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

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

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

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

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

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

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

24. May 2019 · Comments Off on inReach Webinar – What Happens When You Trigger an SOS? · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

inReach Webinar – What Happens When You Trigger an SOS?

You plan to avoid emergencies, but they do occur. In this instructional webinar led by Chip Noble, senior product manager at Garmin, and Emily Thompson, emergency operations manager at GEOS, we discussed what happens when you trigger an SOS. We also covered the SOS functionality on inReach devices, how the IERCC at GEOS coordinates a rescue response and steps you can take to help aid in your rescue.

PDF files of the presentation:

What Happens When You Trigger an SOS?

Video Presentation:

What Happens When You Trigger an SOS?

Introduction to Core inReach Features

In this instructional webinar led by Chip Noble, senior product manager at Garmin, we reviewed the core inReach features to help you get the most out of your inReach experience. Topics included setting up and sending messages, adding contacts, creating routes and waypoints, navigation, tracking, using MapShare™, requesting weather forecasts, and more.

PDF Link of the presentation

Video Presentation Link

More inReach Videos and Information

24. May 2019 · Comments Off on BLM – Four Rivers Draft Resource Management Plan · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands


The Four Rivers Field Office Draft Resource Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement is now available for public comment

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Boise District, Four Rivers Field Office (FRFO) has prepared a Draft Resource Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft RMP/EIS) for public lands within its Planning Area. The Draft RMP/EIS describes and analyzes management alternatives for the public lands and resources managed by the FRFO and provides BLM with a comprehensive framework for administering public lands. This document also analyzes the future use and management direction of the many natural and cultural resources found in the Planning Area over the next 20 years and beyond. The Draft RMP/EIS informs the public about potential management options.

The FRFO encompasses an area located in southwestern Idaho extending north of the Snake River from approximately Glenns Ferry in the southeast, west to Weiser, and north to McCall.  The planning area includes all of the FRFO located outside the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) which is governed by a separate RMP.  The planning area encompasses approximately 783,000 surface acres and 1,173,150 acres of mineral estate in Ada, Adams, Boise, Camas, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley and Washington counties administered by the BLM.

When approved, this RMP will guide the management of public lands administered by the FRFO into the future and will replace the 1988 Cascade RMP, the 1983 Kuna Management Framework Plan (MFP) and the portion of the 1987 Jarbidge RMP covering lands within the FRFO. The BLM encourages the public to provide information and comments pertaining to the analysis presented in the Draft RMP/EIS. We are particularly interested in feedback concerning the adequacy and accuracy of the proposed alternatives, the analysis of their respective management decisions, and any new information that would help the BLM as it develops the plan. In developing the Proposed RMP/Final EIS, which is the next phase of the planning process, the decision maker may select various management decisions from each of the alternatives analyzed in the Draft RMP/EIS for the purpose of creating a management strategy that best meets the needs of the resources and values in this area under the BLM multiple use and sustained yield mandate.

For the latest information on the planning schedule, please see the timeline page.  LINK TO DRAFT PLAN

23. May 2019 · Comments Off on Volunteers making a difference – SCA · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

Our Mission

SCA’s mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land.

Our History

2017 marked the Student Conservation Association’s 60th Anniversary. As we look back and remember, what becomes abundantly clear is that while times change, SCA remains a stalwart presence for conservation and our country. The young people with whom we work gain an adeptness, an ability to press beyond whatever challenge comes next.

https://www.thesca.org/

22. May 2019 · Comments Off on Rediscovered Books – Author Event – The Deer Camp · Categories: Around The Campfire

Some families have to dig hard to find the love that holds them together. Some have to grow it out of the ground.
Bruce Kuipers was good at hunting, fishing, and working, but not at much else that makes a real father or husband. Conflicted, angry, and a serial cheater, he destroyed his relationship with his wife, Nancy, and alienated his three sons-journalist Dean, woodsman Brett, and troubled yet brilliant fisherman Joe. He distrusted people and clung to rural America as a place to hide.

So when Bruce purchased a 100-acre hunting property as a way to reconnect with his sons, they resisted. The land was the perfect bait, but none of them knew how to be together as a family. Conflicts arose over whether the land-an old farm that had been degraded and reduced to a few stands of pine and blowing sand-should be left alone or be actively restored. After a decade-long impasse, Bruce acquiesced, and his sons proceeded with their restoration plan. What happened next was a miracle of nature.

