Humans have a long history of digging wells, but we’re not the only species to tap the earth for water: New research reveals wild horses and donkeys, also known as burros, can as well.

As described in a paper published April 29 in the journal Science, the animals use their hooves to dig more than six feet deep to reach groundwater for themselves, in turn creating oases that serve as a boon to wildlife—American badgers, black bears, and an array of birds, including some declining species such as elf owls.

Horses and burros, introduced into the wild over the centuries, have taken up residence in scattered populations throughout much of the American West. The wells they dig transform into “hotbeds of animal activity,” says Erick Lundgren, a postdoctoral researcher at Aarhus University in Denmark and the study’s first author.  READ MORE

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This year, SBFC is celebrating 16 years of stewarding the Selway-Bitterroot and Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness areas. Each summer we get our boots on the ground and hands in the dirt to maintain, monitor, and protect these beloved public lands.

In 2020 the Frank celebrated its 40th anniversary as a designated Wilderness area. Spanning over 2.3 million acres, the Frank is a place that is close to our hearts (and our boots!) To celebrate this wild and scenic place, we are kicking off our 2021 Outdoor Conversations speaker series with a three-part virtual series all about the Frank.  https://www.selwaybitterroot.org/outdoor-conversations-2021

APRIL 15TH 6:30PM – 7:30PM MST

CONGRESS, CONSERVATION, AND COMPROMISE: CHAMPIONS OF THE FRANK WITH SPECIAL GUESTS LARRY LAROCCO AND ROB MASON

APRIL 22ND 6:30PM – 7:30PM MST

PORTALS TO THE PAST FEATURING AUTHORS AND WILDLIFE BIOLOGISTS JIM & HOLLY AKENSON

APRIL 29TH 6:30PM – 7:30PM MST

THRU-HIKING THE ICT: 982 MILES OF SOLITUDE

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https://www.facebook.com/bcha.org/

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Dan doing a packing clinic at the 2021 Horse Expo on Horse TV

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2021 Stock Camping Clinic Links

Twelve member and 26 guest spent, at times, a windy and rainy day under the 4-H shelter at the Gem Country Fair ground. The chapter had prepared over the last couple of months a number of information and hands on stations to pickup information and skills necessary to safely camp with stock both at a trail head and in the back country.

Lisa Griffith led this effort and all who participated put in a lot of hours getting ready before the first guest arrived.  A majority  of the pictures were taken before most of the guests arrived, because afterwards we were just to busy!  We also picked up a number of new members who enjoyed the clinic and want to learn more and help with our mission. We also promised them some amazing food after a great day on the trail.

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Auction Web Page

Auction Catalog

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Back Country Horsemen of America – Guidestar Profile

Back Country Horsemen of America – Review & Ratings

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Top Trail Journeys are Virtual Challenges open to all — riders and non-riders, who wish to participate with their non-motorized miles tracked via GPS app or device. Miles tracked can be ridden (horse, bicycle), on foot (hiking, jogging, walking) — you can even log your miles swimming in the pool. The objective is to get out and move — and earn a medal for your efforts.

Join the Top Trail Journeys Facebook Group to connect with other participants and share your journey with us. What’s your “why” — how is it going? We love to see the photos of your journey along the way. Do you walk, horseback ride or drive (equine), hike, bike, swim— to get outside, to stay fit, to alleviate stress, something else? Do your dogs tag along? Do you walk your horse, mule, mini, or Llama?

LEARN MORE

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Favorite Stock Camps in SW Idaho

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Sawtooth SRA Stock Users Pamphlet

Bolder-White Cloud Wilderness Regs

National Forest-Stock Use

BLM-stock-use

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Succor Creek State Natural Area lies in a deep, rocky canyon and is a remote haven for rock hounds and wildlife watchers. Limited souvenir collecting by rock hounds is permitted in the park. A rough 15 mile dirt road leads from Oregon 201 to the park, which has primitive camping and day-use areas along both side of the creek. No water is available.

The Succor Creek Bridge is open to vehicles for access to the campsites on the east side of the creek (right/south of the bridge). The road to the left/north of the bridge is not safe for vehicular travel. Staff and Staff Volunteers are not stationed at this site. This is a remote recreational experience, please prepare accordingly.

History
The land was obtained between 1966 and 1969 by a grant from the U. S. Government (Bureau of Land Management), and by purchase and litigation with private owners. The name Succor Creek is said to refer to early travelers in the Snake River Basin who, having been saved by the creek’s fresh water, applied the name as a corruption of the Spanish word socorro, meaning help or aid. On a brisk and sunny Sunday Morning, 14 members met at the Homedale High School parking lot and then convoyed to the state park trail head.  Succor Creek road is 15 miles of gravel that was for the most part in excellent shape with a few sections of washboard.

By 10:45 we were all saddled and ready to go, the air had warmed a bit and the wind was still lite.


Tom and Sherry noticed a bridge rock formation that we all rode up a hill to view closer. After a number of pictures were taken we continued up to a bench. The wind was picking up so we rode near the rocked, which acted as a poor windbreak.

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Full List PDF: 2021 BCHI State and Chapter Leadership

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The Compassionate Leaders Program with the Flourish Foundation cleared 30 miles of trail, and hundreds of logs in the Frank Church wilderness, Sawtooth National Forest, and White Clouds Wilderness in the Summer of 2020 in partnership with PUG.

