10. October 2017 · Comments Off on House committee to consider Antiquities Act overhaul · Categories: Current Events


A House committee on Wednesday will mark up a bill to overhaul the Antiquities Act, a law that gives the president power to establish national monuments for preservation.

The bill, introduced Friday by House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) would put new rules on large national monument designations made by presidents. Antiquities Act reform is a key priority for some conservatives, interest groups and Westerners.

The bill would maintain the president’s power to declare national monuments, but any monument larger than 640 acres would be required to go through a federal environmental review process.

The legislation applies increasingly strict rules to potential monuments the larger they get, ultimately requiring county and state governments to sign off on the monument designation before it takes effect.

It also codifies the president’s ability to reduce the size of a monument. The Natural Resources Committee will mark up the bill on Wednesday.

Bishop, a frequent critic of presidential monument designations under the Antiquities Act, said his bill would fix a law that has a “worthy goal” that “has been manipulated for ulterior political purposes.”

“Today the act is too often used as an excuse for presidents to unilaterally lock up vast tracts of public land without any mechanism for people to provide input or voice concerns. This is wrong,” he said in a statement.

He said his bill “modernizes the law to restore its intent, allowing for the protection of actual antiquities without disenfranchisement of local voices and perspectives. It standardizes and limits the president’s power to reshape monuments.”

The legislation comes as the Interior Department recommends President Trump shrink a handful of large monument designations made since the 1990s.

That proposal is highly controversial among conservationists who have opposed efforts to shrink monuments and will likely sue to test the legality of such decisions.

Energy industry groups, ranchers and other interests have encouraged the review and Antiquities Act reform on the grounds that monument designations set large tracts of land, especially in the West, for conservation rather than use.

The Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday will also consider ranking Democrat Raúl Grijalva’s (Ariz.) resolution requiring Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke share with Congress more information related to his national monuments review.

“The Trump administration, urged on by well-funded ideologues and fossil fuel interests, is engaged in an unprecedented effort to destroy our country’s system of public lands,” Grijalva wrote in an op-ed in The Hill last week. “This effort is not about our shared national interest, and if left unchecked it will eventually reach your backyard.”

Congress Aims Killing Blow at Public Lands

Rep. Rob Bishop is moving legislation that would radically cut down the scope of the Antiquities Act, effectively blocking new protections of national monument lands.

Bishop’s bill—in an Orwellian flourish, titled the “National Monument Creation and Protection Act”—would bar the Antiquities Act from being used to protect landmarks, prehistoric structures and objects of “scientific interest,” switching the law’s scope to the vague term “object or objects of antiquity.”

Court rulings and more than a century of presidential practice have established that the Antiquities Act is broad and can protect large natural landscapes. Reducing its scope to the narrow yet vague and infinitely litigable terms Bishop proposes would fulfill a longstanding goal of the anti-public lands fringe and severely undermine the law.

Among other things, Bishop is infamous for remarking about Native American rock art at Nevada’s Basin and Range National Monument, “Ah, bullcrap. That’s not an antiquity.” It’s not hard to see the potential damage done by reshaping a bedrock conservation law in this man’s image. If thousand-year-old art—not to mention the Grand Canyon itself, whose onetime monument status led to a legal ruling that the Antiquities Act could be applied to large natural landscapes—isn’t an “antiquity,” then what would he deem worth saving?

Bishop’s bill would also outlaw monuments beyond a certain acreage, allow future presidents to slash existing monuments down to a fraction of their size, and completely end the practice of setting aside marine habitat under monument status.

“On the heels of [Interior] Secretary [Ryan] Zinke’s secret report to illegally roll back national monument protections across the country, [House Natural Resources Committee] Chairman Bishop has one-upped him by trying once again to gut the law that protected these treasures in the first place,” said Dan Hartinger, deputy director for parks & public lands defense at The Wilderness Society. “It seems as though they’re in some perverse contest to see who can author the most radical proposal to sell out our public lands to development.”

Antiquities Act Has Been a Long-Running, Bipartisan Success

Signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, the Antiquities Act authorizes presidents to protect important archaeological, historic and scientific resources on public lands under the designation “national monument.” It has been used on a bipartisan basis by almost every president, a method supported by some 90 percent of voters that forms the backbone of our National Park System.

Despite its popularity and proven track record, in the spring of 2017, President Trump signed an executive order launching a “review” of every large national monument established under the Antiquities Act since the beginning of 1996. It was a move transparently spurred by extreme members of Congress trying to shrink boundaries and reduce protections in their respective states.

In September, media outlets reported that Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke’s recommendations based on that review featured changes to 10 national monument lands, including shrinking Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, Nevada’s Gold Butte and Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou.

Bishop’s law is the natural next step, a killing blow aimed at the very foundation of the American public lands tradition. The goal is to not only roll back what has been protected in the past, but to prevent any and all protections in the future.

We don’t know precisely what path this bill will take, but should it come to a full House vote, we will call on Wilderness Society supporters to mobilize and let their members of Congress know Bishop’s proposal is totally unacceptable.