Dean Kuipers weaves a beautiful and surprising story about the restorative power of land and of his own family, which so desperately needed healing. Heartwarming and profound, The Deer Camp is the perfect story of fathers, sons, and the beauty and magic of the natural world.

Dean Kuipers has studied and written about the field of environmental politics and the human-nature relationship for decades. He is the author of Burning Rainbow Farm and Operation Bite Back. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Outside, The Atlantic, Men’s Journal, Rolling Stone, and Playboy. He lives in Los Angeles.

This event is co-hosted with the Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation

22. May 2019 · Comments Off on Trail Meister – Satellite Messengers · Categories: Around The Campfire

When the Phone Says “No Service” – Satellite Messengers
May 13, 2019

When the Phone Says “No Service”
When you’re out in the wild and need to call for help, don’t be surprised if your cellphone reads “No Service.”
Losing your cell signal while outdoors can be annoying — but if you’re out riding or camping your cellphone signal can mean the difference between life and death. Injuries, being lost, and any other number of hazards can mean we need to call for help — but if there’s no signal to carry your message, then what do you do?  READ MORE

19. May 2019 · Comments Off on Annual Public Outreach & Yard Sale · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Weather all week had been monsoons, and it was still poring Friday night, but all the TV weather people promised that Saturday would be nice and sunny, although I think most doubted it would be!

When I was hooking up my trainer at 06:30 Saturday morning the clouds in the Montour-Sweet valley were only about 100 feet off the ground and the sky was still gray, but what the heck, we will give it a go!

Linda & Tom Hughes, Bill Holt, Charles & Lorraine Chick, Arlynn Hacker, Nancy Smith, Carmen Tyack, Ron Fergie and Rob Adams were soon busy setting up tables and awing and laying out treasure for our loyal friends and customers who stop by at our yard sales each year.  The weather was still iffy, but we had our fingers crossed.

A few people showed up but it was a very slow start, so we started to play with some of our items,
Tom Hughes found a kilt that the women convinced him to model. Everyone though he looked very fetching!
Janine Townsend should up with a number of boxes and when we unpacked one we found a Chicken & Pig suit. Carmen and Lorraine put them on and modeled them for the group, then they got some bar chairs and went out and sat by the road, waving at the passing cars. After a couple of near wrecks they put the costumes on the rack, but their antics got the crowds coming to visit us.Charles Chick found some stuffed animals and turned one into a hat


People starting buying thing and the cash box slowly started filling mostly with dollar bills. We had a lot of Toonies donations as the Canadians would say, two dollars at a time. There were very few donations over 20 dollars. Fanny Burki decided she needed some of our treasure for her house and became the big chapter donor.



Then Dee Kincaid showed up and donated a great print with custom frame. This treasure will be held by the chapter until the next convention and use as one of the auction items. Thanks Dee!  By 16:00 what was left on the table had been boxed up to be donated and the cash box tallied, Not a bad day, $1081.05 in donations collected!

18. May 2019 · Comments Off on BCHA National Director report from the BCHI National Director team · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

READ Full REPORT:

2019_NBM_BCHI_Report_to_State_Directors-Chapter_Presidents.PPTX
2019_NBM_BCHI_Report_to_State_Directors-Chapter_Presidents.PDF

16. May 2019 · Comments Off on IDPR Non-Motorized Trails Program · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

Tom Helmer <Tom.Helmer@idpr.idaho.gov>

Hello,

My name is Tom Helmer and I am the new Non-Motorized Trails Program Manager for the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR). My professional background stretches back to 1998, when I began my career on a trail crew in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York. Since then I have managed or worked on and coordinated trail crews from Maine to Washington, and have had stints at Pinnacles National Park, Arizona Conservation Corps, and the Northwest Youth Corps. Most recently, I was the State Director of the Idaho Conservation Corps.

The primary goal of myself/IDPR will be to work with user groups and federal, state, and local non-motorized trail mangers to improve non-motorized trail opportunities across the state. As part of that effort I have been tasked with working towards development of a dedicated and sustainable non-motorized trail funding mechanism in the near future.

Over the next few months I will be traveling statewide to meet with as many stakeholders as possible. I hope to develop a better understanding of non-motorized trail issues at the local, regional, and state level. Most importantly, I would like to ensure we move forward with a shared vision of a robust statewide trail funding source to address the ever-increasing backlog of non-motorized trail funding needs.

I am extraordinarily excited at this opportunity and to work with any and all interested parties. Please feel free to share my contact information with anyone you feel might be interested.
Finally, don’t hesitate to let me know how I can help you or your organization going forward.

