08. October 2018 · Comments Off on October 7th, 4 Mile Creek Wild Horse Area · Categories: Current Events, Education, Fun Rides

Sunday morning, October 7th, 2018 was sunny and crisp and had the look of a day for an almost perfect fall ride. The road to the packing area for this ride was still damp from the rain the day before, so no dust, and it had been graded recently so was pretty smooth. By 10:15 all the members who had signed up for the ride where finishing up getting their horses ready and by 10:30 we were heading up the left fork of the road to the gate that allows you to enter the south-west corner of this BLM area.

The gate was open, so we didn’t have to stop and the group spread out to climb up to the top of the first rise. There is no defined trail here, so members were picking their way up the hill side. Shannon, Nancy and two other riders were leading the way and Shannon’s horse wanted to lope up the slope. Shannon tried to slow her to a walk, but instead the mare reversed course and started loping down hill. This lope, turned more buck like and Shannon was pitched face first down the slope. Where she lay not moving. The group sprang into action, with half seeing to Shannon and the others catching her horse and holding the others. The first aid kit was taken off the back of Rob’s saddle and a patient assessment was started. Shannon was awake and aware and was able to tell us what she though was going on. She was able to set up after a bit and indicated she though she might have broken her arm or dislocated her shoulder.Under Shannon’s guidance for the most comfortable position of the arm, we used a down vest rolled up to act as a pillow and place it between her body and her fore arm which she was supporting. We then used her jacket and some vet-rap to fashion a sling. This arrangement allowed Shannon to walk back to the road while other brought her horse. By 12:00 Shannon was on her way to further medical care.  I talked to Shannon at 17:30 Sunday night, and she said that she had dislocated her right shoulder which had been restored to it’s correct location, but she had also damaged some tendon and ligament attachments which would require further medical attention.

The members who continued the ride saw a coyote, hawks, antelope and ten mustangs.

Secure dislocated shoulder, and get patient to a doctor
By Alton Thygerson – BYU

The shoulder is your body’s most mobile joint because it can turn in many directions. But this advantage also makes it easy to dislocate.

A partial dislocation (subluxation) means the head of the upper arm bone (humerus) is partially out of the socket (glenoid). A complete dislocation means it’s all the way out.

Both partial and complete dislocations cause extreme pain and unsteadiness in the shoulder. The shoulder muscles may have spasms from the disruption, and this can make it hurt even more.

Symptoms include swelling, numbness, weakness and bruising. Sometimes a dislocation may tear ligaments or tendons in the shoulder. Once in awhile, the dislocation may damage the nerves. The victim will guard the shoulder and try to protect it by holding the dislocated arm in a fixed position away from the chest wall. The victim is unable to touch the opposite shoulder with the hand on the injured side.

The shoulder joint can dislocate forward, backward or downward. The most common (90 percent) type of shoulder dislocation is when the shoulder slips forward (anterior instability). This means the upper arm bone moved forward and down out of the joint. It may happen when the arm is in a throwing position or held up high over the head, as in kayaking.

So what do you do if you come across someone with a dislocated shoulder?

1. Place an ice pack for about 15 minutes over the injured shoulder. (Unable to do where accident occurred)

2. Give the patient analgesics, such as acetaminophen, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, to help reduce pain. (We didn’t, but could have)

3. Stabilize the shoulder against movements by placing a pillow or rolled blankets or towels between the arm and chest to fill the space between the arm and the chest wall. Once the arm is stabilized in this way, the elbow can usually be flexed to 90 degrees without causing further pain. Apply an arm sling to the forearm and wrist to support the weight of the arm. Secure the arm in the sling to the pillow and chest with a swath made either from a folded triangular bandage or a gauze bandage. (We used Shannon’s jacket to secure her arm and shoulder. Leaving the left arm of her jacket in place, we used the right sleeve of the jacket, routed under the right arm pit then looped under her forearm and then attached to itself with vet-rap. A down vest was placed between the arm and her body acting as a pillow and supporting the shoulder. We could have use triangle bandages to also build a sling. Shannon indicated that this was the most comfortable position. Shannon was able to walk down the hill to the road and her truck, when Nancy drove he to medical care)

4. Check the pulse at the wrist for signs of circulation. If there is no pulse, medical care should be sought immediately.

5. Seek medical care. Transport the victim in a sitting or semi-seated position.

If you and the patient are in a remote location and far from medical care, an anterior dislocated shoulder can be put back into place (reduced) if you have proper training. It should NOT be attempted when medical care is near or when proper training is absent.

At the hospital or doctor’s office a doctor will examine the shoulder and may order an X-ray. It’s important for the doctor to know how the dislocation happened. Was it an injury? Has the patient ever dislocated the shoulder before? The doctor will place the ball of the humerus back into the joint socket. This process is called closed reduction. The severe pain stops almost immediately once the shoulder joint is back in place.

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08. October 2018 · Comments Off on Next generation satellite beacons · Categories: Around The Campfire

Emergency Locater Beacons with bi-directional texting

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01. October 2018 · Comments Off on Texas billionaires put gates on popular Forest Service road near Boise · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands
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28. September 2018 · Comments Off on Charles “Devon” Mills – December 26, 1962 ~ September 25, 2018 · Categories: Current Events, Member Profiles

C. Devon Mills, 55, Emmett, (formerly of Eagle) Idaho, passed away Tuesday, September 25, 2018. Devon was born December 26, 1962 in Denver, Colorado, raised in Twin Falls, Idaho and graduated from Filer High School, Class of 1981. He married his high school sweetheart Allison Whitney in 1984, had two children Brianne and Brandon and later divorced. Devon spent the past 16 years with his loving companion Linda Erickson.

Linda Address:  Linda Erickson: 6727 W. South Slope Rd, Emmett 83617Devon was a proud member of Boy Scouts, 4-H, FFA, local pool leagues, the Twin Falls and Caldwell Elks Lodges and Back Country Horseman. He was employed by Amalgamated Sugar for 36 plus years.Survived by: Linda Erickson, Ruth “Mom” Mills, brothers: Randy, Claude “Butch” (Teri), Keith (Amy); sister: Cheryl (Scott) Taylor, Wallace “Creep” Farnham; birth mom: Toni Farnham; children: Brianne (Armando) Guzman, Brandon (Ashley) Mills, Carlee (Michael) Olivera, Ryan Erickson; and mother of his children Allison Chapman; Grandchildren; Anthony, Enzo, Harper, Jadyn, Drake, Brooklyn, and Ryder; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.Preceded in death by: his Dad Justin Clark Mills, Grandparents Clark and Eleanor Mills, Charles and Thelma Tippett, Elsie Kenyon, Vern Osborn and Step Dad Wallace Farnham Sr.Devon loved spending time with his family camping, hunting, fishing and riding. His children and grand children brought so much love and joy to him and were the highlight of his life. Some of his best days were the miles he spent on his mules riding in the mountains.Services provided by Cloverdale Funeral Home; Boise, Idaho. A celebration of life will be held 3:00 PM on Saturday, September 29, 2018 at Caldwell Elks Lodge.  Caldwell Elks Lodge #1448, 1015 N Kimball Ave, Caldwell, ID 83605  MAP

Make Me No Grave

Make me no grave within that quiet place
Where friends shall sadly view the grassy mound,
Politely solemn for a little space,
As though the spirit slept beneath the ground.

For me no sorrow, nor the hopeless tear;
No chant, no prayer, no tender eulogy:
I may be laughing with the gods–while here
You weep alone. Then make no grave for me

But lay me where the pines, austere and tall,
Sing in the wind that sweeps across the West:
Where night, imperious, sets her coronal
Of silver stars upon the mountain crest.

Where dawn, rejoicing, rises from the deep,
And Life, rejoicing, rises with the dawn:
Mark not the spot upon the sunny steep,
For with the morning light I shall be gone.

Far trails await me; valleys vast and still,
Vistas undreamed of, canyon-guarded streams,
Lowland and range, fair meadow, flower-girt hill,
Forests enchanted, filled with magic dreams.

And I shall find brave comrades on the way:
None shall be lonely in adventuring,
For each a chosen task to round the day,
New glories to amaze, new songs to sing.

Loud swells the wind along the mountain-side,
High burns the sun, unfettered swings the sea,
Clear gleam the trails whereon the vanished ride,
Life calls to life: then make no grave for me!

Henry Herbert Knibbs, from Songs of the Trail, 1920
This poem is in the public domain and does not require permission for use

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20. September 2018 · Comments Off on BCHA Board of Directors & Education Reports · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

September 2018 National Director Report
respectfully submitted by Marybeth Conger, BCHI National Director

It was indeed an honor to represent the State of Idaho at the National Board meeting on April 23-25 in Spokane, Washington. Next year the meeting is in North Carolina. Hope you find this report informative. I am always available to answer questions or hear your concerns. 208-369-0769 or mbconger1@gmail.com
Some meeting highlights include:
1. memorial for lost members
2. acceptance of all agendas, letters, and minutes
3. Wisconsin was voted in as our newest state
4. eleven committees reported
5. a balanced budget was presented and approved
6. resolution to add a youth membership category narrowly passed. Keep in mind, each state can decide to add one or not because BCH is a downward up organization. The state of Idaho voted against this resolution citing liability concerns and question of overreaching
7. BCHA foundation had grant monies to help fund chapter and/or state activities. For more details visit www.bcha.org/blog/2017/12/06/bcha-education-foundation-grants

READ MORE:September 2018 National Director Report

September  22, 2018 Education Report- respectfully submitted by Marybeth Conger BCHI Education Chair

Last year in Idaho, a bill was proposed to change Title 25, Animals, Chapter 11, State Brand Board and eliminate equine annual and lifetime brand inspections since fees collected did not cover expenses. Fortunately, this bill was tabled to give an opportunity for industry input. On September 10, I and many others, attended a collaborative industry meeting at the Idaho State Police Headquarters located in Meridian, Idaho. The purpose of this meeting was for discussions regarding different ideas/proposals to make the equine brand inspection program more financially sustainable. Attendees included Cody Burlile State Brand Inspector, Idaho Cattle Association, The Beef Board, Idaho Dairy Bureau, Idaho Farm Bureau, Back Country Horsemen of America, Back Country Horsemen of Idaho, American Quarter horse association, Dressage, Idaho Horse Council and the Idaho Horse Board. It was agreed that the Idaho Horse Council (IHC) would take the lead and write a proposal to reflect a higher fee for equine inspections and submit the IHC board ratified proposal to the other meeting attendees. IHC will work with Cody Burlile to collect information and program insight when drafting the proposal. IHC would need to hire a lobbyist too. As equine owners, we know these inspections legitimize ownership. But let’s not forget that the Idaho Horse Board (IHB) gets $3.00 for each inspection. Funds collected are then given back to Idaho horse industry yearly in the form of grants to further interests in promotion, research, and education. Since 1989, $496,395 in grants have been awarded. If your chapter is looking for monies to further chapter education or promotion and research, make sure to complete and submit your grant application by December 1st. Details can be found at www.idahohorseboard.com. Please help to spread the word and let me know, if any questions about the proposed fee increase or how Idaho Horse Board grants can help BCHI chapters achieve education goals.

