Burn blocks on the northern Caribou forest

Caribou-Targhee National Forest plans to burn 22 “burn blocks.”

Caribou fire plan

A proposal to use prescribed fire on hundreds of thousands of acres of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest has emerged from a withdrawn plan’s ashes, and is now being assessed on the forest’s southern Caribou portion.

The national forest to the southwest of Jackson Hole posted and began taking comments on a 52-page “environmental assessment,” which assesses 22 “burn blocks” averaging 12,000 acres.

Those burn blocks are mostly located in Idaho, though one spills over the state line and includes the western reaches of Star Valley in the Thayne front area. Altogether they encompass about 266,000 acres, although only 30% to 50% of each block would be burned with the goal of creating a “mosaic” of burned and unburned areas.

Comments on the environmental assessment outlining the Caribou Forest’s plans are due in by Oct. 1. Related documents and instructions on commenting are posted up online at FS.USDA.gov/projects/ctnf/landmanagement/projects.

Test an electric car

If you’ve ever wanted to test drive an electric vehicle in Jackson, now’s your chance.

With some local partners, Lower Valley Energy — the local electric co-op — is allowing members to try the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt for one to three days. Bolts have a range of 250 miles, a press release said, and drivers can charge them at “numerous stations provided by the town of Jackson, Teton County, Teton Village Association and local businesses.”

Lower Valley’s “EV Experience” program stems from a grant that the Teton Conservation District awarded Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities, which works to advance alternative fuels, vehicles and infrastructure, and sustainable transportation options “to increase energy security and sustainability in the region.”

To sign up to drive a Chevy Bolt, go online to LVEnergy.com/energy-efficiency/ev-experience. See a related story for details in the A section.

Bad algae hits Togwotee

Several lakes in the high country just to the east of Jackson Hole have again been documented with potentially dangerous concentrations of blue-green algae.

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Health sent out word last week that the agency has issued recreational-use bloom advisories for the following waters: Brooks Lake, Pelham Lake, Rainbow Lake and Upper Jade Lake. All are located on the Shoshone National Forest and are accessible lakes that are popular with hikers and anglers.

Swimming is not advised in water that’s experiencing blue-green algae, also called cyanobacterial blooms. Although sickness in humans from ingesting the toxic water is rare, the blooms are more routinely dangerous and even lethal for domestic animals, like dogs.

Other nearby waters with current advisories include Buffalo Bill, Boysen, Fontenelle and Viva Naughton reservoirs.

People can review advisories and report blooms at WyoHCBS.org.

—Compiled by Mike Koshmrl

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or env@jhnewsandguide.com.

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them since 2012. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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