Federal employees overseeing U.S. public lands were assaulted or threatened at least 360 times over a five-year period marked by heightened tensions with anti-government groups.

  • PUBLISHED 21 OCTOBER 2019

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal employees overseeing U.S. public lands were assaulted or threatened at least 360 times over a five-year period marked by heightened tensions with anti-government groups, according a Congressional watchdog agency.

The Government Accountability Office in a new report highlights anti-government tensions that at times have boiled over. That includes the six-week armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon in 2016, and other standoffs with armed protesters in Montana and Nevada.

The Associated Press obtained GAO’s report ahead of its scheduled release.

It cataloged incidents ranging from threatening phone calls to the stabbing of a Bureau of Land Management worker outside a federal building. Some of the assaults triggered FBI domestic terrorism investigations, although the precise number was not disclosed because it is considered sensitive information.

The report did not say whether rates of assaults and threats were increasing. But it noted a dwindling number of federal officers patrolling the nation’s vast forests, parks, wildlife refuges and other open spaces, which cover more than 670 million acres (1.1 million square miles) primarily in 12 western states.  Read More

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2019 Volunteer Miles-Hours SummarySquaw Butte Hours and Miles Summary 2019-2014

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Sunday morning October 13 dawned clear but cold. There was frost on the truck windshield and a snap to the air. Looking at the peaks, a light frosting on snow was still visible from the front that had come through earlier in the week. Our last chapter ride was planned for the Tripod peak area, north west of Smith Ferry off forest road 626 with parking planned at Sage Hen meadows.Members started arriving at the meadows by 10:00 and all were saddled and ready to go by 10:30. In the shade snow lingered and the gravel road to the trail head was frozen and had hard packed snow on it that made for some slippery footing at times. Our party was eight riders and all were excited to be up in the mountains one last time with our stock. The trail bed was frozen in the shade but softer in the sun, making for some tricky footing at times, but the stock did well and we make good time up the trail. After riding for 90 minutes and gaining over a thousand foot of elevation we crested a ridge into a meadow with some logs and rock to sit on and stopped for a shack in the sun and enjoyed the views. We had traveled 3.5 of the 5.2 miles up the the fire lookout. The trail bed was getting slicker as the sun melted the snow so we choose to turn around and make our way back to the trailer. As this was the first weekend of deer season we expected that highway 55 would be heavy with south moving traffic later in the afternoon and wanted to avoid it if possible. It was a great ride and all who attended left with pink cheeks and smiles.

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CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

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LINK TO BLOG

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On Saturday September 21, 2019 Squaw Butte members Kathy Luke, Rob Adams, Lisa Griffith, Kelly Wilkerson, Ron Fergie, David Benson, Shelly Duff & Kelly Ragland meet at the camping area along Squaw Creek near the trail head for the Squaw Creek(tr-131) and Poison Creek trails (tr-134).  Some of the members had come up on Friday night others were making this project a day ride.  Squaw Creek TR is 18 miles north of Ola, ID in the West Central mountains.By 10:00 we were saddled and on the trail, it is a short ride from camp to the trail head up the access road to the TH parking area.Bill & Marybeth Conger had been up a couple weeks before so the first few miles had been cleared of downfall, but we stopped and did some brushing were the trail was becoming overgrown.

This trail is rocky with some large slabs of granite, on one we stopped for a snack.

When we reached the point where Bill & Marybeth turned around, we started encountering down fall. We also encountered a group of bow hunters with stock. They were hiding in a bush next to a small clearing and became very unhappy when we pulled up, got out the saws and when to work removing a large tree that was blocking the trail. They left to go hunt elsewhere.

By 16:00 we were back at the trailers, having removed 14 down trees and over 1/4 mile of brush. This trail need a crew to go spend a week, doing a major brushing job and some tread work. All had a great time!

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20190930CPR-Classes

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Electric Bikes Coming to Trails Near You?
BCHA has been diligently working the past two months on the rapidly-evolving issue of electric bike (e-Bike) use on federal public lands. Please see our two-page fact sheet that describes what BCHA and our partners are doing to prevent e-Bikes from being universally authorized on non-motorized trails within our national parks, national forests and BLM public lands.
As always, if you have concerns regarding this issue, I encourage you to share your concerns in writing with your local land managers and/or elected officials. Given that this issue is heating up, I ask that you please copy BCHA’s Director for Public Lands & Recreation on any such correspondence. His email is: WildernessAdvisor@bcha.org
Sincerely,
Darrell Wallace, Chairman

For more information in the fact sheet click the link below:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DnyOC4C49eZ60d1hoN4hhCktFhS8ibNLTKCPktbY6N0/edit?usp=sharing

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22. September 2019 · Comments Off on Ethical Practices for low-impact recreating · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

