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Girl Gone Wilderness 2011 – Elk Meadows, Frank Church (pdf)

Equines and Estrogen (My first Pack Trip – 2011) pdf

 

 

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Read more at Trail Meister

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Join us for a Dutch Oven dinner to celebrate National Public Lands Day at the beautiful ranch of ITA supporters Ken and Virginia Greger. Tickets are $12 each and include Dutch Oven lasagna (vegetarian option available), salad, bread, and dessert. After dinner, our host and cook, Ken Greger, will give a llama packing demonstration with his herd. The best part? There will be baby llamas! Come celebrate our public lands and give back to your trails. The number of tickets are limited so get your spot today! Ticket sales will close Friday, September 23.

Doors open 5:00pm, dinner will be served at 5:30pm.

BYOB: Lemonade and water will be available but feel free to bring your own alcoholic drinks if you’d like.

Location: Ken and Virginia Greger’s Ranch, 2011 S. Luker Rd, Kuna, ID 83634

GET YOUR TICKET HERE

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https://edits.nationalmap.gov/apps/gaz-domestic/public/all-official-sq-names

The U.S. Department of Interior’s Board on Geographic Names has voted to approve replacement names for 650 places across the West, including Idaho, that included the slur “sq—.”

The board voted Thursday to approve the replacement names, including 71 places in Idaho, as part of an effort to remove the term from federal use, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Department of Interior. Department officials said the term is used as an offensive ethnic, racist and sexist slur for Indigenous women.

“I feel a deep obligation to use my platform to ensure that our public lands and waters are accessible and welcoming. That starts with removing racist and derogatory names that have graced federal locations for far too long,” Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland said in a written statement. “I am grateful to the members of the Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force and the Board on Geographic Names for their efforts to prioritize this important work. Together, we are showing why representation matters and charting a path for an inclusive America.”

The vote came after the Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force spent months reviewing public comment and recommendations from 70 tribal governments that participated in the process, U.S. Department of Interior officials said. Overall, the task force received more than 1,000 recommendations for name changes, including several different recommendations for some of the same places or features.

The new names are in place effective immediately for federal use, officials said.

In Idaho, the changes included renaming 14 different streams named “Sq— Creek” and giving them new names that include Priest Stream, Chief Eagle Eye Creek, Pia Soko Naokwaide, Yeva Agai Naokwaide and Newe Waippe Naokwaide.

Other examples include replacing the name “Sq— Mountain” for two different mountains, which are now called Willow Spring Mountain and Spring Valley Mountain. Four other mountains named “Sq— Peak” were also renamed Santa Rita Peak, Wheatfield Mountain, Sierra Ancha Peak, and Porcupine Mountain.

The complete list of places with replacement names is available on the U.S. Geographic Survey website.

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Margaret Carmel – BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
Date: September 13, 2022

Picture it: You’ve just spent a relaxing, but tiring weekend hiking in Garden Valley and all you can think about is hitting the hay at home in the Treasure Valley.

But, as you come down Banks-Lowman Road you slow to a stop behind a sea of brake lights. Nothing moves for minutes at a time, until you can crawl ahead a car’s length toward the intersection with Highway 55.

This is the scene at the busy intersection many Sunday afternoons in the summer months as vacationers return to the Treasure Valley from getaways in McCall and Cascadee. The seemingly endless stream of southbound traffic creates long backups on Banks-Lowman Road as travelers are forced to wait for few and far between openings between cars to turn onto the highway and head south.

The Idaho Transportation Department has a study underway of the intersection to evaluate its options to address the backups, which should be completed later this year. The study will examine “viable options” to address the seasonable backups in the area and propose early designs for how to improve the area.

“It’s a major step in outlining the cost of a project and its prioritization in our long-range plan,” ITD spokesperson Jillian Garrigues wrote in an email to BoiseDev.

Flaggers work the intersection on holiday weekends to address traffic problems at the cost of $3,500 per day. In 2022 there were flaggers on the intersection for six days at a cost of $28,000.

But, the study, which was paid for with a grant from the Federal Highway Administration, doesn’t mean the project will get done. ITD would still need more funds to finish the final design, acquire the land to build the project, and complete the construction.

One of the big obstacles to working on the intersection is the one-lane bridge on the west side of the intersection that leads to a boat ramp on the river. Because of the one lane of travel on the bridge, it means cars turning in and out of the bridge need extra time to move in and out, slowing traffic.

2018 blog post authored by former ITD spokesperson Jake Melder said a stoplight would also slow traffic down, but in a different way than the current situation. When asked about the intersection, Garrigues pointed BoiseDev to Melder’s blog post as an answer to our inquiries.

“Another concern is that a signal will force the currently free-flowing traffic on ID-55 to stop,” Melder said. “This creates a queue. As that queue backs up, major safety concerns arise. Imagine a driver coming down the mountain going 55mph, turning a corner and suddenly coming upon break lights. A signal adds new safety and mobility concerns, with every bit as much risk of serious injury as the existing condition, and possibly more overall delay for travelers.”

A roundabout would also help ease the congestion at the intersection on holiday weekends, but they require a large area to operate in. This intersection is currently bounded by rivers and steep mountainsides, which ITD says leaves it little room to construct a roundabout. Roundabouts also require two lanes of travel in and out to allow for proper and safe passing, but the one-lane bridge complicates this because it wouldn’t have a way for two lanes of traffic to turn right onto the bridge. Boise County, not ITD, owns the bridge.

