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March 28, 2012     The Adams County Record
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March 28, 2012

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.00oo o3 SmallTownPapers, Inc. i(_i 217 WCotaSt Shelton, WA 98584 j ,,u,,, oo Issue 36 Wednesday, March 28, 2012 One Section 005-120 COUNTY P00ECOI00D YOUR COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER COUNCIL INDIA N VA L L E Y BEA t{/CuPRUM NEW MEA OOWS Do Wolves Benefit the Ecosystem? Part 3 by Dale Ftsk Before I move on to the next way people say wolves benefit the ecosystem, I want to backtrack a little to last week's article. A reader drew my attention to an article that appeared in the Record back in September of 2010 that was sent out by the U.S. Geological Survey. The article addressed the issue of elk overbrowsing aspen trees, which was not the main thrust of my article last week, which was riparian areas, but I did touch on overgrazing and overbrowsing in non- riparian areas. The article the Record quoted in 2010 was from a study led by Matthew Kauffman, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist, which was published in Ecology, a journal of the Ecological Society of America. The paper was titled, "Are wolves saving Yellowstone" s aspen? A landscape-level test of a behaviorally mediated trophic cascade." Co-authors on the study were Jedediah Brodie (University of Montana) and Erik Jules (Humboldt State University). This study was a follow- up on a study conducted by Oregon State University (OSU) forestry researchers in 2007. The main point of the OSU study was: Aspen are not regenerating well in Yellowstone National Park. Elk eat young aspen. But wolves eat elk. Elk will learn to avoid high- risk areas that wolves frequent. Plants in those areas - such as aspen - will then get a chance to grow big enough so that elk cannot kill them. Eventually, an entire habitat is restored because of a landscape of fear. Kauffman's group of researchers found that the fear of wolf predation may not be discouraging elk from eating aspen trees as much as the OSU study indicated. But Kauffman said his study did show that elk really were harming aspens. 'is study not only confirms that elk are responsible for the decline of aspen in Yellowstone beginning in the 1890s, but also that none of the aspen groves studied after wolf restoration appear to be regenerating, even in areas risky to elk," said Kauffman. Because the fear of wolves does not appear to be benefiting aspen, the authors conclude that if the Northern Range elk population does not continue to decline -- their numbers are 40 percent of what they were before wolves -- many of Yellowstone's aspen stands are unlikely to recover. "A landscape- level aspen recovery is likely 0nly to occur if wolves, In'"eolT!bination with other predators and climate factors, further reduce the elk population," Kauffman said. I ha'Je yet to run across any information about elk overbrowsing places where they are hunted. I'm not saying that info doesn't exist, although I tend to doubt it. The OSU research did seem to indicate that riparian areas showed the most recovery from the return of wolves, saying: "In riparian zones, where wolves can most easily sneak up on elk, and gullies or other features make it more difficult for elk to escape, we've seen the most aspen recovery. We did not document nearly as much recovery in upland areas, at least so far, where elk apparently feel safer. But even there, aspen are growing better in areas with logs or debris that would make it more difficult for elk to move quickly." See WOLVES  THE Eco SYSTEM, back page St. Patrick's Day Bash a Success! St. Patrick's Day Party at Ernies at MeadowCreek was very successful. It was put on by the Meadows Valley Community Foundation in order to raise funds to set up the Meadows Valley Community Foundation, apply for the 501 (c) 3, and seed money for the Foundations. Fun was had by all 260 people attending the gala event, which featured Irish music, dancing, door prizes, raffle prizes, and wonderful food: corned beef, vegetable, Irish salad, Irish Soda bread, and an Irish Whiskey cake. Thanks to everyone who was a part of this event, see you all next year for the 2nd Annual St. Partick's Day celebration in Meadows Valley. Irish revelers. Left to right: Leah Provencio, Ruby Provencio, Margene Ford Aftermath of Flooding at New Meadows by Lee Buy New Mead)ws City survived the flood- ing two week,, ago---but just barely. Fifty vol- unteers showed up over the course of two nights to fill sandbags and to dig up clogged culverts along Dorsey Warr Park to save the town from flood waters coming from Big Creek south