Stacy Creek, is in the Payette National Forest, about 20 miles north west of Weiser, off upper Mann Creek Road. On Saturday September 23, 2017 Seven members of Squaw Butte and a ranger named Matt from the Weiser ranger district met at the parking area at the intersection of Mann Creek and Adams Creek roads.

The first order of business was to work on the trail bed of the Mann creek & Stacy creek crossing. This crossing had some large rocks and a drop off that were not horse friendly.  After spending some time considering options, the team determined that the best approach was to move two large rocks and a number of smaller ones, creating a trail up the slope that a horse could easily handle.  With rock bars we were able to move the circled rocks to new locations.  As hunting season was in full swing, traffic on Mann Creek Road was busy, so we moved our rigs to the southern end of the trail to ride, see Map.

The original plan was to park at the gravel pit, but when we got there it looked like an RV park so we continued to the trail head. Parking there was limited due to someone putting their hunting camp in the middle of the parking area, but as we had Ranger Matt with us, we parked our rigs all around his camp. P1 first parking location, P2 second!

The trail starts from this location and follows what appears to be a logging road for a bit over 3.5 miles. This section of trail is very pretty and shaded and made perfect fall riding. Once you are down to creek level, the trail turns single track and follows Stacy Creek north to Mann Creek road. This section of the trail is around 3 miles long.  If you combine the roads a loop could be made, but do it when traffic is light.

Shannon and Nancy put on their Sawyer protective gear and removed some blow down that was blocking the trail, and Rob and Matt cleared about 200 feet of Hawthorn bush.  The thorn of this stuff goes right through leather gloves so handling takes care and cutting it is not high on fun thing to do lists.







We returned to our trailers a bit before 16:00, and were on the road for home by 16:45. Members attending were: Nancy Smith, Shannon Schantz, Janelle Weeks, Lisa Griffith, Lynn & Peggy Garner and Rob Adams

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Why Are Horses an Interesting Model?

Horses belong to the order Perissodactyla, and within this they are one of nine species in the family Equus. By the end of the Pleistocene era (approx. 2.5 million – 12,000 years ago) wild horses (Equus ferus) roamed across Europe, Asia and North America, and it is estimated that the domestication of horses began around 5000 years ago. However, by the middle of the twentieth century horses had become extinct in the wild, yet were thriving as a domestic species. Domestication can dramatically influence the social, cognitive, and morphological characteristics of a species, and the study of domestic species is of great interest from both welfare and evolutionary perspectives.

Horses are long-lived social animals. Feral populations have demonstrated that without domestic pressures horses would live in a society comprising of several small groups or ‘bands’ that share space and resources, and to which membership stays relatively stable over time. Bands have large, overlapping ranges so horses regularly come into contact with many other conspecifics, and inter-band dominance indicates that within the larger herd established social relationships exist. Consequently, horses show fission-fusion dynamics; a variation of the same complex social organisation that is seen in humans, bonobos, chimpanzees, and macaques, as well as elephants, spotted hyenas and many cetaceans. Group life in these societies is determined by complex, long-term social relationships that must be maintained, suggesting effective communication would be adaptive.
Horses are predominantly visual animals, with reasonable visual acuity that, at 23 cycles per degree, is better than domestic cats and dogs. While horses’ use of head and body posture in signaling has been described in observational literature, surprisingly their use of facial expressions has been largely overlooked. This is despite attempts to quantify facial expressions in horses’ close relatives, plains zebra, and reports that horses do routinely use some apparently complex facial expressions (e.g. snapping and the estrous face, which both involve pulling back the lips and flattening of the ears.

A systematic way of recording facial expressions would have a wide range of uses, with the potential to assess and improve welfare for horses, as well as enhancing our understanding of communication and cognition in this highly social species and providing insights into the effects of domestication. Questions about whether particular facial movements are associated with negative emotional states or indicative of positive experiences will be particularly important to address, and FACS provides an ideal framework for such investigations. More generally, FACS provides a framework through which species with different phylogenetic and ecological influences can be compared to investigate the functional significance and evolutionary origins of facial expressions. Read More

Video’s   Equine Facial Expressions        What is he thinking

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Liese Dean USFS – Will be retiring in October after a long and distinguished career with the forest service. In her roll as Wilderness Program Coordinator for the Sawtooth District, She had a long relationship with BCHI and the Squaw Butte Chapter. We worked on a number of projects with her and the team of rangers who worked for her. Our last project was just completed the first weekend in September, the Mcgown Lake – Wilderness Volunteer pack support project. Liese will be missed, but you can be sure her work will continue in the capable hands of the many she trained over the years. Leise is not leaving the area so it is very likely we will see her camping by a high mountain lake in one of the many wilderness she cared for and loved. See one of the many papers she published

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This comprehensive guide focuses on restoration of small-scale impact caused by human actions in wilderness and backcountry areas. The guide’s goals are to: 1) Help practitioners develop plans that thoroughly address the question of whether site restoration is the best management action and, if so, develop a site-specific restoration plan that incorporates ecological concepts and addresses patterns of human use. 2) Provide the latest information on site-specific restoration techniques, including site preparation, soil amendments, planting, mulching, and so forth. 3) Explore the various methods of plant propagation both on and off a restoration site. 4) Provide approaches for project monitoring and documentation.

View Guide – PDF

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BCHA Volunteer Hours Guide

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The Wilderness Society strongly opposes and urges lawmakers to reject the Federal Land Freedom Act, H.R. 3565, which hands over management of public lands to states and eliminates essential safeguards that protect America’s lands and water.

The bill was given a hearing today in the House Natural Resources Committee, led by Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah).

The following statement is from Brad Brooks, director of the public lands campaign at The Wilderness Society:

“This bill takes land that belongs to all Americans and sells it out to the oil and gas industry by prioritizing energy production over wildlife, hunting, fishing, biking and other recreational uses. It gives the keys to all decision making on energy development to states and industry while blocking the public from enjoying their own lands. Whether national parks, forests, wildlife refuges or BLM lands, America’s public lands belong to all of us and must be managed for the benefit of the entire nation, not just oil and gas companies.”


H.R. 3565 attempts to legitimize the false premise that the federal government is hindering oil and gas production on public lands.  Energy developers have chosen to limit investment due to market forces and other factors outside of government control. According to Wilderness Society analysis, nearly 200 million acres of the federal mineral estate are open for leasing. In 2015 only 15 percent of all land offered in lease sales was actually purchased by industry.

H.R. 3565 would undermine bedrock environmental safeguards, endangering air, water and wildlife.  Plus, it would eliminate the process that guarantees the public’s opportunity to participate in decision making about public land.  Specifically, the bill would block protections provided by the Endangered Species Act, National Historic Preservation Act, National Environmental Policy Act and Administrative Procedures Act.

Moreover, states lack the funding, staffing and expertise necessary to manage oversight of federal oil and gas development.

H.R. 3565 is part of a larger agenda to sell out or sell off the nation’s shared public lands.  Other bills to dispose of public lands are quickly gaining traction in Congress. The Mojave County Federal Lands Management Act, introduced by Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), S. 467 would not only mandate the sale of a large quantity of public land in Arizona for purposes of deficit reduction, but it would also set a new precedent of giving local county elected officials the power to decide which lands to sell and waive requirements to include the public in the decision. This bill received a hearing in July in the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mining.

In January, the House of Representatives voted along party lines to change the way the Congressional Budget Office accounts for selling off public lands. This rule says, in effect, that giving away national parks, forests and other public lands has no dollar impact on the federal budget. Which makes it easy for Congress to give away to states land that belongs to all Americans. Cash-strapped states would sell or lease much of this land for indiscriminate mining, drilling and logging.

Several members of Congress and more than a dozen state legislatures have advocated legally questionable land giveaways, turning public lands over to state control. Republican and Democratic voters alike reject this idea. Yet pursuit of this agenda, with support from the Koch brothers and pushed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, erodes the idea of conserving our natural heritage for future generations.  The Outdoor Retailer show, traditionally held in Salt Lake City, decided on February 16 to take its show out of Utah due to the state’s continued hostility toward federal lands (Salt Lake Tribune story).

The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than one million members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.


Kate Mackay, Communications Director, The Wilderness Society,; 602-571-2603

Brad Brooks, Director, Public Lands Campaign, The Wilderness Society, 208-350-2079, 208-870-9043

Michael Reinemer, Deputy Director, Wildlands, 202-429-3949,

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Summer 2017 Email Edition
Thank you for your support of the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation. I’ve attached the summer newsletter. We’ve had a terrific season thus far, made possible by our tremendously dedicated seasonal staff, our Wilderness Ranger Interns, and all of the volunteers who came from all points across the nation (as well as locally) to dedicate their vacation time to stewarding the lands we love. We’ve got a few more projects in September and October before we close out the season.