“Things are very tight with three of the quadrants bordered by rivers and the last hugging a mountainside,” Melder wrote in his blog post. “A roundabout would either require a massive bridge structure or significant carving out of the mountainside.”

The third option under study would add a third lane for southbound traffic open for left-turning traffic from Banks-Lowman. Then, once someone turns onto the highway they could use that third lane to gain speed and merge onto Highway 55.

This would require the construction of a new, wider bridge on the southern end of the intersection to make room for the third lane. In order to fit a wider bridge into the area, ITD would have to cut into the mountainside both north and south of Banks-Lowman to add space for the lane.

“The silver lining for this option is the age of the bridge on ID-55,” Melder wrote. “Though it is safe today, it will have to be replaced in the near future due to its age and condition. Replacing it with a wider bridge becomes much more cost-effective at that time. Currently, this bridge is not scheduled for replacement in our 7-year plans.”

ITD says the combination of relatively low traffic counts on the corridor and low rates of deadly crashes at the intersection makes it hard to get “the most bang for the taxpayers” buck.

In July, average weekday traffic at the intersection was roughly 10,400 vehicles, and the numbers climbed to 13,201 on weekends, split equally going north and south. This is up from 6,500 cars traveling this stretch on a typical summer weekday in 2018, as Melder reported in his blog post.

By comparison, 28,273 vehicles traveled past the old HP Campus on Highway 20 in July on the average weekday and 19,284 on weekends. On Highway 16 south of Highway 44, 22,149 vehicles moved through the area on an average weekday in July. Another 16,318 drove the stretch on the average weekend in July.

Melder’s blog post also reported only five crashes at the Banks-Lowman and Idaho 55 from 2013-2017, the latest data at the time of his blog post. Of those, two resulted in only damage to vehicles, two ended with minor injuries, the final crash had one “serious injury” and two people walked away with minor injuries. There was also a sixth deadly crash in 2018 where one person died.

ITD says at the time in 2018 the Banks-Lowman intersection did not rate in the top 1,000 intersections statewide for frequency and severity of crashes.

“As we consider all of these actions, we have to weigh the cost/benefit,” Melder wrote in 2018. “The long-range options explored above will cost tens of millions of dollars. And in the context of crash data and congestion, it is far from our highest priority. That does not eliminate the possibility of making improvements, it just makes it much harder.”

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SEE MORE PICTURES

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2022 PNWCG Hazard Tree Safety Alert

Field Guide Hazrd-Tree ID

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The following list sets forth the minimally acceptable number and type of first-aid supplies for first-aid kits required under paragraph (d)(2) of the logging standard. The contents of the first-aid kit listed should be adequate for small work sites, consisting of approximately two to three employees. When larger operations or multiple operations are being conducted at the same location, additional first-aid kits should be provided at the work site or additional quantities of supplies should be included in the first-aid kits:

1. Gauze pads (at least 4 x 4 inches).

2. Two large gauze pads (at least 8 x 10 inches).

3. Box adhesive bandages (band-aids).

4. One package gauze roller bandage at least 2 inches wide.

5. Two triangular bandages.

6. Wound cleaning agent such as sealed moistened towelettes.

7. Scissors.

8. At least one blanket.

9. Tweezers.

10. Adhesive tape.

11. Latex gloves.

12. Resuscitation equipment such as resuscitation bag, airway, or

pocket mask.

13. Two elastic wraps.

14. Splint.

15. Directions for requesting emergency assistance.

[59 FR 51672, Oct. 12, 1994; 60 FR 47022, Sept. 8, 1995]

The specs for the Type IV First Aid Kit

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The Greater Hart-Sheldon region straddles the Oregon-Nevada border and provides essential habitat for pronghorn, as well as hundreds of other sagebrush-dependent plants and animals. In 2016, the region supported more than 8,000 pronghorn. However, populations have declined since then, with the most recent count at 4,313 animals in 2019.

As information newly published by the U.S. Geological Survey highlights, this landscape is critically important to the future of North America’s “prairie ghost.” ONDA used this GIS data to create the map below, which highlights how much of the migration corridor lacks a strong protective status and how many miles of fencing still cross this corridor.


READ MORE

Pronghorn_Corridor_Mapographic_v7

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Many outdoor enthusiasts are increasingly aware of the impact that their actions have on the environment. In order to minimize their negative footprint, they know they should take certain basic steps whenever they camp, hike, or otherwise engage in outdoor activities. Unfortunately, the steps that people often take aren’t enough. When it comes to human interaction with the environment, even seemingly harmless actions may cause significant damage. Before embarking on an outdoor excursion, it’s important to understand what one should and should not do.

 

What Is “Leave No Trace”?

Leave no trace is a set of seven principles that minimize one’s negative impact on the environment when engaging in outdoor activities. The seven leave no trace principles are:

  • Plan and prepare.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  • Dispose of waste properly.
  • Leave what you find.
  • Minimize the impact of campfires.
  • Respect wildlife.
  • Be considerate of others.

People should follow these guidelines whenever they are enjoying the outdoors, regardless of whether they are engaging in activities that are reachable by car or backcountry activities that are only reachable by hiking, climbing, or boating.

READ MORE

 

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BY: CLARK CORBIN – AUGUST 29, 2022

Idaho public lands and forests are in line to receive $28 million for the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to put toward improvements and upgrades through the first two years of funding from the Great American Outdoors Act.

