Sawyer Workshop – Stanley

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Sawyer Field Day (Emmett Rough Riders)

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Partners Powerpoint 5_18_22
R4 Saw Contacts_5_22

 

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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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Succor Creek – Powerline Loop Pictures


WATCH VIDEO

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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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WATCH VIDEO & MEET THE FELLOWS

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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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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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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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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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04. April 2022 · Comments Off on BCHA – Volume 33, Issue 2 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

READ ISSUE

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04. April 2022 · Comments Off on The Appaloosa is Idaho’s state horse · Categories: Around The Campfire

Anna Daly writes: The Appaloosa was named Idaho’s state horse for the role it played in the state’s history. In the 1700s, the Nez Perce tribe first started breeding the horse, which provided the tribe with more mobility and was used for hunting and fishing.

“The Nez Perce tribe became excellent horsemen and breeders, creating large herds renowned for their strength, intelligence, and beauty,” the Appaloosa Horse Club website notes. The tribe was known throughout the Northwest for their hunting skills and craftsmanship. These skills allowed the Nez Perce to trade for necessary goods and services.

In the mid-1800s, settlers flooded the Nez Perce reservation – leading to the Nez Perce War of 1877. According to the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office, the Appaloosa horses helped the non-treaty Nez Perce, under the guidance of Chief Joseph, elude the U.S. Calvary for several months.

Settlers referred to the tribe’s horses as “a Palouse horse” in reference to the Palouse River in north-central Idaho. Eventually, the name evolved, becoming “Palousey”, then “Appalousey” and finally “Appaloosa”.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, more interest in the breed gradually began to grow as Appaloosas began appearing in Western roundups and rodeos – according to the Appaloosa Horse Club. The club, which was charted in 1938, works to preserve and improve the Appaloosa breed. Headquartered in Moscow today, it’s one of the leading equine breed registries in the world – according to its website.

On March 25, 1975, Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus signed a bill naming the Appaloosa as the state horse.

Today, you can learn more about the state’s horse by visiting the Appaloosa Museum and Heritage Center in Moscow.

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02. April 2022 · Comments Off on Idaho Equestrians for the Eagle Foothills · Categories: Current Events

This page is dedicated to disseminating information about the current Eagle City Council proposal for a shooting range north of Eagle on Willow Creek Road.

The Eagle Foothills equestrian/hiking trailhead is currently at extreme risk. The City of Eagle is in the process of acquiring the land from Spring Valley developers and proposing a shooting range on 80 acres with a fenced parking lot where horse owners and hikers have freely parked for many, many years. Many of us and people living in the area are concerned about the loss of a quiet place to go and to live. Dogs and horses do not mix with the sounds of gunshots. We aren’t against a shooting range being built; just NOT at this location.

Over the years, equestrians have lost access to miles of riding due to lack of parking and lack of access to BLM due to private land. Once access is removed, it’s gone forever. The Eagle Foothills trailhead is one of the few remaining areas where clubs and groups of people have space to park and ride and/or hike together.

Residents who live nearby risk the loss of home values with resulting noise and traffic. Future homes will also be affected.

An open house was held in early March and a survey made available to the public. Testimonies were again heard at a following meeting as were the results of the survey. It seems few people knew of the open house and the survey as only about 600 people (not all Eagle residents) responded with approx. 60% in favor of the range. Even people within “shooting range” weren’t aware of the meetings and surveys taking place resulting in little representation against the proposed shooting range. With 33,000 people living in the city of Eagle alone, the survey should have had much greater publicity to obtain greater accuracy of the data.

The land is being donated for a park. In our opinion, a park should be accessible for all to enjoy, including children, animals, and non-weapon enthusiasts. Please write to Eagle City Council members NOW as they are proceeding with their studies in favor of the shooting range. We’ve included a letter you can copy/paste and the email addresses of the council members for your convenience.

City of Eagle plans public shooting range for foothills

City Council Shooting Range Open House

Email Mayor and City Council Members:

Jason Pierce – Mayor
Charlie Baun
Brad Pike
Melissa Gindlesperger
Helen Russell
City Council (general email)
Clerks at City of Eagle

Copy/Paste/Edit the letter below or create your own:

Dear Mayor Pierce and City Council Members,

As an Idaho resident, I respectfully ask that you reconsider your proposal to contruct a shooting range at the Willow Creek location. The noise and traffic will negatively impact Eagle’s charm, way of life, and property values.

