Dirt bike tracks on lichen-encrusted rock along Lick Creek Road

Another Reason WC Loathes Dirt Bikes


WC has been complaining about dirt bikes for years, especially dirt bikes tearing through the wilderness. However much fun it may be for the folks riding the dirty, noisy and destructive machines, it is a use that precludes pretty much any other use. With noise levels at or above 100dB, they scare away any wildlife.…

A geological map of Valley County, Idaho

Geology and Payette Lake


Geologists tend to have a strange time sense. Mostly, they live in the present, year-to-year, decade to decade, like the rest of us. But their profession also requires them to live in geologic time, in epochs spanning millions of years. A geologist would look at Payette Lake in both ways: a beautiful, blue and blessedly…

Smolt to Adult Fish Ratios at Dams Along the Columbia and Snake Rivers

Science, Salmon and the Snake


The Snake is the Snake River, once one of the world’s preeminent salmon streams, famed for its chinook,sockeye and steelhead runs. Now those fish are an endangered species and at the heart of a complex struggle involving fish, water rights, hydroelectricity and, most of all, dam-foolishness. One way to measure the health of an anadromous…

Note the logging truck at the lower right for scale. Photo credit: FightingGoliath.org

The Megaloads: Idaho and Exxon Mobil


Alaska has very good reason to dislike and distrust Exxon Mobil. As it turns out, Idaho has its own bad experience with the world’s largest oil company, too: The Megaloads. In 2010, Exxon Mobil quietly arranged for Korean-manufactured refinery equipment to be barged to Lewiston, Idaho and then trucked along U.S. Highway 12 to the…

Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Lola Creek, Sawtooth NRA, Idaho

Salmon River Notebook, July 2018


The Salmon River, the largest tributary of the Snake River, dominates central Idaho. It drains the eastern, western and northern slopes of the Idaho Batholith, the vast granite pluton in the heart of the state. It’s also the largest un-dammed river in the Lower 48. Exploring all of the Salmon River and its tributaries would…

The Death Warrant

Silver Maple Receives Death Warrant


This is a Silver Maple tree, across the street from WC’s house. It’s likely more than 100-110 years old and more than 100 feet tall. It has homed Eastern Fox Squirrels, a family of Western Screech Owls, countless Eurasian Starlings and American Robins. It received a death warrant on Tuesday. Its crimes are (1) being…