To find out more about the program visit www.flourishfoundation.org

Pulaski Users Group, Inc

GREG TRAVELSTEAD PO BOX 4921 HAILEY, ID 83333-4921

WATCH VIDEO

 

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NYT – April 7, 2021 by Ali Watkins

Inexperienced adventurers have flooded remote areas like Wyoming’s Sublette County during the pandemic. When they call for help, the task is left to an overwhelmed network of volunteers.  LINK to Audio

PINEDALE, Wyo. — Kenna Tanner and her team can list the cases from memory: There was the woman who got tired and did not feel like finishing her hike; the campers, in shorts during a blizzard; the base jumper, misjudging his leap from a treacherous granite cliff face; the ill-equipped snowmobiler, buried up to his neck in an avalanche.

All of them were pulled by Ms. Tanner and the Tip Top Search and Rescue crew from the rugged Wind River mountain range in the last year, in this sprawling, remote pocket of western Wyoming. And all of them, their rescuers said, were wildly unprepared for the brutal backcountry in which they were traveling.

“It is super frustrating,” said Ms. Tanner, Tip Top’s director. “We just wish that people respected the risk.”

In the throes of a pandemic that has made the indoors inherently dangerous, tens of thousands more Americans than usual have flocked outdoors, fleeing crowded cities for national parks and the public lands around them. But as these hordes of inexperienced adventurers explore the treacherous terrain of the backcountry, many inevitably call for help. It has strained the patchwork, volunteer-based search-and-rescue system in America’s West.

Such operations within the parks are handled by the National Park Service. Outside those boundaries, search-and-rescue missions fall to volunteer groups like Tip Top, which since 1980 has policed the harrowing Wind River mountain range, about an hour southeast of Jackson. After decades as a well-kept wilderness secret, reserved for only the most experienced outdoor enthusiasts, a pandemic-era mainstream has now discovered this rugged stretch of Wyoming.

“They come here and they’re like, ‘It’s beautiful, it’s a big open space.’ And it is,” Lesta Erickson, a Tip Top volunteer, said. “But it’s also dangerous.”  READ MORE

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06. April 2021 · Comments Off on First Aid & CPR Refresher – Saturday April 3, 2021 · Categories: Education

Instructed by Air Saint Luke’s Crewman & AHA Instructor Cheryl Bice (Treasure Valley BCH)
& Scott Morgan EMT-B Certification, BLS/CPR Instructor, and Advanced Cardiac Lifesaver.

On Saturday morning 8 students, 2 auditors and 2 instructors met at the poarch classroom at Rob & Linda Adams home in Sweet.  This room has all the advantages of being out side with louvered windows on three sides and fans for excellent air flow, plus a 55 inch monitor for watching video’s and other training material.

Cheryl led the class which was a mix of the structured instruction of the American Heart Association and lots of personal experience from her many years as a trauma technician on both Life Flight and Air St.Luke’s services.

Cheryl brought a lot of training material that was used throughout the class to demonstrate and practice on.

A number of video’s were shown, followed by demonstrations and practice.


Cheryl is not a big fan of the song “Staying a Live” so others were used to keep track of CPR pace.

The foam tiles on the floor were appreciated by all as it was much easier on our old knees

No manikins were harmed during the training.  A follow on field day is being planned for June where members of this class and anyone else who want to improve and practice their first aid skills will get a chance.

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06. April 2021 · Comments Off on SBFC Presents: Outdoor Conversations (Virtual Events) · Categories: Around The Campfire

RSVP  –  Sign up for one or all of the events

April 15th 6:30PM – 7:30PM MST
CONGRESS, CONSERVATION, AND COMPROMISE: CHAMPIONS OF THE FRANK WITH SPECIAL GUESTS LARRY LAROCCO AND ROB MASON

Join SBFC as we talk with former Congressman Larry LaRocco and Central Idaho Representative for The Wilderness Society Rob Mason about the establishment of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. Many people know the Frank as a beloved wilderness area, but not as many know the history behind championing this Wilderness designation. Learn about the legislative leg work to advance the Wilderness proposal into law during the 1970’s and 80’s, and the compromises that were made to accomplish such a feat. Senator Frank Church’s legacy lives on in these wild lands, and it is thanks to the hard work of many to ensure that the legacy of Wilderness lives on for generations to come.

Larry LaRocco is the former Director of Senator Frank Church’s North Idaho office, former two-term US House representative (1991-1995), and board member of the Frank Church Institute.

Rob Mason joined The Wilderness Society in September 2013 as the Central Idaho Representative and works on land protection efforts with communities and local stakeholders in the state.

April 22nd 6:30PM – 7:30PM MST
PORTALS TO THE PAST FEATURING AUTHORS AND WILDLIFE BIOLOGISTS JIM & HOLLY AKENSON

Jim & Holly Akenson spent 21 years living in the remote wilds of the Frank Church Wilderness area at Taylor Ranch, and will give us an intimate view of the people who have lived, loved, and survived in the wild Frank. Hear firsthand about the Akenson’s experiences while living in this remote place and how their archaeological and biological research painted a rich tapestry of the deep and unyielding history of the Frank. From the Indigenous peoples who stewarded these lands for millennia, to homesteaders and modern research stations, learn something new about the ever-changing landscapes and communities that reside within these 2.3 million acres.

April 29th 6:30PM – 7:30PM MST
THRU-HIKING THE ICT: 982 MILES OF SOLITUDE

Lisa and Jeremy Johnson spent 51 days hiking the 982 miles of the Idaho Centennial Trail through some of the most remote terrain in the lower 48, including a 200-mile section of the Frank! Hear their tales from the trails—through the Frank and beyond—and learn how they survived trekking the length of Idaho. Throughout these 982 miles Lisa and Jeremy crossed through some of the most treacherous landscapes, including a challenging corridor called Marble Creek, a narrow canyon trail where trails disappear into the creek and bushwhacking is a fact of life. It also happens to be SBFC Executive Director Sally Ferguson’s favorite trail in the Frank, and a portion of the ICT that SBFC has worked to steward since 2012. Sally will give you the scoop on the work we do to protect and preserve these portions of the ICT for those brave enough to get out there!