Equestrians and hikers alike have used the area for many years as a close in quiet retreat for riding horses and walking dogs. Groups of children enjoy exploring the sights and sounds outside of busy city life. It’s one of the few places to get to quickly with easy access.

Please consider an area with less environmental impact for building a shooting range. Why not leave the area natural as it is now or provide a park with plenty of car and trailer parking? Really, why ruin a place that’s so special to so many people?

Sincerely,

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01. April 2022 · Comments Off on Legislative Update – April 2022 · Categories: Current Events

The Wilks Bros are back in the legislature, now attempting to change rural development rules.

Somewhat absent since working to revise Idaho’s trespass laws, they are now backing a bill that would wrest local control from counties for their own ends. The bill would force all Idaho counties to exempt certain land subdivision requirements, paving the way for large landowners to skirt county ordinances put in place to manage growth sustainably in rural areas.

Why does this bill matter for wildlife or hunters and anglers: unmitigated growth is a serious threat to important open space vital for habitat and ecosystem connectivity. The bill would make it easier to subdivide large agricultural corridors and rural, working landscapes into fragmented parcels, converting farmlands and woodlands into sprawl.

The Wilks’ bill would accelerate habitat fragmentation, but such ill-conceived growth didn’t just spur opposition from land-users. The bill is in response to Valley and Adams County ordinances reigning in unchecked growth in the wildland-urban interface and in dangerous places like near the McCall airport or in flood plains. County planners – who would be left on the hook to provide emergency services, infrastructure like graded and plowed roads, reviewing septic tank compliance and so on – panned the bill as unwise. Valley County Commissioner Sherry Maupin said county residents were “starting to scream for managed growth.

This bill would nullify those local voices.

Luckily, the quick outpouring of opposition from agriculture interests, sportsmen, and local and county interests moved the bill’s sponsor – Rep. Terry Gestrin (R- Donnelly) – to pull it. But the concern here is a trend of wealthy development interests introducing legislation (see Trident’s bill) to fundamentally change the way the state and counties address development of our treasured landscapes, paving the way for poorly planned growth to benefit the few at the expense of the many. And all of this on the heels of the latest Western Colorado College Poll revealing over 2/3rds of Idahoans are concerned with poorly planned growth/development.

The Wilks Bros’ bill and the Trident bill are dead for now, but Idaho is on the map and developers and real estate speculators aren’t losing interest any time soon. The bills will be back and next time the efforts of Trident, the Wilks, and all those like them, will be better hidden.

There is a lot at stake to lose here and we will work hard to keep Idaho, Idaho.

** Stray observation: DF Development’s Business Manager Scott Carlton Carlton threatened Valley County, saying the rule change “is likely to prevent DF Development from reopening any roads on its property to the public.”

The Time Has Come

As the legislative season winds to a close we at the Idaho Wildlife Federation have begun to emerge from behind our desks where we’ve been wintering – closely monitoring natural resource activity at the Idaho state house.

With spring comes a sense of anticipation – the all-too-familiar mix of anxiety and excitement.

For instance, just as the first spring Chinook begin their ascent of the Columbia River, the rubber is meeting the road as local, state, regional and federal elected officials consider the true cost of losing Idaho’s salmon and steelhead and what it would mean for the beloved rural character of Snake and Salmon River communities.

Similarly, as COVID (fingers crossed) continues to fade, and live events return, we’re overjoyed to get back out into all the communities across the state we love and shake hands, break bread and share stories of the hunting, fishing and public lands we all enjoy. We cannot tell you enough how much we appreciate your continuous support and flexibility over these past few strange and complicated years.

The work has been done, and will continue. All we ask, is that you take it with you this spring:

EMBRACE Idaho’s abundant and pristine public lands as you traverse your favorite turkey woods.

IMAGINE the restorative potential of a healthy return of salmon and steelhead in rural Idaho communities after a long day fishing.

REMEMBER that everything within sight impacts the habitat of your preferred species of pursuit.

There’s been a lot of talk about it. It’s time to BE about it.