05. October 2017 · Comments Off on BCHA President’s call notes – September 2017 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Current Events

BCHA President’s call notes
respectfully submitted by Marybeth Conger, BCHI Alt National Director

On 9/ 27/ 17 I participated in BCHA Presidents ‘phone conference covering a variety of BCHA topics and activities. It is just amazing to me, to see and hear about all the outstanding work BCHA continues to do for us. Idaho was very well represented on this conference, as Amy attended too. Anyways, here are some of highlights that stood out:

Chairman Report, Freddy Dunn- BCHI should continue to pay for their national directors to attend the national board meeting. Regarding funding, consider adding a line to your membership application to make additional donation.
Treasurer’s report- As of August, current income is ahead of expenses. BCHA may have a slight expense overage by the end of year. BCHA is working to developing simpler reports for use during the fiscal year.

It is the recommendation of the BCHA Legacy Committee, that BCHA to consider opening of a stock brokerage account for BCHA to receive stock and bond donations. The Executive committee is researching to see if this action would impact current BCHA by-laws and/ or governance rules.

Public Land Report- (Note- I am only reporting on what was presented at the NATIONAL level. BCHI’s amazing Public land reps will continue to report and make recommendations about land issues in their areas.)

• Congressional champion identified who is willing to promote increase in Forest Service trails funding (CMTL) in Fiscal Year 2018. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley sits on the appropriations committee, so we have an advocate in the relevant subcommittee.

• CMTL currently slated to get $77 million in the House bill (a $2 million cut from 2017 level). The Land and Water Conservation Fund is up for reauthorization by Congress. LWCF has benefited Trail access. It has been used for purchasing conservation easements, purchasing land outright and we would like calls made re supporting its reauthorization and full funding. Bipartisan-supported bills now that would do this are HR 502 and S 569. Alabama, Montana, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee will lose out on trail related projects next year if LWCF funding cut as proposed by House (only $275 million, when last year it was$400 million.

Bikes in Wilderness Bill (HR 1349), the good news is there’s been no further action on the bill. BCHA is working with the American Horse Council, who is meeting with the house natural resources committee staff. The committee has other priorities that they want to get passed. BCHA will continue to track the bill.

Back Country Horsemen of America has added to its value to members by offering excess
Equestrian liability insurance through Equisure . The liability policy is available to BCHA
individual and family members in good standing and covers excess personal liability up to $1
million. Cost for the policy is $20 for individual and $40 for family BCHA members.
To purchase a policy or to learn more visit: https://bcha.site-ym.com/store/ListProducts.aspx?catid=584459.

Should anyone wish to review the actual minutes, I will be happy to make those available. Please take a minute to check out the BCHA website that contains a wealth of information. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to attend this meeting as BCHI’s Alternate Director. See you on the trail!

26. September 2017 · Comments Off on Heavy-Duty Pickup Truck Fuel Economy (Consumer Report – Sept 2017) · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Heavy-Duty Pickup Truck Fuel Economy (Consumer Report – Sept 2017)

Every new passenger car and light-duty truck sold in the U.S. is required by federal law to have a fuel-economy estimate on the window sticker. Heavy-duty pickup trucks, however, continue to be sold without this valuable information being made available.

While light-duty pickups such as the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ford F-150, and Ram 1500 dominate sales year after year, contractors and serious trailer-towers often rely on more robust rigs, so hundreds of thousands of heavy-duty trucks are sold each year.

Many truck buyers are tempted to buy heavy-duty trucks because of their powerful diesel engines. But while diesel can be more fuel-efficient than gas engines, the weight of heavy-duty trucks actually reduces their mpg.

Even though the Environmental Protection Agency collects data from automakers on heavy-duty pickup truck emissions and fuel economy, it has never mandated that the results be made available to the public, largely for budgetary reasons.

To determine how the the heavy-duty trucks stack up, CR recently tested the Big Three of heavy-duty diesel trucks: the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, Ford F-250, and Ram 2500. All were equipped with four-door crew-cab bodies, turbodiesel engines, and four-wheel drive.

Nissan has tried to bridge the gap between the light-duty and heavy-duty trucks with its Titan XD (eXtra Duty)—with mixed success. CR tested the diesel-powered XD along with the three-quarter-ton diesel domestics. (Learn how CR tests fuel economy.)

What we found in our tests was that the efficiency of the diesel engines wasn’t enough to offset the added bulk of these monstrous trucks. The heavy-duty diesels achieved only 14-15 mpg, which was 1-2 mpg less than their gasoline-powered light-duty counterparts.

The extra power and brawn of the heavy-duty trucks do give them more hauling capability. But for those just looking for improved fuel efficiency from a diesel engine, it’s not worth upgrading to a heavy-duty truck. There is one exception: The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is a light-duty diesel that returned an impressive 20 mpg overall in CR’s tests.