Filmed in cooperation with the Bridger-Teton National Forest, this video goes over ethical practices

This video goes over ethical practices for low-impact recreating on backcountry public lands. When your enjoying your forests, remember whatever you pack in, you need to pack out. Leave nothing but your footprints. Camp at least 200 feet from lakes, rivers and streams to protect the watersheds. Try to avoid having campfires at all, but if you do have a campfire make sure you have cleared fuels down to mineral soil and when you leave, make sure it is dead out and cool to the touch. If you use rocks to make a fire ring make sure to dismantle the ring. Hang your food in bear country at 100 yards from your camp, at least 10 feet off the ground and 4 feet from any horizontal structures. Leave your forest cleaner than you found it. PLAY VIDEO

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22. September 2019 · Comments Off on Katie Wood, new Emmett District Ranger · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Boise, Idaho, September 16, 2019—The Boise National Forest welcomes Katie Wood, as the new District Ranger in Emmett.

Katie served as the Boise District, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Support Services and Operations Chief since February 2017. She has overseen a wide diversity of areas including: emergency stabilization and rehabilitation, engineering, heavy equipment, GIS, administration and noxious and invasive weeds.

“I look forward to working in cooperation with the public while serving in this role. My goal is to ensure the Emmett Ranger District is managed in a way that takes into account the needs of current users without losing sight that future generations will need, and rely on, public lands as much as we do. This is particularly relevant given the Emmett Ranger District’s proximity to Idaho’s largest population center and the mixed uses which occur on this land.” Said Katie Wood, Emmett District Ranger.

Her tenure as Challis-Yankee Fork District Ranger (Salmon-Challis National Forest) provided her critical experience in managing challenging natural resource issues including: threatened and endangered species, forest and rangeland management, restoration, recreation, and special uses.

Katie has completed a variety of details over the past 10 years including Assistant Field Manager, Planning and Environmental Coordinator, Forest Headwaters Reserve Manager, and Disaster Program Specialist for the United States Forest Service in Washington D.C.

Emmett District Ranger      Katherine.wood@usda.gov      208-365-7000

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19. September 2019 · Comments Off on Restore Our Parks & Public Lands · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

Link to the Bill

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18. September 2019 · Comments Off on 9/12/2013 Middle Fork trail near Boiling springs campground · Categories: Fun Rides, Work Parties and Projects

Posted by Marybeth Conger

Another great ride with Bill Conger and our trusty four legged friends Cherokee, Scout, and Sis on the Middle Fork trail, near Boiling Springs campground, Boise National Forest. The scenery on this beautiful fall day was awesome. Completed some much needed trail clearing too with a chain saw and our mighty muscles. It just doesn’t get much better than this. If you look closely at Bill’s left lip, he is starting to smile.

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03. September 2019 · Comments Off on Trailmeister – Ode to Trail Workers · Categories: Around The Campfire, BCHI /BCHA

 

Many guidebooks, most maps, and the entire www.TrailMeisterwebsite are devoted to a series of squiggly lines. We study those streaks of ink, dream of being on them, and spend an inordinate amount of money to get to and follow them. Those of us that enjoy a life spent out of doors, and especially trail riders, spend a large amount of time on trails. But have we stopped for a moment to appreciate the trail workers who create and maintain the trails beneath us?

I’m not sure how many trail miles I’ve covered over the years. Between day rides,  frequent pack trips into wilderness areas, and even a few backpacking excursions over the past decades, I’d venture that the number foots well into the thousands, perhaps even into five digit territory.

Generally those miles have been made with little thought to the origins of the trails. Instead I often think about the upcoming views, the quality of the fishing, and where the next place to water the mules lies in the distance ahead. Despite the time I spend on the trail I rarely consider the hard work and efforts that go into creating the paths that grant us access into these hallowed places. Aren’t trails meant to be unnoticed?

Trail wokersIf you believe that your land managers (or trail fairies, take your pick) are able to maintain trails I can tell you about a Gilligan’s Island trip into the Pasayten Wilderness where a 3 hour ride became an 8 hour ordeal of trail clearing.

This past summer I had the opportunity to join groups of concerned riders for work projects across the Pacific Northwest.  People from hundreds of miles away loaded their trucks and trailers to join together to clear trail, rebuild equestrian camps, and reconstruct bridges in the Wilderness, with members of Back Country Horsemen of America.  READ MORE

Wilderness Work Party Video – Wilderness Work party in the Pasayten Wilderness of Washington with the Back Country Horsemen.

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03. September 2019 · Comments Off on Interior Secretary Bernhardt orders ebike access on National Parks & BLM Land · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

By Bruce Brown September 2, 2019 6:38AM PST

Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed an order that allows ebike access on federal land. Effective immediately, ebike riders can travel anywhere conventional bicycles are allowed on federally managed public lands.