Thank you for reading the newsletter and keeping current on the work we do. Enjoy.

Sue Webster
Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation
Communication & Membership Coordinator
RMRS – 322 E. Front St. Ste. 401
Boise, ID 83702

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About Wilderness Volunteers:

The Project:

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 heavy trail maintenance in the remarkable Sawtooth Wilderness. We’ll set up a base camp at McGown Lakes at 8505’elevation after a backpack of 6.5 miles 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. Most of the work will be focused on heavy trail maintenance and tread repair (Iron Creek – Stanley Lake Trail 640) above Sawtooth Lake, where the trail has sloughed in and become narrow and hazardous. Tread will need to be regraded to standard width with hand tools, rocks removed with hand tools and some rock wall constructed. If time permits Observation Peak Trail 614 which has not been maintained in several years will need heavy maintenance using a crosscut saw to clear downed trees, digging new trail tread, moving rocks, dirt and vegetation. 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.

Additional Information: Crew will hike in about 6.5 miles from Stanley Lake Trailhead, or about the same distance from Iron Creek Trailhead. Pack stock will transport gear from Stanley Lake (6,500’) to the campsite at McGown Lakes (8,505’). This area was burned in 2003 by the Trailhead Fire. Iron Creek Trailhead (6.700’) and trail to Sawtooth Lake are the most heavily used access in the Sawtooth Wilderness, and for good reason – the spectacular alpine scenery is unparalleled! Expect hot temperatures and strenuous work on exposed mountain side with world class views. Water for the full day will need to be packed from camp.

This project is rated as a challenging project.

– Strenuous with longer backpacks, off-trail backpacks, sometimes with significant elevation changes. Also trips with camping and work at elevation, or canoeing with portages. These trips are very challenging and require excellent aerobic conditioning, past experience in outdoor settings and familiarity with backcountry camping. Challenging projects are not for beginners.

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.

Who can Volunteer?

WV Leaders for this Project

Aidalicia Swertfeger
is vying for that “life less ordinary” as she attempts to merge her zest for the outdoors with her technical education in communication design. Growing up in the foothills of the Sierras, Aidalicia lived for winters snowboarding in Tahoe, something she misses greatly. Having moved to Austin, Texas to complete her degree, she has realized she needs texture and pitch in her horizon. Planning on a Pacific Northwest relocation, she’ll continue on as a runner, an IPA girl, an avid solo traveler, a thru-hiker and a practitioner of minimalism.

The project trail is indicated by the area circled in red.
The Trail to the camping and work area was from the Iron Creek Trail-head, to Sawtooth’s lakes southern end. This is the second most popular trail in the Sawtooth area and is utilized by hikers, back packers and their pets!

Back Country Horsemen of Idaho – Squaw Butte Chapter volunteered to provide packing support for this project working with the Wilderness Volunteer leaders and the Sawtooth Ranger District.

From: Dorr, Jay -FS
Sent: Friday, August 25, 2017 09:06
To: Zoe Putter ; Rob Adams
Cc: Caitlin Frawley -FS; Dean, Liese -FS
Subject: RE: McGown Peak – Pack Support Project – August 26 – September 2

Stanley Lake drainage is still closed for fire and crew did not finish cutting out trail to McGown from that side.

Plan to go in from Iron Creek and camp at Sawtooth Lake.

I would rather not send pack string up that trail with all of the foot traffic it gets or have crew camp at Sawtooth Lake with all of the other use it gets. There is usually lots of traffic on Labor day weekend.

That is our best alternative with the fire in Stanley Lake drainage. Crew can work on original project. If they finish and have time, they can work around Sawtooth Lake and down North Fork Baron a ways. They can make some repairs in narrow spots along Sawtooth Lake. There are a lot of rock to remove from trail going that way.

If there are not campsites at Iron Creek Campground, there are undeveloped sites back down road.

Horse trailer parking may be difficult when Rob comes back to pack out camp. He may have to park a ways back down road.

I have been away working on other parts of forest and have not had email access until this morning. Caitlin is working on fire for a few days.

Please get word out to crew on change of meeting location and access. Sorry for short notice but fires are never convenient.

Have a great trip,


On Saturday August 26, members Terry & Gail MacDonald, Jon & Dianne Seel, Laurie Bryan, Janelle Weeks, Lisa Griffith, Shelly Duff, Janine Townsend and Rob Adams meet at Stanley lake camp ground to work with the rangers and WV volunteers getting their 130 pounds of tools and their food and kitchen up to the work site at Sawtooth Lake.  Caitlin Frawley was the ranger who would be working along side the WV volunteers and was our contact for this effort.  On Sunday morning Caitlin delivered the tools, food, kitchen and other equipment to our camp site.  We had scouted the Iron Creek trail head and determined we didn’t have suitable parking for all the trailers so choose to take the Alpine Way trail from Stanley lake over to Iron Creek, making the ride to the camp site and back 22 miles.  After getting packed up we started out from Stanley lake and made pretty good time up the steep and little traveled trail.  At mile 6.5 we started encountering downfall and at mile 7 two dangerous creek crossings.  At this point it was getting late and we turned around to give it a try the next day from the Iron Creek Trail-head.

Laurie Bryan August 28

Packing supplies in to a wilderness trail crew at Sawtooth Lake. The first day got a little rough and two of the guys had to bailed on us. Regrouped the next day minus the two. The next day and a different route, five women, 11 horses, 1 mule and Rob made it to the lake without incident. The “G” in Girl Power now stands for “Get ‘er done.”  Laurie took most of the pictures on this project

Janelle, Decaf and Tucker

Laurie Bryan August 28 ·

Shelly rounding “Oh Shit Drop.” I have no idea what’s it’s called – but that’s what I’m calling it. Pictures do not do this section justice – besides – I’m trying to shoot pictures and trust that Jack isn’t going to plumet to our death off these sheer faces. The most wicked trails I’ve been on I think. Absolutely beautiful. I would love to take some of the folks who scoff at “trail horses” for a little hike on these trails. I think their opinion of “just a trail horse” might change.

Janine talking to some of the many trail users we met while packing for this project, with very few exceptions each encounter went well, with the other users very interested in what we were doing and the stock. Lots of pictures of us were taken.

On September 2nd,  Janelle Weeks, Lisa Griffith, Shelly Duff and Rob Adams returned to Sawtooth lake with five pack stock and packed out the crew.

See More Pictures

Movie made by Janelle

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08. August 2017 · Comments Off on Yellow Jacket Project · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events, Horse Camping, Work Parties and Projects

Nancy Smith

Yellow Jacket trail,Cascade Idaho,was very smokey but we had a great time and saw lots of wildlife and cut lots of trees . I hope, I got my sawyers certification. We’ll see what the FS says ,,
Yippie. Some very stylish head gear worn by our members
Janelle Weeks

Some work had already been done on the Yellow Jacket Trail, however, we cleared out several downed trees and other trees and brush that will make for safer travel along the trail. It was a warm day w/ a good layer of smoke from nearby fires – which made for sweaty, smoky, dirty days…with great food and conversation from all at the end.  It was a busy weekend in the Boise National Forest; campers, motorcyclists, equine enthusiasts, bicyclists, fishermen, etc. Good to see that our work is enjoyed appropriately.  Also good to see wildlife so prevalent! We had several visits from the resident deer.

See More Pictures   /   Video

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23. July 2017 · Comments Off on Hitt Mountain – Cambridge, Idaho · Categories: Current Events, Horse Camping

Janelle Weeks

Great food and conversations.
There were more downed trees than what we thought there would be. The terrain was steep which didn’t allow us to tie up horses so more of us could help with the trail clearing. The ranger was great to work with.
A few of us were able to take a short trail ride on Sunday before heading back. Great views!

Nancy Smith

My trip to Hitt Mtn. was great,the weather was cooler than the valley and we met a nice Ranger by the name of Jascha Zeitlin. He was so glad to have a group to help with the trail clearing even though he had to sharpen our chains he never complained. I would help him with a trail anytime. He was very knowledgeable and could ride a horse as well . We took Robs horse Kestrel for Jascha,I think he enjoyed the ride. On Sunday just us girls went riding to the north west of Hitt Mtn. And found some very interesting sites along with lots of really nice photo ops. There’s lots of parking and water across the rode from camp for the horses.

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20. July 2017 · Comments Off on Members trip – Western Canada & Alaska · Categories: Member Profiles

Squaw Butte members, Bill Selkirk, Kate Miller and Linda and Rob Adams made an RV & Motorcycle trip from Horseshoe Bend, Id, to western Canada and Alaska from mid-May to mid-July, 2017. Highlights of the trip were, the World Museum of Mining, Lewis & Clark Caverns, Glacier & Waterton parks, Banff & Jasper National Parks, the ALCAN Highway, Dawson Creek and Whitehorse, YT.  Along the way we stopped at  many museums and cultural centers, hike, view lots of wild life, and met many interesting people.  Roads traveled include the “Ice Field Parkway, the Klondike road to Dawson City, the Top of the world highway, and many more.  In all the RV traveled 8,035 miles and the motorcycle 3,500.

