Tucannon River Road in Umatilla National Forest has been closed; repairs begun

POMEROY — In partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Umatilla National Forest has temporarily closed the Tucannon River Road on the Pomeroy Ranger District, to be consistent with Washington state’s stay-at-home order that closed state campgrounds and ponds along the road.

Meanwhile, contractors have started to repair the same road, which was damaged in a flood last month.

The planned work includes debris removal, temporary repair of damaged pavement, and restoration of drainage features, according to a news release from forest officials. The goal is to provide safe access for land management agencies so they can continue to develop repair plans.

Once the work is done, Forest Service officials will determine if it is safe to allow public access on specific sections of the road. Forest officials will notify the public of the evaluation results upon completion.

Road and trail closures are in place in the watersheds that received the heaviest impacts. These areas include the Tucannon, Umatilla, and South Fork Walla Walla rivers.

Detailed closure maps and updates on flood repair activities are available on the forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla.

Fish and Game’s two land purchases in Clearwater County are official

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game recently finalized two land deals in the Clearwater Region aimed at increasing or easing public access.

The agency spent $25,000 on a 9-acre parcel that includes 3,600 feet along the South Fork of the Clearwater River including the popular Harpster Hole used by salmon and steelhead anglers.

The agency completed a land trade on its Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area south of Lewiston in which it acquired 360 acres that was formerly surrounded by state land. In trade, the agency gave up 540 acres known as the Reeves Property that sits just outside of the wildlife area. The state received $147,000 to balance the value of the two parcels, and the public will continue to have nonmotorized access to the Reeves Property.

Conservation corps offers 32 positions to teenage outdoor fans

The Clearwater Basin Youth Conservation Corps is inviting those ages 16-18 with a love of the outdoors and an interest in learning about natural resource careers to apply for one of 32 corps positions being filled through the Clearwater Resource Conservation and Development Council.

The program lets young people experience natural resource career opportunities and provides hands-on experience for a variety of disciplines, according to a news release.

Participants will learn practical and problem-solving skills as they work alongside natural resources specialists engaged in important aquatic and terrestrial restoration projects. Additionally, they will participate in projects that enhance recreation opportunities for forest users.

More information about the summer work program and how to apply is available at www.clearwaterrcd.org/apply-cbycc/.

Tribe cancels free fishing event at Tunnel Pond near Orofino

OROFINO — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nez Perce Tribe canceled the previously scheduled opening day free fishing event at Tunnel Pond near here Saturday.

The pond will open for the regular fishing season Wednesday. All nontribal anglers 14 years of age and older are required to purchase and retain a tribal permit to fish at the pond. Conditions could warrant closure of the pond in the future, according to a news release from the tribe.

Notice will be disbursed if any closure action is implemented.

Tribal fishing permits can be purchased at the following locations: the Orofino Marketplace Grocery Store (old IGA), The Guide Shop in Orofino, Nez Perce Express II in Lewiston, Dale & Jill’s Sporting Goods in Kamiah, and Tom Cat Sporting Goods in Kooskia. Permits are $5 for a single day, $25 for an Idaho resident annual permit, and $30 for a nonresident annual permit.

Bluebird-watching trip canceled

The Canyon Birders’ annual bluebird trip originally scheduled for Saturday has been canceled because of concerns about the coronavirus.

Hells Gate officials report marine channel has been partially cleared

Officials at Hells Gate State Park near Lewiston removed about 60 percent of the sediment they had hoped to from the park’s marina last winter.

“We ran out of money, and of course, the dredge kept breaking down every two or three days,” park manager Charlie Chase said.

Chase said the dredging crew was able to clear the channel near the entrance to the marina and remove sediment from some, but not all, of the docks.

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