RSVP  –  Sign up for one or all of the events

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05. April 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA Volunteer agreement with the USFS · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

BCHA-Volunteer Activity-Abstract

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05. April 2021 · Comments Off on Forest Service announces new Acting Director of Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers · Categories: Around The Campfire

Heather Provencio will serve as acting Director, Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers. She is currently the Forest Supervisor of the Kaibab National Forest in Kaibab, Arizona, serving in this capacity since 2015. Heather brings more than 15 years of leadership experience as a line officer serving as deputy forest supervisor of the White River National Forest in Colorado; district ranger on the Red Rock Ranger District, Coconino National Forest in Arizona; and various acting positions as deputy forest supervisor or district ranger. Heather works across boundaries and identifies opportunities thru improving and enhancing land management planning, promoting wild and scenic river stewardship, and cultivating wilderness ethic and leave no trace.  Heather’s formalized training started as an archaeologist and she joined the Forest Service as a co-op student in 1999.  Heather earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Anthropology from Northern Arizona University. 

NWSA and other Wilderness, Wild and Scenic River Organizations Support Permanently Filling the Wilderness Director position

View our Letter of Support for permanently filling this critical position.

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05. April 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA/BCHI – Public Lands Reports · Categories: Around The Campfire

Chief Letter draft 3.3.2021

Talking Points Against Move of Wilderness

BCHA Public Lands Meeting Notes Feb 2021

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01. April 2021 · Comments Off on Stock Paper – Some you need and some that are just cool! · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education


A brand inspection is required when:
• Ownership changes in any manner
• Leaving the State of Idaho
• Going to slaughter

Generally, it is the responsibility of the “Seller” or “current owner” to obtain the brand inspection and pay the appropriate inspection fees.

Always ask for a brand inspection when buying livestock! If the seller issues you a “bill of sale” instead, make sure the bill of sale is valid, and you call for a brand inspection within 10 days from the date of sale. In this case, the buyer will also be responsible for getting a brand inspection within 10 days and paying the brand inspection fees.

If you accept a bill of sale in lieu of a brand inspection certificate, and the animal is carrying a brand not recorded to the person who issued the bill of sale, then you could very well have to clear that brand before a brand inspection could be done.

Not obtaining a brand inspection when required by the Idaho brand laws is considered an infraction for the first offense and a misdemeanor for the second offense, punishable by a fine not to exceed $300 and or six months in jail. https://isp.idaho.gov/brands/

 

BLM Mustang Program

HOW TO ADOPT OR PURCHASE A WILD HORSE OR BURRO

The BLM maintains a network of permanent off-range corrals and hosts hundreds of off-site adoption events each year to find homes for excess animals.  Qualified adopters must meet standard requirements for owning and caring for a wild horse and burro, including specific facility parameters to ensure the safety and health of the animals. Purchasers must meet other requirements as well and certify they will provide a good homes to their purchased animal. In general, whether adopting an animal at an off-site event or purchasing one from a permanent off-range corral, prospective owners should follow the steps outlined below. To adopt or purchase an animal over the Internet, visit the Wild Horse and Burro Online Corral.

1. Requirements: Ensure you meet the standard requirements for adopting or purchasing a wild horse or burro. You can find requirements in the Important Documents section of this webpage. Visit our Sales Program page for information on the process to purchase a sale-eligible wild horse or burro.

2. Find an event or location near you: Contact your preferred off-range corral location or make plans to visit an upcoming off-site adoption event near you. Each facility may have additional requirements beyond what is stated in the application; it is recommended that you contact your preferred corral and visit the facility’s website for more information. The BLM also hosts periodic adoption/sale opportunities on the Online Corral.

3. Application: Complete an adoption application or sales application and mail/fax it to your local BLM office, or bring it with you to the appointment or event.  You will also be able to complete an application at the facility or onsite at the event or facility.

4. Appointment: Arrive at the facility for your appointment or visit the event during the stated hours for viewing and adopting/purchasing animals.

5. Pick-up: Arrange for payment and pick up of your wild horse or burro directly from the facility or event.  Generally, the new owner is responsible for all transportation costs for the animal.  If you are unable to provide transportation from the facility, consider adopting or purchasing an animal during a scheduled competitive bid event on the BLM’s Online Corral, which may have a drop-off location that is more conveniently located.

GENOTYPING AND BREED TESTING

We do not offer ancestry testing for dogs, cats or any other species – just horse.

Ancestry testing is $50 per animal, payable by check/money order made out to Texas Agrilife Research – VTAN.

Our turnaround time is two weeks once the sample is received in the lab for testing. 

Download the Horse ancestry submission form here.

The modern horse was re-introduced to the Americas by Spanish explorers. The earliest horses to reach North America were of Spanish origin. Although horses from other parts of the Europe were subsequently introduced, some New World populations maintain characteristics ascribed to their Spanish heritage. There are more than 58 million horses in the world, with more than 10 million horses in the United States of America (FAO 2013 data). It is difficult to calculate exactly how many horse breeds there are as the Domestic Animal Diversity System lists 1549 horse breeds, however many countries list same breeds like Arabian, Thoroughbred and etc. so that some breeds are counted more than one time. The Department of Animal Sciences – Oklahoma State University maintains a website that lists over 200 breeds alphabetically, International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds by Hendricks (1995; 2007) describes nearly 400 breeds but estimates there are well over 600.