We’ll see you out there –

Daniel Ritz

Communications and Outreach Coordinator, Idaho Wildlife Federation

Email: DRitz@IdahoWildlife.Org

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29. March 2022 · Comments Off on Webinars – Inreach enabled devices · Categories: Education

Link to Garmin Support

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26. March 2022 · Comments Off on Stock Packing Training Opportunities · Categories: Education

PDF

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26. March 2022 · Comments Off on BCHI – State Board & Convention 2022 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


SEE PICTUES FROM THE CONVENTION

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25. March 2022 · Comments Off on Forest Service Sawyer Training – S212 (Unit 0,1,2,4A) · Categories: Education

S212 – Brushing & Bucking

Unit 0 – Introduction-Course Objectives

Unit 1 – Safety Requirements (Supplemental Information embedded in powerpont.)

Unit 2-  Chainsaw Parts, Maintenance and Operation (Supplemental Information embedded in Powerpoint.

2019 Complexity Powerpoint

Unit 4A: Chainsaw Tasks and Techniques:  Handling, Bucking, Limbing, and Brushing and Slashing

Unit 4B: Chainsaw Tasks and Techniques:  Handling, Bucking, Limbing, and Brushing and Slashing (Field Proficiency)

Here is a link to the NWCG site where there is some pre-work materials, student workbooks for S212, etc…

https://www.nwcg.gov/publications/training-courses/s-212/course-materials

Regarding a certificate if you wish to issue one it would read- Forest Service Sawyer Training – S212 (Unit 0,1,2,4A)

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23. March 2022 · Comments Off on Idaho – Scenic & Historic Byways · Categories: Around The Campfire

Idaho Scenic Byways Brochure.pdf

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23. March 2022 · Comments Off on Owyhee Front – Wilson Creek Trail Head · Categories: Fun Rides, Public Lands

Idaho_WilsonCreek-TravelMap_GeoPDF

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23. March 2022 · Comments Off on Proposed – Eagle Foothills Shooting Sports Park · Categories: Current Events

Link to City of Eagle Web Page

Summary of public input


The location of this park is where the current Eagle foothills horse parking lots is!

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21. March 2022 · Comments Off on Salmon-Challis National Forest Recreation, Wilderness, Trails and Rivers Looking to Fill 16 Vacancies · Categories: Current Events


SCNF Surge Hire Outreach_Developed Recreation

SCNF Surge Hire outreach – wilderness trails

SCNF Surge Hire outreach – lead river checker

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20. March 2022 · Comments Off on Spring 2022 BroomTales · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

2022-March-FINAL-Broomtales

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12. March 2022 · Comments Off on Man injured after getting charged by moose, Idaho Fish and Game says · Categories: Around The Campfire


A hiker was injured after he and his dog were charged by a moose south of Pocatello earlier this week.

Idaho Fish and Game says the man was on the Gibson Jack trail in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest Wednesday morning when the incident occurred. The hiker says he was unaware of the moose when it charged him from behind.

“The moose stomped him two or three times before withdrawing,” Fish and Game says.

The man was able to hike out to safety.

Authorities say conflicts with moose are pretty rate, but the animals can be defensive if they are startled.

Here are some tips from Fish and Game if you do encounter a moose.

  • Keep your distance, at least three car lengths between you and the animal. Never approach a moose, especially a female with her young.
  • If recreating with dogs, maintain control of your pets with leashes and don’t allow them to chase moose or other wildlife.
  • A moose will often bluff by pawing the ground and licking its lips. If it lowers its ears, a charge is likely forthcoming!
  • If a moose charges, run. Try to keep a tree or other object between you and the moose, or climb a tree if necessary.
  • If you find yourself on the ground, curl in a ball and do your best to protect your face and head. Try not to make noise. Moose charge because they perceive you as a threat. If you are curled up on the ground quietly, you will likely appear less threatening.
  • Discharging a can of bear spray may also deter a charging moose.
  • If you have any questions about recreating around wildlife or if you have a wildlife encounter to report in southeast Idaho, please contact the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at 208-232-4703.
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10. March 2022 · Comments Off on Expect delays on Highway 55 · Categories: Around The Campfire

The Idaho Transportation Department is resuming construction on SH-55 between Smiths Ferry and the Rainbow Bridge on March 14. The stretch of highway will be reduced to one-way alternating traffic. Drivers should anticipate 15-minute delays.

