Outdoors Blog

Boise drops seven spots in Bicycling magazine rankings

Bike lanes have been a hot topic in Downtown Boise for years.
Bike lanes have been a hot topic in Downtown Boise for years. kjones@idahostatesman.com

Boise slipped seven spots in the Bicycling magazine rankings of the best bike cities, released this week.

Boise is No. 27. It was No. 20 two years ago, the last time the rankings were updated.

Bicycling Magazine hints at the reason for the drop in the city’s profile. One-third of the content relates to the failed bid to create protected bike lanes in Downtown Boise.

The top cities were Chicago, San Francisco, Portland, New York City and Seattle.

The top smaller cities were No. 8 Cambridge, Mass.; No. 10 Boulder, Colo.; No. 12 Fort Collins, Colo.; No. 16 Madison, Wis.; No. 18 Eugene, Ore.; No. 22 Tempe, Ariz.; and No. 25 Arlington, Va.

A few weeks ago, Boise was named the No. 20 city for runners by Runner’s World.

Tamarack makes skiing improvements

Tamarack Resort General Manager Brad Larsen expects the ski area to be open as usual this winter, despite an auction for next month for some of the resort’s assets.

Tamarack has released the first two of three videos highlighting work being done to improve the ski area. The first focused on the Bentwoods area that is between Adrenaline and Funnel. The second highlighted Reasons to Quit, an area between Tango and the top of the Tamarack Express lift.

The third video, coming out next week, will focus on some expert terrain.

“What we’ve been doing is looking at places on the mountain that we want to make better,” Larsen said. “This place is only 11 years old. There’s tons of things we can do and it’s really undiscovered.”

Ann Morrison Park update

An update on the Ann Morrison Park Master Plan will be provided at an open house Wednesday at the Ann Morrison Park Old Timers Shelter (1104 Royal Blvd.). The event runs from 5 to 7 p.m. The meeting will be used to review and solicit public comment on draft master plan concepts.

An online survey is available here.

Hagerman Fossil Beds to hunters: Be careful

Illegal hunting has become an issue at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, prompting a news release designed to educate hunters. Hunting is allowed only “on a narrow ribbon of land that lies between the Snake River and the ‘50 feet above the mean water elevation,’ ” according to the release. Markers have been added to help hunters determine where they’re allowed.

The hunting area also is frequented by hikers, horseback riders and other visitors, so hunters are asked to be cautious.

Hazard-tree removal begins at Fourth of July trailhead

The Fourth of July Hazard Tree Reduction Project begins this fall at the Champion Creek and Fourth of July trailheads in the Sawtooth National Forest. Work will be conducted during business days.

Fall burning to begin in Boise National Forest

Be aware of the fall burning schedule in the Boise National Forest as you make your recreation plans. The program will cover 3,100 acres this year. More info here.

Bird feeding at Deer Flat

The Friends of Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge begins its winter bird-feeding project Saturday. Volunteers are needed to help fill and clean feeders. Interested volunteers need to attend an orientation at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the visitor center. Interested? Email deerflat@fws.gov.

Better bicycle connectivity to Lake Lowell?

From a press release:

The Lake Lowell Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Access Plan Project Team has developed a draft bicycle and pedestrian plan that aims to improve connectivity from the cities of Nampa and Caldwell to the Lake Lowell area to increase safety and improve the experience for bicyclists and pedestrians in the region. A core team of stakeholders and consultants led by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Kimley-Horn and Associates are currently seeking comments from the public on the draft plan. The Core Team leading this effort includes representatives from the cities of Nampa and Caldwell, Canyon and Nampa Highway Districts, Canyon County Development Services, Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge and a team of consultants.

The draft Lake Lowell Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Access Plan is now available for public review here. Members of the public may view the plan and submit comments directly. The draft plan will be open for public comment until October 5, 2016. Comments submitted will be reviewed and addressed prior to finalization of the plan.

“The goal of this plan is to provide safe, non-motorized routes to high-use recreation areas near Lake Lowell. This has been a long and exciting process, and we are looking forward to releasing a final plan soon,” said Tim Richard, an engineer with Canyon Highway District who was instrumental in securing funding for the project.