Of course, fuel economy will vary significantly depending how you equip your truck, how much weight you haul, and whether or not you’re towing a trailer on a regular basis. Our tests were conducted without a load or trailer, so consider these best-case scenarios. Heavy-duty trucks are less affected by hefty loads, so it is possible that a heavily laden heavy-duty truck might achieve the same or better fuel economy than light-duty pickup bearing that same load.

Consumer Reports is providing fuel economy data on these heavy-duty trucks to help shoppers make an informed decision on what pickup truck they buy.

But shoppers have a right to see the results of the EPA fuel economy tests as well, as they reflect a variety of powertrains and configurations, consumer advocates say.

“Heavy-duty pickup shoppers shouldn’t be left in the dark when it comes to fuel economy,” said David Friedman, director of cars and product policy and analysis for Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports. “NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and the EPA should get this information to consumers as soon as possible and Congress should make sure they have the funds they need to do so.”

Consumers Union believes NHTSA and EPA should make fuel economy, emissions, and expected average fuel costs for heavy-duty trucks available to consumers, both at the government’s fuel economy website, fueleconomy.gov, and through the same kind of window stickers used for light-duty pickups.

Consumers Union is calling on Congress to ensure that these agencies have the resources they need to provide this information to consumers.

Here is how each of these models did in our fuel-economy tests, followed by a summary of what we like—and don’t like—about the trucks themselves. Read about Ford, GM, Nissan, RAM 3/4 & 1 Ton Trucks

25. September 2017 · Comments Off on This Land was your land – Field & Stream · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

The future of hunting and fishing is under attack. States are trying to wrench control of public lands from the federal government in order to drill, mine, sell off, and—ultimately—steal our national sporting heritage. Here’s why public lands must remain in public hands.   Why shouldn’t states take control of federal public lands? This chart shows how states already boot sportsmen off areas they manage. No one knows the terms of future transfers, but if the past is a guide, public hunting and fishing access will be lost.  Read More

25. September 2017 · Comments Off on Idaho Humanities Council anthology on Wilderness wins award for “Idaho Book of the Year” · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Read More / Order Book

21. September 2017 · Comments Off on Liese Dean USFS – Sawtooth District · Categories: Current Events

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

06. September 2017 · Comments Off on Wilderness Society opposes bill that sells out public lands to the oil and gas industry · Categories: Current Events
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. www.wilderness.org.


Kate Mackay, Communications Director, The Wilderness Society, kate_mackay@tws.org; 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, michael_reinemer@tws.org

05. September 2017 · Comments Off on SBFC Summer News Letter 2017 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

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

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

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.

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


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: WildernessAdvisor@bcha.org

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

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

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

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


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

John (jhidy02@fs.fed.us ) 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.

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

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.

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

Read News Letter

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: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50694. If you would prefer a hard copy of the EA, please contact John Riling, Team Leader, at jriling@fs.fed.us 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: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/boise/home/?cid=fseprd530485 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 https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=50694.

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: comments-intermtn-boise-idaho-city@fs.fed.us. 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: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50694. 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 bpetersen02@fs.fed.us, or John Riling, Team Leader at 208-373-4171 or jriling@fs.fed.us.



Melissa Yenko

Acting Forest Planner

Boise National Forest

1249 S. Vinnell Way, Suite 200

Boise, ID 83709

Phone: 208-373-4245

Email: myenko@fs.fed.us


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

03. April 2017 · Comments Off on BCHI March Education news · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, 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

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

Tail winds Spring 2017

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

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 /BCHA, 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


12. March 2017 · Comments Off on Idaho Wildlife Federation · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, 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.

http://www.idahowildlife.org/Our 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 https://legislature.idaho.gov/about/12districtmap.pdf

Idaho Wildlife Federation
P.O. Box 6426
Boise, ID 83707
Phone: 208.342.7055
Email: info@idahowildlife.org

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

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 Education@sbbchidaho.org

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.

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

Utube URL: (https://youtu.be/zZegBv0B2cc)

This video is the work of Robbin Schindele & Marybeth Conger


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- http://idahohorsecouncil.com 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) http://www.bchcalifornia.org 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

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: https://www.facebook.com/Idahoansforpubliclands
▪  The Andrus Center for Public Policy hosts a conference March 28, “Why Public Lands Matter,” at Boise State University. More information: https://sps.boisestate.edu/andruscenter/why-public-lands-matter/

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.

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 education-chair@bchi.org.

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.

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 www.sbbchidaho.org

31. January 2017 · Comments Off on 2017 National Trails Day Event Host Guide · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


31. January 2017 · Comments Off on The January 2017 Pioneer Fire Recovery and Restoration Update is attached for your review. · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Dear Interested Party’s

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 system that allows interested parties to receive project materials and Forest information by e‐mail. This system gives you direct control over which mailing lists you are subscribed to. It’s easy, it’s good for the environment, and it gives “on‐demand” access to Forest information and projects. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the “Subscriber Preference Page” link at the bottom of this message and following the instructions on GovDelivery.com.