Enacted in August 2020, the Great American Outdoors Act is a five-year initiative that provides about $1.9 billion per year in federal funding from 2021 to 2025. Funding is split between the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Education for projects across the country.

Public lands managers in Idaho say money allocated through the Great American Outdoors Act couldn’t be coming at a better time.

“The biggest impact from the Great American Outdoors Act, for us, is really the ability to improve recreation sites,” Bureau of Land Management Idaho State Director Karen Kelleher told the Idaho Capital Sun in a telephone interview.

“Idaho’s population is growing, and that was supercharged with COVID when a lot more people moved to Idaho and a lot more people discovered the outdoors,” Kelleher said. “The timing of the Great American Outdoors Act has been really fortuitous. We definitely had a significant backlog of work that needed to be done on recreation sites.”

For the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years, the Bureau of Land Management in Idaho has received a total of $11.4 million from the act, said Serena Baker, the BLM’s deputy state director for communications in Idaho. That money should allow the bureau to tackle 75% of its backlog of deferred maintenance at recreation sites, roads and facilities across Idaho.

“We couldn’t normally fund these projects, but it’s allowing us to do bigger projects,” Rod Collins, a deputy state director for the Bureau of Land Management in Idaho said in a phone interview.

Work in the Treasure Valley and beyond

One of the projects allows the BLM to improve the water, sewer and electrical systems at C.J. Strike Reservoir, a popular fishing destination located in Elmore and Owyhee counties that has produced three state record-breaking fish in recent weeks, Idaho News 6 reported.

The bureau will use about $1.6 million from the Great American Outdoors Act to complete repairs at the boat ramp and boat dock and improve parking at Beehive Bend, a popular recreation spot along the Payette River near the town of Horseshoe Bend. Design of the project is scheduled to begin this fall, with repairs to follow.

Great American Outdoors Act funding will also go to road maintenance, campsite improvements and brush clearing at the Wolf Flats Recreation Area east of Idaho Falls. Wolf Flats is a popular, no-fee spot along the Snake River for fishing and camping.

Bureau of Land Management officials said that having five years of funding in the law allows them to focus on the design and engineering of projects in the first couple of years and move into construction and repairs in the remaining years. Projects were chosen from a database of work orders and condition assessment of sites that were prioritized and submitted to Bureau of Land Management headquarters. The amount of funding available allows officials to focus on replacing pieces of Idaho’s outdoors infrastructure that may have come to the end of their lifespan, like water systems, boat ramps or bridges.

“The public will really enjoy the sites more and be able to enjoy them, and we will be in a position where we can maintain them,” Kelleher said.

The Sun has previously reported on some of the Great American Outdoors Act projects, including improvements and upgrades at the National Interagency Fire Center facility adjacent to the Boise Airport.

Meanwhile, officials with the U.S. Forest Service identified $7.7 million worth of approved projects from 2021 and $9.8 million in requested funding and projects for 2022, according to a U.S. Forest Service overview of Idaho project and Intermountain Region press officer Marshall Thompson.

The largest of the Forest Service’s requested 2022 projects proposes spending almost $3.5 million to reconstruct Forest Service Road 214 on the way to Redfish Lake. Another proposed 2022 project aims to spend $2.2 million to improve six campgrounds in the Sage Hen Recreation Area in the Boise National Forest, Emmett Ranger District.

Timelines for completing construction vary from project to project, and some projects will take multiple years to complete.

Projects in the Boise National Forest

 

  • $75,000 for toilet replacements at the Buck Mountain, Troutdale and Penny Springs Campgrounds in the Boise National Forest, Cascade Ranger District.
  • $160,000 for improvements at the Edna Creek Campground in the Boise National Forest, Idaho City Ranger District.
  • $275,000 for replacing a timber bridge with a new prefabricated steel bridge at the East Fork Burnt Log Creek in the Cascade Ranger District on a popular road that leads to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.
  • $258,000 for reconstructing the water system at the Idaho City Ranger District’s housing compound used by fire and timber crews and permanent employees.
  • $189,600 to reconstruct the water system at a Boise National Forest, Emmett Ranger District administrative site that also includes a cabin that is available for the public to rent.
  • $275,000 for replacing the bridge Scriver Creek in the Emmett Ranger District with a nail-laminated deck that U.S. Forest Service officials said will improve safety and access.
  • $53,000 for trail maintenance and signs on the Yellow Jacket, 10 Mile and Silver Creek Summit trails in the Boise National Forest.

Total: $1.3 million in approved projects.

  • $58,500 for replacing the water system at the Huckleberry Campground in the Payette National Forest, Council Ranger District.
  • $83,876 for trail maintenance along the South Fork Salmon River Trail  in the Payette National Forest, Krassel Ranger District.
  • $70,945 for rerouting sections of the French Creek and Bear Pete Ridge trails in the Payette National Forest, McCall Ranger District.
  • $167,298 for replacing fire pits, picnic tables, grills, bathrooms and signs at seven developed campgrounds and several primitive campsites in the Krassel Ranger District.
  • $51,800 for replacing picnic tables, fire rings, signs and kiosks at the Last Chance Campground and Hazel Lake Campground in the Payette National Forest, New Meadows Ranger District.
  • $134,650 for rerouting 1.5 miles of the Little Weiser Trail in the Council Ranger District.
  • $269,000 for deferred maintenance and building repairs at the Burgdorf Guard Station in the McCall Ranger District.
  • $400,000 to replace the failed Jenkins Crossing trail bridge in the McCall Ranger District to restore public access to once-popular trails.
  • $95,095 to repair bridges in the Council Ranger District and Weiser Ranger District.

