Stop the Bush Administration from Selling Our Public Lands!

2.28.2006
Have you heard about the Bush administration's plans to put our public lands on "blue-light special?" Bush's proposed 2007 budget includes provisions to sell off as much as 800,000 acres of our public lands to the highest bidder!

Will you join me in speaking out against this absurd proposal?

Click here to send a message to your Members of Congress now!

Roadless Hot Springs at Risk in Idaho!

2.27.2006

Roadless Area Hot Springs Jerry Johnson at Risk

Roadless areas represent our last intact ecosystems, water systems, wildlife areas and open spaces. Many use and value this land, including: hunters, anglers, backpackers and kayakers along with many other types of recreational users.

IRAs also contain hot springs, which are very unique features that set Idaho's roadless forests apart from the rest. Scroll down to view the list of 22 hot springs located in IRAs in Idaho - all face a severe risk of development.

Please send your comments to Governor Kempthorne (contact info. below), telling him to petition to protect all inventoried roadless areas in Idaho. I've backpacked 100s of miles throughout the years in many of Idaho's roadless areas within the Boise, Payette, Sawtooth, Salmon-Challis and Clearwater National Forests. Developing any of Idaho's IRAs just doesn't make sense.

Here's why:
  • IRAs are important for recreation, clean water, fish and wildlife.
  • Idaho's uniqueness is represented by roadless forests, that draw middle class families to our cities - which are vital to urbanized economies and growth.
  • Idaho's forests already have over 34 thousand miles of road with over $660 million dollars of backlogged maintenance.
  • Roadless areas are a key component of Habitat Conservation Planning; which allows city and land planners to better design roadway and transit systems, and manage population growth.
  • 74% of the state's Steelhead and Chinook Salmon habitat in roadless areas, and Steelhead and Salmon anglers spend over $60 million dollars annually in Idaho.
Even though Idaho has the most roadless land in the lower 48, Governor Kempthorne is drafting a petition that could potentially open up millions of acres of inventoried roadless land for reasons that include energy exploration and old growth forest harvesting.

There is still time for your voice to be heard!

Governor Kempthorne is accepting comments until March 1, 2006. You can e-mail your comments to roadless@osc.idaho.gov or send them to:

Governor Kempthorne
c/o Office of Species Conservation
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83702-0195

My research has concluded that the hot springs listed below are all located within Inventoried Roadless Areas (IRAs) in Idaho. As such, their fate is currently in the hands of the Governor.

Boise National Forest
-Moondipper
-Pine Burl
-Bull Creek
-Bull Rack
-Tenmile
-Lynx Creek
-Weatherby
-Here Comes the Sun

Caribou-Targhee National Forest
-Bear Valley Creek

Clearwater National Forest
-Jerry Johnson
-Weir Creek

Payette National Forest
-Cable Car/French Creek
-Cluster
-Secesh
-Buckhorn
-Penny
-Mollys
-Vulcan

Salmon-Challis National Forest
-Owl Creek

Sawtooth National Forest
-Lightfoot
-Skillern
-Willow Creek

As seen in... National Geographic Traveler Magazine!

2.23.2006


The IdahoHotSprings.com Website & Webmaster are featured in the March/April 2006 National Geographic Traveler Magazine!

The article is titled "Why I Went to Boise" -by Andrew Nelson.

Feel the Love - New Updates in Place

2.19.2006
A slew of minor updates and upgrades have been implemented at IdahoHotSprings.com over the course of the last couple weeks. The most significant are highlighted below.


Support H.B. 516: Make Dog Fighting a Felony in Idaho

2.10.2006
Animal fighting is a cruel and barbaric activity in which animals forced to fight suffer horrible injuries and often death. This extreme form of cruelty is not acceptable as it tarnishes Idaho's image and the reputation of its society.

Legislation (H.B. 516) has been introduced to finally crack down on this illegal activity and bring Idaho law up to speed with the vast majority of states around the country. This bill has been reviewed by the House Agricultural Affairs Committee and will face a formal vote on Thursday, February 16. Please take action today!

Click on this link to send an email automatically!

Please send an email to the committee members and your own state representative and urge him or her to strongly support H.B. 516 and tell them that this extreme form of cruelty will not be tolerated in Idaho.

Click on this link to send an email automatically!

Treasure Valley Roadless Meeting Update

2.09.2006
Tonight a rare combination of hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts gathered at the Idaho Historical Museum to learn more about Idaho's roadless areas. The event itself was organized by Trout Unlimited, the Idaho Conservation League and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

It was great to see a wide variety of ages and public land users at the event. It seemed that the vast majority of those in attendance were in support of protecting our roadless areas. This meeting was necessary because Governor Kempthorne is currently collecting public comments regarding the fate of Idaho's 9+ million acres of inventoried roadless areas. Ironically, the Governor left Ada and Canyon counties out of the public comment process, hence the importance of tonight's meeting. I think it's pretty insulting that he choose to leave out the bulk of the population regarding something that concerns everyone who enjoys roadless land throughout the state.