In Waterton Park and Seward, AK we took scenic boat rides, in Dawson City a ferry a crossed the Yukon river and in Skagway the White Pass & Yukon Train, In Denali Park, we spent nine hours on a bus, the only way to see the park short of flying over it, or walking in summer, of course you can take a dog team in winter.  Wildlife is one of the main reasons for a trip like this and we saw it in abundance as well as glaciers and amazing mountain ranges.  The most scenic part of Alaska is along the coast, the interior is mostly brush and swamps, western Canada was just amazing and we can’t wait to explore more of British Columbia.  If you are interesting in seeing more picture, click here.

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17. July 2017 · Comments Off on SBFCF – Online Project Map · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


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16. July 2017 · Comments Off on BCHI Spring Convention · Categories: Around The Campfire

Foundation quarterly June 2017
BCHI Hours & Miles Summary for work done in 2016 by all chapters in the state!

From Roland Cheek


The following video covers the very beginning of Back Country Horsemen, an educational / service group of trail riding folks from across America, now with over 15,000 members in upwards of 170 clubs from the Atlantic Ocean to Pacific tidewater.

The video is available on both YouTube and Vimeo. Click the viewing
vehicle of your choice: or

And check out Roland’s Books

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16. July 2017 · Comments Off on BCHA Action Alert – July 2017 · Categories: Current Events

BCHA needs your help: Calls to Congress Needed this Week!

We have learned that Congress could begin negotiations this week regarding 2018 funding for a number of programs important to horsemen, including the Land and Water Conservation Fund and recreation and trail programs administered by the federal land management agencies. There is much at stake for horsemen and trail users.

Congress has an important role to play in ensuring the agencies receive sufficient funding for the public to continue to enjoy and to access our public lands via trails that are safe, accessible and well-maintained.

President’s Budget Proposal Would Doom Trails

Yet the President proposed a budget for 2018 that would eliminate most funding for trails and fails to provide even the most basic necessities to support and manage volunteers, like you, who maintain a growing proportion of these trails.

The President’s budget also would cut the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) by 84% compared to the amount approved by Congress for 2017. LLWCF has proven crucial to completing the Pacific Crest and the Continental Divide national scenic trails.

Similarly, the President’s budget would cut the trails program of the U.S. Forest Service by 84%. There is little doubt the agency would be forced to make sweeping personnel changes that would leave few staff among local ranger districts to work with volunteers and partners—to say nothing about the complete lack of seasonal trail crews that could be expected next year. Such budget cuts would be disastrous and unprecedented.

Congress has the Power to Create and Pass its own Budget

The good news is that Congress does not have to follow the President’s proposed budget for 2018. But members of Congress need to hear from you. Otherwise, they just might fall in line behind the President’s budget proposal.

Take Action!

BCHA asks that you call your member of Congress today.

  • Let them know that trails and outdoor recreation are important to you.
  • Ask them to maintain the Land and Water Conservation Fund in 2018, at the minimum, at a level consistent with what Congress approved in 2017.
  • Ask that they support levels of funding that keep agency trail programs intact, as volunteers alone cannot be expected to do it all.
  • Ask that funding for trails reflect the growing importance of trails to the American public, including the outdoor “recreation economy,” which directly supports 7.6 million jobs across the U.S.

To find information, including a phone number, for your representative in Congress click on this link. For contact information for your U.S. senators, click here.

The Facts (and our Strong Opinion!)

BCHA worked with the American Hiking Society, American Trails, and the Partnership for the National Trails System to create a three-page background paper if you’re interested in the details of the President’s proposed budget for 2018 and our joint request to Congress. Perhaps it’s more information than you want, but feel free to pass along either or both to your member of Congress if their staff person requests more information.

To find data on the growing outdoor recreation economy, which includes horseback riding, see a summary of the new study posted on the website of the Outdoor Industry Association.

Hear Back from Your Representative?

If you receive feedback from your member of Congress 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:

Please share this alert with friends and family. Like we are doing with the hikers and other partners, let’s all speak up for trails together! Our future access to public lands depends on it.

Please take action TODAY to preserve access to trails on public lands.

Thank you.

Freddy Dunn

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21. May 2017 · Comments Off on Very Successful Annual Yard Sale · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

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16. May 2017 · Comments Off on BCHI – Boise Chapter “Saddle Up for St. Jude Ride” · Categories: Current Events, Fun Rides

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15. May 2017 · Comments Off on Boise National Forest North Zone Trails Program Next Available Saw Classes · Categories: Current Events

The Partnership Saw Classes will be held at the following locations:

Boise Bike Project: 1027 S Lusk St, Boise, ID 83706 (208) 429-6520 May 20, 2017

Garden Valley: Project Patch 25 Miracle Ln, Garden Valley, ID 83622 May 24 and 25 200pm-6pm

Upon completion of the classroom portion, Boise National forest Trail personnel will field certify the class participants during each groups project work day. Participants are responsible for completing an approved CPR/ First wAid Class (American Heart or Red Cross) for their certifications to be valid.

Please send me a tentative (I know things change) list of attendees.

Looking forward to seeing you at the class.
I have been receiving many questions about the current Saw Policy regarding volunteers/partners. Below is a link to the USFS website that has detailed information and frequently asked questions. If you need anything further please let me know.

Thanks again for all the help.

John Hidy
North Zone Trails Program Supervisor
Forest Service
Boise National Forest
p: 208-259-3361 x7539
f: 208-259-3366


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12. May 2017 · Comments Off on John Hidy -BNF North Zone Trails Supervison · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

John ( ) has been our primary contact when planning trail projects and Sawyer training in the Boise National Forest for a number of years. June 8, 2017 will be his last day with the BNF, as he has accepted a job in the 4-Corners area of Colorado to be closer to his aging father. We will miss John on the forest, and wish him well at his new position.

Charlie Jarvis (North Zone Trails Forman) & Mathue Fasching (Recreation Program Manager) with be splinting John’s duties in 2017 and will serve as our points of contact on the forest.

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11. May 2017 · Comments Off on BCHA News Update · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Take Action! – Voice your opinion – BCHA Alerts

National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act Signed into Law

Public Law 114-245: National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act, was signed by President Obama on November 28, 2016. We did it! BCHA, our partners and “Trails bill” sponsors have brought national attention to the trail maintenance backlog on our national forests. There is much more work ahead, however, as the agency has yet to enjoy increased funding and capacity to fully realize the goals of this new law.

The National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act of 2015 (H.R.845 S.1110). See other related news – National Forest Trail Maintenance Legislation H.R. 845 Passes House.

Back Country Horsemen of America(BCHA), The American Horse Council(AHC) , and the Wilderness Society were significantly involved in the creation and passage of this bill. This follows House passage of the bill earlier this fall. The bill, introduced by Representatives Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Tim Walz (D-MN) and Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Michael Bennet (D-CO), would direct the Forest Service to take several actions to help address the current trail maintenance backlog that is adversely impacting all trail users on many National Forests, including equestrians.

BCHA is pleased National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act Signed into Law. The BCHA would like to thank Representatives Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Tim Walz (D-MN) and Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) for their leadership and work to pass this bill.

The bill directs the Forest Service to develop a strategy to more effectively utilize volunteers and partners to assist in maintaining national forest trails. It will also provide outfitters and guides the ability to perform trail maintenance activities in lieu of permit fees. Additionally, the bill will address a liability issue that has discouraged some national forests from utilizing volunteers and partner organizations to help perform trail maintenance and will direct the Forest Service to identify and prioritize specific areas with the greatest need for trail maintenance in the national forest system. This bill will help improve trail maintenance without the need for additional funding.


Take Action! – Voice your opinion – BCHA Alerts

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11. May 2017 · Comments Off on BCHA Volunteer Service Hours Last 20 Years! · Categories: Around The Campfire

Volunteer Service Hours

Trail work is the mainstay of our mission.  Every chapter participates in some way to help keep trails open.  For last year in 2016 we had another high year with just over 13.4 million dollars worth of volunteer dollars donated with over 341,502 volunteer hours from 31 different states. Throughout the year this included just under 11,461 stock were used while volunteering plus over 1.9 million travel miles. Thanks again to all the BCHA members who tirelessly volunteer keeping our public trails open.

Here are the number of hours and their calculated value for the work that BCHA members have done over the last 20 years. The total for 21 years is 4,773,583 hours for a total donated dollar value of $139,805,692. Wow!! Thanks BCHA Members for all your hard work.