The purpose of the order is “to increase recreational opportunities for all Americans, especially those with physical limitations, and to encourage the enjoyment of lands and waters managed by the Department of the Interior.” The specific effect is to simplify the rules for using electric bikes on federal lands and to reduce confusion for riders and enforcement personnel.  READ MORE

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01. September 2019 · Comments Off on Problem elk in Sweet removed · Categories: Around The Campfire

On Monday Aug. 19, the Sheriff’s Office assisted Idaho Fish and Game officers with removing a problem bull elk from the Sweet area. This animal had been had raised by a citizen who assumed that the calf was abandoned.

Fast forward approximately one and a half years and this elk calf had grown into large and very strong young bull with nearly two-foot of antlers. Given his hand raising and close interaction with humans he has no fear of humans; he also has no concept of his size and strength. We had several reports from Sweet residents that the elk was in the road causing a hazard, walking up to people and even one report of a woman being licked on the face while she was seated in her vehicle. This elk had become a hazard and potentially dangerous as well.

With the fall coming and the rut nearing he had begun to show some mild aggression towards people. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game decided that the elk would be captured and released elsewhere away from humans. On the morning of Aug. 19, the elk was located in the front yard of a Sweet residence. After attempts to lead him into a stock trailer failed he became skittish and the use of a net gun was employed. This is a tool that IDFG uses to capture wild animals for collaring or studying. This allows IDFG to capture without harm to the animal or people and without the use of drugs to sedate the animal. The elk was captured and loaded into the trailer unharmed and was later released far from human habitation.

Unfortunately, too often, well intentioned people remove young wildlife from their natural habitat believing the animal to be abandoned or in need of help. Please, if you come across a wild animal that you think is abandoned or in need of assistance do not remove that animal from the wild. Report the information and location to your local IDFG office and allow the conservation officers investigate. Animals that are removed from the wild and allowed to be handled become accustomed to people can become dangerous when they reach adulthood. They also have difficulty associating and assimilating with their own species. Reintegration of these animals is rarely successful.

October 21 Update

A human-habituated bull elk from the Sweet, Idaho area has found a “forever” home in Texas.

After six weeks at a Fish and Game facility, the elk left Idaho early Thursday morning, ultimately bound for Texas A&M University where it will become part of the school’s wildlife management and veterinarian programs.

The elk will join a number of native and exotic wildlife species which roam the university’s animal paddock including white-tailed deer, fallow deer, zebra, addax antelope and ostrich.

“Of the alternatives available, A&M was the best place for this elk to land,” Fish and Game wildlife veterinarian Dr. Mark Drew noted. “He will be well cared for and enjoy a good life at this world-class facility.”

Drew and his staff spent countless hours securing the needed paperwork to get the elk to the lone star state. Brucella and tuberculosis testing, chronic wasting disease certification, veterinary visits, transport and import permits and USDA Veterinary Services approval from Washington D.C all needed to be conducted or in place before the elk could leave Idaho.

The 400-pound bull elk, illegally removed from the wild in the spring of 2018 and raised in captivity, became a potential safety risk to the community of Sweet this summer as it roamed the streets and showed no fear of humans. The elk was captured and released in Bear Valley with the hope that it would integrate with wild elk herds in the area. Instead, the animal sought out humans, resulting in its recapture. That’s when the search began for an accredited facility that could take the animal.

Fortunately, Texas A&M University answered the call.

“This young bull elk is in a good place now,” Drew noted.

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31. August 2019 · Comments Off on Panel Shelter – 24 x24 corral with two 12 x 12 covers · Categories: Around The Campfire


I was at D&B the other day and a U of fence panels with a arched roof caught my eye. The roof was called a corral shelter and covered a 12 x 12 space, they were storing pellet stove fuel in it.  The price seemed reasonable and I had seven unused regular panels and a gate panel and got the idea to build a 24 x 24 feeding and shelter area.  I purchased two corral shelters and an extra panel to divided the area into two 12 x 12 feeding areas.
I assembled the first shelter frame in place on top of the supporting panels spending a lot of time standing on a ladder,  it took me about three hours and was sort of a pain. To build the second one, I contacted Terry MacDonald who came over and we had the second one build and placed on top of the fence in a bit over an hour. As only one frame could sit on top of the center fence panel, the other one had to be bolted to the first with some spacers, this approach seems to be working quite well.  I needed enough space between the two shelters for the covers.
Side panels are available, but sort of $$ so for this winter I used 12 x 10 plastic tarps.I have about 8 hours total in putting it together, and hope my stock will enjoy using it when it is raining or snowing this fall/winter. // Rob Adams

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27. August 2019 · Comments Off on Anonymous Bike Advocate Trolls Local Government With Passive-Aggressive Trail Signs · Categories: Around The Campfire


After Jefferson County Open Space officials posted signs asking bikers to exercise caution, a vigilante trail user posted more etiquette signs — for everyone. And it was glorious. READ MORE

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21. August 2019 · Comments Off on THE BCHI STATEWIDE CHALLENGE · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

“Squaw Butte Chapter President Ron Fergie presents $500.00 check to the BCHI Foundation President Bill Holt” says BCHI’s Roving Reporter

SBBCH challege check – Read More!