READ MORE:   2018-09-22 BOD Education Report

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18. September 2018 · Comments Off on Tips from TrailMeister · Categories: Around The Campfire, Tips, Tricks and Tid Bits

Cleaning your saddle pad

Cleaning your saddle pad

Saddle pads get dirty, really dirty, really quickly.  Sweat and dirt happen when we ride and it’s up to us to stay on top of the filth lest our mounts suffer. It’s time to clean our saddle pad.

I’m not about to say that I wash my pads after every ride. What I do is let them dry between rides (I have three pads that I alternate using) and prior to the following use I gently brush them in a circlular motion, with a rubber curry to break up any dried grime and sweat chunks.

But, by the end of summer those pads have seen a lot of trail miles pass under them and it’s time for a more thorough cleaning to remove the more stubborn deposits.

My fabulous first idea was to put the pads in the washing machine. My much better half said that wasn’t going to happen and that I should find a better alternative. Being too lazy to visit the local laundry mat I opted for a fence gate and a hose.

I use Skito saddle pads that have laminated foam shims inside a fleece pocket, so my cleaning process may be slightly more involved.

1 – Remove the foam inserts and let them soak in a bucket of cool water. I don’t use any detergent because it’s next to impossible to get out. Any soap residue that remains will irritate my animals and that’s a bad thing. Scientists consider water to be the universal solvent because it’s capable of dissolving more substances than anything else (barring oils which I don’t generally find inside my saddle pad). I use this property to my benefit and simply repeatedly squeezing the foams to slowly work any accumulated salts out of material. Dump and refill the bucket with fresh water as often as you can. I’ve been known to put a small amount of vinegar in the water to help kill any lingering beasties.

2 – With the saddle pad securely supported, it’s going to be heavy, use a garden use to spray the saddle pad from the inside out. I want to force the grime out of the material not push it further into the fibers. I also try to work from the middle outward, again always trying to push the dirt away from the pad. I’ve found that once the pad is completely saturated with water that rubbing the material with my fingers is easier on the fabric and works better than brushing with curry combs. This phase takes a while and yes, you will be cold and wet, but keep up the good work until the water runs clear.

3 – Once the pads and the foams cease releasing dirt into your clean water it’s time to dry. Help the pads keep their shape by hanging them over a saddle rack, out of the sun and away from direct heat. Leaving the pad hanging over the gate will cause it to stretch and lose its contoured shape. Direct heat or sun can cause the materials to shrink. Yes, drying this way is slow and takes a while. That’s why we have spare saddle pads.

I wish that I could say that these three steps to a clean saddle pad are a great secret that I discovered. Unfortunately, equipment cleaning is just another part of riding horses and mules. What I have discovered is that by ensuring that when this vital piece of equine tack stays in good working condition it makes for a better ride by continuing to provide the support, protection, and comfort that my animals deserve.

How often do you clean your saddle pads?

For more TrailMeister trail riding tips and thoughts visit www.TrailMeister.com

Keeping Paradise Possible

Keeping Paradise Possible – By Robert Eversole – North East Chapter, BCHW

Paradise. For some that’s an image of a tropical beach, for me it’s a dirt trail that twists and meanders to a backcountry camp deep in the wilderness. It’s a quiet solitude punctuated by the peaceful clip clop of hooves and the far scream of an eagle aloft. It’s the sweet perfume of pine on a warm summer day. It’s the
companionship of a trusted horse who will faithfully take you home.

Unfortunately, in a growing number of cases paradise has padlocks.

In only a few short generations we’ve “improved” a lot of backcountry and rural areas into suburbia and shopping malls. Trail Closed signs are both dreaded and unfortunately frequently encountered. Least we lose them, we’d better take care of the equine friendly country that remains.  Paradise needs protecting.

You don’t have to be a trail rider, or even have your own horse, to recognize the importance of conserving horse trails. There are many things that each of us can do to preserve equine trails. Unfortunately, often it’s sometimes hard to explain why groups like ours are important. Here are some of the reasons to join that I talk about during my expo clinics.

Horse clubs are focal points for both social events and trail stewardship efforts. For me the biggest reason to join an equestrian club is for the comradery of people who have the same interests. Being able to talk about trail conditions, feed, training, etc. is priceless.

Don’t have a local Back Country Horsemen group nearby, or don’t care for the one that is? Start a new one. These organizations are always looking for new members and new chapters. A quick google search will put you in touch with someone who can help.

Here are four reasons to join a, or start, a horse club. And quotes from those who have.

  • You’ll meet like-minded people and make new friends

“Share activities with like-minded people both socially and out on the trails.”

“The diversity of a club’s membership allows members to ride and camp with others who have similar aspirations and at a whole range of experiences. It makes it easy to find people to ride with when their regular partner is unable to get away.”

“There’s a large group of us who don’t just go out on club rides, we’ll meet up on other weekends too – it’s great to have lots of different people to go riding with.”

“Looking for love?  I know lots of couples who met through horses!”

  • You’ll see new places and do new things

“You can expand the scope of your own activities by taking part in those organized by more experienced members”

“A lot of clubs have a range of social events which complements the riding scene”

“If you want to go to a new trail area there’s bound to be someone in the club who has already been and willing to give you info on the place”

  • You’ll learn new skills

“Many clubs offer training opportunities, however chaotic or informal, and there are always more experienced members around to provide guidance and help.”

“Practical peer-to-peer coaching so that we all learn together”

“Knowledge transfer from more experienced members, a bit like an apprenticeship”

“As a new member I doubt that I’d have made the steps to ride outside the arena without the support of the club”

  • It’s fun!

“It’s more fun spending your day out with others.  And they can get great photos of you and your partner on rides too.”

There are more benefits than just being a member of a club. There are new friends to be made, information to learn and most of all the comradery of people who get what it means to love horses and trail riding.

We live during a time when equine trail use is being curtailed. Most Americans live in urban settings, removed from our version of paradise. Most of them don’t understand the importance of conservation, outdoor recreation, and the protection of trails.

Please, don’t wait until you’re faced with a crisis before you get involved. Volunteer with trail projects, join a club that will help protect your trail access, and educate yourself and others on best practices.

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07. September 2018 · Comments Off on Robbin Schindele Update – Fall 2018 · Categories: Current Events, Member Profiles


Here’s the website for my project; http://www.craterlakewild.org

And for my employers: http://www.umpquawatersheds.org . I work 25 hours a week for pitiful wages but I believe in the mission.

On the 22nd I will become a Board Member for another conservation org. The Friends of Crater Lake: http://www.friendsofcraterlake.org/  Promoting conservation issues here in “the timber capital of America” is a tough sell but I’m chipping away at it.

Robbin Schindele
High Haven House
PO Box 342
Glide, OR 97443

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29. August 2018 · Comments Off on Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation -Summer Newsletter 2018 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events, Public Lands

2018 Summer News SBFC

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23. August 2018 · Comments Off on Wild Fires & Climate Change · Categories: Around The Campfire

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08. August 2018 · Comments Off on Eagle Island Fun Ride and Tack Sale · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Please see the attached flyers of this event to copy, post or forward to your equine enthusiast friends.


We are pleased to donate 100% our profits to these non-profits:

 Ride for Joy is a local organization, based in Emmett, that provides Hippotherapy (Equine therapy) to children with mental and physical special needs as well as Veterans with PTSD. https://www.rideforjoy.org/

 The Treasure Valley Back Country Horsemen is a nonprofit organization working toward the preservation of the back country. Their membership is comprised of horse men and women who love our great outdoors and who want to be sure that recreational horse and mule use on public lands will remain a part of our American Heritage forever.  http://www.tvbch.com/

FOSH is a national leader in promoting, supporting and protecting gaited horses.  FOSH is known for its work to end soring of Tennessee Walking Horses through its public database of violators, www.hpadata.us and 60 years’ archive of soring articles. www.stopsoring.com.

Your contact information will not be shared by our club or it’s affiliates and will be only used to send you information about this event.

Thank You and Happy Trails, Anne Martin, SCGHC Fun Ride Advertising Chairman


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05. August 2018 · Comments Off on Wilderness Volunteer’s – McGown Lake Project · Categories: Public Lands, Work Parties and Projects

Packing Support Wilderness Volunteers – Sunday August 26, 2018  (Trails Event)
Location: Stanley Basin – Sawtooth Wilderness
CREW PACK-IN is Sunday August 26
Trail 17.4 miles round trip, 2,266 elevation gain
Pack-In Support for Volunteer Trail Crew
Map   Trail Status    Project description  
Location: Stanley Lake trail head to McGown Lake 
Contacts:  Jay Dorr (USFS) &  Zoe Putter (WV)
Project Leader: Rob Adams 208-781-0548

On Saturday August 25th members of Squaw Butte drove to Stanley Lake and set up camp in the overflow area where members of the Wilderness Volunteer trail crew and the USFS wilderness ranger would meet us.Around 3PM a truck stopped at our camp and ask us if we had noticed the smoke plum over McGown Peak? It had become a bit smokier but we had not noticed, but we did now. By 4pm it was snowing ash and the air was becoming very smokey.By 6PM the Wilderness Volunteers had arrived and we discussed the situation over a beer and the concensis was the McGown project needed a plan “B”! A phone call was made to the USFS Dispatch center and they Contacted Jay Dorr who arrived around 7pm. The WV crew had moved their camp to a camp ground NE of Stanley along the Salmon River. Jay agreed that the McGown Lake project was toast for this year and he would talk to the WV crew about working on the Queen’s River trail near Atlanta, ID which would not need pack support.

The Squaw Butte team talked about leaving then or waiting for morning and chose to stay. BUT, by 11:30 pm the smoke had gotten worse and Rob decided to bale, waking up everyone while packing up and loading his stock.

(ROB) If you want to see wild life drive from Stanley Lake to Banks after midnight! Deer (many), Elk (6),Fox (2), Owls (2) and some weasel like animal. Elk were standing in the middle of the road around a blind corner, didn’t hit any, but it caused me to slow down even more from the 40, I was doing going down the hill from Banner summit to Lowman. Smoke made driving conditions fog like.

(Terry) turned into a very interesting night after you left, Jon’s horse tried to kill himself on high line, got back to bed and David decided to load his mules, so it was a short night! We were going to go to Bull Trout Lake, but Jon’s horse was swollen from rope burn so just came home.

Trail we would have used to take the crew into McGown Lake in relationship to the fire on Saturday.

Incident Overview

8-26-2018 Wapiti Fire grows near Grandjean  (VIDEO)

Fire crews continue to battle the Wapiti Fire, located near Grandjean, which is now an estimated 4,000 acres. A Type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered and will arrive this afternoon.