Throughout the years we collected and genotyped an extensive number of horse breeds and populations from around the world (see selected publications), however to represent our reference panel for ancestry testing we selected 50 breeds that are most common for the North America and also represent the major horse groups: draft horses; ponies; Oriental and Arabian breeds; Old World and New world Iberian breeds. Selected breeds are more probable to be the ancestors of current horses in North America and it would be unreasonable for us to use rare or endangered breeds like Waler (Australia), Timor pony (Timor Island), Cheju horse (a southern island of Korea), Namib horse (Africa), Tushuri horse (Georgia) or Pindos (Greece) and etc. Also some North American breeds are not on the list, – example: Appaloosa, American Paint horse, because registries are open or partially open and allow crossbreeding. Mustangs are also not on the breed list as it is now primarily a feral horse found in the western United States and managed by Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Originally mustangs were Spanish horses or their descendants, however throughout the years they had influence from many different horse breeds. There are several mustang registries, but overall there is just too much complexity to consider them in breed ancestry analysis.

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29. March 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA -Newsletters 2021 (Winter & Spring) · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

DOWNLOAD PDF

DOWNLOAD PDF

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28. March 2021 · Comments Off on ITA – Rapid River Wild & Scenic River Corridor · Categories: Public Lands

As an organization that cares about Idaho’s wild places, we want to let you know about an opportunity to speak up for a special area of Idaho.

The Payette National Forest is seeking comment on a travel management plan for Rapid River, which includes the Rapid River Wild and Scenic River corridor that is popular with hikers because of its incredible views and unique plant life. A description of the area from the Forest Service’s website states “The absence of roads and other development has helped keep this river one of the clearest and cleanest in the area.” A gateway to the Seven Devils, ITA routinely has projects in this incredible place.

The proposal being considered by the Forest Service would allow motorized and mechanized use on certain trails to the boundary of the Wild and Scenic River corridor. At the boundary, signs would be installed in turnaround areas stating that non-motorized use only is allowed in the corridor itself.

As advocates of non-motorized trail use, we at ITA believe this proposal is not in the best interest of the hiking community and that the Payette National Forest should consider an additional alternative in this project that designates all trails in this area as non-motorized. The Forest Service is looking for public feedback regarding this new plan. You can read the full plan here. If you recreate in this beautiful area, please consider making your voice heard about this issue by leaving your comments for the Forest Service.

Thank you for supporting ITA as we advocate for Idaho’s trails. We believe that YOUR voice matters when it comes to the management of public lands!

What is the purpose of and need for this project?  Payette National Forest

We propose this project to review the designated use1 of sections of National Forest System trails 177,
183, 184, 187, 188, and 362 within and immediately adjacent to the Rapid River Wild River corridor, and
to update the forest’s summer motor vehicle use map (“MVUM”; USDA Forest Service 2020)
accordingly. The 23 miles of trail under review of this project include (figure 1 on page 7):

• Rapid River Trail 177: From the junction with trail 229 in Township 21 North, Range 1 West,
Section 31, then northeast approximately 12 miles to the forest boundary in Township 22 North,
Range 1 West, Section 11.

• North Star Trail 183: From the junction with trail 178 in Township 21 North, Range 1 West,
Section 16, then northwest approximately three miles to the junction with trail 177 in Township
21 North, Range 1 West, Section 5.

• Indian Spring Trail 184: From the junction with trail 178 in Township 21 North, Range 1 West,
Section 21, then west approximately two miles to the junction with trail 177 in Township 21
North, Range 1 West, Section 20.

• Echols Ridge Trail 187: From the junction with trail 328 in Township 21 North, Range 1 West,
Section 7, then northeast approximately two miles to the junction with trail 177 in Township 21
North, Range 1 West, Section 5.

• Black Lake Creek Trail 188: From the junction with trail 191 in Township 21 North, Range 2
West, Section 2, then southeast approximately three miles to the junction with trail 177 in
Township 21 North, Range 1 West, Section 5.

• Cub Creek Trail 362: From the junction with trails 328 and 517, located within Township 21
North, Range 1 West, Section 19; then easterly approximately one mile to the junction with trail
177, located within Township 21 North, Range 1 West, Section 20.

MAP OF AREA

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24. March 2021 · Comments Off on Bird Feeders & suspected outbreak of salmonellosis · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Area bird lovers asked to temporarily remove and clean bird feeders due to a suspected outbreak of salmonellosis

Thursday, March 11, 2021 – 3:47 PM MST

Wild birds that frequent feeders in the winter can be especially susceptible to disease outbreaks of salmonellosis, due to the large numbers of birds coming to feeders.

Outbreaks associated with bird feeders may cause high mortality across large geographic areas. Currently, this outbreak is affecting wild birds in Idaho, Oregon, California, Washington, and even into British Columbia, Canada.

In an effort to reduce the potential transmission of salmonellosis locally, Idaho Fish and Game recommends that those who have bird feeders in their yards temporarily discontinue all feeding of wild birds for at least a few weeks.
“Although stopping feeding may seem like it will harm birds, in reality, they use feeders as just one source of food and will quickly disperse to find other food sources and in so doing, reduce transmission of this disease at feeding sites,” says Idaho Fish and Game’s Regional Diversity Biologist Tempe Regan.

Even in years where disease outbreaks don’t occur, regular deep-cleaning of bird feeders is important to minimize any kind of disease spread.