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19. August 2019 · Comments Off on Squaw Butte’s Member Bill Selkirk – Wilderness Volunteer Pack-In · Categories: Work Parties and Projects

Link to more pictures
It is a long way from Mattawan, Michigan to Stanley, Idaho but member Bill Selkirk has made that trek a number of year to work on projects with the Squaw Butte chapter. Life long friend of Rob Adams, Bill joined BCHI in 2004, and has participated in both packing support and trail clearing project. The latest is a pack-in support project for the Wilderness Volunteers.Central Idaho’s Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Sawtooth Wilderness are known for the rugged grandeur of their soaring 10,000 foot peaks, flowery mountain meadows, crystal clear lakes, towering alpine forests, and abundant wildlife, including elk, mountain goats, black bear, wolves, wolverines and pikas! Backpacking and hiking are spectacular in this country, and trout fishing is exceptional in backcountry lakes and streams. Our journey will begin at the beautiful Stanley Lake – just a few miles outside of the alluring mountain community of Stanley, Idaho. The area has several accessible hot springs, historic sites and other great places to play in and explore.

Our service project will be trail maintenance in the remarkable Sawtooth Wilderness. We’ll set up a base camp at McGown Lakes at 8505’ elevation after a backpack of 7.9 miles with 1,900′ elevation gain with pack support for tools, food and commissary supplies. Crew will camp at McGown Lakes and hike about a mile to project location on other side of 8,800’ pass. Our project will be to assist the Forest Service to complete trail maintenance of many of the trails out of our basecamp at McGown Lakes. Most of the work will be focused on heavy trail maintenance and tread repair (Iron Creek – Stanley Lake Trail 640) above Sawtooth Lake. Tread will need to be regraded to standard width with hand tools, rocks removed with hand tools and some rock wall constructed. Free time can be spent exploring the ever beautiful Sawtooth Wilderness – relaxing, fishing in alpine lakes, taking pictures, or setting off on a more strenuous hike to the secluded Trail Creek Lakes.

We highly recommend that those coming from low elevation (anything below about 5,000 feet) plan an extra couple days in the area before the trip to acclimate to the elevation for your own safety. Altitude sickness is a concern when traveling from low elevation to high elevation and getting acclimatized before the trip is one of the easiest ways to prevent it. If you need ideas on things to do/see before the trip contact your leaders.Trail Head at Stanley Lake
Elevation: 6,525.59 ft. Lat: 44.255891 Lon: -115.046060

McGown Lake
Elevation: 8,517.06 ft. Lat: 44.178483 Lon: -115.076432

On Saturday August 17, Tom Zahradnicek, David Benson, Bill Selkirk and Rob Adams joined a Wilderness Volunteer seven member crew and Bryce Parker (Sawtooth lead wilderness ranger) at the Stanley Lake overflow area. The WV crew were going to back pack in their personal stuff, while we were packing in tools, kitchen and food. Between us we had seven pack stock and it look like they were going to have light loads.  During the night one of David’s mules got her self tangled in high line and lead rope and ended up on her back with her legs tied up like a calf at a rodeo.  She seems to have suffered no major damage, but in the morning had a very swollen leg and a nice limp so David and his stock needed to head back to Caldwell and not into the mountains.  With five pack stock left, we divided the gear and built loads and by 09:30 were heading up the trail for the 9.8 miles to McGown Lake.

The trail up Stanley creek canyon is a very easy ride for about 2/3 of it length with a number of crossings of the creek for water opportunities for the stock. The last section to the saddle that crosses into the Payette river drainage is a number of switch backs up a steep and rocky wall. At the sign for McGown lake the trail turns into a goat path that climbs over a ridge and down into a basin that contains a number of ponds and small lakes, the largest and most scenic we left the equipment we packed in.At 5 pm we arrived back at the trailers, tired, sore and very satisfied at the days work. Bill will be heading out soon to visit his brother in New Mexico, but he will have some great memories of his day in the Sawtooth mountain visiting an area he had not ridden before. Link to more pictures

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17. August 2019 · Comments Off on Four Rivers RMP needs a Sportsman’s Voice · Categories: Current Events

The Bureau of Land Management is accepting comments on the Four Rivers Field Office Draft Resource Management Plan until August 22nd. Once finalized, the RMP will guide the management of 800,000 acres of public land within an 8-million-acre planning area spanning from the Bennett Hills, across the Boise Front, and to the banks of Brownlee Reservoir for at least two decades.