For additional information regarding the attached Pioneer Fire Recovery and Restoration Update, please contact Venetia Gempler, Public Affairs Officer, by phone phone at 208-373-4105 or by email vgempler@fs.fed.us.

Pioneer Fire Recovery and Restoration Update 1-27-2017

BFC North and South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project scoping comments_draft  Feb 2017


Melissa Yenko
Boise National Forest
Forest Environmental Coordinator
1249 S. Vinnell Way, Suite 200
Boise, ID 83709
Phone: 208-373-4245
Email: myenko@fs.fed.us

The Lowman Ranger District of the Boise National Forest would like to know your concerns, questions, and suggestions regarding a proposal to mitigate threats from hazard trees, salvage merchantable dead or dying trees, decommission unauthorized routes causing resource damage, and plant tree seedlings in portions of the 2016 Pioneer Fire area. The proposal has been identified as the North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project. The responsible official for this project and the decision is Cecilia R. Seesholtz, Forest Supervisor, for the Boise National Forest.
The project area is located on National Forest System lands on the Boise National Forest, immediately north and south of Lowman, Idaho, and about 74 miles northeast of Boise, Idaho, in Boise County. Attachment 1: North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Proposed Action includes a description of the proposed action and maps with specific locations identified. The scoping letter, attachments, and additional project information are available on the project web page: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50789.

Read More: North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation project

Below is some additional information regarding the Valley County Forest Restoration Summit.



29. January 2017 · Comments Off on Dear Chapter Presidents, State Directors and Public Liaisons · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events, Public Meetings

This is the draft letter of our response to the HEMINGWAY -BOULDER AND WHITE CLOUD WILDERNESS MANAGEMENT PLAN. If you have any further comments send them to me and copy Phil Ryan. If you previously sent comments to Phil put those in letter form and send to the USFS. NOTE: Your letter must include and alternate solution to your objection or they will not look at it . The comment period deadline is Jan. 31st .

The more letters the better. HB-WC Comment Letter-draft

Bob Savage
Chairman BCHI

Phil Ryan

29. January 2017 · Comments Off on 2017 National Board Meeting – Information · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

2017 National Board Meeting
Great Falls, Montana – April 20 – 22, 2017
Registration Open!

Full Registration Information:
• Full Meeting Registration ($250.00) – Includes registration packet, lunches on Thursday, Friday & Saturday, coffee and sodas, and registration to the Saturday banquet. Please note – this option does not include registration to the Thursday evening optional event.
• Thursday Evening Optional Event ($75.00) – C.M. Russell Museum and Sip N’ Dip, Includes transportation, buffet, drink tickets, & entertainment!
Partial Registration Information: (If you or your guest can only attend part(s) of the meeting, use below pricing for individual events.)
• Thursday Day ($60.00) – Includes agenda, lunch, coffee, beverages
• Thursday Evening Optional Event ($75.00) – C.M. Russell Museum and Sip N’ Dip, Includes transportation, buffet, drink tickets, & entertainment!
• Friday Day ($60.00) – Includes agenda, lunch, coffee, beverages
• Saturday Day ($60.00) – Includes agenda, lunch, coffee, beverages
• Saturday Evening Banquet ($60.00) – Includes agenda, lunch, coffee, beverages
Flight & Hotel Information:
Fly Into – Great Falls, Montana
Hotel – Holiday Inn Great Falls, 1100 5th St. South, Great Falls, MT 59405
Hotel Reservations – To reserve your room call 1-406-727-7200 – Identify yourself as an attendee of BCH meeting.

The room block expires 3/31/2017.
Important dates:

March 17 – Deadline Resolution Submissions, email to efearn@bcha.org.

April 7 – Deadline for hotel reservations and meeting registration.

We will have a consent agenda, please review the agenda and appropriate files prior to the meeting.

Potential for a Sawyer Class April 18-19
Please reply as soon as possible!

BCHA volunteers often use chain and crosscut saws to maintain the trail. To operate a chain or crosscut saw, volunteers must first be certified. BCHA will help volunteers obtain these requirements by conducting crosscut and/or chain saw certification and re-certification trainings for volunteers.

If there is enough confirmed attendees then we will be holding a class on April 18 and 19, 2017 in Great Falls, Montana. If you are seriously interested please email markahimmel@gmail.com as soon as possible to register. April 18 will be classroom, April 19 will be hands-on training. Cost for the course is complimentary.

Please Note: To be sawyer certified you must have an up to date CPR certification. If you are not currently certified there are many online courses you can take in order to get certified in time. Simply search online for “online CPR certification”.

BCHA National Dues Notice

Just a friendly reminder that dues for BCHA National are due for the 2017 year in January. This Email has been sent to all National Directors and State Contacts we have in our database. If you are not the right person to submit dues, please be sure to forward this to the appropriate person. Thank You!