An area closure is being put in place around the Grandjean area for public and firefighter safety. National Forest System Road 524, which leads from Highway 21 to Grandjean, is closed.

Four cabins and 1 outbuilding have been lost to the fire. No injuries have been reported.

The fire has burned actively throughout the morning. While several spot fires have been found south of the South Fork Payette River, they have all been caught to this point. Firefighters continue to patrol this area to keep the fire north of the river.

Currently there are 7 engines, 3 helicopters, 3 heavy air tankers, 1 handcrew and 1 water tender engaged in fighting the fire. Several more handcrews, along with engines and water tenders, have been ordered.

The fire was first reported at 2:12 p.m. on Aug. 25 and the cause is under investigation. Currently there is no reported percent contained, nor is there an estimated date of full containment.

Cabin owners and those who had to abandon campgrounds during the evacuation as asked to call the Lowman Ranger District (208-259-3361) for information about when it will be possible to gain access to the area.

From: Zoe Purtzer <zpurtzer@yahoo.com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Subject: Re: Wilderness Volunteers-Sawtooth NRA Trip-August 26th-Sept. 1

Hi Rob,
Apologies for delay in response. Work has been busy. We took 3 volunteers up to the big horn Crags and they put in for the rest of the week on a backpacking trip. Darrell and I stayed up there until Thursday, then headed back to Boise to visit friends. When driving through Stanley, we noticed that the Sawtooth Wilderness area was still closed.

We are on the trip as leaders for next year, but we have asked for earlier dates in August. Wilderness Volunteers will arrange the trip dates and release them before Xmas. I’ll keep you in the loop. We wanted different dates, as the booking is slim during holiday times (Labor Day). We can get a full group booked, we can accomplish a considerable amount of work.

I’ll let you know the trip dates or contact Aida at Wilderness Volunteers if you have input for trip dates. I’m not sure who the FS contact will be this year, as Lies & Jay are both retired now.

Aida would know.
Hope you fall season is going well!
Be well and safe travels
Zoe & Darrell

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31. July 2018 · Comments Off on Ski & Mountain Trauma Conference (Saint Alphonsus) · Categories: Education

Ski & Mountain Trauma Conference (Saint Alphonsus)
Thursday-Saturday, November 1-3, 2018
Sun Valley Resort,   WEBSITE
If you are an EMT, paramedic, member of a search and rescue team, ski patrol or just love wilderness medicine and rescue—this is your conference! Hands-on simulation, workshops, advanced climbing, avalanche survival and so much more are sure to give your team the latest education and techniques to handle any patient situation in the remote wilderness.   Agenda

The conference will provide breakfast on Friday and Saturday as well as lunch on Friday.  See you in November!

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17. July 2018 · Comments Off on ITA-Baker Lake Pack Support (Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds Wilderness) · Categories: Public Lands, Work Parties and Projects

BCHI Pack Support: Trail 17.4 miles round trip, 2,751 foot elevation gain
Location:   Baker Lake – Little Boulder Creek Trail Head – East Fork Salmon River
Project Discription    Map1    Map2   Map3
Contacts: Jay Dorr (USFS) & Jeff Halligan (ITA)


The Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds Wilderness is part of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and was designated a wilderness area in 2015. It is situated along the Salmon River adjacent to the Salmon River Mountains in the Salmon-Challis National Forest and to the north of the Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness and the Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness. The Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds Wilderness is a special area due to its combination of sub-alpine lakes, abundant creeks, hiking trails and the limestone and metamorphic silicates which give the mountain peaks its striking white appearance. There are numerous spectacular mountain peaks includinf Propsect Point, Robinson Bar Peak, Lookout Mountain, Watson Peak, O’Calkens Peak, David O. Lee Peak, Merriam Peak, Castle Peak and Blackman Peak, many of which are over 10,000 feet in elevation. There is incredible fishing in the dozens of clear sub-alpine lakes in the area including the Big Boulder Lakes and Boulder Chain Lakes, The Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds Wilderness is host to many beautiful creeks including Blind Creek, Elk Creek, Warm Springs Creek, Beaver Creek, Germania Creek, Little Boulder Creek, Chamerlain Creek, Bear Lake Creek and many more. The hiking season is short with the alpine wildflowers bringing the area alive with color in the months of July and August. There are fabulous opportunities for viewing the scenery, plants and wildlife in this beautiful and very special wilderness. The Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds Wilderness offers opportunities for recreational, scenic, scientific, educational, conservation and historic purposes. Motorized vehicles and bicycles are not allowed in any designated wilderness areas. MAP:

History of Mining in the area and how the SRA came to be!     MINE MAP      Baker Lake Claim
On Friday August 10 Jeff and Rob drove up to the Little Bolder trail head to secure camping space for the rest of the BCHI crew, Phil Ryan, Bill Conger, Janelle Week & David Benson. On Saturday Phil, Bill & Janelle drove up. David truck broke down east of Lowman and he had an adventurous weekend getting his stock home and his truck into a repair shop.The drive is around 4 1/2 hours from Horseshoe Bend, all but the last 3 miles on good paved roads.On Saturday Rob and Jeff each packed up three pack stock and took the kitchen and tools up the mountain.    When we got back to the trail head, the rest of the team was setting up. We grilled steak and potatoes for dinner and were in our sleeping bags early as we knew we would have a busy day on Sunday. The ITA volunteer crew started arriving right after we had breakfast and it didn’t take long to pack up their stuff.  The ITA crew received a pre-project briefing while we loaded our stock and got headed up the mountain

The BCHI crew made good time up the 8.7 miles and 2571 elevation gain to the camp site at Baker lake and had our stock unloaded and a quick lunch before heading back down the trail.

Back in camp the stock napped in the shade while we enjoyed a cool beverage and shared stories.On Saturday August 18 we will again be riding out of the trail head to pick up the ITA crew. More to Come!

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16. July 2018 · Comments Off on ITA – Farley Lake Pack Support (Sawtooth Wilderness) · Categories: Public Lands, Work Parties and Projects

The blue line is our track from Tin Cup trail head to the crew camp by a waterfall west of Farley Lake.
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Tin Cup Trail head, east of Pettit Lake.Jeff and I arrived on Friday and set up camp at Tin Cup. We then sorted out five loads that we wanted to get up to the trail crew camp on Saturday along with the cook, Mary Jo.We got under way around 09:00 with me towing three pack horses and Jeff towing two and Mary Jo riding. The trail while rocky is in good condition and passes through some very pretty country. Horse and deer flies were a problem, with spray seeming to have minimal effect.The trail crew camp is just short of six miles in with a elevation gain of around 1250 feet.  Wild flowers were at their peak.

We made the ride up 2 1/2 hours and the return in just over 2 hours. On Sunday the crew would be arriving with their stuff at 10:00 and there were still loads that we didn’t get up on Saturday. Phil Ryan arrived Saturday afternoon and would be helping with the packing on Sunday. He brought two pack stock. On Sunday morning Rob packed up three more loads and was on the trail by 08:30. Jeff and Phil meet the trail crew, collected their stuff and were on the trail by 11:00.By 13:30 all the equipment and personal gear was at the trail camp and by 15:00 all the stock and packers were back at Tin Cup and packing up for the trip home.On Saturday July 21 Squaw Butte members Rob Adams, David Benson and Mike Heilman and Treasure Valley member Leah Osborn, joined Jeff Halligan to pack out the ITA trail crew that had been working up at Farley lake.

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09. July 2018 · Comments Off on Bull Trout Lake Weekend · Categories: Horse Camping, Work Parties and Projects

Turn off highway 21, just past Banner summit on a gravel road, look for the Bench Creek camp ground sign.

More Pictures Three trails ridden, fishing, amazing food, and interesting conversations around the camp fire, a totally awesome weekend!

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25. June 2018 · Comments Off on Yellow Jacket Trail Head Project · Categories: Around The Campfire, Work Parties and Projects

Yellow Jacket trail head is south east of Cascade, Idaho. You get there by taking the warm lake road to the west side of the lake and driving south for seven miles on a series of gravel forest service roads. It is a popular area with a number of camping locations, interesting trails and good fishing.  Video    See More Pictures The camp site we used is on the South Fork of the Salmon river and is large enough that multiple groups can use it. There is good access to water for the stock and trees for high-lines.  There is plenty of room for a number of trailers.Ten members of Squaw Butte signed up for this event, Janelle & Troy Weeks, Kelly Ragland, Shelly Duff, David Benson, Charles & Lorraine Chick, Fanny Berki, Shannon Schantz, Nancy Smith
and Rob Adams. Joining us were three members of the Boise National Forest northern trail crew, Hailey Brookins, Tom Shearer and Anthony Snelling. With this large number of people and stock we broke up into three different trail teams. Some explored the trail and roads available from this trail head, while the trail crew tackled the Yellow Jacket trail. This area has experienced multiple fires and has sections with many dead trees that gravity had not toppled yet. This last winter, many of those trees came down.
The team encountered down trees the moment they crossed the river and that continued for the three miles of trail that they completed of this seven mile trail on Saturday. We ran out of time and energy, not trees. We cleared around 50 major trees with chainsaws and a lot of brush and smaller ones with hand saws. It is likely there are 50 more in the remaining four miles.

One tree fell dead center on a bridge, it did no damage, but required a number of careful cuts to remove it.

By 16:30 all but the fisherman had returned to the trail head. We were tired, but all had enjoyed their day in this scenic area of the Boise Nation forest. A shady spot was found, cold beer or other beverages were opened and stories of the day swapped. One group had found a large still standing tree that some fool had tried to cut down, but got scared and stopped before he made the final fall cut. The result was a very dangerous tree ready to fall down over the road. They reported it to a fire ranger who was looking to see if any of the lighting strikes from the Friday night thunder storm had started any fires. That tree will be removed first thing this week, likely by blasting. Dinner was excellent and the talk around the camp fire lasted until the last of the alpine glow left the mountains.

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14. June 2018 · Comments Off on National Trails Day Results · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

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12. June 2018 · Comments Off on COALITION FOR PUBLIC LAND · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

Keep It Public is a 501c3 non-profit organization run exclusively by volunteers. When you give to KIP, you help:

1. Build educational content about the American public land system
2. Direct hands-on conservation to assist our land management agencies
3. Provide a voice for sensible policy via direct advocacy

Whether it’s from a historical, constitutional, or economic vantage point, public lands are a national treasure. Given the amount of discord present in our society, we feel an obligation to demonstrate that individuals from a variety of backgrounds – be they recreational, industrial, or political – can come together over the unique and wonderful lands that belong to us all.