Total: $1.3 million in approved projects.

READ MORE

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Sept 2022 Mtg Flyer, Map & Directions

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Our ITA Youth Trail Crew Program provides opportunities for youth ages 14-18 to learn about the outdoors while building and maintaining hiking trails in a safe, teamwork-oriented environment.

Students will have the opportunity to live and work together in some of Idaho’s most wild places for a few days to up to a week at a time. Through this experience, they will build skills in teamwork and communication, as well as develop confidence in using traditional tools to perform trail maintenance. Our hope is this experience will inspire teens to become lifelong stewards and voices for their public lands and trails.

Our trips are led by experienced crew leaders who are passionate about the outdoors. These projects allow teens to meet new friends, try new things and explore Idaho’s best outdoor places.

ITA will provide all the meals and supervision for the week. Tents, sleeping bags, and pads are available. Crew leaders will have cell phones/radios in case of emergency.

Contact trails@idahotrailsassociation.org if you have any questions about our youth projects.

 

The Pulaski Users Group (PUG) organizes volunteer trips focused on trail maintenance, trail reclamation, and invasive species monitoring. Volunteers receive related training which equips them with the skills and knowledge to complete a variety of trail restoration projects. We aim to inspire community members to be stewards and advocates for our public lands.

We want to acknowledge that we work and live on the traditional lands of the Shoshone-Bannock People. We acknowledge that they have stewarded this land and these waters since time immemorial. We encourage you to check out this map to learn more about whose lands you are on.

x

xx

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19. August 2022 · Comments Off on Four Corners Fires – West Mountain – Aug 22, 2022 (Update) · Categories: Around The Campfire

4-Corners Fire – Aug 18, 2022

Aug 22 Update -1054963

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16. August 2022 · Comments Off on ITA – Old Saw – Aug 2022 · Categories: Public Lands

READ MORE

Squaw Butte did pack support for Anna’s project

Read More

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15. August 2022 · Comments Off on Alert – Chainsaws & Swampers · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

BCHI-Response Form

Alert-Chain Saw strikes to Swampers

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13. August 2022 · Comments Off on BCHA Public Lands – Labor Day weekend horse camp inventory · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

PDF:  Horse Camp Incident Form 030322

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12. July 2022 · Comments Off on Philips AED Pad Procedure Update · Categories: Education

AED – Pad Procedure Update due to gel issue

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11. July 2022 · Comments Off on Sulphur Creek Pack Support – SBFC · Categories: Around The Campfire, Work Parties and Projects

Join us on this pack support project!

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11. July 2022 · Comments Off on Who are these people and where are they? · Categories: Around The Campfire, Work Parties and Projects


The Answer

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11. July 2022 · Comments Off on National Wilderness Skills Institute 2022 · Categories: Education

The National Wilderness Skills Institute was held May 24 – 26, 2022 with training for wilderness seasonals and volunteers.  You can check out sessions below.

View Recorded sessions

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11. July 2022 · Comments Off on Forest Service and National Park Service Sign Sawyer Agreement · Categories: Education

The Forest Service and National Park Service now recognize each other’s training and certification programs.  The agreement between the National Park Service and the US Forest Service has been updated to recognize that “Each Agency will accept the saw program training, evaluation, and certification conducted under the other Agency’s program for individuals working under agreement for a volunteer partner or cooperator organization on lands managed or areas administered by each Agency.”

Read MORE Here

 

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11. July 2022 · Comments Off on Documentary ‘Scarred: Lessons from the Cameron Peak Fire’ · Categories: Education

Watch Video

Poudre Wilderness Volunteers Video Nominated for an EMMY
Several months ago, CBS KCNC-TV Denver aired a documentary entitled Scarred: Lessons Learned from The Cameron Peak Fire. It included several vignettes, one of which was about the work PWV is doing. As part of marketing, they teased out the documentary by airing extended versions of the vignettes prior to the actual show. The PWV story was aired first. Several of the video clips were provided by our Photo/video team and CBS was very complimentary of the quality we provided.

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07. July 2022 · Comments Off on National Public Lands Day – Saturday 09/24/2022 · Categories: Current Events, Education

The 29th annual National Public Lands Day celebration will take place on Saturday, September 24, 2022. The date is different every year, but it always falls on the fourth Saturday in September.

What is National Public Lands Day (NPLD)?

NEEF’s National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer event for public lands. It is held annually on the fourth Saturday in September. NPLD is also a “Fee-Free Day”—entrance fees are waived at national parks and other public lands. NEEF (the National Environmental Education Foundation) coordinates National Public Lands Day.

NPLD brings together hundreds of thousands of individual and organizational volunteers to help restore the country’s public lands. These are the places Americans use for outdoor recreation, education, and just plain enjoyment. The lands encompass national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, forests, grasslands, marine sanctuaries, lakes, and reservoirs, as well as state, county, and city parks that are managed by public agencies but belong to and are enjoyed by all of us.

