SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt

This weekly column features news stories and event announcements from around the American Redoubt region. (Idaho, Montana, eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, and Wyoming.) Much of the region is also more commonly known as The Inland Northwest. We also mention companies of interest to preppers and survivalists that are located in the American Redoubt region. Today, we focus on the Great Potato Giveaway.   (See the Montana section.)


Inland northwest farmers’ markets adapting to new coronavirus rules.

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Inland Northwest Ag Report for May 5, 2020


A Reminder: The Idaho primary election ballot deadline is just seven days away: May 19th. Get your absentee ballot in soon.  There will be no in-person voting.  And if you are in District 3 (Western Kootenai County), then please vote for Alex Barron for Idaho Senate.

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Bonner County asks court to rule against Sandpoint over gun ban at Festival at Sandpoint

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There are two new (and quite affordable) land listings in Idaho at that are worthy of mention:

Private Idaho Getaway — 7.88 southern-facing acres near Kamiah, Idaho


Five secluded acres in Clark Fork (near the Montana state line.)

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23 workers at a Kuna meatpacking plant test positive for coronavirus


Missing 30-year-old man located in Mineral County

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Farmer saves crop for Great Potato Giveaway in Billings. The article begins:

“COVID-19 restrictions have made it difficult to process agriculture products, but a western Montana farmer found a way to deliver about 30,000 pounds of potatoes for the Great Potato Giveaway in Billings this weekend.

The truck arrived Friday evening after about a 200 mile trip from Foth Farms in Toston to the Metrapark’s upper parking lot.”

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Montana adds 1 COVID-19 case as child tests positive in Gallatin County

Eastern Oregon

Onion producers seek federal help as Malheur County industry tips into free fall

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La Pine driver pursued by DCSO, eludes manhunt after crash

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Hermiston Herald switches to free distribution

Eastern Washington

Tri-Cities protestors stage ‘rolling unity rally’ to reopen Washington. A snippet:

“A peaceful protest cruised through the Tri-Cities on Saturday, encouraging Gov. Inslee to reopen Washington state.

Participants called it a rolling unity rally.

You may have seen the steady caravan of drivers honking horns and waving flags while winding its way through Pasco, Kennewick, West Richland and Richland.”

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Snake River open for spring Chinook salmon fishing four days per week

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Spokane officials aim to replace its barely used virus isolation facility with ‘menu’ of less costly options


Some see promise in Wyo’s critical minerals. But are they viable?

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COVID-19 update: Restrictions set to loosen May 15, allowing more businesses to open. Here is a quote:

“Public policy always involves a relative assessment of risk and benefit. At the beginning of the pandemic the benefits of public health interventions outweighed the risks. Flattening the curve was intended to prevent overwhelming our health care system. Wyoming was never going to be like New York, but it could have led to filling up all our ICU beds and using all our ventilators. This would have led to more deaths than Wyoming has had. We always knew that any degree of success would look like we overreacted. We feel that 1 confirmed case (now recovered) in 6 weeks is the result of Park County’s efforts and not in spite of them. Our 1 recovered case does not mean that we are in the clear. Studies show that there are between 6 to 10 undiagnosed cases for every confirmed case and that 25% of cases are asymptomatic.”

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Amid uncertainty, Grand Teton facility sets May 22 opening

Send Your News Tips

Please send your American Redoubt region news tips and event announcements to JWR. You can do so either via e-mail or via our Contact form.


  1. Potatoes and onions, cut out the middle man,sell directly to public. Truckload sales in parking lots or farmers markets-quick ca$h no waiting 30-60-90 or getting factored.

    1. We travel from Western Oregon through Idaho and down into Utah a few times a year. We take hwy 20 through Vale and left onto hwy 201 into Ontario. In the fall this is the route that the onion harvesters take and their over-loaded trucks dump onions at every turn and corner. We have literally picked up a bushel of undamaged onions from the road. Typically better onions than we buy at the store. The trick is to find a good place to park near a corner/curve and look in the ditch.

      1. Now that I gave up my onion secret I might as well tell you that I can do the same with corn. Trucks using I-5 from Eugene to Woodburn take corn to the canneries. And like the onions they tend to fall off the truck. But there are few corners on I-5 but there are a few bumps. This is fresh picked corn still in the husk and it is rarely damaged by the collision with the pavement. The most I picked up was 20 ears. There was more to pick up but I wasn’t going to can it so 20 ears is a lot to eat.

        Hint; Green beans too in season but hard to see at 65 MPH.

        I also like to walk and I have walked all the streets in a couple of the mid-valley towns. When I do I am always on the lookout for fruit and nut trees in the right of way. Apples are common, pears not so much. Plenty of black walnuts and some English walnuts. I even found a huge fig tree. I found a pomegranate tree in Springdale Utah. Lots of Hazel nut and plum trees. And of course the ever present blackberries.

        I honestly believe that I could in a single weekend pick enough blackberries to feed one person for an entire year. The trick would be preserving them. We do make jam and we dehydrate them, not a big fan of dehydrated blackberries though. There are a few other berries we pick but nothing is as prolific as blackberries. Strawberries are excellent to can or dehydrate but they aren’t free like blackberries are.

  2. Spring is springing, so I’m deep into gardening. Yukon Gold and Swiss chard is already coming out of the ground 2 weeks ago. Also growing Red Norland and Red Pontiacs. If all I could grow are these veggies, it would be enough nutrition to supplement food storage. But of course I’ll expand the garden, and do more, and attempt bush beefsteak tomatoes that require only 60 days of good weather to produce fruit. Who knows what the weather will be like, and indeterminate varieties might not make it in this shorter season here, and might cross breed with the determinant Beefsteak tomato. Learning lot more this year….