In mid-April, ITD will begin four-hour closures from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Construction on Highway 55 near Smiths Ferry has been ongoing since September 2020. Crews are working to widen shoulders, install guardrails, and minimize roadway curves.

The project area has been the site of three rockslides. In January 2021, two rockslides closed the roadway for about three weeks. In January 2022, another rockslide closed the road for several days.

“We are going into spring with lessons learned from last year,” said Jason Brinkman, ITD engineering manager. “We have spent the past winter working with geotechnical experts and the project team to change designs based on new information gathered after studying the areas where slides occurred.”

The spring construction schedule is expected to last through May.

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09. March 2022 · Comments Off on SALMON-CHALLIS NATIONAL FOREST- Partnership Coordinator · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

SALMON-CHALLIS INFORMATION

Salmon-Challis National Forest:

Salmon-Challis National Forest – Home (usda.gov) Salmon-Challis National Forest – Recreation (usda.gov)

Salmon-Challis National Forest – About the Forest (usda.gov)

Salmon Community: https://www.cityofsalmon.com/

Official Salmon Idaho tourism site. Find restaurants, lodging, activities, maps and more. (visitsalmonvalley.com)

On The River | Visit Salmon Valley, Idaho

City of Salmon

Salmon, Idaho Experience – Bing video

One Of The Most Unique Towns, Salmon Is Perfect For A Day Trip In Idaho (onlyinyourstate.com)

Challis Community: https://challischamber.com/

https://www.challisidaho.com/

Mackay Community: http://mackayidaho-city.com/

https://visitmackayidaho.com/

Submit the attached form and a brief resume to Gina Knudson at the email below.

Interested applicants or those desiring further information may contact Gina Knudson, Partnership Coordinator at gina.knduson@usda.gov or 208-756-5551.

 

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04. March 2022 · Comments Off on Lawsuit allowing e-bikes in Tahoe National Forest settled · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Current Events

SACRAMENTO (BRAIN) — The group of trail and forest advocates settled its federal lawsuit filed in 2019 against the U.S. Forest Service, whom it said allowed Class 1 e-bikes on non-motorized trails in the Tahoe National Forest without conducting a public study.

The Order of Dismissal was signed by the Department of Justice on March 31, 2020. Since then, the Tahoe National Forest included about 32 miles of trails in question into an existing assessment study — the East Zone Connect Project — that the USFS approved for Class 1 e-bike use in December 2020.

The Back Country Horsemen of America, one of the plaintiffs, participated in the process.

“We were pleased to find that the Forest Service checked all the necessary boxes in its examination of its proposal to allow Class 1 e-bike use on otherwise non-motorized trails,” said Randy Rasmussen, director of public lands and recreation for the Back Country Horsemen of America. “We did not object to, nor litigate, the outcome of the East Zone Connect Project.”

According to the lawsuit, before opening non-motorized trails to e-bike use, the Tahoe National Forest should have had a public study that includes analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act to assess the impact of the decision.

Other plaintiffs included the Backcountry Horsemen of California, The Wilderness Society, the Gold Country Trails Council, and the Forest Issues Group.

“To be clear, on the e-bike topic, the BCHA has always been about process, meaning that the public needs to be involved in federal agency decisions regarding where, and under what circumstances, e-bikes are allowed on existing trails enjoyed by the public,” Rasmussen said.

Lawsuit allowing e-bikes in Tahoe National Forest settled
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04. March 2022 · Comments Off on New – U.S. Forest Service Guidance on Use of Equestrian Campsites · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Horse Camping

At the prompting of BCHA and allies that include the American Horse Council, last month the Forest Service national office circulated a memo to all national forests and national grasslands titled “Recommended Best Practices for Managing Stock Use Sites at Developed Campgrounds.” A copy of that memo can be found here.

We encourage BCHA chapters and volunteers to review this memo and, importantly, to use it as a reason to schedule a meeting with personnel at your local national forest to assist you to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Ensure the memo was received by the local Forest Service office,
  2. Discuss with forest staff the magnitude of the problem locally and the memo’s relevancy and implications, and
  3. Come to agreement on what adjustments in the management of equestrian campsites within Forest Service jurisdiction might be implemented in order to communicate to the public the need to prioritize equestrian campsites for use by parties with stock.