“If you enjoy feeding birds, sanitation is critical and it is your responsibility to ensure your feeders are not facilitating disease transmission,” Regan says.

While bird feeders should always be cleaned on a regular basis with warm soapy water, a more rigorous cleaning is required during suspected outbreaks of salmonellosis.

Feeders should be cleaned with a 1 to 10 ratio of household bleach to water. After soaking in the bleach solution, feeders should be rinsed and dried before refilling with seed. Cleaning the area around and under feeders regularly by raking up discarded shells and droppings is also encouraged.

All birds that frequent bird feeders can be susceptible to salmonellosis, which is transmitted through the droppings and saliva of sick birds. Birds infected with salmonellosis can exhibit symptoms such as ruffled feathers, lethargy and diarrhea, and can appear very emaciated. Eventually, infected individuals will succumb to the disease and you may notice dead birds at or under feeders or under trees nearby.

“These disease outbreaks occur every few years, and 2021 just happens to be one of those years,” Regan says. “Salmonella exists at some baseline in the wild populations and when conditions are just right, the disease will flare up.”

This year in the Northwest, large flocks of Cassin’s Finches, Grosbeak species, Common Redpolls, American and Lesser Goldfinches, Pine Siskins and other members of the finch family, are wintering at lower, more southerly elevations and are frequenting backyard feeders. According to Regan, with this large influx of finches, a bird group notably susceptible to Salmonella, it is fairly natural that this outbreak would occur.

“And using bird feeders, while not directly causing the disease, can facilitate the spread,” Regan says.

Although uncommon, salmonella bacteria can be transmitted to humans through direct contact of sick birds or droppings. To avoid transmission to humans, people should take precautions when handling sick or dead wild birds, and when cleaning bird feeders or bird baths by wearing gloves and thoroughly washing their hands. Additionally, pet owners, especially those with cats, are encouraged to keep them inside to ensure they do not catch or consume sick birds.

For more information, contact the Salmon Fish and Game regional office at 208-756-2271.

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23. March 2021 · Comments Off on Kurtis Stutz – Squaw Butte member · Categories: Member Profiles

Kurtis H Stutz Obituary

October 8, 1965 – March 19, 2021 (55 years old)

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Kurtis H Stutz (Nampa, Idaho), who passed away on March 19, 2021, at the age of 55, leaving to mourn family and friends. Leave a sympathy message to the family on the memorial page of Kurtis H Stutz to pay them a last tribute. You may also light a candle in honor of Kurtis H Stutz.

Kurtis and partner Susan Hobbs joined Squaw Butte in January of 2019

From Friend David Benson

Kurtis could tie knots. His dad was an outfitter in montana so he grew up packing. He studied a map for a few days, packed his stock and rode from red lodge montana to Stanley idaho without a map.

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23. March 2021 · Comments Off on WILDERNESS TEACHES LIFE LESSONS · Categories: Around The Campfire

BONNIE RICORD, 2013 WILDERNESS RANGER FELLOW

This article was first published in the Missoulian July 11, 2014 and was submitted to help mark the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.

What comes to your mind when you think about college? Did your experience include large lecture halls, dining hall food, pulling all-nighters to prep for exams, or maybe one too many nights of partying? When you think of your college-aged self, what would you tell them?

Well, since I’m 21, I don’t have the advantage of having quite the distance or life experience away from my university years to give myself advice – heck, I’m still in the thick of navigating class registration, renting my first apartment, and learning how to balance my social and academic commitments and interests. Like many a college kid, I’ve spent time wondering whether or not I am in the right major, and how there can never quite be enough time in the day to go to class, do homework, visit with friends, exercise, find jobs and internships, and manage to keep my clothes in a closet rather than strewn across the floor (from what I’ve heard, the concept of time just gets shorter and shorter with age). READ MORE

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17. March 2021 · Comments Off on Wilderness & Remote First Aid – American Red Cross · Categories: Education

 

DOWNLOAD PDF

DOWNLOAD PDF

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16. March 2021 · Comments Off on National Crosscut & Chainsaw Program (NPS-USFS-BLM) · Categories: Education

PDF:FS_NPS-Chain-Saw-MOA

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16. March 2021 · Comments Off on Wilson Creek Trail Coalition – Different user groups coming together · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Fun Rides

The BLM Wilson Creek Recreation Area on the Owyhee front is currently the “IN” place to be on weekends. Usership is up over 1000% over past years by a number of different groups. Mountain bikers make up the majority currently followed closely by hikers, 4-wheeler & side-by-sides, and then horseman. While it is still possible to ride trails where your are more likely to see hawks and coyotes then people, popular trails through some of the amazing canyons can be crowded. But the biggest issue currently is parking. By 09:00 on Saturday March 13, 2021 the main parking lot was 60% full of cars with a majority of them carrying one or more bikes, by 10:30 that lot had filled and cars were parking outside the designated area.
Members of BCHI who arrived around 09:00 made the choice to use the overflow parking north of the main area as a number of trailers were expected, this area also quickly filled and other riders continued past both areas to other level areas further up Wilson Creek road.  The BLM and a number of mountain bike user groups like SWIMBA and Rolling H Cycle, and the Idaho Horse  Council and BCHI have formed a working committee the “Wilson Creek Trails Coalition” to work together to work to reduce conflicts and parking issues to ensure all users have a positive experience.  BCHI have a number of members on this committee, for Squaw Butte that member is Sharie Fitzpatrick who happens to live near the area and rides it often.

On March 13 our chapter ride at Wilson Creek was very well attended and with quick thinking by Arlyn and Dave we were able to for the most part park together in the overflow lot.