Join us in a united stance on behalf of federal public lands. #keepitpublic             https://keepitpublic.org/

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11. June 2018 · Comments Off on BCHA Website – New stuff · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


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10. June 2018 · Comments Off on Oregon’s Owyhee Canyonlands · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands


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09. June 2018 · Comments Off on Western Trail Rider – Blog · Categories: Around The Campfire

February 2016:

During the summer of 2012, I got together with an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while. As we sat and talked, he mentioned that one day he’d like to ride from Mexico to Canada on the Great Western Trail (GWT). That conversation planted a seed in the back of my mind (very fertile ground, due to a lot of dead and composted ideas back there), which took root and started to grow. I spoke with him several weeks later and together we decided we would give it a shot. As I started looking for information on the GWT, I was surprised at how little there really was. Apparently nobody had made the full trip in one shot before, at least not that I found documented. There were only wildly divergent estimates on the mileage, ranging from 3,000 to 4,500 miles, despite the fact that it’s only about 1,500 miles by roads (Google Maps), so estimating travel time is pretty much a wild guess. In fact, on the GWT website, I was the only registrant on the equine forum, so they made me an administrator. Read More

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More Pictures           Lou Ann’s Directions
June 2, 2018 was National Trails Day and Squaw Butte likes to make this project weekend fun for it’s members and to put our organization in front of the public. The Peace Creek trail head fits both of those requirements.  Working with Charlie Jarvis, the Boise National Forest trails supervisor, we got the camping site reserved for our team and planned a full day of trail clearing and sawyer education.

Thirteen members and seventeen stock meet at the trail head camp, most arriving on Friday night. Camp was set up and stock feed and then an ad-hock dinner was prepared and shared. Even with a nice camp fire, when the sun went down around 21:30 the air turned cold and all wandered off to their warm sleeping bags.  Morning came about 06:30 when the first of us got up and the stock noticed.  Soon they were all asking to be feed and by 07:00 coffee was being sipped around the fire.  Lisa had pre-made breakfast sandwiches which Bill warmed in the oven of his camper.  By 08:30 we were saddling up and when Charlie Jarvis arrived ready for our project safety meeting.

With 13 members plus Charlie and multiple packing stock, we broke up into two teams, one would work the main Peace Creek trail with Charlie and a second would work the lower valley trail that connected to the Devil’s slide trail.

Peace creek trail (blue) Devil’s Slide Trail (red)

Rob, Shelly, Lou Ann, Nancy and Shannon worked the lower trail, while Chick & Lorraine, David, Lisa, Phil, Charlie, Fanny and Jon worked the main trail.  Bill stayed in camp, fished and got some fire wood for our evening fire.

On Rob’s crew, Shelly did all the work while Rob took the role of limb swapper and sounding board as Shelly worked out her plan to tackle each down tree we encountered. Lou Ann helped with limbs and took all the pictures.  Nancy and Shannon arrived late and had a nice ride on the trail we had just cleared.

This tree had a complex bind and was stressed like a big spring, Shelly had to determine how to safely release the tension and then she could cut it up and remove it from the trail.
After 20 trees were removed and six miles of trail cleared, it was time to head back to the trailer for happy hour and munchies. The other team had arrived back just before us. They cleared a bit over 5.5 miles of trail, but didn’t clear as many trees, as a motorcyclist had started working the trail the weekend before. Charlie had wanted to survey general trail conditions and look at a rock slide that will need major work. After a great dinner that included pork tenderloin and moose, beers were drunk and stories swapped. If you didn’t cook, you helped with the dishes.

By 21:30 most of us had wandered off to our sleeping bags for a great nights sleep. Sunday dawned clear and not as cold, a great breakfast of onions, moose, eggs and potatoes, with home-made bread and hot coffee. Some headed for home and some of us took a fun ride before heading for our respective barns. This was a very successful project weekend and all who attended had a great time.

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23. May 2018 · Comments Off on Public Outreach – 2018 Spring Yard Sale · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Days

Each spring, Squaw Butte holds a public outreach yard sale at the Key Bank parking lot in Emmett, ID.  This sale is a way to fund many of the chapters purchased and training opportunities.  It is also very popular with the public, many who stop by each year to look for treasures and sometimes to bring items to donate.  Nothing has a price tag and all moneys are treated as donations that go into the chapters bank account.  Our Yard sale was held on May 19, 2018 which was a clear cool day wedged between days that had afternoon thunder storms.

During our leadership meeting in January we set budgets and estimate incoming money’s that will be available. This years sale was very successful and we expect our budget will stay in the black. Thank you to all the members who worked and to members and the general public for supporting this fund raising event.
The pictures were mostly taken while we were setting up and before the bus loads of shoppers arrived. Link to Video

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13. May 2018 · Comments Off on USFS Intermountain Region (4) Contacts · Categories: Public Lands

Intermountain Regional Office

Nora Rasure – Regional Forester
Dave Rosenkrance – Deputy Regional Forester
Mary Farnsworth – Deputy Regional Forester
324 25th Street
Ogden, UT 84401

Region 4 Communication Contacts

Tammy Wentland
Director (Acting)
324 25th St
Ogden, UT 84401

Andy Brunelle
Idaho State Liaison
350 N. 9th St., Suite 102
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 334-1770

Boise National Forest

Venetia Gempler
Acting Public Affairs Officer
1249 South Vinnell Way, Suite 200
Boise, ID 83709
(208) 373-4105

Linda Steinhaus
Public Affairs Specialist web
(208) 373-4106

Payette National Forest

Brian Harris
Public Affairs Officer
800 West Lakeside Avenue
McCall, ID 83638
(208) 634-0784

Salmon-Challis National Forest

Amy Baumer
Public Affairs Officer
50 Highway 93 South
Salmon, ID 83467
(208) 756-5145

Sawtooth National Forest

Julie Thomas
Public Affairs Officer
2647 Kimberly Road East
Twin Falls, ID 83301-7976
(208) 737-3262

Boise National Forest
Tawnya Brummett – Acting Forest Supervisor
Kim Pierson
 – Deputy Forest Supervisor 
1249 South Vinnell Way, Suite 200
Boise, ID 83709

Forests in Idaho (Contacts)

Boise | Caribou-Targhee | Payette | Salmon-Challis | Sawtooth



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13. May 2018 · Comments Off on Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds and Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness Management Plan and EA · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

Release Date: May 8, 2018

Sawtooth National Forest,  370 American Ave, Jerome, ID 83338

Media Contact 208‐423-7559/731-8604

Julie Thomas   May 8, 2018

OPPORTUNITY TO OBJECT, Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds and Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness Management Plan and EA

Boulder-White Clouds – Order #0414-04-034

Sawtooth Wilderness – Order #0414-04-102

STANLEY, Idaho – The Sawtooth National Forest recently completed the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds and Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness Management Plan. The Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds Wilderness and Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness were designated through the passage of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act (P.L. 114-46) in August 2015. The project will establish, update, and provide consistent management direction for the Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds and Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness, situated on federal public land managed by the Forest Service.

For the Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds and Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness Management Plan, a scoping period took place where the agencies identified important issues and incorporated feedback into a draft EA. Interested parties were given the opportunity to submit written comments, which were reviewed, and now a final EA is available.

During the objection period, which is specific to Forest Service regulations, parties who have previously submitted specific written comments regarding the proposed project either during scoping or other designated opportunity for public comment in accordance with 36 CFR 218.5(a) and 219.16 have standing to object. Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted, timely, and specific written comments regarding the proposed project unless based on new information arising after designated opportunities. The objection period for the Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds and Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness will begin May 9, 2018.

The wilderness plan, EA, draft Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact (DN/FONSI), legal notice of opportunity to object, and other information are available for review at the Sawtooth National Forest Supervisor’s Office and at the Forest’s web site at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=49647 .

A hard copy of the wilderness plan, EA, and the draft DN/FONSI, can be obtained from: Sawtooth National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 370 American Avenue, Jerome, ID 83338, or comments-intermtn-sawtooth-nra-@fs.fed.us.

For further information contact Emily Simpson, (208) 630-3507 or emilysimpson@fs.fed.us.

For additional information about the Sawtooth National Forest call 208-737-3200 or visit the Sawtooth National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/sawtooth and like us on Facebook at. https://www.facebook.com/pages/US-Forest-Service-Sawtooth-National-Forest/986556001373037

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13. May 2018 · Comments Off on Sawyer Safety Workshop – 2018 · Categories: Education

On Saturday, May 12, 2018 Squaw Butte members Rob Adams, David Benson, Bill Conger, Janine Townsend, Lisa Griffith, Lynn Garner, Shelly Duff, Charles Chick, Chris & Bill Holt, Nancy Smith, Shannon Schantz, Luigina Klein and Phil Ryan participated in a Sawyer Safety Workshop. Charlie Jarvis, Supervisor of the Boise Nation Forest Northern Trail Crew, and Jascha Zeitlin, recreation manager for the western Payette National Forest attended, providing insight and great information in addition to the material covered from the Back Country Horseman of Oregon Sawyer Certification program.  Rob Adams & Charles Chick acted as workshop facilitators and all who attended felt the day was very worthwhile.  Video’s and materials used in this workshop are available on the chapter training page of the website.

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11. May 2018 · Comments Off on Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation – Spring 2018 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

Find out what we’ve been up to lately!
Attached is your Spring 2018 E-Newsletter from Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation. Our season will be starting soon, you can follow our activities via our blog at http://www.selwaybitterroot.org

2018 Spring News SBFC

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

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10. May 2018 · Comments Off on BCHI Annual Report 2017 Projects · Categories: Around The Campfire, BCHI /BCHA


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10. May 2018 · Comments Off on Save the Spot · Categories: Current Events

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08. May 2018 · Comments Off on BCHA/BCHI National Director Report, from Marybeth Conger · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

Marybeth and Cherokee Lighter

BCHA/BCHI National Director Report, from Marybeth Conger

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent BCHI at the BCHA annual board meeting. Next year the meeting will be in North Carolina.

The annual BCHA board meeting was April 23-25 in Spokane, Washington which is where Bill and I came from. Meeting highlights include a memorial for lost members, acceptance of all agendas, letters, and minutes, Wisconsin was voted as our newest state, there were 11 committee reports, and a budget was approved. I was very impressed to hear that BCHA combined volunteer hours were very close to 13 million and the budget included funds for education.

Erica Fern is a full time employee who handles administration to include data. She presented a brochure and a traveling booth for use at public out reach. Also heard about Your Membership (YM) and how BCHW piloted to have this computer platform handle their membership data. There is some cost if a state chooses to do that.

Ken Carmichael, BCHW then presented a membership expansion program that was impressive. States then divided into 4 regions to discuss issues that were then presented to the committees. Bottom line, feedback was given on how the committees can help us and what the priority of their actions should be. The committees then meet and decided action plans and next steps. It was Interesting to see that all board members are on at least one committee. After all, we need to be part of the solution, right?

There was a guest speaker from Trail master; a Retired Forest Service employee shared his knowledge, and lastly a presentation on the most effective way to contact politicians.

