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

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


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


Annual Report
Convention Photos
Volunteer Hours Report Summary

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

From Roland Cheek


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

The video is available on both YouTube and Vimeo. Click the viewing
vehicle of your choice: https://youtu.be/m27V3z8Bid8 or https://vimeo.com/209591920

And check out Roland’s Books http://www.rolandcheek.com/RolandsStorefront.html

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

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

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

Volunteer Service Hours

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

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

See the Yearly Numbers

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

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

50 Survival Tips and Tricks for the Outdoors 

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

Tail winds Spring 2017

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

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

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

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

Watch Video

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



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

A Vision for Backcountry Conservation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Nearly a quarter million horses call Idaho home

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

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

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

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

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.

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


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

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

Watch Video

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Ultimate Dutch Oven · Categories: Around The Campfire, Horse Camping

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

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

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


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

17. January 2017 · Comments Off on LEAVE NO TRACE PRINCIPLES · Categories: Around The Campfire, Horse Camping, Tips, Tricks and Tid Bits

Camping with horses & mules
Marybeth Conger, BACK COUNTRY HORSEMAN OF IDAHO Education Chair


It is important to remember that LNT principles are guidelines, not rules. Consider your surroundings, local regulations, weather concerns, and your skill level when choosing the best way to Leave No Trace. Anything we do is better the nothing. Read More:BCHI LEAVE NO TRACE PRINCIPLES ARTICLE
Please share this information with others!

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

03. December 2016 · Comments Off on Wilderness Volunteers Schedule 2017 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Work Parties and Projects


Project Schedule by Date

Click on a project name for more information. The fee for 2017 projects is $299. If you want to be on the waitlist for a project that is currently full, submit an application. We will notify you if space becomes available. If you are still interested in doing the project, payment will be due at that time.  Remember, December registration for Summer/Fall 2017 projects (projects from July to November) is limited to Supporters of Wilderness Volunteers. You can become a Supporter by making a donation to Wilderness Volunteers.



02. November 2016 · Comments Off on Mountain Bikes and the Wilderness · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Mountain bikers don’t need to ride in wilderness areas


Like many mountain bikers, I used to share the opinion that bikes should be allowed on any trails on public land, including wilderness areas. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to ride my bike anywhere that I want? I was a Southwest Idaho Mountain Biking Association board member for three years, and ride regularly around the West. My sense of entitlement to public land use came naturally.

However, that sentiment is rooted in an ignorance of why the Wilderness Act was passed, coupled with a lack of knowledge about how much access mountain bikers already have. Legislation sponsored by Utah Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch (S. 3205) panders to this lack of awareness — and the entitlement that it breeds.

Gutting one of our nation’s bedrock conservation laws, the bill will open designated wilderness areas to mountain biking, a move that should be soundly opposed. Public lands are treasured by everyone, not just mountain bikers, and are designated for many reasons, not just recreation.

Read more here:

Idaho’s new wilderness helps drive mountain bike bill

The Associated Press

More than 100 million acres of America’s most rugged landscapes designated as wilderness are off-limits to mountain bikers, but two Utah senators have introduced legislation that would allow bikers to join hikers and horseback riders in those scenic, undisturbed areas.

The proposal is controversial within the biking community and opposed by conservationists who say bikes would erode trails and upset the five-decade notion of wilderness as primitive spaces.

Read more here:

Should America’s wilderness be open to mountain bikes?


For most environmentalists, nothing is more sacred than America’s wilderness: 109 million acres of land in 44 states protected by Congress and “untrammeled by man,” where only hikers and horseback riders are allowed.

But many of the nation’s mountain bikers want in, too.

“Let’s talk about the science here for a second: A mountain bike tire is essentially as much damage as a bunch of hikers going up a trail with all their hiking poles, and it’s less damage than equestrian use,” said Eric Brown, trail director for the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition in Bellingham, Wash.

Read more here:


30. October 2016 · Comments Off on Succor Creek – Power Line Loop Ride · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides


Long time members of Squaw Butte know Moosely as the little horse that does!  What every is asked of him, be it carrying barbed wire, chain saws, the kitchen for a pack trip or a load of tin cans full of rocks he happily does it.  On October 29, 2016 he had an assignment that he truly enjoyed,  He was asked to take Rachel Pearce on her first horse back ride.  This ride was on one of our favorite fall rides in the BLM managed Succor Creek area of south western Idaho and South eastern Oregon. Rachel is the daughter of Mitch Pearce who is a good friend of  members Rob Adams & Rob Dhuyvetter.  Rachel has been taking an Equine Studies class at her school, and though it would be fun to ride a horse instead of just reading about them in books.  Moosely totally enjoyed the day, he and Rachel got along fine as long as they both agreed that the best place to be was within 50 foot of his buddy Kestrel who was being ridden by her dad.