As the weather was almost perfect and it appeared that a majority of the bikers were heading south west out of the main parking lot towards Wilson Creek and Hard Trigger Canyons, the group headed east in the general direction of the China Ditch canyon. While we did see a number of bikers and spoke to a few for the most part they were in the distance and did not present any issues. While we were in the China Ditch canyon itself we didn’t meet any other users until we reached the southern end where you climb out of the canyon heading back west. There we met a dozen bikers and a number of hikers. We stopped and talked to them for a while before continuing our loop.

By 14:00 we were back at the trailers, and while many cars had left, still more were arriving. Let’s hope that the various user group that love this area working together can find ways for us to continue enjoying this treasure with out loving it to death.  If you are interested in working with this committee contact Ann Potcher  ampotcher@gmail.com

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07. March 2021 · Comments Off on 2021 New Membership Flyer · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

New Member Flyer 2021

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04. March 2021 · Comments Off on 12 Volt Truck Fridges · Categories: Around The Campfire

LINK TO GUIDE

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02. March 2021 · Comments Off on Northwest Horse Source March 2021 · Categories: Around The Campfire

READ MORE                 North West Horse Source

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01. March 2021 · Comments Off on February Birds of Prey Ride · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides

On a brisk and clear February 28th 18 members and guest from two chapters of Back Country Horsemen of Idaho met up in the trailer parking area of Celebration Park along the Snake River.  As the morning warmed up riders tacked up and the first of the gnats started to show-up.  By 10:45 we were in the saddle and starting for the Birds of Prey area.  New members Nikita Ward and Jeremy Matthews has parked their rig in the lower parking lot and some of the riders stopped while they got their stock ready, while other riders continued on.  As it often the case in group fun rides like this one, the group quickly divides in to a number of smaller group and in this case chose different trails.


A group of mule riders from the Treasure Valley chapter chose a faint trail that headed up through some pretty large boulders along the cliff side of the park.
While others chose the more traveled trails meeting a number of hikers.
At the eastern end of the loop the group stopped at the old corrals for a stretch and a snake. A number of marmots were sunning on the rocks.

As the day progressed the sky became cloudy and a breeze picked up, which helped with the bugs. By 15:00 everyone was back to the trailers, stock was un-tacked and good bye said. All indicated that they enjoyed themselves and were looking forward to the next ride in March.

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17. February 2021 · Comments Off on Sawyer – First Aid training waver for certified sawyers 2021 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

First Aid Waiver 2021

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16. February 2021 · Comments Off on UCO – Flatpack Grill & Firepit · Categories: Around The Campfire

About this item

  • Stainless steel grill folds to 1.5 inches thick and fits in a backpack; can be used as a fire pit; comes in regular or mini sizes (sold separately)
  • Regular size features 13 x 10-inch grilling area for up to 6 servings; mini features 9 x 6.75-inch grilling area for up to 3 servings
  • Stable base for safe grilling; quick 30-second setup; sides of grill serve as a wind-break
  • Safely contains fire and keeps fire off the ground; constructed from durable stainless steel to provide high rust and corrosion resistance
  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 10 x 1.5 inches; weight 3.2 pounds; 10 x 13 inch grilling area; 1 year manufacturer’s warranty

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14. February 2021 · Comments Off on Camping with Stock Clinic – April 24, 2021 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Education


2021-04-24 Clinic Handout

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14. February 2021 · Comments Off on Blue Mountains Trail · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

The Blue Mountains Trail is an immersive adventure through the diverse interconnected eco-regions that comprise the Greater Hells Canyon Region. The trail will take you deep into the mountains, forests, rivers, ecosystems, and communities of northeast Oregon. It shares the living history of why the Blue Mountains are ecologically unique and more parts of it deserve permanent protection.   LINK       PDF

The Blue Mountains Trail is an immersive adventure through the diverse interconnected eco-regions that comprise the Greater Hells Canyon Region. The trail will take you deep into the mountains, forests, rivers, ecosystems, and communities of northeast Oregon. It shares the living history of why the Blue Mountains are ecologically unique and more parts of it deserve permanent protection.

trail stats

566 miles through northeast Oregon from Wallowa Lake State Park near Joseph to John Day

7 Wilderness Areas and 1 National Recreation Area in 3 National Forests

Ancestral lands of the Nez Perce, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla, and Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs

3 Oregon State Parks

Connects with the communities of Joseph, Troy, Tollgate, La Grande, Sumpter, Austin Junction and John Day, with connection opportunities to more nearby towns

Trail connects approaches to notable Blue Mountain summits: Eagle Cap (Wallowas): 9,573 ft – Rock Creek Butte (Elkhorns): 9,106 ft – Strawberry Mountain: 9,042 ft – Vinegar Hill (Greenhorns) 8,131 ft.

It’s official! In November, 2020, Greater Hells Canyon Council launched Oregon’s newest long-distance trail – forming a 566-mile spiral. Contemplated, mapped, and dreamed of for more than half a century by conservationists, the trail is now tangible.

The route links all seven of Northeast Oregon’s wilderness areas, requires no new trails to be built, limits road walks and bushwhacks, and connects hikers to the communities of Joseph, Troy, Tollgate, La Grande, Sumpter, Austin Junction, and John Day with ties to more nearby towns.