We then passed several governing policy changes, which was informative. Then there were nominations and BCHA leadership is as follows: Freddy Dunn, Chairman, Darrell Wallace, Vice Chair, Sherry Copeland, Treasurer, Non director Executive Committee (EC) member, Mike McGlenn, and two Board members to the EC, Mark Himmell and Ginny Grulke. There was some wording issue in the governing policy that said the past chair would be on the EC for one year. The board voted to have the past chair on the EC for 2018 and that a committee reviews this wording for presentation at the next annual meeting.

Bill even agreed to be the auctioneer at the live auction. He did a great job getting people to spend more than they planned, just ask Mike McGlenn next time you see him.

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04. May 2018 · Comments Off on Idaho State Brand Inspector – 2018 · Categories: Education

Link to Idaho State Brand Inspector      // Idaho Brand Request Form:    AppforRecordingBrand

Cody.Burlile@isp.idaho.gov     To Schedule a Brand Inspection Call: 208 459-4231 (Caldwell Office)

L&H Branding Irons

Texas Freeze Brands

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04. May 2018 · Comments Off on Southwest Idaho Resource Advisory Committee – May 2018 · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

May 2, 2018

Thanks for the opportunity to share our latest proposed veg management project on the Emmett RD of the Boise NF.

As mentioned in our presentation – I am looking for candidates who are interested in becoming a member of the SW ID RAC. This is the group that makes recommendations on how Title II Secure Rural School monies are distributed.

If interested, please complete the attached form and either email it back to me or send it to me at: Richard Newton, 1805 Highway 16, Emmett, ID 83617.

Please call if you have any questions.

Thanks again.


Richard E. Newton
District Ranger

P: 208-365-7001
C: 208-994-1268

USDA Forest Service
Emmett Ranger District
1805 Highway 16, Room 5
Emmett, ID 83617

Form to Fill Out: AD-755_FORM_southwest_idaho_rac

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29. April 2018 · Comments Off on Squaw Butte’s Woman Packing Clinic · Categories: Current Events, Education

On April 28, 2018 the “Git R Done” team of Janine Townsend, Janelle Weeks, Shelly Duff and Kelly Ragland, lead by Lisa Griffith planned and executed one of the best clinics that Squaw Butte has ever hosted. They arranged for guest Speakers farrier Joe Prince and Vet Daniel Dombroski to do presentation.  They arranged for a Hot Dog truck to be on site for Lunch and they spent hours working on presentations for a woman centrist packing clinic.  They divided the clinic up into four segments.  
 The first was Joe Prince’s presentation on what to do if you loose a shoe in the back country.  Participants asked lots of good questions and Lisa horse did a great job modeling her hoofs.The second segments was lead by Janine Townsend and was a quick but fact filled discussion of packing and tips and techniques. During Janine’s talk the rest of the team demonstrated items she was covering.

After their presentation, a lunch break allow participants to digest what they had learned and some of the best hot dogs I have had out side of a ball park.  After lunch three demonstration stations were set up and Marybeth Conger and Rob Adams assisted the rest of the team doing hands on demonstrations and answering lots of great questions.

Marybeth demonstrates how to manty up a body, a skill luckily,  I have never had to practice. Her presentation had every one at her station in stitches.

The final segment of the day was an “On the Trail” question and answer session with Dr. Dan and equine radiologist Dana Neelis.  The Vets covered what they think should be in our saddle bags to do on the trail first aid for our stock, what to look for and how to start treatment before we can get them to a vet.

If you attended this clinic you spend a fun and information packed day and left a bit over whelmed but raring to go try some of the things you saw demonstrated or got a chance to try yourself. If you missed this one, hopefully this team of woman will hold another one in the future!  More Pictures

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22. April 2018 · Comments Off on Wilderness First Aid & CPR Course 2018 · Categories: Education

On Saturday April 21, 2018 members of Squaw Butte spent a full day with members of the Bogus Basin Ski Patrol lead by chief instructor Karen Alfonso-King in a full day of Wilderness first aid and CPR.  While these pictures show us sitting down a watching, most of the day was spend laughing and doing.  It is just hard to be applying a splint or doing an assessment at the same time. All who attended the class left with their first aid knowledge expanded and refreshed and more confidence that should the need arise that they would be able to use their first aid skills to render assistance in the back country or in their back yard.

SAM Splints are one of the simplest and most versatile pieces of first aid equipment available so at least one should be in every outdoor First Aid kit.  A soft, malleable aluminium strip sandwiched in foam, the splints become fairly rigid once formed into a 3D shape, the more complex the shape, the more rigid they become.
Using SAM Splits     SAM Split Video #1  SAM Splint Video #2    Using SAM splints to Maximun Effect
  Detailed description of “STOP the BLEED” Steps
Wilderness First Aid P1 P2 P3 P4  P5 P6  Simulated Accident  Kit 
Evac Helicopter
 Medical Emergency Kit  P1  P2
Wilderness First Aid (WFA)  National Outdoor Leadership – NOLS

Suggested books to add to your Wilderness First Aid Library

Blog Wilderness First Aid Library

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17. April 2018 · Comments Off on Stop the Bleed! · Categories: Education

Detailed description of Stop the Bleed steps

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29. March 2018 · Comments Off on April 28, 2018 Squaw Butte Clinic · Categories: Around The Campfire

Squaw Butte 2018 Pack Clinic.PDF

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26. March 2018 · Comments Off on Analysis Shows 290 Million Annual Visits to Public Lands in Western States · Categories: Public Lands
 The Center for Western Priorities released a new report, 290 Million Reasons to Invest in America’s Public Lands, estimating that U.S. public lands in Western states see more than 290 million visits each year.

The report represents a first-of-its-kind analysis of total annual visitation to U.S. public lands in 11 Western states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Visitation to all types of public lands and waters administered by the four U.S. land management agencies — National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service — were considered in the report.


“We knew public lands are popular, but we were surprised to learn just how deep America’s love for our public lands runs,” said Lucy Livesay, Policy and Communications Manager at the Center for Western Priorities, who led the research. “To put it in context, 290 million visits is equivalent to nearly 90 percent of the entire population of the United States. It’s more than the amount of people who visited zoos and aquariums, watched the Super Bowl, or attended every NFL, NBA and MLB game combined last season. In a country with so many recreation, leisure, and entertainment options, our public lands take a backseat to none.”

According to the report, the popularity of public lands continues to grow. National park visits in the 11 Western states jumped from 81 million in 2006 to more than 108 million in 2017. National monument visits have nearly tripled since 2000.

The popularity of national public lands is a significant factor in their local economic impact, according to the report. A recent study by the Outdoor Industry Association found the outdoor industry contributes $887 billion in consumer spending to the national economy and supports 7.6 million jobs across the country. The positive economic impact of public lands is especially outsized in Western states.

Despite the enormous and growing popularity of U.S. public lands across the West, they are being funded and protected less by President Trump and his administration.

According to the analysis, funding for all federal land management agencies as a percentage of the annual discretionary budget has declined since 2000. President Trump’s 2019 budget proposes a 16 percent cut to the U.S. Department of Interior. At the same time the Trump administration has undertaken an unprecedented attack on public lands by eliminating more than 2 million acres of national monuments in southern Utah, an action facing multiple legal challenges.

“The way we fund and protect our public lands should reflect the high regard Americans hold them in and the value they return to our local economies and way of life in the West,” said Jennifer Rokala, Executive Director at the Center for Western Priorities. “That’s not the case today under the Trump administration and this report shows 290 million reasons why our policies and priorities need to change.”

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19. March 2018 · Comments Off on Forest Service Announces 15 Trail Priority Areas · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

Subject: Forest Service Announces 15 Trail Priority Areas

Did you know the Forest Service has designated 15 Trail Priority Areas as required under the National Forest System Trail Stewardship Act of 2016? You can read the announcement below. These trail priority areas should receive additional agency focus and be learning laboratories for involving partners and volunteers in trail maintenance. You can learn more about the National Forest Trails Stewardship Act on our website by clicking this link.

NWSA will help stewardship groups meet this challenge through our National Forest Trails Stewardship Funding. Check out the Trail Funding application and other program information on our website at http://www.wildernessalliance.org/trail_funding. Here you will find the application materials, Fact Sheets, and other information to help your organization put a project proposal together.

USDA Secretary announces infrastructure improvements for forest system trails Focused work will help agency reduce a maintenance backlog and make trails safer for users.

WASHINGTON, FEB 16, 2018 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the selection of 15 priority areas to help address the more than $300 million trail maintenance backlog on national forests and grasslands.
Focused trail work in these areas, bolstered by partners and volunteers, is expected to help address needed infrastructure work so that trails managed by USDA Forest Service can be accessed and safely enjoyed by a wide variety of trails enthusiasts. About 25 percent of agency trails fit those standards while the condition of other trails lag behind.

“Our nation’s trails are a vital part of the American landscape and rural economies, and these priority areas are a major first step in USDA’s on-the-ground responsibility to make trails better and safer,” Secretary Perdue said. “The trail maintenance backlog was years in the making with a combination of factors contributing to the problem, including an outdated funding mechanism that routinely borrows money from programs, such as trails, to combat ongoing wildfires.
“This borrowing from within the agency interferes with other vital work, including ensuring that our more than 158,000 miles of well-loved trails provide access to public lands, do not harm natural resources, and, most importantly, provide safe passage for our users.”
This year the nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of the National Trails Systems Act which established America’s system of national scenic, historic, and recreation trails. A year focused on trails presents a pivotal opportunity for the Forest Service and partners to lead a shift toward a system of sustainable trails that are maintained through even broader shared stewardship.

The priority areas focus on trails that meet the requirements of the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act of 2016, which calls for the designation of up to 15 high priority areas where a lack of maintenance has led to reduced access to public land; increased risk of harm to natural resources; public safety hazards; impassable trails; or increased future trail maintenance costs. The act also requires the Forest Service to “significantly increase the role of volunteers and partners in trail maintenance” and to aim to double trail maintenance accomplished by volunteers and partners.
Shared stewardship to achieve on-the-ground results has long been core to Forest Service’s approach to trail maintenance, as demonstrated by partner groups such as the Pacific Crest Trail Association and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

“Our communities, volunteers and partners know that trails play an important role in the health of local economies and of millions of people nationwide, which means the enormity of our trail maintenance backlog must be adequately addressed now,” said USDA Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke. “The agency has a commitment to be a good neighbor, recognizing that people and communities rely on these trails to connect with each other and with nature.”
Each year, more than 84 million people get outside to explore, exercise and play on trails across national forests and grasslands and visits to these places help to generate 143,000 jobs annually through the recreation economy and more than $9 million in visitor spending.
The 15 national trail maintenance priority areas encompass large areas of land and each have committed partners to help get the work accomplished. The areas are:

Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and Adjacent Lands, Montana: The area includes the Bob Marshall, Scapegoat, and Great Bear Wilderness Areas and most of the Hungry Horse, Glacier View, and Swan Lake Ranger Districts on the Flathead National Forest in northwest Montana on both sides of the Continental Divide. There are more than 3,200 miles of trails within the area, including about 1,700 wilderness miles.

