Letters From the West

Avalanches keep Idaho 21 closed for now

Idaho Department of Transportation staff shot this photo March 11, withan employee in orange standing in the snow over  the road. (Idaho Department of Transportation photo)

Idaho Department of Transportation staff shot this photo March 11, with an employee in orange standing in the snow over the road.
(Idaho Department of Transportation photo)

 

If this is any indication of snow conditions in Idaho’s mountains the water season appears to have improved.

It was only a little more than 25 years ago when the state regularly keep Highway 21 open all year. That’s because they used to regularly get avalanches like this one.

Since it is only one of the many that have com down in the last week the Transportation Department estimates it may be several weeks before they get it open again. That means its a long trip to Boise from Stanley, Challis and Salmon.

Rocky Barker is the energy and environment reporter for the Idaho Statesman and has been writing about the West since 1985. He is the author of Scorched Earth How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America and co-producer of the movie Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone, which was inspired by the book and broadcast on A&E Network. He also co-authored the Flyfisher's Guide to Idaho and the Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho with Ken Retallic. He also was on the Statesman’s team that covered the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news in 2007. The National Wildlife Federation awarded him its Conservation Achievement Award.

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Posted in Letters from the West