Below are a few things to remember about your dues:

• Your membership dues for 2017 are calculated based on your state membership list as of 12/31/2016.
• Your National Directors will not be able to vote at the National Board Meeting unless dues are paid.
• Dues are delinquent on February 28, 2017.
Please click here for your BCHA 2017 dues form
Please send a check and a completed dues form to: 342 North Main Street, Suite 301, West Hartford, CT 06117

If you wish to stop receiving email from us, you can simply remove yourself by visiting:

Back Country Horsemen of America
342 N Main Street
Suite 301
West Hartford, Connecticut 06117

18. January 2017 · Comments Off on Thank you and BCHI education update · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

12. January 2017 · Comments Off on Interactive: The 29 national monuments that Obama created or expanded while in office · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

National Monuments designated by Barack Obama

Click for Interactive Map

Fort Monroe National Monument
Fort Ord National Monument
Chimney Rock National Monument
César Chávez National Monument
San Juan Islands National Monument
Río Grande del Norte National Monument
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park
First State National Historical Park
Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument
Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands
Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument
San Gabriel Mountains
Honouliuli National Monument
Pullman National Monument
Browns Canyon National Monument
Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument
Waco Mammoth National Monument
Basin and Range National Monument
Mojave Trails National Monument
Sand to Snow National Monument
Castle Mountains National Monument
Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument
Stonewall National Monument
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument
Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument
Bears Ears
Gold Butte

12. January 2017 · Comments Off on IDPR Non-Motorized 1/11 Meeting Materials · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

January 11, 2017

IDPR Non-Motorized Meeting Materials

Good Morning,

If you were unable to attend the IDPR Non-Motorized meeting last night, here is a link for you to download all of the meeting materials that were handed out. Please let me know if you have any questions.

January Meeting Handout – summit summary next steps

06. January 2017 · Comments Off on Alert January 2017 – House Vote on Public Lands · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

The U.S. House of Representatives just made it easier for the government to sell or give away national parks, national forests, and other public lands.

A new rule, written by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), establishes as fact that any legislation to dispose of public lands and natural resources would cost taxpayers exactly $0. This paves the way for the new Congress to get rid of vast swaths of public lands — all at the expense of the American taxpayer.
Under Congressional Budget Office accounting rules, the House is required to account for the cost of any legislation it considers. Now, the House does not need to even estimate any financial losses from giving away public land. Bills to dispose of public land will skip several steps in the normal legislative process, coming up for a vote without any discussion of the costs and benefits. The House approved the rules change by a vote of 234 to 193 on Tuesday.

Since the move applies only to House rules, it is not subject to approval by the Senate or a presidential signature. It is effective immediately.

“The House Republican plan to give away America’s public lands for free is outrageous and absurd,” Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) said in a statement just prior to the vote. “This proposed rule change would make it easier to implement this plan by allowing the Congress to give away every single piece of property we own, for free, and pretend we have lost nothing of any value. Not only is this fiscally irresponsible, but it is also a flagrant attack on places and resources valued and beloved by the American people.”

The procedural shortcut appears to apply equally to all types of public land. For example, national parks from Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, as well as federal buildings such as the Pentagon, could all be given away without consideration of the cost to American taxpayers.

The idea to dispose of public lands reflects the alliance between anti-government extremists, led by Cliven Bundy, and members of the anti-parks caucus, who don’t acknowledge the federal government’s authority over national public lands. Instead, these groups want to see public lands given to the states. In reality, states would likely be unable to shoulder the burden of managing these lands — from fighting wildfire to cleaning up abandoned mines — and would ultimately sell them to private interests.

The House rules change was met with sharp criticism from conservation and watchdog groups.
“Less than one day in and Congressional Republicans are already greasing the skids to give away or sell off America’s public lands, forests, and wildlife refuges,” Jen Rokala, executive director for the Center for Western Priorities, said in a statement. “What’s worse, politicians are using smoke and mirrors to hide the cost of stealing away our public lands, while ripping off American taxpayers in the process.”

More than 90 percent of voters in Nevada, Colorado, and Montana believe public lands are an essential part of their state’s economy, according to polling by Rokala’s group. In addition, the U.S. Government Accountability Office has found that oil and gas drilling on public lands is one of the federal government’s largest sources of non-tax revenue.

Moreover, the Outdoor Industry Association estimates that outdoor recreation, which largely takes place on public lands, is responsible for a $646-billion industry that supports 6.1 million direct jobs.

As recently as four weeks ago, Congress acknowledged the importance of the outdoor recreation economy. Both the House and Senate unanimously passed the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act (the Outdoor REC Act), which directs the Department of Commerce to measure the value of outdoor recreation economy.

But Tuesday’s vote asserts that public lands have absolutely no value to the American public — discounting the very economic driver the Outdoor REC Act aims to measure.

Both President-elect Trump and his Interior Secretary nominee, Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) have been vocal opponents of selling off America’s public lands. Zinke resigned from the GOP platform-writing committee last summer after it included language supporting the disposal of public lands. However, Zinke voted in favor of the rules change that would streamline public land disposal.

It remains unclear where he will stand on this issue if confirmed as Interior Secretary. A date for Zinke’s confirmation hearing has not been set.