Methow Valley Ranger District, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington: Methow Valley is a rural recreation-based community surrounded by more than 1.3 million acres of managed by the Forest Service. The area includes trails through the Pasayten and Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness Areas and more than 130 miles of National Pacific Crest and Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trails.

Hells Canyon National Recreation Area and Eagle Cap Wilderness, Idaho and Oregon: This area includes more than 1,200 miles of trail and the deepest river canyon in North America as well as the remote alpine terrain of the Seven Devil’s mountain range. The area also has 350,000 acres in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, the largest in Oregon.

Central Idaho Wilderness Complex, Idaho and Montana: The area includes about 9,600 miles of trails through the Frank Church River of No Return; Gospel Hump; most of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness areas; portions of the Payette, Salmon-Challis, Nez Perce and Clearwater national forests; and most of the surrounding lands. The trails inside and outside of wilderness form a network of routes that give access into some of the most remote country in the Lower 48.

Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico: The trail’s 3,100 continuous miles follows the spine of the Rocky Mountains from Mexico to Canada, including more than 1,900 miles of trails across 20 national forests. The trail runs a diverse route with some sections in designated wilderness areas and others running through towns, providing those communities with the opportunity to boost the local economy with tourism dollars.

Wyoming Forest Gateway Communities: Nearly 1,000 miles of trail stretch across the almost 10 million acres of agency-managed lands in Wyoming, which include six national forests and one national grassland. The contribution to the state’s outdoor recreation economy is therefore extremely important in the state.

Northern California Wilderness, Marble Mountain and Trinity Alps: There are more than 700 miles of trails through these wilderness areas, which are characterized by very steep mountain terrain in fire-dependent ecosystems that are subject to heavy winter rainfall and/or snow. As such, they are subject to threat from flooding, washout, landslide and other erosion type events which, combined with wildfires, wash out trails and obstruct passage.

Angeles National Forest, California: The area, which includes nearly 1,000 miles of trails, is immediately adjacent to the greater Los Angeles area where 15 million people livewithin 90 minutes and more than 3 million visit. Many of those visitors are young people from disadvantaged communities without local parks.

Greater Prescott Trail System, Arizona: This 300-mile system of trails is a demonstration of work between the Forest Service and multiple partners. The system is integrated with all public lands at the federal, state and local level to generate a community-based trail system.

Sedona Red Rock Ranger District Trail System, Coconino National Forest, Arizona: About 400 miles of trail provide a wide diversity of experiences with year-round trail opportunities, including world-class mountain biking in cooler months and streamside hiking in the heat of the summer.

Colorado Fourteeners: Each year, hundreds of thousands of hikers trek along over 200 miles of trail to access Colorado’s mountains that are higher than 14,000 feet. The Forest Service manages 48 of the 54 fourteeners, as they are commonly called.

Superior National Forest, Minnesota: The more than 2,300 miles of trail on this forest have faced many catastrophic events, including large fires and a major wind storm downed millions of trees in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in 1999. A similar storm in 2016 reached winds up to 85 mph and toppled trees on several thousand acres and made the western 13 miles of Kekekabic Trail impassible.

White Mountain National Forest Partner Complex, Maine and New Hampshire: Approximately 600 miles of non-motorized trails are maintained by partners. Another 600 miles of motorized snowmobile trails are adopted and maintained by several clubs. Much of that work centers on providing safe public access to the mountain and valleys of New Hampshire and Maine.

Southern Appalachians Capacity Enhancement Model, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia: The more than 6,300 miles of trails in this sub region include some of the most heavily used trails in the country yet only 28 percent meet or exceed agency standards. The work required to bring these trails to standard will require every tool available from partner and volunteer skills to contracts with professional trail builders.

Iditarod National Historic Trail Southern Trek, Alaska: In southcentral Alaska, the Southern Trek is in close proximity to more than half the state’s population and connects with one of the most heavily traveled highways in the state. The Chugach National Forest and partners are restoring and developing more than 180 miles of the trail system, connecting the communities of Seward, Moose Pass, Whittier, and Girdwood.

For more information about the USDA Forest Service visit http://www.fs.fed.us/.

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19. March 2018 · Comments Off on Fun Ride – Wilson Creek Trail Head · Categories: Fun Rides

On March 18, 2018 eighteen members and guest of Squaw Butte met at the BLM parking lot of the Wilson Creek Trail head. The area had been in a winter storm warning only 48 hours before but the forecast hinted at a few hours of blue skies and light breezes. It didn’t take long for stock to be saddled and warm hats to be found and the first of three group started up the trail. A loop was planned that went up the Wilson creek trail, then turned east and crossed the road and worked its way back to the trail head following a series of gullies and 4-wheeler roads.When all were back at the trailers after a nice four hour ride, finger food was shared and stories told. See more Pictures  See Video

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14. March 2018 · Comments Off on USFS Saw Policy Program Manager Region 1&4 (update) · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Education

BCHI Members,

Thank you so much for the opportunity to join you, the State Board of Directors and also members of BCHI at your annual state convention! It was great to meet you all and learn more about the great work the chapters are doing throughout Idaho, as well as share information and answer questions about the Forest Service’s saw policy.

I’m always amazed at the dedication and amount of volunteer and partner work that BCH members give – you are all very much appreciated not only for the time and talent you give, but also for your passion for public lands. Thank you!

Here’s some additional follow-up items for everyone:

• The first is a letter from our Regional Forester here in R1 announcing our new Northern Region Wilderness Skills Institute, that will be occurring in Powell, ID the week of May 21-25; additional information is also in this email if folks scroll below. If folks have an interest, I would recommend signing up soon, per the highlighted link below, as I anticipate the sessions will fill up fast.

• The name of the R4 Saw Program Manager is Brian Burbridge and he can be reached at phone: 801-531-5320 or bburbridge@fs.fed.us. I would recommend that local chapters first contact the primary ranger district staff that they work with to see about saw training opportunities locally; if none are available, the district staff can work with/contact Brian to see about setting something up or seeing where trainings are being offered that folks can attend.

• The R1 Saw Program Manager is Todd Wilson. He is working with local ranger districts directly to set up saw trainings so I would recommend that chapters on the Idaho Panhandle and Nez Perce Clearwater NFs work directly with their local unit contacts first or with BCH volunteer sawyers Jerry Lange and Joe Robinson re: setting something up.

o R1 (Northern Region) covers the Idaho Panhandle NF and the Nez Perce Clearwater NF

o R4 (Intermountain Region) covers the Payette, Boise, Salmon Challis, Sawtooth, and Caribou Targee NFs

o It’s important to note that BCH volunteer C level instructor or evaluator sawyers need to coordinate with local FS units to set up cutting areas for training; volunteer sawyers also need a letter of designation from the Regional Saw Program Manager in order to instruct/evaluate. The FS (either FS line officer, Regional Saw Program Manager, or delegated forest/district saw program coordinator) is the “certifying official” who signs the saw card, based on recommendations from the saw evaluators.

• Conservation United (www.conservationinsurance.com or phone (844-559-8336) is the company that, as of a year ago, sounded like they also offered insurance (workers compensation) coverage for volunteer and partner groups using volunteers. They provide insurance coverage for many youth corps groups around the country, including youth corps using veterans engaged in hazardous fuels reduction (i.e., chain saw) work, and they had indicated to me that they also can provide insurance for volunteers. Not sure current status/current policies they offer but folks might want to visit with them to see what they currently offer.

Hope this is helpful for folks. Again, really appreciated being able to share some information on the saw policy and spend some time together. I look forward to seeing you all again soon!

Informal Letter 1 Signature          Saw Policy Key Points – Volunteers and Partners

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14. March 2018 · Comments Off on Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute · Categories: Education

Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute

Apply to attend the 2018 Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute!

Where: Powell Ranger Station, Powell, Idaho

When: May 21, 2018 – May 25, 2018

What: A skills building opportunity for wilderness field staff.

How: Select a Track (1, 2, 3, 4 or 5) and a lodging option below and click on the Apply Now button to be taken to registration.

Deadline: The application period will close April 9, 2018 at 5:00 pm Mountain Daylight Time.

Questions: Contact Jimmy Gaudry or Heather MacSlarrow with questions.


The Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute is for agency staff and partner organizations that work in wilderness.  This week long course offers five levels of training, with plenty of time for networking and growing community in between.


The Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute offers 5 tracks, based on your level of experience and the skills you would like to gain.  Due to limited capacity, not every applicant may be able to attend their first choice Track.  Therefore, during the application process, you will identify your top two choices for which Track you would like to be in.  PLEASE NOTE the required pre-requisites for each track, and be prepared to furnish the appropriate documents and certifications when asked.  Information about each Track is as follows:

TRACK ONE:  Advanced Crosscut Saw and Axemanship; and Crosscut Saw and Axe Train the Trainer Course

PRE-REQUISITE: Letter of recommendation from line officer (agency staff) or direct supervisor (partner organizations).

Participants will learn policy, vernacular, OSHA requirements, delegations and designations as well as other requirements for navigating saw policy.  They will also learn about the new curriculum, new teaching aids, new methodologies and processes for saw training (1/2 day).  There will then be a field focus on axemanship, complex and precision falling, OHLEC, complex bucking, removing hung trees (with and without rigging) and following the new education methodology (1.5 days).  The newly certified educators will the put on a class for new sawyers (2 days).

TRACK TWO: Crosscut Saw B Bucking and First Aid/CPR


This session is focused on gaining the qualifications needed to be a crosscut saw B bucker.  Participants will also learn basic wilderness stewardship principles, leave no trace, horsemanship, and trail maintenance techniques.

The first aid/cpr session will provide participants with basic first aid and CPR skills required to work with a crosscut saw. 

The A/B Crosscut Certification Course provides students with both classroom-based instruction and field experience in the use of the crosscut saws and axes. Students will learn how to safely utilize these tools in a trail maintenance capacity. The course will cover tool history, best practices in the field, one-on-one instruction in tool use in the field, tool care, safety, and transportation of the tools. Successful completion of this course is required to use these tools on national forest lands while participating in stewardship efforts.

Participants will also learn/review basic wilderness stewardship principles, leave no trace, horsemanship, and trail maintenance techniques. 

This is a field based course so come with appropriate outdoor gear and a sack lunch both days.  If you have a favorite set of tools please bring those as well.

TRACK THREE: Crosscut Saw B Bucking and Basic Trail Maintenance


This session is focused on gaining the qualifications needed to be a crosscut saw B bucker.  Participants will also learn basic wilderness stewardship principles, leave no trace, horsemanship, and trail maintenance techniques.

The basic trail maintenance session will provide…

The A/B Crosscut Certification Course provides students with both classroom-based instruction and field experience in the use of the crosscut saws and axes. Students will learn how to safely utilize these tools in a trail maintenance capacity. The course will cover tool history, best practices in the field, one-on-one instruction in tool use in the field, tool care, safety, and transportation of the tools. Successful completion of this course is required to use these tools on national forest lands while participating in stewardship efforts.