Through volunteer service on National Public Lands Day as well as grant support to local organizations, NEEF helps ensure people of all ages and abilities have the opportunity to connect with public lands for recreation, hands-on learning, and community-building—now and in the future.  LINK TO WEBSITE

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07. July 2022 · Comments Off on Safety message Salmon-Challis NF about lightning precautions · Categories: Education

OSHA_FS-3863_Lightning_Safety_05-2016

lightning-myths

Lightning-Brochure18

Lightning Safety Topic 06-21-2019

Backcountry_Lightning_Safety

5 ways lightning strikes people

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06. July 2022 · Comments Off on SBFC – Newsletters & Blogs · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

The Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation is a community of wilderness minded and hardworking individuals dedicated to bringing citizens and youth to wilderness to work, live, and play. Since 2006, SBFC has helped steward the 4-million-acre Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, across Idaho and Montana.

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02. July 2022 · Comments Off on IWF – June 2022 · Categories: Around The Campfire

Earlier this month, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee released a draft report outlining an actionable plan – and associated costs – for removing the lower Snake River dams (LSRDs) and replacing their services. The report clearly shows removing the LSRDs is not only feasible but fiscally responsible to improve the region’s long-term infrastructure and to save Idaho’s iconic salmon and steelhead.  READ MORE

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29. June 2022 · Comments Off on Idaho 55 – Smith Ferry Project – June 28, 2022 · Categories: Current Events

On a crisp, late fall day last year, less than 200 feet made all the difference on Idaho Highway 55.

Just after 2 p.m. on November 18, 2021, a traffic safety vehicle guided a line of cars through the tight construction zone in the canyon alongside the picturesque Payette River. A rumbling sound rocked the air. High above the road, tons of material crashed down from the blasted cliff face and spilled across the highway.
The slide came a mere 150 feet from crushing the Traffic-Corp pilot car and any others following behind on their way through the Central Idaho artery. It took weeks for the road to reopen to traffic.

This was the second of three major landslides that closed the corridor over the course of less than a year from March of 2021 through January, disrupting traffic between the Boise area and Valley County for days at a time. The slides all occurred within the construction zone for ITD’s ambitious multi-year project to flatten the curves of the winding, crash-prone highway snaking through the canyon.

Inside this story:

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18. June 2022 · Comments Off on Sawyer – Accident Report · Categories: Education, Safety

Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak_Lolo IHC Tree Strike_RLS

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06. June 2022 · Comments Off on C Sawyer Recertification – very educational & challenging day · Categories: Education

On May 30, 2022 Charles Chick and I drove to Lowman to meet up with Todd Brown (BCHI, region 1, train the trainers sawyer) and Savanah Steele and some other USFS summer crew.  The purpose of the day was for Chick and I to renew our C certifications and to enhance our skill set.  Savanah team wanted to renew their B-Feller certification before starting the seasons work.  The day started with Todd picking a “C” bucker problem for Chick and I to work on.  While there were lots of down logs to cut, he needed to find one with a high level of complexity.  The one he found met that requirement not because of a complex bind but because it was located on a steep hillside and just getting there almost took climbing gear.  We made the climb, cut the log and completed that requirement, we then spent the rest of the day on mostly level ground, but the challenges just kept increasing.

One of the demonstrations was how to approach a hung up tree, so Todd ask that I intentionally hit a tree with one I was falling.  I succeeded almost to well with a direct hit.  Todd then explained a number of different ways to safely finish bringing the hung tree to the ground, the safest being to winch it out with a come-a-long.  I did my best to following his advice but the tree had other ideas and I succeeded it pinching my bar and the tree was still stuck.

While the rest of the team watch we tried to wedge it over without success.  As I was starting a second saw to try and finish the job, the tree made a large cracking sound and dropped to the ground taking my saw with it.  A new safety brake handle will be required to put that saw back in service.

When not cutting ourselves, Chick and I worked as instructors with the rest of the group, working on different skills and by the end of the day everyone had completed their requirements for recertification and were ready for the coming season. Thanks to Todd for making the drive down from Grangeville and working with the group.

RWA-2022-Sawyer Designation

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05. June 2022 · Comments Off on Peace Creek – What it must be like to be in BCH in coastal Oregon · Categories: Horse Camping

The weatherman indicated it would likely be a wet weekend, better than the holiday weekend last week, but rain was likely.  Friday was cloudy but dry so travel up to the trailhead was uneventful unless you got caught in the backup caused by a multi-car wreck between Horseshoe Bend and Banks.  If you were it could add an hour or so to your travel time.  By 18:45 everyone who signed up had arrived and set up their camps.  An improvised dinner was shared and Jenelle Weeks asked if we still had a set of dominoes in one of the chapter camp boxes.  A quick search turned up a double set.


One of the tables was set-up and members gathered to play or watch.  Play continued until  it  was  getting  to  hard  to  see  the  dots  on  the  dies.  Smiles and laughter were common and all enjoy the time together.  By 21:30 the camp settled down for the night.


At 06:30 the camp started to stir. As stock were being given breakfast those who’s humans were a bit slow where protesting that they had to wait. By 07:15 the tables were filling with items for breakfast and the smell of coffee and hot chocolate filled the air. As we were washing up, a few rain drops fell so people pulled on their rain gear as they saddled up.
A short distance up the trail was a large log suspended in the air above the trail, that just lit up Charles Chick and Rob Adams eyes. What a great training opportunity! Saw gear was unloaded and PPE was put on and the log was evaluated for binds and other hazards. A cut plan was developed and Rob and Tracy Zamzow did the saw work.