House Republicans including Montana U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke voted Tuesday night to overturn a rule requiring Congress to calculate the value of federal land before transferring it to states or other entities, removing a significant barrier to limit lawmakers from ceding federal control of public lands.

The provision, part of a larger rules package that passed by a vote of 233 to 190, dictates that transfers of federal land should be treated as having no cost to the federal government, therefore requiring no budgetary offset, even if the parcels generate revenue for the U.S. Treasury through logging or energy extraction.

Currently, the Congressional Budget Office provides “scorekeeping” estimates to measure the costs of proposed public land transfers by evaluating the economic impacts of existing uses.

The new rule, introduced by Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, overturns that requirement, stating that “authorizing a conveyance of Federal land to a State, local government, or tribal entity shall not be considered as providing new budget authority, decreasing revenues, increasing mandatory spending, or increasing outlays.”

While the idea of transferring federal public land to the states has figured prominently into the GOP platform because it returns management authority to surrounding communities, opponents caution that states without the resources to manage broad swaths of federal land would be forced to sell it off to developers.

“This proposal is outrageous and absurd,” according to an internal memo circulated to Democratic House members by the Natural Resources Committee and obtained by the Beacon. “This is fiscally irresponsible, not to mention a flagrant attack on places and resources valued and beloved by the American people. This proposal would allow the federal government to give away every single piece of property it owns, for free, and pretend we have lost nothing of any value.”

There are more than 27 million acres of federal land in Montana, encompassing about 29 percent of the state. The Forest Service oversees 17 million acres, mostly in Western Montana.

Zinke, Montana’s lone congressman, was recently tapped by President-elect Donald Trump as the nation’s next Interior Secretary and has opposed transferring management of federal lands to states’ control, even quitting his post as a member of the GOP platform-writing committee after the group included language that would have made transferring federal land ownership to the states a priority.

He characterizes himself as a “Teddy Roosevelt” Republican and made his commitment to preserving America’s public lands a centerpiece in his recent campaign for re-election.

“I was extremely surprised by Ryan Zinke’s vote in support of this rule change,” Brad Brooks of The Wilderness Society said. “This rule greases the skids by removing the biggest obstacle preventing the transfer of public lands. Talk is cheap and votes matter, and this vote really mattered.”

Trump has also stated he opposes the transfer of public lands, telling Field and Stream magazine last year, saying “I don’t like the idea.”

“You don’t know what the state is going to do,” Trump told Field and Stream. “I mean, are they going to sell if they get into a little bit of trouble? And I don’t think it’s something that should be sold.”

It’s no surprise, then, that Zinke’s vote in favor of the new rule prompted immediate backlash from the local conservation and outdoor recreation communities, whose advocates called it an about-face.

“This is an absolute affront to Montana’s way of life and to the millions of Americans who hike, hunt, fish, and camp on public lands,” said Brian Sybert, executive director of Montana Wilderness Association. “It’s especially troubling that Rep. Zinke, a self-proclaimed Roosevelt conservationist and possibly our next Interior secretary, voted for this measure, because this is a major attack on Roosevelt’s legacy.”

Backcountry Hunters and Anglers decried the measure and strongly criticized House members who voted in support of it.

“As the 115th Congress enters its first week, some of our elected officials are wasting no time in paving the way to steal our outdoor heritage,” said BHA President and CEO Land Tawney. “Buried in a litany of other measures is language inserted by Congressman Bishop that would make it easier to give away America’s public lands. For sportsmen, this provision sticks out like a sore thumb. If it’s a fight they want, they’ve got one coming – and I’m betting on public lands hunters and anglers.”

When pressed for comment about his vote to ease the transfer of public lands, Zinke’s communications director Heather Swift stated in an email, “Ryan Zinke’s position has not changed.”

The primary impact of the rules change is that it inhibits lawmakers from raising a budgetary point of order if a land transfer bill lands on the floor. Under current House rules, any measure that costs the U.S. Treasury money must be offset by budget cuts or another provision to replace lost revenue.

Marne Hayes, executive director of Business for Montana’s Outdoors, joined in criticizing the House vote.

“The U.S. House just voted to make it easier to give away one of Montana’s prized business assets. We are sounding the alarm that this legislation will directly impact Montana businesses because it threatens our public lands,” Hayes said. “While Montana Representative Ryan Zinke voted for the package, we hope that in his new role as Interior Secretary, he will stand firm against future threats to Montana jobs and our outdoor way of life.”

Following the House vote, both U.S. senators from Montana stated their continued opposition to transferring federal lands to the states.

“I continue to strongly oppose the transfer of federal lands to the states while fighting to improve the management of those lands,” Republican Sen. Steve Daines stated.

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester issued the following statement:

“This vote by the House is an underhanded assault on Montana’s outdoor economy, our hunting heritage, and our way of life. Public lands belong to all Americans and Congress should be safeguarding them, not clearing the way to auction them off to the highest bidder. I ask all those who care about our public lands to join me in demanding more public access, not more attacks on our public lands, from their representatives in the House.”