See the Yearly Numbers

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06. May 2017 · Comments Off on Tick-Borne Disease: Tremendously Tricky in Horses · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

If the sight of a tick makes your skin crawl—even if it’s not crawling on your skin— you’re not alone. That feeling is founded on more than a natural aversion to arachnids; diseases transmitted by ticks can pose a real health threat. With Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maps outlining tick ranges throughout the majority of the United States, it’s important we brush up on our understanding of tick-borne diseases. In this article we’ll take a look at the three that pose the biggest risk to horses: Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and piroplasmosis.

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03. May 2017 · Comments Off on Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation Spring 2017 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Read News Letter

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01. May 2017 · Comments Off on USDA Forest Service South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project EA · Categories: Current Events, Public Meetings

Dear Interested Party:
The Forest Service has completed the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project and is seeking public comment on this EA during the 30-day notice and comment period. The South Pioneer Project is located in Boise County approximately 18 miles northeast of Idaho City, Idaho, and 48 miles northeast of Boise, Idaho. The Project Area covers approximately 39,100 acres in the Boise River watershed. The EA is available on the Project web page: If you would prefer a hard copy of the EA, please contact John Riling, Team Leader, at or by phone at 208-373-4171. A summary document containing the Agency’s response to comments received during the February 2017 scoping period is also available on the project website.

Project Description
The South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project proposes cutting hazard trees along NFS roads and trails, reforesting areas, decommissioning unauthorized routes, and salvaging additional trees killed by the wildfire to recover economic value to support restoration work. Salvage harvest activities are anticipated to begin in early summer 2017 and be completed by the end of the 2018 operating season, while activities such as reforestation would continue for approximately 10 years.
Immediate implementation is essential to successfully accomplish project purpose and need (e.g., address hazard trees that pose risks to public health and safety this next recreation season). Therefore, the Boise National Forest will request an emergency situation determination (ESD) to facilitate immediate implementation of the proposed activities during the 2017 field season. Only the Chief and Associate Chief of the Forest Service may grant an ESD (36 CFR 218.21(a)).

An emergency situation at 36 CFR 218.21(b) is defined as follows.
A situation on National Forest System (NFS) lands for which immediate implementation of a decision is necessary to achieve one or more of the following:
1. Relief from hazards threatening human health and safety
2. Mitigation of threats to natural resources on NFS or adjacent lands
3. Avoiding a loss of commodity value sufficient to jeopardize the agency’s ability to accomplish project objectives directly related to resource protection or restoration.
If the Chief decides this project qualifies for an ESD, the project will be exempt from the pre-decisional objection process (36 CFR 218). This exemption will allow us to implement the project as soon as the environmental analysis is completed and the decision is signed. Providing for immediate implementation following completion of the environment review allows the Boise National Forest to remove hazards safely, complete associated resource protection/restoration projects, and capture enough commodity value to market some of the trees. Often, if material proposed for removal cannot be sold, many of the project’s objectives cannot be met.

We recognize the importance of the public involvement process for this project and am aware that, should an ESD be approved, the expedited emergency procedure alters the structure of that process. Thus, as has been done since the fall of 2016, I will continue to employ a variety of communication options to share and receive information from interested parties. Visit the Pioneer Fire website at: for up-to-date information.

How to Provide Comment

The Forest Service is contacting interested persons, groups, and agencies to make them aware of the project and to gather pertinent feedback. To be most useful, please make your comments as specific as possible.

Electronic, written, hand-delivered, and facsimile comments concerning this project will be accepted. Comments may be submitted through the South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project webpage at

Email comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Adobe (.pdf) and Word (.doc) to: Please put “South Pioneer” in the subject line of e-mail comments. Comments must have an identifiable name attached or verification of identity will be required. A scanned signature may serve as verification on electronic comments.

Written comments must be submitted to: Boise National Forest, Idaho City Ranger District, Attention: Brant Petersen, District Ranger, 3833 Highway 21, P.O. Box 129, Idaho City, Idaho 83631 or faxed to (208) 392-6684. The office hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Comments received in response to this request will be available for public inspection in the “Public Comment Reading Room” on the project webpage and will be released in their entirety, if requested, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

Written, facsimile, hand-delivered, and electronic comments concerning this action will be accepted for 30 calendar days following the publication of the legal notice in the Idaho Statesman, the newspaper of record. The publication date of the legal notice in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period. Those wishing to comment should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source. The regulations prohibit extending the length of the comment period. The legal notice will be posted on the project website within 4 calendar days of publication in the newspaper of record.

Stay Connected to this Project via the Web

To assist the Forest Service in meeting its goals of reducing our carbon footprint and to achieve a sustainable operation, we are transitioning to a web-based electronic comment system that allows all interested parties to receive project material (project updates, draft and final NEPA documents, and decisions) by e-mail. This new system gives you direct control over which mailing lists you are subscribed to and immediate electronic access to project documents as they are posted online. It’s easy, it’s good for the environment, and it gives “on-demand” access to projects.

To subscribe to this new system, go online to the South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project webpage: On the project website, you will see a box titled “Get Connected” on the right hand side of the page. Click on “Subscribe to Email Updates”. When you click on that item, you will be prompted to provide your e-mail address and select a password. When you have logged in, you will be able to manage your account by subscribing to projects by Forest, District, project type, or project purpose. You will also be able to change your e-mail address and password. If you no longer wish to follow the project(s), simply delete your subscription. Once you are subscribed, you will receive all project information via e-mail, unless you request hard copies.

Only those who subscribe to the mailing list, submit comments, or notify the Forest that they would like to remain on the mailing list for this project will receive future correspondences on this project. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, without an associated name and address, receiving further correspondences concerning this project will not be possible.

For further information on the project, please contact Brant Petersen, Idaho City District Ranger at 208-392-6681 or, or John Riling, Team Leader at 208-373-4171 or



Melissa Yenko

Acting Forest Planner

Boise National Forest

1249 S. Vinnell Way, Suite 200

Boise, ID 83709

Phone: 208-373-4245



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30. April 2017 · Comments Off on Trailer Rodeo & Packing Clinic · Categories: Current Events, Training Events

April 29 dawned a clear and promising day for the Squaw Butte Trailer Rodeo and Pack Clinic. In 2016 the rodeo weather could only be considered challenging with high winds and heavy rain, but today was going to be great. Rodeo instructors Lorraine & Charles Chick and Nancy Smith set up the trailer challenge course in the parking lot of the sand lot arena in Emmett, Idaho. The course consisted of a number of trailer challenges that would both test the drivers abilities and help them learn tricks and techniques to make trailer handling easier. One of the challenges was to back your trailer into a space that was offset from your starting location, requiring the driver to perform a backing “S” to both the right and left.

Nancy Smith coaching the driver while she performs the “S” backing challenge

Members who completed all the challenges were presented with a certificate of excellence

Meanwhile in a corner of the parking lot, well away from the trucks and trailer member / instructors Phil Ryan, Bill Conger and Rob Adams brought numerous examples of packing equipment and different packing saddle type and with members and guest talked about advantages and disadvantages for different pieces of equipment, proper packing techniques, how to build loads and tie manties. Box, Basket, Barrel and Diamond hitches were demonstrated and discussed and participants had lots of hands on time to understand the techniques and learn some of the tricks. What we take and why was discussed and suggestions were made for proper stock handling so you don’t end up with your equipment next to a perfect mountain lake and your stock back at the trailer many miles away without you.  All who participated said it was a very worthwhile day.  Consider joining us at a future clinic!

More Pictures from the clinic

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11. April 2017 · Comments Off on 50 Useful Survival Tips · Categories: Around The Campfire, Horse Camping

50 Survival Tips and Tricks for the Outdoors 

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03. April 2017 · Comments Off on BCHI Foundation News · Categories: BCHI Convention

Foundation News: foundation quarterly March 2017

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03. April 2017 · Comments Off on BCHI March Education news · Categories: BCHI Convention, Current Events


Good afternoon to all you amazing chapter BCHI Education chairs and other interested parties.
The following attachment covers Leave No Trace information. Please try to cover at an upcoming meeting.
Also here is information on the next Master Educator class and costs.
2018 may be a better time for me to attend. Hope to see you on the trail!

Marybeth Conger
BCHI Education Chair

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25. March 2017 · Comments Off on BCHA: Take Action – Chiefs Strategy & Selection of Priority Areas · Categories: BCHI Convention

Dear BCHI Member,
Please funnel your input thru your Lands Liaisons and/or State Directors to Rod Parks at  and Phil Ryan at, as they are already in the middle of this issue.

Bill Conger



Take Action

BCHA encourages you to immediately reach out to your U.S. Forest Service regional trail coordinators. A contact list is provided below. The agency needs your help to identify priority areas for increased trail maintenance accomplishments.