Participants will also learn/review basic wilderness stewardship principles, leave no trace, horsemanship, and trail maintenance techniques. 

This is a field based course so come with appropriate outdoor gear and a sack lunch both days.  If you have a favorite set of tools please bring those as well. 

TRACK FOUR: Beginner/Intermediate Wilderness Stewardship


This session will focus on the skills needed to be a wilderness ranger.  It will provide learning and engagement opportunities for a beginner to intermediate participants.  This session will include fundamentals related to the wilderness act and wilderness character monitoring.  Basic wilderness stewardship principles, roles of the wilderness ranger, making public contacts, backpacking skills, leave no trace, horsemanship, and trail maintenance techniques will also be a part of the session. 

TRACK FIVE:  Intermediate/Advanced Wilderness Stewardship


This session will focus on the skills needed to be a wilderness ranger.  It will provide learning opportunities for the intermediate/advanced participants.  A deeper dive into wilderness policy and law, wilderness stewardship performance, and wilderness character monitoring will be included.  It will also allow participants to take on thought provoking topics related to emerging issues, volunteer project management, and minimum requirements decision guides.  Since this is a more advanced session the participants may be asked to lead a session or discussion. 


There are two types of lodging available – tent camping (nestled amongst the pines and under the stars on the banks of the Wild and Scenic Lochsa River), or indoor bunkhouse style lodging.  There are a limited number of indoor spaces.  Please state your preference when submitting your application, and tell us about any special accomodations you may need.


Food is not provided.  It will be up to each participant or participant group to furnish their own food.  There is limited indoor cooking space, as well as outside areas suitable for camp stoves, grills, and fires.

What to Bring, How to Get There, and More Information

An informational packet will be mailed to all participants at least two weeks prior to the start of the Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute that lines out what to bring, how to get to training, and more important information.


Application Period: March 9, 2018 – April 9, 2018

Application Review: April 9, 2018 – April 22, 2018

Applicant Notification: April 23, 2018

Informational Packet E-Mailed to Participants: May 7, 2018

Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute: May 21, 2018 – May 25, 2018



Subject: Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute – Applications Due by April 9

Please share with employees and partners.  See link for more information.

The Northern Region will host the Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute (NRWSI) in cooperation with partners from across the Region. The dates for the NRWSI will be May 21 – 25, and it will be held at the historic Powell Ranger Station in Powell, Idaho.

This training is open to all Forest Service employees and partners. There may be a need to limit the number of participants in each session. Applying early is highly encouraged.

Applications may be submitted until April 9, 2018. A description of the sessions are offered along with application information can be found at Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute.

For information concerning the NRWSI, contact Jimmy Gaudry at jcgaudry@fs.fed.us, Kent Wellner at kwellner@fs.fed.us, or Joni Packard at jpackard@fs.fed.us.

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11. March 2018 · Comments Off on 2018 BCHI Spring Convention – Clarkston, WA · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

The 2018 BCHI Spring Board Meeting & Convention was hosted by the “Twin Rivers” chapter in Clarkston, WA.( Clarkston is a city in Asotin County, Washington, United States. It is part of the Lewiston metropolitan area, and is located west of Lewiston, Idaho, across the Snake River. The population of Clarkston was 7,229 in 2010 census.) The Board Meeting was held on Friday March 9th and was attended by members, Bill & Marybeth Conger, Phil & Kay Ryan, Lynn & Peggy Garner.  Bill Holt attended the BCHI Foundation meeting during the same time.

Rob Adams arrived around 16:30 just at the meeting was breaking up and joined the group with the addition of Christ Holt for happy hour. During the social hour members from the various chapter swapped stories and planned where to get dinner.

Starting sharply at 08:00 Saturday morning, Bill Conger graveled the convention to order and issues talked about at the board meeting were voted on. A guest speaker from district one of the USFS talked about progress being made on the national sawyer program and how both district one and four were doing implementing it. Jeff Halligran from the “Idaho Trails Association” talked about his organization, requested help with packing support, and gave an interesting presentation on cross cut saws.

Lunch was served and the afternoon was spent in various training sessions, and group discussions. While all this was going on, BCHI members were checking out the auction items.  After a great dinner of either prime rib or seasoned chicken breast, the winners of the chapter displays and photo contests were announced.

Squaw Butte was awarded second place in the chapter displays (see other displays) and took top honors in the photo contest.

Laurie Bryan took both first and second prizes for her photo’s of Janelle Weeks & Shelly Duff. David Benson’s mule picture took a first place in the animal division and Rob Adams picture of Payette sticking his tongue out won third prize.
The auction followed, with lively bidding that was somewhat hampered by the high noise level in the room. Some great items were taken home by members and the coffers of the foundation were expanded.

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08. March 2018 · Comments Off on USFS Woman – A PBS New Hour Report · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

They reported sexual harassment. Then the retaliation began


Michaela Myers said she was first groped by her supervisor after a crew pizza party last summer, shortly after starting a new job as a firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service. She was 22 and excited about the job. She had worked out diligently to prepare for the season, running and hiking with a heavy pack. She is from the Pacific Northwest, and had always loved the outdoors and a challenge.

She remembers her supervisor, Drew DeLozier, a Forest Service veteran, offering her beers at a crew member’s house after dinner. He told her he was glad she was on the crew because she was “sexy” and had “a nice ass,” she said. According to her account, he led her to a couch, rubbed her butt as she sat down, and slid his hand between her legs. Myers was shocked and upset, but didn’t stop him. She had heard from other crew members that DeLozier could fly off the handle, and didn’t want to make a scene.

“You don’t feel like you can say ‘no’ loudly to your supervisor,” she said. “I keep looking back on it and wishing I could have just punched him or something.”According to Myers, the harassment and groping continued for the rest of the summer. When she confided in a fellow crew member, he told her this was an unfortunate reality for a female firefighter. She had a choice, she recalls him saying: report it and face retaliation, or do nothing and stay in fire.

But in September, after the end of her three-month season in Oregon, Myers had enough. She reported the harassment to the United States Department of Agriculture, the Forest Service’s parent agency. In October, she provided a sworn statement to a USDA investigator detailing all the allegations. At first, Myers found the Human Resource department’s response encouraging. She was optimistic action would be taken. But two months later, the Forest Service sent her a letter that said the investigation was complete, no misconduct had been found, and the case was closed.

Myers was furious.

“This means they don’t believe me that I was sexually harassed,” she said. “Or they don’t care.”

When reached by phone, DeLozier, who still works for the Forest Service, said he was made aware of the allegations. “I was cleared of all wrongdoing,” he said.‘We all live in this fear’
Harassment of women in the Forest Service has been a problem for years. As far back as 1972, women have joined together to file class action complaints and lawsuits about gender discrimination and sexual harassment. More recently, in 2016, a congressional hearing was held to address the problem within the Forest Service’s California workforce, which had also been the focus of previous complaints. The PBS NewsHour investigated what’s happened since then, and found the problem goes much deeper. READ MORE

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06. March 2018 · Comments Off on 2018 Idaho Sportsman Show · Categories: Around The Campfire, BCHI /BCHA

Guides, outfitters, Public land agencies, non-profits and sportsmen of all stripes converge here for a gear-filled good time. With tips on fishing, hunting, elk calling, and more, there’s plenty to do for those who chase the call of the wild. There’s even stuff for the kids with an archery shoot, live trout pond, and other fun things to hunt out.

For the four days of the Idaho Sportsman show, members from three BCHI Chapters and members of the Idaho Trail Association manned a booth on the east end of row “D” next to the US Forest Service Booth at Expo Idaho (fair grounds). These trail ambassadors handed out information about volunteer trail work and their organizations and talked to many of the shows visitors.

It was also a good time to hang out with other chapter members and talk about the upcoming year.   Members of BCHI who participated: Janelle Weeks, Lisa Krogh, Jim & Bonnie Fox, Gary & Ann Hale, Dan Pryse, Lynn & Peggy Garver, Carmen Tyack, Bill and Marybeth Conger, Nancy Smith, Shannon Schantz, Gary Towle, Donnie & Erin Thornugh, Paul & Jill George, David Benson, Phil & Kay Ryan, Joe Williams, Janine Townsend, Bill Holt, Dick Peterson and Rob Adams.  Bryan DuFosse coordinated the ITA members who worked the booth.

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06. March 2018 · Comments Off on Where the Wild Things Are – Trailmeister Feb 2018 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides

Last August in Idaho a woman was attacked by a bear. For weeks afterward, local newspapers printed page upon page about the encounter, warning their readers that dangerous animals were prowling the countryside. What if you were planning a ride or a horse camping trip when you read about this attack? Would you stay home, take extra precautions, or venture elsewhere?

The great counterweight to the lure of the outdoors is the fear of the unknown. What if the weather turns for the worse? What if my horse acts up? What if I become lunch for a grizzly?

Here’s the hard truth. Most people spend entirely too much time and energy worrying about menacing—but low-chance threats like bears, cougars, and wolves, and not nearly enough thought concerning themselves with the dull and common dangers like bees, blisters, and hypothermia. To confirm this theory, take a quick test. How many times have you been mauled by a bear or a mountain lion? Now compare that figure with the number of times you’ve forgotten a piece of tack, dealt with an unruly horse, or encountered bees on a ride.One reason that riders and campers worry about the wrong things is largely the fault of the media, and writers like me. Adding the phrase “When Grizzlies Attack!” to a title sells more magazine copies, even if your chance of having a stand-off with a bear is much less than that of having a winning lotto ticket magically appear in your saddlebags.

I’m not suggesting that you ignore potential threats like bears, wolves, and cats, but to drop them a few rungs down the worry list. Obviously, if you’re riding or camping in an active bear area, take sensible precautions like making noise, bear-bagging your food, and avoiding huckleberry thickets. But don’t fixate so much on these critters that you spook at every rustle of the leaves, or even worse, fail to enjoy the ride and the trip. It all comes back to the most important outdoor skill anyone can practice: common sense.

Ignoring the hysteria can be hard to do and less than exciting. On rides with my wife, I’ve been guilty of pointing into the forest and reminding her that there are undoubtedly creatures watching us as they sulk in the darkness. For some reason, Celeste doesn’t seem to appreciate my wickedly keen sense of observation. Here are a few words to the wise. Firstly, don’t alarm your wife, husband, riding partner, or others with tall tales of the abundance of apex predators. Secondly, prioritize your outdoor concerns with the help of these two lists.

