How to Deal with a Criminal


One of WC’s Facebook friends, JW,1 saw this alarming story on FaceBook, and asked WC to comment on it. The story isn’t hers; it comes from a FaceBook person WC doesn’t know, KM. WC sets KM’s post out here, exactly as posted to FaceBook: Girls never open your door to anyone!!! I live in the…

Little Salmon River Valley at Pollock, Idaho

Geology Is Messy: The Little Salmon River


The Little Salmon River – and it really is little in comparison to Idaho’s Salmon River – run mostly north from New Meadows to Riggins, at the confluence of the Little Salmon and the Salmon, about 45 river miles. It follows a fault that marks part of the suture created when the Seven Devils Terrane…

American White Pelican, Thousand Springs WMA, Idaho

Tax the Rat Farms


Terry Pratchett’s fictional tyrant of the city of Ankh-Morpork, Havelock Veterinari, was asked how to control the City’s burgeoning rat problem. The City had a bounty on rat tails, and for a while it seemed to be helping. The number of rats declined, and so did requests for bounties. But then the rat population seemed…

J. R. Simplot Grand View CAFO, westerly side, March 2020

The Biggest CAFO in the United States


Just north of Grand View, Idaho, on the Snake River, where Idaho State Highway 167 drops south into the Snake River Canyon, you can find the largest concentrated animal feeding operation – CAFO – in the United States. Bisected by Highway 167, you smell it a long time before you see it. The stench of…

Child coffin, 2020

Seeing Children As Property


Idaho has child protection laws. If there are reports by police, teachers or neighbors that children are being badly abused, the State of Idaho has the power to remove the children from their parents of guardians. A judge can even order medical treatment necessary for the health of the child. Unless the children are dying…

Environmental Protection

Good News You Might Have Missed


In the holiday frenzy and year end wrap up, there was some good news on the conservation front. At least in the legal arena. Here’s a quick recap. Western Watersheds v. BLM. Dwight Hammond and his son Steven Hammond were convicted of committing arson on their grazing allotments back in 2012. Donald Trump subsequently pardoned them and then-Interior…

BLM's Tri-State Fuel Break Proposed Project Area

Dealing with Climate Change: Wildfire Fuel Breaks


It seems increasingly likely that humanity’s inaction in the face of the existential threat of anthropogenic climate change means we are going to have more than than the 2° Celsius of global temperature increase that climatologists regarded as manageable. So, without in any way diminishing the urgency that humanity’s CO2 emissions be reduced, it’s time…

Facebook Comment by Idaho Senate Majority Leader Mike Moyle

The Stupid Is Strong Out There, Folks


Below is a Facebook post by the House Majority Leader for the Idaho State Legislature: Readers are likely a little confused by what point State Representative Moyle may be trying to make, but it seems to involve property taxes and distaste for Democrats. Mostly WC is embarrassed for Idaho and for Rep. Moyle. This is…

California Sea Lions, Scapegoat

Make the Pie Higher


The fiercest fight WC ever witnessed between two grizzly bears was over the nearly meat-free remains of a moose rib cage. There might have only been scraps left, but the two big boars were determined to keep that other bear away. Fighting over scraps. There’s a similar fight over the pitiful remains of the once-epic…

The queue is this direction

Hallowe’en on Harrison, 2019 Edition


It’s two posts today! In Ada County, where Boise is located, the best trick or treating is along Harrison Boulevard, in the North End, about four blocks from WC’s house. Entire battalions of kids and their parents head there on Hallowe’en. The City closes the street for the occasion, the homeowners along the boulevard go…

Success!

The Great Pumpkin Caper


Mrs. WC’s Twitter and Facebook posts of the squirrel in the pumpkin have been pretty popular. WC thinks you might enjoy the back story. Our first autumn in Boise, we tried using pumpkins as Hallowe’en decorations. It was less than successful: the hordes of introduced Eastern Fox Squirrels that plague the north end of Boise…

Spawning Salmon, not, alas, in the Salmon River Drainage

Congratulations to All 15 Sockeye


WC offers his sincere congratulations to all fifteen sockeye salmon who made it back to Redfish Lake in 2019. Your return represents a triumph. Not just of the usual challenges an anadromous fish faces in returning to its spawning grounds, although Bog knows, those are challenging enough. Migrating past voracious predators – orca, sea lions…

Duck Lake, altitude 6,800 feet, Central Idaho

Lick Creek Notebook: September 2019


It’s been 25 years since wildfire devastated the Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pine forest at Lick Creek Summit, at the divide between the Payette and Salmon River drainages. At 6,500 feet and higher, the terrain just doesn’t recover that quickly, especially from a really hot fire like the 1994 blaze. Lick Creek Road climbs up…

Idaho Batholith at Lick Creek Summit, northeast of McCall, Idaho

Geology Is Messy: The Idaho Batholith


The Idaho Batholith is a vast chunk of granite that dominates central Idaho. It’s some 15,400 square miles of rock. People talk about it as if it’s a gigantic, homogenous lump of stone. It’s not. Geology is complicated. Most, but not all, geologists agree the Batholith was formed when the Pacific Plate subsumed under the…

Mule Deer Doe, Albertson Park Boise

Three Views of a Doe


Kathryn Albertson Park, in Boise, is one of WC’s favorite places to photograph birds. Renovations to the park, including some promising new viewing platforms, have driven away most of the birds this summer, but not, apparently, the resident deer. This pretty young lady gave WC a nice set of poses before heading to a thicket…