As a result of BCHA’s efforts to shape and promote the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act, signed into law in November 2016, the U.S. Forest Service is required to identify 9 to 15 “priority areas for increased trail maintenance accomplishments” (Section 5, Public Law 114-245). The Act specifies there must be at least one priority area in each of the nine U.S. Forest Service regions.

A copy of Act can be found on BCHA’s website. The Forest Service national office recently issued instructions to its nine regional offices to provide initial guidance for implementation of the Act. In it, they direct regional offices to work with the public to identify and rank recommended priority areas, which are to be submitted by Forest Service regional offices to the national office by April 15th, 2017.

Thus, time is of the essence.

Reach out to USFS Regional Trail Coordinators
If you have not done so already, we encourage BCH chapters to work with their Forest Service regional trail coordinators within the next few weeks to share input on the selection of priority areas. Contact information for each regional trail coordinator can be found at the end of this alert.
National Board Members:

Please be prepared to bring to next month’s National Board Meeting an update on conversations your state is having with Forest Service regional trail coordinators.

Chief’s National Strategy for a Sustainable Trail System
The Forest Service is excited about the timing of the passage of the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act and the agency’s completion this month of the Chief’s National Strategy for a Sustainable Trail System

The strategy outlines a series of strategic actions to move the agency toward attaining a more sustainable trail system, including:

  • Evaluation and potential reorganization of the agency’s Trail Program to increase field capacity;
  • Creation of a national process for the identification of a sustainable trail system; and
  • Inviting the creation of a national Trails Endowment, to direct funding to on-the-ground projects to be funded primarily via corporate/philanthropic donation.

The Forest Service Continues to be a Great Partner
BCHA shares the Forest Service’s enthusiasm over the fact that trails, and trail maintenance, recently have become a higher priority within the agency. We greatly appreciate that the Chief and leaders of the agency’s trails program, like Joe Meade, have been welcoming partners throughout the Trails Act process. By developing the Chief’s strategy, they also have taken decisive action to tackle the challenges identified in a 2013 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (titled “Forest Service Trails: Long- and Short-Term Improvements Could Reduce Maintenance Backlog and Enhance System Sustainability.” GAO-13-618). We salute these go-getters.

Now it’s time to gather additional partners, roll up our sleeves and get some more trail maintenance done. BCHA’s volunteers cannot be expected to reverse the trail maintenance backlog by ourselves, but with the breadth of partners and goodwill we have accumulated over the years, there is no better time to ensure our legacy of “keeping trails open for everyone.”

Donald Saner


Regional Points of Contact regarding the Identification of Trail Maintenance Priority Areas:

Region Contact Email Phone
1 – Northern Region Kent Wellner 406-329-3150
2 – Rocky Mountain Region Scott Haas 303-275-5164
3 – Southwestern Region Dennis Garcia 505-842-3443
4 – Intermountain Region Chris Hartman 801-625-5164
5 – Pacific Southwest Region Garrett Villanueva 530-543-2762
6 – Pacific Northwest Region Dennis Benson 541-604-4570
8 – Southern Region Debbie Caffin 404-347-4033
9 – Eastern Region Leon LaVigne 414-297-1313
10 –Alaska Region Sharon Seim 907-388-8804

Don’t know which region your state falls into? Click here for a map of Forest Service regions.

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25. March 2017 · Comments Off on Tail Winds – Life Flight Network Newsletter · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Tail winds Spring 2017

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22. March 2017 · Comments Off on 2016 BCHI Hours & Miles Summary · Categories: BCHI Convention, Current Events

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21. March 2017 · Comments Off on Resolution that BCH of New Mexico is bringing forward at the BCHA National Directors’ Annual Meeting, April 20-22 · Categories: BCHI Convention, Current Events

Members of Back Country Horsemen of Idaho

Attached is a Resolution that BCH of New Mexico is bringing forward at the BCHA National Directors’ Annual Meeting, April 20-22.

Please discuss with your membership and have your chapter’s directors or president send your comments and/or questions to both of our National Directors and to the Chairman at:

Bill Conger

Amy Lyman

Sam Duncan


Debbie Samovar
BCHI Secretary


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13. March 2017 · Comments Off on BLM – Recreation Planners · Categories: Around The Campfire, BCHI Convention

BLM Seeks Public Input on Travel Plan Analyses around Birds of Prey NCA

The Bureau of Land Management is preparing an environmental assessment for a travel management plan that will encompass public lands within and around Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area.

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12. March 2017 · Comments Off on Idaho Wildlife Federation · Categories: BCHI Convention, Current Events

The Idaho Wildlife Federation is Idaho’s oldest statewide conservation organization. Founded by sportsmen and women in 1936, we’re a leader in creating solutions to solve complex natural resource issues to protect our fish and wildlife, their habitats, and our hunting and fishing traditions. efforts advance “made in Idaho” solutions that sustain wildlife and sporting opportunities that thrive while maintaining local economies and working agricultural landscapes through sound policy work, landscape planning, and education.

Our Mission

The Idaho Wildlife Federation is dedicated to promoting the conservation and protection of our natural resources, wildlife, and wildlife habitat for future and current generations.

Who We Are

Founded in 1936, the Idaho Wildlife Federation is Idaho’s oldest statewide conservation organization. For the last 80 years, Idaho citizens with farsighted commitment to conservation have united to ensure wildlife’s future. We are sportsmen and women, business people, farmers and ranchers, children, parents and grandparents, teachers, laborers, students — in short, all of us who care about wildlife and care about our futures. The Idaho Wildlife Federation proves that conservation is all of us working together. By committing to work together for wildlife in spite of our differences, IWF will continue to lead the offensive for Idaho’s wildlife as a united voice, as it has for the last 80 years.

What We Do

The Idaho Wildlife Federation is the sportsman advocate and voice in the state legislature. We are present at the statehouse every day during the annual legislative session to advance proactive sportsman legislation and defeat bills that would roll back fish and wildlife protections, privatize wildlife, and turn over our shared public lands to the states for private sale.

We defend our public lands and our right to access them. We know that our system of public lands offers unspoiled, unfragmented, connected landscapes that provide a richness of fish and wildlife with unparalleled hunting and fishing afforded nowhere else in the United States.

We also represent sportsmen interests and sound wildlife management within landscape planning processes that involve state and federal agencies as well as private land. We do this by engaging communities and involving local constituents to create local solutions. By coordinating these efforts and the efforts of other organizations interested in the conservation of natural resources of the state of Idaho, IWF fosters and promotes a general and continued movement for the conservation, restoration, protection, and scientific supervision of all game, fish, fowl, and other wildlife in its habitat in the state.

Brian Brooks, Executive Director

(Speaker at the 2017 BCHI Convention)

Brian grew up in Idaho hunting and fishing in every corner of the state. He has had a fly rod or spinning rod in his hands since he was four years old and began hunting birds at 12. Big game soon followed. Idaho’s extensive system of public lands kept Brian in pursuit of fish and game further and further into the backcountry. Combining the exploration of Idaho’s seemingly limitless wild places with the primal participation in the cycle of life and death, Brian developed a respect and reverence for land and wildlife and the active role sportsmen and women play in their management.

The realization that our accessible public lands, clean waters, and robust fish and wildlife populations didn’t happen on accident motivated Brian to pursue an education that would give him the tools to work to preserve and enhance the opportunities he grew up with for others, forever. He received a B.S. in Conservation Social Science, a Masters of Natural Resources, and a Certificate in Restoration Ecology from the University of Idaho. Brian’s professional experience includes leading habitat restoration and trail crews, forestry, salmon and steelhead restoration planning, wildlife rehab/sanctuary manager, outdoor writer, and natural resource policy.

Besides fishing and hunting, Brian enjoys mountain and road biking, skiing and snowboarding, backpacking, and morel hunting.

IWF Is The Sportsman Voice in The State Legislature

We are at the state house every time sportsmen interests are under attack. We facilitate strategic legislative planning for sportsmen groups, professionally represent their interests in the legislature, promptly disseminate action alerts to our groups and supporters, and maintain close contact with the press. With a wealth of knowledge of natural resource policy, we operate by anticipating bad bills to efficiently defeat them, authoring proactive wildlife and sportsmen legislation, testifying in committee, and utilizing our state of the art communication and outreach system.

Sign up here for news, legislative updates, and action alerts for the legislative session.

Click this link to find your local legislators

Idaho Wildlife Federation
P.O. Box 6426
Boise, ID 83707
Phone: 208.342.7055

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11. March 2017 · Comments Off on BCHA History Video · Categories: Around The Campfire, BCHI Convention

Watch Video

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08. March 2017 · Comments Off on Back Country Hunters & Anglers · Categories: Around The Campfire


Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to ensure North America’s outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands and waters.