State Democrats likewise joined in the chorus chastising Zinke’s vote.

“Montana’s hunters and anglers won’t soon forget this vote and we will continue to hold Congressman Zinke accountable as he asks for the nation’s trust in serving as Secretary of the Interior,” said Nancy Keenan, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party.

06. January 2017 · Comments Off on REC-Link “A community of practice for Recreation Professionals · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Link to Web Site

FSM 2300 – Read it!
Posted by Francisco Valenzuela

The new Forest Service recreation Directive 2300, the Zero code was released late last year without much celebration.

But it’s a very important document in that it provides the foundation direction for Recreation, Wilderness, Heritage, and trail management along with other program areas. You should read it, share it with others and discuss what it means to your program management with your recreation team.

Our sustainable recreation symbol and the 4-“Ps” comes from this document though it does not jump out at you. That is our goals are to Provide and Protect, and our focus is to so with Partners and to Perform a high level, carrying our mission efficiently and effectively with a focus on results.

There are some major changes from the past including the idea of sustainability. This is direction and it should be carried out day by day and incorporated in your planning.

Sustainable horse back riding

Posted by Deirdre Lightsey

Hi, thought I’d share a few of the ways that myself & my fellow conservation minded equestrian help to be part of the solution! Top down, we engage with the land managers (mainly Nat Forest & Parks but also state Forests & Parks). I am serving on the Nantahala Pisgah Forest Partners, which is a group of stakeholders collaborating to recommend ways to improve the new Forest Plan, N/P being an “early adapter” we’re under the 2012 mandate of citizen involvement, which has been very interesting. I’m co representative of the Recreation group with the IMBA & Amer Whitewater reps. We’ve also been taped to serve on the National Forest Foundation Forum that is working solely on the Plan revision. I feel that by acting in this arena, I can bring understanding of the equestrians to the other stake holders and help to interpret the management of the Forest back to my fellow horse folks.

I’m an officer in the Back Country Horsemen of NC, a chapter of BCH of America. The resources & knowledge sharing from the National org are invaluable to members who are concerned about riding light on the land. We are aware of trail conditions, and when we will make a larger impact like during freeze/thaw conditions or after a rain, and minimize our trail access at those times.

As an active Forest Volunteer, I am a certified “Leave no Trace” trainer for equestrian practices as well as a certified sustainable trail builder. This is helpful to keep working in the sustainable way when we make improvements to the trail, and also to help work alongside the Forest Service Rangers & other volunteers like hikers & bikers. We find that we can make less impact with a horse packing supplies & tools into work sites than mechanized vehicles. I have written grants to engineer & fund sustainable high lines, horse containment methods to give horse campers a much kinder gentler on the land way to overnight their horses.

All rides that I participate in are mapped and I carry loppers & a hand saw. A person on a horse can clear the canopy much easier than on foot and get further out to recon damage to trails. Mapping helps us pinpoint troubled areas (larger downed trees, eroded trail, areas that are causing siltation etc) and help us discuss the best course of action with the land manager.

19. December 2016 · Comments Off on 2016 Recreational Trails Annual Report · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Since 1991, the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) has provided more than $1 billion in Federal funding for trails across the country. RTP grants have been an essential ingredient in creating and improving over 21,350 trail-related projects nationwide, including urban greenways, nature centers, and horse, hiking, mountain bike, and motorized trails, as well as snow and water routes.

RTP leverages hundreds of millions of dollars of additional support from other sources for trails, encourages productive cooperation among trail users, and facilitates healthy outdoor recreation and economic activity in countless communities. See the RTP database for details of these projects.

American Trails joins with other members of the Coalition for Recreational Trails in celebrating RTP. This federation of national and regional trail-related member organizations work together to build awareness and understanding of the Recreational Trails Program.

2016 – Report – Overview – Recreational Trails – Environment – FHWA

Publication No. FHWA-HEP-17-001

Download the PDF Version of 2016 RTP Annual Report (PDF 24 MB)

PDF files can be viewed with the Acrobat® Reader®

14. December 2016 · Comments Off on Fall 2016 – The Wildest Place · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

SBFC Newsletter-Fall 2016

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

Connecting individuals and communities to Wilderness

11. December 2016 · Comments Off on 2016 – End of Season Party · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


It was a dark and foggy night on December 10, 2016 when brave members and guest ventured out onto the road for the drive to Rebecca Ignacio’s party barn located in farm country north west of Emmett. Rebecca has taken a barn and turned it into a very attractive venue for groups activities. Read all about it and see Picture !  End of Season Party


08. December 2016 · Comments Off on Risch introduces community-backed wilderness bill for Scotchman Peaks in North Idaho · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


U.S. Sen. Jim Risch introduced a bill Thursday to protect 13,900 acres in north Idaho as wilderness.

The Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Act of 2016 would protect a rugged range of mountains on the Montana border, near the city of Sandpoint and Lake Pend Oreille. Its low-elevation boreal and old-growth forests support a unique diversity of plants and Canada lynx, wolverine, mountain goats, moose and grizzly bears.

“If passed, this legislation would allow future generations of Idahoans to enjoy Scotchman Peaks, while at the same time protecting the needs and rights of local communities and tribes,” said Risch, an Idaho Republican. “This bill was introduced today to start the public process, and will not move forward until I hear from Idahoans directly about this topic. I look forward to holding a public hearing in the next Congress to receive input.”

The bill, introduced at the request of the Bonner County Board of Commissioners, has wide support including one of Idaho’s largest forest products companies and the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce.

Support for Scotchman Peaks wilderness dates to the late 1970s. But in 2005, the Friends of Scotchman Peaks formed specifically to organize community support for wilderness designation for the area.

“Sen. Risch’s support of the homegrown Scotchman Peaks wilderness campaign reflects the far-reaching community support for permanent protection of one of Idaho’s often overlooked wild gems,” said Craig Gehrke, Idaho state director for The Wilderness Society.

Rocky Barker: 208-377-6484, @RockyBarker

08. December 2016 · Comments Off on The 50-Year Story Of Creating Idaho’s New Wilderness Area · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

The 50-Year Story Of Creating Idaho’s New Wilderness Area
IdahoPTV/EarthFix | Dec. 7, 2016 3 p.m. | Updated: Dec. 7, 2016 4:24 p.m.

Castle Peak is so hidden from view that you can’t see it from any highway.

But it just might be the most important mountain in Idaho. Castle Peak and the surrounding Boulder-White Cloud Mountains have stirred up fights over mining, recreation and conservation — fights that have changed the course of political careers, including that of a self-described “Democratic lumberjack from North Idaho” named Cecil Andrus who became governor after taking a stand over the future of this rugged, mineral-rich wilderness.

And now, a generation later and the efforts of Idaho’s Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson and others, it is part of the Northwest’s newest wilderness area.

The team at Outdoor Idaho has the story of the 50-years-in-the-making wilderness designation for a wonderland of peaks, lakes, headwaters and steep, remote forests.

Idaho Public Television calls it “some of the most dazzlingly diverse country in the West, deserving of the gold standard of protection.”

In its hour-long Special, the Outdoor Idaho crew visits the three new wilderness areas in the center of Idaho – the White Clouds, the Hemingway-Boulders, and the Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness – to tell the fascinating story of how the threat of an open-pit mine eventually led to a unanimous vote for Wilderness in Congress. This program also examines some of the major battles yet to be decided.

The entire hour-long “Beyond the White Clouds” program will be available to view here until Dec. 19.

04. December 2016 · Comments Off on Ride for Joy 2016 Report · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


Click on picture to see full report

This flyer is from our very own Marybeth Conger regarding Ride for Joy. If anyone is interested in donating to the organization the address is Ride for Joy, PO Box 140295, Boise, ID 83714 marybethconger@rideforjoy.org

01. December 2016 · Comments Off on Alert – 12-01-2016 Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). In Idaho · Categories: Current Events

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Industries has reported a positive case of Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). On November 28, 2016, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed a positive case of EIA in a horse located in Canyon County, Idaho. The premises and all horses within 200 yards surrounding the premises are currently under quarantine until further testing of exposed horses is complete. The affected horse was part of a group that underwent testing in preparation for interstate travel. Exposed horses will remain under quarantine until follow-up testing is completed at 60 days post exposure. An epidemiological investigation is underway to determine the source of the infection and identify additional horses that may have been exposed to the disease. This is the first EIA positive horse diagnosed in Idaho since 2005.

EIA is an infectious and potentially fatal viral disease of horses most commonly transmitted by biting insects. If not properly disinfected prior to use, needles and equipment contaminated with blood from an infected horse can also spread the virus to unexposed horses. At this time, there is no vaccine available to prevent infection or any medical treatment that is effective against the virus. Horses that do acquire the disease are infected throughout their life and will remain a source of infection to other horses in close proximity.

The symptoms of a horse infected with EIA are often subtle and may go unnoticed. EIA-positive horses may develop a low-grade fever or become lethargic as well as demonstrate weight loss, icterus (yellowing of body tissues), anemia, swelling in the limbs, and weakness. However, not all equids infected with the EIA virus show signs of illness, and these animals serve as inapparent carriers. Horses demonstrating clinical signs of EIA pose the greatest risk of spreading the virus due to the increased concentrations of virus circulating in the blood. Even inapparent carriers, though, may be a source of infection and pose a risk to other horses. Because of this risk, Idaho state law requires EIA-positive horses be euthanized or maintained under strict quarantine, isolated from all other horses, for the life of the animal. Most states require a test for EIA be conducted within the last 12 months of horses moving interstate. Horse owners are encouraged to incorporate an annual test for EIA (Coggins test) into their routine animal health regimen regardless of whether they travel interstate.

Thank You
Debbie Amsden
Executive Director