Sincerely,

11. May 2019 · Comments Off on It’s peak morel mushroom season in Idaho · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

BY NICOLE BLANCHARD
Morels are prized by professional chefs and amateur foodies alike for their nutty, earthy flavor. The truffle-like fungi can fetch prices upward of $20 per pound due to their scarcity and short growing season.

So there’s an obvious element to the vagueness with which morel hunters share their finds — no one wants to find their favorite spot picked clean or otherwise disturbed. But the morels themselves are, by nature, a little perplexing, and that adds to the secretive culture around finding them.

Morels are notoriously difficult to cultivate, and the vast majority of each yearly crop is collected in the wild. But where exactly those wild mushrooms will pop up is largely a guessing game.

“That’s sort of the fun (of morel hunting), it’s an enigma,” said Jonathan Oppenheimer, an avid morel hunter who works as the government relations director for the Idaho Conservation League.

“It’s different than huckleberries, where you have your spot and you know they’ll be there year after year after year,” Oppenheimer said.

Instead, morels tend to follow wildfires, cropping up in larger numbers in areas that burned the previous summer. But no one really knows why.

“The ‘big game’ in Idaho and the West is in burned areas,” Oppenheimer said.

Coloradans Trent and Kristen Blizzard comb through wildfire data to offer a “burn morel map” of the West each year through their website, Modern Forager. A PDF of burned areas across 10 states where you’re likely to find morels (including “the top 11 burns” in Idaho) will run you $40.

“Because they only grow in recent forest fires, they are not such a secret location and we are able to share new maps every year,” the Blizzards said in an email to the Statesman. “The real secret is to know what burn is the right one to go to — which we suss out in our book and maps for people. Finding the correct trees, elevations, aspects, etc. is the secret there … but, frankly, it is not rocket science!” READ MORE

10. May 2019 · Comments Off on The John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act · Categories: Public Lands


Last month, after both House and Senate approval, the president signed into law the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act. This sweeping act, cosponsored by senators Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), packaged together a raft of over 130 conservation bills addressing important issues such as the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a national volcano-monitoring system, and protections against mineral extraction that could harm national parks.

The Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, known in political circles as S.47, has been widely lauded for its expansive scope. A press release issued by Senator Cantwell called it “a key tool to continue to solve our problems of access to public lands, particularly in parts of the country where the access to those public lands is being eroded by development.”

It’s also a relief for stewards of the North Country Scenic Trail (NCT), the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, and the American Discovery Trail (ADT), three of our nation’s longest and most diverse trails, which will see significant development as a result of the act. READ MORE

09. May 2019 · Comments Off on Sawyer Safety Workshop (Educational Event) · Categories: Education

Sawyer Safety Workshop – Sunday May 19, 2019 09:00 to 16:00 (Educational Event)
Location: Classroom:  Rob & Linda Adams, Sweet, ID
Sawyer safety review and  training class for new sawyers and current sawyers.  “A”&”B” Sawyers
If you are currently a sawyer or would like to be, plan on attending this class room safety review.
Pictures from Past Training Events  2015    2010
All who are planning to attend should review the  Sawyer Training Manual Chapter 1-3
Contact:  Rob Adams 208-781-0548  projects@sbbchidaho.org

Sign UP to attend event

May 2019 – “C” Bucker Sawyer Training     This week Charles Chick & Rob Adams completed “C” bucker training and received USFS accreditation to train and evaluate volunteer sawyers under the USFS program.

A Sawyer – Apprentice Sawyer Bucking Only. These sawyers must be supervised by a B or C skill level sawyer (supervising within their individual restrictions) during saw work activity in the least complex situations. Sawyers at this level may perform at the next higher level under the immediate supervision of a sawyer qualified at the higher level. Re-evaluation schedule: yearly.

B Sawyer – Intermediate Sawyer Bucking Only. These sawyers may work independently during saw work activity, and may cut any size material in moderately complex situations. Sawyers at this level may perform at the next higher level under the immediate supervision of a sawyer qualified at the higher level. Re-evaluation schedule: every 3 years.


Any member not listed above who in interested in learning about operating a chainsaw or working around someone who is should attend our Sawyer Safety workshop!
Ask anyone who attended last year, it is worth your time and is fun.

04. May 2019 · Comments Off on Idaho Wild Life Federation – May News · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

READ FULL STORY
READ FULL STORY

04. May 2019 · Comments Off on Supporting Idaho Diabetes Youth Programs (dba Camp Hodia) · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

LINK TO DONATION PAGE