Background

Last year, BCHA approached the Forest Service regarding what options exist to minimize the extent to which parties without stock were occupying designated equestrian campsites throughout the National Forest System. We pointed out that agency policy for developed campgrounds prohibits parties from “Bringing in or possessing a saddle, pack or draft animal except as authorized by posted instructions” (Code of Federal Regulations, Section 36, subsection 261.16(l)). That is, parties with stock are prohibited by law from occupying Forest Service campsites that are not designated for equestrian use.

 Yet, there is no corresponding regulation that prevents parties without stock from occupying developed equestrian campsites. The problem of occupied horse camps escalated across the nation during the COVID pandemic, when many families and others chose close-to-home vacations in favor of long-distance travel. The Forest Service memo describes well the implications to stock users of this growing problem.

Horse Camp Incident Report Form

BCHA and its allies developed a Horse Camp Incident Report form for members to capture and record incidents where parties without stock are occupying Forest Service equestrian campsites. The form can be found here. An online version of the form can be downloaded to your smart phone; it can be accessed here.

 The purpose of the form is to support BCHA should we need to make the case for new regulations to prevent parties without stock from occupying equestrian campsites. BCHA is pleased that the Forest Service issued the aforementioned memo to field staff; it represents a logical first step to apply education to help lessen the problem.

 We don’t know that education alone will prove sufficient to solve the horse camping problem. By collecting your accounts of incidents in the field, we might better document the magnitude and geographic extent of the problem. Consequently, BCHA is relying on its members to provide data from the field of your observations, should we need to promote further solutions.

Special notes:

  • Always be courteous to other campground users. It’s likely that any party without stock has occupied an equestrian campsite because regular campsites were already taken or reserved.
  • Remember, it’s not illegal for others to camp in an equestrian campsite. Plus, some folks might not know the difference between an equestrian and regular campsites (seriously!) or why their occupancy of an equestrian campsite might force us to travel far distances in order to find a legal campsite—if not forced to return home, an outing ruined.
  • If you end up speaking with such parties, use these talking points to educate them about the scarcity of legal campsites for equestrian use and what happens when parties without stock occupy equestrian campsites.

PRINT INCIDENT FORM  //  ONLINE INCIDENT FORM

Managing Horse Camp Sites_whitepaper_FINAL

 

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03. March 2022 · Comments Off on Local event – Sweet, ID · Categories: Around The Campfire

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03. March 2022 · Comments Off on Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center · Categories: Education, Safety


CLICK HERE TO PLAY PODCAST

Travis Dotson and Alex Viktora discuss the Tree Felling Accident Analysis – a report comparing 53 different tree felling accidents.

Topics covered include:

Predicting Tree Reactions
Hung-Up Trees
Helmets
Two People at the Base
Area Control
Escape Routes
Accidents During Training
If you have anything to do with chainsaws on the fireline…tune in.

Download the report at: https://www.wildfirelessons.net/viewdocument/tree-felling-accident-analysis

2021 Falling Incident with Helicopter

2021NearmissReport-snag

Tree_Felling_Accident_Analysis_2004_2019_508_FINAL

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28. February 2022 · Comments Off on BCHI – 2022 Contact Information (March 2022) · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


READ FULL PDF: 2022-Mar BCHI Officers & Directors

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18. February 2022 · Comments Off on Remembering two incredible ITA volunteers · Categories: Current Events

Remembering two incredible ITA volunteers

ITA lost two members of our trail family recently, Clem Pope and John Platt. Both men inspired people with their passion for Idaho’s backcountry and gave back to make trails better for all. Because both of these men inspired so many to get out and explore, we’d like to encourage YOU to find a new trail, climb a mountain, or learn a traditional skill in honor of Clem and John. We will be collecting short stories and photos of adventures taken in their honor over the next few months. Please submit your story and a photo to go along with it to trails@idahotrailsassociation.org to be included.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clem Pope was a Wilderness advocate and master of traditional trail skills. He was part of ITA’s early days and as a crew leader, he taught many volunteers and future crew leaders how to clear trail and respect Wilderness areas. In his honor, ITA has named our annual crew leader training Crew Leader Education and Mentoring (CLEM). Click here to read a tribute to Clem by Jeff Halligan.
John Platt was an avid cycler, hiker, mountain climber, and all-around adventure expert. He served as an ITA Board member and crew leader for many years, and will be remembered for his enthusiasm and knowledge about Idaho’s trails. Read more about John’s enduring legacy in his obituary and in the Idaho Statesman’s article about his life.

