Outdoor news in brief

Students can ski for free this winter

Idaho students in grades five and six can hit the slopes for free this winter.

The Idaho Ski Areas Association offers fifth-graders three free or discounted days at all 18 Idaho ski resorts and provides sixth-graders with two days of free or discounted skiing at 16 resorts.

Interested skiers need to complete an application at skiidaho.us/programs/passport and pay a $15 processing fee to order a passport. Ski Idaho will email the passport that can be printed and brought to the slopes. Youth skiers must have a parent or guardian present to use the passport, and it must be shown at the resort in order to receive the lift ticket.

For more information and a list of participating resorts visit skiidaho.us.

Fish and Game asking for angler comment

Anglers from across the state are encouraged to take part in a survey about fishing in Idaho, according to an Idaho Fish and Game news release.

The survey, offered every five or six years, covers a variety of topics including how often people fish and their preferred fish species, what types of fishing regulations they support, and what conservation priorities Fish and Game should pursue. Fish and Game is also interested in learning more about what other values are important to anglers, such as solitude or natural beauty.

The survey was sent to random samples of license buyers earlier this week. An online survey open to everyone will be released Monday at idfg.idaho.gov. It will be available until Nov.13.

All responses will remain confidential. Survey results are important to help shape Fish and Game’s next statewide fish management plan.

Public review, open houses set for wilderness management plans

The Salmon-Challis National Forest, Sawtooth National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management Idaho Falls District are providing a final opportunity for the public to review and comment on the refined wilderness management plans and environmental analysis associated with the Hemingway-Boulders, White Clouds and Jim McClure-Jerry Peak wilderness areas.

According to a news release, comments received from previous meetings have been analyzed and/or incorporated into the alternatives now available for public review.

Public meetings are scheduled for November at the following locations:

• Noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 1 at the American Legion Hall, 406 S. Main Street in Mackay

• 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Challis-Yankee Fork/Middle Fork Ranger District Office, 311 N. US HWY 93 in Challis

• 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 13 at the American Legion Hall, 220 Cottonwood Street in Ketchum

• Noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Community Center on Idaho Highway 21 in Stanley

For information on the plans, contact Emily Simpson, Project Leader, at 208-630-3507 or emilysimpson@fs.fed.us.

Wildlife migration area conserved along Henry’s Lake

A critical migration area for big game, grizzly bears, pronghorn and other wildlife has been conserved for future generations through a project of The Nature Conservancy in Idaho and the U.S. Forest Service, according to a Caribou-Targhee National Forest news release.

The project conserves 60 acres of the Duck Creek area on Henry’s Lake. The release said the creek is one of four major tributaries to Henry’s Lake and provides important spawning habitat for Yellowstone cutthroat trout as well as habitat for elk, deer and grizzly bear.

The area will remain open to the public for non-motorized traffic and camping. The land will be added to the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and will be managed by the Ashton/Island Park Ranger District.

“My family has had a ranch near Henry’s Lake in Idaho for over 80 years,” land owner Rob Plesner said in the release. “Over the generations it has been divided among the relatives. We wanted to keep this parcel undeveloped since it is already bordered on two sides by the Forest Service, and there is currently no other development in the area. We feel this is the best use of the land and preserves it for everyone.”

The release said Plesner’s grandparents homesteaded in the Henry’s lake area and several family members still live along Henry’s Lake.

“This project conserves an incredibly beautiful and biologically rich area of Idaho,” David Weskamp, the Conservancy’s East Idaho conservation manager, said in the release. “We are grateful to the Plesner family and the U.S. Forest Service for their commitment and partnership.”