Black bear euthanized after Utah boy injured in tent

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Wildlife officials say a black bear has been euthanized after a child was injured during a Boy Scout camping trip.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spokeswoman Faith Jolley says the boy suffered minor scratches when the bear disturbed his tent south of Salt Lake City early Tuesday morning.

She says a bear believed to be responsible was located in Hobble Creek Canyon hours later, and it was put down under department policy because it showed a lack of fear of humans.

It wasn’t clear why the bear disturbed the tent, but Jolley says many bears live in the area and are now waking up from hibernation, so it could have been foraging for food.

Hobble Creek is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Salt Lake City.

Former guide gets lifetime hunting ban for poaching

BILLINGS, Montana (AP) — A 23-year-old Montana hunting guide has received a lifetime suspension of his hunting, fishing and trapping rights for poaching multiple trophy big game animals in 2017.

The Billings Gazette reports Brandon K. Schuhen was also ordered Friday by District Judge Don Harris to complete 500 hours of community service for a wildlife conservation organization, serve 10 years of probation and pay $33,050 in restitution to the state of Montana.

Harris says one of the things that disturbed him about the case was that the killed animals were mostly left to waste.

Schuhen pleaded guilty to five counts of unlawful possession, shipping or transportation of a trophy big game animal, a felony.

Authorities say the animals poached by Schuhen included three bull elks and a buck antelope.

Noisy Yellowstone geyser roars back to life after 3 years

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyoming (AP) — A noisy geyser in Yellowstone National Park has roared back to life after three years of quiet.

Ledge Geyser is one of the biggest in Yellowstone’s Norris Geyser Basin.

The Billings Gazette reports the geyser shoots hot water at an angle up to 125 feet high and a distance of 220 feet.

Yellowstone geologist Jeff Hungerford says Ledge Geyser is noisy because its water and steam must pass through a narrow opening in the ground.

Yellowstone has 1,300 thermal features and 500 geysers, more than anywhere else on Earth. Some geysers such as Old Faithful are predictable but most, like Ledge Geyser, erupt erratically.

Researchers to trap Yellowstone bears starting Monday

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (AP) — Wildlife biologists will be baiting and trapping grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park from Monday through July 31 as part of ongoing research.

The research by the National Park Service and Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team is to monitor the population of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

Officials say none of the trap sites in the park will be located near any established hiking trails or backcountry campsites and closure warnings will be posted around all trap sites for any recreationists in the area.

Backcountry users who come upon any of the posted areas need to stay out of the area.

In 2010, a man was killed near Yellowstone by a grizzly bear that had recently been captured and released by researchers.

Wyoming commission decides against grizzly bear hunt

JACKSON, Wyoming (AP) — The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has opted not to hold a grizzly bear hunt this year.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports that the decision last week follows a bill passed by the Wyoming Legislature this winter that authorized state wildlife officials to hold a grizzly bear hunt in spite of the species’ “threatened” federal status.

But the commission voted unanimously against drawing up grizzly hunting regulations.

Commissioner Patrick Crank explained to his fellow board members that 230 years of case law supported the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which establishes the precedence of federal laws over state law.

Crank says if the state authorized a grizzly hunt, hunters who killed bears could face federal prosecution.

An estimated 700 grizzly bears reside in and around Yellowstone National Park.

Utah woman survives week in SUV stuck in snow

PARK VALLEY (AP) — Michelle Richan was stranded for a week in snow and mud in rural Utah — but she was prepared, police said.

Richan travels with an abundance of survival gear and had enough food and water in her SUV to last another week, she said.

She got stuck March 19 on a remote road in the northwest corner of the state while traveling home to Brigham City from Eureka, Nevada, the Deseret News reported.

Trapped without cellphone service, she decided to stay put, spending her time collecting firewood and burning fires.

Richan said she likes visiting secluded locations and was expecting to get stranded one day.

“I like going out in the middle of nowhere,” Richan said. “It’s just, you know if you’re going to be out there, you need to be able to survive out there.”

A week after she got stuck, a pilot spotted her from his small plane and radioed searchers on the ground.

“I spotted something orange, so I just went really low to look at it and saw her actually running out of the car,” pilot Ivo Zdarsky said.

A snowplow driver found Richan Tuesday and freed her vehicle. She was reunited with her family in Park Valley.

Richan’s daughter, Kaylee Vaughan, said it was a “terrifying and exciting” ordeal.

When she got the call that her mother was OK, Vaughan said, “I almost was in shock and was kind of like, ‘I don’t believe you. I have to see it for myself because it’s been so long and it’s been such a crazy rollercoaster of emotions and just thoughts.’”