of town. City leaders praised Public Works supervisor DOug Buys for marshalling men and equipment to divert the water away from neigh- borhoods on the West side of town. During the crisis there was an unfortunate incidence between the newly elect- ed mayor and the City Clerk and resolving that conflict was the focus of this special meeting of the City Council. First, the Council heard the bad news that paying foi- td: damag- es .caused by the flood- ing will have to come from the citizens of New Meadows. Limited funds may become available through an LHPAC grant to cover part of the esti- mated $50,000 in costs, but the city will not be able to increase taxes over $3,100 in 2012 to pay for the balance with- out passing a special levy. The City auditor suggested that the City pay the bills using their limited reserve funds for now and wait until the June budget hearings to fund the balance that is due. Local resident, Mark Peterson, told the Council that his property on Commercial Street has been flooded several times during the past 25 years and that it is time for the City to make a plan to stop it. Mayor Julie Spelman said she is making drainage the major emphasis of her first term in office. See FLOOD AFFERMATH, page 8 This photo was sent in by Shawn Ogden, and it's probably gonna be another difficult one because it's pretty remote. Last week's picture proved to be a tough one, and there's a pretty good reason. Although the mountaintop is visible from some places in Council Valley, it's usually the opposite side that we see. It's a demanding hike to get to where the shot was snapped. I reached it from the Middle Fork Road, then up Granite Creek. The scene is looking northwest at the top of Council Mountain. The photo shows the head of Bucks Basin; Granite Creek is out of sight to the right. A1 Becker, Dannlelle Kuhn and Dave Mink guessed very close, but Steve Cobb nailed it. So Steve Where is This? wins a spray bottle of UP because they're much This week's prize is Arnica Flower Liniment easier to pack out of such another one of Virgil from D&L Herbs of a spot than elk. I suppose Butler's handy dandy Council. if I'd killed an elk in there, little oven tools. Entries Steve says he prefers my line would have been, must be in by 4:00 on to shoot grouse that high "What was I thinking?. I" Monday. Good luck! Robin James Announces for Assessor My name is Robin James and I would like to announce that I am running for the office of Adams County Assessor in the upcoming election on May 15th. I have lived in Adams County for the last 22 years where my husband David and I have raised our three children together. The experience I offer the voters is specific to the duties required of the office. I have gained my skills by working in each department within the Assessors Office. Over the last ten years I have worked in both the Motor Vehicles Department processing registrations and title work, and in the Appraisers Department, performing appraisals, mapping and deed processing, and monitoring and assisting with taxpayer exemptions. The previous 6 years I had served as the Chief Appraiser where I developed a comprehensive appraisal program which included field appraisal and valuation analyses. I hold multiple training certifications with the State of Idaho, including Ad-Valorem Appraisal Certification which is the basis for developing values within the County. I am familiar and experienced with the position requirements and all its aspects from interpreting State Statues to understanding local market influences and factors. I am asking the voters to support me in continuing to serve as Adams County Assessor. I am committed to dedicating my experience for the future benefit of our County. Stacy Swift Dreyer Announces for Assessor l am a lifelong resident of Adams County with over 15 years in public service with Meadows Valley Booster Club, MV Planning and Zoning and MV School Board. I am the mother of three Meadows Valley High School graduates. example; a background in interviewing, hiring and work ethics; experience working with accounts payable and billing; qualified and experienced in customer relations and leadership skills. I am intent on maintaining integrity and Some of the qualities and experience I would bring to the Assessor's office: 19 years providing excellent customer service and customer relationships; great communication and listening skills; a strong grasp of budgets, fund balancing and fiscal accountability; experience in mentoring staff and leading by a respectful, productive work place. My experience, personality and public relations skills make me a good choice for Adams County Assessor. [irl Ill I II lllH ...........................