The rain steadily increased throughout the day and by 12:30, four miles up the trail the team found a place to stop, have a snack and head back to the trailers.  So this is what it is like to ride alone the pacific coast!  After reaching the trailers, the group consensus was that hot showers and  our own beds were what we wanted next so we packed up and made the trek back to highway 55 and home.  All the rigs were covered with mud by the end of the drive.  The rain was a factor on this project but didn’t in any way diminish the enjoyment of the weekend.

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05. June 2022 · Comments Off on June 2022 BCHA News & Updates · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

An electric bike rode into the backcountry. Now there’s a nationwide turf war

BCHA Encourages Chapters to Review USFS Memo “Best Practices for Managing Stock Use Sites at Developed Campgrounds” & Discuss with Local USFS Staff

 

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27. May 2022 · Comments Off on Western Riding Club – Equine Education Day · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

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27. May 2022 · Comments Off on lower Snake River dam debate · Categories: Around The Campfire


It seems the lower Snake River dam debate is always one side against the other: fish versus agriculture, hydropower versus alternatives, or “my science” versus “your science”. The question is: Who is actually winning?

We know fish and fish reliant communities aren’t. There are annual discussions about what restrictions will be put in place for fishing: shortened seasons, reduced limits, or entire stretches of water closed to fishing all due to worsening fish returns. Our hatchery system was built specifically to mitigate the loss of harvestable wild salmon and steelhead to the hydropower system, but increasingly we worry if we’ll have enough hatchery fish return to provide minimum broodstock needs, let alone a recreational fishery. Luckily, this year’s spring chinook return is looking better than previous years and is forecasted to be near Idaho’s ten-year average. This is good news, but combining wild and hatchery goals for a healthy and harvestable population set by the Columbia Basin Task Force, we’re forecasted to be about 25% of Idaho’s 217,000 fish goal.

Shippers seem to be making out well, but only because the rest of us pay for it. Wheat is the main commodity shipped through the lower four Snake River dams, about 90% of which is shipped overseas. Our taxpayer dollars currently prop up every barge – the latest estimates are well over $30,000 per barge – to keep river transportation cheap. I’m not saying the dams don’t provide value to those who barge, but it comes at a cost to taxpayers. Our dollars keep shipping cheap, not the barges themselves. Why not take those dollars and use them in a way that will boost the area’s economy through necessary infrastructure upgrades that help fish and support rural river communities at the same time? If we consciously choose a system that has so few winners at everyone else’s expense, then we have a system that is failing us all. If there is a way to provide transportation services for farmers that don’t impact their bottom line and get our fish back – and there is – let’s do that.

Even power consumers aren’t really winning. Much of Idaho’s power comes from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), a federal power marketing administration required to sell energy at cost. BPA is currently about $15 billion in debt, and recently had its borrowing authority more than doubled to accommodate its coming debt growth. This should concern BPA customers, whose rates are slowly rising in an attempt to pay off that debt. Yet another cost is borne by us all. Not to mention 30% of each BPA bill goes towards projects aimed at recovering fish, an effort that simply hasn’t worked.

Our current system clearly has many losers. Don’t we want this to change? Bypassing the lower Snake River dams would cost money, but it wouldn’t be wasted. It could transform the region. The investments for infrastructure, energy, and fish would be a boon for our communities, providing economic diversity and resiliency. The jobs created would give our young people the opportunity to stay here instead of them leaving to make the money necessary to raise and support a family.

Washington state, Oregon and Washington D.C. are currently looking at potentially bypassing the lower Snake River dams. I for one would like to see Idaho’s interests at the table advocating for us, rather than sitting on the sidelines and watching our future be decided by someone else. We need long-term, durable solutions that make everyone whole. I believe this is possible and then, for once, we can all win.

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23. May 2022 · Comments Off on 2022 Stanley Sawyer Workshop · Categories: Education


Sawyer Workshop – Stanley

VIDEO

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23. May 2022 · Comments Off on Saw Training – Emmett Rough Riders ATV/UTV · Categories: Education


Sawyer Field Day (Emmett Rough Riders)

VSI Video

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23. May 2022 · Comments Off on R4 Saw Partners May 18, 2022 Call · Categories: Education

Partners Powerpoint 5_18_22
R4 Saw Contacts_5_22

 

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23. May 2022 · Comments Off on Out Horse your Email · Categories: Around The Campfire


Vacation was an ailing concept before the pandemic; covid finished it off. Oh, we still go places, but we never really leave work behind. Whether canoeing, hiking, snorkeling, spelunking or just suntanning, we’re always saddled with answering emails from the office.

Is this writerly chore really inescapable? Neigh. The good people of a small northern nation have a solution: “Let the horses of Iceland reply to your emails while you are on vacation!”

In a gorgeous (and hilarious) public service announcement posted yesterday, the Icelandic tourist bureau offers the services of three equine secretaries:

  • Litla Stjarna: Types fast, but might take a nap.
  • Hrímnir: Assertive. Efficient. Shiny hair.
  • Hekla: Friendly, trained in corporate buzzwords.

The service – “Outhorse Your Email” – reins in all your correspondence and sends it to a coastal field at the foot of snow-capped mountains. There, majestic horses tap out replies to your emails on a giant keyboard. Or sometimes, they just gallop across the keyboard, which I’ve decided is the way I’m going to start responding to certain people’s messages.

Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir, the head of Visit Iceland, the country’s tourist information bureau, tells me, “The idea, of course, was a bit out there when we first heard this, but we trust the process.” (How Iceland’s horses learned to type emails.) She and her team were responding to surveys that suggest 65 percent of people look daily at their work email even while on vacation. “So we thought, ‘Okay, here’s a problem. Is there something that Iceland can offer to help?’ And so we employed three Icelandic horses to do just that.”

To be honest, they are not particularly articulate writers, and their spelling is worse than mine, but once the horses have responded to all your email, you can also ride them around the countryside. “That,” Guðmundsdóttir adds, “is actually a wonderful way to experience Iceland.”

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16. May 2022 · Comments Off on Succor Creek Powerline Loop Fun Ride · Categories: Fun Rides

Succor Creek – Powerline Loop Pictures


WATCH VIDEO

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07. May 2022 · Comments Off on May Packing Clinic Follow-Up · Categories: Education

HOW

Excellent reference for useful knots for stock users

Book used by the USFS at the Nine Mile pack station

WHY

This book covers the why behind many packing practices

 

Packing Tips- Lots of helpful information on packing and riding in the back country.

Check out the Pack Saddle Info Guide  and other useful information on this site.

Packing equipment: Outfitters Supply / Outfitters Pack Station

On Line Video & Training

Skills Clinic Books & Handouts

Minimum Impact

Tips & Trips

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04. May 2022 · Comments Off on SBFCF – 2022 Wilderness Ranger Fellows · Categories: Current Events

WATCH VIDEO & MEET THE FELLOWS

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04. May 2022 · Comments Off on It’s Coming! Most Awesome Yard Sale May 21 2022 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Hello
In years past, the Messenger Index has run a small article to help promote the annual fund raiser yard sale benefitting Squaw Butte Back Country Horsemen (SBBCH), a local volunteer organization.

Below is the yard sale information. Thank you.

It’s Coming! Most Awesome Yard Sale May 21 2022
Saturday May 21 you just may find that treasure you have been searching for.

Squaw Butte Back Country Horsemen (SBBCH) will be hosting their Annual Most Awesome Yard Sale fundraiser on Saturday May 21 at the Gem County Fairgrounds Emmett Idaho. An awesome variety of gently used items have been procured from around the county and from the SBBCH members themselves. Fabulous finds will include furniture, household items, clothing, books, children’s items, outdoor gear, tools, craft items, horse stuff, and more.
There is sure to be that treasure you have been searching for.

Doors open at 8 AM. Find those treasures and we will make them yours.

Our annual yard sale is a successful fundraiser and the proceeds help defer the expenses the chapter incurs in supporting its mission to perpetuate the common sense use and enjoyment of horses in America’s back country and wilderness. These expenses include chainsaw maintenance, tools purchases, Wilderness First Aid & CPR training, maintaining chapter human and equine first aid kits, and providing certified weed free hay at project work weekends.

The Squaw Butte chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Idaho works to insure that public lands remain open to recreational stock use and assists the various government and private agencies in their maintenance and management of those resources.

Contact information for SBBCH is:
President: Heather Donesky
Email: president@sbbchidaho.org
Phone: 530-615-1326

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04. May 2022 · Comments Off on 2022 BCHA Convention · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


Hello All,
I have been trying to get this update out to our state members since I came back from the BCHA Convention with no luck. So I have grabbed the contact emails off our BCHI website for each chapter and would appreciate each of you forwarding the below information to your chapters. Also if the email I am using is no longer valid can you please update me on the current email as I have more information to forward to our state members.

The meeting in Kansas City, MO in April was excellent for networking, information gathering, getting things accomplished and getting to know some folks from all over the country. This is my third national convention but the first in person convention, WOW what a difference.

The following is what I deem the most important but I will send other bits of news from time to time.

1) The volunteer hours report went thru some heavy discussion for a couple of days. In the end the decision was made to let each state do the type of report they want to do or the type they have been doing. There will be two types of forms on the BCHA website, we can use whichever one works for our state or the one you are using now. Each state tracks a little different subjects depending on what their state/federal agencies request/require. And the state information to these agencies is really the most important for this whole process. What happens with the BCHA collected data is very simple, Randy Rasmussen, paid Public Lands liaison, only needs the final big number of dollars. He said the folks he talks to do not deal in the details, just the big picture and that very large number works perfectly for him. BCHA gathers the final number from the state reports easily and then gives Randy the few overall figures needed.

2) The new officiers are:
Chairmen – Sherry Copeland
Vice Chairmen – Mark Himmel
Treasure – Tif Rodriguez

3) Committees and Committee Leads
Contract Review – Mark Himmel
Chapter Support Grants – Bob Wagner
Education – Craig Allen
Expansion – Freddy Dunn
Fundraising – Tif Rodriguez
Marketing & Media – Mark Himmel
Membership – Dennis Serpa
Partnership – Darrel Wallace
Public Lands – Brad Pollman
Volunteer Hours – John Chepulis
Youth – Greg Schatz
Nomination – Jim Allen

Any BCH member can be on any of the above committees. They all would gladly take more members and if you want additional information regarding any of these committees, please feel free to call/email myself or the head of the committee.