A Vision for Backcountry Conservation

Our freedom to hunt and fish depends on habitat. While many of us enjoy hunting and fishing on a range of landscapes, including farm fields and reservoirs, there is something special – even magical – about hunting deep in the backcountry or fishing on a remote river.

Wilderness hunting and fishing deliver a sense of freedom, challenge and solitude that is increasingly trampled by the twin pressures of growing population and increasing technology. Many treasured fish and wildlife species – such as cutthroat trout, grizzly bear and bighorn sheep – thrive in wilderness. Others, like elk and mule deer, benefit from wilderness. From the Steens Mountain Wilderness in Oregon to the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho and the Boundary Waters of Minnesota, BHA members treasure America’s wilderness system and strive to add to it.

We take the advice of Theodore Roosevelt: “Preserve large tracts of wilderness … for the exercise of the skill of the hunter, whether or not he is a man of means.”

We are the Idaho chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, a grassroots group of sportsmen and -women. We are united by a passion to protect and conserve public land forests, mountains, prairies, streams and lakes that support our hunting and angling traditions. Idaho BHA members are deeply concerned that the traditional backcountry values — solitude, quiet recreation, personal challenge, physical fitness, adventure — that make Idaho hunting and fishing so special are being compromised.

Habitat destruction, disturbances stemming from development, and abuse and overuse from irresponsible motorized recreationists are threatening the very things that we hold dear. We respect the crucial role that all species play in our diverse ecosystems and seek to ensure that species and habitat management decisions are based on sound science instead of politics. We believe that undeveloped, unspoiled public lands are irreplaceable and must be managed, along with the fish and wildlife they supports, as a sacred public trust.

Idaho BHA supports and promotes natural resource management policies based on sound scientific principles. By extension, the Idaho BHA chapter is involved in educating hunters and anglers about proposals and current policies that are unsustainable and detrimental to the landscape, wildlife populations and our ability to pass on our values and traditions to future generations.

To accomplish our objectives, the Idaho BHA membership contacts policy makers and federal resource managers, gives public testimony at stakeholder meetings and legislative hearings, communicates our views through public media, and participates in outreach activities at sportsmen shows. Some members sit on collaborative advisory boards and travel planning committees, giving BHA a seat at the table as grassroots advocates for habitat, wildlife and traditional outdoor activities.

Idaho BHA is committed to the long-term conservation of the wild, unspoiled public lands on which Idaho’s world-class game and fish resources depend. Wild, unspoiled habitat is essential to the future of traditional-values hunting and angling in our state. Together, we volunteer our time to ensure the following:

Future generations of Americans will have the same opportunities to enjoy and protect the wild public commons that we and previous generations have embraced as a national birthright.
That our public lands backcountry will continue to exist intact, with healthy ecosystems that include balanced populations of predators and prey.
Idaho BHA works hard at protecting the things we value. We also play hard. Many of us enjoy some of the most spectacular roadless areas in the lower 48; Idaho supports some of the best hunting and fishing opportunities anywhere. If this describes where you want to be, you need to be with us! To see what Idaho BHA is working on, please explore our website. If you like what you see and want to get involved, please join us!
North America’s public lands and waters are the lifeblood of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.

These are the cherished wild places that restore our spirits and provide the solace of solitude. They’re where we go to challenge ourselves in pursuit of adventure and game. They are strongholds of important wildlife habitat and fisheries, providing places where a range of species – everything from elk and mule deer to grouse, waterfowl and native trout – can grow to maturity and thrive.

Every citizen owns a share of public lands and waters in the United States. It is up to us to defend this heritage and ensure that our legacy of stewardship is handed down to future generations intact. We work to maintain our longstanding sporting traditions through hard work and a focus on the following:

Habitat Conservation
Conserving Priority Landscapes
Responsible OHV Use and Management
Defending Our Public Lands Legacy

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05. March 2017 · Comments Off on Idaho rally goers hope public lands stay in public hands! · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


NICOLE BLANCHARD Idaho Statesman March 4, 2017

Sean Jones wasn’t planning on bringing his elk bugle call to the public lands rally at the Idaho statehouse on Saturday. But its trumpeting sound rang out across Jefferson Street and the south steps of the capitol building in harmony with the raucous applause and cheers of the more than 2,000 Idahoans gathered in the chilly morning drizzle.

Jones, like so many other outdoor lovers, was at the rally because he’s an avid hunter, rafter and hiker. Like he does on most outdoor adventures, he brought his gear bag, an elk antler strapped to the bungee cord on the back of the pack and the triumphant-sounding elk call conveniently at hand.

“I want to have access,” said Jones, echoing a theme that dominated the rally. “I’ve seen far too many ‘no trespassing’ signs when I’m out hunting.”

Jones said he has emailed and called Idaho legislators to let them know he opposes the potential transfer of public lands to the state or private hands. He wasn’t impressed with their responses.

“Particularly Raul Labrador,” said Jones. (Rep. Labrador has led pushes for pilot programs that would give states control over federal lands.)

How did the lawmakers respond?

“The typical argument that lands are mismanaged,” said Jones. “But we know the forest managers, the BLM, the people making decisions (about Idaho lands) actually live here.”

Read More: public lands stay in public hands

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03. March 2017 · Comments Off on CPR & Wilderness First Aid Refresher · Categories: Current Events, Training Events

CPR & Wilderness First Aid Refresher – Saturday, May 27, 2017
Time: 08:00 to 17:00
Location: Bogus Basin Office, 2600 N. Bogus Basin Rd, Boise, ID 83702
This class has a limit on the number of participants, so Sign up Now!
This hands on day is being hosted by members of the Bogus Basin Ski Patrol
Lead instructor – Karen Alfonso-King
This day is very hands on and is tailored to the types of medical situations that we are likely to encounter.
Squaw Butte Member cost is $20, non-members $50 (the chapter will be cost sharing with members)

Sign up for this event like you would for any other chapter ride or project.
Contact: Marybeth Conger, 208-369-0769

More Pictures
Bogus Basin Ticket Office, 2600 N. Bogus Basin Rd,Boise, ID 83702

It is also highly recommended you have one of these books in your library and take it with you into the back country.

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02. March 2017 · Comments Off on Back Country Horsemen of Idaho – Video 2017 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Utube URL: (

This video is the work of Robbin Schindele & Marybeth Conger


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02. March 2017 · Comments Off on March 2017 Education Report · Categories: Current Events

Marybeth Conger (BCHI Education Chair)

Squaw Butte BCH Education report
Respectfully submitted by Marybeth Conger
March 2, 2017 meeting

CPR & Wilderness First Aide Refresher Course– Proposed 4 dates Sat March 25, Sat April 15, Sat may 27 or Sat June 17. Waiting to hear back from Karen Alfonso-King.

Idaho Horse Expo- Bill Conger taking lead to coordinate a Packing demonstration with the Event coordinator. This is a great educational and public outreach opportunity for Back Country Horseman. More details to follow.

LNT Master Education Course- Nine Mile Remount is no longer offering this course. Back Country Horsemen of California (BCHC) was nationally recognized for leadership in Leave No Trace education of stock use. In 2015 they were awarded the contract to provide the only Leave No Trace Stock Master Educator course in the country. BCHC earned this remarkable opportunity through hard work, sustained effort in promoting environmental friendly land use with stock.

Back Country Horsemen of California provides the “Leave No Trace” Stock Coarse regularly every April, it is switched from Northern California to Southern California each year as well as offering additional classes as the needed. They also can provide a Team of Instructors to travel to your State under special arrangements.
BCHI Education report- Will be presented at BOD meeting and convention. Look for full report on the SBBCH Blog

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27. February 2017 · Comments Off on Celebration Park, Snake River Birds of Prey, Murphy ID · Categories: Fun Rides

Fun Ride (Public Event) Sunday February 26, 2017

More Pictures

17 members and guest started arriving at the Celebration Park trailer overflow area just before 10:00 on a cold and gray Sunday morning. The wind was light and everyone was eager to spend some quality time on the back of a horse. Stock were saddled and gloves, hats and coats were adjusted for warmth and the first group of six riders lead by Laurie Bryan was off down the trail.
The second group of 11 riders were underway a few minutes later and it became apparent quickly that all the horses and one Burro had lots of energy. They pranced and danced around and we all worked to keep the pace along the river road at something less than a cavalry charge. Once out on one of the many trails in the park we all settled down and the group broke up again into smaller groups following different but parallel trails east to the old corrals.
(does that rock have ears and a tail?)
Once we got to the corrals the group all agreed it was too cold to stop for a break and we continued to the river trail and back to the trailers. When comparing GPS’s group #1 rode a bit over 13 miles and Group #2 a bit over 10. Finger food was shared and questions about BCHI and our chapter were answered.
We hope our guest had a good time and that they will check out our website and attend a another event.