You can submit your own comments here.

Several hundred pages (and even three pages of acronyms) spell out the proposed management each alternative would take, comparing them to the current condition and management directive. Fire management, minerals and energy, wildlife, recreation, grazing, cultural resources, socioeconomics – you name it, it’s evaluated in this plan.

The BLM has set a range of alternatives with varying degrees of resource extraction availability, wildlife protections, and access considerations. Idaho Wildlife Federation urges the BLM to take proactive measures to protect highly productive chukar habitat, pronghorn and mule deer winter range.  READ MORE

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17. August 2019 · Comments Off on Endangered Species Act · Categories: Current Events

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15. August 2019 · Comments Off on SRA-Bull Trout Lake · Categories: Horse Camping

Aug 2019 – Marybeth Conger

“There is nothing better than having one of your favorite trail friends get that itch!” says Marybeth Conger. Cherokee and Scout are showing us how to get the job done.

Just got home from an amazing backcountry trip. Four great days near the Warm Springs trail head, ID with Bill Conger along with Lynn and Peggy Garner. Our four-legged animals all got along, the weather was absolutely great, we saw some breathtaking backcountry views, and the food/meals got an average 4.5 star rating. All of us had fun even when we cleared trails on two of the riding days. Just need to log our volunteer trail clearing hours since they give the BCH organization leverage in terms of the financial impact they have.

This trip is why I joined the Backcountry organization some 30 years ago. Great riding adventures with friends as we put our mighty muscles to work clearing trails. One difference I did notice between then and now is how I only have so many “get on and offs” before I start groaning!

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14. August 2019 · Comments Off on Bolder-White Cloud PT – Sage Writer Trail Log 8-3-2019 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Horse Camping

Pictures & Story by Laurie BryanRead the whole story / Link to Pictures

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12. August 2019 · Comments Off on BCHI & Idaho Horse Council · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Current Events

BCHI 2019 IHC report / Link to Web Site

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12. August 2019 · Comments Off on Happy 75, Smokey · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events, Education

A Better Way to Think About Wildland Fires

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10. August 2019 · Comments Off on Back Country 911 – When training and having the right tools produce a good outcome! · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Education

911, when Cell phones are not an option

On Wednesday August 7, 2019 Lisa was thrown from her horse while on a pack trip with other BCHI members in the Frog Lake area of the Bolder White Cloud Wilderness.  Many of the members on this trip had attended one or more Wilderness First Aid training opportunities and their training kicked it.  It was quickly determined that Lisa had suffered a major trauma with possible injury to her head, neck, back and pelvic regions.  It was obvious that advance medical treatment was called for and air evacuation was her best option.

 Accident > inReach[SOS]GEOS Response CenterIdaho State Comm’sLife Flight dispatch  > Advanced medical help arrives

BCHI Education 911- READ MORE

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03. August 2019 · Comments Off on Sawyer – Using & Maintaining Crosscut Saws · Categories: Education, Public Lands

Visit Dolly Chapman’s Website for lots of great information

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24. July 2019 · Comments Off on My First Trail Project – Wilson Corral – West Central Mountains · Categories: Work Parties and Projects

Today, I really enjoyed the opportunity to help clear the Wilson Creek Trail near Ola, Idaho. It’s great to ride and work with a well-organized team and also with a talented and knowledgeable leader like Rob Adams. I had a great time and even at my age and long-time trail experience, I still learned a lot from Rob.

I look forward to the next adventure and wish there was more activities on the calendar I can’t wait to go again.

Thanks again!

Tom Zahradnicek



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23. July 2019 · Comments Off on Wilderness Ranger Intern – Blog Posts · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

Wilderness Ranger Inter Blog Posts

Briana Bienusa- Wilderness Ranger Intern – Montana State University

Marble Creek Drainage/Salmon-Challis National Forest

Read Briana Blog

Kris Mueller, Iowa State University
Wind Lakes / Grave Peak, Nez Perce / Clearwater National Forest

Read Kris Blog

Connor White – Wilderness Ranger Intern – Appalachian State University
Big Creek Bridge / Bitterroot National Forest

Read Connor’s Blog

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18. July 2019 · Comments Off on Scoot Boot · Categories: Around The Campfire, Tips, Tricks and Tid Bits

Visit Web Site 

Sizing

Fitting Video

Evaluation after 1 1/2 years

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16. July 2019 · Comments Off on BCHW Work Crew – Trail head project · Categories: Around The Campfire, Horse Camping

We visited Washington’s Haney Meadow horse camp and ran into a BCHW Work Crew. They’re a hard working group of dedicated group of people who are making the horse camp even better. Here’s a great conversation that we had with a few of the folks in the Back Country Horsemen of Washington making the Haney Meadow horse camp great again.