I hope this information helps to bring you up to date on the BCHA and some convention activities, there will be more to follow. Always feel free to contact me with questions, concerns, suggestions and anything else.
Respectfully,
Idaho National Director
Pat Bogar

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02. May 2022 · Comments Off on R4 Saw Program — Additional Refresher Topics · Categories: Education

As we are heading into the 2022 field season, here are some additional emphasis areas/refresher topics and Lessons Learned links that could be helpful during your saw trainings and refreshers. 

 

  • Training/Recertification/Evaluation —  As we are onboarding new and returning employees, May and June are two of the busiest months for saw trainings, evaluations, and recertification’s.  Currently in Region 4 with over 2500 certified sawyers, we have several trainings and evaluations taking place amongst our partners, volunteers, and USFS employees.  It doesn’t matter if you are a “Bucking Only” volunteer organization or an Interagency Hotshot Crew, using chainsaws or crosscuts, preplanning for a medical emergency is just as important in a training scenarios as it is in an operational scenario.  Do we treat ‘training’ cutting situations different than we treat ‘operational’ cutting situations? Where should an evaluator be during the cutting operation? Where should the rest of the students be?  How many people are ‘okay’ to be around the base of the tree because its training?  Here are some Lessons Learned that may be valuable to you as you begin your refresher and chainsaw trainings:
  • Change in Complexity —   We do a good job determining complexity of a saw operation in a somewhat static environment prior to even turning on the saw.  We go through each component of OHLEC looking to identify hazards, determine leans and binds and then essentially develop and articulate a plan to safely put a tree on the ground or buck a log off a trail.  Based on the OHLEC size-up we ask our ourselves the question, “Do I have the skills and ability to safely complete this cutting operation?”  However, once we put the saw into a tree we are creating a dynamic situation where complexity can easily change based on a number of factors; i.e., rotten wood fiber that was not previously identified, incorrectly identified leans or binds, unintentionally cut more wood than planned, created a dutchman or bypass changing the intended direction of fall, or the tree began to fall and is now hung-up.   All of these scenarios would cause your plan to change and for complexity to change.   If your cut plan has changed from what you originally had planned for, take a tactical pause and understand something different is happening than what you expected to happen.  Take a breath and determine if you still have the skills and ability to safely complete the cutting operation.  Remember it is always okay to walk away from any cutting operation and look for alternative methods to safely meet the objective.  Here are some resources that may help aid in conversation around changing complexity.

 

 

A reminder that the Interim Directive (ID) that extends sawyer certifications will expire on Dec 31, 2022.   Please continue to seek opportunities to do recertification’s when possible.  Thank you for all the work that you do and please let me know if you have any questions.  Please share as appropriate.

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25. April 2022 · Comments Off on Weiser Dunes – Video by Linda Hughes · Categories: Fun Rides

Watch Video

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18. April 2022 · Comments Off on Useful knots · Categories: Education

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16. April 2022 · Comments Off on USFS – Opportunities of Young People · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

 

21st Century Conservation Service Corps

The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps puts thousands of young people, veterans and emerging professionals to strengthen America’s infrastructure, boost local economies, and modernize the way government works. The 21CSC initiative supports partner organizations and service, training, education and employment opportunities for young people to learn and work on lands, waterways, and cultural heritage sites across the country. 21CSC includes Public Lands Corps, a work and education program for young people and veterans. Please contact your local Forest Service unit to learn more about how 21CSC partnerships work.

Youth Conservation Corps

The Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) is an exciting summer youth employment program that engages teenagers, ages 15 to 18, in meaningful work experiences on forest lands and prairies, national parks, wildlife refuges, and fish hatcheries.

Resource Assistants Program

The Resource Assistants Program is a rigorous, immersive work and learning experience for emerging professionals interested in conservation and/or natural and cultural resources, environmental management, research and development, and other career opportunities with federal land and water management agencies.

Pathways

Pathways Programs provide paid employment opportunities with the Federal government for high school students,
undergraduates, post-graduates and recent graduates:

  • Internship Program – Opportunities for students to explore Federal careers while still in school, Students may
    be hired on a temporary basis for up to one year (NTE Intern) or; for an indefinite period (Indefinite Intern).
  • Recent Graduates Program – Available to individuals who have completed qualifying degree or certificate
    programs within the previous two years. Qualified veterans may have an extended application period due
    to military service.
  • Presidential Management Fellows Program – For individuals who have completed an  advanced degree
    within the past two years.

Job Corps

Job Corps is a residential education and career training program for qualifying young people ages 16 through 24. Job Corps members learn a marketable skill, may earn a high school diploma or GED, make lifelong connections, and learn citizen stewardship values  while succeeding in today’s demanding workforce. Maximum age limits may be waived if an applicant has a documented disability.

Related blogs:

VSReports Portal Training (FS Partners)

Thank you for joining us yesterday for our VSReports Portal training for FS Partners. Attached please find a copy of the presentation. The recording has been posted on our SharePoint site: VSReports Portal Training (FS Partners)-20220414_110234-Meeting Recording.mp4 or you can also watch it here: https://youtu.be/qbFtDCaiwtk.

We are working on a user manual and a fact sheet to provide more information about the VSReports Portal. Finally, we are still looking for volunteers to assist with the soft launch of the application, if you are interested in participating, please email us at sm.fs.21csc@usda.gov.

20220414_VSPortal_PartnerTraining v2

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