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24. February 2017 · Comments Off on Where does Idaho stand in federal land transfer debates? · Categories: Current Events

PUBLIC LANDS — Idaho can build its brand on the 62 percent of the state that is owned by the federal government, or it can isolate itself like Utah by rejecting the outdoor recreation industry and advocates for public access, says Rocky Barker of the Idaho Statesman.

“Think about that as you measure the people who will seek to be our next governor and represent us at all levels of government.” Barker makes his case based on the experience of politicians and other people in the state who didn’t need Utah’s bad example to realize that plunging into debt to take over federal lands would not be the solution to their issues.

Outdoor retailers pull their show from Utah, a shot heard all around the West

By Rocky Barker

Utah’s unrelenting drive to take over federal lands and to place the state’s oil and gas industry over all other interests is finally hitting the state in the pocketbook.

On Feb. 16, the businesses that sponsor the outdoor industry’s largest trade show, Outdoor Retailer, decided Salt Lake City can not bid to host its 2018 summer and winter markets. The rejection by the shows that bring $45 million into Utah’s economy came after its legislature, governor and congressional delegation all called on President Trump to revoke the recent designation of the Bear’s Ear National Monument. Obama designated the monument in the southeast corner of the state, using the Antiquities Act of 1906, on Dec. 28.

Companies like Black Diamond, Patagonia, The North Face and REI have joined in these twice-yearly trade shows in Salt Lake City for 20 years, attracting thousands of people from around the world. Before they decided to go elsewhere, the companies’ executives pleaded with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to reconsider.

The shows are big — so big, in fact, that Boise doesn’t have enough convention center space to be a host. But Idaho can learn from Utah’s economically foolish and strategically short-sighted mistake.

Outdoor recreation contributes $6.3 billion worth of economic activity in Idaho annually, with $2.2 billion of that as direct sales and services. Idaho has 37,000 jobs tied to outdoor recreation.

“I’ll call it a crisp slap in the face, a wake-up call from dollars-and-sense business people,” said Rick Johnson, Idaho Conservation League executive director. “I’ll also call it a warning shot about growing political power, a changing American West, and a reaction to the challenging political times we’re in.”

The idea of state takeover of federal lands is attractive and even popular with some Idaho Republicans — until they learn the true cost. Republican Rep. Mike Simpson estimates the process of transferring and managing the land would cost the state a half-billion dollars annually if it somehow took ownership of the federal land in the state.

“When the state can’t afford it then they’ll starting selling some of it off, and guess what they’ll sell?” Simpson said when he spoke to the Boise City Club in December. “They’ll sell the most beautiful areas to some billionaire in Texas, who then won’t let you cross those lands now so you won’t be able to get to your fishing hole.”

The Idaho Legislature examined the issue for two years. It concluded that the state would be better working collaboratively with people from across the political spectrum to improve public lands management than continuing the fight attorneys generals across the West who say the case can’t be won in court. Some hope that Congress will give states control over the public lands in pilot projects like Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador and Sen. Jim Risch propose. Or that perhaps states will get veto power over federal land management plans or national monument designations.

Others, like Simpson, recognize that public land management is always complex and that people will be mad at the landlord no matter who it is. “Our public lands are why we live here and we need to defend them and we should not sell them off and we should not return them to the state of Idaho,” Simpson said to applause from the City Club audience that honored him and Johnson for their work on the Boulder-White Clouds wilderness.

In 2016, Simpson worked to restore funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which uses off-shore federal oil and gas royalties for grants to projects like the Boise Greenbelt and protecting the Sawtooth Valley and the Boise Foothills. He was recognized as a Friend of the Outdoor Industry by a national trade group that is headed by Amy Roberts, a former staffer for Idaho Gov. Phil Batt and a former Micron lobbyist.

Members in Roberts’ Outdoor Industry Association go beyond retailers, or even recreation and tourism businesses. Clif Bar, which opened a $90 million, 300,000-square-foot bakery in Twin Falls to make energy bars aimed at outdoor adventurers, is a member. Roberts and her members have a vision. “We have this common interest in public lands, making that a centerpiece of what the western economies can be about,” Roberts said.

That vision is growing and it’s not in conflict with industries like farming, logging, ranching, energy and mining. The ICL’s Johnson will speak to the Boise Chamber of Commerce March 15. One of his groups’ sponsors is Midas Gold, a company seeking to do mining and restoration near Yellow Pine. The “common interest” Roberts describes is shared by skiers, snowshoers, climbers, hikers, campers, mountain-bikers, horseback riders, hunters, anglers and the businesses that serve and employ them. Snowmobilers, motorcyclists and ATV riders also recognize the power of public lands.

“As citizens of the United States, public land is our birthright,” said Martin Hackworth, executive director of Sharetrails/Blue Ribbon Coalition, a group of motorized users representing 7,000 people. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s a source of national pride and something I’m not eager to surrender.”

Idaho can build its brand on the 62 percent of the state that is owned by the federal government, or it can isolate itself like Utah by rejecting these voices. Think about that as you measure the people who will seek to be our next governor and represent us at all levels of government.

Rocky Barker: 208-377-6484, @RockyBarker

Public lands rally, conference in March
▪  Outdoor enthusiasts will hold a rally on the steps of the Idaho Capitol March 4 to show support for keeping Idaho’s public lands in public hands. The rally will begin at 11 a.m. on the south steps of the Capitol. More information:
▪  The Andrus Center for Public Policy hosts a conference March 28, “Why Public Lands Matter,” at Boise State University. More information:

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23. February 2017 · Comments Off on BCHI Positions need to be filled at March Convention · Categories: BCHI Convention

Dear Directors and Chapter members,
There are currently 3 positions that need to be filled at the March 10th SBD,s meeting.

Rod Parks is stepping down as Website Coordinator. This position can be filled from the general membership and a job description is attached.  BCHI Website Coordinator Duties

Also need to elect a National Director for a 2 yr term and an Alternate National Director for a 1 yr term. These positions are elected in March with their terms ending after the April BCHA Annual meeting.
Attached is the job description as provided by BCHA. The annual meetings require a 7 day commitment, 5 days of meetings and 2 days of travel. Registration fees, travel, lodging and meals are reimbursed according to the attached policy.

NBD Job Description             16.03.11 National Directors’ Reimbursement

If you are interested in any of these positions, please contact Karen Kimball at 208-772-2434 or

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22. February 2017 · Comments Off on Nearly a quarter million horses call Idaho home · Categories: Around The Campfire

Nearly a quarter million horses call Idaho home

A new report from the University of Idaho says that the state has an estimated 221,000 equines, including riding horses, draft horses, ponies, miniature horses, donkeys, mules, and others of the species.

The report is based on research carried out in 2015 by the Social Science Research Unit at the University of Idaho. It was paid for by the Idaho Horse Council and the Idaho Horse Board
The researchers said 14 percent of the households in Idaho own a horse of some type. Horse owners spent $122 million including $49 million on hay, straw and grain; $23 million for veterinary and farrier care, and $10 million in horse trailers.

Thirty-eight percent of the Idaho horses are used for pleasure riding. The rest are used for packing or hunting (19 percent), ranch or farm work (12 percent), breeding (8 percent), endurance trail riding (8 percent) showing (3 percent), rodeo (3 percent) racing (2 percent) or other.

The American Quarter Horse is the most popular breed of horse in Idaho, the report said.

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18. February 2017 · Comments Off on H.R.289 – GO Act (Guides and Outfitters Act) · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

A bill introduced in the House in January would authorize the Federal land management agencies to require permits, and charge fees for them, for all access to “special areas.” That term would mean whatever the agency managers wanted it to mean. They could, if they so chose, declare all federal public lands to be “special areas.”

Please take a moment NOW to contact your federal elected officials and tell them you oppose the bill unless that clause is eliminated from it.

H.R.289 – GO Act  Read the complete bill here

Introduced in House (01/04/2017)
Guides and Outfitters Act or the GO Act
This bill amends the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act to specify the circumstances in which the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) may: (1) issue special recreation permits for federal recreational lands and waters, and (2) charge a special recreation permit fee for them.

Interior and USDA may issue special recreation permits: for specialized individual and group use of federal facilities and federal recreational lands and waters; to recreation service providers who conduct outfitting, guiding, and other recreation services on federal recreational lands and waters; and to recreation service providers who conduct recreation or competitive events, which may involve incidental sales on federal recreational lands and waters.

Interior and USDA shall issue joint permits for the use of lands managed by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Interior shall publish guidelines for establishing recreation permit fees.

Revenues from special recreation permits issued to recreation service providers shall be used to: (1) offset partially Interior’s direct cost of administering permits, and (2) improve and streamline the permitting process.