For more info on Haney Meadow and the Ken Wilcox horse camp here’s the link! – https://www.trailmeister.com/trails/haney-meadow-ken-wilcox-horse-camp/

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15. July 2019 · Comments Off on ITA – Alice Lake Packing Support · Categories: Public Lands, Work Parties and Projects

Camping location at the Tin Cup trail headTrail to Alice Lake
July 13 & 14   Alice Lake Pack-In
July 20th   MORE PICTURES & PACK-OUT

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09. July 2019 · Comments Off on BCHI Sawtooth Wilderness Project · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

All,

After extensive research I have decided not to commit to clearing the trails from Redfish lake to Spangle Lake for Idaho Business for the Outdoors the end of July first part of August.

I do not feel we have time or manpower to guarantee we could accomplish the work without checking the trails out before hand. FS said you can not access the area until after July 15th and there are often avalanches across the trail, plus no grazing is allowed for the entire length of the trails that they want cleared. There is no way to know if it would take two days to clear the 20 miles of trail or two weeks or more and I did not feel comfortable making a commitment that we could not fulfill.

Thanks to everyone that give me information and contacts as well as a few of you willing to help clear the trails.

Thanks, Rod Parks BCHI Chairman

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09. July 2019 · Comments Off on 5 day Applied Equine Podiatry class · Categories: Education

IDAHO 5 day course flyer 2019

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04. July 2019 · Comments Off on GPSMAP® 66i – GPS Handheld and Satellite Communicator · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events, Tips, Tricks and Tid Bits

Part Number 010-02088-01 Available at REI

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03. July 2019 · Comments Off on IWF – July Update · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

Read about this and other important issues in Idaho

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03. July 2019 · Comments Off on BCHA – Take Action · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

TAKE ACTION

Two Important Public Lands Funding Bills

To: All BCHA Members,

There are two significant public lands-related funding opportunities currently before the U.S. Senate that would benefits trails and recreational access for everyone. Please read the background on these bills and please weigh in with calls directly to your senators.

Restore Our Parks Act (Senate Bill 500)

S. 500, introduced in mid-February, would bring new funding to address the deferred maintenance backlog throughout the National Park System. The Senate has yet to hold a hearing on the bill. However, last week the House of Representatives held a “mark up” of a similar bill (H.R. 1225), which currently includes all Department of Interior land management agencies in addition to the National Park Service (e.g., U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management).

BCHA is working with a broad coalition that seeks to include also the Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service, and its deferred maintenance backlog, among both bills. But we need your help. During last week’s mark up of H.R. 1225, Congressman Bruce Westerman (R-AR) received the commitment of Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Ranking Member Rob Bishop (R-UT) to work with him on ways to include the Forest Service prior to any floor vote in the House.

Your calls to U.S. senators are needed. Ask them to:

“Please include the Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service among agencies that would benefit from S. 500, the Restore Our Parks Act.”

If you reside in the states of AK, AZ, CO, HI, ID, LA, MA, MI, MS, MT, ND, NM, NV, OR, TN, UT, VT, WA, WV, WY you have at least one senator who sits on the Senate Natural Resources Committee, listed here. Contact information for all senators can be found here.

Arkansas residents: Please call the office of Congressman Bruce Westerman to thank him for wanting to include the U.S. Forest Service in the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act (HR 1225). Contact information can be found at the bottom of the Congressman’s home page.

Congress is Shaping Land Agency Budgets for Next Year

In the next few weeks, the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Appropriations is likely to resume work on the Fiscal Year 2020 budget for federal land management agencies. These agencies include the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. The House of Representatives is further along in the development of next year’s budget. Their proposal holds some welcome surprises for public lands, recreation and trails.

Good News for U.S. Forest Service Trails Budget

The House Committee on Appropriations took a novel approach, and asked the Forest Service no longer to assess cost pools (i.e., overhead) on Congress’ approved budget for non-fire agency operations, including facilities, roads and trails. They wanted greater accountability from the agency and asked that the Forest Service create a separate budget line item for cost pools.

For the current Fiscal Year (2019), for example, the Forest Service took 28 percent of the trails budget “off the top” before funds were distributed to regions. For 2020, the House is proposing only 4 percent be taken from the agency’s trails budget. If the Senate adopts the same approach, this would mean that the Forest Service’s overall trails budget could increase by between $5.2 million to $8 million next year.

Take Action!

