Natural Resources Conservation Service • 10th annual Great Backyard Bird Count • Restoration at Camel's Back Park 

Enough Blue skies

The Natural Resources Conservation Service reports that precipitation and snowpack as of February 1 are below average throughout most of Idaho.

Most of Idaho received minimal amounts of precipitation in January. Snowpacks range from 60 percent to 75 percent of average throughout most of the state. Snowpacks remain the highest in the Panhandle region and Clearwater basin at 85 to 100 percent of average. By contrast, the Owyhee basin snowpack is 47 percent of average, the lowest since 1981.

Even with a dismal snowpack, spring rains could change the lagging water-supply conditions for the better, as happened in May 2005.

Birds Count

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's another bird! The 10th annual Great Backyard Bird Count is February 16-19. Last year, Idahoans spotted 144 species (with lots of house finches and mallards in the tallies), and scientists are hoping Idahoans pitch in again. Grab your binoculars, log on to www.birdsource.org/gbbc and start taking notes. Last year, participants across the country came within a few hundred of the record 61,049 checklists turned in.

Camel's Back is Back

Yes, kids, the sand chute is safe. The City of Boise recently announced that restoration work on the main hillside in Camel's Back Park has just been completed. With a $10,000 grant from REI, the city contracted with Conservation Seeding and Restoration, a Twin Falls company, to install fencing and treat erosion scars with fencing and am application of compost, native seed mixtures, erosion control fabric and soil tackifier. City officials ask that you stay out of closed areas so plants can re-establish themselves.

--Shea Andersen

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