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18. February 2022 · Comments Off on Supply Checklist and Emergency Preparation Resource Guide · Categories: Around The Campfire


Heading out for a hike or setting up camp in your favorite national forest are both great ways to explore nature, connect with friends and family, and get a little respite from your daily life. From local excursions to mountainous journeys, preparation is key. Even a short day hike close to home could require some extra supplies.

Equipment and gear, first aid kits, food, and water are just a few of the necessities every camper, hiker, or backpacker should have. Whether your trip goes as planned or you’re thrown off course, with the right supplies there is nothing to worry about. Gear up with the best outdoor recreation hats, the tools and technologies to keep safe, and the right clothes to stay warm and dry.  READ MORE

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18. February 2022 · Comments Off on Small-Scale Solar for Trailer or Boat · Categories: Around The Campfire


READ MORE

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14. February 2022 · Comments Off on Pulaski Users Group 2021 Annual Report · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands


READ REPORT

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07. February 2022 · Comments Off on BCHA & USFS Trail Partner Funding Grants · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


IMPORTANT NOTE: Please advise BCH members who wish to submit a US Forest Service Trail Partner Funding grant application to ensure their proposal is of a SIZE and SCALE to be competitive with applications submitted by other national organizations.

A grant application submitted by a single chapter for work on one or a few trails is unlikely to be funded. I encourage BCH members to join with other chapters or states to submit grant applications that are BIG and result in substantial work being done to reduce the amount of deferred maintenance of Forest Service trails (applications of up to $20,000!).

Your proposal will receive extra points if the work includes trail maintenance within one or more USFS Trail Maintenance Priority Area. See map at:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/trails/priority-areas

The scoring for Trail Partner Funding grant applications weighs heavily on:

1. Miles of trail maintained,

2. Miles of trail deferred maintenance eliminated,

3. Number of volunteers engaged, and

4. Cash and in-kind matching funds.

The level of cash match is also scored in addition to in-kind match (volunteer labor, etc.). Even a few hundred or few thousand dollars of cash match will tip the scale toward higher grant application scoring. So avoid the minimum 1:1 match composed entirely of in-kind labor, stock days, etc. Throw in some cash to substantially increase your grant scoring/ranking by the grant review team.

And band together. Just as important, band together with hiking, biking and other trail organizations to submit a joint application–grant applications that benefit multiple trail user groups receive higher scoring! At a minimum, describe in the grant application how the work you are proposing will benefit hikers, backpackers, trail runners, climbers, hunters, anglers, bird watchers, etc. Submit state-wide projects or multi-state projects in order to increase the chances your projects will be funded (and try to squeeze in a Trail Maintenance Priority Area).

BCHA Chapter Grant – How to Apply – Starting in January of each year!

How and When to Apply for a Chapter Support Grant

1 – Grant requests can only be between $100 and $1,000 (maximum). If you are matching our grant with other grants or sources of money for a larger project, please state the other matching group(s) and the amount they are providing.

2 – Are you following one or more of our Mission Statements?

a – To perpetuate the common sense use and enjoyment of horses in America’s back country and wilderness

b – To work to ensure that public lands remain open to recreational stock use

c – To assist the various government and private agencies in their maintenance and management of said resource

d – To educate, encourage and solicit active participation in the wise use of the back country resource by horsemen and the general public commensurate with our heritage

Also, are you educating and encouraging youth in the proper use of America’s backcountry and any public lands, be it county, state or national?

3 – The application must be complete! Incomplete applications will not be considered. Dates for chapter support grant submissions are January 1 to March 15.

4 – If for some reason a grant recipient is unable to do the project, please contact the chairman at grants@BHCA.org to discuss your options.

Timeline

January 1 through March 15 – We accept applications.

March 16 through March 31 – Committee scores and decides grant recipients.

April 1 – Spreadsheet goes to BCHA’s treasurer for checks to be written.

During the national board meeting, grant recipients will be announced. Checks will be sent the week after the national board meeting.

