Kaibab National Forest to offer firewood permits beginning May 1

The Kaibab National Forest will offer firewood cutting permits for the 2017 firewood season beginning May 1 for all three ranger districts.

The minimum cost for a personal use firewood permit is $20, which is good for four cords of wood. Firewood cutting permits can be purchased at the following locations and during the specified hours Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays:

· Williams Ranger District, 742 S. Clover Road, Williams; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; (928) 635-5600
· Tusayan Ranger District, 176 Lincoln Log Loop, Tusayan; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; (928) 638-2443
· North Kaibab Ranger District, 430 S. Main St., Fredonia; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; (928) 643-7395

The 2017 firewood cutting season will remain open across the entire forest from May 1 to Nov 30. Free-use permits may also be available for specific areas on the forest. Individuals seeking such permits should check with the appropriate ranger district office for availability, locations and other information.

All permits issued will include a map and detailed cutting regulations as well as load tags, which must be physically attached to each ¼ cord of firewood and visible from the rear of the vehicle. The goal of this load tagging system is to ensure accountability for the amount of wood removed from the forest.

The removal of firewood is permitted only from National Forest lands on the district for which the permit is issued. Firewood cutters are reminded to take note of property boundaries and cut only on National Forest lands.

Firewood cutters should also be aware that chainsaws can throw sparks and ignite grasses and brush. Always carry a shovel and a fire extinguisher or water in case of a fire start. Additionally, all chainsaws must be equipped with a stainless steel spark arrestor screen. Cutters should check with forest offices periodically for information about the implementation of fire restrictions.

Detailed firewood cutting information and maps for each ranger district are available on the Kaibab National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/kaibab/fuelwood.

Multiple quagga mussel-fouled watercraft from Arizona intercepted out of state

PHOENIX — Following the recent interception and impoundment of multiple quagga mussel-fouled watercraft that had been in Lake Powell or Lake Havasu for extended periods, the Arizona Game and Fish Department reminds boaters to “clean, drain and dry” – and especially decontaminate — their watercraft and equipment before exiting waters designated as having aquatic invasive species.

Five vessels from Arizona waters have been impounded during the past month — three in Idaho and two in Colorado.

“There is absolutely no reason why boaters are not decontaminating moored boats before leaving a quagga mussel-infected water,” said Chris Cantrell, AZGFD’s Aquatic Wildlife Branch Chief.

AZGFD recently contracted with a local business to provide free decontaminations for those with boats that have been on a quagga mussel-infected water for more than five consecutive days.

If a boater plans on selling or moving a boat from one of the infected waters, please call AZGFD at (623) 236-7608 or Woods to Water Wildlife Solutions, LLC at (602) 920-4891.

“This way, we can help assist you with the required decontamination to ensure you stay compliant with multiple state and federal laws,” Cantrell said.

Quagga mussels colonize rapidly on hard surfaces and can ruin recreational watercraft motors, alter water quality for aquatic wildlife, and clog water intake structures such as pipes and screens, thereby impacting pumping capabilities for power and water treatment plants.

Under Arizona law, boaters and all recreationists who take watercraft and other equipment out of waters designated as having aquatic invasive species must use the following steps when leaving that listed water:

  • CLEAN. Clean/remove any clinging material from the anchor, boat, motor and hull, trailer (all plants, animals and mud).
  • DRAIN. Remove all water drainage plugs (and keep them out during transport). Drain the water from the bilge, live-well and any other compartments that holds water. Drain the water from the engine and engine cooling system(s). You can do this by lowering the outboard, while on the ramp, until the water is removed.
  • DRY. Ensure the watercraft, vehicle, equipment, or conveyance is allowed to dry completely before placing in another water in Arizona. Leaving your plugs out during transport will assist in ventilating and speeding the drying time of those difficult-to-dry areas of your boat.

See a flyer of how to clean, drain and dry.