Rachel picked a great day for her first ride, we caught a break between weather fronts and had almost perfect fall weather, cool without being cold and just a light breeze.  The rain of the previous days kept the dust down, and the rain with the help of some very busy beavers had the creek that flows through the canyon full of waters with some nice ponds to ride by and through.  Nancy smith  lead the ride and members formed into small groups spread over maybe 1/4 mile.  When all were back at the trailer and the stock taken care of, we shared a variety of foods and deserts before heading to our respective homesteads.  It was a great ride to end the Squaw Butte riding season and I am sure everyone is already looking forward to 2017.  Pictures provided by Mitch Pearce and Rob Adams.


27. October 2016 · Comments Off on Summary of Projects & Activities Squaw Butte 2016 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


Click here to read the 2016 Season Report 2016-summary-of-projects-activities

25. October 2016 · Comments Off on American Trails Report 2016 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


Click on the pictures to read


Trail Marking Systems   Rhino Signs        Voss Signs

18. October 2016 · Comments Off on Bryan Play Day – October 2016 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events



Wow – that was fun, wasn’t it? Thank you ALL for making it another fantastic year. A special thanks to my kids – Athena, Blake Sappe and Olivia Sappé for helping put it all together and keeping it running smooth. Blake Sappe – you may have missed your calling. You might consider turning in your rope for face paint. The kids’ loved you and so do I Peaches.
See full pictures on Picasa

16. October 2016 · Comments Off on 2016 Public Outreach & Yard Sale · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


Tractor supply loaned us these pop-up tents to help shelter our table from the light rain that fell at time during the sale.  They did a great job and didn’t blow away with sand bags attached to each leg.


Don’t be surprised if this hat finds it’s way into a gift box at the end of season party gift exchange!


Some happy ladies, the sale was a success, we are all packed up, and it is time to head for home before the next front hits!

Read about this event

12. October 2016 · Comments Off on Bute & Banamine – Commonly Used & Misused in Horses · Categories: Around The Campfire

horsesidevet“Hey Doc… my horse has been colicky since last night. I gave her some Banamine® and she seemed OK for a while, but now she doesn’t look so good…”
This scenario is unfortunately still common in my vet practice.  Although my established clients know to call me before administering these medications, there are many horse owners who regularly use these two common but poorly understood prescription drugs without any veterinary guidance. Often, things work out fine, but in some cases, unguided use of these drugs causes catastrophic results.


11. October 2016 · Comments Off on BCHA Patches and bumper stickers now available! · Categories: Around The Campfire


BCHA Online Store

21. September 2016 · Comments Off on Boise Forest Coalition – Open Letter · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


To: Friends of the Boise National Forest
From: Boise Forest Coalition
Date: September 20, 2016
RE: Pioneer Fire Field Trip and Invitation to Boise Forest Coalition

Dear Friends,
We are writing on behalf of the Boise Forest Coalition (BFC). The purpose of this letter is to invite your attendance at an upcoming field trip to visit the Pioneer Fire and to encourage participation in the Boise Forest Coalition and our work. The Pioneer Fire burned across over 180,000 acres within the Boise National Forest this summer. The field trip is intended to provide a first-hand look at the impacts from the fire (both positive and negative) and to provide useful perspective as the Forest Service and BFC consider potential restoration and management actions identified through both the Burned Area Emergency Rehab (rapid response) and NEPA (project development) process. As a representative of an important constituency, we invite you to consider participating in the field trip, and learning more about opportunities to participate and support the efforts of the Boise National Forest and the BFC as we move forward to restore and protect our forests.

What: Field Trip to Pioneer Fire area

When: Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 9 a.m.

Where: Idaho City Ranger District (Highway 21, milepost 38.5, Idaho City)

Note: Bring a pack lunch, sturdy shoes, water and be prepared for a day in the field. Bus transportation will be provided from Idaho City.
RSVP Required: Brant Petersen, District Ranger, (Bpetersen02@fs.fed.us)

About the Coalition

The Boise Forest Coalition was formed in September 2010, bringing together diverse interests to craft recommendations for multi-faceted forest projects in the Boise National Forest. The citizen-led group is open to anyone with an interest in Boise National Forest management. We generally meet on the first Thursday of the month at a location that is relevant to our project work. Additional info, including protocols, meeting notes, etc. are available at boiseforestcoalition.org.

On Behalf of the Boise Forest Coalition,
Rachel Vandenburg, Steering Committee Member
Jonathan Oppenheimer, Steering Committee Member
Art Beal, Steering Committee Member