When reviewing and adjusting allocations for the use of priority use permits for special uses of federal recreational lands and water managed by the Forest Service USDA shall allocate to the permit holder a prescribed amount subject to a cap. USDA and Interior shall implement a program that authorizes temporary permits for new recreational uses of federal recreational lands and waters managed by the Forest Service or the BLM, respectively.

A permit holder prohibited by a state from indemnifying the federal government shall be considered to be in compliance with Interior and USDA indemnification requirements if the permit holder carries the required minimum amount of liability insurance coverage or is self-insured for the same minimum amount.

Interior and USDA shall revise certain: special land use and special recreation permit regulations to streamline the processes for the issuance and renewal of outfitter and guide special use permits, and cost recovery fee regulations to reduce costs and minimize the burden of cost recovery on small businesses and adverse impacts of cost recovery on jobs in the outfitting and guiding industry and on rural economies.

If a holder of a special use permit for outfitting and guiding that authorizes priority use has requested renewal of the permit, USDA may grant one or more exiting permit extensions for additional items for up to five years altogether, as necessary to allow completion of the renewal process and avoid the interruption of services under the permit.

It’s essential that members of the House and Senate hear from their constituents before this bill goes any further toward being enacted. The part of Section 2 that treats general access by individuals and families as a “specialized use” must be removed.

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06. February 2017 · Comments Off on Camp Maid Dutch Oven Products · Categories: Around The Campfire, Horse Camping


– Patented Grab and Hold Design Removes Dutch Oven Lid keeping coals in place & keeps it off the ground out of the dirt!

Removes lid and keeps it off the ground!
Use as a serving stand and pot holder!
Flip it over and use the lid as a skillet!
Keeps food warm
Lid lift and removal is easy, safe, and secure
Turn stand upside down for cooking on lid
Fits all dutch oven sizes 8′ 10′ 12′ 14′ 16′
Steel frame construction
Weighs only 3 lbs!
Easily stored inside of a 12′ or larger Dutch oven
Handle is designed to not get hot (when used properly)

Watch Video

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03. February 2017 · Comments Off on SPOT & InReach · Categories: Around The Campfire, Tips, Tricks and Tid Bits

SPOT offers peace of mind by allowing you to track your assets, notify friends and family of your GPS position and status, mark waypoints, track your progress on Google Maps™ or notify rescue officials in an emergency.

The SPOT product family offers peace of mind beyond the boundaries of cellular. Whether you want to check in, make calls or monitor your prized possessions, SPOT uses 100% satellite technology to keep you connected to the people and things that matters most, all while using the world’s most modern satellite network.

Who Needs SPOT?
Anyone who travels by land, sea and air! Since its launch, SPOT’s satellite technology has provided peace of mind by helping initiate more than 4,000 rescues and counting and providing GPS tracking services. Over the past five years, recreational outdoor enthusiasts, athletes, government agency employees, National Geographic explorers and photographers, and researchers are just some of the people that have benefited from using SPOT.

Garmin products that include inReach technology can empower you to stay connected, even when you’re venturing off the grid. All inReach solutions offer you these essential capabilities:
100 percent global Iridium satellite coverage enables 2-way text messaging to any cell phone number or email address from anywhere in the world
Interactive SOS with the ability to communicate back and forth with the 24/7 global monitoring center
GPS location sharing, tracking, device pinging and access to your own personalized MapShare webpage to invite others to follow your journey
Convenient cloud-based device management portal with unlimited trip data storage, route and waypoint planning tools and account customization options
The included Earthmate® app lets you pair your inReach-enabled device with smartphones and tablets for ultra-convenient messaging and map viewing

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02. February 2017 · Comments Off on Pasayten Wilderness – Washing State · Categories: Around The Campfire, Horse Camping

Over 600 miles of trails in this lightly used wilderness in Northern Washington State with many lakes and rivers teaming with trout.  Enjoy the video and start dreaming about a trip!

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01. February 2017 · Comments Off on Squaw Butte Chapter of Back Country Horseman Education Report – Feb 2017 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Squaw Butte Chapter of Back Country Horseman Education Report
Respectfully submitted by Marybeth Conger, SBBCH Education
Feb 1, 2017

Backcountry Horseman of Idaho’s Education and Recruitment (EAR) Video will be presented to BCHI BOD this March at the upcoming director’s meeting. Members will soon be able to download the EAR video from the BCHI website. All photos were taken by BCHI members. EAR video begins with BCHA, then introduces BCHI, down to the 16 BCHI chapters sowing who we are, what we do, why, with lots and lots of photos. Note- this sneak preview has a typo and is missing the “credit” page.

The Forrest Service (FS) needs to lock down the details as it pertains to the Sawyer/ Cross Cut Saw “Train the Trainer” program. Then BCHI education can determine how to implement statewide training, set trainer expectations, and support by sending 1-3 Trainers. Joe Robinson, No Central Chapter, has over 30 years’ logging/sawyer experience and agreed to work on this program with Bob Savage. A FS meeting is planned in February, MT and both Bob and Joe will attend. The initial goal is to gather details and then report back to BCHI education. Karen Kimball (PHBCH) also may attend. For now our chapter needs keep working with the local land managers.

BCHI Education is looking to develop BCHI Leadership training using the training module created by BCHW. Karen Kimball from (PHBCH) as graciously agreed to work me on this member training project. We plan to meet at the convention and discuss further. Paul McBride from PRBCH attended the BCHW 2017 Leadership Training and will be reporting to the convention. Darrell Wallace, ED for BCHW will be a great resource for BCHI too. Updating the BCHI website is still in the works. So far have received information from two of 16 chapters. Looking to receive Education information from more chapters.

Need to revitalize BCHI’s Leave No Trace (LNT) Train the Trainer program. In 2018, I plan to attend LNT Master Education Training. Then plan to visit chapters statewide who do not have access to a LNT Master Educator. May need to look at getting one more in the northern part of the state. If any chapters have folks interested, please have them contact me at

BCHI will provide job descriptions, set training expectations, get an informal type of resume to support state- wide coordination.
BCHI Education was invited to participate in a BCHA subcommittee that is crafting relevant Education information for placement on the BCHA website.

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01. February 2017 · Comments Off on Local Horseman Club elects new officers and appoints committee heads for 2017 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Published in Local Paper – Febuary 2017
Written by Marybeth Conger

Pictured left to right Phil Ryan- State Director, Kay Ryan- Marketing, Shannon Schantz MD – Treasurer, Marybeth Conger-Education, Charles Chick, Vice President, Loraine Chick, Calendar sales, Rob Adams- Project Coordinator, and Bill Holt, President. Officers not pictured Bill Conger- State Director, and Shelly Duff- Secretary.

The Squaw Butte Chapter of Back Country Horseman of Idaho, is dedicated to perpetuating the common sense use and enjoyment of horses in America’s backcountry and wilderness. For more information on how to join Back country horseman, and have fun keeping trails open for all users, visit

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31. January 2017 · Comments Off on Ultimate Dutch Oven · Categories: Around The Campfire, Horse Camping

The History of the Ultimate Dutch Oven
Wondering how the Ultimate Dutch Oven became the affordable, high-quality Dutch oven it is today? It all started in 1991 with Dent Sorensen. Born and raised in Salina, Utah, Dent was tired of the old method of Dutch oven cooking, which necessitated sitting by the fire to watch the Dutch oven and stir the food every few minutes. He also needed an oven that wouldn’t require any oil or grease, as his wife had MS and couldn’t have that in her diet.

To solve both problems, Dent found a 15-inch tire rim, cut the lugs out, and welded a cone made out of iron, strapping it to the bottom of the tire rim. He added a fry pan, used the other half of the rim for a lid, and began experimenting with recipes. Because of the cone, his creation worked just like a convection oven – and he didn’t have to stir or use any oil! He also found that he could cook several dishes, like chicken, vegetables, and biscuits, on different layers of the same oven using very little heat. The clever little invention worked well on a stove top or as a convection oven, surprising hungry guests at every turn with its performance. Understanding that he had something special, Dent patented the oven, and the Ultimate Dutch Oven was born.

The business is now run by Dent’s three children, Craig, Eddit, and Denene Sorensen, who purchased the company in 1996. They regularly give demonstrations at retail stores and special events, earning awards and accolades along the way. The Ultimate Dutch Oven now has fans all over the country, from a catering business in Provo, Utah to a Chuck-a-Rama restaurant! Their latest adventure is a partnership with Camp Chef, the largest manufacturer of high-end outdoor cooking products in the country. With Camp Chef’s help, Ultimate Dutch Oven, Inc has been able to significantly lower the oven’s price and increase its availability, leading to one of the most powerful, affordable Dutch ovens on the market. Now, anyone can own one. Try it for yourself today!

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