Calls to members of the Senate Appropriations Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee are critical at this time. Ask them to:

“Please adopt the House Appropriations Committee’s recommended budget for non-fire U.S. Forest Service operations, including the elimination of cost pools from its trails budget.

If you reside in the states of AK, CA, FL, KY, MD, MO, MS, MT, NM, OR, RI, VT, you have at least one senator who sits on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies. Committee members are listed here. Contact information for all senators can be found here.

Please call today. We believe that phone calls from constituents are more effective than either letters or emails at this time. Nonetheless, sending a letter as a follow-up to your call could help to reinforce your message.

Hear Back from Your Senator?
If you receive feedback from your senator(s) or their staff, it would be very helpful if you would share their response with BCHA’s director for Public Lands & Recreation. His email address is: WildernessAdvisor@bcha.org

Thank you.

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02. July 2019 · Comments Off on Yellow Jacket & Tyndall Creek Trails · Categories: Horse Camping, Work Parties and Projects

On June 22, 2019 members Rob Adams, Janine Townsend, Janelle & Troy Weeks, were joined by Treasure Valley members Justin & Shauna Stucker and BNF northern trail crew members Nikki & Anthony. Anthony had ridden with us at this location in 2018 when we had removed over 50 downed trees, and expected to do the same this time. READ MORE

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02. July 2019 · Comments Off on Lessons Learned – Wilderness Ranger Intern · Categories: Around The Campfire

Emma Froelich – Wilderness Ranger Intern

University of Wisconsin – Madison

June 11 – 18

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest

As we emerged from the Wilderness, I imagined this is how Robin Williams’ character in Jumanji must have felt when his jungle-adapted self re-entered society, water from a tap? What a concept! As we drove back to civilization, my hair a greasy mess and my clothes sweaty and dirt stained, I mulled over the lessons I had learned. READ MORE

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19. June 2019 · Comments Off on Owyhee Canyonlands BLM Management Plan Comment Period · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

Send A Comment to the BLM

Dive deeper

This process is a key opportunity to help protect habitat of the imperiled sage grouse, determine where Off-Road Vehicles can and cannot travel, and protect wild desert places to camp, hike and bird. You can help shape how these lands will be managed for decades to come. Three main issues will be addressed in this planning process: Lands with Wilderness Characteristics, Off-Road Vehicle and Travel Management and Livestock Grazing. Take a deeper dive on these issues with these useful resources from Owyhee Coalition partner, Oregon Natural Desert Association:

Other ways to make your voice heard

The comment period is open until August 28, 2019. Right now is a critical window of time to make your voice heard and ensure the BLM knows there is widespread support for strong, conservation-focused management in this landscape.

  • Attend a public meeting hosted by the BLM in Ontario, McDermitt or Jordan Valley
  • Attend a comment writing session in Portland, Bend, Ontario or Boise. Event details coming soon.
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18. June 2019 · Comments Off on Trail Ride Checklist – Trail Meister · Categories: Around The Campfire, Horse Camping

trail rider checklist

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17. June 2019 · Comments Off on National Trails Day – 2019 · Categories: Public Lands

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12. June 2019 · Comments Off on Twenty-Mile Creek Project · Categories: Public Lands, Work Parties and Projects

Join Alice, Phil and Rob on a one day project near Upper Payette Lake.

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10. June 2019 · Comments Off on June 2019 – Northwest Horse Source · Categories: Around The Campfire

Click on the picture to view on-line.

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10. June 2019 · Comments Off on Wound Treatment – Madison Seamans DMV · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

On Sunday May 26, Sweet had a thunderstorm.  This storm dumped a lot of water which made the volcanic clay in my pasture slick. The thunder got my little herd of horses zooming around said pasture and my mustang Payette lost his footing and slid into a New Zealand high tension fence, breaking off three fiberglass poles and getting himself tangled up it in.  In the process of getting loose he cut his right hind leg.

I gave Madison a call on what should have been a day off and he happened to be in Emmett and agreed to stop by. We cleaned up the wound and attempted to put some stitches in, but the skin was mostly scar tissue from a previous accident and would not hold.  The plan was to change the wrap every three day and after two weeks shift to an open air wound dressing if he was healing up with out complication or infection. This picture is after 7 days and looks pretty good This next picture is after two weeks, and at first glance looks worse than at one week, but what you see is new healthy tissue. At this point we stopped covering it and switched to Madison’s favorite wound dressing for this type of injury. You buy a 22 oz container of RAW honey and mix in two table spoon of powdered Alum. Once a day you slather the honey mixture over the wound. The honey protects the wound from infection and promotes healthy tissue and hair growth. I will update this post after four weeks to show the results.  By the way, Payette is moving like he had never gotten tangled in that fence.  I expect him to be ready to go to work the the second weekend in July.