There are additional steps to complete for watercraft that have been on AIS-listed waters for six or more consecutive days. See more information on all statewide decontamination protocols, how to schedule a no-fee decontamination, an intro to invasive quagga mussels, and the Director’s Orders lists of aquatic invasive species and waters.

If you are in need of decontaminating your moored boat before transporting from an AIS-affected water, please contact AZGFD at (623) 236-7608.

Public comment sought to help develop revised Tonto Forest Plan

The Tonto National Forest on April 6 published in the Federal Register a Notice of Intent to develop the Revised Tonto National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan and associated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Forest Plans are used to guide management of the National Forest for 15-20 years.

The current Tonto National Forest Plan, approved in 1985, is in need of updating to reflect current conditions, and uses of the Forest. The plan revision process will be an extensive, multi-year public process, throughout which the Tonto National Forest will promote public comment and participation in development of the revised forest plan.

Publication of the Notice of Intent initiates the public involvement process, which guides the development of the Revised Plan and EIS. The Forest Service has allocated a 45-day scoping period, which will end on Monday, May 22, 2017. This is the first formal opportunity for the public to provide comments on the proposed action, or the need to change direction from current management of the Tonto National Forest.

“If you enjoy the Tonto National Forest and care about how it will be managed for your enjoyment and that of future generations, please review the Notice of Intent and provide comments to help the Forest Service develop the revised Tonto National Forest Plan,” said Neil Bosworth, Forest Supervisor, in a news release.

Public comments during the initial 45-day scoping period can be submitted by e-mail to tontoplan@fs.fed.us or by U.S. mail to Tonto National Forest, Attn: Tonto Plan Revision, 2324 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85006.

See the Tonto Forest Plan Revision page to learn more about the Tonto Forest Plan Revision; the process, final assessment, needs to change, and public involvement leading up to this point.

As weather warms, you can help prevent wildfires along highways

PHOENIX – Like a lot of Arizona these days, the hillsides along State Route 87 south of Payson look mighty green after a wet winter. But that didn’t stop a brush fire from breaking out last week after a vehicle dragging chains threw sparks off the roadway, backing up traffic as first responders addressed the blaze.

When warmer temperatures turn all that ground cover brown, there will be even more reason for precautions to prevent brush fires along highways.

“Everyone can help prevent fires,” said Jesse Gutierrez, the Arizona Department of Transportation’s deputy state engineer for statewide operations. “That starts with making sure your tires are properly inflated, being careful not to park over tall grasses and ensuring that chains aren’t dragging.”

During the winter and spring, ADOT crews mow vegetation along highway shoulders. Crews also remove brush, thin trees and spray fire retardant within the ADOT right-of-way to prevent fires and slow the spread of those that occur. But motorists have an important role as well:

Don’t park in tall grass, as the heat from parts under your vehicle can start a fire.
Make sure nothing is hanging from underneath your vehicle and dragging on the pavement.
Dragging chains during towing can cause sparks. Never substitute parts when towing.
Check tire pressure before you travel. Exposed wheel rims can cause sparks.

ADOT participates in the “One Less Spark One Less Wildfire” campaign that the U.S. Forest Service and other land management agencies launched to focus on the role drivers and homeowners play in preventing wildfires.

Frito-Lay Recalls Jalapeño Flavored Lay’s Kettle Cooked Potato Chips and Jalapeño Flavored Miss Vickie’s Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Frito-Lay announced it is voluntarily recalling select Jalapeño Flavored Lay’s Kettle Cooked potato chips and Jalapeño Flavored Miss Vickie’s Kettle Cooked potato chips due to the potential presence of Salmonella in the seasoning. Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

This action is the direct result of a supplier’s recent recall of a seasoning blend which includes jalapeño powder that could contain Salmonella. Although no Salmonella was found in the seasoning supplied to Frito-Lay, the company has decided to recall these products out of an abundance of caution.

No illness related to this matter has been confirmed to date.

The products covered by this recall were distributed in retail stores and via foodservice, vending and other channels throughout the U.S.