A project report is mandatory and due by December 31 of the year the grant is received. The contact person listed on the grant application is responsible for submitting the report. Send the report with pictures (before and after) to grants@BCHA.org.

Any questions? Contact the Chairman of the Chapter Support Grants Committee at grants@BCHA.org.

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02. February 2022 · Comments Off on National Wilderness Skill Institute 2021 · Categories: Education, Public Meetings, Training Events


LINK TO THE SKILL INSTITUTE


LINK TO THE PRESENTATION MATERIAL AND VIDEO’s

National Wilderness Skill Institute 2022 – May 24, 25 & 26, 2022

 

Some the more popular sessions:




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01. February 2022 · Comments Off on Bright Ideas – Embroidery – Emmett, ID · Categories: Around The Campfire


FACEBOOK LINK

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30. January 2022 · Comments Off on (IDPR) – Non-Motorized Summits & Activities · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) hosted three (3) summits to discuss issues and solutions pertaining to non-motorized trail recreation in Idaho. The discussions were held in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls. Below are the meeting handouts and minutes from each location. The open discussions explored all topics pertaining to non-motorized trail recreation in Idaho and ideas for solving the non-motorized trail funding gap.

Boise – February 11, 2016

Boise, January 11, 2017

A meeting was held January 11, 2017 to share results of the 2016 summits and to organize a leadership team, willing to take suggestions and strategies through the next very important steps. Download the meeting materials.

Summit Attendees

A complete list of summit attendees is available for download here.

Next Steps – Use collective report and results from statewide summits to answer the following:

  1. Is there a need to address non-motorized trail maintenance in Idaho?
  2. Is there enough support statewide to address non-motorized trail maintenance and related funding in Idaho?
  3. Who will work together to address the need?
  4. What does addressing the need look like?
  5. What are the necessary actions / future next steps?

Want to take a leadership role? Have questions?

If you have questions, would like to lead in next steps, or were unable to attend a summit in your area, you can share your thoughts and ideas via email: inquiry@idpr.idaho.gov

IDPR Activities

The 1,311-mile Idaho Centennial Trail (ICT) weaves through the most scenic portions of Idaho’s wild country, from high desert canyonlands in southern Idaho to wet mountain forests in North Idaho.

Designated the official state trail during Idaho’s Centennial year in 1990, the southern portion of the trail begins at 6,000 feet near Murphy Hot Springs on the Idaho/Nevada border.  Heading north, the trail descends to 2,500 feet at the Snake River near Glenns Ferry. The trail yo-yos up and down through the mountains of Central Idaho between 3,000 and 9,000 feet. At its low point (1,900 feet above sea level) the trail skirts the Selway River near the Moose Creek Guard Station then climbs again to high points up to 6,000 feet in the Cabinet and Selkirk Mountains as the trail approaches the northern boundary.


Idaho offers some of the most pristine wilderness areas in the lower 48 states. Follow a trail through 6,000 foot river canyons, hike to crystal alpine lakes or jagged peaks, or find solitude on thousands of miles of hiking trails in Idaho’s designated wilderness areas, two of which (the Frank Church and Selway Bitteroot Wilderness areas) are the largest in the lower 48 states. Some of the most popular wilderness areas for hiking include:

Another good tool to find information about Wilderness Areas in Idaho is Wilderness.net.

WHY Trails provide access to Idaho. Trails are part of Idaho’s recreation heritage, providing paths to camping, fishing and the wild places that make the Gem State great. We already have one of the most effective motorized trail maintenance programs in the country, supported by user fees. But the needed resources to maintain trails for hiking, biking and horse riding are lacking. And without adequate maintenance and improvements, access to some non-motorized trails will be lost.

The stickers are now available in person at:

  • REI in Boise
  • JD’s Bodega in Boise
  • IDPR HQ Office in Boise
  • George’s Cycles (both Boise locations)
  • Hyperspud Sports in Moscow
  • Idaho Mountain Trading in Idaho Falls
  • IDPR East Region Office in Idaho Falls
  • IDPR North Region Office in Coeur d’Alene
  • Massacre Rocks State Park in American Falls
  • Winchester Lake State Park in Winchester
  • Bruneau Dunes State Park in Bruneau
  • Lake Walcott State Park in Rupert
  • Hells Gate State Park in Lewiston
  • Ponderosa State Park in McCall
  • Heyburn State Park in Plummer
  • Dworshak State Park in Orofino
  • Farragut State Park in Athol
  • Lake Cascade State Park in Cascade

 

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19. January 2022 · Comments Off on Wilderness Volunteer Projects 2022 · Categories: Public Lands


LEARN MORE


LEARN MORE

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18. January 2022 · Comments Off on The powerful, elusive animal roaming Idaho’s forests · Categories: Around The Campfire

Inside the powerful, elusive animal roaming Idaho’s forests

The wolverine is an animal roaming Idaho that you’ve probably never seen – but you might have wondered, ‘what are they, exactly?’