Idaho's roadless areas were under Federal protection until May of 2005; when the Bush Administration revoked and replaced the nationwide, Federal rule with a new one that places the powers of protection and development in the hands of each state Governor.

More on the Roadless Rule...

Even though Idaho has the most roadless land in the lower 48, Governor Kempthorne is drafting a petition that could potentially open up millions of acres of inventoried roadless land for reasons that include energy exploration and old growth forest harvesting.

If you didn't make tonight's meeting there is still time for your voice to be heard!

Governor Kempthorne is accepting comments until March 1, 2006. You can e-mail your comments to roadless@osc.idaho.gov or send them to:

Governor Kempthorne
c/o Office of Species Conservation
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83702-0195

Use your own words to express support for roadless areas in your comments. Here's some ideas on what to talk about:
  • Personal experiences, stories of special roadless areas
  • The importance of roadless areas for recreation, clean water, fish and wildlife
  • How Idaho's uniqueness is represented by wilderness, and how that draws people to the cities that are important for vital economic health based upon the principles of urbanization economics
  • How Idaho's forests already have over 34K miles of road with a $660 million dollar backlog of maintenance
  • How roadless areas are a key component of Habitat Conservation Planning; which allows city and land planners to better design roadway and transit systems, and manage population growth
  • How 74% of the state's Steelhead and Chinook Salmon habitat in roadless areas, and that Steelhead and Salmon anglers spend over $60 million dollars annually in Idaho
I truly think we should petition to protect all of Idaho's inventoried roadless areas - just like they were originally protected. Cutting up the state into chunks for different management is ludicrous. Roadless areas are clearly independent of any political, county or regional line; managing each one individually will ultimately cost more and protect less.

I hope to see more of you hot springers at future meetings. It should be noted that hot springs in the Warm Lake area NE of Cascade and in the Clearwater National Forest are at risk right now!

Happy Soaking, -HSG

Kirkham Hot Springs in Idaho Revisited

2.04.2006

Near the entrance


No new scalping updates, incidents (see 07.15.05 briefing) or other dark dealings to report at Kirkham... just excellent soaking (thank goodness)! The roads in were dry until reaching Lowman, with only light amounts of rock on the highway. However, the snow was beginning to come down, and I knew that the way out could get a little dangerous.

A couple miles before the hot springs I came across a herd of elk - trapped on a section of the road with a steep drop-off on one side and vertical incline on the other. They were terrified; and slipped on the icy roads when trying to move too quickly. I followed the herd slowly until they reached a safe spot to get off the road.



Informational sign


Please, give deer and elk a chance to get off the road before losing patience - causing them to panic and run excessively will deplete their energy beyond recovery. They have very little left to survive on until spring.

There was ample parking for 3-4 vehicles in Kirkham's pullout near the gated entrance to the campground, and a nice well-used path through the snow into campground and to the hot springs.



Observation deck


It was slick heading down from the campground towards the river. The jagged rocks have flat, smooth areas and are wet year-round; use a walking stick or trekking pole to ease your semi-steep decent to the hot springs.



Slick hike in


I was stoked to discover a new rock-walled pool built just below the first hot waterfall. It was fairly shallow and had room for about 4 people. My favorite soak is located just around the corner, under the 2nd waterfall. This soak was bliss... a perfect 102ยบ with plenty of room to stretch out.



Pool 1


We soaked for a couple hours while watching the deer and elk graze on what little roots and foliage that could be found across the river. Just as we stirred to begin the dry-off, suit-up process a couple arrived to enjoy Kirkham. We politely greeted each other before hiking in the falling snow back to the pullout.



Ahh yes


The drive out was rough due to rapidly falling snow, but only for the first few miles. After the snow turned to rain it was smooth sailing. I'm not the biggest fan of roadside or 'practically' roadside soaks, but Kirkham was excellent. This is the rare time of year when you can steal a soak to yourself - if you dare to brave the roads!
Rating: A+



Pool 2



Happy Soaking, -HSG

Greedy, Irresponsible ExxonMobile

2.02.2006
ExxonMobil announced another record-breaking profit > $36.13 BILLION in 2005! Insane! Despite this, they still refuse to invest in cleaner, safer energy solutions or to even pay those hurt by their own oil spills.

Enough is enough, ExxonMobil has a new CEO and now is the time to let him know our views regarding their irresponsible actions.

Take Action Now!

-HSG

Prince Albert Hot Springs in Idaho Update

My 2nd attempt at Prince Albert was cut fairly short. The 1st time I was here I made it all the way out to where the road deteriorates into a creek. I stepped out of my truck and "CRUNCH" - the entire ground was covered with crickets! Hundreds of thousands of crickets; in some places bubbling out of the ground like a spring. After some light exploration I gave up, mostly because of the cricket festival - I didn't want to impact any sort of mating, breeding or migration.


Good luck with that

This time, the soft, muddy roads gave way to slow driving and led to an impassable water-over-road situation (see pic above). Plus, the road only gets worse from this point. I'll try again, but next time during the dry season.

Additional Prince Albert Hot Springs Info.
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