Outdoor News in Brief

BLM to host open house on Sand Creek Desert, Sand Dunes

The Bureau of Land Management will hold an open house May 31 to gather public input on designating routes and trails on public lands located within the Sand Creek Desert and St. Anthony Sand Dunes.

The open house is scheduled for 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Fremont County Annex Building, 125 N. Bridge Street in St. Anthony.

“The BLM is required to have a travel management plan, which is essentially an approved list of roads and trails we can travel on to access our public lands,” Recreation Planner Jason Byrd said in a BLM release. “We know the St. Anthony Sand Dunes and the Sand Creek Desert are popular places to recreate and this is our first attempt at ground-truthing what currently exists on the landscape.”

The meeting will allow the public to view maps depicting current trails in the area. Upper Snake Field Office staff will be on hand to answer any questions and explain the travel management planning process in detail, the release said.

For more information, contact Byrd at jbyrd@blm.gov or 208-524-7500.

Trapper education course slated for Idaho Falls

The Idaho Fish and Game Department will hold mandatory trapper education courses June 7-10 in Idaho Falls.

Beginning July 1, 2018, trappers who purchased their first trapping license after June 30, 2011 will be required to pass a mandatory trapper education course before they can purchase an Idaho trapping license.

A Fish and Game release said trappers who have successfully passed and are certified through the Idaho voluntary trapper education course, or other equivalent courses from other states or countries, are exempt. Those who have taken only a wolf trapping education course are not exempt and must take the Idaho trapper education course.

The meetings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. June 7-9 and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 10 at the Idaho Falls Fish and Game office, 4279 Commerce Circle.

Space is limited and registration is required. Registering at a Fish and Game office costs $8. Online registration by credit card requires an added convenience fee of $1.75. Registration is available at any Fish and Game office or online by clicking the trapper education link at idfg.idaho.gov/hunt/education.

According to the release, the course covers basic trapping techniques with a strong focus on safety and ethical trapper behavior. Selecting safe and responsible trap set locations is emphasized throughout. The class is taught by experienced trappers and Fish and Game employees, and includes a mixture of classroom instruction and field experiences. Experienced trappers are invited to attend.

Courses are also scheduled for June 2-3 in Coeur d’Alene and June 16-17 in Nampa.

CAP your tag with a dollar donation

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game wants to remind hunters that they can help stop a game thief by designating $1 to Citizens Against Poaching when purchasing a license or applying for controlled hunts.

Citizens Against Poaching is a nonprofit citizen organization, managed by a volunteer board, who work in cooperation with Fish and Game. CAP has a 24-hour hotline where citizens can report wildlife crimes, and remain anonymous if they choose. Callers may also receive a reward.

CAP does not receive any funding from Fish and Game.

“Donations provide funding for rewards,” Chris Wright, Fish and Game assistant enforcement chief, said in a Fish and Game release. “You will simply be directing that dollar to be used by Citizens Against Poaching, but your controlled hunt application fee will remain the same.”

The CAP hotline received 878 calls in 2016 from citizens reporting suspected Fish and Game violations. These calls resulted in 77 cases and 157 citations issued. These concerned citizens were paid $17,700 in reward money.

Citizens who witness fish and game violations are encouraged to call the CAP hotline number at 1-800-632-5999, call any law enforcement authority, or report online at idfg.idaho.gov/poacher.