Outdoors Blog

Boise’s Homestead trail remains closed because of Table Rock fire

Scenes from the east flank of the Boise Table Rock fire

The Boise Foothills fire burns near the Morningside Heights subdivision in June 2016.
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The Boise Foothills fire burns near the Morningside Heights subdivision in June 2016.

The Homestead trail in East Boise remains closed as Idaho Fish and Game works to rehabilitate the area burned by the Table Rock fire.

The fire didn’t cross the trail but it will remain closed until Fish and Game can take measures to prevent users from crossing into the burned area. People have been using the trail since the closure, so Fish and Game plans to issue citations to stop that practice.

Signs are posted at the north and south ends of the trail. Additional signage will inform trail users that the burned property is closed.

“Once the closure signs are in place and the burned area secured, we will re-open the trail,” said Krista Muller, wildlife biologist for the Boise River Wildlife Management Area.

Most of the Homestead trail runs through the Boise River WMA. The trail is part of the Ridge to Rivers system.

The other trails in the WMA are open.

The major concern with re-opening Homestead is that trail users will wander into the burned area.

“IDFG is concerned about off-trail use and how that may impact the now-fragile habitat,” Muller wrote in an email. “These concerns include the trampling of plants that may have survived the fire, compacting the already damaged soils and spreading weeds where they weren’t before. The department is also concerned with people creating new ‘social’ trails across the burned landscape that can lead to habitat fragmentation. Although the Homestead Trail is part of the Ridge to Rivers system, IDFG owns the land in which the trail is located and has overseeing authority of the property. Therefore, IDFG has decided to close the trail to protect the habitat until further notice.”

The Table Rock trails have re-opened for non-motorized use.

Learn about the fire impact at Castle Rock tour

The Idaho Conservation League and Foothills Learning Center will hold their next tour of Boise’s reserves Thursday at Castle Rock (5:30 to 7:30 p.m.). The event will include a talk about fire restoration efforts, a mini-concert and a short hike. Castle Rock shares the Old Pen trailhead with the Table Rock system.

Walking the Highline trail at Glacier National Park, we encountered a pair of mountain goats who wanted to use the trail, too. Here are photos and some video from the unique animal encounter.

About those mountain goats ...

If you watched my video (above) of the mountain goats we encountered at Glacier National Park, you might find this story interesting: Glacier is training an employee’s dog to teach mountain goats and bighorn sheep to steer clear of people in the park.

Updates from Fish and Game

Catching up from vacation, here are a slew of releases from Fish and Game about hunting and fishing:

Fish and Game seeks comments on two options for a 2016 sage-grouse season

Another round of Chinook were added to the Boise River on Thursday

— Fish and Game is gathering comments on hunting rule proposals for Greater Yellowstone grizzly bears once the animal is no longer listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. There are seven rule proposals, including hunting restrictions and requirements for harvest reporting, checks and tag validation. To review the proposals and submit comments, go here. The public comment period will run through July 27.

Fish and Game will review Sawtooth Zone elk tags after quick sale

Hunters have until Aug. 1 to get their controlled-hunt tags

Fall Chinook season to open Sept. 1

Sun Valley offers multi-activity Fun Pass

Sun Valley Resort is offering a Fun Pass for $59 per person that includes six out of eight activities. Eligible activities: ice skating with rental, half-hour bowling with shoe rental, one-hour paddleboat rental, one gondola lift ticket, one spider jump session, a single scoop of ice cream, an 18-hole round on the Sawtooth Putting Course and a small bucket of balls at the Sun Valley driving range.

Short film highlights Grand Teton

Filmmakers Jim and Will Pattiz are touring the national parks and creating short films highlighting them. They recently released their film on Grand Teton, which sits just outside of Idaho in western Wyoming. You can watch the video above.