  3. Well Darn,
    If I hadn’t broken the car this weekend I would have loved to speed on over to Montana to fill up on potatoes!
    That’s what I get for trying to drive a regular car like it’s a hot rod!!

    Have a Rockin great day

  4. Our town’s restaurants started opening up last week. Took the wife to our favorite Mexican joint and had a great meal. The only issue we had was a boisterous slob that came in and got drunk during dinner, thus revealing his no-longer concealed carry sidearm to everyone and making a general nuisance of himself. He stumbled around the joint on his way out the door coughing and carrying on with the waiter ridiculously. Finally he left. I suspect he got pulled over by the cops on his way home, or wherever he was heading. I know the cops were called and his license plate was given to them.

    You can’t fix stupid. But maybe you can lock it up for a while.

    1. One reason that I always carry OPEN here in Oklahoma is so that I can be just the opposite of the moron that you encountered at the restaurant. When I carry I am the most friendly, courteous and polite person you’ve ever seen (actually I’m that way all the time). I consider myself the ambassador of all firearm owners. Maybe I can change the mind of someone who thinks that gun owners are dangerous quacks. If I carry concealed I never get that chance.

      1. I’m a lifelong firearms owner and advocate. Mray, you most certainly are not the ambassador of all firearms owners. I live in Michigan and have nothing but contempt for the thugs who paraded with their weapons and tried to intimidate lawmakers at recent demonstrations at the state capital. Anyone who needs to express their manhood by showing their weapons in public is in my mind a pitiful sight, and a dangerous one. Grow up, get a CCW, and stop making a spectacle of yourself. The rest of us gun owners would appreciate that you don’t make us appear as attention grabbing “morons”.

        1. I recommend that you read a two-part article that will be posted in SurvivalBlog this coming Saturday and Sunday. It is titled Starting an Old Engine. It may change your opinion of folks showing up in public, visibly ARMED, to demand their rights.

        2. Sorry you feel that way friend. I have carried open here in the FREE state of Oklahoma since our laws have allowed it. Before that I carried concealed. I have had a CCP for about 16 years though. I could write pages of instances where I have gotten positive comments from total strangers after seeing my firearm on my side. Many of those comments came from business owners and I was carrying in their place of business at that time. I’ve gotten to know some really nice people after they’ve stopped me to “talk guns.” So through the years I have come to the conclusion that I am representing firearm owners and I conduct myself in an appropriate manner so to leave a good impression on those folks. I guess people’s thoughts on firearms are different depending on where you are in the country but I can say for sure that here in Oklahoma it’s just not a big deal. I’ve never gotten a negative comment or even a frown from anyone here. But this is Oklahoma. We have a VERY conservative governor, our Republican politicians our pro gun and carry and even some of our Democrat politicians are pro gun. I suspect it’s like this all across the south here in the good old USA. I could never live in your state with a governor like you have and with an entire city dominated by muslims and liberals calling the shots on who gets elected to public office but apparently you fit in with that environment and there’s nothing wrong with that. You’re probably living where you fit in best and I’m right where I fit in. You should come visit some time.

          1. All I will say, Mray, is that you’ve succeeded in insulting me, if that was your wish. Your comment that I fit in with “that environment” of “muslims and liberals calling the shots” is repulsive. I am a lifelong conservative, gun owner all my life, and no, I do not fit in with a liberal agenda. And yes, I am living where I like, and no, I have no desire to visit you. You are so d**n condescending, but in the spirit of the times, you have a good night.

    2. For sure, lock it up for a while. Not sure about other states but here being intoxicated voids your concealed carry permit while you’re under the influence. Just as it’s off limits to carry in a bar.

  5. I’m on a county Plant Swap group on farcebook. Trading and giving away surplus tomato starts, bargaining for what I don’t have.

  6. “Bonner County asks court to rule against Sandpoint over gun ban at Festival at Sandpoint”

    Where does this anti-gun sentiment in Sandpoint come from? Is it a vocal minority? Or, do the people in that city really have anti-gun attitudes? I fled California to get get away from this. Should I not look for property around Sandpoint? Are there other regions of Idaho I should steer clear from?

    Unfortunately the link to the lawsuit (in the article) disappeared. If someone could repost here please.

    1. K

      It’s been awhile since we have been in Sandpoint but that area had been invaded by So Cal retiree’s and if i recall when we were there it was around election time; (locals)
      We were approached by a local woman running for a city council seat, well wouldn’t you know it she was espousing all the same liberal BS that we had escaped from.
      I immediately replied to her that perhaps she should pack her bags, take her policy’s place them somewhere, and head back to CA. post haste.
      Well that was the end of the conversation, the wife was a little embarrassed and we haven’t been back to Sandpoint since

      1. Thankfully the population of the little liberal enclave of Sandpoint is vastly outnumbered by the conservative majority in north Idaho.

  7. About those potatoes. There are some very large potato farms in WA, OR, and ID. They have facilities to store those potatoes for 9 months right on their farms. Some of these storage facilities are larger than a football field and they stack the potatoes inside 15′ deep. So the potatoes they are getting rid of now are those which under normal conditions would have been sold over the last 3-4 months. They must be removed from the storage to allow a clean up and to make sure there is room for the 2020 crop. So I’m not trying to minimize the problem and the waste I am merely pointing out that in a few months when they harvest the 2020 crop they will have a years supply of potatoes again in those Storage facilities. We aren’t running out of potatoes they are simply clearing out the storage. The majority of the potatoes they didn’t sell would have gone to fast food restaurants to sell as french fries.

    1. Thanks for putting this issue in perspective. These kinds of things are often sensationalized to get clicks and likes on various media platforms, and those kinds of stories make me want to fire up the canner. *breathe*

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