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Mistaken identification

     In my letter of last week regarding changing the Land Board members, I mistakenly said that Jim Chmelik is running for Secretary of State. (Jim is running for Lt. Governor.) I meant to say that Lawrence Denney is running for Secretary of State. He believes in as little government control in our businesses and personal lives as possible and deserves our support.

Jay Maxner


Citizens are the worst poachers

     Today (April 18, 2014) while driving through Kamiah I heard this news item on the radio:  Human poachers have killed more big game (elk, moose, white tailed deer, mountain goats, etc.) in Idaho than have wolves. I see that wolves are not Idaho's #1 poacher after all. The state's citizens are its worst poachers.

     In 2011 the Idaho wolf population numbered about 1,000 animals. Now, as a direct result of paranoia, unscientific backed decisions, and the state's government pandering to special interest groups, the number of wolves has plummeted to around 500 in the entire State.

     Unsatisfied, the state wants to reduce their number to 150 animals. Really? Idaho presently supports around 3,000 cougars, 20,000 black bears, 45,000 coyotes and hundreds of thousands of elk and deer. Idaho contains 83,557 square miles. Idaho's governor feels that one wolf for every 557 square miles is more than adequate. Zero wolves per every inch of the sate would even be better. Really?

Chris Cooper


Land mines and roosting chickens

     Beginning in 1978 and culminating in 1984, we in Kamiah have suffered a great disorganization of our lands. The 1984 event was BLM's acceptance of their 1978 Re-Survey of Sections 1 and 2 of T33N, R3E. Many of the controlling land corners were then inadvertently, but sometimes arrogantly, moved from their original positions. The effect was to bury proverbial time bombs in people's yards which detonate whenever the chickens come home to roost in the form of Land Surveyors.

     To many residents in and near Kamiah this is not news and the purpose of this review is to ask for help in defusing a 1978 land mine located at the ¼ corner common to Sections 1 & 2.  This is in the back yard of 1110 W. Hwy 12.

     In 1978 BLM re-positioned this ¼ corner using questionable rationale. The apparent effect of the resulting error is to move everyone's property whose legal descriptions are tied to this ¼ corner. In other words, the west half of Kamiah. The good news is that surveys older than 1978 seem to refute BLM's position.

     As Land Surveyors, we have been retained at the expense of Jim Emmert to solve this problem. We are now examining about 30 properties and deeds within 600' of this ¼ corner in an attempt to find old surveys that will define and recover the original ¼ corner. As far as we can tell, the 1873 ¼ corner stone was last seen in 1957, and was definitely missing by 1962. (It might be buried but metal detectors will not pick up stones.)

     What is needed is for those neighbors within 600' of 1110 W. Hwy 12, who have copies of unrecorded surveys in their possession, to give us a call at 935-2376 or e-mail us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . It would also be helpful to hear from these neighbors who know the location of their lot corner monuments (usually old iron pipes or rebars). With these we can measure backwards and restore, or find, the original stone position.

Chad R. Erickson


Plan to straighten Crooked River is mindless

     As unbelievable as this may sound, your U.S. Forest Service, in partnership with the Nez Perce Tribe, is going to straighten Crooked River. That's right. Straighten it. We're $17 trillion in debt, but have millions of dollars to straighten rivers. Historical rivers. Natural rivers.

     The USFS environmental impact statement on the proposed project says this about Crooked River: "These tailings are perhaps the best example of bucket-line dredge mining technology found in central Idaho and therefore are an important historical resource.

     "These historical features are important to not only understanding a given mining technology and its associated engineering, but also reflect and convey business histories, commerce and trade, and regional/local economics."

     Yet the Forest Service is going to destroy all that mining history. That production history. If they get their way, they "would immediately and irretrievably remove virtually the entirety of the historic property (SHC-32) from the landscape, which is the best example of bucket-line dredge mining technology found in central Idaho."

     Have we lost our minds?

     The USFS says we need to rip out Crooked River and straighten it "to improve fish habitat and water quality in Crooked River." What? The mining in Crooked River ended 80 years ago. Crooked River is settled environment. The water is crystal clear and is teaming with big Westslope Cutthroat Trout. The bushes and trees on the banks of the river are 80 years old, and are natural. (Apparently not natural enough for the USFS and Tribe, though, as the proposed project includes the importation of tons of more natural dirt from elsewhere and hundreds of more natural plants and trees and bushes from elsewhere.)

     We have lost our minds.

     Crooked River is a nationally recognized historic mining site. It is the best Westslope Cutthroat Trout (an at-risk species) fishery in the South Fork drainage. It is excellent forage for moose. It is accessible, beautiful and natural. It is settled environment.

     We think the Forest Service and the Tribe should leave Crooked River alone. Help us stop the madness. Send written comments to: CRVR Project, Rick Brazell, Forest Supervisor, 104 Airport Road, Grangeville, Idaho 83530 or electronic comments to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or call Jennie Fischer, USFS  NEPA team leader at (208) 983-4048. The USFS will take comments until May 12.

Idaho County Board of Commissioners

James Rockwell, Skip Brandt, and Jim Chmelik


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