The specific recalled product information is listed below:

  • All sizes of the following two products that have a “guaranteed fresh” date of JUL 4 or prior printed on the front upper panel of the package:
    • Jalapeño Flavored Lay’s Kettle Cooked potato chips
    • Jalapeño Flavored Miss Vickie’s Kettle Cooked potato chips
  • All of the following multipack offerings that have a “use by” date of JUN 20 or prior printed on the multipack package. In addition, a “guaranteed fresh” date of JUL 4 or prior is printed on the front upper panel of the individual recalled product packages inside each multipack offering. Any other products or flavors contained in these multipacks are not being recalled.
    • 12 count Lay’s Kettle Cooked Multipack Sack
    • 20 count Frito-Lay Bold Mix Sack
    • 30 count Miss Vickie’s Multipack Tray
    • 30 count Lay’s Kettle Cooked Multipack Tray
    • 32 count Miss Vickie’s Multipack Box

No other flavors of Lay’s Kettle Cooked potato chips or Miss Vickie’s potato chips are impacted or being recalled. Jalapeño Cheddar Flavored Lay’s Kettle Cooked 40% Less Fat potato chips are not impacted or being recalled.

Consumers who have purchased these recalled products are advised not to consume them. Frito-Lay is working with the FDA on this recall to ensure the recalled products are removed from store shelves and are no longer distributed.

Consumers can contact Frito-Lay Consumer Relations at 866-272-9393 for additional information from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. Representative product images can be found at fritolay.com. For product reimbursement, consumers can visit www.jalapenochiprecall.com.

Page to host a meeting Friday concerning the proposed closure of the Navajo Generating Station

PAGE – On Friday, April 28th, the City of Page will host a meeting with Arizona State Legislators concerning the proposed closure of the Navajo Generating Station. The meeting will be held at the Page Lake View Elementary School; 1801 N Navajo Dr (Map) from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Page officials, County Supervisor Lena Fowler and Navajo County Assistant County Manager, Bryan Layton will make a presentation to the legislators on insights, economic information, and pertinent valuable details related to the proposed closing of the Navajo Generating Station. The Chairman of the Hopi Tribe and two Navajo Nation Chapter Presidents will also be present.

The State Legislators are most interested in exploring alternative economic means to lessen the plant closure, as well as to learn from various subject-matter specialists what economic decisions will have to be made, and how the Arizona Legislators may be of service to the region.

A press release from the City of Page states:

The Mayor and Page City Officials have already begun the process of looking into economic matters, and developing a clear and candid reporting for the legislators. City of Page officials are not sitting back, but being proactive as we face the challenges directly ahead.

Leftover hunt permit-tags remain for 2017 elk hunts

PHOENIX — Arizona hunters still have an opportunity to receive a hunt permit-tag for select 2017 elk hunts. 

There are 791 leftover hunt permit-tags — 731 for the minimal occurrence zone/low density (general) hunt in game management units 12A, 12B, 13A and 13B. All remaining hunt permit-tags will be available for purchase on a first-
come, first-served basis as follows:

•    By mail: Paper applications will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, April 24, and must be addressed to: Arizona Game and Fish Department, Attn.: Draw/First Come, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ  85086. Applications postmarked prior to April 24 will not be accepted. Note: There is no “mini” draw. Allow 10 to 15 business days to receive a hunt permit-tag by mail.
•    In person: If any leftover hunt permit-tags remain, they will be available for purchase beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, May 1 at any of the seven department offices statewide.

View a complete list of leftover hunt permit-tagsSome of the leftover hunt permit-tags are for Hopi hunt open areas and are available to everyone, both tribal members and non-tribal members, through the first-come, first-served process.

A number of leftover hunt permit-tags remain for military hunts at Camp Navajo, for those who qualify. For more information, e-mail sarah.b.golabiewski.mil@mail.mil, or call 928-773-3225. 

For more information, including license and hunt permit-tag requirements, view the “2017 Pronghorn Antelope and Elk Hunt Draw Information” booklet online, or call (602) 942-3000.     

