Group seeks to open Greenbelt in Garden City to bicycling

A group of bicycle-commuting advocates will address the Idaho State Land Board Aug. 19 to insist that the state take the necessary action to open the Greenbelt at Riverside Village in Garden City to bicyclists.

The pathway is currently closed to bike riding.

Citizens for an Open Greenbelt (COG), wants “to provide continuous open space along the river for non-motorized, mixed use for the citizens of Idaho.” It wants Garden City to lift its ban on Greenbelt bike riding.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. and should be a hot one.

My first day at Bizarroworld (aka Yellowstone)

I just spent 10 hours in a car sightseeing in Yellowstone, which is kind of like the Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness if it was run by Disneyland.

Many things at Yellowstone lived up to the billing. There's some drop-dead, spectacular scenery and an impressive amount of wildlife, from buffalo to badgers, but whoa, it's also like a trip to the Nature Mall the day after Thanksgiving.

My idea of an outdoor adventure doesn't include traffic jams, fleets of rental motorhomes, nearly as many Harleys as at Sturgis, and crowds that looked like Western Idaho Fair on opening night.

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's take on elk hunting

Hunters are getting anxious for the upcoming hunting season.

Here are some predictions from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation that might be of interest. It also includes surrounding states.

A comprehensive hunt forecast from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is now available for free at www.rmef.org.

Main Payette is excellent flow for rafting

Splish, splash, the flow of the Main Payette River, north of Horseshoe Bend, is excellent for rafting and kayaking right now. All you have to do is look at all the people up on the river over the weekend.

The river is running 3,650 cfs, which provides splashy rapids and great opportunities for getting wet in hot weather.

The river is at its best for intermediate whitewater boaters and newcomers to the sport. It's also an excellent time for those who want to give whitewater rafting a try with an outfitter.

You can expect great flows on the Main Payette through September.

Tilapia: What other fish do you want in the Snake River?

The recent cases of guys catching state record tilapia got me thinking about Idaho's fish populations. What other fish would be cool in the Snake River?

Now before you freak out, this is only a game, I am not advocating any illegal fish planting. It's kind of like my favorite road trip question: What would you rather be, a rock star or an NFL quarterback? It's a dumb question to pass the time.

Unsolicited fly fishing advice for Walt Minnick

A campaign ad for Congressional candidate Walt Minnick was e-mailed to me, and while I avoid political commentary, I figured I would weigh in on his fly fishing skills since he features them in his ad.

Walt, you know you're inviting scrutiny when you portray yourself as an Idaho fly fishermen, so consider this scrutiny delivered.

More crazy sockeye news

If "ocean conditions" are responsible for this year's unexpectedly large sockeye returns to Idaho and the Columbia River, those conditions are awfully selective.

While Idaho is seeing the largest sockeye run in over 30 years, Lake Washington near Seattle is seeing the worst sockeye run in over 30 years.

Lower Granite Dam downstream of Lewiston had 853 sockeye cross it through Tuesday, which is the largest run recorded since the dam was finished in 1975. It's also more sockeye to Idaho than in the last 10 years combined.

Smokey pulls ATV ad

The Forest Service made the right call in pulling a controversial ad that insinuated that ATVs start wildfires and shouldn't be used on the forest.

It was a good move to correct some very poor decision making earlier when the Forest Service approved the ad. Unfortunately, creating an ad that won't run wasted taxpayer money that the cash-strapped agency could have used for much better things than ripping on ATVs.

Greenbelt is healthy, don't touch the trees

I just rode past the beautiful stretch of Greenbelt where there was a request to clear vegetation for scenic views from the windows of the Falcon office building.

No way. Those huge trees and the lush undergrow is some of the most healthy vegetation and the most valuable wildlife habitat along the river. It's just east of Broadway in one of the most shady spots along the pathway.

To clear vegetation for views in office buildings or other developments is unthinkable.

New rapids on Middle Fork of Salmon

Wow, Nature is doing it again on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.

The U.S. Forest Service reports that heavy thunderstorms earlier this week along the Middle Fork sent a whole bunch of debris crashing down several tributary steams creating three new rapids.

The river is still open but floaters should scout the new rapids.

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