06/27/2019 – 30 days after he was hurt, two weeks of the honey treatment. No proud flesh, healing nicely

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07. June 2019 · Comments Off on BCHA – Exclusive Leader Newsletter – May 2019 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


Building the Future

BCHA_Executive_Committee_Meeting_Minutes

2019-05-29_BCHA_Presidents_Call

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06. June 2019 · Comments Off on SBFC – Wilderness Ranger Intern Orientation/Training · Categories: Around The Campfire

Trainees and instructors discussing Visitor Use/Campsite Monitoring during the Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute 📷Verena Gruber

Henry Vaughan – Wilderness Ranger Intern

The College of Idaho

Orientation/Training

May 13 – May 27

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest

Our first two weeks as Wilderness Ranger Interns has had us housed and training at Powell Ranger Station in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest. Each day, we dip our toes, feet, ankles, knees, bit by bit into wilderness until we are totally submerged: acclimated as much as possible for our fast approaching hitches. We went from staying in beds and bunkhouses during the first week—where we could avoid the worst weather at night by turning up the heaters in our rooms and closing the blinds—to sleeping in our own tents and bags during the second. Before long, we’ll be spending our nights in the wilderness with the only comforts available to us being those which we can carry in on our backs.

We’re developing important skills for working in the wilderness this summer: becoming familiar with our primitive tools, testing out our gear, learning how to navigate in a land without Google Maps; but I’m also recognizing an important new way to perceive nature. Around Powell (particularly outside of the bunkhouses), nature gets up in our face. Deer wander daily between the buildings. One intern encountered a wolf on an early morning trail run. Oyster and morel mushrooms regularly provide a free dinner to those with watchful eyes. These natural displays: such abundances of vitality, fecundity, and productivity from the trees to the insects to the uninhibited Lochsa River flowing right by our tents show a land community with greater agency—where it is difficult to keep humanity and civilization at the forefront of the mind. Closer to wilderness, nature has more room to breathe and speak and (aided greatly by a lack of cell phone service) we are forced to become a listener. And, though we have little say in it, I have yet to meet anyone at the ranger station who isn’t made happier by that prospect.

The closest wilderness area to us (the Selway-Bitterroot) is a hundred feet away—right across the river. In between the banks of the Lochsa, as a sort of gateway between a developed Powell and an undeveloped wilderness, is a small island where the Lewis and Clark party is said to have camped as they made their way over the Bitterroot Mountains. On the far bank is the beginning of a land which can make a visitor feel as if they are stepping back even further in time to before the first American presences. The wilderness areas, where signs of civilization are intentionally minimized, are spaces where nature is most free to speak and where humanity, when present, is most likely to hear a clear and individually unique message. I, for one, am excited to see what this particular wilderness has to share with me.

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02. June 2019 · Comments Off on 2019 National Trail Day – Peace Creek · Categories: Public Lands, Work Parties and Projects

SEE MORE

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30. May 2019 · Comments Off on Sagebrush to Cheatgrass · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

It may seem, to anyone who has driven long stretches of highway across the West, that there is plenty — maybe even more than enough — sagebrush. Sagebrush once covered 250 million acres of western North America, but today that ecosystem is half the size it once was and it’s burning more frequently.

Jon Griggs has been running the Maggie Creek Ranch southwest of Elko, Nev., for almost 30 years.
In 2007, wildfire tore through thousands of acres and destroyed several ranch buildings. The wind howled. The sky was orange, and Griggs couldn’t see more than a dozen yards in front of him with all the smoke.

He kicks the dirt with his black cowboy boot. “We thought that’s not gonna happen to us. And it got us. And…” his voice catches in his throat. “I don’t like to think about that day.”

Griggs and other locals will tell you there has always been fire here, but now the fires are bigger and more frequent than anyone can remember.

In just the past two years, more than 800,000 acres of sagebrush have burned in northern Nevada. For many, the word “wildfire” brings to mind images of flaming treetops and blackened stumps. But we should actually be picturing sagebrush on fire. In the past two decades, nearly 75 percent of all acres burned in the west were rangelands — not forest. Hundreds of thousands of acres — home to rural ranching communities and endangered sage grouse — are going up in flames each year. READ MORE

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30. May 2019 · Comments Off on On-line Auction for St. Jude Ride – 2019 (Boise Chapter) · Categories: Around The Campfire, BCHI /BCHA

On-line Auction for St. Jude Ride – 2019
Check out our on-line auction items, new for 2019

Items include a new Queen Valley mule saddle, a two-night stay at Holiday Inn Hunter Lodge in McCall, a $100 certificate at Gino’s Italian in Meridan, and more. Bidding open now through June 10, 2019.
Click on this link to go to the Auction Page.

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