Pay More Attention to These…

  • Ensure that you and your animals are in shape and condition for trail riding. 610,000 people die each year from heart disease. When I get off and walk it’ because I need some exercise, not because I’m having a moment.
  • Desensitize your horse to scary situations you may encounter on the trail; such as hikers and bicycles, in a safe environment, such as an arena.
  • Wear a helmet. Using data from the National Trauma Databank between 2003 and 2012, researchers found that equestrian sports contributed to the highest percentage of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) for adults.
  • Keep bugs away by applying a DEET-based insect repellant. – According to the World Health Organization, in 2016 there were 94 deaths from the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus. And over 600,000 people die each year after being bitten by mosquitoes bearing the deadly malaria parasite.
  • Have an emergency plan in case a ride becomes “eventful.”
  • The non-human creatures that cause more American deaths than any other are bees and wasps. In a typical year, nearly 100 US deaths are caused by bee stings. This number is probably underestimated, as some bee sting deaths are erroneously attributed to heart attacks, sunstroke and other causes. FAST FACT – Though bees take the crown as America’s most lethal animal, they are not naturally aggressive creatures, and when they attack, they do so in defense against a perceived threat. The key to avoiding bee stings is to steer clear of hives and nests.

Worry Less About These…

  • Bears – Black and grizzly bears have been responsible for 48 fatalities over the past 20 years. Compare that to the 40,200 traffic deaths recorded in 2016 alone.
  • Wolves – These wild canids are much less lethal than man’s best “friends” which kill 30-40 people every year. Since 1900 wolves have been responsible for a total of 4 deaths in North America.
  • Mountain Lions / Cougars – There have been 25 cougar fatalities in the one hundred and twenty-seven years since records have been kept on the subject. Compare that to the 262 rodent spread hantavirus deaths since 1993.

Next month we’ll discuss preparing for your first backcountry horse camping trip. Until then visit www.TrailMeister.com for the largest and most comprehensive guide to horse trails, horse camps, and the tips and knowledge to enjoy them! In February, you’ll also find me teaching the tips and tricks of trail riding at clinics in Idaho and Tennessee. Check the website for details.

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21. February 2018 · Comments Off on Idaho Horse Council – Equine Brand Inspections · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events








From: Idaho Horse Council [ idahohorsecouncil@yahoo.com ]
Sent: Monday, February 19, 2018 12:00 PM
Subject: Idaho Brand Inspection

Members we need your help!

Representative Judy Boyle will be introducing a Bill soon that will eliminate the need to get a Brand Inspection on equine in Idaho.

She did not make the industry aware of this bill, nor why she felt the need to try and eliminate Brand Inspections for Equine in Idaho.

Please contact Representative Boyle and your legislature representative. It’s important the Industry for the following reasons to continue to have Brand Inspections. Please post on face book pages and email your equine friends and please Call or email your representatives.

Representative Judy Boyle jboyle@house.idaho.gov
Home (208) 355-3225
Bus (208) 355-3225
FAX (208) 355-3225
H602 Statement of Purpose         H0602 brand inspections
Value of Brand Inspections
Brands are livestock’s return address. They are important because:
• They provide evidence of ownership
• They deter theft
• They enable brand inspectors and law enforcement personnel to return stolen or missing livestock to their owners
• They help resolve conflicts over ownership
Deters theft
• Helps determine ownership
• Enables brand inspectors and law enforcement personnel to return stolen or missing livestock to their owners
• Prevents unlawful sale or transport of livestock
• Facilitates commerce by providing a system of checks and balances that is well understood and valued in the marketplace
• Helps protect the livestock industry by putting trained personnel in the field to keep an eye on the industry

Several of our surrounding States require a Brand Inspection to bring a horse into their State.
In case of a disaster how would we find our livestock?

If Brand inspection for Equine is eliminated the Idaho Horse Board would no longer be able to grant funds on a yearly basis ..Since 1989 the Idaho Horse Board has granted $478,495.for Research, Education and Promotion for Equine Groups in Idaho .

If she eliminated brand inspections on Equine then would they need to reclassify the definition of livestock as the law now exists. Equine may no longer be classified as “Livestock.”

Thank You
Debbie Amsden
Executive Director
Idaho Horse Council
(208) 465-5477


BCHI Chapters: Idaho Brand Inspection

Directors and Presidents, please encourage your members to contact their State Legislators regarding this purposed bill which I have attached along with Boyle’s Statement of Purpose for the Bill. Boyle states that passage of this bill would save the Brand Department $528,000 which I understand from a member of the Brand Board is not correct. I was told the savings would be about $300,000.

The important point to the $300,000 is that what we currently pay for our equine brand inspections does not cover the full cost of conducting these inspections. Therefore other brand inspection fees, such as cattle, are used to subsidize ours which means someday we should expect to pay our true costs.

Bill Conger
BCHI Chairman


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15. February 2018 · Comments Off on Trump pushes 90% cut to America’s most important public lands program · Categories: Public Lands

Here’s what the Land and Water Conservation Fund does

As part of a budget proposal that amounts to a Valentine to special interests, the Trump administration wants devastating cuts to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which has been called America’s most important conservation tool. Learn more here.

President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2019 federal budget proposal would cut the long-running and popular Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to the bone, reducing its budget by roughly 90%. LWCF was designed so there would always be money available for its core purpose of protecting land in order to complete national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and other protected sites, without burdening American taxpayers. For over 50 years, it has drawn on revenues from oil and gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf to pay into thousands of projects nationwide, gaining popularity across the political spectrum.

But despite broad bipartisan support for the program, billions of dollars have been diverted from the Land and Water Conservation Fund by Congress over the course of the program’s life to pay for unrelated expenses, leaving many outdoor projects unfinished and parcels of land unprotected. In recent years, funding for LWCF has hovered around one-third of the full authorized level, even as new pressures intrude on wildlands and shared spaces become developed, fragmented or otherwise damaged.

The Trump proposal would devastate this popular program already hanging on for dear life, representing the single largest cut in the already weakened Department of the Interior’s budget. We will ask lawmakers to reject Trump’s reckless budget and persist with a larger campaign to demand permanent reauthorization and full funding for LWCF.

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04. February 2018 · Comments Off on This year’s 40 years down the trail convention has something new for all you amazing BCHI members · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

This year’s 40 years down the trail convention has something new for all you amazing BCHI members, says BCHI Education chair, Marybeth Conger.

Saturday, March 10th from 1:00 until 4:30, there will be the first ever BCHI Chapter Member Training workshops. Training covers various chapter positions and other pertinent educational topics. These training workshops are listed below along with the name of the instructor.

Chapter President/ Vice President– Bill Conger and Rod Parks

Chapter Secretary– Debbie Samovar

Chapter Treasurer– Kay Ryan

BCHI Foundation and Amazon Smile fundraising– Chris Reed and Bill Holt

Volunteer Hours reporting– Rod Parks

Back country Horseman of America– Steve Didier

Idaho Horse Council & BCHI Website– Raenette Didier and Jill Nebeker

Chapter Education Chair– Marybeth Conger and Karen Kimball


Also, at the Friday, March 9th State Board of Director meeting, Steve Didier is presenting to the directors a training workshop covering State Director/National Director. Members are welcome to attend too. So please come join us at this year convention for some great learning, fun, and comradery . The workshop schedule will be posted on the BCHI website too. If anyone has questions, about the training workshops, please reach out to Marybeth Conger at b.mbconger@gmail.com.

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31. January 2018 · Comments Off on Utah’s approach to public lands won’t work · Categories: Public Lands

New Mexico exemplifies the risk of managing lands at the whim of local interests.

by Tom Ribe  Link to online Posting

Tom Ribe is a contributor to Writers on the Range, the opinion service of High Country News. He writes from his office in the wildland-urban interface in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Two days after President Donald Trump signed an executive order reducing Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by half, Utah Republican Rep. Chris Stewart introduced a bill in the House that would put local politicians in charge of the public lands cut away from the monument.

One tenet of conservative public-land policy orthodoxy is that local control of public lands will improve the wellbeing of local residents. Yet the movement to auction off federal lands or transfer them to state or county control has repeatedly run aground because public lands are overwhelming popular among Americans. Other conservative efforts have been sought to neutralize federal agencies.

Stewart’s Grand Staircase-Escalante Enhancement Act is one of these new approaches. If passed by the House, it would create a ‘management council’ made up of seven local county commissioners and state legislators appointed by the president of the United States. One member would come from the Department of the Interior. The management council would set policy for two small Bureau of Land Management national monuments and one new national park and preserve under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. The three areas lie within what once was the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument created by President Bill Clinton and managed by the BLM.

Stewart’s legislation states that federal land managers “shall adhere” to management plans created by the management council. If recent experience with a similar scheme at the Valles Caldera National Preserve in northern New Mexico is any guide, this approach is doomed to failure. Valles Caldera: About 1.25 million years ago, a spectacular volcanic eruption created the 13-mile wide circular depression now known as the Valles Caldera.  The preserve is known for its huge mountain meadows, abundant wildlife, and meandering streams. The area also preserves the homeland of ancestral native peoples and embraces a rich ranching history.

In 2000, after a 100,000-acre private parcel surrounded by Forest Service and National Park Service land came up for sale near Santa Fe, public pressure encouraged the New Mexico congressional delegation to buy it for the public. But Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., insisted that a presidentially appointed, mostly private-sector board of trustees set policy for the new preserve as an “experiment” in management. Federal employees would carry out the board’s policy.

Problems dogged the experiment from the start. Having the president appoint board members politicized the board. When Republicans controlled the House of Representatives, ranching-oriented board members were selected; when Democrats controlled the House, conservationists and academics ran the board. The federal staff had to answer to nine ever-changing bosses whose edicts sometimes conflicted with the federal laws that apply to public lands.

Stewart’s bill would ensure that only Republicans would be appointed to the management board — unless some seismic shift were to happen in Utah politics. Lands owned by all Americans would be governed by local people with local interests, and if the management council mandated policies that violated federal laws, the federal staff would have a choice of either violating the law or disobeying their local bosses. One can imagine the lawsuits likely to follow.

Stewart would clearly prefer to transfer these lands to county ownership. But that would run counter to strong public support for federal land management, and it would upset the tourism-oriented businesses that have thrived ever since Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument began drawing tourists and boosting property values.

Stewart is hoping to mollify these business interests by creating a new little national park. Yet this so-called park mandates livestock grazing and hunting and trapping, and it would be controlled by state game officials and members of the management council. The mandates could force the National Park Service to violate its own Organic Act, opening up both the management council and the federal government to lawsuits.

Stewart’s bill, which has three co-sponsors from Utah, mandates livestock grazing “in perpetuity” on all the lands in question, but makes no mention of administrative costs or the collateral damage of livestock grazing in a rocky desert where little forage grows. Grazing can be mandated, but what happens when there’s a drought?

The public in New Mexico, after 15 years, was frustrated with the “seat of the pants” decision-making by the board of trustees at the Valles Caldera National Preserve. In 2015, Congress transferred the preserve to the National Park Service, which imposed its standard management structure.

Stewart’s bill, combined with Trump’s evisceration of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, may advance conservative public-lands ideology. But neither action advances the interests of the public, and both create far more problems than they pretend to solve.

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31. January 2018 · Comments Off on 2018 Tow Ratings · Categories: Around The Campfire



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