The pace of the past year’s work is as breathtaking as the speed of the first four thru-hikers covering rough terrain, bushwhacking alternative paths, and reporting on conditions. News of the trail’s brilliant peaks, rivers, forests, and wildlife is rippling among long distance hikers, tourism groups, communities, businesses, and conservationists.
Watch Video

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13. February 2021 · Comments Off on Trail Master Webinar Series – Backcountry Cooking · Categories: Education


Masterclasses & Virtual Events

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08. February 2021 · Comments Off on GOP congressman pitches $34 billion plan to breach Lower Snake River dams in new vision for Northwest · Categories: Current Events

Such a colossal proposal coming from a relatively unknown Republican is a shocker and the delegation is already giving it a look.

All four Democratic senators from Washington and Oregon issued a joint release Friday evening stating: “All communities in the Columbia River Basin and beyond should be heard in efforts to recover the Northwest’s iconic salmon runs while ensuring economic vitality of the region. Any process needs to balance the needs of communities in the Columbia River Basin, be transparent, be driven by stakeholders and follow the science.”

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, put out a statement in staunch opposition. “These dams are the beating heart of Eastern Washington,” she said in a press release. “Spending $33 billion to breach them — with no guarantee that doing so will restore salmon populations — is a drastic, fiscally irresponsible leap to take.” Washington’s three GOP House members also joined with a representative from Idaho on a proposed resolution supporting existing hydropower dams, and seeking expansion of hydropower in the region.

But Simpson has captured the ear of others who normally would pile on. Instead, they are listening, with caveats and caution, to be sure.

Simpson is careful to point out that what he has released is an overall concept that provides only broad spending targets for key initiatives. What he wants is a regional conversation about a new vision for the Northwest. What if we stopped debating whether the Lower Snake River dams are valuable, and recognize that they are, then figure out together how to replace those benefits?

READ MORE & WATCH VIDEO

Idaho Wildlife ORG
February 7, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Brian Brooks, Executive Director, 208.870.7967 – bbrooks@idahowildlife.org

This weekend Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson released a preliminary proposal to restore Idaho’s salmon and steelhead by breaching the lower Snake River dams and investing in new power generation and transportation infrastructure, among many other things. The Idaho Wildlife Federation (IWF) applauds the legislative package and the Congressman’s clear commitment to seeing the restoration of the region’s salmon and steelhead while ensuring the well-being of all stakeholders between Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

“This is the first meaningful approach any elected official has made public that recognizes the only way to recover Idaho’s salmon and steelhead to meaningful abundance is to untangle the gargantuan and crippling bureaucratic knot that is now also failing ratepayers and taxpayers,” said IWF’s executive director Brian Brooks. “The scope of this proposal will be a massive and decades long – possibly perpetual – shot in the arm for the economies of North Idaho, and Eastern Washington and Oregon.”

What was once a profitable system even 20 years ago is now on course for unending and ever-increasing costs on three fronts. First, the free market is moving away from lower Snake River shipping – down almost 80% from it’s peak – which means taxpayers now shoulder the ever-growing loss of revenue to upkeep the aging dams. Second, BPA – a federal agency – charges $36 per megawatt hour while their competitors charge $22, and is so far in irreversible debt ($15 billion and counting) the former administrator called their situation a ‘bloodbath’. This is the same entity on the hook for funding fish recovery ($17 billion spent so far to no avail). Third, Idaho’s fish are careening toward extinction and after 50 years of trying to reverse the trendline, we are redlining.

Within the legislative package are detailed investments of a modernized rail system for grain growers, economic development plans for communities along the river, irrigation options, investments in modular nuclear power and new transmission lines, a path forward for measurable recovery of Idaho’s anadromous salmon and steelhead, which includes removing recovery oversight from BPA. And much more.

Only the earthen portions of the dams will be removed, leaving in place the concrete infrastructure if one day it is decided to turn the dams back on.

“Idahoans, no matter their background, will benefit from increased salmon and steelhead in our state’s rivers. From the small business owner in Clearwater County to the outfitter in the upper Salmon. Not only will Lewiston become the inland fishing capital of the northwest, it will be a hub of major economic activity with the investments this proposal makes. Its a game changer,” Brooks added.

“This is a only a proposal at this point, but my hope is that Idahoans come together and understand the way we do things now is leaving many of our friends and family behind. Let’s pick a new future – a new system – that works for all of us. I’m hopeful.”

Follow this link to view the Congressman’s proposal.

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08. February 2021 · Comments Off on BCHI State Board Meeting Agenda – March 13, 2021 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

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04. February 2021 · Comments Off on Columbia Wear – Omni Shade UPF Shirt Sale · Categories: Around The Campfire

LINK TO SHOPPING PAGE

LINK TO SHOPPING PAGE

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03. February 2021 · Comments Off on Wilderness Volunteers – January News Letter · Categories: Around The Campfire


READ MORE

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30. January 2021 · Comments Off on Wilderness Redefined – Beyond “Leave No Trace” · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education


Nowadays you’ll struggle to find many outdoor enthusiasts who aren’t familiar with “Leave No Trace” and the ethics embodied by the motto.

Designed as a framework to minimize the impact humans have when visiting the great outdoors, Leave No Trace guidelines are applicable to almost every recreational activity.

It’s important to familiarise yourself with the principles no matter how you plan to enjoy adventuring out into the wild. We all can take something from them.

This guide will walk you through where the Leave No Trace (LNT) movement came from, outline the seven principles that make up LNT ethics, and question whether it does enough to encourage people to preserve the environment.

READ MORE

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28. January 2021 · Comments Off on USFS Recreation & Trails Leadership Team 2021 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands



Forest Service Washington Office Trail and Travel Management Programs January 2021 We are a forward-thinking team of trail professionals who embrace innovation and collaboration. We take strategic actions to leverage resources and develop program efficiencies that increase capacity at the field level in order to best serve the public. We are collaborative and open communicators who strive to promote relevancy, efficiency, transparency, and equity throughout the national trail program.


