Forest Service weighs changes to protections for sage grouse

FILE - In this May 9, 2008, file photo, male sage grouses fight for the attention of a female southwest of Rawlins, Wyo. The U.S. Forest Service is rethinking sage grouse protection plans in six Western states after a federal court agreed with mining companies that the agency illegally created some protections in Nevada. (Jerret Raffety/Rawlins Daily Times via AP, File)

BOISE — The U.S. Forest Service is rethinking protection plans for sage grouse in six Western states after a U.S. court agreed with mining companies and others that the agency illegally created some safeguards in Nevada.

Cherish your memories this Thanksgiving

From left, Sunny the dog, Moira and Levi Painter enjoy a backpacking trip in the Sawtooth Wilderness. Trips such as these create lasting memories for families to be truly thankful. (Jerry Painter photo)

If you’re picking up this paper early enough, stop right now and speed down to Freeman Park and join the Race to Feed the Hungry 5k, which begins at 9 a.m. The fun run does two things very well: It unites a community in burning some calories before folks overload themselves and it helps stock the food banks here in Idaho Falls.

Tests on bighorn skulls and horns show greater genetic diversity in herds of old

Members of the Jack O’Connor Hunting Heritage and Education Center, Idaho Fish and Game employees and others gather in front of the Carrey/Boggan Collection of bighorn sheep skulls prior to presentation on a genetic study of the horns. Steve Hanks / Lewiston Tribune

Bighorn sheep living in decades past along Idaho’s Salmon River from Riggins to its East and Middle forks far upstream were more genetically diverse, and the different groups of sheep there were more connected with each other, compared to sheep populations of today.

Sense of joy as downy woodpeckers return to feeder

The downy woodpecker is a common backyard bird at feeding stations. The female downy woodpecker is on the left, the male on the right. Terry Thomas / news@postregister.com

The birdfeeders sat empty for several weeks while we were out of town and it took a few days for the birds to rediscover them once we returned. Then in one morning, we had red-breasted nuthatches, black-capped chickadees, house finches and a male downy woodpecker all hanging around the feeders at once.

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