Expect delays caused by road work near Hells Gate State Park

Road work at Hells Gate State Park near Lewiston slated to begin Monday and last about a month could lead to minor delays.

The work will cover the main road at the park from its entrance to the stop sign near the start of the Cottonwood Loop campground. Work will also happen at the park’s boat launch and may lead to periodic closures there.

According to a news release from the park, work will not happen between 6 p.m. Fridays and 6 a.m. Mondays, nor will it occur on Labor Day. Work may occur at night, but work in campgrounds south of the bridge over Tammany Creek will be limited to daytime hours.

Any delays caused by the work will be limited to 20 minutes.

The $680,000 project is being administered via a partnership with the Western Federal Lands Highway Division. The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation is contributing about $50,000 in matching funds. Additional funding comes from the Federal Lands Access Program.

Utility installation near Elk City to create delays

ELK CITY — Travelers on the Santiam-Sourdough Road on the Red River Ranger District of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest should expect delays of up to one hour during a utility installation project next week.

Crews from Avista are scheduled to work on parts of the Santiam–Sourdough Road, Prospect Hole Road and the Dead Rabbit Road Monday through next Friday. Travelers can expect delays between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m.

More information on the work and possible delays is available by contacting the Red River Ranger District at (208) 842-2245.

Corps, counties team up to promote safety at popular sites

POMEROY— Officials from the Army Crops of Engineers are asking people planning to visit Illia Dunes near Lower Granite Dam and Granite Point near Wawawai during weekend gatherings to “remain on their best behavior.”

Both sites on the Snake River are popular gathering points for college-age revelers during hot, late summer weekends, especially Labor Day weekend. The sites sometimes attract thousands of people, and parties there have lead to damage, excessive trash and parking problems.

Illia Dunes was closed in 2012 and in 2014, and Granite Point was closed in 2018, after partiers left large amounts of trash and broken glass in their wake. Although not all of the weekend partiers were Washington State University students, an organized group of volunteers from WSU provided some clean-up assistance.

According to a news release, the Corps is teaming up with the Garfield County and Whitman County sheriff offices, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Patrol and Washington State University Police Department to promote public safety at the sites.

Parking at the Dunes and Granite Point is restricted to nearby Corps parking lots only. Due to the size, configuration of available space and limited maneuverability for larger vehicles, buses are not allowed to park in the lots. Illia dunes parking is limited to a total of about 120 cars. Tour and school buses must contact the security officials at Lower Granite Dam at (509) 843-2210 at least 24 hours in advance for crossing authorization.

No public parking is allowed on Almota Ferry Road near Illia Dunes. “No parking” signs have been placed along the road. Along Wawawai River Road, no parking is allowed where vehicles extend beyond the fog line into the traffic lanes.

According to the news release, the Corps has the option of banning alcohol consumption on land it manages but has not done so at either site. The use of drugs, including marijuana, is illegal on federal lands regardless of state laws.

Cliff jumping and diving are not allowed at Granite Point. According to the news release, underwater obstructions exist and jumping and diving bring the risk serious injury and death.

Conduct that interferes with, impedes or disrupts the use of the site or impairs the safety of any person is prohibited. Individuals who are boisterous, rowdy, disorderly or otherwise disturb the peace may be asked to leave.

Glass bottles are not allowed. The agency provides trash bags for visitors and is asking people to put filled trash bags into on-site garbage receptacles.

Karen Savory is thenew artist-in-residence at Lolo Pass venue

POWELL — The Lolo Pass Visitor Center near here will welcome Karen Savory to its Artist in Residence program this weekend.

Savory will work with watercolors and interact with visitors from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today through Sunday.

She specializes in playful watercolor paintings and classic block prints inspired by nature. According to a news release from the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest, Savory grew up near the Niagara River in upstate New York and developed a deep love for the outdoors, which is displayed in her artwork.

Skills clinic planned Sept. 14 at L-C Wildlife Club

LAPWAI — Idaho Fish and Game officials will hold a skills-based clinic at the Lewis-Clark Wildlife Club range from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 14.

The event replaces the agency’s Hunt and Fish Idaho Expo that has been held at its Clearwater Regional Office in Lewiston over the past three years.

The skills clinic is free and open to anyone interested in sighting in their rifles, trying different calibers of firearms or learning more about hunting in Idaho.

The clinic will start with an address on the anniversary of the Lewis-Clark Wildlife Club at 8:30 a.m. A pancake breakfast will be held from 9-10. The shooting range opens at 10, and people may shoot shotguns and rifles there. Idaho Fish and Game officials will also present an overview of the agency’s online “Hunt Planner” at 10.

A barbecue lunch will be held from noon to 1 p.m. From 1-3:30 people may continue to shoot shotguns and rifles at the range. The event will end with a prize drawing at 4 p.m.

Dry weather prompts forest to reinstate fire restrictions

PENDLETON, Ore. — The Umatilla National Forest has reinstated restrictions on smoking, chain saw use and off-road vehicle travel because of dry weather over the past few weeks.

Chain saws may be operated only between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. A one-hour fire watch is required after saw operations cease. Saw operators are required to have an ax, shovel and fire extinguisher in their possession.

Smoking is allowed only in enclosed vehicles, buildings or cleared areas.

Off-road and off-trail vehicle travel is prohibited, as is travel on roads or trails that have not been cleared of standing grass.

Agency officials are urging visitors to practice safe campfire principles when recreating in dispersed and developed campsites. They recommend campfires be in fire pits surrounded by dirt and rocks or in commercial fire rings. All flammable material must be cleared within a 3-foot radius of the edge of the pit, and the pit should be free of overhanging material. Campfires must be attended at all times, and completely extinguished before leaving.

People who have campfires should have a tool that can serve as a shovel and 1 gallon of water in their possession.

Weapons training class scheduled Sunday at Lapwai range

LAPWAI — The Lewis-Clark Wildlife Club will play host to a Safe Shooting Solutions Concealed Carry Training Class at the club’s range on Sunday.

The Training Room and 6-bench side of the range will be closed to public use all day. The 18-bench side of the range will be open.

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