Surprise, for now

When I took my yearly sentimental journey to the Camas Prairie in north central Idaho in late June this year, I found a surprise that shocked me. I got there just in time for the first Pacific Northwest heat dome to hit and temperatures were in the triple digits the whole time I was there.

I lived on the Prairie for four years in the ‘70s and it might’ve gotten that hot down in the surrounding canyons, but at 3,500 feet elevation, never up on the Prairie. Residents who’d lived there their whole lives had never seen anything like it, either.

This was the first heat dome to hit the area. They had another one in July and a third has begun as of this writing. Scientists say the severity of these hot spells would’ve been impossible without climate change. A solid red state, Idaho has always rejected climate change. Now they’re saying there’s definitely something wrong here.

In a recent report, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change wrote that we’ve already pumped enough greenhouse gases into the atmosphere to foul the climate for the first half of the 21st Century. What we’re working on now is cutting emissions so the second half is livable.

On my drive home, I wondered about the future of the spectacular scenery I encountered. Will the Lochsa and the Selway Rivers run full through the Lolo Pass? What will the Grand Tetons look like without snow?

Bible thumpers point out that God promised Noah He wouldn’t destroy the Earth in Genesis 9:11. He isn’t. We are. He gave us this magnificent planet and we’re sh****ing all over it.

Look what they’ve done to my song, Ma.

Fred Malo Jr.



I just returned from traversing McClure Pass, where I saw firsthand the considerable effects of slides and washouts that CDOT deals with constantly.

Even while they struggled to open I-70 in the Glenwood Canyon, with 24/7 safety management on Cottonwood Pass and Independence Pass, they impeccably kept our roads safe to drive at the posted speeds.

The feat is made more impressive by the chronic budget cuts and reductions inflicted by conservatives that I witnessed while attending Transportation Commission meetings, from 2000 to 200

During the same time, I watched the Forest Service go through similar budget reductions until it had half the staff in 2008 that it had in 2000. Meanwhile, permits for everything rose, including land trades and timber sales.

When the Forest Service had the budget for firefighting separated from the forest management budget, programs to reduce standing dead trees were also defunded.

Then onerous requirements, favoring corporate interests, put my friends, who owned small mills, out of business. Gone too were the small cutters and haulers of beetle-killed spruce. All of their proceeds had stayed in their communities.

Rep. Tipton seemed pretty unaware of either CDOT’s or the Forest Services’ plights, and I see that lack of knowledge has joined with Q-mind to inform our new District 3 representative.

These are perilous times and clear thinking needs to prevail. The United Nation has notified the world that we passed the global climate tipping point. That knowledge was gained from thousands of scientists, studying a billion data points, using our fastest computers. I thank Obama and Biden for trying to backfill some of the budget losses with infrastructure bills despite steady resistance from Republicans.

The Forest Service and CDOT are on your side, Rep. Boebert. Help them regain needed funding.

John Hoffmann



It is a story that tugs at the heartstrings of all pet devotees: a beloved cat given up for lost or dead has come home after several gut-wrenching years. A gray and brown-tinged kitty with round, golden eyes named George was reunited with his family after animal control officers tracked him down by scanning a microchip with identifying info implanted under the animal’s skin.

Since their first use in the mid-1980s, microchips have allowed innovative investigations into numerous biological traits of animals. Microchips have also been used to confirm the identity of zoo animals, pets and protected species that have been illegally removed.

Microchips can be implanted by a veterinarian or at a shelter. After checking that the animal does not already have a chip, chips are inserted below the skin that record the pet’s unique ID.

There is no way this reunion would have happened without the microchip. Anyone who finds a stray should take the animal to the nearest shelter or animal hospital to have it scanned. Vets should routinely scan their animal patients to make sure the humans bringing them in are their rightful owners. George might have been reunited sooner had that been done.

In the Roaring Fork Valley and surrounding areas, Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE) has been leading the way to educate the community about the importance of timely vaccinations and microchipping pets. In the past year, CARE has offered low-cost vaccination and microchipping clinics to under-served animals in our community. As a result of this innovative approach, 69 pets have been microchipped in our community. That’s 69 beloved animals who may otherwise not have been returned to their homes.

Cathi Basler

Colorado Animal Rescue board

Re: Waddell

Thank you for printing the article “Willing workers are right at the border” by Ben Waddell on Aug. 5. I’ve been thinking a lot about the lack of workers in our valley and across the nation. It seems obvious to me that one of the answers to this problem is to provide (temporary?) work visas to people already living in our valley. I know it isn’t that simple, but I also know it IS that simple: we need people who are willing to work… and there is an untapped group of people who are willing and able to do just that. I don’t see how that would be anything but a win-win for everyone.

Zuleika Pevec


Haiku: Houseguests

After watering

Spiders lined up at my door

Waiting to come in