Forest Service Trail Program Partner Meeting

Brenda Yankoviak, the new Forest Service Trails program manager held a Partner meeting recently to introduce the current Trails Team and share trails information..

Meeting Notes Summary

Goals and views of the Team

National Wilderness Skills Training Survey

The Forest Service is looking at ways to host a virtual National Wilderness Skills Training this spring. Here are the results of a survey to assess interest, topics, and issues with such a training.

SURVEY RESULTS

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27. January 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA – Empowering Youth In BCHA · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

WATCH VIDEO

STONEYDALE PRESS

Burk’s new book tells essential story of Montana’s wild places
What better thing could a bunch of old timers leave for us before taking off to those fabled “happy hunting grounds” than to tell us the story, and maybe show us a few pictures as well, of the most remarkable places they’ve been, the marvelous things they’ve seen, and the deep respect they’ve gained for everything wild in Montana. A couple of old timers, Dale Burk of Stevensville and Wayne Chamberlin of Helena, along with over 70 other writers and photographers, have done just that in the new book, “A Wild Land Ethic – The Story of Wilderness in Montana.”

Co-editors Burk and Chamberlin have managed to pull together a masterful collection of stories and photos from some of the most dedicated and influential wilderness advocates in the state, each one giving us a glimpse into the awesome majesty of the wild, informing us of its intrinsic value and conveying the need to protect Montana’s wildlife and wild places for future generations. The book is dedicated to the late Ken and Florence Baldwin of Bozeman, early advocates in Montana for wilderness preservation and founders of the Montana Wilderness Association.

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27. January 2021 · Comments Off on Northwest Horse Source – The Essential Halter · Categories: Around The Campfire

READ MORE        //      READ JANUARY 2021 ISSUE

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24. January 2021 · Comments Off on Omnia Stove Top Oven · Categories: Around The Campfire

Shop Amazon

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21. January 2021 · Comments Off on USFS Saw Program Partner Roundtable Conference Call · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

January 2021 – Sawyer Call

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17. January 2021 · Comments Off on Hand Tools for Trail Work · Categories: Education

PDF: hand tools for trail work

PDF:  Tools for Trail Work (and Restoration) from American Trails

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14. January 2021 · Comments Off on 2020 Salmon-Challis RD Trails Report · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

READ FULL REPORT

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08. January 2021 · Comments Off on Garmin – inReach Webinar: Choosing an inReach Device · Categories: Education

In this instructional webinar led by Chip Noble, senior product manager at Garmin, we review the features and functionalities of each inReach device, as well as what types of activities each device is best suited for.

We also discuss inReach compatible Garmin apps and products, such as GPS watches and cycling computers.

WATCH VIDEO   /   PDF

WATCH VIDEO   //   INREACH MINI

Top Tips for Using inReach Devices in the Winter

More and more, people are finding ways to enjoy outdoor activities during the winter months. And while snowy landscapes can be beautiful, colder temperatures and drastic weather can become dangerous quickly. Here are our top tips for using inReach® satellite communication devices in the winter.  

  1. Always pack your inReach. It can be even more important to carry an inReach device in the wintertime when equipment failure or minor injury can have much more serious consequences. Without the proper equipment, spending a night in the woods can have a very different outcome in the wintertime than it might in the summertime.
  1. Carry the inReach device inside your jacket and close to your body to keep it warm and extend the battery life when it’s cold, as all electronics have reduced battery performance at cold temperatures. We recommend storing it in an upper pocket for the best satellite connection.
  1. Plan the hike and hike the plan. That’s particularly important in the winter when cold temperatures and winter storms can slow or stop your progress. Use inReach tracking and your MapShare™ page to let your friends and family follow along during your trip. Send them a message if you are delayed and will be later than expected.
  1. Try to keep your gloves on when sending messages with your inReach Explorer®+ device or GPSMAP® 66i/GPSMAP 86i handheld. If you own an inReach Mini and pair it to your cellphone, carry a small touchscreen stylus on a lanyard around your neck so you can tap out a message without taking your gloves off. It only takes a few seconds to get cold fingers and lose the necessary dexterity to use your equipment.
  1. Take advantage of preset and quick text messages to save time, keep moving and stay warm in the winter. You can quickly send an “I’m checking in” preset message to friends and family, or reply to a message with a “Yes,” “No” or “Wish you were here” quick text.
  1. Carry the inReach device with you to have access to satellite weather forecasts anywhere in the world. Check for clear skies or approaching storms to make informed decisions about whether to start your activity or wait it out.
  1. If snow covers the trail, or if you encounter blizzard conditions or simply get lost, use the TracBack® feature on your device to navigate back to where you first started tracking.
  1. Spend less time dealing with your equipment in cold temperatures by pairing your phone to the Earthmate® or Garmin Explore™ app or your compatible Garmin wearable, prior to beginning your activity.
  1. For multiday trips, put your device in Extended Tracking or Expedition mode to extend the battery life. Or consider carrying a backup lithium battery pack for your device.
  1. If an emergency situation does occur, don’t hesitate to trigger an SOS for yourself, a party member or a third-party individual. In cold weather, every moment counts. Once an SOS is triggered, staff at GEOS, the Garmin-powered International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC), will immediately begin coordinating a rescue response.

NOTICE: To access the Iridium satellite network for live tracking and messaging, including SOS capabilities, an active satellite subscription is required. Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communications devices. It is the responsibility of the user to know and follow all applicable laws in the jurisdictions where the device is intended to be used.

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