Campbell Soup Company Recalls Chicken Soup Products Due to Misbranding and Undeclared Allergens

Class I recall is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health

Campbell Soup Company, a Maxton, N.C. establishment, is recalling approximately 4,185 pounds of chicken soup products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The products contain milk, a known allergen, which is not declared on the product label. The chicken with whole grain pasta soup items were produced on Feb. 13, 2017.

18.6-oz. cans of “Campbell’s Homestyle Healthy Request Chicken with Whole Grain Pasta” with Best By date of Feb. 13, 2019 located on the bottom of the cans.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 4R” on the bottom of the cans. These items were shipped to retail locations in Florida.

The problem was discovered on April 20, 2017 when the firm received notification from their corporate office of multiple consumer complaints of the wrong product noticed inside the cans. The products were labeled as “Campbell’s Homestyle Healthy Request Chicken with Whole Grain Pasta” but actually contain “Campbell’s Homestyle Healthy Request Italian-Style Wedding Spinach & Meatballs in Chicken Broth” soup.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

Will open camping bring more trash?

WILLIAMS – You might remember in January when people came to enjoy the snow. They left the area in the same condition that they would not allow at home and even report to their local police. To be fair, some of this trash is even be from locals.

The lake camp sites are starting to open later this month, but people have already started camping and trashing camp sites open along the roads.Early in April, we found this tent at a camp site we visited. It is an Ozark Trail 4 person Instant Dome Tent. The tent was actually usable except of the fiberglass rods that held the tent up. One of the rods was broken. The unfortunate design of the tent did not allow the replacement of the rod, so the happy camper just left it and the carrying case laying at the camp site.

Later in the month we found several trash bags laying at a camp site deeper in the forest. We continually find beer bottles, cans, dog bowls and other trash laying around camp sites and on trails and in the forest.

Another problem we have seen is RVs parking in parking lots designed for trails or parking to block open roads.

We welcome visitors to Williams and enjoy seeing people from all over the world. We like hunters who come to use our facilities. We ask, however, that you observe the common courtesy you expect others to show you.

  • Do not park in roadways so that you block others from using the camping sites.
  • If you hike our trails, don’t drop your water and beer bottles and cans and other trash on the ground. Pack it out.
  • Anglers please do not leave your fishing material and trash behind. Some of the lakes have tubes in which you can put fishing line. They all have trash cans. Please pick up after yourselves.
  • Do not leave your trash behind. Williams provides receptacles you can use for trash.
  • While driving, do not throw trash and cigarettes out of the window.
  • If you are having a party anywhere, do NOT release balloons into the air. They not only trash the forest, a balloon knocked out power in Bellemont when it hit a power transformer.

We ask that you keep our home clean.

Take action when you see motorists trashing Arizona

PHOENIX – If watching someone toss a cigarette butt out the car window has ever made you mad, there’s an easy way to take action: Report the offender to the Arizona Litter Hotline.

In partnership with Keep Arizona Beautiful, the Arizona Department of Transportation maintains this hotline to spread the word about the harm roadside litter causes. All that’s required is providing the vehicle’s license plate number and incident details in a call to 877-3LITTER or on the Keep Arizona Beautiful website at kazb.org.

Once Keep Arizona Beautiful receives a report, the owner will get a free litter bag and a letter noting that someone was reported tossing trash from the vehicle, explaining how roadside litter trashes Arizona and reminding the owner that littering fines go up to $500.

Hundreds of letters go out each year. Nothing is shared with law enforcement, and those reported have no points added to their driver licenses.

Taxpayers pay more than $6 million each year to clean up litter along Arizona highways. Besides marring our state’s scenery, litter on roads can be dangerous and cause crashes.

In addition to the hotline, ADOT combats litter through its Adopt a Highway programs. Adopt a Highway volunteers can apply for two-year permits to clean up roadside litter, or businesses can contract with maintenance providers to perform the work as part of the Adopt a Highway sponsor program.

More information on ADOT’s Adopt a Highway program is available at azdot.gov/AdoptaHighway.