in the turbines however, they have invested millions of dollars into juvenile bypass systems such as the Removable Spillway Weir (RSW) and barging the juveniles downstream past several dams.
The entrance to the turbines and through the typical spillway requires the juvenile salmon to swim down (or they get sucked in the whirlpool) 50 feet to pass the dam and then go down a slide into very turbulent water. Research has shown that the juvenile salmon typically swim near the surface of the water and diving down to depths is not natural.
The RSW allows water from the surface to spill over the dam, facilitating the outward migration of salmon. Research performed by NOAA and USGS on the survival rates of juvenile salmon and steelhead going over the RSW versus the typical spillway showed no significant increase in survival between spillways.
Barging the juveniles past the dams to increase survival has effects on the returning adult migration. Research performed by the Idaho Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit at the University of Idaho, Moscow, ID have shown results that suggest “juvenile transport [barging] impaired adult orientation or homing abilities, perhaps by disrupting sequential imprinting processes during juvenile out migration.” Therefore, barging the juveniles increases the survival of the young fish but impairs the ability of the adult fish from returning to suitable spawning areas.
In the past, dam breaching was a topic reserved for environmentalists and the government would not consider it in negotiations toward reviving the salmon populations. Recently, U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, stated that dam breaching should be considered in all present and future talks regarding the salmon and dam issue which also means including a non-breaching option. Federal Judge James Redden is to decide if the latest Snake and Columbia River Salmon project written by the Bush Administration is legal.
The cost of dam breaching versus continuing the present management is also up to debate. Save Our Salmon, a coalition favoring dam breaching, claims a savings of $50 million annually plus an additional $500 million in real benefit value. The ACOE Draft Environmental Statement estimates the cost of dam breaching to be $246 million annually in forfeited economic benefits than other alternatives. Presently, according to Brig. Gen. David Fastabend, ACOE, the “$506 million a year spent on salmon recovery represents the entire regional federal budget for dam improvements, habitat restoration, and hatchery and harvest management activities.“
Obviously the ACOE is attempting to do anything to save the salmon at whatever cost as long as the dams are not to be breached. Their record of success on improving the runs is costing millions of dollars with little success. The loss of hydropower is the biggest economic hurdle to overcome but with the various sustainable energy technologies being developed and used, maybe the millions of dollars could be better spent supporting another power source instead of keeping the failed dams alive.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Food for thought. The consumer focus is what caught my interest. Specifically how money, industry, and capitalism has destroyed communities and sent humans into a spiral of consumption.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Selway Falls

OMG! The falls were huge and there is no way I could capture it on film. There is also no way anyone would be able to survive a trip through the maytag falls.

Manly stick

This one is for Miss Gina. Henry is learning about the manly stick.