If help had not arrived, Richan said she would have burned a spare tire and considered leaving the SUV to find shelter.

“I figured I had enough food left to at least last a week, so I figured I probably had enough to at least walk out if I had to,” Richan said.

Wyoming grizzly bear sightings mark end of hibernation

JACKSON, Wyoming (AP) — Officials say grizzly bears are starting to emerge from hibernation in northwest Wyoming.

The Jackson Hole News and Guide reports a state Game and Fish Department warden spotted a bear last Friday near the base of Steamboat Mountain — a week after bears were sighted outside their dens in nearby Yellowstone National Park.

Officials say people can now expect to see grizzly and black bears in the area through the beginning of next winter.

Officials recommend for those spending time in grizzly habitat to carry bear spray, travel in groups and stay at least 100 yards away from bears.

Yellowstone officials recorded the first grizzly sighting this year on March 8 south of Canyon Village.

Idaho steelhead fishing to remain open on most rivers

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — Idaho wildlife officials have approved an agreement with conservation groups and sport anglers to keep most steelhead fishing areas open.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously to support the deal on Friday, the same day Idaho steelhead seasons were scheduled to expire.

Portions of the South Fork of the Clearwater River and the Salmon River will remain closed as part of the deal, the Lewiston Tribune reported.

“This is really a win for everybody,” said Roy Akins of Idaho River Community Alliance, a group of outfitters, guides and businesses that rely on steelhead anglers. “Now we can get back to work and focus attention on fish recovery.”

The commission last month voted to suspend the steelhead fishing season because of a possible federal lawsuit by six conservation groups contending the state’s steelhead regulations harm federally protected wild steelhead.

Idaho wild steelhead have been struggling and were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1997.

Wild steelhead caught by anglers must be returned to the river unharmed. But an estimated 3 percent of wild fish that are caught and released by sport anglers die as a result. For Idaho to allow the incidental capture of wild steelhead and the resulting deaths, it needs the federal government’s approval of its Fisheries Management and Evaluation Plan.

State officials say they applied for such a plan with the Fisheries Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration after the plan expired in 2010, but haven’t yet received one.

The portions of Idaho rivers that remain closed to anglers under the deal are areas where wild steelhead are known to congregate.

“This resolution achieves the commission’s objective to limit impacts to steelhead fishing as much as possible while we remain focused on finally receiving federal approval of our steelhead fishery plan for the long term,” said Virgil More, director of Idaho Fish and Game.

Fish and game officials refused to change legal fishing gear and fishing practices requested by the conservation groups. But outfitters and guides with the Idaho River Community Alliance said they would voluntarily adopt some of the changes.

This year’s return of steelhead to Idaho is one of the worst on record. About 95,000 steelhead, including 30,000 wild steelhead, have been counted passing Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River between July 1 and Nov. 12. That’s the lowest overall number since 1978, and the lowest wild steelhead number since 1996.

David Moskowitz, executive director of the Conservation Angler, one of the groups that threatened the lawsuit, said his group has been working up and down the Columbia River to make sure wild steelhead make it back to Idaho.

“We are working hard for those wild fish,” he said. “I hope that earns us a little bit of credibility.”

Yellowstone National Park to close most entrances Monday

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (AP) — Yellowstone National Park officials soon will close most of the park’s entrances to prepare for the winter season.

KTWO-AM reports a news release from the park Wednesday says the preparations will begin at 8 a.m. Monday.

Most roads, and the west, south and east entrances will close so the park can prepare them for snowmobile and snow coach travel, which begins Dec. 15.

The road from the north entrance at Gardiner, Montana, to Mammoth Hot Springs in the park will remain open.

The road to the nearby of communities of Cooke City, Montana and Silver Gate, Montana, is open all year, weather permitting. Travel east of Cooke City on the Beartooth Highway is not possible from late fall to late spring.

Residents upset after hunter kills deer in city park

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — Residents of one Coeur d’Alene neighborhood are upset that steps aren’t being taken to prevent hunting in a popular city park.

The Coeur d’Alene Press reports a deer gut pile found in the park recently prompted concerns from residents who fear getting shot by hunters.

City police said the deer was killed with archery equipment by a resident who did not know that killing deer with bow and arrow in the city was illegal.

Police spokesman Sgt. Jared Reneau said investigating officers responded to a call of a poached deer. Officers found the hunter, who was warned but not cited.

Reneau says he doesn’t think the hunter “had any malice.” But he says it is against the law to shoot animals within the city, regardless of how you do it.