Only 300 are estimated to be left in the lower 48 – mostly in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. It’s also the mascot of several Idaho schools including Wood River Valley High School in Hailey.  READ MORE

North American Wolverine

The North American wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) is a medium-sized, solitary carnivore adapted for digging, climbing, and traveling long distances in deep snow during the winter. Since the wolverine is a highly elusive creature, the 2018 Species Status Assessment (SSA) mapped the current potential extent of occurrence for the North American wolverine spanning through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, and Canada. As mentioned in the SSA, the wolverine occupies a variety of habitats including Arctic tundra, subarctic-alpine tundra, boreal forest, mixed forest, redwood forest, and coniferous forest.

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13. January 2022 · Comments Off on ITA – The Old Saw – January 2022 · Categories: Public Lands

READ MORE

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11. January 2022 · Comments Off on NWSA Webinar – Stock use rule · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands


Stock use rules in BLM and USFS-managed wilderness.

One of the most common categories of rules in wilderness is rules associated with stock use. Stock rules can include feed requirements, party size limits, camping setbacks from water and/or trails, grazing restrictions, as well as stock restrictions to certain trails or outright prohibition of stock. This research describes the frequency of stock rules in wilderness areas managed by the BLM and USFS. Additionally, the differences associated with the rules that are included in Wilderness Character reports as well as how they are weighted are also explored.

C. “Griff” Griff is a Professor in the Biology Department at Grand Valley State University. Her research focuses on unconfined recreation in the National Wilderness Preservation System.
Randy Rasmussen, Public Lands Policy Expert for the Back Country Horsemen of America will also participate in this discussion with a horseman’s perspective.

National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance

 LINK TO RECORDING

One of the most common categories of rules in wilderness is rules associated with stock use. Stock rules can include feed requirements, party size limits, camping setbacks from water and/or trails, grazing restrictions, as well as stock restrictions to certain trails or outright prohibition of stock. This research describes the frequency of stock rules in wilderness areas managed by the BLM and USFS. Additionally, the differences associated with the rules that are included in Wilderness Character reports as well as how they are weighted are also explored.

C. “Griff” Griff is a Professor in the Biology Department at Grand Valley State University. Her research focuses on unconfined recreation in the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Randy Rasmussen, Public Lands Policy Expert for the Back Country Horsemen of America will also participate in this discussion with a horseman’s perspective.

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11. January 2022 · Comments Off on Wilderness Connect – a valuable resource · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education, Public Lands

Wilderness Connect Link

Contact Lisa Ronald lisa@wilderness.net if you have a question.

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09. January 2022 · Comments Off on AirFlare Rescue App · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

This App will not replace a satellite beacon service rescue device like inReach or Spot, but is a very useful low cost tool that should be part of every back country riders tool kit.

Airflare

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05. January 2022 · Comments Off on Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) with the U.S. Forest Service 11/12/2021 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

BCHA continues to operate under a five-year Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) with the U.S. Forest Service 11/12/2021

Do you have a service project you would like to accomplish on a nearby national forest? BCHA continues to operate under a five-year Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) with the U.S. Forest Service related to trail maintenance and public education and outreach. We recommend you share a copy of the MOU with your local forest.  Many BCH chapters operate under a similar forest-specific service agreement, which often can be expedited if both parties are made aware of the national MOU. BCHA’s current MOU with the U.S. Forest Service is active to August 31st 2021.

21-MU-11132424-362-SIGNED-BCHA-signed-MOU_FinalSigned

 

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04. January 2022 · Comments Off on BCHA Quarterly Newsletter – Winter Edition · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


READ 2022 WINTER NEWS LETTER

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